I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
Wow! What a great experience to see the spiritual liberation of men inside prison walls made possible by the love and power of God, by His Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ! What I just witnessed was nothing short of miraculous. What’s more is there were hundreds of other Christian men waiting to receive these weekend participants into a family of believers that lives and dwells together inside that prison. No one there (or out here) needs to be alone. There is unity in the Spirit, when the Spirit is shared in love! Are you connected with the body of Christ, or are you living in your own prison of isolation? You were never intended to be alone (Genesis 2:18).
As wonderful as this weekend prison ministry opportunity was, it is good to be home with the family and life my Father has given me. Seeing what others do without has given me a greater appreciation for what I have. I heard one prisoner speak of prison food in a way I wish all my fellows in recovery from food addiction could have heard. He said something to the effect of: “We may not enjoy the taste of everything, but in here, it’s not about being entertained by food. It’s about eating what’s on your tray because you know it’s what you’ve been given.”
It occurred to me while he was talking that my problem with food has been that, before recovery, I did not receive my food as God’s portion with thanksgiving, but instead gave myself to food, robbing God of me in the process.
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
“Once we compulsive overeaters truly take the Third Step, we cannot fail to recover. As we live out our decision day by day, our Higher Power guides us through the remaining nine Steps.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 27
I have heard recovering fellows say that Step One is the only one of the Twelve Steps that concerns food‡. I cannot accept that. After admitting that food was a problem bigger than I could handle without God, I had to work a food-based Step Three and move on to Four, Five and Six before I began to realize that my whole life was a problem because I hadn’t been living it submitted to God. It was after I cleared away the food-fog that I realized I needed to apply Step Three to so much more of my life. As I continue to take moral inventory (Step Ten), seek closer relationship with God (Step Eleven), and practice the principles of recovery in all my affairs (Step Twelve) I am continually freed from more and more of the bonds of selfishness that once entwined me. The first time is like being reborn, but we can’t stay that way any more than we are content to remain in cribs and diapers. Growth requires change, and change that leads toward maturity is a part of God’s great plan for all our lives.
God, I offer myself, my menu, my to-do list, my worries, cares, regrets, resentments, habits, hang-ups, pet peeves, plans, budget, flaws, and everything else I have, am and do to You, to do with all of it whatever You wish. I submit it at your feet, so my hands are free to reach to You as You lift me to Your embrace. Hold me in Your care and erase mine in Jesus’ name. Amen!
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Revelation 15, NIV:
2 And I saw what looked like a sea of glass glowing with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name. They held harps given them by God 3 and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb:
“Great and marvelous are your deeds,
Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
King of the nations.[or ages]
We saw this great big glass in Chapter 4, but without the fire. Now, at the close of things, while fire comes out of it after the beast and his entourage are defeated, the victorious stand around it rejoicing with harps and singing the testimony of how great God is and all that He has done. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to get started rejoicing now and sharing the great news of what God has done, is doing, and will do.
From The “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 63 and 64:
The wording was, of course, quite optional so long as we expressed the idea, voicing it without reservation. This was only a beginning, though if honestly and humbly made, an effect, sometimes a very great one, was felt at once. Next we launched out on a course of vigorous action, the first step of which is a personal housecleaning, which many of us had never attempted.
*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.
‡ From “Our Invitation to You” out of Overeater’s Anonymous: “The OA recovery program is patterned after that of Alcoholics Anonymous. We use AA’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, changing only the words ‘alcohol’ and ‘alcoholic’ to ‘food’ and ‘compulsive overeater.’”