I was taking the time to clean (gasp!) my kitchen this morning. I discovered a pan of brownies that hadn’t been completely eaten. All that was left were my favorite parts–the edges. I couldn’t believe it. It must have been there, I hate to admit, for a week! Has God done a work in me or what?
Last week when the kids and I were eating out (something that we are reducing the frequency of), I wanted a grilled chicken sandwich. I felt like I just couldn’t handle a burger or fried chicken or the other options I usually have. We went to a place that offered that and I had half of that and one french fry. MIRACLE! I didn’t even want more fries. I didn’t even want the one, but thought that it sure seemed weird of COURSE I want the fries…nope. I had one and felt YUCK, so didn’t have any more.
Another thing that has happened lately…if I am busy like in the middle of stuff (happening a lot lately with as busy as I am) and I get to a “0”…I don’t stop everything to go feed the 0. It is so bizarre to realize that I don’t panic at 0 any more. This, too, is a total miracle. I find myself hanging out at 0 not because I want to control it or “ride the 0” as I don’t believe that is godly at all…but because I don’t *have* to drop everything to have the very coveted chance to eat…I used to lust literally for 0 so I could eat. It just isn’t that big of a deal…most of the time, anyhow. Isn’t that weird?
If you knew me, you would know it is. God IS doing a new thing! When I named this blog, I did so fearful….I was afraid to believe Him for a new thing…wow. He is doing a TRUCKLOAD of new things! THANK YOU LORD!
Wow. God is sure working on me. All sorts of things are in the works.
He has caused–enabled–me to SIGNIFICANTLY reduce my diet soda intake (both caffeine-free and regular diet). This is huge…I knew he would have to change my heart radically and He did and is.
He has actually been causing me to scrutinize the “what” of my eating–to try to be more aware of the saturated fats in things. I don’t want to end up with clogged arteries and high cholesterol and all of that. Eating fried foods 0 to 5 is still not the most beneficial choice. 1 Corinthians 6:12 speaks to this: “All things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial. All things are permissible but I will not be mastered by anything.” If I can’t or won’t say no to fried chicken (or whatever it may be) it seems as though not only is that not beneficial, but it also demonstrates that it has mastery over me.
My family members are getting on board for some of these changes. I guess the kids don’t have much choice, but I am asking them for their input and trying to consider it. Some of what we are doing is due, in part, to my writing about this stuff right now. It is so convicting to realize that what my kids eat, with MY PERMISSION and ENDORSEMENT, is causing my son’s teeth enamel to erode, his skin to break out like crazy and who knows what else. It just isn’t right for me to lead my children into sin like this. I mean, the food isn’t evil, but not putting it in its place is a problem. It is a stronghold if all we will eat is fried stuff. My kids are thin and all, but I feel like I am setting them up for a lifetime of eating fatty stuff…what will happen when they aren’t under my supervision? Daniel will live at the drive-through for fried chicken, french fries and onion rings! Michaela might be just as bad! 🙁
God wants to accomplish a lot yet ahead. I was convicted after reading another TW participant’s post this morning that I should not get on the scale again until I receive God’s explicit permission. I must let go of insisting that the scale should move downward all the time. *I* know in my heart of hearts if I have been obedient. He testifies to my heart. The scale doesn’t have the right to affirm me or not. I will not look to it for approval. So, I will wait on the Lord to say I have his permission. I won’t even hang on to my “right” for a once a week weigh in, claiming that it is a godly choice. If he says NO in the moment, it isn’t godly!
In the online support group meeting last night, one of the participants said that she has vowed that, before each eating occasion, she will say “I will submit to Your will” as a prayer to God. Wow! I am asking God to help me to remember to do this, too…as it is a great idea.
God has asked me to re-evaluate my eating. I am going to be sure that I stop when the Lord tells me to. Right now, 5 is beyond that point. This morning I stopped when he said and I was hungry again very soon after, but that is ok. This is a walk of trust.
