Through my new friends on the horsemanship list, through the privilege of ministering to another mom with a special son, through the songs he brought on the radio at “just the right moment,” I began to hear and receive the things God wanted to speak to my heart, into my head and into my life.
Chief among them was that fear had been an idol. Fear of what I might be doing to “ruin” Daniel, fear of what his future might hold (or not hold), all kinds of fear about him. I had allowed fear to determine how I would parent and God convicted my heart that anything that directs me apart from HIM is an idol. God showed me I needed to release my son to His care and that I needed to stop parenting from a foundation of fear, but a foundation of trust instead.
This was the last hold out…the last area of my heart that I had not been willing to release and a turning point for me.
I have written about all of this in the blog previously here and here.
I think one reason why this was like a door upon which my entire journey’s progress would hinge is because of the connection this has to humility and gratitude. Apart from a heart of gratitude, I would continue to be arrogant and prideful. My food, my way, my body, my life, my lusts, mine mine mine! Like Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, I greedily clung to “my precioussssss…”
I am called to deny self and to die to my flesh. It is pretty hard to do that if I am constantly bowing before my flesh and its so-called “rights”…a “right” for more food, a “right” to have a “smackerel of something sweet” after dinner and lunch, a “right” to zip into the drive through whenever I am out.
It is impossible to consistently die to the flesh if I insist that my flesh has rights. God is God.
If God has “disappointed” me and I insist that I know best in any area of my life, there really is no way I can walk in humility—something that is necessary if I am going to trust Him with my needs (like for food) and obey what He says based on humble trust.
It was at that time that I began this blog, hopeful that God was doing a new thing…again…in my life. This time, I dared to believe that it was for good. I dared to believe that all the pieces from the previous years were coming together to enable me to “get it.”
This time, I hoped that there would never again be a series of “before” and “after” pictures. This would be it.
I have come to believe that in “God’s great economy” nothing is wasted…not my “failures,” not my struggles…and not even my sin. While he doesn’t condone my sinful wanderings, I believe he redeems them…which means he cashes the worthless in for something of value!
While I still must consciously relinquish my heartache about Daniel (and the horses, and my mom and…well, the list goes on!) to Him almost daily, I understand now that this is a big part of struggles I face when I begin to eat more than I need (outside of 0 and 5 or hunger and satiety)—when I eat out of rebellion. If I find my eating is back in “I can TOO eat what I want WHEN I want!” mode, then I know to look only as far as these questions:
1. Is there someone I need to forgive?
2. Am I striving against God being God? Have I allowed arrogance and pride to raise their ugly heads yet again?
3. Am I practicing a life of humble dependence and gratitude?
Truly, these questions have been foundational for me in making headway since November 2006. They were like the missing piece of the puzzle that caused things to begin to “click.” But by now you know that none of this came easily.
In addition, knowing without a doubt that this moment matters has also been crucial—knowing that God can take a heart offered to Him in a moment and do amazing things with it!!! Even if it is offered only in this moment! The choice I make right now is critical. Minimizing it is making a choice. I must make the choice that is intentional because let me tell ya…the enemy is very intentional about every single moment in our lives! I want to be equally–MORE–intentional in resisting the enemy’s influence in my life.
As I surrendered myself—my eating, my parenting, my son—to the Lord during the holiday season in 2006, I heard from Judy Halliday again. She and Joani Jack, a pediatrician, were working on a book manuscript due to the publisher in the Spring of 2007. They asked me to help out a bit with developing the manuscript for Raising Fit Kids in a Fat World.
God again offered me the inestimable privilege to do what I love and this time, ironically, in the merging of parenting and eating the Thin Within way! In February and March, I had great joy as I participated in this book project. Had I been contacted only six months earlier, I wouldn’t have been willing. God’s timing amazed me as I felt His loving touch of affirmation that I was finally surrendering to Him…in a way He had asked me to years before.
Judy and I are working together again now on a new material for Thin Within and I trust that it will be something that God will use to help show people His Way of Escape! I am excited about it and covet your prayers if you don’t mind!
A passage of scripture that speaks to my heart about what God has done (and is yet doing) comes from Joel 2. I know this is not an accurate exegesis of this passage—I don’t claim that it is, but the words here, at face value, just cause my heart to well up with such love. I feel as if they *are* promises to me. All those years of dieting and shame and self-loathing…and even the years of “pretending” to be a “faithful Thin Within” writer…they seem like the years that the “locusts have eaten.” I am reconciled with food, with my body, with the Lord…
This is what God says:
I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm—
my great army that I sent among you.
You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the LORD your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.
Then you will know that I am in Israel,
that I am the LORD your God,
and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.
God has set me free from shame. He has set me free to live in humble dependence on Him. The previous ten years when I thought I had “blown it,” sure…I had “blown it” from a human perspective. But he has taken all of that and is using it now to bring home life lessons upon which He is building a new future—one of hope, optimism, freedom, ministry, and, even, good health. He has set me free from so many things and through experience, now, I know the power of God. It was there all along…I didn’t yet “perceive” it.
He says to each one of us:
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
I can hear the waters rushing now… 🙂