I am about 8 years old and the pain of my parents divorce and the weight of the world is so heavy that the minute the door closes, I open another. I reach into the refrigerator and grab the first thing that promises to ease my pain...
I'm 20 years old and living on my own with my boyfriend and am experiencing isolation, fear, paranoia and physical pain so deep that I remember that little 8 year old girl and again turn to anything that I can consume to lessen the pain...now its not just food, its alcohol and cigarettes.
I'm 25 years old and my husband is about to go to war for the first time, and my fear and worry have gripped my soul so hard that I remember that 20 year old girl and how food, booze and cigarettes eased her pain and now I add in a cycle of sin that will forever change my life...
And now I am here at 30 years old, still feeling in bondage. Every night I go to sleep, I have no rest. I put everyone to bed and still feel so tired and worn out, I still feel the need to please everyone, heal everyone, take care of every last need. Except I have given up the booze, I have given up the cigarettes now its just food. It seems like the food has now gripped so hard it has taken the weight of all the other sin and multiplied.
I'm standing in the parking lot of my daughters school and I am crying out to God, give me a revelation. Lead me to you. Show me.
So now its Easter Sunday and I am laid up in bed with illness and I bought a book Redemption by Mike Wilkerson. And I have felt for some time that the time had come. I was ready. I wasn't ready before. There was so much I needed to see, to learn.
Diets don't work for addicts.
And thinking that they will is a hollow thought full of selfish pride. And every time I enter a new email into my fitness pal to start over, every time I went on Jenny Craig, every time I told myself Monday is the day...I was saying to God, hey, I got this. thanks.
Now I'm not saying that diets or restrictions are bad, what I am saying is that its not the place to start. The cold hard truth here is that if you are here because you are a few pounds over weight and you just want to fit into that swimsuit, I'm not talking to you.
I am talking to the girl who waits until everyone goes to bed to sit on the couch or lay in bed and eat. Or the girl who shamefully eats 40 pieces of Halloween candy and then lies to her kids...Or the woman who drives through the drive thru and eats an entire meal before she makes dinner. Or the person who has been on 932 diets in her life, fails at all of them and lives in shame.
I am talking to the person who lives in bondage to food. Even the healthy ones. Enter in any situation here where it takes the place of God. It consumes you, it makes you feel guilty or ashamed, it takes over your life. Or maybe your reading this and your thinking wow, I didnt know that _____ was secretly killing me...
Here's the deal. Here's where I believe the lies. The lie that my past pain is the reason I eat to numb the current and I am stuck here forever. The lie that I failed today so I ruined it and that I might as well just eat whatever i want because I am already a pathetic loser. Or the lie that hey, I'm only 190 pounds, I'm not that obese, its not that big of a deal...lies.
Its food, its alcohol, its drugs, its porn its even good things. Its anything we use that leaves us serving it instead of God. Its whatever we do that separates us from him. Its what Satan uses to leave us feeling guilty, shameful and alone.
So I was reading in the the book Redemption and I just knew that the answer was at the cross. Its Easter for goodness sakes. This is what we live for. This is why we have life, and its not supposed to be that way. On the cross, Jesus said, It is finished.
What does that mean for the sinner? And if you think overeating is not a sin, just remember the way it makes you feel. Does it make you feel closer to God? Does it leave you feeling spiritually full and light on your feat and are you walking in freedom? Are you free? Are you really free????
We are just sinful people drawn to lust. We are in the business of making idols down here like crazy. Mine just happens to be food. I think about it all the time, I worry about it and I obsess over it. They weren't kidding around when they said Satan is here to lie steal and destroy and he will use whatever he can to bait you and hook you and sink you, if you let him.
An interesting part that just rocked my world in the book is when he says if you had everything you wanted, all the money, your were completely healed and you had all your family and friends and life was all better but there was no Jesus, would you still be happy?
I cant get over that.
All the scenarios. If I was thin and gorgeous and was on the cover of fit magazine, but I had no Jesus, I would want to die. None of it matters without him. Because everything is him. He is everything. He is the answer. He is who came to break the bondage of sin and idols and everything that separates him from the father. And in fact on the cross the weight was so heavy for him that he had a moment where he cried out, father, why have you forsaken me? Our sin was so heavy that for a moment, for just one moment he felt separated from God. Why have you left me?
Its how I feel. Every single time I open my pantry and let Satan in. See, also in the book, Mike describes that moment before we light up, before we open the door, right before we click on the mouse to indulge in Internet porn...as the moment we are entering into a conversation with the devil. We are giving him room to bait us into sin.
And because I want you to understand this and really get this, I will explain it the way it relates to me. If I have just made a healthy dinner and stuck to my calorie amount and I'm feeling good...Ill go out for a walk with the girls, get home and shower and put everyone to bed. Then I will settle in on the couch and I know this is my bad time. I'm alone. I'm tired. I go to the kitchen and say okay well I will just have something. I grab one Popsicle. Then I eat it and I feel good. Its enough I say. Then Satan says well you could just have one more it wont hurt. Then I eat the entire box and now i feel like a fat, lowlife, disgusting gross pig. I am weak. I am empty and I feel so lonely. God has left the room. He hasn't left my heart, but hes left the room.
