I’LL JUST HAVE A SALAD

 

Can we talk today? And can you not judge me? This is gonna be a tough one for me. And I’m not talking “tough” like I feel guilty for eating a whole can of cinnamon rolls by myself (maybe). That’s not it.

What if I told you I’m not perfect? Oh! You already knew? Well, evidently I didn’t. There’s a perfectionism gene that gets passed down from my dad’s side of the family that is alive and well and living in me. It runs deep in my (varicose) veins.
I’ve strived for internal, heart-n-soul perfection my whole life and have felt sorry for all you other pitiful individuals who just couldn’t quite get it together on the inside. Joking…but kinda not. Forgive me.
I’ve always loved people, but somewhere deep down I’ve judged and I’ve speculated and I’ve shaken my head at the thought of how in the world you, you wretched soul, could claim to love Jesus but still make the mistakes you were making (Gasps. Hangs head in shame on your behalf).

Until…..

Yep.
It happened.
I fell from my seat next to the throne of Jesus.
And y’all, I didn’t just trip like that one time when I was 10 months pregnant and fell over the speaker while I was leading worship. It was worse than that. Because this was my choice. I chose to give up for a hot minute and dive head-first into some things that I knew were damaging to my soul. I chose to turn away from what I knew in my knower to be good and right. I turned a blind-eye to injustice that on any “normal” day I would’ve gone down swinging for. I didn’t even recognize myself. And I still can’t even believe it sometimes.
I cry writing this…

Actively.
Willingly.
Consciously.
Morally.
Spiritually.

Give me a minute to get a grip…

It was a short run compared to the rest of my life, but it felt like it lasted an eternity. It has changed me for an eternity – I promise you that. I gave up on almost everything but my wardrobe. And I hated myself and my life and I hated the consequences my choices were creating. But I couldn’t seem to walk away. All I wanted was for somebody to come and dig me out of my hole, but at the same time all I wanted was for everybody to just leave me alone. I was gloriously happy and completely miserable in my mess. Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about.  And the shame – it had me by the throat and wouldn’t let go.

Now, all the juicy details are not important. Trust me. You can guess and wonder and draw your own conclusion. All you really need to know is this one thing…

Shame is real, but grace is realer. (Yes, I know what I just said.)

Shame almost kept me from even writing this. I said to myself, “You haven’t been out of it long enough. It was too recent. You’re a hypocrite. You haven’t paid penance long enough to share your shame story.  What if you make another mistake?”

Sound familiar? Not only did shame almost keep me from writing this, shame almost kept me from living! But the grace, y’all. The grace from Jesus and from people who love me. It overwhelms me. And it overwhelms the shame.

And Hebrews 10:1-25 (whenever you get a minute) – this scripture overwhelms me too.  I’m a hot mess reading it today…

Now, sit down. Are you ready? The real shame is not only in the thing – the act, but the shame is in the not repenting, and in the secret-keeping. Brene’ Brown, my new favorite author (and pretend-best-friend) says in her book THE GIFTS OF IMPERFECTION, that shame metastasizes in the dark. Shame grows when you keep the lights off. Luckily, I’m not good at hiding my life issues very well. I have some really great people in my life who, not only could tell I was on the struggle bus, but weren’t willing to watch me keep riding on it. A few of them threatened to throat-punch me and choke me out while helping me through my process, but they never left me. I will love them forever. Even though I willingly chose to walk through this dark place, they still didn’t leave. And once again, neither did Jesus.  I finally decided I had enough and walked away…then went back in…then walked away. It was a process. But I finally had a gut-full, and this time I never looked back.
Bye.

Y’all, we are gonna make mistakes. Who knew!?! In the words of one of my sweet friends who has also made her fair share of choices she would like to forget, “It is what I did, but it is not who I am.” Look, we are gonna do the thing and say the words and have the attitude and eat the whole pizza by ourselves in one sitting (never) at some point along the way. It may be tomorrow. It may!!!
And here’s the deal, if you’re eating that whole pizza by yourself everyday and living in the dark about it and you don’t care and you’re not gonna change for nobody, no way, no how, then this particular story may not be for you. We’ll chat another day.
I’m talking to the one who is saying “Look. I love pizza. I love eating it when nobody is looking (because it didn’t really happen if nobody saw you eat it). I love (hate) how it makes me feel. But I know it’s wrong and I don’t want to be about that life. I don’t want to be that person who eats the whole pizza. I want to be the person who eats the salad.” I’m talking to you, pizza/salad-eater. EAT THE SALAD!! You can do it!! I believe in you!!

If you’re waiting to feel worthy before you eat the salad, or sing the song or write the blog or say you’re sorry or make the change, you may as well wait forever. Let me ask you something. Do you wait till you’re having the best hair day ever to go get your hair done? No!! You let that mess get funky and near-rotten till you are on the verge of partial ownership in your favorite dry shampoo company. I promise you this, your hairdresser thinks you are anything but worthy. But you go anyway – nappy head and all. And she loves you (but she’s afraid to touch you) and she makes you beautiful again.
Look, you may never FEEL worthy. But you are, because of Jesus. Christ in you makes you worthy. You’re also what we call…human. And Jesus is what we call…forgiving.

