Forty Years of Bondage

Have you, like me, ever gotten a little “off track” on your Thin Within journey? Sometimes we can think, “If only I could release a lot of weight, take enough thin within classes or maybe do some one on one coaching…then I wouldn’t struggle so much with food and body image.”

In one way, that’s true. God’s truth and grace have empowered me to release a total of eighty pounds, I’ve taken workbook classes and led workbook classes and now I’m blessed by leading hunger within classes, as well as offering Helpful Coaching through the thin within ministry. You can view my testimony and coaching story here.

I no longer struggle every day (like I used to) with my identity. I feel more secure than ever, knowing who I am. Or should I say, Who’s I am? I no longer struggle daily with those old obsessions any more either. You know what I’m talking about. Thoughts like, “How skinny do I look today? Am I the heaviest one in the room? Why did I eat that last bite? What’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t God help me? Should I go low carb awhile or join that program? Buy that book?” On and on the obsessive mind set goes. One of my clients calls this the “crazies.” Yay! I don’t have the crazies anymore. By the way, the crazies leave you in peace once you decide they are no longer an option.

Since the day I committed to hunger and fullness eating, Jesus healed my obsession. He cleansed out all the shame and condemnation related to being so overweight. He set me on a straight path to genuine freedom. His grace taught me how to stop obsessing about every meal, every bite, every pound. He settled it all for me..forever! I don’t ever want to look for my value or significance in my body image. I choose to find my identity in Christ alone. That’s proven to be a powerful and foundational belief!

“You will know the truth and the truth will make you free.” John 8:32.

I still commemorate that day, and I remember it with deep gratitude. Forty years of bondage!…gone. That was the day when all my self condemnation left and I “took up my mat and walked”  ( John 5:8-9) into the abundant life God had in store for me.

But it’s funny, even with all that, I could still struggle. Notice I said could. I still get tempted occasionally to get a little legalistic. That nasty “all or nothing, black or white” thinking tries to sneak up on me. At times I come to the conclusion that I had 100 pounds to release and I’ve dropped 80 pounds…..Hence, I haven’t finished yet! I start wondering if I need to get more serious again! I need to release this last 15-20 pounds! Can you feel the legalistic pressure in those thoughts? Geech! I can feel it just typing those words.

imageI prayed, and the Lord showed me a picture of myself on the balance beam. On one side is my current weight, along with  lessons on how to be content. On the other side is me, 20 pounds lighter but struggling and obsessing again. Half of me wants to continue eating the way I have all year as I’ve maintained my new weight. I could gladly live this way, not gaining weight and eating without obsession. Sounds good?

But the other half of me (or at least a third of me) wants to release more weight, no matter what the cost. I feel a longing for the beginning days when I first discovered grace -led eating and learned that “God was doing a new thing” in my “temple.” Why can’t I go back to that day, I whined, when the only choice for me was already settled?

In the HEAL book by Judy Halliday and Allie Marie Smith, it teaches us that there is a more wonderful freedom that can conform us within, that we can choose God’s grace and rest in his love, trusting that he will empower us to eat and do what is most beneficial for our lives. Legalism is bondage that constrains us from without, like the dieting rules or “having to” release more weight. One is external pressure, the other is internal desire.

Ah, there’s that balance beam again. It’s the middle ground that’s causing me so much trouble. And God was waiting for my answer.

image1 Kings 18:21, “ Elijah came to the people and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God,  follow him; but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.”

ASV –Limping between two sides
NASB-Hesitate between two opinions
NCV-Not deciding between two choices
NIV-Waver between two opinions
NLT-Hobbling between the two opinions

And so my spiritual battle presented itself quite clearly on the high definition screen in my mind. I needed to “choose,” to select the best, hd tvdecide a course of action or contend with an opponent (webster dictionary). Once I decide, the struggle will subside. Peace will return to me, along with a sound mind, filled with grace.

Oh, you want to know what I chose, which side of the beam I tumbled on? I fell onto the side where the arms of love and grace awaited me. I chose freedom! I chose to be content and trust the Lord with all the rest. If I release more weight, I release more weight and if I don’t, I don’t. It will remain in God’s trustworthy hand.

A new resolve rushes over me, and the Lord reminds me of how Esther chose to obey and speak to the king, at risk of being put to death.

For_such_a_timeEsther 4:16, ” I will go unto the king which is not according to the law, and if I perish, I perish.” 

I know a little bit more how she felt. It’s that wonderful place of surrendering your fate to God Almighty and finding the most glorious and empowering peace that passes understanding. If I release more weight, I release more weight. If I don’t, I don’t. I am this weight and size for such a time as this. It’s all in God’s hand and time.

 

So, how about you? Can you feel your faith rising to take a bold step toward your destiny too? Has He been speaking to your heart about trusting Him with the results and letting perfectionism and legalistic thoughts go? Are you ready to leave all the bondage behind? Then what will you need to do in order to go forward with God today? What’s His plan for YOU?

 

 

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5 Responses to Forty Years of Bondage

  1. Debbie Grulke July 22, 2015 at 5:52 am #

    Cathy,
    This is a beautiful testimony of God’s grace and truth. Your blog is filled with wisdom and integrity. I loved how you said you “could” still struggle but it does not last long before God helps you catch your balance again and you stand on that solid rock of truth that will not shift. 40 yeas of bondage, just like the Israelites but you are living and staying in the promised land of freedom. Nice job! Way to glorify our Father in heaven! You are taking up that mat and walking and showing others the words of the Father, “this is the way, walk in it!!!”

    Deb from Ga

  2. Cathy Maher July 22, 2015 at 6:32 am #

    Thanks, I appreciate your comments. The most important take away I hope folks get is that I had to choose. I had to give God my answer. Thankful that He and I can co-labor together.

  3. Mary Anne Endeman July 22, 2015 at 8:27 am #

    Cathy, I so appreciate your post and could identify with much you wrote. I am struggling so much and most of the time can’t even make it through one day. I cried out to God asking Him why I couldn’t do this like I did before? Why is it so hard? Then I hear the quiet voice to my heart saying that, “I’m here for you and will never leave you, but you have to choose Me above all else.” I was so tempted to go low carb to “jump start” my weight loss. Thank you, Cathy, for helping to get my thinking and my mind back on track. With His help and His grace I will gain the victory.

  4. Cathie Rosemann July 22, 2015 at 8:33 am #

    Beautiful word Cathy. Reminds me of Ecclesiastes 3, that there is a “time for everything” and that God knows just the time when those last several pounds should come off. In the meantime, I know He’s so pleased with you embracing the process. That in and of itself is a shining testimony to so many of us. Blessings on you today! And thanks again for being so transparent.

  5. Lisa August 22, 2015 at 7:32 am #

    This really spoke to me. Thank you Cathy for taking the time to write this.

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