so. you may remember this post from last may.
if you haven't read it, please do so. then the rest of this will make much more sense.
i think about it nearly every day. sometimes all day long. because i fight this mess every. ding. dang. day. and i've been wondering when to bring it up here again. when to bare my extreme despair over me and food. some days are almost a breeze. other days, i weep.
i cry because i feel trapped. i cry because i failed again and it's getting exhausting starting over every week.
the good news is, i know what to do about it. run to jesus. even knowing that, and doing it, it's hard. feeling crappy and grumpy are in no way worth this. why can't i stop? once and for all, "turn over a new leaf" and change my ways, why is it not happening? i mean, even while i'm "doing well" and resisting, i still have these urges and cravings to just eat. eat. eat.
i've been through so much in my life, physically, emotionally and spiritually. and this monster of a food idol is absolutely the most terrible. the hold it has is humiliating. sometimes my shame swallows me whole, and drives me to do more of the exact thing i hate a million hates worth. eat. primarily candy and sugary things.
since recently discovering the need to eliminate gluten from my diet, i've been doing well. this really surprised me, mainly because: dark chocolate. gluten free, baby! so i can have a pound a day, right? thankfully, i haven't bought into that lie. in fact, since monday, i haven't had any sweets. and i don't plan to indulge until sunday. and then? only a small treat. because a small treat is all i need. i have a suspicion that sunday may show up, candy-filled easter and all...and i will say no.
years ago when i quit smoking, i told myself "i can have a cigarette when i get home, none on this trip." i came home from that trip, and i told myself the same thing "if i go today without, tomorrow i can have a smoke." then it was "next week, if i want a smoke, i can have one." i was competitive with myself, and it worked. "how long can i go? and if i make it 'til new year's day, i can smoke a whole pack if i want!" only, i didn't want. i was finished with smoking.
sure, even after years of not smoking, there are many times when a craving hits me. and it hits hard. but i just don't do it. because how lame is it, to cave after this long??
so, i'm attempting to do the same with sweets. only, allowing myself a treat every sunday. i'll look forward to it, and probably even have something. but how awesome would it be if i was able to even pass up the allowance? i would feel like such a champion!!!
i'll tell you the secret of my quitting smoking success, and how i'm applying it to sugar.
"i have been crucified with christ. it's no longer i who live, but christ who lives in me. and the life i live now in the flesh i live by faith in the son of god, who loved me and gave himself for me." galatians 2:20
that trip i went on? it was the 'one day' conference with passion in may of 2000. i had been converted a few months before, and was painfully growing as a believer. those few rainy days in tennessee were the beginning of being transformed. the messages i heard penetrated my heart, the lord met me there. specifically through piper's words in this sermon he gave to us. surrounded by 57,000 people, i heard the lord through that man's words:
"You don't have to know a lot of things for your life to make a lasting difference in the world. But you do have to know the few great things that matter, and then be willing to live for them and die for them. The people that make a durable difference in the world are not the people who have mastered many things, but who have been mastered by a few great things. If you want your life to count, if you want the ripple effect of the pebbles you drop to become waves that reach the ends of the earth and roll on for centuries and into eternity, you don't have to have a high IQ or EQ; you don't have to have to have good looks or riches; you don't have to come from a fine family or a fine school. You have to know a few great, majestic, unchanging, obvious, simple, glorious things, and be set on fire by them...
i've listened to that message again this week. and the lord sent it fresh into my hungry heart. this food business is a big fat deal for me. and just as this truth applied to my sin and self-worship then, it applies to this new, more acceptable one today.
i am not my own, i am HIS. i can't and won't succeed in any effort apart from HIM. when i trust him, really surrendering to him and his call to be ruled by HIM and not my flesh (food desires, or anything else!) i am victorious. i win. and GLORY TO GOD. he is exalted when i am wholly satisfied in him alone. that's what i want. that's how i want to live my every day.
when the devil waves the flag of shame and failure in my face, i wave the flag of christ's finished work. his grace and new mercies, his picking me up again and again, helping me to begin once more.
he knows my weakness, and he offers me his strength. all i must do is trust him and obey. amen.
so. what does this obedience look like, practically in my real life?
not vanilla cokes.
not ice cream or handfuls of cookies.
it looks like thinking before i eat. praying about my appetite, and asking the lord to give it a new, healthy change. it looks like not feeling defeated, but hoping in christ. believing that he can make this part of my heart right. he can make me gracious instead of angry, he can heal me from deep hurts. and he can deal with this gross food sin. trading my treats of candy with not only healthier options, but with more time in the word. more time in meditation and prayer. it's amazing how it transforms my day and my desires. i still cry, but my tears are hopeful, not discouraged.
praising jesus especially for so many amazing, encouraging friends who are with me in this. specifically grateful for this girl. i don't know why i'm always so surprised by the gentle and kind ways god provides for my heart needs, but i am. her posts, here and here--this is my plan of action, btw have been used greatly to lift me up in my fight and to press on!
this is my fourth day without sugar.
i know the lord has better plans for us than to polish off a bag of crispy shelled cadbury eggs this easter. he's calling us to come close, to draw nearer to his heart. and i am listening.
will you pray for me?
will you join me?