Have you ever been blindsided? Out of nowhere comes something that throws you into emotional turmoil and you don’t even realize it until some internal (and maybe external) damage has been done?

Today I am thankful that God redeems these things…these things that I could so easily call “failure.”

You know, some have told me in email that I am a “poster child” for Thin Within…that they “admire” me and “look up” to me. Gosh, please don’t feel that way. Being in the limelight declaring God’s praises and what He has done in me physically has also put me on the front line of assault by the enemy. And, frankly, I am not always willing to stand firm and fight. Sometimes I am not willing to resist. Sometimes, I cave BIG time.

And sometimes…I simply am…well…a FRAUD. Cover Up

Last Thursday afternoon, I found myself in the earliest stages of spirtual assault. Blindsided. I had no idea it was going to hit. In fact, in my pride, I had been arrogantly presuming “Hmmph…with the change in weather, and being more active, with my hunger signals being fewer and farther between, any fat I may possibly have left on my body will evaporate! This has gotten so easy….Banana Peel

Oh yes…so easy…

Interestingly enough, at the same time I was blindsided, I had chosen to begin to deal (yet again) with a MAJOR stronghold in my life–diet soda. Whether it be diet soda with caffeine or without makes no matter to me. I LOVE bubbles and I LOVE the SWEET taste of diet soda. I was willing to lay down Oreo milkshakes for a season, but dump the diet soda? NO WAY!

In the past year, I had found one particular diet drink that eclipsed all the others…by leaps and bounds in fact…The taste of this drink is UNSURPASSED (I will NOT tell you what it is, as, after having done that with one friend, she now blames ME for her addiction! Shock 2 ). To willingly set it aside…for WATER??? Yuck..no way! Or that is how I felt about it until I practically evaluated what it will be like to travel for a week (I leave on the 12th) and then another week in April and HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO have my special stash of diet soda with me. Talk about being in captivity! In fact, I wasn’t even MOTIVATED by the conviction in my heart put there by the Lord. I kept ignoring that…it wasn’t until I fathomed how *embarassed* I would be if I *had* to have my diet soda the entire time I am visiting my friend…that I was willing to try to change. Sad, huh? Embarrassed

I have known for YEARS that this was a stronghold. At times I have “dealt with it.” Only to return like a dog to my vomit.

In the past year, however, I have been increasingly convicted that all the diet soda I drink (and you would NOT believe how much I can pack away!) is actually the SAME problem as the problem that got me obese in the first place. Here I am proclaiming across the internet and to anyone who will let me spout off about it in person, that God has redeemed me, freed me, and given me a new relationship with food and my body…and with Him! But MEANWHILE those same sensual indulgences that led me to eat too much food, have been causing me to suck down literally over 100 ounces of diet soda a day on some days! (More often, not quite that much, but the point remains!)

Ok, so when the bible says “All things are permissible…” is it talking about drinking so much diet soda that you could surrender yourself as a human laboratory rat to any scientist wanting to know the effects of over-indulgence of aspartame? Think about it! YIKES! Scientist

I was overwhelmingly convicted by 2 Corinthians 7:1:
Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

What are some things that contaminate my body? I know for a fact that nutrasweet is not innocuous. If you dare, visit this site. While the author(s) may or may not be Christian, take what is there, research some more and submit it to God. Yikes. I won’t even do that! I just know that I have this gut feeling (conviction) that enough aspartame to call myself a human lab rat has GOT to be “contaminating” my body and the stronghold is contaminating my spirit.

If I am honest…I have used diet soda “help” me “cope” with letting go of food! It has been my “pacifier.” So how much have I really let go of food if I have been clinging ALL THE MORE to diet soda for the same reason that I was clinging to food? I have to remember…food isn’t the enemy. It is my sensual indulgences that are the problem. Unrestrained, anyhow…

In my defense, I have been a soda addict (on and off…mostly on) since college, when a well-meaning study buddy showed me how to guzzle down enough Diet Dr. Pepper to make it through our Botany test prep all night marathons…So it hasn’t been JUST since November of 2006 when I began applying myself to living the principles that God uses Thin Within to teach.

I have gotten way off track of what I wanted to share with you – this has become about diet soda and not about what I intended to write about. I will change plans and go with God in this…

Is the Lord nudging you to join with me in trying to stop drinking diet soda? Ok…reducing your consumption? And those of you doing the “Crystal Light” thing instead…you aren’t off the hook! Same same! Or coffee with sweetener! Tea with sweetener! Do ou know that while you may be doing that which is technically “permissible” (there are no “Thou Shalt Nots” in scripture about drinking coffee, tea, soda OR aspartame!), do you feel convicted that it isn’t beneficial…that you cling to it…like I do…that it is a STRONGhold that is ground God wants you to surrender to HIM? Oh, my heart grieves that I have withheld this from Him so much over the years! And I fear that I will yet return to it, even once I am “successful” now! YIKES!

You see, even though the verse says “purify ourselves from” which implies to be RID of it, I can’t really fathom never having another sip of a diet soda ever again. Even now, I am in the weaning stages of it. I want to make sure I don’t have to have caffeine to make it through my day first. I know God is taking my heart and shaping it and forming it to be more and more willing. Well, I need someone to suffer with me! I hope you might consider offering this to God, too. Any time I insist that it is my right to have something SWEET, it is my conviction that I am demonstrating that I am yet mastered by something OTHER than God!!!!

I have actually been using diet soda to “reward” myself for saying no to food outside of 0 and 5! I feel like all is well if I have my diet soda to enjoy…oh, Lord, forgive me for not allowing YOU to be that comfort.

I guess I will write about homeschooling in California and unexpected fat machinery another time…tomorrow. For now…what will we do about this in our lives? What will I do? I may be giving God my “feet” right now. But my heart is NOT into this. I want to WANT to give this to him…

And to those of you who have been following my journey…will you please forgive me for being a fraud? Maybe not with food. But with the same things…my taste buds. I haven’t surrendered them to God if I still insist on having my way in any respect 100% of the time as I have with drinking diet soda. I really need your forgiveness. I praise God that I have His.