receiving spirit dove handsAbstinent Today:

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

I feel like I’m playing hooky. I made the change in my action plan to workout on Tue/Thu/Sat, rather than Mon/Wed/Fri, to accommodate my new school schedule which starts next Monday, so I enjoyed one of the strongest-feeling Tuesdays ever yesterday, but now I feel like I’m skipping something important today. I used the opportunity this morning to get some extra sleep, something in which I constantly run a deficiency. Today is a work-Friday for me, and the weekend will hold an actual calendar weekend too, which is a nice time to spend with family and OA fellows.

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“At the very first meeting we attended, we learned that we were in the clutches of a dangerous illness, and that willpower, emotional health, and self-confidence, which some of us had once possessed, were no defense against it.” — Overeaters Anonymous, Second Edition, p. 1

This Saturday, God willing, I will celebrate three years abstinence. God is good to me! It makes me recall the very first meeting I attended, when I heard such hopeful things as: this is out of my control, the solution is spiritual, the remedy is one-day-at-a-time abstinence, and life on the other side of recovery makes recognizing this disease a blessing rather than a curse. Oh, what good news! The shame of a lifetime marked by “FAILURE!” was too much to bear anymore. The habit of dropping the ball on so many other healthy resolutions over my lifetime made it seem that one more inevitable failure was always lurking around the corner. But OA told me that the failure, and the shame that came with it, weren’t mine, and that freed me to accept OA’s plan of recovery too, and apply it, one day at a time. It was simple enough to begin: stop responding to those “Forget it, I’m eating!” binge calls and quit trying to squeeze my problem foods into my plan of eating. I reasoned that I could do that from the time I walked out of that first meeting on May 11th, 2010. God has helped me do that and much more! …but not until I realized that I was not in control!

From Proverbs 8:

12 I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence…

15 By me kings reign

and rulers issue decrees that are just;

I am looking at this verse as ruler of my own person. It is with the aid of wisdom that any of us establish decrees or rules for ourselves that are prudent. My sister, Wisdom, began to help me clear up my rules of abstinence as soon as I stopped interfering with the control of them. (When I was still muddy in the head, I made all sorts of insane provisions in my abstinence declaration.) The best decrees are clearly defined, and abstinence is no exception. When wiggle-room is built into a rule, my disease will exploit it, and I will remain as diseased as I was when I first began. The only way I can stay sane is to have clearly identified guidelines by which to live.

God told Adam he could eat anything in the Garden except the fruit of the one forbidden tree. That was clear, simple, liveable, and there was no question of guilt when he violated the decree. It is these exact principles that guide me in scripting my own guidelines and helping my sponsorees identify theirs.

From my reading through the Bible, currently in 1 Corinthians 2:

15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord

so as to instruct him?”[Isaiah 40:13]

But we have the mind of Christ.

Being spiritually enlightened by the Holy Spirit comes with a responsibility to respond to the call of the Holy Spirit, Who makes Herself known in expressions of Wisdom and Truth that lead to abundant Life. The word “merely” in this passage indicates that we are to be subject to both the wisdom of man and that of God. Spiritual discernment is not likely to put one at odds with human prudence, but in such instances, preference must be given to the spiritual.

I have had occasions when specific people were brought to my mind by the Spirit, and I saw visions of them or woke up troubled after dreaming about them. I took to praying for those people immediately and learned later to reach out to encourage them and let them know about such moves of the Spirit. It felt humanly foolish to call someone out of the blue and say, “I woke up praying for you at two o’clock this morning,” but each time I did I learned that the time and nature of the prayer always coincided with an urgent need, and both the other party and I were immensely blessed by every such occurrence. When one begins to make themselves available and responsive to such moves of the Spirit, it is absolutely astonishing what happens!

Dear Father, today, make me a conduit of your loving grace. Assign Your Holy Spirit as my guide and comfort as I seek to follow Your will for me. Make me attentive and responsive to Your call and instruction.

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 86:

In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. we relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while. What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind.

Footnotes:

*Abstinence began for me on May 11th, 2010.

† For the sake of accountability, the details of my eating are posted in my online food log.

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