“Once, I stole a pair of red panties from the department store. My mom wouldn’t buy them for me. She said they were Satan’s Panties.”
-Cheryl, Miss Rhode Island
I recently found myself watching Miss Congeniality; a movie that never fails to make me laugh. Cheryl, in all her dim-witted glory, made me think about stealing. Now, before you ring the authorities to report that I have committed a crime, please know that I have no intentions on taking up a career in petty theft. I have, however, become the target of an actual criminal. This offense has been taking place, slowly, for more than half of my life without so much as an arrest or subpoena. Well, that ends today. I am here to report a con-woman. She goes by the alias of Ed, but has been known to spread loads of cruel lies…so who knows who she really is. She looks and sounds a lot like me, but, I assure you, she is a separate entity from myself. Ed is also a malevolent dictator; strictly enforcing what I eat, how frequently, the quantity, if it is allowed to stay there, and how much physical atonement I must perform in the form of exercise as a penance for disobeying her commands. But, wait, there is more. She is also a thief. She has stolen my health, and, in return, left me with the following: osteoarthritis (by age 23), anemia, thinning hair, a mouth full of fillings, involuntary rumination, slow metabolism, poor short-term memory, and a less than effective immune system amongst other things. She has a long-standing hostile take-over of my thoughts and emotions. She has also drained my bank account through my numerous efforts to rid her from my life via therapy, doctor visits, medical testing, and reading materials. She is a liar as well. One her favorite lines is “I already ate.” Ed will try to convince friends and family that you are fine that her appearance in your life is nothing to worry about. She will make up any kind of lie to stay in your life. Ed may even convince you, through her lies, that you need her (you do not need her in your life, by the way).
I know, however, that simply reporting Ed’s malicious deeds and willing her away will not remove her from my life. I must continue to fight her day by day, meal by meal, bite by bite, until I have broken her power over me. Only then will I be able to reclaim what is rightly mine. No matter how strong Ed claims to be, I know I am stronger. I know I am more courageous, braver, and smarter too. But, the best part is that you are too. We all are. All we need to do is embrace that knowledge, and Ed will live the rest of her pathetic life in some dismal exile far away from any human.
Song of Solomon 4:7
“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.”
1 Peter 5: 10-11
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen”