Day 506b: A Slave No More

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Ya know, yesterday on Day 505, I was supposed to write about the positivity of being free.

I tried a bunch of times to write on it, but I just wasn’t… feelin it. (And for good reason.) If you read the post I wrote just moments ago (Day 506a: Childish Conviction) then you’ll see why.

Sin. I wasn’t feeling free because I was still WILLINGLY going back to sin and asking to be its slave. But my little interaction today with my son was like someone spiritually grabbing me by the shoulders and shaking the snot out of me and saying WAKE UP!!!! YOU ARE A SLAVE BUT YOUR SHACKLES ARE OFF! WHY ARE YOU STILL WORKING FOR THIS MASTER? GO! GET OUT OF HERE! BE… FREE.

And I am.

I. am. free.

POSITIVITY: I am free.

Now, I am free from my slavery to sin, and I have become a slave to righteous living. Romans 6:18

I never understood before I started this covenant journey how restricting myself (a la “becoming a slave to righteous living”) would be FREEING? It just didn’t make sense. Until I actually went through that process and realized that last year I was so incredibly free from food once I restricted my foods with God as my help. Then… enter the turn of the year from 2012 to 2013 and my introducing chocolate back into my life.

Big mistake. Huge. HUGE.

However, I can thank God tonight that He has taken me down this road AGAIN to remind me AGAIN of this truth. Because since I ate that first bite of chocolate in January… I have been enslaved to it again. As I reached out that night to taste my first bite of sweetness, I shackled my tender, tender soul back to the vice that has held me captive for so long.

And now, I should probably expound on that to you guys, but I’d rather just talk to God about it in my prayer.

PRAYER:

Oh my God… how wonderful you have been to me today. How you have reached out yet AGAIN to redirect me. I can be nothing but thankful… no, wait, I can be more. I have hope and freedom once again God. Even as I walked into the house and was immediately assaulted with the all-too-familiar thought of “Hmmmm, what can I snack on?” I smiled God with such peace because I knew that I was free again.

And on that note… wow. Thank you for making confession and conviction SUCH an effective tool in redirecting me. Thank you for using my sweet little boy to speak a dagger of truth into my heart. Oh my Jesus, I needed Your Sword of Truth to cut me clean down the middle so that You could put me back together again. And Hallelujah you did it!

I just feel so full of hope and excitement as I look forward to more and more days and days of peace in my heart as you empower me with strength and the ability to resist these morsels of the former me. Lord Jesus, be close to me now. Stay sooooo close by my side… even now, I can sense that sneaky snaky devil searching in my armor for a weak link. Guard me God with your angels… protect me from evil even if just for a few days while I get my sea legs again. Allow me to be a glory and witness to you as I muddle through this covenant journey.

Oh just THANK YOU GOD… that is all I have tonight. Thanks. Thank you… thank you for this freedom. Thank you.

And a Hallelujah Amen!

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Day 298: Some Friend You Are

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Well, whadda know… I went a whole big chunk of time again not blogging. I am on a retreat this weekend called MomsAway (THE most amazing retreats I have ever been on…) and because I am away is probably why I have time to write. I suppose, though if I am really honest with myself, that I could MAKE time to write again if I were home. You see, writing is a bit like personal bible study or prayer: there MUST be a time every day set-aside for it, you must have solitude, you must set aside your to-do list (or have yet to have looked at it), and you must be deliberate about it.

Annnnnnnnd I have been none of those things lately for bible study, prayer, or writing.

And I think to myself now, How will I explain that to Christ? ……Wait. No…… How, at this very moment, how DO I explain that to Christ?

Can I truly look him in the face and say, I didn’t meditate on Your Word or pray to write about you because I wanted to sleep in???

But that is what I must say to Him now. And I am embarrassed to say it to Him. And ashamed. And regretful.

I am reminded of that song right now… What a friend we have in Jesus… But would Jesus say the same of me??? Would he say: What a friend I have in January? Hmmmmmmm, likely not. But as I look further into that hymn I am grabbed by the lyrics that follow…

What a friend we have in Jesus.
All our sins and griefs He’ll bear
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer.

