Day 604: Peace Out

peace and faith

I’ve talked about her before.

The woman who had been bleeding for twelve years.

I mean… the story has always grabbed me. It’s just so… me.

Although I haven’t been bleeding for twelve years… I’ve been EATING for 34 years.

And really, I started to write a whole new post about this, but then when I reread my post from Day Seventy-Eight, it was still just so… perfect for now, so I’m not sure if this is breaking some kind of “blogger rule” but I’m just going to copy paste it here…

Day Seventy-Eight: G.I.P.

My favorite miracle has always been the woman in Mark 5 who had been bleeding for years. She had suffered… for twelve. years.

And I know that some people have already heard this about her and the background around her, but just in case someone had missed it… not only had this woman been suffering physically, but she had also been suffering socially. A woman that was bleeding was considered “unclean” (for obvious reasons) and was not allowed into the community. For most women this would only last a week or so but this woman had not been allowed into her community, her church, possibly even her family for twelve years.

There are so many different lessons that this one woman can teach, but more than anything I just like to identify with this woman…

A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.

Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?” His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” But he kept on looking around to see who had done it.

Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”

I find a connection with her for two reasons:

1) The woman had tried all the ways of the world to be healed and had gotten worse. Not only was she suffering physically, socially, but now she was also suffering financially… and had gotten worse. I identify with this when I think of the money I spent on “good for you food” that wasn’t that good for you… on SlimFast (yeah, remember what a waste that was for me?)… on pills… teas… herbs… exercise equipment… you name it, I probably bought it. And yet, at the beginning of this covenant I was worse off than I had ever been… eating a mixing bowl full of cookie dough.

But I suppose that is what drove her to go to Jesus. She had nothing… literally, nothing… to lose. An unclean woman touching a rabbi could have gotten her in some big trouble. And she would have made Jesus unclean as well. But all she wanted was healing. All I wanted was healing. And I had nothing to lose by going this way with Jesus. By allowing Him to “clean me up”.

2) She was healed and her suffering was over. Even though I am already beginning to feel the relief of healing of my addiction, I’m sure that it doesn’t even compare to the relief that she must have felt. But to hear Jesus say the words, “Your suffering is over.”

Over. Done. Gone. Forgotten. Closed. Completed. Ended. Finished. Past.

And I like to imagine her as the crowd’s attention, and Jesus’s attention, was turned toward Jairus because his messengers arrived telling him that his daughter had died… I imagine her still on her knees. Watching as the crowd walked away. Watching as Jesus walked away. I imagine that it must have been like seeing the world for the first time in 12 years… seeing that it could be full of hope. full of beauty. full of peace. full of relief.

And then I see myself in such the same way. Jesus has ended my suffering. He has ended my slavery to this lust for food. And now, because I am healed. Because I am no longer suffering, then I can… Go. In. Peace.

 

Day 434: Transparent Testimony

I don’t. want. to write. this post.

I want to be asleep in my bed. Snoozing and skinny.
I want to be free from this struggle with food.
I want to forget chocolate. forget sugar. forget bread. forget food.
I want to do just what I hear God calling me to do.

I don’t. want. to write. this post.

Because it means that I have GOT to start facing up to some things.

I’ve been eating chocolate. sugar. meat. bread.

Lots of it over the past few days. Not just a bite here and there. Not a taster. Not a respectful tiny bite to appease someone else who is feeding me. No. LOTS AND LOTS of chocolate. Anywhere and everywhere I could find it. Sometimes I’d put it off for a few hours, but then I’d give in. The leftover Christmas candy in the gift closet. The remaining chocolate chips in the pantry. The kid’s candy stash. The cake at Nanny’s. The Cool Whip in the fridge drizzled in Hershey’s syrup. The homemade granola bars I made for my son’s lunches.

Me. Eating. Eating. Eating. Eating.

And I have this hole in my soul. And every bite stretches it wider and wider. Until now I feel like I’m about to burst. And so, as I laid in bed tonight… I couldn’t sleep. I mean, who CAN sleep with a huge black hole of sin growing in your chest?

God. What am I doing?!?!? Why can’t I stop?!?!? I’m choking with sin. The sin of gluttony. The sin of dishonoring You. The sin of harming this beautiful temple that you have given me. The sin of wanting to sin instead of wanting to obey and follow you. Oh God, Oh God, Oh God, who will save me from this?

And at that, I knew those words were a verse, so I got up and came in here to my couch, revved up my laptop, and found it. My dear comrade through the ages, Paul, so very long ago found the words of my struggling heart…

The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 7:14-25

And God, I lean on this promise:

O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone! Jeremiah 17:14

God, I cannot save myself… I cannot heal myself. It must be YOU that does this work in my life. Just as you raised Lazarus out of the grave… out of the pit… raise me out of this pit of sin. out of this grave of deathly living. out of the sludge of denying you.

