Thursday, March 28, 2013

telling the devil to go to hell {update on me and food}


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...
How can I become that radically cross-centered - so that all my exultation is traced back to the cross? Answer: realize that when Christ died on the cross, you died; and when you trusted him, that death took effect in your life. Paul says, it's your death to the world and the world's death to you.
Meaning: when you put your trust in Christ, your bondage to the world is broken, and the overpowering lure of the world is broken. You are a corpse to the world, and the world is a corpse to you. Or to put it positively, according to verse 15, you are an "new creation." The old you is dead. A new you is alive. And the new you is the you of faith. And what faith exults in is NOT the world, but Christ, and especially, Christ crucified."

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 candy.
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?

60 comments:

  1. praying victory for you today, sister!

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  2. you (but mostly GOD) can do this! paleo-tastic baby!


    -linnea

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  3. I "had to" (for my own health reasons, not because I'm allergic)go gluten free at the end of December. It was hard in the beginning, but has turned out to be the most unexpected blessing and training in discipline. The benefits have been wonderful, after I emerged from the withdrawls/fog/cravings to gluten. I am reading Wheat Belly and it's explaining WHY I feel so different after getting rid of gluten. I pray that you'll come to the same place, that you can say it has been a blessing from God to give up gluten. I admire your bravery in this post. Go Hannah!!

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    1. girl, yes. learning so much already! blessings to you. thanks! xo

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  4. oh man, have i been missing out not knowing you until now! i love how much heart you are putting into this. you can do this. and He can do this in you.

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  5. You have such a beautiful heart. Thank you for sharing! :)

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    1. girl, my heart is wretched. but jesus is doing great things in and for me! xo

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  6. HE is going to do this work in you. I'm also addicted to sugar. I go through so many sugar fasts that mostly lead to failures. I'm getting serious with you. He is stronger. I'm proud of you.

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    1. word. HE IS STRONGER.
      love you, praying for you! xo

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  7. I WILL pray for you because Hannah my dear, Im in the same boat. Praise the Lord for new beginnings!

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    1. thanks so much, sarah! amen, and praying for you too :)

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  8. praying, crying, struggling along with you, sister. xo

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  9. 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...

    love this and love your heart on the subject. praying for you during this journey!

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  10. love this, and love you. I have also had my booty kicked my Jami and her no sugar posts. I will be praying for you!!

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  11. Oh, and I was at the same Passion :)

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    1. LOVE. i often wonder how many people i meet now, were there then. :)

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  12. Really do understand...of course I'll be praying for you (for all of us)

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  13. Praying with you and for you and for myself...I am caught in the same battle.
    xoxo

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  14. Hannah. HANNAH! Thank you for sharing this. I could have written this. Every last word. Except for the cigarette part. :/ I went off sugar 3 days ago. It was an addiction...a comfort...reward...blah, blah, blah. Ugh, it's so awful. I'm embarrassed to go to the pool with my husband and kids because I don't want to wear a bathing suit. Like you, I think about food throughout the day...I feel guilty at night, like I've failed again, and like there's no hope for me. I have had days where I'm all, "I got this. Cold turkey. I'm getting skinny." And then life happens and I hit a wall, get stressed, etc. and eat just a couple of cookies, which turns into a whole lot more. Then I have other days like, "I'm just always going to be the 'big' mom. I'm not destined to be thin ever again...might as well not even try." The difference this time, is that I have finally come to the point where I can call this SIN. It's not a bad habit, bad genes, just the way I am...all that is a lie. Food is an idol in my life, and I am done. DONE. Of course, I look forward to *hopefully* fitting into a smaller size, but mostly, I just want to be present with my family...and honoring the Lord with my body. I feel so desperate for support and community in fighting the battle and I feel as though I have found it here and at Jami's blog. (I just discovered her through you...great!) So, thanks for sharing, Hannah, and I pray for deliverance from the addiction of food, which is really an addiction to seeking comfort in something other than the Lord, for both of us. I'm in it with you...for the long haul.

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    1. KATE. i know.
      praying for you, too. so glad to have you in this journey! xo

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  15. I love you girl. You inspire for sure.

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  16. amen, hannah!
    you are a dear, treasured, inspiring friend.
    xoxo

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  17. one day at a time! cheering you on!

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  18. Amen. I'm right there with you. But I'm circling around and around. Tried paleo a while ago.. Had a headache for days. Cried twice on day three... Then gave in and had a diet coke and that was it. I was done. Rereading Made to Crave. Praying. Thinking about it all the time. Started WW a few weeks ago. Did fine for two weeks and then when I blow it I blow it bigtime. I really feel like I'm addicted to sugar and need to cut it out. Thanks for sharing. Your words speak to me. I appreciate your honesty and your willingness to share.

