So I’ve been
watching rewatching The OC recently.
That’s right. No shame here. I love it. All of it. Even the fourth season that literally limped along for 16ish pathetic episodes until the writers, in essence, gave up on the show. (Hello, Ryan’s dad?? WTFuudge mate?)
ANYWHO. I digress.
The episode I watched last night was the one where Summer and Seth (heart eyes) are battling it out, fighting over the spot to Brown. Brown only accepts one student from their high school, and so Seth and Summer duke it out to be deemed the “perfect candidate” for the prestigious university.
In essence, they reinvent themselves for the application.
Summer adopts the marching band, and Seth tries his hand (as a pirate) at the drama club. They do community service, join clubs, practice their interview skills — all to appear like they’re the exemplary student, worthy of admission to Brown.
Don’t do drugs, kids. 😉
But I was watching that episode, and it just struck me how relatable that is. How, their little “song and dance” to get into college is really how we all play the game of life, isn’t it? At least to some degree?
We always feel we have to change in order to be accepted, make the grade, earn respect. We try to look our best for high school reunions – maybe change our hair. Why do you think that Extreme Weight Loss show, or Extreme Make Over was and is so popular? It’s because it’s feeding that default mechanism inside all of us that says that in order to be good, we have to be as damn near perfect as possible. Makeover our lives, our homes, our bodies, in order to be deemed worthy of the vacation prize or the admission letter, or the friend group.
My “Capital L” Lie, that played over and over in my head was that in order to be worthy of love, I had to be perfect. And we all have different tapes that play in our minds that influence our decisions. They might not drive you to an eating disorder, but perhaps they produce other destructive behaviors.
There was a moment in my recovery where things became entirely clear. It was like someone turned the lights on in a pitch black room, and I could suddenly see everything with absolute clarity.
I don’t talk about my time at inpatient very much, mainly because I don’t think it really got to the heart of my anorexia. It did save my life: it got most of the weight on, anyway. But in terms of healing my spirit, no ma’am. That was Jesus.
But there was one episode at inpatient that will forever be in my memory, as it changed my life.
And it happened at chapel on the 6th or 7th day. During the song, “Here I am to Worship.”
This beautifully simple song brought me to my knees, literally.
I realized that I didn’t have to change to receive God’s love. I didn’t have to be like Seth and Summer, striving tirelessly to be some ideal and perfect overachiever. I didn’t have to put on a marching band uniform or become a extracurricular hoarder to be deemed worthy of His love and acceptance.
It is rather repetitive: “Here I am to worship. Here I am to bow down. Here I am to say that You’re my God.”
In that moment, it finally clicked: here I am…Here I am, right here, right now. I don’t have to change – I can be me, just as I am – in my broken and vulnerable state, I will be embraced with open arms and loved and forgiven.
And then the kicker: “I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross.”
I’ll never be able to fully comprehend the fact that You chose to die on a cross so that I could be forgiven and saved of my eating disorder. So that I could be loved in my broken and imperfect state. So that I don’t have to change. So that I can come to You like a little child, and say “Here I am,” this is who I really am.
In that moment, singing that song, my knees buckled and I just felt it. I felt the embrace of Jesus. Wrapping His loving and strong arms around my emaciated, cold, and lifeless body, and me allowing that embrace.
And so, I’ve decided to share it with you. Me. Singing it.
And as frightening as that notion is, me sharing my voice is saying, Here I am.
So I invite you to just listen. It’s only 3 minutes long, and I pray that it will open a part of your heart that perhaps needs love. Reassurance. Hope.
I owe my life to this song. Because it opened my heart to Him, who then truly did come in and save my life.
Lyrics: Here I am to Worship
Light of the world, you stepped down into darkness.
Opened my eyes, let me see.
Beauty that made this heart adore You.
Hope of a life spent with you.
Here I am to worship. Here I am to bow down.
Here I am to say that you’re my God.
You’re altogether lovely. Altogether worthy.
Altogether wonderful to me.
King of all days, Oh so highly exalted.
Glorious in Heaven above.
Humbly You came to the earth You created,
All for love’s sake became poor.
So Here I am to worship…
And I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross.
I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross.
So Here I am to worship…