Wednesday, February 24, 2010

jumbo the elephant and me...

Jumbo was an elephant from the French Sudan who was so strong he could pick up trees from their roots, tow two tons, and stood over thirteen feet high. When I heard this on the radio this morning I didn't believe it. But my friends Wikipedia and Google told it was true. So it has to be. Duh.

In researching this elephant, I couldn't help but notice that he and I have two things in common.
1. We both hate PT Barnum and his lame circus.
2. We both were tethered to things as children which formed our outlook on life.

History says Jumbo was tethered to a 12-inch stake from the moment he could walk. The one-foot stake kept him in a certain position and disabled him to leave. Every time he tried to walk away, he couldn't. As the years passed and his size and strength increased, Jumbo believe that the 12-inch stake would not let him leave. Yes, the elephant who could lift trees from their roots was tethered to a 12-inch stake. He couldn't walk away.

I have a 12-inch stake in my life too. Since I was a child I was conditioned to believe I would have to accept a certain condition in my life. For years I would try to get away, but I felt trapped. I couldn't walk away.

As I heard Jumbo's story, my heart broke because I was believing the same illusion he was.

We have to stop believing the illusion that are problems or circumstances or childhood experiences have the power to keep us trapped. Through a divine power not of ourselves,we can pull up the stake which holds us down and move forward. We must walk away.

If you don't you have the power to believe you can walk away, think about this:
If you believe in Jesus Christ and his claims, you are essentially believing a man came to earth, lived a sinless life, went to the cross for sins he never committed, endured a horrific death, and rose from the pit of his grave three days later as a witness to us even today. If you believe in Jesus, you must believe he can pull you away from the things which hold you down.

But you must walk away. So the question remains, what is holding you down?


brit brat said...

What isn't might be a shorter answer...

annie said...

It seems that you've struck me upside the head once again. I've been convinced since childhood that I have to deserve love and, therefore, I have to perform to receive it. I also seem to think I have no right to ask someone if they love me because, well, shouldn't I just know? And really, they shouldn't be bothered with my nagging. Most days that feels like yardstick sized stake...

But you're right. If I can believe in such GREAT BIG things, why is this one relatively little thing holding me back. I don't have the answer today. Maybe tomorrow.

Love ya, BB

Jason said...

I'm holding down me. Allowing myself to believe that I'm not a good enough writer to move forward pursuing it as a career.

I also just can't seem to completely trust God. I can't put the hurts of my past behind me completely.

Someday He'll get me to where I need to be.

Bianca said...

Brit, 1. I think of you like my little sister. 2. I've known you since you were in 6th grade. 3. I pray for you every time I drive down your street.
So let me be honest with you: Find a good church. A church YOU like. A church or bible study you can grow in. You need to break free, babe. You have my cell. Call me if you want to try out some churches. F'real.

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger said...

Dang, girl. Powerful post today. It's been a few years since I took the Spiritual Growth study and in it, we learned a way to fight the lies we hear...but I've been lazy or forgotten how. This was a good reminder to know that my God is bigger than anything keeping me down and I'm going to remember that the next time I think I'm not strong enough to fight my 12-inch stake.

Katy G said...

This was a wonderful post. I love how you have the ability to find a way to incorporate a profound biblical truth in a story about an elephant (or Rocky, or a TV show). You inspire me :) Also hilarious how you write F'real..your sister does the same thing :)

Anonymous said...

I was thinking the same thing as I was listening to that radio broadcast this morning. When we allow the Lord to free us from what has us in bondage we trust that He will allow us to grow closer to Him and spiritually.

If God is for us who can be against us..

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me..

Bianca said...

@Annie: There must be a story behind where that comes from and I think I know what it is. Friend, I've been praying for you since Friday. If you can't believe you accept love, do you believe Jesus loves you unconditionally? Start there. Everything else will follow.

@Jason: We speak the same language! I always fear every. single. time. i. post. No really, I feel like there are writers out there who are blowing me out of the water. But really, who cares? We need to start someone and this fear is holding us back. The more we do it, the better we'll get. Prayers!

@Blah, blah, blah: Only Mariners would offer such amazing courses?! Of course! What a great church! I would love to see you this Sunday :)

@Katy: Shhh, Jasmine steals my material. She's not from LA anymore so how can she be cool? ;) Hahaha!

Joy said...

Thanks - that is a really great image. So hard to remember sometimes that we can take His hand, and walk away.

As an aside, I live less than 30 minutes from Jumbo's death-site memorial, complete with life-size statue looking out over the road leading to St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada. Poor guy.

Matthew T. said...

Our problems trap us? Once we overcome them then we can do anything. I don't think pre-existing conditions should prevent us from achieving our goals and our dreams. That's just my point of view.

Name Nazi said...

Hmmm ... I was all excited about this season of Lent, knowing that God was trying to reach me for something and not able to figure out what it was ...

