“If I don’t do something, I am going to wake up dead!”

It was a prayer. It was an observation. It was a plea.

One hundred extra pounds on my frame were a liability.

“How did I get this way?”

For the love of food, I was risking leaving my children without their mom and my husband without his wife. I was highly motivated.

Pursuit of “body beautiful,” an old familiar routine, resumed–this time with a vengeance.

What began as a physical pursuit, however, changed radically.

I began to open myself to finding the answers to deeper questions than merely “How many fat grams is in this bagel?” or “Do these pants make my rear look bigger?” and began to look at “Why do I return to food again and again when I know I am not hungry?” The answers took me into deep places…places where the Spirit of God met me, arms open wide. The voice of God was almost audible, his breath nearly palpable. I could, as Zephaniah says, hear him delight over me with singing.

It was a welcome song as many of the haunts to which my mind and heart headed were unexpected places from childhood abuse and trauma—revisited, yet now with the Shepherd of my soul, tenderly wiping my tears, inviting a deep healing that saw beyond the painful years of life on this earth to purposes beyond.
God revealed that he had been wooing me for a long time—yet I had not recognized him.

This time was different. This time he peeled away layer upon layer. It was painful at times, but as he did, he showed me there are so many things much deeper than the size and shape of my body. While he has shown me that I honor him by being as healthy as I can be, he has taken the anxious inner workings of a mind and heart in turmoil and used my physical struggle with food and weight to demonstrate his grace—that his grace is sufficient for me.

Yes, I released one hundred pounds between June 2006 and October of 2007, but I released so much more—disappointments, dreams that were never woven in heaven in the first place, desires that directed my mind into superficial pursuits, hopes that kept me from his best.

I wonder now if my life-long battle with food, eating, my body wasn’t about this all along. The metamorphosis that has been evident on the outside is barely a shadow of the transformation of my spirit, heart, and mind.

What began with a desire to pursue something, has resulted in my having been apprehended by a great and marvelous grace.

Is it possible that God may have in mind a transformation for you other than the merely physical one that you may long for? Will you go with him on this journey?

©2010 Heidi Bylsma