I’m not even sure what to do from here. where to go. what to think. how to act. what to read. So God, I just lay my sinful soul at your feet. An offering. An incomplete, sinful filthy offering… but one that is covered in righteousness because of your Son. It is a sacrificial offering. And I am the sacrifice. Do what you want with me God. Change me. Ruin me. Build me up. Recreate me. 

Heal me. Save me. My praises are for you alone!

Day Eighty-One: You can’T do it!

A friend of mine (who is so much like me it’s a little weird) is doing a mini-covenant. Well, mini in the sense that it is not a full year, but HUGE in the sense that it could be the start of something completely freeing and ground breaking for her.

Anyway, I am so excited for her… well, I am excited when I think about the freedom that is ahead of her. Based on what she has said, she seems to struggle in a very similar way with sugar that I have dealt with over the past few months. And so when she mentioned to me yesterday that she had started her own covenant, I was like pumped all day long! And I love how she told me too… she sent me this text (and yes, I have changed her name):

“Hi. My name is Christy and I am addicted to sugar.”

Haha! She’s so funny! See… she is a lot like me! Haha!

But anyway, and so God has totally got her stuck in my mind and I have had the opportunity to pray for her a bunch this past day because I remember a) how incredibly difficult it was to start, and b) how awesome it was once I got a few days in. So, earlier this morning I was going to send her a text that said “I believe in you… you can do it!”

And then I stopped… because I was like, that’s so… opposite of what is really going on here. Now, I do believe in her commitment to Christ. I can tell that she lovvvvvvvves her some Jesus. And that’s why I believe that she will go through with her covenant. But, what I want to say is, “I believe in Jesus! Jesus can do this in you!”

But why doesn’t that have the same ring to it? Because that’s not the phrase that the world would say to her. The world would say “I believe in you! You can do it!”

But what it really takes is not a belief in self (in fact, belief in “self” can be more detrimental than helpful in my case) but what it really takes is a belief in the POWER OF JESUS.

Recall the time in which a father brought his son that was possessed with an evil spirit to Jesus’s disciples. They could not heal the boy, and so the father asked Jesus directly and ended his request with… “Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.

“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:22-24

So, if anything, my message to my friend is to believe. If she does nothing else, it is to believe in the Power of Jesus. in his desire to show us mercy. in his desire to heal us. in his ability to do both.

So maybe I’ll just text her this post instead! Haha!

Day Seventy-Eight: G.I.P.

My favorite miracle has always been the woman in Mark 5 who had been bleeding for years. She had suffered… for twelve. years.

And I know that some people have already heard this about her and the background around her, but just in case someone had missed it… not only had this woman been suffering physically, but she had also been suffering socially. A woman that was bleeding was considered “unclean” (for obvious reasons) and was not allowed into the community. For most women this would only last a week or so but this woman had not been allowed into her community, her church, possibly even her family for twelve years.

There are so many different lessons that this one woman can teach, but more than anything I just like to identify with this woman…

A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.

Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?” His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” But he kept on looking around to see who had done it.

Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”

I find a connection with her for two reasons:

1) The woman had tried all the ways of the world to be healed and had gotten worse. Not only was she suffering physically, socially, but now she was also suffering financially… and had gotten worse. I identify with this when I think of the money I spent on “good for you food” that wasn’t that good for you… on SlimFast (yeah, remember what a waste that was for me?)… on pills… teas… herbs… exercise equipment… you name it, I probably bought it. And yet, at the beginning of this covenant I was worse off than I had ever been… eating a mixing bowl full of cookie dough.

But I suppose that is what drove her to go to Jesus. She had nothing… literally, nothing… to lose. An unclean woman touching a rabbi could have gotten her in some big trouble. And she would have made Jesus unclean as well. But all she wanted was healing. All I wanted was healing. And I had nothing to lose by going this way with Jesus. By allowing Him to “clean me up”.

2) She was healed and her suffering was over. Even though I am already beginning to feel the relief of healing of my addiction, I’m sure that it doesn’t even compare to the relief that she must have felt. But to hear Jesus say the words, “Your suffering is over.”

Over. Done. Gone. Forgotten. Closed. Completed. Ended. Finished. Past.

And I like to imagine her as the crowd’s attention, and Jesus’s attention, was turned toward Jairus because his messengers arrived telling him that his daughter had died… I imagine her still on her knees. Watching as the crowd walked away. Watching as Jesus walked away. I imagine that it must have been like seeing the world for the first time in 12 years… seeing that it could be full of hope. full of beauty. full of peace. full of relief.

And then I see myself in such the same way. Jesus has ended my suffering. He has ended my slavery to this lust for food. And now, because I am healed. Because I am no longer suffering, then I can… Go. In. Peace.

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!