The Treasury Department tells us that in order to see and identify counterfeit money that we have to learn every fine detail of the real thing. Unfortunately, for us who deal with disordered eating and distorted relationships, we have a harder time identifying the counterfeits in our lives. We oftentimes grew up wondering what was real and what was false.
For me, I had a yearning; a longing that was insatiable. I could feel a lacking in my home life growing up that became even more severe at the age of 14 when my father died. I filled those longings with food, inappropriate relationships and even alcohol. I ran the gamut looking for something, anything, to satisfy the longings I felt inside for genuine intimacy. I met the Lord Jesus Christ at church camp the summer that I was 9. I sometimes wonder if I would have lived to 19 if I hadn’t had the Holy Spirit watching over me. Life started getting rough for me a short time after that when my dad first came down with cancer. We had up times and down times and then he died and left me alone with my mother. I won’t say any more than my mother lived out her teen age fantasies through my life and I was free to do many things I cringe about when I think about them now. I repented of all those things and Praise God that He has forgiven me and has redeemed all those wild years.
I met and experienced many counterfeits through those years. We learned in my home that appearances are everything, so as long as we looked good on the outside, all was well in our world. As I look over the causes of disordered eating, I have all but one of them. I experienced trauma, abuse, a controlling environment and most of all, a lack of validation of feelings. Just like many of us in Hunger Within, I never learned what security and unconditional love looked and felt like which left me not knowing how feel and show those things myself.
Part of my journey also involved chronic dieting. My mother wanted a diet buddy so at the age of 9 we went on the original high protein diet. I dieted on and off until God introduced me to Hunger Within in January of 2015. Even dieting and the success I experienced led to more disordered eating and thoughts about food. I always lost, but didn’t keep off the weight. I gave up diets for good with God and Hunger Within and can enjoy the vision of never needing to go on one again, or even spend an obsessive amount of time researching what’s new in the diet world. God has revealed how dieting is a counterfeit way to live. I’ve even tried to set other boundaries through other programs, but they became nothing but a law to me, like a diet. These too were counterfeit. His way of 0 to 5 boundaries around my eating is the real thing. God gave me a new and deeper understanding of Colossians 2:20-23 which says, “If you died with Christ to the elemental forces of this world, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations: ‘Don’t handle, don’t taste, don’t touch?’ All these regulations refer to what is destroyed by being used up. They are human commands and doctrines. Although these have a reputation of wisdom by promoting ascetic practices, humility, and severe treatment of the body, they are not of any value against fleshly indulgence.”
I’ve learned to let go of many lies working through the materials of Hunger Within with God leading me. So many counterfeit thoughts that the Lord revealed to me and that through covering them with His Word, they were removed. Have you ever said, “I’m so sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, I’m just going to eat.”? Did it ever help you in the long run? Me neither. That is a lie God released me from. How about, “My mom must really care about me! Look at all this beautiful and tasty food she has prepared! I need to eat up so I don’t hurt her feelings.” This was another lie and counterfeit relationship. My mom loved us through her food and we “felt” loved by accepting it. But heaven help us if we ever turned anything down. Do any of you identify with this scenario? How about, “I’m an emotional wreck and I need to numb my pain so I am going to eat.” Food only numbs for a short time and then the numbness wears off but the emotions remain. This one is huge in my life, “I really need to speak to my family member about XYZ, and I don’t want to because their feelings will be hurt, so I am going to stuff down what I need to say with food.” I have eaten many unspoken words that I needed to say. Do you feel like no one really cares so you say, “Why should I care when no one else does. I might as well eat!”? These are all lies and counterfeit ways to deal with what is going on in our lives. When I say, “I’m going to eat because I feel ___” it is a counterfeit way to deal with my emotions and feelings. Now I take those feelings and emotions to God and I work through them with Him.
You may be saying to yourself, yes, I identify with the pain of what you are saying, but what do I do about it? Let me introduce you to Hunger Within. God placed inside each and every human He created a Hunger Within. It is our longing for genuine intimacy, first with God our Creator and then others. This hunger can only be satisfied through a deep relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. Through this relationship, we are changed from the inside out. Let me also introduce you to the part you play. It is called surrender. I started having victory in the area of food, disordered eating, chronic dieting and body obsession when I let go of the reins. When I finally let go of trying to do this on my own and realized I would never be strong enough or have enough willpower, God took over and started changing me.
Are you ready to experience victory in the area of your food issues and disordered eating? Then come with me on the Hunger Within pathway as our Loving Father takes our hands and introduces you to The Real Thing, Jesus, who takes our burdens and the Holy Spirit who reveals all the counterfeits in our lives.