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:

Relief from the burdens of compulsive overeating is only the beginning. Step Eleven is both a practical necessity and a spiritual dream come true.

My new relationship with God is the most noteworthy change of recovery.  As a recovering eater who weighs 140 pounds (10 stone, 63.5kg) less than he did before, the physical change has been remarkable, but it pales, in my estimation, to this new love I have!  Seeking to improve conscious contact is taking an active part in deepening a relationship, trying to get a better understanding, a more thorough knowledge of the One sought.  The reason the phrase “as we understood Him” doesn’t bother me like it did when I first heard it is that, as a Christian, I believe that as anyone seeks God, they will discover Christ.  (It’s what Christians believe: that God expressed Himself as Christ.)  While I have had a knowledge of God and His bridge to us through His Son for most of my life, it has never been a liberating, life-giving relationship like it has since I took Step Three in my recovery walk.  Step Eleven continues my commitment to God, celebrates His love for me, and Step Twelve helps me demonstrate my love back to God as I practice the principles of recovery in all my affairs.

More Like Falling in Love, by Jason Gray

From Proverbs 17, NIV:

Whoever would foster love covers over an offense,
but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

11 Evildoers foster rebellion against God;
the messenger of death will be sent against them.

 

These two verses fell together for me as I was considering my relationship with God.  In reading the first, I recognized how I separated God and me by rehearsing my disillusionment and playing the dangerous mental game of “if I was God…”  When I was able to accept that whatever resentments I had against God were problems as my end and not God’s, this obstacle was cleared.  Eventually, I became willing to trust that, even when I cannot see the reasons, God has His best in mind and, as long as mankind will cooperate, God’s will can be done.  No matter what, God’s purposes will be served! (Psalm 33:11, Jeremiah 30:24, Philippians 2:13)

In the second verse, I am reminded that it was my own chosen actions that drew me away from relationship with God in the first place.  While I now have no problem admitting it was “evil,” there was a time when I could only wear this verse if I translated the “evildoer” to “self-server” but it is much the same thing.  As I have said before, Satan does not need us to serve him; he is content to have us serve ourselves.  The messengers of death that came against me included hypertension, disability, fatigue, hatefulness, obesity, mockery, restlessness, moodiness, rage, despair, and the inability to fit in the extra-sized seat on roller-coasters.  (Wait.  I already said “despair.”)

From my reading through the Bible, currently in 1 Peter 5, NIV:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…

As a fisherman, I love the idea of casting anything, but when I can hurl my worries, fears, and woes onto the Almighty Creator of all that is and will be, and I can do so because I have the assurance that He loves me, then I am secure indeed!  It is liberating to be under such a strong and careful hand, so humbling myself in such a way is not reducing me; it is more like elevating Him, because I end up better off in His care and higher as He uplifts me.  When He loves me I am more, not less; though I must make myself less to receive His more.  It’s confounding!

Peter warns that, while we inhabit this earth, we have to be attentive to the devourer and his schemes.  It was pointed out to me recently that it is not enough to resist him with our head in the sand as though unaware of the peril around us.  We are called to stand firm against and in the face of attack.  The rest of that verse demonstrates that we are not alone in our suffering, but the reality is that God’s mighty hand that takes our anxiety will deliver us in due time.

God, I thank You for being a good Guardian.  I know that I can trust You with whatever comes because You loved me even when I blamed You for my disappointments and mistrusted You in my worries.  Thank You for restoring our relationship and being patient with me while I came to a place where I could turn to You in spirit and in truth.  I hope my life is a blessing to You today.  I mean for it to be.  Help me bless You by keeping ever present in my heart, on my mind, and in my actions.  May Christ be glorified, not despised, by my wearing the name “Christian.”

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, “The European Drinker”:

He went on talking and told me that he had found the plan has a basis of love and the practice of Christ’s injunction, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Taking that as a foundation, he reasoned that if a man followed that rule he could not be selfish. I could see that. And he further said that God could not accept me as a sincere follower of His Divine Law unless I was ready to be thoroughly honest about it.

That was perfectly logical. My church taught that. I had always known that in theory. We talked, too, about personal morals. Every man has his problem of this kind but we didn’t discuss it very much. My visitor well knew, that as I tried to follow God I would get to studying these things out for myself.

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.

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