And can I just say that I think as do many scientific studies confirm, that eating disorders are harder than any other addiction to break because we need to eat. My God, we need to face our weakness, we need to do it every single day for the rest of life. Except Jesus came and said man shall not eat on bread alone...and then the whole darn thing changed. It just changed. And I imagine Jesus hungry in the desert while Satan is tempting him with food and he resists. And that is why he died on the cross for me and for you to release us from that bondage. From that moment. And the scales have fallen off my eyes and now I can see, the power is in Jesus Christ alone.
And it really has taken me 10 years to get here. And I cant explain exactly what has taken place in my soul but its something. Because all of a sudden I feel God right on me. I feel him so close that I can literally feel a presence. Its like a shadow. I can feel him saying to me, now that I have shown you , you know what to do. Call on me. In that moment. And now I pray. I pray over each and everything i eat that it would be enough. That I would be given the power to say no. That I would be given the power to stand in front of the conversation within my own self that leads to sin. I pray that he is near and he stops it.
The problem is, we have become so set on will power. Our own will. Our own power. We have become a society of answers. If you have this, you take this and this will happen. And I know this because i have tried everything. And God is waiting to be all of that. We don't just turn to God when we have failed and use him as our last resort. We don't just give into temptation and cry out to God why don't you deliver me from this affliction??? Heal me father from this affliction...The answers are at the cross. He says i have already conquered sin. I gave my son for you.
So that you may walk in freedom and your chains would be broken. You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free...
I have seen my life without God. And I am lonely. And my own sin has kept me from all the wonders of this life I have yet to even skim the surface of. I am now seeing that he didn't create me to just get by. He created me to live. To live in Victory. To walk in freedom from everything that was meant to keep me down. This is his will.
I'm finally curious enough, I have felt enough of his presence to know that i don't want it to go away. I want to see what was meant for me. I want the weeds, the deep dark corners that hold the weeds to be wiped clean.
His blood to cover it all.
From the book Redemption by Mark Wilkerson
"If you put your hope in your mere will power to stop your habitual sinning, or in your track record of days ie: sobriety or days on a meal plan to keep distance between you and your shameful past, you'll be put to shame the moment you stumble and those false hopes fail you. If your hope lies in your ability to mask your wounds by acting strong, in the constant affirmation of another to make you feel worthy, or in your vigilance to avoid being harmed again, you' ll inevitably be put to shame because you area not strong enough to save yourself. no one can ultimately secure your identity against your own deep doubts, and you'll never have a risk free life as long as you live in a fallen world.
Your only true hope for lasting healing that shields you from shame is Jesus. But you may ask "how can I be healed by him when he isnt here for me to reach out and touch the hem of his garment? The answer is that he has already begun the healing. When you are in Christ, the old has already passed away, and the new has already begun (2nd Cor. 5:17) You are now a new creation in Christ. He has already touched you with his forgiveness and his healing power. Like the leper, he has already taken away your shame, adopting you into his family where you now belong with no more shame. Whats more, he has sent his spirit to live in you to complete the restoration. The same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead has been sent to give you new life and reverse sins effect, remaking you from the inside out.
Romans 8:11 1 Cor 15:45 2Cor 3 :18; 5:17 Col 3:9 -10
The Holy Spirit will not stop until you are perfected. In the end, you will be fully redeemed, fully healed body and soul, not merely returned to normal whatever that is....but made glorious, fit for a new heaven and a new earth in Gods kingdom.
Romans 8:23 Phil 1:6 Ist John 3:2-3
Now while the healing has begun, it usually doesn't happen all at once. There are days when it seems to be going so slowly and you don't feel like a new creation. You are painfully aware of the lingering corruption in your soul, or haunted by memories of some past sin, or feel a pang from some old wound. Shame sneaks up and whispers, "this is the real you, guilty, corrupt, violated and damaged." The enemy seizes the moment of weakness to condemn and accuse you, pointing to the not yet completeness of your healing as evidence that you aren't who you thought you were. He would have you believe those past sins and wounds are what define you , instead of the new creation. He may even plant the seed of doubt in your mind about God himself, "How can you believe God heals? You aren't healed. Look at you!!!
The experience may be somewhat like that of the Israelites when they approached the Red Sea, terrified of the threat ahead and harassed by the enemy gaining ground from behind. For a moment, they seemed to have forgotten who God was, the Redeemer who had freed them from slavery. At the same time, they forgot who they were to him. When he brought them out of Egypt, he called them "my firstborn son" Ex 4:22, showing how dear they were to his heart. As a father, he had promised to defend and protect his children as he brought them home. Would he now abandon them? What we find at the Red Sea is that God not only redeems his people from slavery and gives them a privileged status as his children but also acts to defend them against any evidence that they are not truly his children or that his not truly their God."
Go buy the book, get in the word, run to church, pray to God, ask for Revelations....and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.