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“There’s no free lunch.” “The early bird catches the worm.” “No pain, no gain.”
Don’t you just hate pithy little sayings like that? I mean, who really welcomes pain? And why can’t there be some free lunch with no strings attached? And a worm? Yuck!
Well, remove those rose-colored glasses, my friend (there’s another one for ya). Take a good sober look around. Life is hard.
No, life is brutal.
Aren’t you excited to keep reading? LOL! Okay, I promise, encouragement is coming. Bear with me a bit longer, please.
Ever notice that today’s culture seems to be addicted to comfort, to convenience, and to quick-fixes? I mean seriously. Many of us have become like Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, stopping our manicured little feet, shouting, “Give it to me NOW!”
“We want to have a nice house like our parents,” says the newly married couple still in college, accumulating exorbitant amounts of debt.
“I want that promotion at work, but don’t want the extra responsibility that goes along with it,” says the average American.
“I want to lose ten pounds in a week.” Okay, this is what I say in January about the weight gain that started to pile on with Halloween candy and continued throughout the holidays.
It’s confession time.
That quote above reflects a HUGE issue I’ve struggled with my entire life. FOOD.
But for the first time,
I’m truly beginning to understand a spiritual connection to my issues with food.
I have focused more on the “dieting” aspects of my food issues. I gain an extra ten pounds from overeating in the winter months that forces the vanity part of me to get on some kind of diet plan. Oh, and I have tried most of them out there: Keto, Paleo, and Weight Watchers to name a few. I’ve counted calories, carbs, fat grams, sugar grams and whatever else. I’ve taken pills that make promises I knew were ridiculous. Heck, as a teenager, I even tried speed. That DID NOT work! Yikes! But In all the years of yo-yo dieting and very discouraging inner dialogue, I avoided the spiritual side of why I allow myself to gain the extra weight in the first place. But I knew deep inside,
My relationship with food and God are closely linked.
So, why have I avoided the spiritual aspects of my relationship with food?
If I admit it, I might need to do something about it.
And that would mean facing some deeply rooted issues that are painful and would take some serious “heart” work, commitment, and self-control. It means taking the hard and rocky road, and not the easy one. Quite frankly, I’d rather have rocky road ice cream instead.
Here’s the thing. I have a pretty disciplined spiritual life. I love the Lord, so I spend time reading and studying the Bible every day. I pray, worship, memorize Scripture, volunteer at church, and do all of those “godly” things regularly. I do these things not out of obligation or even habit, but because I’ve developed a love relationship with God and it’s worth it. I’m not bragging, mind you. This relationship with God is a work in progress.
But I have kept one area of my life restricted from God: food.
There. I admitted it. Now what? Here’s where the encouragement starts!
This is how it happened. I have a dear friend, Krystal who also struggles with food. We’ve spoken about our food issues through the years—both of us have struggled with bulimia at points during our lives. However, recently, things got more serious when we got more candid about how deep this issue really goes.
And ya know what? We were both fed up with food and how we’d allowed it to control us for so long.
I mean, we are both Christian women in healthy relationships with God. Shouldn’t we be free by now?!
So, we decided to do something. And not with yet another diet or quick-fix. Been there, done that, and own the darn movie, thank you!
We wanted what God had been telling us was already ours—FREEDOM!
“For the Lord is the spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
2 Corinthians 3:17
Yes, Krystal and I have locked arms and hearts to embark on a new journey.
Freedom from food addiction!
Why am I sharing this on my blog? Well … gulp… let me tell you. It wasn’t my idea. I’d rather not if I’m being honest.
It was God’s idea.
At first, there was A LOT of complaining. “Really, God? Isn’t it enough to admit this to You and Krystal? Must I share it with the world, too?”
I agreed to share this journey because I know, that I know, that I know, soooo many women (and men) deal with this. Also, even though I’m sharing about food addiction, it can really apply to any compulsive behavior that enslaves us.
This is How Our Freedom Journey Begins
Step One: Confession
I finally confessed to God that I could see where I was turning to food rather than Him (more on this to come). That’s called idolatry, y’all.
Step Two: Invite God into the Struggle
I’ve kept my food struggles to myself other than when I would cry out to God asking Him to help me with self-control. I just didn’t think God needed to be bothered with my stupid little eating habits. God’s Spirit gradually began to expose my sinful relationship with food. Yep, that’s right. I didn’t think I had a “relationship” with food. We’ll get more in depth with that later.
Step Three: Accountability
I invited my trusted, Christian (this is critical) friend, Krystal into my world of food struggles and she did the same with me. More on how this looks later.
Step Four: Make a Plan
Krystal and I heard about the book, study guide, and DVD called Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst. We are going through it together. We are also doing a healthy eating plan with Beach Bodies. Are you rolling your eyes, or am I imagining it? I know it sounds like I’m just doing yet another “program”. This time is different because we are actively working on “satisfying our deepest desire with God, not food” as it says on the cover of Made to Crave.
Step Five: Realize this is a Lifestyle Choice
This is NOT A DIET PLAN. This is a change of heart and mind about food. This is a new way of life. A choice—in the same way having a close and growing relationship with God is a choice. Yeah, it’s that serious.
I hope you’ll join me on this spiritual journey. I’m learning a lot and my prayer is that God uses it in profound ways in my own life as well as yours. Don’t worry. Not all of my posts from here on out will be about food. But this is something God is working on in my life and I’ll be sharing those lessons with you.
Will it be difficult? Yeah.
Will there be times I want to give up and just take the easy road? Yeah, rocky road ice cream to be exact.
Hey, let’s face it, anything worth anything takes effort.
We put effort into the things we truly want.
So, I’m putting effort into this and it starts with a commitment to God:
I want to crave YOU, God more than I crave food. Teach me how.
I know because the Lord is involved, great things are going to happen. Yes, I do. God is going to help and strengthen me to do what pleases Him. And Scripture proves it.
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”
Philippians 2:13 NLT
Listen. I believe I hear the clinking chains of slavery beginning to hit the floor!
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.