Have you ever had your pride come up and slap you in the face? I have. When it happened, I was brought to my knees with a new revelation about God, myself and how my pride caused me to overlook the healing material God put right in front of me.
If you have been reading my blogs, you would have noticed that I speak often about being frustrated and critical. God and I (I think mainly I) have been working on (trying to work on) these negative characteristics that I have. I am really troubled by them (I am afraid they have become quite the bad habit) and I think I am ready to let them go. Does that sound wishy washy? I think it does. See, I have been searching for the answer to finally let these negative feelings go, yet when the Lord put the answer in front of my face, I glossed over it. I think I really believed that I could just fix these issues myself. Let me tell you what I discovered and how my pride kept me from facing the truth.
In the Hunger Within class that I am co-leading, we had read Chapter 7 – The Present not the Past. This is a great chapter that discusses how to let go of the past through facing whatever happened there, letting go of being a victim and a wonderful section on forgiveness. There is also a section on the 5 Stages of Grief. Now, this is the third time I have read through and studied the material in this chapter. Each time until now, I have glossed over the section about grief. In my pride, I decided I didn’t really need to spend time on grief. After all, I had already worked through all the things in my past that I grieved. I had already forgiven those who had hurt me. I was beyond the grief of my past. And that is where I was slapped in the face with my pride. I think the Holy Spirit prodded me to finally take the time to read this section carefully; taking in all the information on the 5 stages of grief and how they impact not only why we eat in a disordered fashion but how they impact all areas of our lives. I also learned that the stages of grief are not always linear, but you can go back and forth between the stages. And then, I was brought up short. I had been wondering where all the frustration and being critical was coming from. I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me that my frustration is a form of anger (Stage 2) and my critical attitude is a form of depression (Stage 4). The fact that I never saw this before is because I was in denial (Stage 1) that I even needed this material! Wasn’t I bargaining (Stage 3) when I begged God over a year ago to show me another way to lose weight without dieting and to stop the food obsession? I was grieving over needing another diet. Didn’t I ask Him for a biblical way that brought Him into the equation? Didn’t I make promises to Him? That is bargaining. I may be finding myself going into the 5th Stage of Grief right now. The 5th Stage is Acceptance. I am accepting that grief is a part of daily life and that I was trying to avoid calling my feelings grief, because grief hurts. Grief is raw. Grief causes me to cry and be out of control. Real grief is hard to hide. The Lord opened my eyes to how my pride was keeping me from recognizing that the healing path He has for me involves feeling my grief and taking it to Him. It was time to pay attention to all the material He has laid before me. With my eyes newly opened, I see that I have been wavering back and forth between all 5 Stages of Grief, spending most of my time in Stage 2 and Stage 4. Anger disguised as frustration and depression disguised as being critical. My grave cloth of pride was covering my eyes and it kept me from seeing how much there is to grieve over and work through in my current life. I would say I was saddened by things that were happening, but what was really going on was a deep feeling of grief. And that grief manifested itself in frustration/anger and being critical/depression because I didn’t want to feel the pain. I came face to face once again with being powerless and needing to go to the Source of all power.
The wonderful thing that has happened since He showed me my mistake is that those feelings and behaviors have lessened. I feel that the grave clothes labeled frustration and critical are being removed. I am able to see what was lying underneath and my real feelings have been brought into the Lord’s healing light. There is a reason why the Hunger Within material brings healing to so many, and just as I don’t pick and choose the parts of the Bible that I like (because it is truth in its entirety), God has shown me that I can’t pick and choose the parts I like in the Hunger Within text. Don’t we often find that the things we say we don’t need or don’t have an issue with are the absolute things we need to look at? He is still teaching me, and I am humbled by His truth.
What about you? Is there an area of your own life that you are choosing not to look at? I pray that the Lord opens your eyes for a fresh vision just as He has opened mine.