I have been working through my lesson this week in the Thin Within workbook. I am a part of an online support group led by dear Pam Sneed that meets on Mondays. We are on week 8 I believe it is. It is so ironic that years ago, I wrote the first release of this material. It is still so fresh and new to me. Familiar, yes….but whether it is all the skilled hands since my initial writing that have made it fresh and new, or simply the Holy Spirit quickening it to my heart, it is amazing to me.
Today, day three, of the week eight, was from the Lord for me. With the increased convictions in my heart regarding developing an ability to make healthier choices with my eating, I have begun to realize that I will need to get some professional help. I want someone who is godly–a Christian is a must–but someone who is experienced with this sort of thing.
It dawned on me that years ago, when my husband and I were not yet married, we met a man who is a psychologist. As part of our pre-marriage counseling with the pastor who married us, we had to have an evaluation done by this psychologist. I can’t remember why, but it had come up that I had these issues with foods due to abuse at the dinner table and focused on foods my parents wanted me to eat. At the time, I remember him saying something that led me to believe he would like to help me with it.
So now, 23 or so years after meeting that psychologist, I remember that conversation and looked him up on the web. I may call him today and set up an appointment.
I have such overwhelming fear about this. You see, I can’t even *get* to the taste of these foods because the smells and sight of the foods cause such an overwhelming response. I know it is the memories associated with it. But you would think I could cope with putting a small bite in my mouth. I associate tasting things with abuse, I guess. So I suppose it makes sense. Anyhow, I fear even trying to do this on my own. The darkness that seems to shroud the possibilities…yikes. I just can’t go there.
Yet fear can be an idol, too. If I allow fear to dictate what I will or won’t do, am I not actually allowing fear the role that only God should have in my life?
These thoughts were all on my mind as I woke up this morning and turned to my Thin Within bible study that was on Gideon. The very first things that I am asked in this lesson, based on Judges 6:11-16 are:
How did Gideon’s location conflict with God’s declaration to Him?
God called Gideon a mighty warrior. Yet he was hiding in a winepress because of the Midianites that were destroying all that the Israelites sought to make, build, create. Gideon was fearful…hiding…and yet God called him “Mighty Warrior.” Hmm…. Then I was asked:
Are you “hiding out in a winepress,” living in fear based on our external circumstances?
Wow. That hit the nail on the head. If I don’t call this psychologist…if I just let this blow by and try not to follow my convictions…I will be doing precisely that. It is what I have done all these years.
From where was Gideon’s strength to come? How was Gideon tempted to respond? Reflect on your own powerlessness and helplessness in the area of eating and losing weight. But don’t stay there! Lay this down before the Lord so that you will experience all he has given you…
This, again, sure hits the nail on the head. God isn’t asking me to look at the mountain that the former abuse represents in my life. He isn’t asking me scale that mountain. He is only asking me to go in the strength that I have now. Can I pick up the phone and call this doctor? Yes. Good, then that is the strength I have and I am to do that. Taking one step at a time in humble obedience (key is actually on humble for me as it is almost impossible to be disobedient if I am humble and impossible to be obedient if I am prideful).
The Lord goes on to answer all of Gideon’s objections by saying in verse 16, “I will be with you and you will strike down all the Midianites together.”
What an amazing series of events. Gideon was hiding in a winepress, afraid of even being seen. God calls him a mighty warrior. God then tells him to go in what little strength he has and that because God is with him all the foes will be vanquished.
Something that God is really laying on my heart as I continue down this path is that when I make eating all about only what tastes good, that is catering to my flesh. This is my personal conviction and I am still struggling with how to handle it…it isn’t cut and dry for me, personally, because of things in my past. Indulging my flesh in what tastes good (as the only consideration) within the parameters of 0 to 5 is *still* catering to my flesh! 0 to 5 doesn’t make eating whatever I want “righteous” for me.
God has given me a brain. I don’t need anyone to tell me what I should or shouldn’t eat and in what amounts (a diet or diet law), but I know that even if the Burger King Stacker burger tastes fabulous and is “permissible” for me to have because I am free in Christ, it is NOT beneficial. It is a heart attack on a plate.
