Struggling, struggling, struggling. Mad at myself again. Feeling too full and very fat in my pajama pants . . . frustrated and hopeless – again. Why is this so hard? Last night, when all three kids (plus two more sleeping over on the livingroom rug) were in bed I found a corner by myself and pulled out the “donut book” – I Deserve A Donut by Barb Raveling. I read through the entire book this time – looking not at the verses but just at the tips at the end of each chapter. I purposely glossed over the Bible verses -the very ones that hold the key to my heart’s desires – desperately trying to find the clues to make this whole thing go away. I had another hard time at dinner with the pizza and the cookie dough that I used to make dessert – I ate too much again, and I felt frustrated. I looked through the book, desperate to find more “rules” to follow so that I could kick this thing myself. It had been such a great day! The weather was amazing, we felt footloose and fancy free because of spring break, some of our best friends were over to play, I had caught up on laundry and lesson plans, my husband had complimented me, there had been plenty of laughter, and we had all enjoyed a fun dinner together. But there I was, my heart in the same place it has been a million times before, and I went to bed irritated and annoyed with myself.
This morning I got up early and went for another long walk. It is the most beautiful time of year here in Colorado! The grass is finally turning green, the sky is unbelievably blue and frosted with huge, fluffy white clouds, there are buds on all of the trees and bushes, and the temperatures are becoming milder. There is a “newness” in the air, a fresh hope of good things to come. Even so, I walked faster than ever in my frustration. I thought about how many times I have calculated how many calories I was burning as I walked. I thought about all of the times before that I have tried to eat 0-5, that I have worked out at the gym when I wished I was doing something else, that I have tried to give up desserts or go on some kind of diet, all of the times that I have tried the “tips” and suggestions from others. I thought about everyone around me that is struggling with this or any issue – those that are spending their free time at the gym, joining weight loss programs for the millionth time, buying low fat bread that tastes like nothing, downing shakes and feeling hungry half of the day. I thought about all of those things as I walked faster and faster, talking to God all the way, begging him to change me, to renew my mind, to transform me from the inside out. Lord, Lord, Lord!!! I am so tired of this issue in my life!!! I am so tired of the very same thing . . . and I don’t want food to control me another minute! Is it possible Lord? It doesn’t seem possible. I can’t do this!!!!!
So . . . I had a breakthrough. I stared at the beautiful, majestic, snow capped mountains with Pikes Peak pushing up right in the middle at 14 thousand feet, and I realized that God had spoken to me and it was the truth that I so desperately need to hear. I am a tiny pebble, and God is that amazing mountain. This isn’t about food, it’s not about exercise, it’s not about eating 0-5, it’s not about losing weight or fitting into my old jeans. It’s about submitting to the God who is real, and true, and alive, and in love with me so that he can change me – on the inside. I walked to a park just a few blocks away with an awesome view of the mountains and fell to my knees. I told God that I wanted to submit to him, that I was done trying to do this in my own weak, inadequate, insufficient power and that I was ready to let his will be done. Then I realized . . . as I knelt at the park I was uncomfortable. The ground was hard, the grass still dormant from winter, little pebbles pushing into my knees. My legs felt sore, my feet felt stretched – it was a struggle just to sit that way. It was even uncomfortable socially because a few other people had come to the park and I felt them watching me and wondering what I was doing. When I got up I brushed myself off and felt little pebble marks on my knees. I looked up at the sky and smiled – on the inside and on the outside.
And I realized that God was telling me that my journey needed to be uncomfortable . . . that submitting to him would not feel freeing at first, or comfortable, or easy, or free of struggle and frustration. In fact, I felt like he was telling me that in the times that I am not feeling that way I would know that I was not submitting to him – that in those times that felt easier I would probably be back to working things out in my own power again. I felt like God was saying – use how you are feeling as an indicator of how much you are submitting to me in these first weeks because you are not used to this and it is new to you. If you are not struggling, frustrated, irritated, annoyed, working hard . . . then you are not submitting to me. This is the journey that will change your heart, Christina. My way is the only way to the peace that you are so desperately seeking. And by the way . . . have I told you lately how much I love you?
I got back up and started walking home. I looked often at those huge, amazing mountains as I walked and I thought . . . I see those mountains off and on all throughout the day, wherever I am in this city I see those mountains. They will be a reminder to me that I am a pebble and God is the mountain, that I am nothing and he is everything. Every time I see those mountains I will submit to him again, and again, and again. God never said this would be easy – there is no truth in that statement. True submission to God is anything but that . . . it may not be hard forever in this struggle of mine, but it will be for a long time. God is good, all of the time. He will do this in me! May his will be done, not mine! Amen!!!
How About You?
Are you holding onto an issue in your life with clenched fists as I so often do? Is it time to open your hands and let Christ change you . . . on the inside? Maybe it’s time for pebbles under your knees as well. I know this for sure – God can’t wait to surprise you with what he can do!