Early in this new adventure I realized that I had never invited God to help me regarding my exercise or eating plans. I’ve done so in almost every other area of my life so it actually surprised me that I had not even considered this area as remotely spiritual.
There have been moments in the past month and a half when I have literally called out the name of Jesus, asking for help. Usually during a particularly difficult exercise on Insanity or while running up that steep hill in the next neighborhood. In addition to the desperate cries for help from a person who genuinely does not like exercise, I have asked Him for “wisdom, revelation, and intervening power to be an integral part of [my] food choices from now on.” THIS is the key to making this time different.
Did you catch that?
If I want my habits to change I need His help from now on. Not only during this honeymoon stage. Not only during the time when I’m focusing 100% of my energy on this area of my life. But from now on. I hope Lysa eventually talks about the “maintenance” phase. I am certainly not there now, but I do plan to be at some point and I hope she has amazing guidance and wisdom to share about that phase as well!
Lysa’s book is titled Made to Crave. She summarizes her title in the following prayer that I want to print out and keep in my purse, on my bathroom mirror, and in poster size on my refrigerator door.
God, I recognize I am made for more than the vicious cycle of being ruled by food. I need to eat to live, not live to eat. So, I keep asking for Your wisdom to know what to eat and Your indwelling power to walk away from things that are not beneficial for me.
I have the ability to ask this of Him and to trust that He wants to give those things to me because I am His daughter. That is my true identity. When I recognize this I will begin to utilize the power He offers. Lysa writes, “Too many times we try to muster up the gumption to make changes in our own lives leading to discouragement and defeat.” Again, pointing out what I am learning about myself… I do not have the ability to stick with this on my own power, but I have access to the same power that raised Jesus from the dead because I am His daughter! I SO want to remember this as I step from the honeymoon phase into the next one! That’s where I usually fail and this time I have recognized why!
At the end of every chapter Lysa asks for personal reflection. Those are sometimes hard for me because they poke around in the tender spots of my soul. One of these questions asks me to describe how I define myself. I came up with:
Jennifer, the former teacher.
Jennifer, the mom of four boys.
Jennifer, the Chaplain’s wife.
Jennifer, the one with the blog. (Funny stories could be inserted here but I’ll refrain since I’m trying to be serious…)
Just after the above four statements I wrote: “I’m afraid that one day I will not know my identity outside of motherhood.” I find it uncanny that Lysa’s next reflection told me to read my name in a few of the truths found in scripture.
Jennifer, the accepted child of God. (1 Cor 1:2)
Jennifer, the loved child of God. (Eph 1:4)
Jennifer, the confident child of God. (Eph 3:12)
Jennifer, the victorious child of God. (Rom 8:37)
My notes after having read my name in all nine of the statements Lysa included was: “These statements assure me that even after my definitions of myself fade away, I’ll still be the accepted, loved, confident, & victorious child of God.”
Lysa really wanted to ensure that we embrace our true identities in Christ. “With what untruths about your identity have you struggled?” My answer was tough to write because seeing it on paper (albeit iPad paper) made it sting a little. And since deep down I know it’s not true, I felt a little silly writing it. But for the sake of transparency, I’ll share:
“I tend to believe that if I’m fat then I’m unlovely and unlovable. I wonder why people would be friends with me and what they see in me. I wonder how they can see past my size.”
And let me say… I know with all certainty that there are people both larger and smaller than me who have this exact same thought. It’s not really about a number on a scale or a size on the tag of a dress that makes a person have this kind of thought. It’s simply believing an untruth, revealing a deep need to discover the actual truth about our identities.
So to sum up my take-aways from the second half of chapter five, we were made for more than a vicious cycle of weight loss/gain and we have identities in Christ that we need to recognize. Because of our identities as children of God, we have access to the power that will help us GET OUT OF THAT CYCLE.