I'm not even sure how to explain what's been going on in my head and in my heart of late. Growing pains, I guess you could call them. But oh, my friends - how beautiful is the person I'm becoming!
A while back, I encountered God in the car park of an Aldi. I know that sounds a bit crazy, but bear with me. I had had A Day. The Mother of All Days. It was ugly, and I was going to the shop, with the intention of buying and purchasing potato chips, a chunk of Brie, a Coca-Cola, and I was going to sit in my car, and soothe myself back to happiness by consuming those things as fast as I could. Don't judge me. I know how dysfunctional it is. I know that for me, food has become medication. Well, in that car park, on my way into the shop, God says (not an audible voice, but the words were clear as anything) "You know, when you say "I can't help it, I need this", what you're really saying is - "I don't trust You." I wish I could say that was the end of emotional and disordered eating for me, but the end of that story is unfolding before me now.
I am tired of fighting this thing, this twisted and sick addiction. I am tired of the guilt, and the shame, and the feeling so hateful toward myself. I am done. I surrender all of it to God, and because I am redeemed, I know that my story doesn't end with shame and guilt. Oh no. My story ends with joy unspeakable, with grace unimaginable, with victory unassailable. I can't even explain it, but my desire for all those foods which previously held me captive - it's just gone.
Recently, I had a surgical procedure, and an enforced period of rest immediately following. For a busy mum accustomed to existing on protein bars and coffee, It was a challenge, but I am so glad for it. This forced 'down time' has been an opportunity for intense spiritual growth and development. My faith has been strengthened, and my tendency to allow my worth to be defined by things like the state of my house, the behaviour of my children, or the busyness of my schedule-- has been replaced. I know who I am , and it has nothing to do with any of those things.
I had the opportunity to watch the movie War Room. It's a movie about the power of prayer, plain and simple. I can't really explain it, but it shook me out of my comfy Christian existence, and awakened something inside me. I'm praying like I've never prayed before, I'm reading God's word like never before, and my brain is constantly engaged. I also started reading a couple of books, listening to a lot of sermons, and it's as though EVERY SINGLE ONE has something important to teach me.
We have made the decision to move back to New South Wales. Initially, I was not happy about this. I knew it was the right choice, and my doing it was never really in doubt. It was more that I wanted more than to just be obedient to God's call on my life. In this case, that was loving and supporting my husband by trusting him to make the right decisions for our family. I wanted to be JOYFULLY obedient.
Guess what. God did that, too.
Today was an amazing day. For the first time, I acknowledged that yes, I am sad about leaving my friends. And nothing can lessen that sadness. But I had this thought - if God can do for me, and for my family, in just twelve months all that he has done? How much more will he do as we move forward? I am ready to let go of all that I am holding onto so tightly, to open my hands, to open my life, and to follow him wherever he wants to go. And not just go there - but boldly. Confidently, because I know that this move has been carefully orchestrated, down to the tiniest of details.
So I have reached an understanding that while I love my family more than chips, I think the reason it's never worked because I wasn't loving God more than chips.
But I do now. And that, my dear friends, means I already have victory.