O what peace we often forfeit
O what needless pain we bear.
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

I am struck over and over again by those lines “O what peace we often forfeit… O what needless pain we bear.” How my life has danced around those sentences. When I think of the times in my life that I have carried burdens… that is where my gluttonous eating was able to bloom and grow. But I forfeited peace when I turned to a brownie. I carried needless pain when I turned to a bowl of cookie dough. or a milkshake. or a bag of chips (Cheetos… if we’re getting specific!). I traded the truth of God for a lie… I relied upon the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of all praise! (Romans 1:25)

And so I am keenly reminded (againnnnnn) of how important that daily connection to Him is in my life. And I am reminded of how “the faithful love of God never ends! His mercies never fail… never stop.” (Lamentations 3:22) And so now, againnnnnnn, I ask Him to “satisfy me each morning with His unfailing love.” (Psalm 90:14)

And I smile to myself… knowing that He will.

Day 168: Mirror, Mirror

So, I’m now wearing a size 10 pretty comfortably and even a few size 8s. Honestly, a size 8 is what I was hoping to be able to wear at the end of the year… I never hoped that almost halfway through I’d have already have made it here.

Okay, okay… well, maybe I had hoped but I certainly hadn’t expected it!

But one thing that I have known all along is how the temptations would change and alter as my journey progressed. By no means was I ever under the impression that Satan would simply leave me alone…

“Oh welllllll, January is no longer addicted to food. Too bad that didn’t work… guess we’d better move on to the next person cause I just can’t think of anything new to throw into her life to weigh her down again.”

Yeah, not so much. In fact, I think Satan’s thoughts go more like this…

“Okay guys… January is no longer addicted to food. So it’s time to get out the big guns…we’d better move on to a temptation that is bigger, stronger, sneakier, and more difficult to fight off. I can think of several things to choose from.”

And he’s certainly trying out several different ones on me… all dealing with a focus on outward image. Like I mentioned a long time ago in my post Imma Be, I knew that fighting off the desire to be sexy and trendy was going to be an issue. Simply from having lost weight before and having seen the way that I responded to the skinniness. Even now as I fit into those smaller pre-marriage sizes, I’m a little appalled at myself for some of the clothes I’m pulling down from the top of my closet. Phrases like, “I actually wore this in public?!!?” have run through my mind plenty of times!

But one I didn’t expect was a dissatisfaction with my body. Before when I was in college and went from a size 14 to an 8 I thought my size 8 body was off the charts awesome! I was so excited every time I looked in the mirror.

But now, a size 8 body… well, I’ll admit, it makes me happy… but there are also moments when I look in the mirror and start to critique what I see.

Oh… I wonder if that fat flap will ever go away.
My belly button looks weird.
Will my inner thighs will always have that annoying… extraness?
Check out all my varicose veins!!!
If only my back was a little more toned…
I’d give anything if both my eyes were the same size.

And those are just the ones that I can think of right now!  A lot of it is subconscious but more and more I’m thinking it “outloud” in my mind. Which means that I am allowing my mind to acknowledge the “truth” of it.

This is not. good.

This is proof of my identity being found in something other than Christ. And that is unacceptable.

This is proof of me trading the truth about God for a lie. And that is doubly unacceptable.

Because look what happens when we do that…

They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen… Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. Romans 1:25, 28-31

Yeah, so it’s not just me looking in the mirror and being annoyed with my belly button. It is the beginning of something much, much more than that. And honestly, check out that list… I do NOT want to become that person.

Okay, so it’s easy to look at that list and say “Oh no! (insert an inward gasp of fake shock) I don’t want to be those things!” But it’s an entirely other thing to NOT become those things. All I need to do though is look at what led them into those types of lives and reverse it (at least, that makes sense in theory).

They worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise. vs 25

So, to flip the process… I must worship the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise.

And that makes sense, and I am reminded of my post, Exaggerated Eternity, and how it talked about making us smaller to make Him greater.

And I’ll admit… my focus has not be on His awesomeness, His glory, His power, His greatness, His mercy, His… His anything. I am two weeks behind on my bible readings… just doing a bit here and a bit there when I feel a bit guilty.

But God, this day. this moment. I am choosing you. Again, and again, and again, I must go through this process of choosing you. Sorry that it’s not a constant thing for me yet. And I say yet. Because I am not going to be satisfied with my life nor with myself until my choosing of you is a constant thing. And to get me back on focus, I’m going to make you first again. I’m going to give up facebook again since I know that is a deterrent from you… wish it weren’t but it is… and your word will be the first thing I open up in the morning (after I turn off the 23 alarms on my phone that wake me up… haha) and it will be the last thing on my mind at night. And God I ask that you would turn my heart back to your truth. back to your glory. back to You, who are worthy of eternal praise. Amen.