Day Twenty-Eight: Shout Out

It’s actually happening.

My craving for chocolate is pretty much… gone.

Seriously. Like I almost never think about it unless I am presented it right in the face. And honestly, unless I were to go searching for chocolate, there are not a lot of times that it gets presented right in my face. Which is weird… I felt like it was there all the time before but now it’s like I’m not even sure if we have any.

I guess because I don’t think about it much any more since it’s gone as an option. And since I don’t think about it, I don’t go looking for it. And since I don’t go looking for it… the chocolate might as well not be there.

Oh the freedom from that stuff! That and the freedom from no longer weighing myself… ahhhhhh! I think if nothing else changed and I stayed in this spot the rest of the year it would still be worth it because those two things have been a huge “weight” on my soul.

A weight that I have been carrying around even longer than my extra sixty pounds, to be sure. A burden that I have begged, and begged God to have mercy on me and to take the burden off. And something in my reading today in Mark 10 caught my eye in relation to that.

Jesus is walking through the town of Jericho and this blind guy named Bartimaeus calls out to him “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” A bunch of people yelled at him to be quiet, but here’s what it says that he did in response to their shushing… “But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” So Jesus stops, tells them to call him over, and he heals the guy and tells him “Go, for your faith has healed you”.

You see, all those times I was calling Jesus to remove the burden, I think I was sorta like using my “inside voice”. I wasn’t ever really loud in my soul. I think in a way, I was kind of in denial that I really needed help from God Almighty. I guess that I wanted to believe that maybe I could do it on my own.

Until… the cookie dough incident. That’s when I realized… I was blind. I needed mercy. I needed salvation. I needed Holy and Divine Intervention.

And I tell you…at that point, I shouted louder. Louder than I ever have. My soul was screaming at the top of it’s lungs “SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!!!!!!!”

And He did. And I am being healed. In so many ways, I am already healed.

But, one more thing that I think is interesting to look at…

When Jesus heals Bartimaeus, note how He tells the guy “Go, for your faith has healed you.” I find that so interesting. Along with so many other times in the Bible, people’s faith heals them. Like, they didn’t necessarily need the physical body of Jesus to come over to them and touch them. They just needed the faith.

And with that in mind, I find it interesting that I knew months and months ago what to do in order to get healed of this addiction. My faith could have healed me. But I guess I was like so many others in the Bible… I needed Jesus to show up. I needed Him to answer me when I shouted louder. I needed to know He would take the time to stop and heal me.

And He did. And now I know that from now on, if I need Jesus to listen. to stop. to call me. to heal me. that He will.

Sometimes… I think He just wants me to shout!

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You know You make me wanna SHOUT!

Day Four: Oh So Sweet Chocolate

I knew that a point would come when it would be difficult to be on this fast. I had already thought about it… like, for example: my birthday. My mom makes a killer chocolate cake for my birthday every year and this year I won’t be able to eat it.

I’m sure there are already some responses to that: “Not eat your own birthday cake? Isn’t that a little extreme?” I assume that this will be a response because that was part of my own inner dialogue. But a deal is a deal… or shall I say, “a covenant is a covenant”?  And like I said in a post a few days ago, God is not a big fan of people making covenants and breaking them. So… part of making this agreement with Him was knowing that there would be some sacrifice.

And isn’t that exactly what I need to learn more about?  A little less about taking, wanting, grabbing, sneaking, hiding, hoarding, etc. and a little more about sacrificing, forgoing, offering, surrendering, abstaining, resisting. Isn’t that the Christ-mind? The Christ-mentality? And isn’t that what I am trying to get more of?

So yesterday, when my son decided it was a great day to go through his Christmas stocking candy stockpile… yeah, I’ll admit that it was a little difficult to abstain. Did I long a bit for that oh so sweet dark chocolate? Heck yeah. Did I eat it? Heck no. Why? Because I have a covenant with God the Almighty. Helllllo, of course I didn’t eat it!

And last night when my husband surprised me with a surprise date night and he wanted to use a Saltgrass Steakhouse gift card, did I sneak a bite of his 12 ounce rib eye? Nope. And honestly… I loved my dinner: crab stack appetizer, fresh dinner salad, coconut shrimp, and a baked potato. I mean seriously, like it rocked. And what was cool: I never would normally choose a shrimp over purely awesome red meat. So, actually instead of being forced to sacrifice, I was opened up to a new experience that I would have completely missed otherwise.

See, even in my attempt to sacrifice to become more like Christ… I find Him blessing me.

That, my friends, is oh so much sweeter than chocolate.