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?