I was bee-bopping along…like always. Somewhat carefree, though only as carefree as I could be with many significant life changes happening in such a short period.
Eager to help as many people as possible to experience the freedom that Jesus has purchased for them, I am trying to build the ministry of “God is Doing a New Thing,” responding to emails and texts, phone calls and blog comments.
A common theme in these written and spoken conversations is the way life throws us a curve and so often these curves upset the applecart (sorry to mix the metaphors there!). The person was going along, getting her bearings with 0 to 5 eating, experiencing some element of joy and peace and freedom when all of a sudden out of nowhere, sickness hits or a trial or a massive temptation or…whatever it may be.
This is life in a Genesis 3 world (something I learned about from my pastor). Things don’t always happen the way we anticipate. The best way to grow and move through these challenges and do so without a major setback in our godly eating boundaries is to take stock of what happened, get back on the horse, and get going again, making a plan for the next time things go wonky. If we are proactive we don’t need to let a “failure” or misstep define what happens next. Yes, I have passed this advice out quite readily.
Easy to say and quite another to do.
I should have seen it coming, perhaps. Nothing new and major in at least 36 seconds, after all. 😉
At 3:30 in the morning one day last week, my life took a strong left turn. I want desperately to describe what happened, but it would be imprudent to do so. There is nothing that compares to this. It was extremely dramatic. I had no idea just how much it had thrown me until I surveyed the damage I was doing in the kitchen following the event and the subsequent response of other people involved.
I had reverted to old old old old…ancient… “I-thought-this-was-dead-and-buried” … behaviors. I had eaten my way through anything and everything. Not only was I not getting hungry first, but I was stuffed all day long.
Just to be clear, friends. This was last week! NOT 5 years ago! ME! I am supposed to have this WIRED! After all, I quickly encourage others how to navigate the murky waters (boy, I am filled with metaphors today) of unexpected challenges.
When I asked myself, “What is going on here?” I gave myself a flippant response… “It’s temporary…”
I finally (after four days) came up for air.
I see now that what happened in our home triggered some flashbacks from my childhood. Nothing had ever done that like this event. I thought I was past having things triggered like that. But I was able to see it with such clarity.
As a child, I remember numerous times when my mom would overdose on sleeping pills, no doubt prescribed by my M.D. dad. (Weird, huh?)
In the dark of night the sirens and lights of an ambulance or Sheriff’s car came blasting down our tiny dead-end street. My unconscious mom would be wheeled out on a gurney. They would load her up and send her on to the hospital. I wondered if she would be dead when I saw her next or if she would come back the next day. My aunt and uncle would come and take me to their house to spend the night.
No one ever talked about what happened. Ever. No one ever asked me if I was ok or how I felt or…well, anything.
I am pretty sure that it was during these “events” that I learned to comfort myself with food. My aunt and uncle didn’t have children and didn’t know how to be around children so, while they could provide basic care, they didn’t have a clue how to play with me and didn’t really have any intention of doing so. I remember my uncle taking me to the “Food Circus,” an amazing place where we could go in and there was something for everyone! (It was sort of like the food courts in the mall or airports these days…we didn’t have food courts back then!) Almost all of my memories of staying with my Aunt and Uncle during these events, are of eating with them. I wonder if it was because they didn’t know what else to do with me other than feed me.
I played with their black lab, too, and prowled around in the wild jungle that was their backyard. At the time, the event with my mom overdosing and attempting to end her life never seemed to exist. I learned to live in a world where what I saw I didn’t see, what I heard, I didn’t hear, what I felt, I didn’t feel. Period. Move on.
So, when last Wednesday something traumatic happened…something that triggered these memories…and there was no ability to talk about it within my home for various reasons, I guess it is no small wonder that I turned to old coping mechanisms. It wasn’t conscious, certainly…but now that I know, I need to STOP it all. Deal with the pain and heartache. Forgive where it needs to happen. Draw close to my heavenly Abba.
I believe that is what this is about. This eating thing isn’t about us “getting it” and “getting thin” or “getting healthy.” It is about “getting” HIM. In all His fullness. This is what He desires. It is about getting dependent on our God. It is about seeing him as sufficient for my need. He is my portion.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
Have you been thrown for a loop recently? If not, you will probably be soon. Life may throw you a curve as it often does. What can you do to plan for success, to guard your boundaries, to emerge celebrating a great victory?