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    1. we can do this! HE is able. glad to have you by my side, even if a thousand miles away. love you, praying for you, liz!

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  19. And yes... I will pray for you. I want to walk next to you on this path (from a thousand miles away). :)

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  20. well. i'm on day 26: no sugar, no sugar substitutes, no lots of other stuff. i'm cheering you on. big time. after about a week i saw just how heart-rooted this idol is/was. i think i fooled myself into believing that i would always fail because it's just harder for me, the way my body is made. but, really? it's just heart gunk. rebellion. idol worship.

    praying for you!

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    1. heart gunk, yes.
      so proud of you for pressing on! you inspire me in so many ways.
      love you, ellen! thanks for the encouragement! xo

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  21. I love a girl who quotes Piper. I love a girl who has polka-dot straws and deep honest truth telling faith. You've got me thinking this morning. I may face a different battle, but I can still tell the devil to go to hell.

    I will pray for you every time I take a sip of my orange water today. Just wish I had those straws!!! :)

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    1. piper for life!
      thanks for praying, and you most certainly do need some straws :)

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  22. i will, i will! i will pray for you--i've been blessed clear inside-out with how you've prayed for me.

    '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.' yes!

    and I AM HIS. best news i've heard all life.

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    1. nic, my darling. thank you.
      and praise him indeed for the great news that we are his! xo

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  23. That's exactly what my breakfast looked like this morning, minus the lemons. And this is the exact struggle I'm going through right now. It's so encouraging to find other women who struggle like I do. It sounds so silly when I say that I struggle with eating but it's so true. It is an everyday struggle and I have yet to find the strength and ability to overcome and just say no. So thank you for posting this and encouraging me.

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    1. yeah, girl! be encouraged, we can do this! xo

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  24. Oh Lord, crispy shelled cadbury eggs are my weakness! Seriously though, you know I relate. I am a sugar addict. No doubt. But with the grace of God and His hand helping us through our fellowship, He will win and we will not be slave to the sweetness!

    Proud of you for getting up over and over Hannah! Keep going!

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    1. damn easter candy!! lol

      thanks so much for your encouragement, friend. praying for you!

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  25. Praying for your delivery from this and please know that so many of us share this struggle with you. HUGS.

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  26. I haven't given up sugar, yet, but I know I should. Food is my main issue. Between food and shopping, I couldn't afford another vice right now if I won the lotto. I am currently at my bigggest weight ever, but posts like this one, Jami's and others, have me one step closer to regaining the willpower I used to have when I lost 60 lbs in 2005 and kept it off for years.

    I know what I need to do. I guess I just don't want it badly enough to do it yet.

    Keep up the good work, and know you are not alone! I have a history of wild partying, and none of that was as hard to quit as my gluttony with food. Proud of you! Thank you for sharing your story with us.
    xoxo~vanessa

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    1. thanks so much!
      and yes, the hold food has is frightening compared to any other addiction, truly. i think it's easier to continue in because it's "acceptable", you know?

      praying for us both! xo

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  27. Thanks so much for sharing this, Hannah. So proud of you!!

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    1. thank YOU, jill. grateful for your encouragement! xo

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  28. praying for you! i know i really need to try this whole no sugar thing...yikes. working up the nerve.lol. your so brave!

    my favorite thing is throwing scripture back in the devil face when he tries to feed me lies! :)

    stay strong :)

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  29. this is my first post of yours I've read, but I have huge respect for you having been so honest with yourself. My very favorite things in the blogging world are when people focus on being real. Being real about who you are and who you are now in Christ is the most powerful thing we can do. Praying for you!

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  30. i like you, and your vulnerability, and the Jesus who is already victorious in you.
    and amen to the "devil going to hell!" i've told him to many times. i'm sure i will again..sneaky little devil.

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  31. I loved this post so much Hannah. I quit sugar and wheat in November of last year and for the first few weeks I really wanted to kill someone (seriously - it was not good). I cried, I agonized, but I made it through the first little bit and it got easier and easier. So I just wanted to encourage you that it does get easier. I have been amazed at how little I have even thought about it. I absolutely believe God is helping me through it, and He will you too.

    ♥ Melissa~

    PS I recently discovered your blog, and love it. ♥ ♥

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  32. I just stumbled on this today and I think God knew I needed to hear it.

    I'm one month in to working with a nutritionist and the list of things I CAN'T eat is about 3/4 longer than the things I can. It's hard and it's making me very cranky. I'll pray for you. Will you pray for me?

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