Last night, I prayed and cried out for the Lord to help me with my body image and help me to trust again. I believe the two are tied together ... I eat because I'm scared for a man to love me and yet I'm totally lonely so I want to be beautiful to have a partner ... and then it becomes a cycle.

I guess this is my stake. I believe that being overweight is just who I am? I believe that there will never be a trustworthy man? I believe that I am not beautiful and deserving of affection because I can't control my weight? Or likely because of some other reason? And nearly every day I can replay grade school kids teasing me and making fun ... and I'm 31 years old. When did I decide to claim something that someone said about me 25 years ago as truth!?

Thanks for helping Him carry the message to me. ;)

And FWIW, I think you are a fabulous writer.

Diandra Ann said...

I finally yanked my 12 inch stake out of the ground and I havent looked back. Amazing what God does... and the freedoma nd gifts that walking away from the stake can bring. You're awesome. I love you! And I'm sure glad God tells you things on the radio :)

christy said...

can I tell u that this is the third time i have tried to post my comment...ayayay....

Anyway...thanks for the great post...i cannot belive u have any kind of fear before posting...u r so gifted:)

for me, i guess my stake is feeling accepted...i have always felt like i wasn't good enuf for people to actually want to talk to me....maybe not so concrete like that, but i have alwasy felt like the i was never pretty enuf, smart enuf, skinny enuf, funny enuf, outgoing enuf etc....ever since i could remember, i have always felt like the lame one out of the group...shy, quiet, if i was with my friend and we were talking to other people, i could be myslef...but if i was alone, then it was super hard for as if people only wanted to talk to me because of my friends...yes i know i am crazy...and what's crazy is that i still struggle iwth this complex... how can i venure out and follow any kind of dream like this? i mean i know in my head that God loves me, but it's hard to transfer to my heart that no matter how lame, overweight, dorky, unaccomplished, or whatevere else, He still wants to be with me...and that if i was the only one, He would still have scarificed...(ok, even now i feel like everyone who reads this will think i am crazy)...

yeah, i think I need your prayers:)

Lydia said...

I first heard that about the elephant back in 2005 when I read an awesome article by Alex and Brett Harris ( I agreed and went on with life. Yet it's still true today. Now it might not be the myth of adolescence, but there are still so many lies of the world I've picked up in its stead. May we all live in the freedom Christ has given to us!

connie said...

this gave me chills today, bianca. it's hard to put a finger on what's holding me down, because it seems to be me.
when i let go and let God (or, what it seems like lately, give up and give it to God) - each day, every small thing - that's when I seem to get closer to Him, and my problems seem to matter less, because I just want to be in his presence. Does that make sense? Does that count as walking away? I guess I'm walking towards, instead of away.

Definitely something to think about. Thanks for the good post!

Jewelielyn said...

oh the lies! the lies! why is it so much easier to believe the lies that satan plants in our lives than the truth that is Jesus! i don't know, i just know that age doesn't matter--satan still knows what to whisper to defeat me. and i'm old enough to know better! :)

KATEE said...


Laurel said...

While I still have a few small stakes that need to be yanked out, I wanted to encourage you with all of the stakes the Lord has already pulled and tossed away ...

... doctors said I would never have children. The Lord threw that one away and blessed me with 13.

... society said that my marriage would fail, since both my husband's mom and my mom have each been married at least 3 times (sometimes can't keep track). The Lord threw that one out and we have been blessed with 27 years together already.

... society said that we could NEVER support a large family (when we had just 6 kids ) on a teacher's salary. The Lord threw that one out, as He has always provided abundantly for us.

... friends and family said we were too poor to afford to adopt children from Africa. The Lord threw that stake out and sent us a messenger with a check for $15,000.

... my family said I was a failure because I was a college drop out. The Lord threw that one out when a public school district hired me to create and direct a school (with no teacher certificate or college degree). The Lord blessed our school abundantly.

When the doctor's said, "No kids." I said, "But God"

When society said, "You're doomed for divorce." I said, "But God."

When society said, "You'll never support a large family on a teacher's salary." I said, "But God."

When friends and family said, "You can't afford to adopt." I said, "But God."

When my family said, "You can't direct a school without a certificate." I said, "But God."

IF we really believe that God did all that His Word says that He did ... why don't we believe that He can pull out all of the stakes that society has used to hold us down?

Mama D.

Bianca said...

@Joy: Canada, eh? I love that you've stopped by the blog! I'm going to have to get a tour of Canada by you or Jamie Delaine :)

@Matthew: I wish it were that easy! You must be one of the blessed ones :)

@NameNazi: From this comment and the comment before, you've been on my mind. I share in your struggle--it's a long time to get over childhood scars. Someone today just emailed me and kicked my butt by saying that I need to let it go. She's right. But it's gonna take a work of God.

@Diandra: I know your stake. And I know there was a lot at stake. But I'm so proud of you. God has given you a second chance...

@Christy: I'm already praying for you!!! These struggles face so many women. When I pray for you it's empathetic, not sympathetic.

