I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
Today is the last day of June, and so the sun sets on my son’s last day in my home. His independence day is tomorrow, as he sets out to take charge of his life’s trajectory. I am proud of the progress he has made since I told him he would have to make his own way elsewhere. In his own words, “God is blessing your son as of late! And it is His praises I will sing!!” He’s got one job and a promising prospect for a second one. He has found a temporary landing place until he can get his own apartment, and God has blessed him with the means of putting a down-payment on something affordable by way of a much delayed income tax return. Tomorrow is when I will be tested – when I have to watch him say goodbye, even if only a few miles away.
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
“Hasn’t this been our greatest problem: truly committing ourselves to refraining from compulsive eating on an ongoing basis? Full of determination, we are great in the short run; but when the ‘everydayness’ begins to set in, we lose interest.… a diet is something temporary… In Overeaters Anonymous we believe in abstaining from compulsive eating every day, one day at a time.” — A Commitment to Abstinence, p. 1
This is why my plans of eating and action are not intense or extreme. I know if they were, part of me would be anticipating the day when this restriction is over, and for me it never will be. I work a steady, sustainable program that, God willing, I will still be working into my old age. I may not eat as many calories in a day and I may not have as many weights on the stack, but I do plan to keep doing in the future what I am doing now as long as God allows it, one day at a time. I am having far too much fun living in the vitality God has bestowed on me to give it up now, especially for something so temporary and futile as extra food!
From Proverbs 30, NIV:
32 If you play the fool and exalt yourself,
or if you plan evil,
clap your hand over your mouth!
33 For as churning cream produces butter,
and as twisting the nose produces blood,
so stirring up anger produces strife.”
Exalting myself was one of my favorite pastimes, but it is past time to give up that character defect. I remember once, when I was playing with my son, I did that all too common trick parents do with their kids, “I’ve got your nose!” Well, I didn’t pinch hard, but my son’s nose began to bleed… a lot. When asking a doctor about it, I was told that he had dry nasal membranes that are extremely fragile and will bleed easily. Medical explanation aside, you can’t imagine how awful I felt watching my son bleed because I tried to tease him with a silly game, the fun and humor of which was lost in the trauma of the moment. I think of him every time I read this passage, and I know that so many harms I have done were perpetrated unwittingly or unknowingly, but still harmed people nonetheless. It seems inevitable when I attempt to exalt myself over anything or anyone, even if in jest, someone gets hurt.
Oh, to live a quiet, selfless, loving life! God, please make it possible.
From my reading through the Bible, currently in 1 Thessalonians 5, NIV:
8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.
I’ve been repeatedly struck by the Spirit lately with the contrast of dark and light, especially in the increasing darkness of this temporary world. Were the light of love shining brightly enough in the world, God’s glory could be seen even in the brightest day, but since we, His Church, are allowing our love to dim, the ambient darkness about us will increase as well, just to keep the glory of God known among mankind. The truth is, this has been known and foretold for centuries, but we see it coming true even as newscast after newscast reports the increasing depravity of man. We are to stand firm, adorned in faith and love, with our salvation not as a war mace to smash others with, but as a helmet to keep us safe enough to stand a little pelting from the enemy, and we are to shine like stars in the universe (Philippians 2:15) regardless of our circumstances.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.
23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, “Our Southern Friend”:
There are periods of darkness, but the stars are shining, no matter how black the night. 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.
*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.