…for we have made a lie our refuge
and falsehood our hiding place.
One of my most difficult challenges over the years–the years of my ever-escalating weight and even the six years of being at a healthy size–has been when my husband goes out of town. I have spent lots of time journaling, praying, and pouring out my heart to God about this particular struggle. But deeper, darker, root issues aside, the bottom line is, while it isn’t as big a challenge as it once was, I have habitually turned to ice cream…lots of it…to make myself less lonely, less sad…less…less…well…less whatever. I have turned consistently over the years to the lie that food was what I needed in those moments. I really have, over the years, made the lie my refuge and falsehood my hiding place.
But it hasn’t stopped there. As we discussed in our online class yesterday as we addressed David’s cover-up of his adulterous affair with Bathsheba, during those times when my husband has been out of town and he knew there was ice cream in the house…if I didn’t “cover my tracks,” I knew I would be busted. If he knew we had a half gallon of ice cream when he left and I ate my way through most of it, I simply couldn’t have him discover the evidence of my gluttony…so I had to finish it off and go buy a new half gallon so that it would appear that I had been virtuous while he was gone–as if I had abstained completely from ice cream. Or be sure I bought some after he left and finish it before he returned. I knew he wouldn’t ask me about it, so it wasn’t like a downright lie, but it was definitely making a falsehood my hiding place.
The other really weird piece to this is, it isn’t like my husband has ever been my food cop. He never has acted disapproving of my weight or my eating, but has always been affirming and loving (or at least that is how I remember our history together). I think I have projected my upbringing…the upbringing of living in a home where I DID sneak food and DID live a lie about food … all over onto my relationship with my husband now. Does that make sense? What this does is make this “refuge” and “hiding place” thing even more of a lie and falsehood than it already was.
It gets complicated sometimes, but that’s the way it is about lies. I am convinced that if things (like explanations for why I do what I do) are complicated, it might be a good indicator that there is a BIG lie at the heart of it. God’s TRUTH is simpler. Easy to swallow? No. Not necessarily. But definitely simpler. That’s the thing about truth…it is so much simpler.
As I have looked at this history with ice cream, my justification/entitlement eating, and the downright deception that I have woven to protect the “precious,” it sickens me. I am so thankful for a loving, gracious, kind, merciful God who waits to show me compassion.
Thoughts to Consider:
1. Does my story resonate with you? Can you identify in some way with the lie being a refuge for you or falsehood being a hiding place? Take some time to journal about it.
2. What is the TRUTH? I want to take the lies that I tell myself and replace them with God’s truth. Will you do this with me? For me, I will create a truth card about these things:
- What is the truth about my husband’s trips away from home? If something happens to him, what then? (Contrary to what I have thought, I know I will survive!)
- What is the truth about my security in Christ?
- What is the truth about where my greatest protection and comfort is found?
- What is the truth about ice cream? (Yes, I even include the truth that ice cream tastes good…I wouldn’t hide myself in it if it wasn’t pleasant! We don’t need to fear the truths that are also favorable about our lies/falsehoods! But including ALL the truth is important!)
3. I want to sit with the Lord and ask him what the root of this is. What I mean is what makes me feel like running away, hiding away, escaping in the first place? What is GOD’s solution to this? He wants to be my hiding place, but what will that look like? You may want to ask yourself these questions, too, if my admission reminds you of yourself in some way.
Our God is faithful!