@Lydia: Alex + Brett Harris = AMAZING. I want to be like them!

@Connie: Keep walking!!! Don't stop. That's awesome.

@Jewelielyn: Yes, you hit the nail on the head! They're lie. Flat out lies. But it's so hard not to believe them. Day by day I'm trying to block them out.

You're welcome.

@Mama D: Preach it, sista'! Preach it! You just gave a mini sermon of hope. "But God"

Faith, Food and Fitness For Real said...

The bible says that we are new creation in Christ. The problem is that sometimes I let the old me come back. I am struggling with that now.

I was healed and freed but sometimes I can hear the enemy or my flesh tell me me otherwise. Of course I would be struggling this week since in a few days I will be leaving to the retreat.

This couldn't have come at a more perfect time. The funny thing is that I was doing some stuff and I just felt this heaviness in my heart and a strong desire to log onto your blog before I left to run my errands. Thank you for your encouragement and I am super excited to hear you speak in person this weekend!

Praying for all speakers and the women attending,

Jasmine said...

i loved this post SO much. so, so much.

Anonymous said...

Thanks SO much for your post today. I needed to read that so badly. My stake has for years led me to believe that I am not enough. Not a good enough daughter, wife, mom and especially good enough friend. I struggle with friendships and never have seem to find a connection with the women in my day to day life. It is an incredibly lonely life. Always the one to the side and sitting alone. Wishing so badly to be included. It is something that is staking me to loneliness, depression and bitterness. I don't know how to walk away from that stake quite yet. I want to, I need to. So thanks for being that voice today that encouraged me to take the steps that I need to. I don't want to be trapped anymore. God give me strength to look up to Him and not only know that HE is enough but believe and act like He is enough. Stepping out on faith is hard. I needed to hear that today. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

I do understand your point Bianca, but how, how, do you forget or erase from your memory Child abuse from your stepfather?? How, I am a grow up woman and times to times those memories hunted me so vivid that makes me feel like that scare little girl who was confused and scare because she didn’t know why this person the only father figure she had had in her entire life is doing this to her??? I don’t know and I don’t want to forgive this monster that has destroyed my life when my life was only beginning?? How, how do I do that, my questions always is why God why did you allowed this to happened, where were you when this was happening to me???

Anonymous said...

wow..this along with other converstations, sermons and tonight's message from ryan and sonny and a much needed prayer moment with a is good and he is speaking LOUD to me. Looking forward to this weekend to just lay many 12" stakes at His feet.

getting the message,

Laurel said...

Bianca ... this last post from Anonymous just grabbed my heart. Can I preach it a little more?

Honey ... you've got to let it go. You've got to let God be the Daddy that you always dreamed of. You've got to let God heal your wounds. And ... the first step you need to take is to stop asking, "Why?" You will never know, this side of heaven, why God allowed it. But, you've got to pick yourself up and become the beautiful young lady that God created you to be.

I know ... because I walked your walk. My initial abuse was by my mother, who bought boards to hit us with. My secondary abuse was rape, by a teenager on drugs, when I was just in Jr. High. I know the pain. I met God in the middle of my suicide attempt.

I pray that you will allow God to pick you up, clean you off, and show you how much He loves you ... how much He treasures a relationship with you ... how beautiful you are.

Mama D.

Markus Riese said...

Dear Bianca,

you always find good stories to be inspired, God bless you with a wonderfull talent.

What is me holding down? I think it is the love I want to get from everyone I know. This is it, what my mother gave me in my childhood...I need to be loved by everyone, respectively it's enough, when they like me. ;-) But if not, I feel sad, everytime I met them and I refer everything they say to a bad way...

I wish I could believe in the Lord like you and I hope to learn it. I am expecting, but at the moment I am still a doubter...

With Love,
Markus :-)

Bianca said...

@Anonymous: I couldn't have said it any better than Laurel. I LOVE that we can rally around you and support you. Being anonymous on blog is one thing, but for healing and transformation, I really believe it would be helpful to meet with a mentor, a pastor, or a counselor.
I can't trivalize what happened to you. My stake PAILS in comparison to yours. You can't do this alone. Like I mentioned in the blog, there has to be a supernatural, divine work of God to heal your heart and mind.
This is serious. I know where I can speak out and where I can't. Laurel's advice is from experience. My advice will be to seek out help. Don't hold onto to this burden alone.

Gayle said...

Bianca, I cannot thank you enough for this post. The past six months, I've been shown by God and a helpful counselor how much I let my past hold me back, and more specifically, how the lies that have crept into my head (about God and myself) as a result of my past hold me back. I have been living a life of fear and been rendered useless to God. I praise God that he's shown me what power the lies have had over me, but it's definitely a journey to change the way I think and actively believe His truth. I stumbled upon your blog recently and I read it often. After reading the entry about Jumbo, I realize I am still letting certain things hold me back. Powerful stuff.

Thank you for your words and for spreading the message of LOVE. I hope I can come hear you speak some day!


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