Abstinent Today:

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

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“We are powerless over each of our defects of character, just as we are powerless over the food. It will be up to a power greater than ourselves to remove them from us; we can’t do it alone.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 55

This concept is a tough one because self-control is a principle of the Twelve Steps as well as a fruit of the Spirit but we acknowledge that “we alcoholics (or addicts or compulsive overeaters) are undisciplined, so we let God discipline us” (AA, p. 88).  We are both the chicken and the egg.  We begin to put ourselves under the discipline of God by an act of our will: of willingly surrendering our will to His so that He can work His will in us, allowing us to surrender the next day.  So who cleans us up: us or God?  Yes!  God cleans us up when we allow Him to.  We step out of His way and under His care.  We stop spraying the hose at others and get under its cleansing flow.

God, I can sense You saying, “Let go and be still,” and yet I squirm.  Help me rest under Your care without resisting.  Let Your peace translate into my trust, and may we become more together than I could ever be alone!

 

 

From Proverbs 4, NIV:

3 For I too was a son to my father,

still tender, and cherished by my mother.

I know that Solomon wrote most of the book of Proverbs, but I like to hear the voice of my Heavenly Father speaking to me through them.  This one in particular reminds me that my Higher Power, Jesus Christ, spent time as an obedient and submissive son to His parents both earthly and Heavenly.  It is timely too, since I am supposed to, at any moment now, have a talk with my son that will likely have a lot of bearing on his future and on the direction of his adulthood.

The prevailing sentiment of this chapter as I read it confirms our part in the character clean-up process.  It is for us to hold onto the instruction we receive; to never give up our diligent pursuit of God and His will.  Certainly the end result is His, but we are called to search for Wisdom as for treasure, to hold on tightly to instruction, fixing our gaze always before us but giving careful thought to where we place each step.  This sounds like an active role in our discipline, even though we are not our own disciplinarians.

Father, help me be a good and faithful son, and help me direct my son as a good and faithful father.  Your words will I hide in my heart that I might not sin against You.  Holy Spirit, teach me what to say, each in their time.  Mute my harmful character and allow only Your healing, life-giving speech to come out of me.  I do so mess things up sometimes!

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in 2 Corinthians 11, NIV:

3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

Dear and precious God above, keep me from deception and forbid that I would, by my selfish character, deceive.  Build me to integrity and mold me into relationship with You.  Thank You for Your promise!

 

Interruption:

My morning devotion was interrupted by my unemployed adult son, who initiated the second-most difficult discussion I have ever had.  I was happy to have prayed as I did above and more prior to the onset of this talk, and God showed up!  There was weeping and hugging, but the bottom line is, like an eagle who casts her chicks out of the nest to teach them to fly, I gave him until the end of the month to find a new home and encouraged him to flap his wings. There were no hard feelings, and I welcomed him to visit any time, but was very clear that his “adulthood starts now!”  I told him that I may not be responsible to teach him life’s lessons, but I was not going to stand in God’s way of teaching him, and admitted that, by my provision without expectation, I had been sheltering him from some very valuable lessons.  “If I’m not helping God, then I’m doing the devil’s work,” I said, “so today the shelter comes off.”  Something must have sparked in him, because in less than two hours, he called me to say that the manager of one of his old jobs was eager to have him back.  I knew he had it in him!  Now, let’s see if he finds a decent living situation.  God, help him!

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 121:

We realize that we have been giving you much direct advice. We may have seemed to lecture. If that is so we are sorry, for we ourselves, don’t always care for people who lecture us. But what we have related is based upon experience, some of it painful. We had to learn these things the hard way. That is why we are anxious that you understand, and that you avoid these unnecessary difficulties.

 

 

 

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.

‡ From “Our Invitation to You” out of Overeater’s Anonymous:  “The OA recovery program is patterned after that of Alcoholics Anonymous. We use AA’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, changing only the words ‘alcohol’ and ‘alcoholic’ to ‘food’ and ‘compulsive overeater.’

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