I don’t remember quite what his words were, just that he patted my stomach and his comment was spoken in a shameful tone.

When I shared the excitement of how I’d been able to run for 20 minutes, he said “Why bother, 20 minutes is not enough.”

Trying to get pregnant, I remembered how his words pierced me, “I’m afraid you’ll get fat and stay that way.”

I was never a big girl. I’d like to say I was always petite. I was active, though my mission was not for a certain size or look. I was raised at a time when playing outside, riding a bike, or walking, were just part of being a kid.

sadgirljuly2016I did, however, grow up with an insecurity and was ashamed of my body.

Walking around in a bathing suit was torture!

Perhaps it was my culture, a generational curse, or lies of the enemy (whom I did not know existed when I was younger).

His pornography issue didn’t help with the comments about my weight. I knew something wasn’t quite right in our marriage. When I found Christ, the deep seeded feelings I had about this issue became very clear.

He said porn was something men did and I was being unreasonable and insecure.  I remember feeling bad and confused all the time.

When you are already insecure about your body and the man you love is addicted to pornography, it messes you up.

Post-divorce, I found running as a great healer.

I was free!riverrunnic05

I finally had the body the world and my ex would approve. I had control over my size and my looks!

Not realizing I had traded one prison for another, I soon became bound by the chains of an addiction.

Christ was second and I came first.

Fear tormented my mind. What happens if I miss my run? Will I get fat if I eat carbs? How many calories did I eat today?

I can’t get injured!

What I feared the most came true.

I look back and I was fortunate. Fortunate, because God allowed a running injury.

And fortunate because God allowed my marriage to a man with a pornography addiction to uncover what needed to be healed in me.

Freedom wasn’t in the divorce and it wasn’t in running or having a fit body.

Freedom was in truly knowing I am loved and cherished just the way I am.

girlfreejuly2016An amazing God created me in His image and loves me. He sent His one and only son to die for ME, on a cross, to carry the burden of all my selfish ways.

And He did it for you too.

If you want to be free, invite God to come into your life. Tell Him you are sorry for living your life apart from Him and making decisions that were not good. Believe in your heart and with your mouth, ask Him to be the Savior and Lord over your life. If these words express your heart, I encourage you to connect with the body of believers here at Discovery Church to help you grow in your new faith.

 “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9 ESV



Nicole Santapola

About Nicole Santapola

Nicole Santapola began her relationship with Christ after 30 years of religion being a mainstay in her upbringing. Experiencing a divorce, Nicole found herself a single woman leaning on God's promises and learning both His faithfulness and love. She calls Discovery Church home. She began attending in 2002 and through bible studies, women's events, and restoration counseling, she was baptized at East Campus in 2006. Nicole has a passion to share God's love and encouragement to others particularly in the area of health and wellness. She has followed holistic health and nutrition and through education and cooking classes, she teaches and shares this with others. She loves to cook and bake mostly plant-based dishes in her home and visit local vegetarian establishments. Her walk began with Romans 12:2, "Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind".

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