God doesn’t want me to check my brain at the door. He wants me to be informed and then invite the Holy Spirit to direct my choices. To be truthful, if I am really walking in the Spirit then I will not always choose foods (even if I am at 0) based merely on how they taste. I will take into account other things too, as the Lord leads me uniquely and personally.
Thin Within teaches that we move from the initial freedom phase to a phase 2 –this is a big difference between TW and other similar programs, btw. Phase 2 teaches us to use discernment about what we eat when we are at 0. We begin evaluating how various foods make us feel when we eat them…what sustains us, what doesn’t. What makes us feel agitated. (This goes for beverages, too…)
If we are going to insist that because a food is “permissible”–it is something I have the freedom to enjoy as much as I want 0 to 5–If I am going to insist that because I am free and at a 0 that it then follows that it is something that the Lord grants me permission to eat…well, frankly, that is sinful for me…plain and simple. My personal conviction is that God doesn’t want me to continue making regular (constant) meals out of foods that are all about flavor and offer detriment to me potentially…like things high in saturated fats, for instance.
I believe he would have me develop discernment to (for example) select chicken that is baked or grilled instead of fried as a matter of routine. I am *free* to eat the fried, but I am free NOT to eat it, too. If my routine is that of eating fried chicken (I must confess that it has been…a very small amount each time, but God is convicting me even of that…), is that the wisest, most beneficial thing?
The better question to me these days as God is working on my heart is, do I *have* to eat *that*? Or am I free *from* eating it? The third part of Thin Within and of that verse about what is permissible and beneficial is “I will not be mastered by anything.”
My goal is not to be mastered by brownies, chocolate, pizza, fried chicken…whatever it might be. CAN I live without those things? What about cheese enchiladas? Hot fudge sundaes? Yes, it is *permissible* for me to have them, but it isn’t the best choice for me. If I have high blood pressure and insist on fried chicken and french fries as staples of my existance, I am not being a good steward of my body–even if I eat these things 0 to 5. That isn’t exercising my freedom in a godly way…that is claiming grace so that I might sin all the more.
Further, if I insist that I don’t have to give something up fried chicken and french fries, maybe I am being mastered by it…does it own me? Can I live without it?
These things are a vast departure where many of us existed while involved in other programs that encouraged us to eat between the parameters of hunger and satisfaction. Sadly, these things that are taught with TW get buried beneath our relishing of “our freedom” to eat whatever we want. For me, it has been buried because I didn’t *want* to let God have the things that I soooo enjoy eating. Now he is making it clear he is calling me to step up, to somehow be willing to believe him that he can cause emotional healing in my life (much needed) so that I can eat things I have never been able to before–things that will promote *health* in my body.
If I am going to offer myself to the Lord, my eating, my sustenance…my choices…I give all my rights away and I ask him prayerfully what *He* wants me to feed my body. He will be faithful to tell me. Sometimes he will tell me I need more information so that I can understand what the best choice is…Maybe that causes me to read the nutrition information for the “chicken selects” at McDonalds and realize that these tasty morsels offer flavor at quite an expense. Arteries can still get clogged and hearts can stop beating…and I don’t want to regularly eat anything that will contribute to that happening and declare it “freedom in Christ.”
LOL! I don’t want anyone to think I am not posting to the blog because I am derailed. No! NO WAY! God has a hold of my heart…it blows me away even still.
Our online support group met last night and it was SO AMAZING to see how God is at work in our midst! We had a slow start and I know some of the ladies were discouraged, but last night we had a chance to share the way God is affecting change in our hearts *and* in our choices…WHOO HOO!!!
Last night I had a late dinner and I guess I must have wolfed down my food….I realized about 10 minutes afterward that I was uncomfortable! I haven’t felt like that in SO long that I didn’t like it! But worse, it broke my heart to realize that I hadn’t even paused long enough to pay attention the Lord during my meal. I am not used to that either. He has become a constant guest at my table. I relish closeness with him…I love that he has used food to remind me of his constant closeness and concern about my life. Something that the enemy meant for evil…my misuse of food…God has taken to draw me closer to Him. God is amazing! I was so broken to realize my error and definitely observed and corrected, confessed and repented.
