So y’all remember when I said I promise to be brutally honest, right? Alrighty then.
I’m only in day two, and already, I’m having to have that “either I’m going to do this or I’m not” talk with myself. When I got home tonight after work, I was exhausted, and my butt felt like it was dragging so far behind me, it was still on the interstate when I was unlocking my door. Needless to say, someone didn’t want to cook (there’s no reason to point fingers, so moving on :p ). One thing I will mention, I have been trying to get into the habit of making menus every couple of weeks. That way, when we go to the store, our list is organized, and we don’t buy a bunch of things we don’t need. Our most recent two week menu was finished, but we have yet to follow most of it. Anyway, tonight’s menu was supposed to be stuffed bell peppers. I have all the ingredients for this dish, but when Jason got the bell peppers out of the fridge, there were only two. And they were itty bitty. Any takers on what we did next? Yep..we went to visit our friend Wendy. She’s a generous sort. Makes us whatever we want and offers a trio of sizes: small, medium and large! True story!
Now, for the truth hurts part. It hurts to know I failed today. It hurts to know that I am bruised from falling off the proverbial wagon. But in the midst of the hurt comes the knowledge that Jesus is right there with me with His hand out to help me up, dust me off and show me where I went wrong. I have to really ask myself, how bad do I want this? How bad do I want to be healthy and whole? How bad do I want to be rid of aches and pains, sluggishness and the expense of having to pay more for clothes that have way more fabric than most?
As I type this, the Holy Spirit has gently shown me that I need to shift my focus back to where it needs to be. Yes, I have messed up, and with gusto. But He forgives me, and I need to forgive myself. He has reminded me that I didn’t get this way overnight, and it won’t be a quick fix. Yes, God can, and I’m believing He will, do a quick work in us, but these are habits that I’ve spent years “perfecting”. I need to rest in Him and accept His grace for me in this situation. I need to understand and remember that when I’m tempted to visit Sugarville or take a ride on the Fast Food Freeway, I need to stop and just say one thing: “Jesus”. And here’s why:
A couple of years ago, I did something I never ever thought I’d do. I did a 40 day fast. No food. Not a crumb. But let me just tell you, God was with me. One day, I was sitting at work, and I was being tempted to eat like I have NEVER been before. I was literally being BOMBARDED with “Just order a pizza. God will forgive you. It’s only once. You’re hungry. You have done well, so you deserve this.” I was alone in the office (thank God), and it got so bad, I was shaking trying not to pick up the phone to order some food. It was in that moment that the Lord reminded me of a precious scripture – Hebrews 2:18 “For because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted (tested and tried), He is able [immediately] to run to the cry of (assist, relieve) those who are being tempted and tested and tried [and who therefore are being exposed to suffering].” (underlines mine) I prayed out loud “Jesus, please help me. I can’t do this. I need You to help me.” It was INSTANTANEOUS! The temptations were IMMEDIATELY gone. Every imp from hell that was attacking me, He took care of. THAT is what I should have done tonight. And that’s what makes me ask the question “how bad do I want this?” Am I truly done with treating the Holy Spirit’s temple with such disdain? Am I truly done with taking the precious gift of Jesus for granted?
By the grace of God, yes, I am. Right now, I am taking this second by second. In the literal sense. And as I walk in and receive the grace of God second by second, it will progress to minute by minute. Eventually, He and I will work up to day by day. I will ALWAYS need His grace. There will never be a time when I don’t. I have spent so many years trying and toiling to do this on my own, He’s having to teach me to focus on Him and rest in Him. Trust Him. Love Him. And let Him love me. That’s the clincher right there. God wants me/us to realize we can’t earn His Love. There is absolutely NOTHING we can do to earn anything He’s given. And we don’t have to. It’s already been done! It’s a done deal! This is another lesson I’m learning minute by minute. For so many years, I’ve been convinced if I didn’t read my Bible enough or pray enough, God was unhappy with me. Even angry. The Bible paints a vastly different picture of my Savior and my God. It paints a picture of a DADDY. My Abba Father – Daddy God. HE’S the One I want to get to know. And HE’S Who I WILL get to know in that way. I believe with all of my heart, it’s the main reason for this journey He’s taking me on.
There is another scripture that has brought me so much comfort (there are lots of them, but this one keeps coming up in my spirit). Hebrews 13:5-6 “Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] 6 So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?” (Underline mine). How incredible is that?
Well, like I said in my first post, there will be good days and bad days. And that’s ok. The important thing to remember is, He’s there no matter what we do. He knows we’re going to fall and fail before we do. He’s not in Heaven smacking His forehead saying “Dude, I did NOT see that coming!” And I, for one, am SOOOO glad He’s not!
Tomorrow, I’d like to post some scriptures on how He DOES feel about us, unless He takes me in another direction. I would also like to post some of the resources I’m using for the eating plan He gave me. That will be an interesting one, too!
Rest in Him. Rest in His Love for you. Rest, be still and know HE IS GOD. I am praying for all you who are and will be reading this blog. Know I love you, and I’m cheering for all of you, too!
Your Sister In Christ,