There is a sticky substance that once it gets into my heart and mind, seems to grow. If left un-checked, soon I’m drowning. I had to deal with this black goop a lot after my husband’s disclosure regarding his sexual sin. That was 15 years ago. Much like cleaning up an oil spill, it took a lot of time and the careful removing of every dark and sticky thought. The substance is self-loathing.

When you hear that your husband chose other people (real or fantasy) over you, it’s hard not to let the slippery lies of “feeling less than” ooze into your heart. It takes a conscious effort to degrease every sticky black lie. It’s important to stay on top of clean-up for the weight can be suffocating. A small amount of sludge is easier to clean than a tanker full. In time, I got pretty good at not letting the leaking go on for long. I used Scripture to help wipe away the awful lies. One of my favorites was, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” This worked for years.

Recently, however, I have found myself covered again, and this time the oil came on faster and thicker than before—or maybe I didn’t recognize it at first. Over the last year, this thing called menopause has packed on pounds under the sludge. My body doesn’t respond to dieting like it used to nor does my mind respond to the memory verse the way it once did. This oil spill is much different than the previous one, and I feel like one of those birds we see captured on national news after a tanker spill. Covered head to toe in black goo and unable to fly.

I didn’t want to see people, for I put my voice of self-criticism in their mouths.

Finally, I went to a naturopath and found some physical things were out of balance. Low this and high that. I realized just like degreasing that bird, my sludge was not going to come off quickly. I also realized my self-worth was wrongfully tied to my weight and appearance. (I thought I had dealt with that years ago, yet here I am again.) That is the real source of the oil spill.

The Lord still has a work to do in my heart. Knowing I am fearfully and wonderfully made is good, but I also need to know God looks only at my heart. Worrying about outward appearance keeps me stuck to the world’s standards, and because the aging process is ongoing, the target keeps moving. All the more reason to stay grounded in the God’s unchanging Truth.

I feel the goop getting thinner with the strong and sure de-greaser of the Word, but this is going to be a bit by bit, one-thought-at-a-time process. I would appreciate your prayers. The reality is I am getting older in a world that worships youth. This temporary tent was only intended for use here on earth, so it’s getting worn. I want to focus on that which is eternal and keep my eyes on the One who loves me without limits. I want to fly in the days that remain and then enter into those gates with my heart sparkling and free from grease and grime as I leave the worn out tent behind!!

1 Samuel 16:7 God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.

1 Peter 1:25 The old life is a grass life, its beauty as short-lived as wildflowers; grass dries up, flowers droop, God’s Word goes on and on forever.

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