i don’t need to tell you that food is a beloved topic of conversation, especially among women. IRL and online. it’s the theme of social gatherings year-round, the centerpiece of holiday parties. food is a popular topic in the stories i read my son, the songs i sing.
it. is. everywhere . . . relentlessly!
the world seems to revolve around food.
and so does mine.
just in an exhausting, overwhelming, and utterly disheartening way.
i’ll spare you the details and simply say that for the past year and a half, my body has only been able to tolerate a handful of plain foods. plain potatoes, a gluten-free pasta, a protein drink, some plain veggies, and a ration of fruit. yep, that pretty much covers it. (whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. because they're all the same.)
so as thanksgiving approached, i found myself grieving. grieving the loss of freedom i’ve always known. grieving the loss of comfort that i never knew i sought – until it came to a screeching hault. and grieving the loss of convenience that i desperately want back sorely miss.
and as i’ve slowly shifted from being confined to my couch to reentering life outside my four walls, the world around me looks the same as it used to.
but i’m not.
i cannot interact with it the same as i always have. and that’s been a painful adjustment.
rationally, i know i’m not missing out on any health benefits derived from sugar, MSG, and whatever else lurks in our food. but emotionally, i don't care still long for the freedom, the occasional comfort, and oh, the convenience.
and then i am challenged with this:
"we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen,
since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
- 2 Corinthians 4:18
that is one impossible tall order, but i know it’s the only way i’ll avoid giving in to the temptation to be self-absorbed, or to buy into the lie that something aside from God can satisfy me. sure, i know that.
in my head.
but oh, the road from my head to my heart. it’s an awfully long, dark, and windy one, friends. because i’m a tangible, literal, planning kinda girl.
i like the seen!!
things i can touch. smell. and of course, taste.
and i live in the seen . . . i walk through aisle after aisle in the grocery store seeing all the food i can’t have. i practically drooled at the heavenly smell of fried chicken permeating from somebody’s open car window in a parking lot recently. and what i wouldn’t give to be able to go out on a dinner date with my husband again . . .
i’m weary of this road i’m travelling.
i’m struggling hard with impatience.
and sadly, i sense my relationship with food growing bitter and resentful.
amidst the struggle, i read this from joyce meyer:
“pride prevents patient waiting because the proud person thinks so highly of himself that he believes he should never be inconvenienced in any way.”
ouch . . .
okay then. so i am called to fix my eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen.
somehow . . .
friends, i haven’t solved that dilemma. i’ve thought about it a lot. i’ve talked to God about it a lot. and i’ve been banging my head against the wall trying to figure out how to actually to fix my mind’s eyes on what is unseen, rather than on all this plethora of food that surrounds me and causes my senses to scream brutal lies of deprivation to me
and then i remember . . .
i don’t have to figure it out.
victory doesn’t come in trying harder.
the power to overcome is only found when i stop trying.
this is a battle i can not win.
but Jesus already has.
“this is the assigned moment for Him to move into the center,
while i slip off to the sidelines.”
(john 3:30, the message)
in miles stanford’s book, the green letters (which i highly recommend), he shares this liberating truth from norman douty:
“throw down every endeavor and say, i cannot do it,
the more i try the farther i get from His likeness.
what shall i do?
ah, the Holy Spirit says, you cannot do it;
just withdraw; come out of it.
you have been in the arena, you have been endeavoring . . .
come out and sit down,
and as you sit there behold Him,
look at Him.
don’t try to be like Him, just look at Him.
just be occupied with Him.
forget about trying to be like Him.
instead of letting that fill your mind and heart, let Him fill it.”
my freedom lies in the simplicity of the gospel – when i remember that i am completely incapable of living this Christian life.
when i cease striving . . .