He loves us. He knows us. He made us. He’s full of grace, mercy and loving-kindness. He offers it to anybody who will accept it. What’s even better is, it starts over brand new every single day.

So, get up. Cry it out. Say your “I’m sorry’s” (even to yourself). Be brave. Admit the mistakes. You can’t skip this one. And I hear you – “Give me a cotton-pickin’ break!! That’s the worst part!!” I know.  But the truth is, it’s the best part, because that’s where the freedom comes! The freedom comes with the repentance.

So accept the grace. Right the wrongs. And don’t you dare let the nay-sayers and the haters keep you from moving on.  Some people will walk away. Some people will be too disappointed by your mistakes to hang in there with you. Some may even glory in your situation because it takes the spotlight off of their own mistakes. Maybe they don’t understand your ability to repent and walk in freedom. For whatever reason they just don’t seem to want you to recover. That’s a hard pill to swallow, I know. But it’s ok. Wish them well and keep it moving. Find the ones who will stay and forgive and hold your hand and not let go. Walk in your purpose, because YOU HAVE ONE!!! And hey, when you mess up again (like you will and like I have), read this again and repeat. Cuz that’s exactly what I’m gonna do – read this thing AGAIN, on the days I’m not feeling worthy, until I believe that I am! Because I am. And so are you.

He is. Christ in us.

Now let’s tear up that coupon for a large one-topping and go eat that salad (and for the love, could you just TRY to buy organic this time?) And hey, if you wanna have yours with a big ole glass of sweet tea and a hot fudge sundae for dessert, well… there’s no judgment here.  😉
Baby steps…

 

168 thoughts on “I’LL JUST HAVE A SALAD”

  1. Diving into the pig pen is easy! And wallowing in it can seem cozy. But climbing back out – that’s the real miracle. “The descent into hell is easy,” wrote Virgil, “but to retrace your steps and to come out into the upper air, this is the deed, this is the labor.” And God is with you (and me) every step of the way. You go, girl!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a wonderful story, I can relate to. It seems that God will give me just what I need right at the moment that I need it. And let me tell you, I definitely needed to hear every single bit of it. Thank God for his mercy and grace and I am thankful for you writing this down! God bless you.

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    1. It’s like you pulled my exact thought out of my head and left them here in your comment, Michelle. Ditto what you said. My heart was heavy this morning and I needed this. God bless and thank you Heather for keeping it real!

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  3. I just found your Facebook age and this blog. I bing watched all your videos and found myself upset there weren’t more. U have a gift for making people feel special and worthy. Meanwhile u have the gift to make people laugh. God gave u this stage I believe to be able to reach people cause they will take the time out to listen to your words. God bless u on this amazing journey. Your words really inspire me to do more to be closer to our Father. Obey and receive, ask and be forgiven. How lucky are we? Much Love ❤️

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  4. I am pretty sure we need to meet, cause you are my new best friend. Any chance you are near Nashville? Cause I have some sweet tea with your name ALL over it.

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  5. You are my “pretend best friend”… I relate to your sense of saying what everyone is thinking (I do that too), and the extreme grace of Jesus to pull us up out of the mud and clean us out, only to set us upright and ask us to walk a new path that He walks with us step by step. I honor you as a woman of God.. and I honor you as my favorite “pretend best friend” Much love, Melissa

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  6. Love this… It came right on time for me. I lost my Mom/best friend last month and all day Ive been contemplating giving up. Quitting my job and crawling a in hole. This made me realize that I am the daughter of a mighty King! And he wants to prosper me and do me no harm. Thank you

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  7. You are a woman after my own heart ❤️. You like Chip & Jo, and Brene Brown! I love this blog. I need God’s grace daily, and just when I think I have this I make a mistake again. So often in the dark times (which I hate😡) I find out who my true friends are, that will love me in spite of myself, and I lean on God and know him as a father. Thank you so much for being real and transparent. You make my day so many times!

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  8. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    I teared up at the part that I’m worthy!
    But I know I’m only worthy Because of him!
    God is taking you places girly!
    You are touching people’s lives!
    You just touched mine! Keep being obedient, keep being real, keep putting Jesus first!
    I can’t wait to see how God is going to use you!
    Love what I’m seeing and hearing from you!
    I’m here, and I’m waiting for more!
    God Bless you on your Journey and Call❤️

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  9. Wow! I feel like you just wrote the words I wasn’t gifted enough to say on my own. My wife and I have been on a roller coaster journey the last 2 1/2 years, but God is good and he is beginning to use us again. Thanks for sharing and providing this encouragement.

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  10. Wowsers!! The timing of this being shared on Facebook could not be ANY more perfect!! About 4 hours ago, we had a youth girls small group class at our church, studying “Salvaging My Identity”. Tonight’s lesson was over the day on guilt vs shame, and how the way to move past it is to admit to someone so it loses its power over us by not keeping it hidden. I just shared this with the girls on Facebook and plan to read more of your blog. Keep keepin’ it real, and pointing toward Jesus!!

