Thin Within has been a part of my life for the better part of eleven years now. I’ve had many ups and many downs. Each time I have started Thin Within, I have envisioned an “End.” Whether it’s a certain number I see on the scale, a size that I wear, or even just a place where I finally don’t always think about food and weight. There has always been a finish line in sight. A point that I hoped to reach where I could say “I finished! I did it!”, close my Thin Within book and I walk off into the sunset.
But, if you have spent the last 12 years entrenched in disordered thinking, believing and eating, you can’t always expect to be “cured” in 12 weeks. Real change is something that happens over time as God teaches us the beauty of obedience, boundaries, forgiveness and submission as He gently leads us on a path of wholeness.
Is our God a mighty Healer who can heal us from our sin and struggles with eating with just the snap of His fingers? Yes, absolutely! But is He maybe more interested in our healing process than the end result? Is He maybe more interested in our learning about surrender, confession, obeying boundaries and dying to ourself than He is in us releasing 20 pounds? Quite possibly.
I firmly believe that God uses Thin Within as a tool for sanctification in our lives. Sanctification is the process of being made more like Christ (1Thess 5:23). And guess what? Sanctification is not always pretty or easy. And it doesn’t always happen overnight, just like how we don’t always “get” Thin Within overnight or release 20 pounds in 12 weeks. But this refining process is for our benefit! If we’ll just stay on the journey long enough, we’ll see that God is using our challenges a means to equip us for lasting change and victory. If we will relinquish our finish line, we will invite Him to take the time He needs to change our hearts and minds forever. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have lasting change that takes a while to take hold of, than lose 20 pounds quickly only to regain them again next year.
I’m slowly learning that for me, there is no finish line when it comes to Thin Within because Thin Within has been weaved into God’s sanctifying work in my heart. And sanctification is a lifelong journey. I am in this thing for the long haul.
This is not a diet or a quick fix. It’s a way of life. Something that will likely be with me until I am old and gray. I can almost picture my 95-year old self saying no to a second helping of JELL-O at the local nursing home because I’ve already reached my 5. 🙂
So if you’re feeling tired and worn down or if you’re discouraged how long it is taking to “get” Thin Within, take heart! This is a lifelong journey my friends. God is using your struggles to help you become more like Jesus through His sanctifying work. Often times God uses our moments of discouragement and despair to usher us into a place of freedom and growth. We have our whole lives ahead of us as we invite God to change our hearts, renew our minds and transform our bodies. Not having a finish line or and end in sight frees our hearts up to enjoy the journey a little more.
How about you? Do you see Thin Within as something you’ll stick with for the long haul? Will you remain committed to allowing God to use this as a tool of sanctification in your life? Will you push past the tough times and see this journey through? Will you relinquish your finish line?