This morning I'm raw. I'm hurting. The pain is so intense. I can not even keep the tears from falling. It's all because of a girl dying. A girl I barely even knew. I knew of her. Everyone in my school knew of her. Everyone in my school knew of me too. Why? Because in high school, when you are morbidly obese, everyone knows your name. Even though this girl, whose name was Sylvania, was five years older than me, I was called by her name all the time. It's sad, but sometimes your classmates and teachers do not remember names. They remember you are fat. I never even had a conversation with her, but we were connected, by the only thing in my life that has been the constant thing that has made me unhappy (and I'm guessing her too)...the fat covering up the real me.
Now, I do not know the cause of death for Sylvania. I do know, that based on her size (and mine), there is a very real chance that is was caused by her obesity. Folks...this is REAL FEAR for me. More real than most. Because, not only did a girl named Sylvania, who I only know to see, die, but because my sister died from obesity too. I have not really covered it too much on my blog yet, because the anniversary of my sister's death was 10 days ago. I'm so emotionally raw.
7 years ago, on a Sunday afternoon, around 2pm my sister took her last breath. She was 20 years old. And do you know what the cause of death on her death certificate is? Myocardial infarction. A heart attack. My 20 year old sister died of a heart attack. Let that sink in. My first friend. My DNA buddy. My lifelong roommate. We ate the same foods. We did the same activities. We laughed and cried at similar situations. We were often mistaken for twins. We were called by each others names all the time too. We were only 14 months apart. And she died. From a HEART ATTACK. Something that is supposed to only happen to 75 year old men.
Do you see why this battle is so overwhelming for me? I sit here at 335 pounds. I've been at this weight far too long. As Lysa Terkeurst would say, "I've circled this mountain long enough." I'm ready to move forward and fast. Because, the last thing I want is my name in the obituaries with an age that is far to young.
I have spent way to many years fearing death. I need to gain some proper perspective on it. I need to mix my fear of death up with some faith. Some hope. Some truth from God's word. I need to remember that as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, that death is "to gain." Because, if I die, I will be going to Heaven. In Psalm 23:4 it says "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me." My pastors recently pointed out that it says the "SHADOW" of the valley of death. Shadows can be really scary, but they can not hurt you. I will only be in death's shadow, because what is really waiting for me is eternal life! I need to remember that!!!!
I'm so tired of this fear holding me back. My fear has kept me living in anxiety. Anxiety has kept me from being productive on my weight loss, causing me to often 'eat my emotions.' As a result, I have only gotten heavier and less healthy, when my goals were the exact opposite.
On Sunday, I am beginning a new Bible Study series called, "An Untroubled Heart." I'm not sure that I'm ready, but I've diving in anyways. These fears are REAL. They are not something I imagined. I could die right now because of my obesity. And if I don't continue to move forward and change, I will die way too young. And as much as I want to be in Heaven someday, I have a lot of work to do.
I have my babies to raise, and my husband to love. I have countless people to share Jesus with. I have at least two or three books in my soul that are waiting to be written. I have the mountains of Colorado to visit. I have a church to serve. A world to love on. I have work to do. And I can not move forward until I dealt with these fears.
So, will you please join me in praying today? For Sylvania's family as they mourn the loss of her, whatever that loss may have been caused by. Will you pray for me, please? That studying "An Untroubled Heart" will grow me? That I can remain dedicated to my eating and fitness plan? That I can conquer this and be healthy? That I can learn to work through my emotions instead of allowing them to control me? That I can live a long and healthy life, that includes serving the Lord to the fullest. That I can let go of my fear of failure and death and find a way to really LIVE.
As always, thank you for reading. The support and love you offer keeps me going when I feel I have no more fight left in me.