Once Enslaved, Now Free

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. -1 Corinthians 10:13

I haven’t talked about addiction on my blog before, but as a recovering addict, it’s high time I do so. Growing up, I had a healthy fear of drugs and alcohol. Alcoholism runs heavily in my family, and after dabbling with drinking in my younger years, I realized I could be in real trouble with it, if I didn’t stop. Drugs, on the other hand, just plain scared me. I prided myself on never trying a drug in my life (yes, not even marijuana) and choosing to stop drinking when I did. It’s really not about which drug a person chooses to use though. Each drug of choice is just a byproduct or symptom of underlying pain, shame, and other demons. And my pride eventually caught up to me because little did I know I was becoming addicted to other things and even people. The “drugs” I chose, I couldn’t stop on my own without God’s help.

One of these drugs is food-especially sugar, but it took a long time to acknowledge it, because for many years, I maintained a relatively healthy body weight. My relationship with food, however, was far from healthy. Until I admitted that I was a food addict, and really worked on growing my relationship with God through a twelve-step program, I couldn’t break free and stop compulsively overeating. Held captive, food had its grip on me.

All forms of addiction are imprisoning, but food, it seems, is a slightly different ball game. Unlike being able to set down the bottle or needle, and never use again, our bodies need food for fuel. There is no setting down the food and never touching it again. Sugar, yes. Food altogether, no. And as many, many food addicts can attest to, diets, restricting food, and overexercising just don’t work. Trying them all, I attempted to starve myself, I engorged myself and then vomited, I pushed my body too hard, exercising more than it needed, and I took prescription diet pills-which later were taken off the market due to some very serious side effects. It harmed my body in the process and I was still a slave to food. For some time, I was able to control my eating, but as addiction goes, it got progressively worse. Becoming a compulsive overeater and sugar addict, I couldn’t stop.

So, how do we stop compulsively putting those extra bites in our mouths daily? We work the twelve steps with God’s help, along with the use of other tools in a twelve-step program. After trying a few twelve-step programs for food addiction and continuing to relapse, the one that my Heavenly Father brought me to that has helped me break free the most, is a program called “Full of Faith”. In this program, along with working the twelve steps, each day I use a tool of planned eating that keeps me on track and gives me a daily reprieve from overeating.

No longer craving foods or sugar that my body doesn’t need, God has freed me. At my heaviest, I weighed sixty-five pounds more than I do today. In doing my part, by continuing to work my program and growing closer to Him, the weight melted off and I have come to accept and love the body God gave me.

It was for this freedom that Christ set us free [completely liberating us]; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery [which you once removed]. -Galations 5:1 (AMP)

*For those of you struggling with food addiction, I highly recommend this excellent program: http://www.fulloffaith.com/

Acceptance for the Win

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

God can bring peace to your past, purpose to your present and hope to your future. -John 14:27

During this crazy, isolating pandemic, I needed a way to serve and God put it on my heart to share my story. Tired of posting snippets of my life on social media, where lives are made to look picture perfect, I took a break and God spoke. So, here I am! And I’m going to be real here, y’all. I want to show the messy, the imperfect, and the struggle in the journey. My journey has never been a straight line or even just a little crooked. It’s been a full on three steps forward, two steps back–again and again, twirls and zigzags, abrupt stops and detours, a cliff drop here and there where I’m hanging by a thread, a long crawl back up, and yet another stumble. I’ve battled abandonment issues, food addiction, chronic illness, postpartum depression and more. I often wonder why I was put on this Earth to begin with, because compared to the amount of suffering I’ve endured, I’ve experienced much less joy in my life. Maybe this blog is why. Maybe it’s not. I don’t know, but I have to believe that He has a purpose for my suffering. Maybe that purpose is telling my story to let others know they are not alone or maybe it’s to bring hope to those who are currently enduring hardships and need some light shed in their lives. Right now, I’m needing some light too. I’ll be honest. Today, I don’t have a lot of hope myself, but perhaps, as I write, I’ll find some in this blog as well, because this last week-heck this last year—or three, have been really, really rough.

A couple of weeks ago, the waves of life came crashing down yet again, just when we were beginning to get settled into our cozy little cabin in Alaska. This cabin, we found out, had toxic mold, so we had to move a second time. Not only that though, less than a week moved in and we have run into problem after problem with this newest abode. I noticed I was becoming REALLY angry-like blood boiling angry, and I know there is always something more behind the anger so I started digging around and realized that I’m struggling with acceptance. I have been in a full blown boxing match fighting with reality because I don’t like the temporary living situation we are currently in and since I haven’t been able to accept it, it’s causing me more suffering and more frustration. I don’t know why our lives have been full of trials-so many, many trials. But as I write this, I can see how exhausting and futile it has been to fight against the things I cannot change, so I must accept our current circumstances as they are for the moment. This doesn’t mean I have to like them or approve of them or that these circumstances are what I’m choosing, but they are what they are for right now. The more I resist, the more I will suffer, so I will choose the less painful road this time. I will be thankful for the things I do have and look for the lesson, while continuing to hope in the One who has carried me this far.

Tonight, as I wrestled with anger and acceptance, I remembered a passage from the A.A. Big Book that had helped me in the past. I pray that this will help you too:

“And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation-some fact of my life-unacceptable to me. I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake…unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes.” Alcoholics Anonymous (Big Book), 4th Edition P. 417