I think I will return to a habit that I had previously when applying TW principles. It is that I *always* will leave some of my food. No matter how small my portion, I will leave two bites–one for each dog. 🙂 I have found that when I am thinking about which two bites I will leave (I can leave more if I want) it slows me down as I eat. Isn’t that silly? LOL!
So, today has gone well. Breakfast was a smaller than I thought would be enough portion of my favorite granola cereal with almonds. Boy, that cereal packs a punch. It sustains me so well.
Taking Daisy, the Pirahna Puppy, to agility class, I got hungry. Not the best option, I stopped and got some mini-nutter butter cookies and some almonds. I had about 10 almonds and 5 mini-cookies and was good! wrapped them back up and they are still in my car…unfinished. That is SO not like the me in the past. In fact, this has happened quite frequently. I know God is doing a new thing if for no other reason than stale snacks in my backpack! Before, I would eat them til they were gone!
Lunch was a small sandwich…so yummy and while I wasn’t at a 5 or even a 4 I stopped so the pups could have the last two bites, which amounted to about a third of the sandwich. LOL! After working out in the horse pasture moving 3 tons (literally) of gravel, I was famished…had a little tiny corner (1 inch if that) of brownie and that shaved the edge off my hunger. Waiting for hubs to come home so we can have dinner and I will be ready!
Working with Judy on this latest book for kids is really reminding me of some important things…God is so at work with me to realize that there are changes I need to and want to make. While I *have* been making some better choices with what I eat, I can’t eat fruit or veggies (veggies I can eat only in fresh salsa) because of some issues from my childhood. Things I have wanted to be healed of and have never….resulting in gag reflex when certain foods even come close to me…smell and sight of them makes me start being sick.
Thing is…God is doing and wants to continue to do such a new thing that maybe he will even cause me to be able to eat things that I have never been able to eat without fear and that nasty physical reaction…I need to believe Him for it…and do my part.
If you think of me, please pray that God will truly do a massive new thing. I so desperately want to be able to eat things that grow fresh from the ground….oh it would be such a joy to be able to do that….I know God can cause it to happen and I am totally willing…er…I think.
I had a late-in-the-day quiet time. I can’t stand not having my time with the Lord. It isn’t something virtuous about me. Not at all. I wish I could take credit as being one who has “self-discipline” or something…but that isn’t it.
Fact is, it isn’t a discipline at all. He has placed in me a passion for His Word. That, and to sit and be still and know that He is God. Sometimes it isn’t quite so serene as that. Sometimes, I sit there rather intellectually (my best imitation of it, anyhow!) and scrutinize….or turn it all into a brain-only exercise. I hate it when I do that.
But the point is, God has placed in me a strong desire to know and study His Word…and I love doing it. So I hope no one thinks that I am boasting and bragging. It isn’t like that. I figure He knew that I needed extra doses of God-talk in my life and knew my heart would be prone to wander far afield. So he gave me this one gift…it helps my feet remain on the ground…most days.
Well, this morning, I didn’t start the day with my quiet time. One thing led to another and I was feeling so…well…empty. I knew I needed time with Him.
So just after I gave the horses their supplements (I am obsessive about my horses’ nutrition! Talk about ironic! LOL!) and just before I fed them their dinner, I sat down for an hour and did my Thin Within workbook and my Beth Moore, Living Beyond Yourself bible study.
I wanted to share something that struck so deep and so tender a chord in me….
