I have to laugh! Titling this post “Holy Struggle – Part 1” is definitely a misnomer! This entire JOURNEY has been a “holy struggle!” So calling this post “Holy Struggle Part 32,039” might be a better fit! LOL!
I continue to make my way through Get Thin Stay Thin by the Hallidays. I am on Chapter 8 which is titled “Holy Struggle.”
When we feel and acknowledge the pain and the hunger, we immediately expect food…GTST, p. 166
The past two blog entries I have spoken about processing things, allowing myself to FEEL the pain of unresolved issues, current or past, and asking God how HE wants me to deal with them. I do this so that I process them in a godly way and cease from “short-circuiting” his intentions, allowing Him to work his will in my life. Doing this is painful. I feel the silent hunger of my heart that I have been stifling for so long. And I see my tendency to grab food, or a “soothing” hot chocolate beverage or to distract my mind by working on the internet (I do graphic and website design).
…this is the essence of addictive behavior–turning to the quick fix when the emotions are high, when the pain is throbbing. We try to anesthetize those feelings with food. GTST, p. 166
How true. I know the futility of doing this. Do you? The food may seem to make it better for a short while, but truthfully, whatever it is God wants to do in my life is derailed and then has to be revisited. In supposedly avoiding it…again, I merely prolong the inevitable. He will bring yet another situation to my life to allow those same feelings to surface. Often, this causes that “triggering” thing that I mentioned in my previous post…how much easier it would be if I would allow Him to work His will in my life now instead of running from it…even if it hurts.
…so when God says, “Wait,” or, “Be patient, I am feeding you,” often our response is, “Well, great, but it’s not what I ordered.” We struggle against God’s request for patience because everything in us is saying, “NO! This hunger doesn’t feel good. It hurts and I want to feel better right now! Feed it!” GTST, p. 166
Oh how well I can relate to this…in a big way. I want everything to be ok, for my home to be in order, for my life to be ok, the kids happy and plugged in to life with others. I don’t want to wait when I feel pain. It seems so counter-intuitive. Lord, please help me to wait on you.
It becomes a holy struggle simply to choose not to put something between ourselves and that pain, between ourselves and another person, between ourselves and God. Holy struggle is choosing to deal with the pain, not to give in to our old addictions and not to develop new ones. GTST, p. 166
God has been doing such a major process with me in all of this. Right now, as I face going to the doctor, I face into the potential for being shamed by her in which case I will end up giving her a piece of my mind (speaking the truth in love…HA! Yeah, right!). I would rather NOT go to the doctor than face this fear and possible shaming experience. I struggle with feeling shame enough as it is. Instead, I need to cling to the Lord and hold his hand through it. I need to realize ahead of time, that if the doctor tries the shaming thing, it WILL likely trigger unresolved issues. I need to welcome that as an opportunity to process these afresh, with the LORD, HIS will HIS WAY, through all of those memories and experiences.
However, I would rather RUN and pacify myself with talk of going to her later after I’ve found a way to get these extra pounds off that I have “found” again…see there? It is still about performance…God is allowing this season of my life so I can break free from that and he is working with me on it SO much, but I still wear the pounds “found” again like a badge of DIShonor…good grief! Years of doing that are hard to shake. If I can’t run (and I can’t), I want to numb myself to this feeling of being trapped…
It IS a holy struggle. I must surrender. I think instead of fighting and writhing around about it, I need to rest…stop fighting what God wants to do. Allow His Spirit in me to rise up and flow in and through my weakness…Do it, Lord…please do it…
I can totally relate to wanting to immediately anethestize painful feelings with food. Yesterday I had one more challenging, learning experience with a sewing project. After spending 4 days constructing and altering a garment, I realized I could not make that garment work, because I followed a pattern that didn’t fit my shoulder, which are straight, rather than sloping. I constructed the whole project from a faulty pattern or premise. However, my first reaction to trying on the garment (and realizing I couldn’t alter it to fit) was FAILURE. Immediately my failure ‘schema’ (set of beliefs and self-talk about myself) kicked it. I wanted to destroy that garment, rather than let it remind me that I FAILED AGAIN, that I can’t succeed at anything, etc., etc. Now I realize that ‘failure schema’ is also constructed from an ill fitting pattern or false premises about my worth. My total worth is not based on that sewing project. Furthermore, I have ‘succeeded’ in many other areas of my life. However the ‘failure schema’ self-talk can easily discount all my previous success and/or self-worth and send me running to food to numb my painful emotional reaction to thoughts that I failed yet again and will never succeed at anything.One antidote to those failure thoughts is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Other antidotes includes verses which remind me that God values me as His child, not for what I do. My challenge is being mindful enough to recognize when I slip into the ‘failure schema’ and refute that self-talk with God’s truth.
These are excellent posts to read Heidi. But I have to be honest, they are almost too painful to read. The post on Laz removing grave clothes. OUCH!! I cried myself to sleep that night. I handed over as much of my pain and hurt to God as I could and it was painful. Re-living it felt twice as bad. There is more pain there than I think I can bear. I now have to trust God on a level that I have trusted no one ever. I wish I’d had this knowledge before I got to this point of having so much stored up! I’m not doing this because you are, I’m doing this because it makes sense. How else will God free me if I don’t up my part of intimacy with Him? Make sense? It’s almost too hard to put into words. I need to let go of everything, every thought word and deed in this world that has affected me negativly, everything that I have not turned over to Him but instead internalized. Internalizing pain made me reach out to worldy (food etc) things,and answers, rather than God.Thank You for sharing your journey so deeply.(((HUG)))
I’m slowly getting ready to start TA again…I got derailed when I went on the retreat as I surrendered Sean…again…as I read through your posts – particularly this one it makes me want to get started again – I think it would be good.
Hi, Julie and Eliz, Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Eliz, I am so sorry to hear that there is such pain in this place, but I know that as you take them to your loving Heavenly Daddy, and allow Him to quiet you with His love, you will be restore, renewed, rejuvenated. This stuff is DEEP. The enemy gets stinking mad that we are letting go of things that have held us bound. He wants us to stay trapped in our grave clothes! NO MORE! Lord, please bring your comfort to my sisters today. I pray that they will both hear you delight over them with singing and comforting them with your love. Thank you that you promise a joyful, abundant life. May we really truly experience that, Lord. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!