Abstinent Today:

I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time.  †

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“The faulty signals I receive about food—that it will make me feel better or fulfill my needs—are just that, faulty signals. There is no real deprivation in abstaining from excess foods or foods that will harm me. True deprivation is how I lived before OA—in bondage to food and fat.”

The only thing that is deprived when I abstain from the substances and behaviors that harm me or others is my own selfish will.  It is that very will, which the Bible calls the “sinful nature,” I that am supposed to neglect, to deprive, to starve and even crucify.  “For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:13)  When each meal is turned to a celebration of God’s provision for me, and every moment between them a spiritual fast of prayerful dedication to doing His will, the entire life is lifted up, not pressed down.  In the brief moments they survive, cravings attempt to deceive me into believing I am missing out, but the more I remain abstinent the more I become increasingly aware of the fallacy of that deception.

While researching the Romans 8 passage referenced above, I was reminded that the perception that I am missing something was programmed in me by my Creator for my own good, so I might recognize that I am incomplete without Him.  Recognizing this liberates me from the torment of guilty shame, opens the door to acceptance, and leads me to the point at which I am actually grateful for the affliction that introduced me to the Truth.

20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”  (Romans 8:20-21)

From Proverbs 28:

13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper,
but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

Denying the truth about a disjointed relationship with the Creator only puts off the best His will would otherwise provide.  It stands to reason that hiding from God only harms the one who thinks he is hiding.  In Step Five when we “admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs,” we never brought to God any information about which He was not already aware.  Confession exposes the confessor to the Creator, and repentance reestablishes connection with Him.  Concealment is futile with an omniscient God, as futile as hiding behind a fig leaf!

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Jeremiah 24:

In a twist of irony, God’s passage for me from Jeremiah today contained an allegorical vision of figs.  God used good figs and rotten figs to respectively contrast the regard with which He would hold those who surrendered to the invading Babylonian king and those who rebelled against the will of the Lord.  Concerning those who found themselves in captive exile, He promised His unending oversight and care.  Recognizing that God’s love and providence always accompanies His wrath, and that He was willing to separate even His own inheritance into two separate “baskets,” defined not by tribe or nation, but by the willing surrender of each individual, gives me hope and a renewed urgency to define my own willingness.  Surrender is the only option!

My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.”

Thank You, God, for orchestrating my circumstances and planting in my heart an inclination to know You.  I thank You, even for the disease of compulsive overeating, because it led me to a deeper, truer relationship with You.

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, “Our Southern Friend”:

“There are disturbances, but I have learned that if I seek patience and open-mindedness, understanding will come. And with it, direction by the Spirit of God. The dawn comes and with it more understanding, the peace that passes understanding, and the joy of living that is not disturbed by the wildness of circumstances or people around me. Fears, resentments, pride, worldly desires, worry, and self-pity no longer possess me. Ever-increasing are the number of true friends, ever-growing is the capacity for love, ever-widening is the horizon of understanding. And above all else comes a greater thankfulness to, and a greater love for Our Father in heaven.”

(For accountability’s sake, the details of my eating are posted in my online food log.)