Starting over isn’t for sissies. Whatever you’re attempting, change is hard work.
The hardest part, for me, is getting unstuck. Just when I think I’m moving forward, I find I’ve really only been treading water, deceiving myself. Happens all the time.
But something new is at work here, and I don’t want to miss it. It’s one of those cosmic shifts, like when you wake up one morning in late August, and the light is inexplicably altered. You can’t pinpoint exactly how it’s different. But as you’re driving down the road, the yellow line suddenly pops out at you. It says fall is on the way.
A while back, some one sent me a copy of Celeste Owen’s Surrender Fast, and I thought, hey, here’s a program that will kick start my devotions again. Celeste asked an important question: what did I need to surrender in order to draw closer to God? I came up with lots of good options: sugar? a critical spirit? junk food? television? my job?
Mostly good choices, but I was stuck. What if I couldn’t stick with it? So, I procrastinated. For a year.
Then one day, I dove in. Frankly, I don’t know what took me so long. I actually dreamed this very thing more than a decade ago. In my dream, I dove in from the shoreline of our favorite camping lake, and I began to glide through the sparkling water – executing the freestyle to perfection and moving along at a clip toward the center of the lake. And then it happened. This inflatable kiosk burbled up from somewhere beneath the surface, took shape, and became a hot dog stand. Now while I am not sorely tempted by hot dogs, this little stand carried hamburgers too. And french fries, of course. And milkshakes – chocolate, vanilla strawberry. And there was someone there hawking these items, reaching out and trying to lure me in to buy them. But I just kept on swimming.
Then it happened again, only this time, the new kiosk was a bakery. Every sweet known to man was on display and an even more urgent voice begged me to come and eat, sending out the fresh-baked fragrance of brownies. But I just kept on swimming. And it felt good. Really good.
All that to say that when I dove in to this surrender fast, with that same determination to remain focused, to shoot for the mark and not let myself get sidetracked – to seek God’s face rather than the hundred things that are constantly luring me away, He gave me strength. Strength to say no to sugar AND to my unhealthy eating habits. Just like in my dream!
Since the end of August, I have been learning to prepare delectable foods that satisfy me without the white stuff! And though the victory has seemed in some ways to propel me past my temptations, I know they are still out there waiting for me. So I feast every morning on an extra helping of His Word.
The Scripture reads, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you.” I was stuck in my fear, in myself, all alone, but when I gave it to God, He renewed my desire for good things and brought me victory and abundance!
Here’s the cra-cra-crazy that circles around my head: “I can’t give up x! [fill in the blank here with your own obsession]. I just can’t, because there is nothing that will make me feel as good as x will.”
God’s Book tells a different story. In Ephesians, Paul writes, “All glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we could ask or imagine.”