This could be my blog entry from the past week –hard to believe the similarities in my week. I don’t want to go in to detail because my full name is on this and I don’t want to embarass anyone in my family. I, too, had some things happen in my life this past week and I have been on an eating binge of sorts since this past weekend. I had been doing so well—doing my bible study, printing things out, reflecting and having some small victories. When this past weekend hit and some things happened–I went into auto mode and just started eating. I was thinking about this the past couple of days and I knew right away on Sunday that what was happening was a flashback to growing up. My dear mother had some issues and our home growing up was also filled with fear and anxiety and the rule..that you don’t talk about what goes on in the famiy outside of this house. I was this surreal reality where you felt like no one knew what your life was really like. I think my dad used food to numb out..he was always eating. My twin sister was anorexic at 19 and spent months in the hospital where she almost died three times. Another sister was bulemic and the other two of us sisters struggles with food but not to the same degree. I think turning to food is deep rooted in me and I am going to have to really work on my thoughts..rethinking God’s thoughts. I have to step back today and stop this cycle that I have fallen into…like you said…come up for air. My older son called me this weekend and said..Mom, you have to kick the devil’s butt. You need to take authority over some things and pray… pray scripture. I was grateful for his insights because I was too foggy to even see what I needed to do. So, the timing of this blog is so good. Heidi, thanks for your honesty and perseverence. It is far too easy to give up but we need to go on in Christ. I think I need to nurse a few wounds this week…allow some healing to come in and not just put a big band-aid on.
Marie, we need to send that ol’ enemy packing. He wants us to think that failures define us and make us failures, but that is NOT true. In the Healthy Eating and Abundant Living book this week we have learned nothing if not that! Now that we have recognized what has happened, we can stop the trend. We can declare praise to our God for bringing it to our attention, confess and repent…observe and correct. Next time something happens that triggers emotion…I will be vigilant to get to my knees, if need be…I mean hit the ground! I will first and foremost choose to praise His holy name and secondly I will give gratitude for all the wonderful things that my God brings me in my life. There are so many things I have to be grateful for. I know that when I praise and give gratitude, the enemy does NOT want to hang around. If God inhabits the praises of his people (and his word says he does) then I know that praise is something that repels the enemy. You are so right. We can pray scripture. We can declare God’s truth. Let’s press on. No more licking my wounds. God wants to bind them in Christ. Jesus is the Balm of Gilead!
You speak so many good truths Heidi. I pray that I can do what you are saying…get on my knees first and praise Him…so basic…so true…I am praying for you today..and the others in our group…God used your testimony to help break me out of this stupor that I was in…
So glad that you were able to break out of it, Marie. God is faithful! We keep pressing on and in to him!
Thanks for sharing this, Heidi. God is dealing with me about some of the same issues. Looking at the past and the why. You are such a blessing. I read your E mails every day with anticipation. Thank you for helping us all turn our scars into stars.
God is Doing a New Thing wrote: > Heidi Bylsma posted: ” I was bee-bopping along…like always. Somewhat > carefree, though only as carefree as I could be with many significant > life changes happening in such a short period. Eager to help as many > people as possible to experience the freedom that Jesus has ” >
You know what I am reminded of, Norma? My past may be part of who I am today, but it doesn’t get to dictate who I am today. The Lord redeems the years the locusts have eaten. I love your phrase: “Turning scars into stars.” Love that. Thank you, Norma!
This is the daily verse that was on my phone app this morning: Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; Hebrews 12:28
Heidi, it so made me think of what you are talking about today! The part that stood out the most is where it says WE HAVE RECEIVED A KINGDOM WHICH CANNOT BE SHAKEN! What God has given us compared to what the world gives us is beautiful, whole, unbroken, without error and unshaken!!!! Life is rough, unfair, mean, angry, scary and, at times, just seems to be too much. But it doesn’t win. And neither does the devil nor our flesh. The victory is in Jesus, and he sets us up to be victorious in every situation we face. No doubt what you are facing is hard (and you too, Marie!), but when I hear that you have been given a kingdom which under NO circumstances can be shaken, it makes me just want to dance and laugh and clap my hands and twirl around until I’m dizzy from the joy of it all. Nothing that the enemy ever throws at you could trump what God has for you both. Even one small moment of victory by surrendering to God and not your own will, is a victory that the devil didn’t see coming. I pray for you both that in this very moment you will choose God…and in this moment, too…and in this one also! sound familiar? 😉 Thank you both for the reminder that I, also, need to be on constant guard of my thoughts. That at any moment I could be under attack, and I want to be ready. I can’t wait to hear of the changes that will happen in you both as you lean hard into God to get through this. Hugs to both of you…
Oh yes! We have received a kingdom that CANNOT be shaken, glory to God. If I look to “thinness” as having “arrived,” that kingdom can be easily shaken, can’t it? Gosh, I hadn’t ever thought of it before. You are so right. Again, it is a Genesis 3 world and life IS rough, unfair, mean, angry and scary…I celebrate the truth that you remind us of! SATAN DOES NOT WIN THE VICTORY! Our “Great Conquering Hero,” Jesus Christ, leads us in a trimuphal procession in Him and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of God. SO thankful! Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement and TRUTH.