Think with me about this. Scripture says we can grieve the Holy Spirit. According to Beth Moore’s LBY workbook on page 41, this word in the greek means “to afflict with sorrow, to cause grief, offend.” Beth goes on to say the following:
The word implies that the third member of the Holy Trinity is able to feel pain. The Word of God cites only one causal agent of His pain: those He inhabits–the very ones who also are a source of His joy. — Oh, my heart….this isn’t new to me, but it struck me with such a new intensity…the ache in my heart to know that so often I have grieved the Holy Spirit, the very one who has chosen to indwell me, to offer me the power, presence, provision of God in my life to defeat sin, to rise above all obstacles….to know that so often I have said no to the very lover of my soul…
Beth goes on to say on page 42:
Sin in the life of the believer causes the Holy Spirit to grieve. Consequently, the Holy Spirit’s pain will not cease until we “get rid” of the sin….For the Spirit to be released from grief and to fuilfillment, every known sin must be the object of [my] repentance. Blanket prayers of forgiveness with no thought to the object of God’s disfavor are a waste of time. We cannot confess what we will not face. We must be specific.
She goes on to say:
We cherish some sins; we treasure them. We do not want to let go of them; therefore, we admit to God we have committed them, but we lack the sorrow that would give us the strength to turn away…
This reminded me of what Pastor Mike said a few weeks back about how we are sometimes willing to avoid sin, but we do that with our eye on it longingly…we are called to HATE sin. There is a big difference.
Lord, may I not grieve the Holy Spirit. May my life be given over completely to Your will and YOUR ways that I might live for You and that the HOLY Spirit might be totally at home in my life. Help me never to wink at sin while supposedly avoiding it. Instead, I pray you might cultivate in me a hatred for sin.
The photo here is me with my two kids. Daniel is 14 and Michaela is 12. I mention them further down in this blog, but I haven’t figured out how to get the photos where I want them, yet. So that is why it is up here! LOL!
One of the goals that I stated in my blog from January 1st was:
Additionally, I would like to reach my God-given size by May. This is a HUGE God-sized goal. I would like to release another 30 or so pounds…if God says more is needed or less is fine, then I am ok with that.
At the time I wrote that, I had released about 20 pounds…maybe a bit more…like 25 I think. And wanted to get to a total of 50 gone by May. During January, I released 10 more. Making the total released 35.
God has definitely been working ahead of schedule and as of this morning:
45 pounds have been released!!!
I feel now like we (God and I) may release more than my initial “God-sized” goal!
God is stunning me with the weight stuff. It really surprises me. I assume that it will really slow down a lot as we get closer to the size He intends for me. I will know it when we land there. I know He will make sure I don’t miss it.
As I enter March, I do so 10 pounds lighter than I entered Februrary. The ponies will be pleased! LOL! (Ok, maybe not, but I like thinking that they will!)
It amazes me that God removed 10 pounds this past month, as I had some real hurdles that I struggled with this month. God has been so close to me. His presence has just (literally) floored me. I mean that. Boy…
Above releasing 45 pounds so far, the thing that I am most thankful for is the way He has tendered my heart to Him. I hear songs on the radio and my heart is gripped with conviction. I use my Dance Praise and I simply can’t get through “How Great is Our God” without dancing with my hands raised in the air. You would have to know me to know that this is NOT me. In fact, none of that is me any more. He is shaping and forming my heart even more than my outer body.
Believe me when I say…this has little to do with me. It is Him. The other night, I felt like I had to go literally to my knees to worship Him. I felt like I was in the presence of Almighty God and He said, “I will not share my glory with another. I WILL BE EXALTED.” All I could do was weep and confess “Yes, Lord, you are KING! Forgive my pride…yet again….BE EXALTED!”He wasn’t stern, He wasn’t mean. he was just…well…GOD! He was love and kindness and patience, grace, and mercy…but He was GOD!
The writing with Judy again has been wonderful. Sure, it isn’t ALL fun! LOL! Hard to believe that the deadline for her book with the pediatrician who is doing most of the writing is April 1!!!! LOL! It just wouldn’t be writing with Judy if it weren’t for an unbelievable deadline! LOL! It all gives us more chance to see God at work.
The fun thing is, as I am actually doing Thin Within with my kids, we are writing about doing Thin Within with kids. Once, again, God is surrounding me with more support than I could shake a stick at! The picture up above shows my kids. They are actually naturally thin, but they aren’t fit. We are doing some changes in our lives…Truthfully, we have a drivethrough life…we hit fast food a lot, it seems. I am releasing weight anyhow and they are thin anyhow. I think Dad is the one who suffers the most as he eats whatever we don’t!!! But in time.
