It’s a dreary day here in Wilmington. The rain began over night and the forecast shows a wet day ahead. Normally I love a good rainy day, but I have errands to do as I prepare for a trip back to Florida. Road trips are something I love, but this one is different. I am heading down to attend the celebration of life for my nephew who lost his life a little over a week ago. He was an adventurous, intelligent, and spirited young man who had a gift for talking to anyone and making even the most stoic person laugh and feel joy. Tragically, he lost his battle with his addiction. This addiction did not define who he was, but it did cut his life short and robbed him of living his best life.
As I sit here at the computer, looking out at the rain falling against the window, I am reflecting on how short life can be and how easily we can get swept up in things that rob us of living life well. Five months ago, my husband and I packed up our house and moved to Wilmington to live with my mother-in-law. She was not thriving here alone, and she needed a little extra help. It was the right move for us, and we had true peace about this life transition. Our children are grown and living on their own, and we were in the position to change our life for the sake of our family in need.
Five months later and I am struggling a bit. I am still at peace with the knowledge this was the right move, and God has a plan for us here, but the daily grind and loneliness of a new city is wearing on me. Thankfully I have found a church I love here in Wilmington, and I have enjoyed exploring the city and finding my way around. However, lack of purpose, insecurity, and self doubt have crept their way into my daily routine. It has stifled my adventurous side, and convinced me that lying around, binge-watching Netflix until it’s time to cook dinner, is a great idea. I have been on the edge of a black hole, allowing myself to be pulled into a downward spiral. I have put on somewhere between 15-20 pounds since we moved, and I have let go of any self-care that was normally my routine. What is going on inside me clearly shows on the outside. My clothes don’t fit, my hair is dry and frizzy, my face is ruddy and dull.
While the physical aspect of this downward spiral is obvious, the spiritual aspect is suffering just as much. From the outside you can’t tell, as I head to church each Sunday and look for ways to get involved, but my daily routine tells a different story. I have stopped my daily bible reading and writing. I have stopped praying more than a few minutes of petition type prayers, and I have stopped worshiping daily. I replaced all those things with food.
Food has long been my addiction. My relationship with food is rocky at best. It’s easy to see when I am struggling on the inside because my waistline expands as I use food to bring me comfort. When I use food as comfort, I stop seeking God first for nourishment and peace. When I stop seeking God first, I fall into the spiral of gloom and stop taking care of myself. When I stop taking care of myself, I become a hermit because I don’t want to face the world and the cycle repeats.
Last year I did a 90 day vegan/gluten free/sugar free fast. I lost a fair amount of weight, but that was just a happy side effect. The purpose of the fast was to change my relationship with food, to break the addiction and the chains that held me down in that area. I learned a lot from that fast, and God revealed so much to me regarding nourishment both physically and spiritually. However, I never prayed for that bondage and oppression to be lifted. I never prayed for those chains to be broken. Now is the time.
As I sit here writing, heavier than I have been in years, living the life of a hermit, filled with self-doubt, loneliness, and insecurity, I know that now is the time to pray for deliverance. Once and for all, to be freed from the chains of bondage and addiction when it comes to food. It may not happen instantly, it may take perseverance to continually pursue God in this area, but I know… I believe… deliverance will come.
This is me now. It isn’t who I want to be. It isn’t who I am designed to be. It isn’t who I will be because my struggles do not define me. Jesus Christ defines me and I know as I start putting Him first in my life again, the rest will come.
Is there something in your life keeping you from living it to the fullest? God wants so much more for you than that! I will be praying Psalm 34 over my life daily. Would you join me? If there is something you need deliverance from in your life and you are ready to seek that, please let me know in the comments. I would love to join you in prayer for your deliverance as I pursue God for my own.
1 I will praise the Lord at all times;
His praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will boast in the Lord;
the humble will hear and be glad.
3 Proclaim Yahweh’s greatness with me;
let us exalt His name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and He answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to Him are radiant with joy;
their faces will never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him from all his troubles.
7 The Angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear Him, and rescues them.
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good.
How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!
9 You who are His holy ones, fear Yahweh,
for those who fear Him lack nothing.
10 Young lions lack food and go hungry,
but those who seek the Lord
will not lack any good thing.
11 Come, children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Who is the man who delights in life,
loving a long life to enjoy what is good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from deceitful speech.
14 Turn away from evil and do what is good;
seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and His ears are open to their cry for help.
16 The face of the Lord is set
against those who do what is evil,
to erase all memory of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
and delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near the brokenhearted;
He saves those crushed in spirit.
19 Many adversities come to the one who is righteous,
but the Lord delivers him from them all.
20 He protects all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
21 Evil brings death to the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
22 The Lord redeems the life of His servants,
and all who take refuge in Him will not be punished.
Be Blessed in Christ! And don’t forget to check back as I walk through this journey.