I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
I got precious little sleep in the past week, and last night was an extension of that deprivation. Still, I rose with excitement to take my Algebra final exam this morning. I addressed the occasion prayerfully, gratefully, and faithfully, but also diligently, and I believe God has done yet another great thing. The class I have feared and postponed since 1987 is now finished, and I am fairly confident that I aced the final and therefore the class! I’m excited!
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
“…we are free at last.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 51
A friend of mine was talking with me about a prison ministry in which we will be working together, and cautioned, “You do not want to know what these men did, so don’t ask.”
I thought of my fifth step, and how uncomfortable I was divulging the nature of my wrongs to another human being and I replied, “Just like I don’t want them to know what all I’ve done wrong in my life either!” He agreed that was a good point, and with a cutting edge too.
We in recovery celebrate freedom. This liberty includes forgiveness from sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us, and as we forgive ourselves for the sins God forgives when we turn to Him and ask. The bondage we discuss together is that of eating disorder, and we keep the focus of our meetings on our recovery from food obsession, but we are freed from so much more! Able to look another person in the eye without shame or fear, and taking our day as opportunity rather than obstacle, we are freed from multiple miseries, some of which we rarely, if ever, utter. We don’t rewind the chains of our bondage because we know that liberty is fragile and there is too much light ahead to concern ourselves with the darkness we left behind.
Thank You, God, for liberty. Prevent my backsliding into bondage, dear Lord.
From Proverbs 29, NIV:
6 Evildoers are snared by their own sin,
but the righteous shout for joy and are glad.
The term “evildoer” isn’t easily applied to oneself, so how about we look at it as “self-indulgent”? It fits better now. Doesn’t it? It does for me. This, for me, echoes the sentiment of the VOR meditation, and goes one farther: it identifies what held us in bondage for as long as we were tethered. It’s nice to be able to shout for joy and be glad, even if the term “righteous” doesn’t feel like it fits either. Maybe someday.
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Hebrews 6, NIV:
1Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God
10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
In verse 1, Paul mentions deeper truths, greater realities than the initial liberation from sin and the ceremonies that surround it (verse 2). He says there is growth for those who will collect ourselves and press forward. I was thinking of a sheep freed from a fold, running around, jumping in the grass, excited to be out, but not going anywhere. As excited as I am about my liberation from bondage, I don’t want to be that sheep. I want to find the Shepherd and follow Him closely, doing what He indicates is proper. Together, I expect we will go to new places and learn new things. I expect God will use me for service in ways I cannot even imagine today.
Verse 10 is the carrot that gets my attention: the promise of being on His mind, even though I can only minister to His children here on Earth. He translates my service to others as love to Him!
Lord, I regret the opportunities I missed to love You by serving others. Forgive me for serving myself and ignoring so many around me. Open my eyes so I see them, and motivate me to act selflessly. I want to grow in this relationship with You!
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 93:
To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self-sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action.
*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.