I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
I have claimed today as my weekly “day of rest.” I woke up to keep my breakfast appointment, but then returned to bed and slept like I haven’t in quite a while. I feel much better. Now I’m up and ready for what comes next. I have my second Algebra exam tomorrow, and any anxiety I have about it is just my normal way of taking it seriously. The truth is I have a perfect score in that class and, with the ability to drop my lowest test score, I have some wiggle-room for mistakes. Still, I am praying that, as I walk this road of obedience toward what I believe God has for my future, that He enables me to do what is required along the way. He has always been faithful, so I am eagerly anticipating His involvement. My part is to prepare myself with study, responsible rest, and faith.
The last few days I have shifted my devotional reading and writing to accommodate other things. As a result, my posts have been late and even incomplete (in keeping with my action plan, but short of my routine). While I was thinking about my emotions concerning this, I exonerated myself from guilt or shame, acknowledging that I am going to be a lot busier in the coming months, and I need to give myself permission to work outside the confoundedly rigid lines of my “routine” all the time. Still I need to balance this with the determination to keep doing what works for me. Too much moving with the breezes of circumstance my threaten the integrity of my structure.
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
“We can confidently face any situation life brings, because we no longer have to face it alone. We have what we need any time we are willing to let go of self-will and humbly ask for help.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 27
One of the things I love about our recovery program is that it has built right into it both community and worship: relationship with others and with God. We can reach out to others and to God depending on what fits our willingness at the time. There are times I have felt so alienated from God, it took Him arranging the lives of others around me to get His message across to me. Other times, I have felt more comfortable “go(ing) to the throne instead of the phone” to share my weakness with the Real Power who could do something about it. Here, I get both God and you. I am grateful for the support and care of the network into which God has woven me!
From Proverbs 18, NIV:
6 The lips of fools bring them strife,
and their mouths invite a beating.
7 The mouths of fools are their undoing,
and their lips are a snare to their very lives.
I am still very much a student of proper speech, having recently been informed that mine is often still harmful. My list of character defects has several on it related to communication, and I am entirely willing to let God remove them all. These verses and ones like it that I have posted recently have a common thread: that the folly is not in the words themselves but in the personality of the person from whom they come. There is a part of me that still promotes trouble, and the mouth (or pen or keyboard) are merely gates by which I have let that part have its way. I mean for more. I hope for deliverance. I pray for grace to be the color of every word I utter. Ephesians 4:3, from yesterday’s meditation, rings in my head, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Another like it echoes on its heels, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)
My problem is not the gate, but the monster behind it. Were grace and peace the defining characteristics of the man, the words that sprang forth would be none but grace and peace. Clearly the dead man of flesh is not dead, but rattling his chains and rousing his stench that keeps wafting out the gates of my lips, pen and keyboard.
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Ephesians 5, NIV:
1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord.
Gratitude, submission, diligent commitment to our renewed state and to seeking and doing the will of God is the call of this chapter. It comes wrapped in the remembrance of our Heavenly Father’s gift of love to us: relationship as “dearly loved children” through Christ’s sacrifice. I am working on “find(ing) out what pleases the Lord.” As I have read and continue to research the best foods and quantities to fuel my body, I am also seeking and listening for His will for me regarding direction, defect detection and removal, relationship restoration, and ministry opportunities.
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise…
God, You have paid for my redemption from the foulness of sin, death and decay. Please help me to crucify it daily and to live instead according to Your light and life. Show me the ways of Your wisdom that I may shed the folly of this world and selfish concerns and be content to reflect Your grace on all around me. Make me shine with Your light so that the dark has no voice in me and the flesh is not indulged. Thank You for Your mercy and grace! I could not have deserved it even had I a thousand years to try. Give me Your wisdom to know and to do Your will, in Jesus’ name I ask. Amen!
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, “Bill’s Story”:
Belief in the power of God, plus enough willingness, honesty and humility to establish and maintain the new order of things, were the essential requirements.
*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.