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 express our desire to become more effective in serving and helping others as our shortcomings are transformed into assets.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 63
Since before Israel trod mud and straw into Egyptian bricks, God has been working hardship out for His own good. Today I know that all things, even my pain, will be used by God for His purposes, and that He turns pain into passion if I will let Him. I am a trauma survivor. That is, as many do, I have survived a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad thing. It took me many years to recover from this trauma, but the most helpful change was when I allowed God to fold that hurt over on itself and make it fuel for helping others. Pain is a powerful motivator. Turned to bitterness and fear it can corrupt an entire life, but if allowed to turn into passion, it can enrich lives and multiply exponentially. As I continue to uncover character defects, I look forward to watching God convert them and me into the new thing I will become. Turning loose of the hateful, harmful parts of them, the sharp edges of the tool, so to speak, I am equipped to hold each one properly and apply the asset as a resource of God toward the purposes of God. The result is God is honored, someone else is helped, and I am blessed to have been a small part of the service.
Father, continue to make Your changes in me. I am Yours!
From Proverbs 23, NIV:
15 My son, if your heart is wise,
then my heart will be glad indeed;
16 my inmost being will rejoice
when your lips speak what is right.
There seems to be a connection between having a wise heart and speaking right. In wanting to speak right I may have put the cart before the horse. As I continue to seek and strive for spiritual wisdom, the righteousness of my speech will become symptomatic as God and my willingness permit.
Give me a heart that sees and hears You, O God! Make me sensitive to Your wisdom and to the preciousness of each life I touch. Keep me from harming even one of Your children, Dear Father; and employ me to serve them as I can.
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Philippians 4, NIV:
5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
I do not understand why it took me coming into recovery from compulsive eating to recognize that the Bible has so much to say about mental health and attitude renewal. Verse 8 has been posted on the wall of my dressing area for quite a while. Verse 6 helps me address those “what next?” moments when I can get a little uptight, and verse 5 is the one I’m working on. Gentleness is not a trait for which I am known. Funny, moody, extreme, but not gentle. One day, hopefully, before I check out, someone will say about me, “There goes a kindhearted gentleman.” So far…um…no.
That short little sentence, “The Lord is near,” is certainly worth its weight in ink. Placed where it is, attached to the admonition to demonstrate gentleness, it almost sounds like my brother and me when we were kids and, after cutting up way too long after bedtime, one of us would say, “Shhh! Dad’s at the door!!” and there would be silence until either we were sure the coast was clear or the silence was broken by our snoring. “The Lord is near” goes as well with the following verses as its preceding sentence. It is in my recognition that God is with me that I am able to let go of the anxiety of those “what next” moments. When I turn to prayer rather than worry, I am comforted to know that my words are not being transmitted through a Heavenly bureaucracy to the Head Man somewhere behind a desk; they are heard by my Creator as I speak them, and He loves to listen to me rely on Him. In that alone is peace which transcends understanding!
Thank You, Papa, for loving me through whatever I face, regardless of my attitude or demeanor. Thank You for valuing me enough to submit Yourself in the human form of Jesus Christ to die for me. I cannot repay that debt. Thank You for the grace of knowing I don’t have to.
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 84:
Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends—this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it.
*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.