Much of what I am processing as I wade through this material, I won’t share here, but only in the privacy of that inner sanctum of my spirit with the Lord. What I feel His leading to share, I do! Most gladly. I hope that you are encouraged somehow.
When our eating is out of control or when food is used to insulate ourselves against emotional pain, we say that our eating is disordered, that it is out of God’s order. Disordered eating is characterized as follows: (I only highlight those points that are relevant to my life rather than quoting them all here)
- Where we are preoccupied with concerns of food and eating.
Oh, am I ever preoccupied with concerns about food and eating! I had a season where I wasn’t. I think what happened, though, is the “mechanics” of this process took over and the heart got left behind. At some point I stopped listening for the voice of God and began to make the food behave or something. The focus shifted subtly from offering my heart to the Healer and the fixation on the food expanded until it began to fill my vision.
It hinders my forward progress. In some ways, I feel like I am having a bit of a tantrum…
“ENOUGH, already…When will I just be HEALED?!!” “When will I just be NORMAL?” “When will it no longer be a STRUGGLE?”
–> Do you find yourself preoccupied with concerns about food and eating? Sometimes this serves to distract us from our real life…which is harder to deal with than thoughts/plans about food. Can you identify with this? Take this to the Lord in prayer.
- Where food is used to insulate or numb ourselves from emotional pain.
Recently, I was deeply wounded by someone. I so desperately wanted to smother the pain with food…it was hard to fight. I was surprised, too, as I don’t remember feeling it so obviously in a long while. God used that situation to show me how vulnerable I still am to being tempted to eat to numb my pain.
–> Can you identify if there is emotional pain that you are trying to be insulated from by focusing on food so much? Begin the journey of healing…begin to take your anger, loneliness, sadness, guilt, shame, feelings of betrayal to the Lord instead of to the drive through or the fridge. God waits to show compassion on us!
- Where food and eating control us rather than visa versa.
- Where food has become an enemy rather than a friend.
True confessions…I don’t seem to be at peace with food right now. I am preoccupied with food/eating/my body. YUCK! I do feel like food and eating control me…like food is an enemy rather than a friend. Oh, how I long to be at peace with this!
–> Do you feel controlled by food? Has food become an enemy? You could journal your thoughts as a prayer to God. Then go back through what you have written and identify which statements you have written that are actually TRUE and which are LIES. Where you find a lie, replace it with God’s truth.
Disordered eating becomes a counterfeit for genuine satisfaction and leaves us empty and longing. GTST p. 18
Or makes us feel worse than when we started.
–> Can you, can I…will you, will I…CHOOSE to turn to the Lord today as our portion? As our satisfaction? Does this promise that the Lord will give us satisfaction seem remote or even…untrue? I know it does to me at times. Can you take your emptiness and longing to him in prayer? Confess your tendency to turn to food and identify if food has really done anything to satisfy that emptiness and longing…expose food for the counterfeit that it is.
The Hallidays go on to explain in chapter 1 that there are typically REASONS why our eating is disordered. THIS IS VITAL to understand…and I want to save it for tomorrow’s post. Just knowing that there are reasons, gives me hope that this can be dismantled and brought to the Lord for his healing and transformation.
We have HOPE!
We aren’t crazy. We aren’t insane. We aren’t stupid or foolish. Most of us have legitimate reasons (some more subtle than others) why over the years we have developed overeating as a coping mechanism. It doesn’t mean we have no responsibility for change…we do, but I find it a relief that I am not crazy! There are reasons and the Lord is ready to compassionately show us the truth. The truth will set us free!