Anyhow, while life is crazy and hectic with trying to write and edit and help with this new manuscript, it is also fun to see God fleshing out the truths we are writing about in the lives of my family members (including me).
I am so thankful….so so thankful. I can’t even believe His timing for all of this. He got a hold of my heart in November through a horse lady (so funny how he did that). I began to see changes in my heart…called Judy to tell her about it and my excitement….and she was glad to hear it…we never knew that God would bring all this together in part so we could be on a writing team together again. LOL! God has such a sense of humor!
Thank you, Lord, for your patience with me, your never-ending love, your grace, your mercy. Thank you that you are at work in me now, even when/if I don’t have eyes to perceive it.
This is Breezy. This photo was taken just moments after we “met” for the first time in February of 2003. We bought him sight unseen and he was my first pony ever….the one to make my dreams come true at the ripe old age of 41. I wanted you to see him.
I opened my Thin Within workbook this morning and was asked to look at Romans 8:13.
For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if you live by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
The workbook went on to say:
“What are we doing to the deeds of the flesh when we live according to the Spirit?”
Well, the answer, clearly, was, we are putting to death the misdeeds of the body. We are killing off sin! Thrush! 🙂
The workbook confirmed “Resurrected life comes only out of death.”
Yup…a new healthy frog comes only out of carving away the old one and killing the thrush. 🙂
I was struck by God directing me to *that* exercise, today….the workbook seemed to be a perfect follow up to my thrush analogy.
You see, I struggle with something. If I boldly share about the weight loss, then pride can rear its ugly head.
But if I hide it, I know I am “hiding my light under a bushel.”
I am ashamed that I can’t declare His praises without my own stupid pride welling up. So, what do I do…hide the weight loss in shame or declare it and risk pride? Either way, pride is at the root. Be willing to show the changes that have happened, or live in shame because of the changes that have not?
It seems like a conundrum.
In order to give God the glory, I have to take the risk that my heart will remain humble. But I know myself. The thrush still lives in my heart. Allowing opportunity to receive the praise of man is like sticking Breezy’s thrushy feet in the muck and mire with no light, no oxygen, no solution….it gives the environment for the thrush to flourish.
My sin is like that. It flourishes in the right environment. Sure, on the outside, like Breezy’s hoof…my life might look good enough, appear to function just fine, acceptably…. but inside, the “thrush” (my sin, pride, arrogance) is eating away at the most important part of who I am.
I will just keep asking God to help me know what to do.
I thought it another interesting thing…today, for the first time…I saw my old horse shoer at church. Ya think God might be on a theme with me here? It was all I could do to stop myself from running over to her and eagerly telling her the thrush analogy! LOL! I don’t even know if she is a believer! LOL!
In the past, I mechanically did some 0-5 eating and even lost 70 pounds. I was working so hard up here in the hills getting the place done up for horses, carting tons and tons (literally) of rock up and down the hillside to help prevent erosion from horsie hooves that when I wasn’t working outside, I was hungry from working so hard. I didn’t have enough time to eat for long before I had to head outside and work again…so I released the weight.
(Below is a photo of one of my horses on the rocks after I had placed them on this one particular hill…obviously, my plan failed, but it sure kept me moving a lot doing all the laying of the rock!)
I am now almost as low weight-wise as I was then, but a bit leaner, as I have been exercising my cardiovascular system specifically to help my heart be healthy. Thing is, back when I did the mechanics before, my heart was still not given to God in this. I was still resentful, bitter, frustrated. It was a prideful place to be and I know I gravitate back to that again rather easily. I can’t believe it, but I do!!!
I am seeing this time, some definite heart changes God is making in me. Not just in my willingness to allow Him the Sovereign right to BE God, but also in transforming my lusts and desires. No, I don’t assume that it is a done deal. Again, I know that I can, like a dog, return to my vomit (that is a bible verse…sorry for it being so gross! But it works!!!)…but I will praise Him for even the small steps forward. As I keep my eyes on him, I know we will continue FORWARD. It is when I get my eyes on myself or the praise of man that I falter.
