Pieces of Me

Friday, June 3, 2011

Made to Crave—Chapter 6 “Growing Closer to God”

  1. I know for a face that we grow closer to God when we deny ourselves something permissible but not beneficial.  Last year, I fasted for the first time in my life.   It was for 72 hours. It was the first several days of Lent.  I had never done anything so extreme before, but now I am thankful that I did because the spiritual growth I experienced over the time period in which I fasted was amazing.  Instead of food, I turned to the Lord.  Whenever I was hungry, I turned to the Lord.  There were some times when I was physically experiencing hunger pains, I cried out in agony to the Lord.  Sometimes I would sit down with my bible and just pray that it take my mind off of the food that I wanted so badly.  It was not easy, but after the 72 hours, I felt like a completely different person.  I had relied on the Lord’s strength, not my own, to get me through a few difficult days.  Looking back over this fast, I know that if I would turn to the Lord whenever I feel desperate for something to eat that is not good for me, I can totally not eat it.  Denying myself chocolate or ice cream or sodas is something that would not be the easiest thing for me since I have turned to it during my struggles with emotional eating.  If I could just turn to the Lord when I have those emotional meltdowns instead, I’m sure that my entire self would reap the benefits.   Of course, this is easier said than done.  I’m really going to work on it this week.  My kids were stressing me out and instead of praying for a little patience a whole lot of peace, I went straight for a soda.  Not my best moment.
  2. Self-control – an area in my life where I experience self-control?  It’s 7:30 in the morning so that may be the reason I cannot think of one.  I’m so tired and exhausted from a fun filled evening with friends.  I have really good self-control regarding finances, when I want to have it.  And I have great self-control with time management.  With regards to eating, I do really well with portion control and am not one to over eat, but I fully believe that no matter the control one has over portions, if you are eating junk, you’re not doing anything good for your body.  Regarding food and growing in self-control, I know very well that I have to plan out my meals – every day, each week, all month long.  This way I am in control of what I eat, when I eat it and where.  Planning leaves little room for change and makes it easier for me to say no to going out for dinner or grabbing something on the go.  I know that it’s the baby steps I need to get back to.  Also journaling everything eat.  And lately, I have been writing anything I put in my mouth down.  Which isn’t always easy, but it gets the job done. 
  3. I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced the Holy Spirit nudging me in connection with food choices.  Sometimes I have that voice in the back of my head telling me that I could choose something healthier.  I’m guess that was the Holy Spirit.  In time, I need to pay attention and have a two way conversation with the Lord and actually listen for his response. 
  4. I’m sure that food has consumed my thoughts at time more than it should causing me to miss opportunities to receive spiritual nourishment.  As I continue to walk along this new journey of turning myself toward Him in times of what I feel are desperation, I know that the Lord will bless my life.  He forgives me for the times I’ve turned to food instead of Him.  And He wants to change me.  And I want to be changed. Change my heart of oh God.  Make it ever true.  Change my heart oh, I want to be like you.  You are the potter, I am the clay.  Mold me and make me this is what I pray.  Change my heart oh God.  Make it every true.  Change my heart oh God.  I want to be like you.
  5. I am convinced that I am somewhere between spiritually well fed and spiritually malnourished.  I have never intentionally turned to food over God.  I don’t think I’ve ever really put the two together.  I know that the Bible says, "Faith comes by hearing the Word of God." (Romans 10:17) Just as you need physical food for your body, you need spiritual FOOD for your faith to grow.  Yet I’ve never thought that I might turn to food in times where I should be turning to God. 
  6. There are certain foods that are very difficult for me to walk away from.  And this is a clue that I am being ruled by food on some level.  I’m doing my best to make healthier choices instead of eating junk. Like I’ve said before, chocolate is my big issue.  And sweets.  I’m trying to turn to fruit instead of the sugary treats that have no health benefits.  Coca-cola is another one.  We don’t have it in our home.  I don’t allow it because I would drink it all day.  I’m going to do my best to keep water with me at all times and in the moment I feel my weakest, I’m going to drink some water.  If I continue to make these choices and then turn to the Lord in my moments of weakness, I know that I can beat this battle.  It’s no longer about just my physical self.  It’s time to put on my spiritual warfare and turn to the Lord to help me win the battle of the bulge.