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Gracie and her Best Friend About Ready to Duke it out…

How to take your thoughts captive

 

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Body Shaming

Gracie sat in a corner booth of a fast-food restaurant. In the booth next to her, she could hear two young women talking. One said, “I have to lose weight. At size 12 I’m never going to get a date. Look at you, size 5 looks great on you. How did you do it? I’ll never get a date for the prom looking like a ‘fat pig’”.

Gracie’s thoughts went back to her own experience ten years before when she was in college. She had always been on the chunky side, but it never really bothered her.

Dennis, her best friend since kindergarten, had grown up next door. All through school they had done everything together, actually just like a brother and sister. They even chose the same college to attend.

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One day, shortly after starting college, Gracie left class, walking toward the Commons for lunch, when she saw Dennis standing with a group of boys. She yelled, “Dennis,” waving and pointing to the Commons for him to meet her there. As she lowered her arm she heard, “fat pig” as the group broke out into laughter and catcalls. She saw Dennis covering a laugh with his hand as he turned away from her. She tucked her head down into the collar of her jacket as she hurried to the Commons.
She wiped a couple of runaway tears from her face as she approached the door, deep in thought. She knew she was “chunky,” but had never considered herself “fat.” Dennis was her best friend. Did he really feel that way about her? Was she just kidding herself about Dennis? He had teased her about having “thunder thighs,” but she thought he was just teasing.

Thoughts Became Obsessive

It was almost three weeks before she saw Him again. She avoided him and his calls. Her “Body Shaming” thoughts tormented her day and night.
She began wearing oversized clothes to hide “her fat.” She started a fasting diet, that she had seen in a magazine, but she couldn’t stick to it. She actually ate more and the wrong foods. Instead of going to the Commons between classes she’d go to her car or sit on a park bench off the beaten path.
Dennis dropped by her house one evening after school. Her mom called her to come out of her room. “No, I don’t want to ever see him ever again,” she said not quite loud enough for her mom to hear. “Gracie,” her mom yelled again.
She walked out of her room with a large jacket wrapped around her. As she got to the door of the kitchen where Dennis stood talking to her mom, she snarled, “What do you want?”
“Gracie,” her mom scolded.
“Stay out of it, Mom,” snapped Gracie.
Mom dropped the spoon she was holding in the sink, took off her apron, and threw it on the table as she marched out of the kitchen.
“I just have one question for you,” Gracie said, standing with her hands on her hips in the kitchen doorway. “Why did you take me to the prom last year if that’s how you feel about me?”
Dennis shifted from one foot to the other looking down at the floor. Gracie took à step closer to him, “Well?”
“Well,” he stuttered.
“Spit it out,” she demanded taking another step closer looking hard into his face.
“Stop pressuring me,” he screamed as his face began to flush with anger.
“I felt sorry for you.”
“What?” Gracie screamed back, “I thought we were friends.”
“Friends, yes. Boyfriend and girlfriend, NO.”
“I thought you cared about me,” she said wiping tears away as she turned to leave the kitchen.
“I do, that’s why I asked you to the prom.”
“I’m lost,” she said turning back around to face him.
“I swore I’d never tell you, but you just keep pushing,” He paused shifting from one foot to the other again.
“Just tell me.”
With a sense of irritation in his voice, “Okay, okay. All the guys had bets about who would have a date and who wouldn’t. You saw how they embarrassed Sally because she didn’t have a date. You were next in line. I couldn’t let that happen to you, so I asked you to the prom. You looked so nice. I was glad I had asked.”
Gracie had a puzzled look on her face, “But, what, I don’t get it.”
“Well, you’re always dressed in blue jeans with an old t-shirt with some weird saying on it. You rarely wear makeup or do your hair, it’s usually hanging straight. The jeans make your thunder thighs stand out. You don’t talk a lot but when you do, you say weird things that you think are funny, but they aren’t. They’re just weird. There I said it.”
In a burst of anger, she shouted, “Get out. I don’t want to ever see you again.”
Dennis hung his head muttering, “I knew it,” as he went out the front door.
Her mind became ravished with negative, hurtful thoughts about herself and her body. Her thoughts became her words, “You fat pig. Nobody will ever want to be with you.” Her thoughts and words became behavior. She began eating everything in sight and gained until her weight was out of control. Her doctor had told her to get it under control because she was on the edge of having serious health problems. But her thoughts and words continued to spiral downward leading to serious depression also.
In her daily devotional she read the verses,
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.” 2 Corinthians 10:3–6 ESV 
“How do you take every thought captive,” she said to herself. “Thoughts are just thoughts. This just doesn’t make any sense. And how do you bring down strongholds?”
She pondered this thought for several days. She knew her body shaming and her eating was a stronghold because every time she tried to diet she actually ate more.
She had scheduled a counseling appointment feeling that her life was beginning to spiral out of control. In the appointment, she relayed the story of her and Dennis.
The counselor said, “Our thoughts will naturally run rampant with fear and worry. But if you examine them before they begin spiraling downward, you can gain control by taking them captive so you can change them.” Seattle Christian Counseling.” 
Gracie snickered saying, “I read that passage in my devotional just the other day, but have no idea how to take a thought captive.”
“Then, let’s take a look at it,” the counselor said. “Give me an example of what you say to yourself.”
“You’re so fat, nobody will ever want you. Dennis just hung around because we were neighbors. He thinks you’re just a joke. I am so ugly compared to the other girls. I will never find a date or a husband.”
The counselor said, “Find some scriptures that really speak to you, like Philippians 4:6–7. Then make the scriptures yours. Say the Word out loud. Allow yourself to hear you say it.”
I am not going to be anxious about my weight, but I am making my request to you, God, to help me lose weigh and to stop putting myself down. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus. (paraphrased Philippians 4:6–7 ESV)
I refuse to continue shaming the body that God made. I will glorify God in my body because it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (paraphrased 1 Corinthians 6:19–20 ESV)
Gracie continued sitting in the booth, feeling the pain from losing her best friend on that fateful day about ten years ago. She had not seen or spoken to Dennis since. But that day changed her life forever.
It had been about eight years since her visit to the counselor. She continued speaking God’s Word over herself. The body-shaming had gradually disappeared along with the weight.
Gracie looked at her watch again. The other girls had left. It was quiet in her corner of the restaurant. Then she saw him and moved out of the booth to greet him.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

“Gracie, is that you?” Dennis asked. “Look at you. You are gorgeous.”
He motioned for her to take a seat.
“I’ve really missed you,” he said. “But looks like you’ve been busy. For a while, I kept looking for you around your mom’s house, but then you moved.”
He stopped and looked at her again, then took her hand in his.
“I called to see if we could get back together. I don’t want to do life without you.”
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