Ladies, I’m so thankful for the community here and that healing that comes from sharing & “exposing things to the light.” Thank you all for sharing your experiences. I think I’ve recently fallen into what is it “I” should do, instead of allowing God to work in my life, and following him. This and the reminder of the things that helped Heidi have aided me in “refocusing” on God. It’s a constant battle, wonderful to have such lovely teamates.
I so agree, N. God has done an amazing thing here in this community. I am so blessed by all of you. Truly encouraged to press in more deeply, to be open to Him and to allow his grace to just flow over, in and through me…why wouldn’t I do that, after all? I love the way the women here bring the encouragement of the Holy Scriptures to bear on whatever we post about. I am so blessed.
Blessing! Thank you for sharing. I, too, am going through this same challenge, of back sliding behaviors. Reading this puts it into perspective and reminds me that God is Good, God is with me. “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength”!
Hi, Amy. Right! We can and we do. This is what life will look like for the rest of our days in this earthsuit treading the sod of this planet. We will struggle. It is a Genesis 3 world. When I expect myself to be perfect and never to fall or struggle again, the pressure I put on myself is beyond my ability to maintain. I simply have to glory in my weaknesses as the Apostle Paul says…knowing that in my weaknesses, the strength of Christ rests on me. LOTS of Christ resting on me since there are SO many weaknesses! LOL!
This is *exactly* what God is working on in me right now: trust, dependency. It’s not so much with food, although that is in the cart, but finances and relationships. He is able to be trusted. I am finally becoming the child I never was 😉
Oh wow. This is a great way of looking at it. I love this: “I am finally becoming the child I never was.” That is so true. As a child, my childhood well…wasn’t really. I couldn’t trust the authority figures in my life. I felt like I needed to sort of survive…make decisions for myself, etc. You are right… NOW, I am in a position of having a loving heavenly Father who loves me perfectly. He cares for me. I can rest in his arms. He quiets me with his love. He rejoices over me with singing. How wonderful. I, too, am finally becoming the child I never was.
Yay! This childhood is definitely better than the first, then?
So, so sorry, Heidi. I pray the Lord touches and encourages you with His love and grace. Great BIG hugs from MO. Thanks for your honesty and courage,
I’m Praying for you Heidi,
thank you for sharing your heart with us all…God lifts us up when we fall down. He never will ever leave us or forsake us. He is such a good Abba Father God. He is so gentle with us and loving and forgiving. We are harder on ourselves then he is on us. I know what you are saying, I have struggled to in the same way! : /
He says; “my grace is sufficient for thee and my strength made perfect in thy weakness”
My child I love you and no matter how far you fall I am right there with you to help you and strengthen you and heal you.
Be encouraged my daughter. Your sins are forgiven by the blood of the Lamb of God. You are covered, My love towards you has not changed it is constant and never ending. Nothing can separate you from my love, no nothing.
26 So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groaning’s too deep for utterance.
27 And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God’s will.(F)
28 We are assured and know that [[j]God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.
29 For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was [k]aware and [l]loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.
30 And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being].
31 What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?](G)
32 He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things?
33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect [when it is] God Who justifies [that is, Who puts us in right relation to Himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who acquits us?]
34 Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us?
35 Who shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword?
36 Even as it is written, For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long; we are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter.(H)
37 Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors [m]and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.
38 For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things [n]impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers,
39 Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Thank you, Jamie!
I needed this so much! I thank you for being so open and transparent. As I read I had a “light bulb
Wow! I am so thrilled to hear it!
I’m brand new, as of a few days ago, to Thin Within and God Is Doing A New Thing. I’ve now watched all the videos for this study, seeing as how it’s wrapping up. All the “chatter” is so encouraging and I really sense the caring of this community. It’s wonderful. I have a lot of legalism re food which I know I must rely on the Holy Spirit to root out. I guess it will take time, after years of roller coaster dieting, to let go of the good food/bad food mentality and reliance on what the scale says. As long as I’m hanging on to the old ways of the world, I’m not yielding to the leading of the Spirit. Thanks everyone for sharing so openly and honestly from your hearts and your experiences.
Welcome. And WOW! That is perseverance, watching those all in one fell swoop. Brave soul. 🙂 It sounds like God is at work doing a NEW thing in your life. I look forward to hearing about it. 🙂