Have you ever started the morning with quiet time with God, loved his presence, committed your day to him, resolved that you will move forward in your walk with God and make choices in line with godly principles–all day? Then, within five minutes of your final “Amen” of your quiet time, “POOF!” all your good intentions were steamrollered by who-knows-what? The very thing you wanted to do, you didn’t and the very thing you hated was what you did?

I have. A lot lately! It seems.

I do not understand what I do. 
For what I want to do I do not do, 
but what I hate I do.
– Romans 7:15

“Agitation” happens in my home and, when it does, a switch flips in me, taking me back to my challenging childhood. I end up feelingtrapped…. like I am walking on the egg shells I did when I was a kid growing up with a mom who tried to commit suicide a number of times, like the mental health (and possibly physical health) of the people around me, depends on me somehow. Good grief! I think that is taking on a bit more than God intends, don’t you? I end up living in fear, which is never a godly place to be.

In these moments, I feel like a kid, trapped in a dysfunctional, abusive, scary and out of control environment, grasping for some way to be in control and some way to comfort myself. All my positive goals seem blocked by the people I live with and something takes over my mind with the thought: I just want to eat. It is a rebellious feeling like: “I can TOO do what I want. YOU can’t STOP me…I can TOO be ‘in control!’ I can eat!”  

Thin Within calls this “flesh machinery.” It is pretty clear why! I act like I am on “automatic.” Recognizing it enables me to stop it in the strength God provides in the moment.

I don’t want to eat when I am not hungry. What I really want is to be able to live in peace with the people I love, to live in peace with God, with myself, and with food. This is a longing for heaven, I realize. It won’t be realized perfectly until I am in heaven with Jesus.

However, something in me from my past looks to food for comfort, protection and control. This tendency is rooted in deception and recognizing that, I can replace lies with God’s truth.
 I am learning afresh that boundaries are designed to keep me safe, offer comfort, and godly control. Boundaries keep me safe as yellow lines down the center of the road–each driver stays out of the other side (hopefully). Boundaries keep me from taking what I want off store shelves without paying and getting tossed in jail. So, I must  respond to godly boundaries as helpful guardians in my eating as well, instead of viewing them resentfully, as yet another block to my goal during the times of agitation in my home and life.

Obviously, God wants to be comfort, protection and control for me. He is these things. He is protection. He is comfort. This is one reason why studying the attributes of God is so powerful for me.

Knowing this tendency in me,  in those moments when the kids are at one another’s throats, godly boundaries serve me well. Simply, if I am agitated, it isn’t time to eat…I must give a loving “no” to that little girl who feels trapped back 35 years ago in a home with two alcoholic, raging parents.

Instead, I will crawl up into my Abba’s lap and allow him to comfort me with his love and delight over me with singing.

The LORD your God is with you, 
he is mighty to save. 
He will take great delight in you, 
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.
– Zephaniah 3:17

How about you? Are you “triggered” in some way that sends you to food for comfort, protection, or control? What godly boundaries can you have that will offer you what you really need during those times?

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