"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."--Galatians 5:21-23
I wish there were a way that you could step into my life for a moment and experience the incredible change that continues to rock my world. As God works to refine this area of my life, He has opened my eyes to how crushing this sin was to me. I really had no idea how suffocating the box I had put myself into because I was not living as God intended. Looking back even to my first post about my struggle, I am amazed at the freedom I experience now...the peace...and the joy! I am reminded of one of my favorite verses that totally embodies what I wish describe what God has done in my heart: "...We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that He has already thrown open His door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise."--Romans 5:1 (MSG)
Doesn't that verse just paint a beautiful picture of freedom? It stands in such a stark contrast to the verse that I identified with as I began this journey...and as I reread it, I am just overwhelmed with gratitude that Jesus is leading me further and further away from these burdens I could not stand under:
"It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: ...a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; ...paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on..." --Galatians 5:19-20
I know you must be thinking that I am being a bit dramatic about over-eating, right? But, do you see that it wasn't the food that was the sin, which led to the life described in Galatian 5:19...it was the fact that I had put food before Christ in my life. That, of course, is the sin! So, being dramatic about food--no. Being serious about sin--YES!
"...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 4:7 (MSG)
And true to His promises, Jesus is helping me "get on my feet!" People keep asking me what program I am following, or what my plan is...truthfully, I am praying every morning that God will just continue to help me make the right choices, and to honor Him above everything in my life. And He is! I am so excited to tell you that as of today I have lost (through God's grace!):
I have never been able to lose this much before on any quest to lose weight. I have never lasted on a "diet" this long. I think it just affirms God's work in my life, and like what Galatians 5:21-23 promises God is giving to me as a gift: exuberance about life, serenity...a willingness to stick with things...a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people...loyal commitments, not needing to force this way of eating, able to marshal and direct my energies wisely.
God's Word is true...His promises are true...and in His Freedom I will live.
"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it..." --Romans 12:1-2