Then the Lord God looked at the woman and said “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The Serpent Decived me, and I ate” Genesis 3:13
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end. Lamentations 3:22
I don’t know about you, but I fell off the old ‘health horse’ over the Holidays. And by fall off, I mean as I was voluntarily stepping down to take a break, my foot slipped and I fell headfirst bumping my head and completely forgetting who I was. Most of you know (as I don’t try to hide it) that food is a struggle with me, one that I have learned is not so much a struggle about food, but about the control food has over me. The way it has the ability to make me feel less than I am, the way that I desire it more than anything- more than being skinny or healthy, but more importantly, more than God. And God desires that I never feel controlled by anything other than Him, and that I never feel less than who He made me to be. I know I am called to live a life of glorifying God with what I put into my body, but there is a very chubby fleshy side to me that tends to get the best of me from time-to-time. One that I am learning to over-come daily through Christ’s strength.
But for a month and a half- from my November birthday right on thru New Years, I didn’t. I knew I would be starting a 40 day ‘clean eating fast’ on Jan 1st, so I allowed myself to feast and celebrate and indulge in whatever my heart desired. It was fun at first, but by Christmas I didn’t like the way I felt or looked. And a few days into my fast, when I finally worked up the nerve to hop on the scale, I was disgusted. Twelve pounds. I can’t even believe I’m announcing that number for all the world to see, but one thing I know for sure is God wants no pride nor shame in this servant of his, so I’m just keepin’ it real. Twelve whole pounds. Here I had been just 5 pounds away from my goal weight and goal size, 5 pounds from Victory, and I had just laid it all down and walked away. And it wasn’t just my own health I walked away from, in the busy-ness of the season, I had walked away from God. During the time of year that I was supposed to be celebrating God the most, I felt farther from Him than I had in a long time. I had become a 'Sunday morning Christian', church was where my Christian walk started and ended. And I’m not made to be a ‘Sunday morning’ Christian. I’m too needy for that- I’m a minute-by-minute, sometimes secondly, be with me always type Jesus girl. But there I was- my prayer life was pitiful, my Bible was dusty, and I was wearing my muffin top like a reproach.
There was a part of me that was relieved though- I had done this Christian thing long enough to know that when I feel spiritually dry, it’s not because my well has run dry- it’s because I haven’t been drinking of the water. God was only a prayer away! Or was it? I fought to get my prayer life back for almost a week- praying even when I didn’t feel like praying, reading my Bible without much passion, and I just couldn’t feel God on me the way I had before I had “gone and done-it”. Even though it had been a few days of turning my heart, soul, mind and mouth back to God, I still saw an over-indulged ‘puffy’ girl when I looked in the mirror. Someone who was not yet worthy of the anointing she once had. And I believed that lie, thinking maybe once the weight was gone I would feel worthy again… But I was desperate for his touch, and I couldn't wait that long in my spiritually dead state.
And then I heard God whisper so sweetly to me- ‘Hey you, come here you.” and I burst into tears. All at once his love flooded me. I was reminded that I was his workmanship- his piece of art. That I was wonderfully and beautifully made, and He saw no number on the scale when he looked at me. He only saw my heart- if it’s either aligned with him, or it’s not (and when it’s not, it tends to fall into the food trap too easy). I realized that the MINUTE I turned back to God, repented and surrendered it back to Him-to live, eat, and breath His way- that the weight was as good as gone in His eyes. I can’t explain the beauty of how I felt, but I felt worthy and beautiful and so completely consumed with God. I know that I will have to suffer the consequences of the bad choices I made over the Holidays and work hard to allign my scale with my mindset again, but if anything it will be a lesson learned not only in self-control, but in my self-worth and God’s grace. You see, the devil wants nothing more than to keep us in a heap of self-condemnation. He doesn't care if our head 'knows' we are forgiven, if our hearts haven't accepted that forgiveness and turned away, then he wins. His easiest target is to use what we do to our selves, our insecurities and failrues, to keep us in bondage and feeling unworthy and out of touch with God.
So please, if you are struggling to take this year’s Holiday weight off, or last year’s weight as well (or struggling with any sort of sin you feel entangled in), please know you're not alone, and it’s possible to over come. Accept God’s forgiveness of the unhealthy choices you have made. And accept that once you turn your heart back to Him, it's as good as accomplished in His eyes, and start trying to see yourself the way God sees you. You can’t change the past, you can only change today. And if you fall down again tomorrow, his Grace will be sufficient then too. Because really, failure is not falling down, failure is refusing to get back up. So take His hand, and let Him help you up.