That said, while the outer changes may seem the most obvious to onlookers, I know the truth…the most profound changes are in my heart where no one but the Lord sees. I also am keenly aware that there is a truckload yet to remain. What lies in the dark recesses of my heart? I have offered God access to those places…the places where there is disease. I have invited him to please expose the truth, cut out all that stands against him and cleanse it all.
I have often wondered about the connection of my horsemanship with my walk with God in this stuff. I know that sounds weird to most people, but God has shown me there are many connections. The latest one is related to Breezy’s feet.
Breezy’s front feet have had thrush…and this thrush has been deep in the crevices of his frog…one of the most important components of the foot of a horse. When you think about it, the feet of a horse have a HUGE job. Those tiny little hoofs (relative to the size of the horse) have to carry his weight. That is a LOT of pounds per square inch. Without getting too technical, the frog is the tissue that simply must function to help the hoofs do their job.
Yet Breezy’s thrush has worked it’s way into the deep dark recesses of his frog…it is an anaerobic bacteria, I guess. It doesn’t need oxygen to survive. Once it gets into those hidden places, covered by flaps of other frog tissue (which can even grow down around the thrush, effectively protecting the thrush further while it works as an enemy!), it does its nasty work which is to make “swiss cheese” of one of the most important parts of a horse’s hoof. This can ultimately cause pain and lameness and it can do this even while the foot looks relatively healthy to most people when you clean it out as tissue can grow down around the pockets of diseased tissue.
Below is Breezy’s frog after it had begun to heal! All those chunks of stuff missing…they are a problem. The flaps of skin are also a clue that there is more of the disease hidden away underneath. Thrush often gives off waste that is BLACK. Hmm….
The only way, it seems to really deal with this is to cut the tissue out and away. I have tried just soaking his foot in all sorts of concoctions (my neighbors think I am nuts), but the thrush didn’t really start dying off until we began (I had the help of a skilled hoof care practitioner) to cut out the very thing we were trying to save. We had to dig dig dig with a knife…a sharp one. Breezy didn’t care for this much. We cut away the flaps of frog tissue that hid the dark “caves” where the thrush was thriving. It was only THEN that the topical soaks could even GET to the places where they could do their work.
Was this pleasant for Breezy? Heck no. Was it worth it…wow. Yes. It really affected ME to see us cutting so much into the very tissue we were trying to save. I had to trust the more skillful one of us….and then and only then could the healing begin. I mean everyone in hoof care circles says you don’t want to cut or carve or trim the frog at all…that a normal hoof will be healthiest when allowed to shed the frog on its own. Thing was, Breezy wasn’t. The foot desperately was hanging on to the frog…even though it was diseased. And this was leading to a complete change in his entire hoof structure…and his soundness and comfort.
How like that hoof I am. I seem to cling to the darkness, the disease…the very thing that is choking off life inside, that is killing my ability to live as one alive to the things of God. It is like I grow around my sin, protecting it from exposure to the light and air…to God…to his probling, loving, careful and skillful knife. He wants access. The blackness is exposed as he cuts deep into me. No, it isn’t pleasant. It is quite painful in fact. Just to SEE it…to be made aware of the ways in which I have clung to my sin…it is quite shocking. But it is then and only then, that all of the less invasive things that I might do to walk in godliness can really be effective. Where does my study of God’s Word get me when I harbor sin in my heart? Scripture tells me and I don’t much care for it.
Anyhow, the most obvious changes to ME are not what is obvious to others. Just as Breezy’s frog, being on the bottom of his foot, is rarely seen to anyone else. Yet the changes are tremendous and affect everything.
I praise God that He is at work, carving and cutting out the very thing he is remaking and shaping. He is making my heart more a heart that chases after HIM. I must avail myself to this…I must let Him do it. Sometimes, I don’t want to….