"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Sunday, May 20, 2018

God Laughs

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I think God laughed at me.

I am pretty sure of it, actually.  I can't say I heard audible laughter---just something deep and profound---

... seriously, I am pretty sure God had a good ol' chuckle.

There has been an issue that has tormented me my whole life long... since the earliest of years in my life.  This issue, I have written on this blog numerous times, can only be summed up in two words:  gluttony and vanity.  Big, ugly words, right?

Seasons of this struggle have been harder than others, to be sure.  Through the years, at times, I have felt lovely green pastures of freedom and rest.  But, recently the valley of this struggle and the temptations have been dark, intense, and stifling.  ...not to sound too dramatic.  Honestly, though, it can be constant and it can be suffocating.

Gluttony for me can be defined as the focus on food...  too much, too little, the right kind, the wrong kind, the taste, and the lust for---

Vanity for me can be defined as the focus on my body shape, type, weight, or being admired for my outward appearance---

Even as I write these things so black and white on the screen, I can feel the heat of shame and the embarrassment rising up my neck.  Bear with me, please.

I just finished an excellent book, It's Not How You Look, It's What You See by Lisa Bevere.  Funnily, it was handed to me by a co-worker who offered it into my hands as a "resource" for others.  Because, of course, I couldn't possibly struggle with such an issue.  Right?  Someone so "seasoned" in my relationship with the Lord.  Ugh... the masks and the assumptions we make about each other!!  Yes, I struggle with this!  And, boy-oh-boy is it a doosy in my heart.  Lord, have mercy.  

In this book Lisa Bevere, deals with this issue head-on and calls it exactly what it is...  idol worship.  Even in my crazy honesty here--- I will easily name it issue.  Today, I call it sin.

Idol worship.  Wow.  My struggle is that I worship a particular body type.  I worship "thin".  I worship a particular weight on the scale.  I worship food and what I think it will feed in me... the taste, the substance, the filling.  It is a terrible cycle.

I am asking God to instruct my heart in this... to write new truth in my life.  With David in Psalm 32:8, I am asking God to "instruct and teach me in the way I should go."

Today, afresh, I repent.  I choose to resist the world's (and my) definitions.  I choose to crush the idol of thin.  I choose to smash the idol of food.  I am done with the fear of fat and the lie that chocolate is what I need/deserve this afternoon.  I am done with my solutions, my plans, my ideas, and my way forward.

For the last six months, I have been counting calories for the first time in my life.  With keen awareness of this sin-reality in my heart, I have never owned a scale and never been on a diet.  Weird, I know, for someone who struggles with this sin.  I just knew these would be destructive for me. 

But, in desperation, six months ago, I started using a phone app to count calories.  Faithfully, I have been eating the "right" amount of calories that would ensure weight loss.  It is just mathematics, right?

According to my app, I should have dropped 15 lbs... 

I haven't lost a single pound.  Not a gram.  Not a single ounce.  (I am weighing myself like a crazy lady at the local pharmacy---due to "no scale rule!")  NOT a single pound.

Friday, I was out and about town and jumped on the scale.  It read the exact same number it always does (yes, I know the scale works!).
Exact.  Same. Number.

Like the punch line of a joke.  There is the number---staring right back at me.  And, I just stood there.   Really!?  When I stepped off the scale this time, I knew that God was laughing... 
I could just hear/feel/sense His big, belly, friendly, love-filled laughter---  Really, Stephanie?  Really...? 

Does that sound cruel?  It really wasn't.  It didn't feel cruel even at the time.  He was laughing at me, with me... all around me.  Another one of His miracles--- His cosmic jokes.  He miraculously kept the weight on.

As I walked home with His laughter in my heart, whispers filled my mind...  Weight is an ugly idol, Stephanie.  You aren't going to loose weight this way.  It isn't going to happen.  So give up the number.  That is not the point.  Let it go.  Can you let it go, Stephanie? 

I could feel beautiful agreement and submission in my heart...  I feel strong and healthy, Lord.  I want to take good care of this tent.  That's all, Lord.  I know that You alone are my hope, my happiness, my fullness, my joy... not these other things.  

Through the following days, I ponder and I pray.  I repent and I sit.  What is the point, Stephanie?  What are you really after?  Why?  I will instruct Your heart in the way You should go.  I will teach You new things.  

It wan't the first time.  I am certain it won't be the last...
But, yep.  God laughed at me. And, I most certainly won't be getting on a scale anytime soon.
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