I was the skinniest, scrawniest, ugliest baby you ever laid eyes on and in the ensuing years really not much has changed. Honestly!
I stayed this way for a number of months. The doctor my parents used at Offutt Air Force base became quite concerned when I wasn’t growing fat. I stayed skinny and scrawny, and yes, ugly. It was as if I would run a marathon after eating to work off everything I had eaten. I never turned into a fat baby.
This doctor began having my parents force feed me at certain intervals around the clock. I want to say it was every 3 hours but that was a very long time ago and I’m not all that keen on being able to tell time now, I imagine it was much worse when I was an infant.
Every time they went to the doctor it was more of the same. I was still to skinny, to scrawny and must be force fed. Until a new doctor came. It seems the regular doctor was transferred and a new one came to serve in his stead. He asked my parents why they were there. They regurgitated the lines spelling out my lack of plumbness and all the force feeding.
“But, what is the problem? Why are you really here?”
And again they said it all, ending in near exasperation with, “She’s not fat!” This doctor very patiently looked at my parents and said some life-changing words, “Not every baby is fat. Take her home. She’ll eat when she’s hungry.”
And they did.
And I did.
As a young adult and even as a middle-aged adult I held my Christian growth to the same standard. I didn’t see growth. No one saw growth. So I force fed myself everything right, everything good, everything Jesus, everything God.
And still didn’t grow. It wasn’t that I didn’t know and believe in Jesus. I just didn’t grow in Him. Here I was, doing all the right, good, perfect things but failing miserably. I was taking it all in, all the spiritual nutrients my spirit could handle and nothing was changing.
Until I stopped. And I stopped cold-turkey. I stopped doing all the “right” things. I started saying “no”.
I had been in discipleship with a dear, dear friend. A friend who was willing to tell me exactly where my steps were going wrong and hold my feet to the flame until I changed. I began to see some growth. But not a lot.
Last Fall I quit all the Christian non-fiction I was reading. All of it. And I haven’t read any since. I’ve focused on simply listening to Jesus. Worshiping Him.
Realizing He is the One who does. In my own strength, I can’t. He can. He does. The amazing growth I’ve seen in my own life since stopping the force-fed formula has brought me to tears on more than one occasion.
It has lit a passion and a fire in my soul.
That is nothing short of amazing.
So I’m still not a fat baby. But not all babies, not all adults are fat. And I’m okay with that.