There I was, shoving candy bar wrappers towards the bottom of the garbage can. Did I really think that if no one saw them that it would magically zero out my caloric intake of sugar? Still not satisfied, I whipped open the cupboard and pulled out some Pringles. Once you pop, you just can’t stop. Yeah, I was painfully aware that their slogan was pretty spot on. I then reached up and grabbed that package of Peanut Butter Oreos. As I began to indulge once again, I shifted the Oreos around in the tray to make it look like I didn’t eat as many. Really? When my husband found the package with only four cookies left, I instantly blamed the kids. They ate some too! But I knew in my heart I was just trying to justify my sin.
Overindulgence and gluttony is a sin. Just like before starting my journey on The Grace & Strength Lifestyle, I felt like I was out of control and seeking not only to satisfy myself with food, but to overindulge to the point of binge eating. Did I honestly think that food would satisfy my cravings? All it did was leave me 10 pounds heavier a week later. Shoving candy bar wrappers to the bottom of the garbage does not erase calories after all!
I felt like a failure. Here I was, 40 pounds lighter (10 pounds towards my goal) and I was right back where I started--turning to food for comfort! I sat on my bed and cried. Why is this process so difficult, Lord? When will I finally “get it”?
I opened my Made To Crave book and grabbed my Bible. I knew the answer; God was not finished with me yet. I described this process to a friend at church the other day like this: It’s a continual stripping away until all I have left is Jesus to be my joy and comfort. Believe me, I know all the cliché-Bible answers; but this time, they went to my core and I finally, truly get it.
As I cried, I began to pray for other ladies I knew were struggling with food addiction just like me. I lifted them up to the Lord by name, and pleaded on their behalf. As I prayed for them as I wept from my own pain and guilt, I was especially aware of something. In 2 Corinthians 1:4, “Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we maybe able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” I finally started to understand the depth of this verse as God began to heal my heart and give me His joy. Would I ever have even imagined what other women struggle with if I had not struggled too? Also, even more amazing, God is aware and feels every pain and struggle I go through! He understands!
Some Things I’ve learned On This Journey:
Compliments and Skinny Jeans do not solve the problem of my heart. While I may be getting compliments about my waist line, God is still not finished with my heart. He wants all of me. Is He trying to get all of you? Surrender to Him.
Consequences come, whether I pretend they won’t or not. Every act of obedience has a blessing, and every act of disobedience has a consequence.
I don’t need to remain a victim. I can rise above this with God’s help. In Made To Crave, Lysa references something that was life-changing for me. She said, “Often it is easier to play the victim than take off our masks and ask for help. We get comfortable with our victim status. It becomes our identity and is hard to give up. The Israelites often played the victim card, and I love what God finally tells them, “You have circled this mountain long enough. Now turn north” (Deuteronomy 2:3). Turn north! It’s time to move on! Self-pity, fear, pride, and negativity paralyze us. Taking off our masks takes courage, but if we don’t do it, we will remain in our victim status and end up stunted.” Have you circled this mountain long enough? I know I have!
Abide In God’s Love. John 15:9-11 says, As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” If I abide in God’s love and remain close to Him, my joy will be complete in Him and not things or circumstances. Things change, but God always remains the same! I can be fully secure in Him alone.
Purpose In My Heart To Finish This Journey. Like anyone trying to break free from addiction knows, there is a point where our resolve gets weak and it seems easier to give up. Don’t! Don’t! Don’t give up! My pastor was preaching out of Daniel chapter 1, and verse 8 hit me. This is what it says, “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” I need to purpose in my heart that I will stick with this. I will allow God to complete the work He has started in me, that it might give glory to Him.
Many of you have been following my journey on The Grace & Strength Lifestyle and have been so supportive. I know I haven’t posted here in a while so I wanted to update you. I’ve lost 40 pounds and have about 5-10 to go! I can almost taste it now! I feel like I’ve been “stuck” at this last 10 pounds and this morning God showed me why… He is not finished with me yet. I’m so thankful for the time in His Word and for resources like The Grace & Strength Lifestyle that point me to Jesus as the source of my contentment. That is what is different about this program from any other I’ve done. I truly believe, more than ever, that this will be a life-change for me! Thank you, Jesus!