Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My UGLY Truth

"So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet." James 4:10

Whew. This is a tough one to even begin to type. It was hard to even say out loud and confess this to friends today. I have allowed myself to keep an ugly sin in my heart. In fact, I would even say that I cherish this sin--I don't really want to let go of it.

I love to eat. And I eat all the time. When I am happy, sad, lonely, tired, stressed, you name the main course of emotion, and I will tell you the food that I will have on the side.

I have gotten to the point that I run to food first before I even contemplate taking an issue to God. Or I will be heavy in prayer with something, while I feed my emotions with food without even giving God that chance. It is incredibly humbling to admit this...because it is just ugly.

Actually today, I had to confess that this is actually a major sin in my life. And it was really hard to verbalize those words out loud. I would even venture to say that if I analyzed this issue with a doctor or psychiatrist, they would probably say that I have an (over)eating disorder--but in God's grace to me--I know He showed me that FOR ME this is a heart disorder. This is an area in my life that I cherish the sin. To be honest, for years, I have made the choice to harden my heart to Christ in that area of my life.

I am in a mode of life that when I feel ANY sort of emotion-whether is be good, bad, tired, or overwhelmed--whatever!--I eat. And I totally eat in secret, alone and very rarely in front of people. (this is me being Eve trying to cover my sin with a fig leaf--as IF that is going to really cover anything at all!) I run to food FIRST versus running to Christ first. And a hard truth I had to confess this morning, and I don't even honestly want to type, is that in my relationship with Christ, I desire to boldly to say, "I love Jesus more than anything." But it is a lie because the ugliness of it all is I love food more than I love Jesus right now. That totally kills me to see that written out! So that is my bottom, as James 4:10 talks about: that sentence I just typed. I am sad and disappointed that I have not given my whole life over to Christ. The frustrating thing too, is that God has called me for some BIG things...filled my heart with that passion...(Almost to the point of driving me crazy!) but I know that He has not allowed it to be yet BECAUSE of my lack of full-surrender.

Galatians 5:19-23 screamed at my heart this week:

"It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage (ME!); frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness (ME!); trinket gods (FOOD FOR ME!); magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness (ME WHEN I REFUSE TO EAT IN FRONT OF OTHERS); cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants (FOOD!); a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved (MY INSECURITIES WITH MY WEIGHT/LOOKS); divided homes and divided lives (I GIVE MY LIFE TO CHRIST, AND YET ALSO AM LOYAL TO MY FOOD ISSUES); small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions (HELLO--ME AGAIN!); ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn't the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God's kingdom."


"But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely."

Whew. Talk about being brutally honest. So my heart prayer is now that I have confessed this...that God will breakdown this area in my life and let me fully surrender to Him. My heart is to serve Him everyday, but I need to stop feeding this sin in my life first.

I know I am not the only one either. I truly feel (and this is a big statement!) that this is an area that is SO cliche to speak to women about...so sensitive...and most women don't want to hear it. (I know I don't want to hear about it because I feel the huge blinking arrow over my head!) I feel that this is like porn for men. (I know that is a big comparison)! But for years and years, the church did not really touch this subject when speaking to men. I think we (as the church) knew OF the problem...but not the number of men that struggled with it. I think the "Food instead of God" issue is just as big, if not bigger for women. It's hard to talk about...I feel ashamed, and just plain gross about it.

My desire is not to lose weight (great if happens) or to fit into certain jeans, or even, honestly, for my physical heart to be healthy. My desire is that my heart (in terms of my relationship with my Savior) will be healthy, strong, and trimmed of unneeded fat (which is sin). I am praying that God will just honor that. I am at the point of having to pray before every meal, pray with every bite I take that God will help me stop when I need to stop...and not start when I need to turn to Him.

So I totally just laid all of this out there! I know some of you are questioning why bare my soul and sin? Here is why:

"Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn't rain, and it didn't—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again." James 5:16

I have confessed to Christ...and now I am publicly confessing, so I can have the honor of your prayers through this battle of sin in my heart. It seems silly to ask for prayers to stop eating--but really my prayer is the God will be my priority on everything I do--including my eating. That I will NOT continue to allow anything to be a barrier to what Christ can do in my life and in my heart. I want to serve God, I want to lead others to Him, I want to live passionately in Christ, and a life above reproach. And just like James 4 says...I am getting serious, really serious...by putting this all "out there" I am also humbling myself so I can be held accountable.

I am excited about what God is going to do...and seriously appreciate your prayers.