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  11. I hear you and I have also been there….shame-based identity. But HE changes everything. If we weren’t worthy of love, Christ would not have died for us. Thankfully, I accepted that love and it is satisfying and fulfilling.

    You are doing a great creative work, Heather Land….you’ve provided some really good, wholesome laughter in a sin-tossed and confused world. To God be the Glory, in your life and in mine.

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  12. Yep. Been there. Done that. Jesus makes sense of the insensible. However, the voice in my mind was your filter in reading this. “Mmm-mmmm, ain’t doin it,” wasn’t found.

    Seriously, good for you. The fight is real.

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  13. WOW…just WOW! just found you, your FUNNEEEEEE videos & now your blog! I’m not usually a blog reader BUT gonna follow your blog! & share you with my friends! that said, thank you for a word for such a time as this. I NEEDED this now…God knew! I’d like to join the list to be your “best friend”! keep em coming girl…YOU ROCK!

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  14. I spent 20+ years in public education and it was my total identity. I worked my way from a teacher/coach to an assistant principal to HS principal. It was all I ever knew. I fell in love with my students, watching them grow from the time they were little until releasing them into “the world” at graduation. They each became a part of me. To make a long story short, social media, politics, the death of three students in 18 months, sent me into a dark place. I did something completely out of character for myself because I thought it was a way to take the attention away from some of my students who were getting bullied through social media. Looking back, it was a perfect storm. Needless to say, it became public, I walked away from my career and soooo many people still look at me like I am Satan himself. I deal with the shame on a daily basis but I have found that you do have to pick yourself up and move on. My family and several select friends have stuck by me through it all. God is so good. He is my “why”. Learning that my happiness comes from within, not from the outside has been a true blessing. I love Brene Brown! I love your blog, I relate and laugh at your videos almost on a daily basis. Life is to short to worry about what other people think about you, to be honest, it’s really none of your business what they think about you!!!! I often wonder if I should try to explain to people what caused me to make the choices I did to hit rock bottom or just continue to let them make up their own conclusions. What I do know, you only have one way to go when you hit bottom and I am enjoying the new direction!!!! Thanks for your videos!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Makes my heart warm. Not just food/diet, annoyances, addictions. It is anything. Your humor makes getting past and forgiveness and finding these things more tolerable, easier! Thank you!

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  16. Makes my heart warm. Not just food/diet, annoyances, addictions. It is anything. Your humor makes getting past and forgiveness and finding these things more tolerable, easier! Thank you!

    Like

  17. I’ve never related to anything more. Shame and regret are the worst feelings IN THE WORLD and forgiving yourself is 100 times harder than forgiving others. Sometimes I really struggle with the thought that people will forever judge me by the mistakes I have made, but I comfort myself with the knowledge that God knows my heart. He knows that “what I have done is not who I am” even if no one else does. Thanks for writing this! ❤️

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  18. Your words and encouragement are “pumpkin spice and everything nice”! What a God given blessing that you have utilized as a platform to give God the glory. People are drawn to you by your humor and but I believe led to you by the holy spirit. Its amazing that God uses your talent to bless so many. Thank you for having the courage and knowledge to be a “superstar”! I can’t wait to see if you will be speaking in good ole North Carolina, we have really good sweet tea here! Thank you for sharing the word as you share your human/reality thoughts! I applaud you!

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  19. Oh Heather you could have been easily writing my story. I came out of mine but the guilt I carried had me literally in the dark all the time. I couldn’t find my way back to God. I was raised in church so I just couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get there. I had repented, I believed God had forgiven me but I walled myself up into a brick silo of guilt and shame. Not even 3 weeks ago I was led, I know it was the Holy Spirit, to finally break down those walls. I had been in the dark for 5 years!! And now by Gods grace and mercy I’m walking in the light with Jesus again and I have never felt so alive and free!!!! And I’m telling all who will listen that there is life after what feels like spiritual death. Praise Jesus!!!

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  20. Lord honey!! How true this is!! You are brave and wonderful for putting this out there and for those of us that have been in those same shoes…the ugly ones that we shouldn’t be wearing but do it anyway…thank you for giving us the courage to do the same. Thank Jesus for grace and forgiveness

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  21. Thank You! It amazes me how God gives you something from someone you don’t even know. And it hits you so hard and right to the point, all you can do is cry.

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  22. Heather, you literally just slaughtered the enemy with this post! We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony! You have reassured me of what God has been ministering to me internally. May God bless you tremendously for your boldness and diligence to this blog! Thank you…

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  23. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all we had to deal with was the guilt of eating a whole roll of cinnamon rolls or a whole pizza. Guilt will eat us alive, believe me i know, and am lucky enough to have a 40 plus year old daughter that loves to remind me daily of all my mistakes, sarcasm here, not fun at all but the truth. Like most i have taken it to the alter many times and always take back that stupid spark that lights the whole fire again. Getting better but this time of year brings it back in spades. Love and prayers to all the women out there that deal with depression, anxiety and guilt. Men seem to handle life so much better, they don’t remember what happened yesterday, haha.

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