FireworksI am celebrating Independence Day! Yes, I know it is the week of July 4th and we celebrate the freedom and independence America gained back in 1776. But, this is also my year of independence and I am celebrating! What have I gained my independence from you may ask?

Man made dieting rules

Counting and measuring – calories, grams, points, etc.

Eating only certain types of foods or restricting certain types of foods

The scale

Worrying if I am up or down in weight

Worrying if I am thin enough or fit enough

Worrying over how others look at me or what they think about me

Worrying if the clothes I have laid out for tomorrow will fit

Listening to Satan’s condemnation

Beating myself up for calling learning opportunities failures

Wishing I was someone or something I am not

Feeling like I was living in chains

You see, I’ve found something beautiful, and I want to share it with you. What I’ve found is freedom in my LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ. He said to me, “Come, Deanna (feel free to put your own name here, because if you are reading this, I know He is calling out to you too!!), because you are weary and carry heavy burdens. I want to give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and I will give you rest for your soul. My yoke will fit you perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28 NLT)  matt 11v28I found that I was spending an excessive amount of time thinking about nothing more than food and my life seemed to be going on without me. I was obsessive, focused only on myself. I had an emptiness that I kept trying to fill with things that never seemed to satisfy. I had the self-will to change and fix my life, but as we all know, self-will is weak and powerless. Do you identify with me? Well, Jesus met me right where I was and opened my eyes. He revealed to me the truth of where my heart was. He pointed out that I was worrying about my life, what I was going to eat or not eat, what the scale was going to tell me the next time I stepped on, what I was going to wear or even if my clothes would fit. He told me how my life was for more than food and my body was for more than  clothes.(Matthew 6:25-34)

My life is for Him and my body is His temple. (1 Corinthians 6:19,20)

Through the program of Thin Within/Hunger Within, I have been spending time with my LORD in a way that I have never done before. He has brought me to a place of surrender. I surrenderI’ve surrendered my dependence on all of the things I have listed above and what a difference my life is today compared to where I was. I have also learned a beautiful paradox of walking with the LORD in this way. By allowing Him in every area of my life and heart (and I mean every dark and hidden corner!!), I learned that I can really celebrate the independence from all those things I have listed above by being dependent on the One who is faithful to grant me the freedom from them. To find independence, I have to be dependent. My freedom has come from being free to trust Him fully. My freedom has come from throwing up my hands in surrender, knowing that in and of  myself, I never had what I needed to break free from disordered eating and thinking.

The Word of God and prayer are the weapons I use to keep from going back into my old ways. The temptation is still there to fall back into what is familiar, but as long as I feed on God’s Word daily, He is faithful to complete this good work He has started in me. My loving Father has shown me where the pleasant boundaries lie that keep me safe and in His will for my life. Whenever any issues come up that make me want to run into the arms of false comforts, I stop and lay them at the feet of Jesus, with thanksgiving. I know that He is able to set me free from worry and fear about anything. The blessing is not only that I have let go of my will for His will, but that by doing so, I have opened my heart to healing and freedom in so many other areas. With His strength, I have let go of anger and frustration. With His strength, I have let go of trying to get my family and friends to fit into a mold of my own making. With His strength, I have let go of being selfish with my time so that God can use me to serve others. With His strength, I have let go of all thoughts that “I can’t” because with God’s leading, nothing is impossible. My job is to stay firmly dependent on Jesus, the Lover of my soul.

Where are you today? Are you ready to celebrate independence with me? Take my hand and let’s walk together in full surrender and dependence so we can shout together, “FREEDOM!!”Gal_5-1