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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Measure (01/10/13)

TITLE: Beyond Measure


We all had to stand with our backs to the scale, one by one, as soon as we arrived. It was, in essence, a pointless practice. We all knew our weights exactly, having checked the scale at home countless times prior to being weighed-in at the treatment program. Even without scales, we were all consumed by measurements. It struck me how similar we were to one another, the numbers and comparisons that ruled our existence; we judged our success by the way our clothing fit, by the protrusion of the collar bone, by how many fingers fit around the wrist.

We were all particularly skilled at performing calculations by eye, albeit discreetly. It’s possible to take in another girl’s measurements fairly completely while maintaining the appearance of examining the floor. Leanness of the neck, the waist, the hips, and overall success in controlling one’s flesh were all easy to evaluate and thereby compare to one’s own.

Guarded observation of the other patients’ eating habits preoccupied much of our time at lunch. Each meal was carefully measured, but with not nearly the precision given to most of our at-home endeavors. Some of us had four ounces of protein, others six. Some of us had two servings of a starch, others three. The chewing, the watching, the comparing, the measuring; the food made us so full.

And yet I was so empty.

"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14-19, NKJV)

I don’t do much measuring anymore. For you see, what healed me and what fills me is measureless, without bounds, and beyond comprehension. It took several hospitalizations and years of struggling with eating disorders for me to realize that what I hungered for cannot be measured. The desire for approval, the striving for perfection, the fear of rejection and failure; all are silenced by the love of Christ. For while I performed my own measurements, I was unaware that God kept His own. Every hair on my head He had numbered, as well as every tear. Every day of my life had been written in His book; and so it is with you.

These days I no longer strive for my own perfection, but rather rest in the perfection of the One who died on my behalf. Rather than dwelling in the destructive fear of men, I abide in the life-giving love of the One who rose again. By His grace, I no more set my focus on the meals of this world, but look instead to that heavenly banquet at which time I will join the multitude in praising the only One deserving of all glory.

If you are imprisoned today, if fear and behaviors are holding you in bondage, know that you are not alone. You are not beyond the love of Christ. No sin is too dark for His forgiveness, no chains so strong that He cannot break them. His is the love that you need not earn, nor fear losing. It is for Him that you truly hunger, His healing that you need. Turn to Jesus Christ in your brokenness. For His love alone is beyond measure.
(true story)

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/20/13
This is a powerful piece. I knew by the very first line where you were going because I can relate in so many ways. I think the first time I realized how severe my problem was, I was watching Family Feud and the question was How many times do you weigh yourself. My answer was every hour. It sunk in when the person on the show answered once a day and everyone laughed. Hmm if once a day seemed excessive then my answer must be way out there. Your piece is spot on the topic and I suspect many people will see themselves in your words and you will, with God's Grace, be able to reach out to them with your testimony. Well done.
Joanne Sher 01/21/13
Wow - very, very powerful writing, and a message so VERY many need to hear. Thank you so VERY much for sharing this piece!
C D Swanson 01/22/13
May God continue to shine His light over you and in you. This profoundly intense testimony was overwhelmingly beautiful. It served to solidify further, what already is a given...HE and HE alone can do it all. Amen.

I want to thank you for your touching and prolific commentary and personal reflections. Amazing...and this will touch many.

God bless you~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/24/13
Congratulations on your ribbon in level 2 and for ranking 25th overall!
C D Swanson 01/25/13
Congrats. God Bless~