Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Freedom From Food? Giving Your 'Cookie Monster' to Jesus

by contributing writer Kristen Webb

Reflections on 'Made To Crave' by Lysa TerKeurst

I have issues with food.  Even my kids tell me on a regular basis - usually after I've eaten half a pie or their share of something.  Until recently I just shrugged it off and didn't worry too much about it, feeling it was an endearing quality.  If there is a acceptable problem for a Christian to have it is eating and I thought it was not really impacting my faith.  But more than that I felt as a "good Christian" there were so many things I gave up (like not getting drunk or sleeping with men besides my husband) that there should be something I could indulge in.  Food seemed pretty safe and so I just let myself go there.  I did not admit this to anyone - especially myself - but now I am taking a Bible study at my church called "Made to Crave" by Lysa TerKeurst and God has used it powerfully to open my eyes.


I would have to classify my previous limits about food as wishy-washy.  I  never really nailed down my goals or aspirations but kept them vague.  I think I did this so that I did not have to feel compelled to actually follow any "rules".  If you don't set the bar at a particular height then you don't have to feel bad about not reaching the bar.  But the funny thing is that the indecisiveness I used to protect myself from failing caused me huge amounts of anxiety.

Here's what it looked like in my real life:

I would eat a cookie and immediately feel bad because a cookie was "cheating".  I am not only sensitive to sugar because I have hypoglycemia but I am very allergic to wheat which is the second ingredient in cookies after sugar!  Despite those realities I somehow convinced myself that it was okay to have cookies.  Now I did not do a good job of convincing myself and so I still had that deep down unrest when I ate anything that was not perfectly good for me.  But one cookie is just the start of the food drama that overshadows my life.

One cookie does not satisfy me.  It just makes me want more cookies.  Since I do not have any set limits it is fairly easy to convince myself that it is okay to have more cookies but again, I'm terrible at fully convincing myself so that nagging anxiety and guilt deep down still exists.  Two cookies are not enough for me, the second one makes me want more too, so number three finds its way into my mouth.   The uneasiness of compromise sucks the joy out the situation.  When left unattended with cookies I have eaten 7 large ones including ones that were earmarked for my children.  I have taken cookies out of the mouths of children!  I have also eaten an entire tray of turtles!  This does not bring joy to my life but I am driven by an all-consuming need for food and because I didn't want to limit my indulgence, I didn't make clear limits.  Eating like this makes me feel sick but I still struggle to find ways to keep doing it.   I thought the lack of limits would help me eat more cookies guilt-free but this brilliant idea was not working.

My struggle is as old as the fall and I don't think I am alone in my pain.  My eyes have been opened through taking this Bible study and I am starting to realize that the root of this problem is trust.  I am afraid that if I give my food choices to God I will not get to eat all the fun indulgent things that I think will bring me happiness and satisfaction.  Yes, I am deluded, and still thinking that somehow the road to happiness is down the road of no limits, even though this has not worked in the past.  I think Satan must be laughing at how his lies are so effective - that he has me unwilling to give up what is causing me immense misery.

http://madetocrave.org/It all boils down to me wanting control and thinking I know how to do this food thing better than God.  I am afraid that if I give my food choices to God He will hold out on me and limit my freedom.  Like Eve in the garden, Satan lied to her and as a result she was questioning God's goodness because He had limited her freedom and told her not to do something.

I look like such a fool clutching to the food that is harming me not only physically but spiritually as well!  I need to give this area to God completely and submit everything I put in my mouth to Him.

Everything!!!!

This also means figuring out what are healthy food choices for me by asking God for wisdom.  This out of control cookie monster needs some clear limits.  Anytime God asks us to yield something to Him He is not holding out on us - He wants to save us from the mess we end up in when we refuse to give Him control!  Not trusting God with my food is not an acceptable sin, it's just a sin like any other.  True freedom lies in giving this area to God not holding it from Him.

Join me in the following weeks as I take this food adventure with God.


 Kristen Webb boards horses in the country with her husband and three daughters - one of whom has special needs. She has been part of the HMC congregation for almost eighteen years.   You can find her over at her own blog, My Wild Ride Through The Door Of Faith.

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