The Brothers Grimm tell a tale of a less than perfect creature, “Rumplestiltskin,” who could spin straw to gold. He would take something worthless–the straw–and turn it into something of great value. I won’t butcher the plot of the story by retelling it here, but while Rumplestiltskin was a creature of questionable moral character, he could nevertheless do this amazing feat.
So often, I have thought about how God, who is perfect, holy, good, compassionate, and wonderful, takes the things in my life that may be valueless…or, worse…intended for evil by the Enemy of my soul, and does His amazing transformation… spinning, as it were, my “straw” to gold.
As I have lamented and shared about my struggle to process what is going on with my body and the internal struggles I have been facing, the Heavenly Father has met me in this place. He has been revealing truth to me coupled with his incredible kindness. It is kindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4).
I could never hate myself or my behavior enough to cause lasting positive change…but the Father’s tender kindness woos me to that change. How precious to my heart this is.
In chapter six of Get Thin Stay Thin, the Hallidays speak of this very thing, in fact.
“The only goodness [in addictions] is that they can defeat our pride and lead us to more openness to grace.” Our pride is often defeated by suffering. GTST, p. 128
I am beginning to see this whole thing as a blessing! I mean, this has definitely knocked me down a few pegs! Pride is definitely taking a hit–as it should.
It has caused me to re-evaluate everything…including something so simple as what hunger and satisfied even feels like–and to depend on God to direct me in this. I have had to be ok inside my skin a different size if that is what God’s will for me is…letting go of my favorite Levis in the process if that is his will. (Yes, I believe God cares about even this! :-))
It may take a tremendous shock, an experience of hitting bottom…to dispel the illusion that our lives are perfectly managed, under control, and all together. The pain that shatters our illusion may be the measure necessary to destroy the idols of our dependencies. It may be necessary to reveal the magnitude of our silent, aching, hunger. GTST, p. 128
When I laid down my diet soda idol, I guess I felt I would “bless God” and be blessed in return. It feels, instead, like he has used this offering to shine the light on all my imperfection, inadequacies, and ugly places. (He does this for my good as painful as it may be.) The illusion has been shattered. I have continued to struggle with my pride, not wanting anyone to see that I am not as thin as I was. I have wanted to hide. That is pretty tough to do when, on Sundays, I stand up in front on the worship team! I find it so intriguing that God has coupled this season of struggle in my life with my being on the worship team for the first time in years…I know this is no accident either. In the past, when my weight went up, I voluntarily hopped off the worship team claiming I didn’t want to bring “dishonor to God.” Truthfully, it was pride. I didn’t want anyone to notice that I was out of control…again. I refuse to give in to that temptation this time. This IS a new thing.
God is yet spinning this straw to gold and I can keep focusing on the worthlessness of the straw or wait in anticipation of the gold.
Lord, please let this shattering of illusions not be for nothing. Please let me learn what you call me to learn. Let me recognize and embrace the truth that much of my behavior over the past two years has actually served to stifle the silent hunger. I’ve gotten my identity from “doing Thin Within right,” and releasing weight. I want to experience what you intend, Lord. It isn’t about being thin…it is about so much more. I have said this for so long and now I am learning it in a fresh, deep, sometimes painful, way. Thank you for your kindness, Lord, your love, your provision in this time of need.
What we do when we reach this point of suffering will either result in more pain or unspeakable joy. GTST, p. 128-129
I vote for joy! I choose to anticipate the gold!
We can either become bitter toward life as we see it or become better when we turn to the one who can make us whole. Then suffering becomes an opportunity for grace. GTST, p. 129
The following is a song by Laura Story, called Grace. It is too incredible not to share with you. The words are included in the video, but if you can’t view the video, the words may be found here.
God has been teaching me afresh that this boils down to something rather simple. Easy, NO, simple, yes. It is simply, me, his sheep, listening to him, my Shepherd and responding to his voice. He has been teaching me about myself, my body, and about grace, in a fresh, new way.
The words from the song by Laura Story resonate with me:
As I walk with You, I’m learning what Your grace really means. The price that I could never pay was paid at Calvary. So, instead of trying to repay You, I’m learning to simply obey You by giving up my life to you For all that You’ve given to me.
Yes, He is spinning my straw to gold.