Friday, March 4, 2011

Freedom from Sin

I was watching the show "Hoarders" the other day,which always makes me anxious and sad, but I had an uplifting spiritual insight this time. Hoarders are people who substitute relationships and vulnerability with enormous amounts of stuff. Much of the stuff is useless junk but it holds special value to them. It's kind of like a security blanket.

"The more stuff I pile up, the safer I am (or feel) and the smaller chance I have of getting hurt by someone (mentally, emotionally)" seems to be their unanimous refrain. It's heartbreaking but there is a cure. It's encouraging to see these people taking steps to move past the hoarding phase and reclaim their relationships with family and friends.

To me, the hoarding of stuff seems similar to the storing up of sin and self-desire inside a person. The self-willed, unsanctified person's heart is so full of excuses, lies, doubts, fears that there is no room for Jesus just like there is very little room in a hoarder's heart or home to experience healthy, loving relationships. Each item has special value to a hoarder just like every secret desire, grudge, and lie has special value to the sinful heart. In order for the hoarder to be free, they must completely be rid of the stuff as well as the hoarding compulsion. Organizers and family can help as long as the hoarder willingly participates and makes an effort to be free.

Jesus is more than willing and ready to free anyone from the strife and separateness caused by self will. In order to experience true freedom from sin and joy in the Lord, each person must completely abdicate their self will, ask for Christ's forgiveness, and move forward by complete child-like trust in His ability to save them.

"If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." Let us all move forward in humility, complete trust in Christ's faithfulness to truly set us free from sin and give us the ability to reach out and pull other lost lambs into the fold.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I am ready to be free!

I have started journaling and I aim to fill an entire journal this time!!! Basically, the purpose of journaling (and blogging :) is to express the internal thought processes and triggers that cause me to want to do certain things: namely, for this specific journal, overeating.

Almost ten years ago, I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and later Bi-polar depression. Before this happened I don't remember having a dysfunctional relationship with food. But immediately after the initial mental collapse, I turned to food for comfort - to try and fill an emotional void that I couldn't seem to fill any other way. I was trusting Jesus so the greatest void in my heart was filled but there was an ache that wouldn't go away that even my family couldn't fully understand. So I turned to food. We have a love/hate relationship. Better put, I love to eat but it soon got to the point where I began eating for my emotions rather than because my body really wanted to eat.

I don't think that initially I was trying to shut down my body's signals, but my tangled up emotions and faulty chemical imbalances seemed to be screaming louder than my body's "please stop eating, I'm full."

I have been growing in so many other ways since the beginning of my emotional struggles - in self-confidence, joy, peace, perseverance and courage - that I think it's about time my eating deserves some attention. I feel like it's a crutch I've leaned on or big cozy coat that I've wrapped myself in all these years that I just can't quite bring myself to throw down or cast off. Eating has made me feel okay for so long while also not allowing me to move into full freedom. The crutch is getting heavier and not so helpful. . .the coat is getting bulkier and not so cozy as much as prohibiting leaping and dancing and freedom!

I am so ready to be free so that I can truly move forward into grace and joy and self-forgetfulness and giving of myself. Food can be a comforter but it is not the true Comforter. Ultimately Jesus is the only true, eternal Ache-Filler and Love-Giver, but since I am in this rattly vehicle of a body with its little bumps and bruises, I have to learn ways to replace the compulsive over-eating with truly soul-nourishing, tension-relieving activities.

I am SO ready to be free! I truly believe that blogging and journaling will help me to better understand my internal workings and truly break free into a whole new plain of soul nourishment, free movement, self-forgetfulness, and JOY! Praise the Lord for His faithfulness and desire to bring us into greater freedom and friendship with Him!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Giver of All Good Gifts

Too often I entertain thoughts, like: I have problems. I have anxiety. I have bipolar. I have a bad relationship with food.

But the truth is, I don't! If I call these realities problems them I am calling the God who created them a bad Father and worse. He is God. He always gives good gifts. When I question the goodness of the things in my life then I am saying my Father has given me a bad gift. I am in complete unreality when I say I have a problem and I can't control my emotions or my eating because those are the problems I have.

Great people, great souls are not those who don't have problems but those who triumph over them and through that triumph give their Father and Creator glory. This triumph is not possible on our own but is made available through our choice to thank God for these "problems".

Usually those who have difficulties are those who are the strongest. They may look and feel the weakest but through the struggle they build the strength and courage needed to triumph. Through the struggle our faith gets stronger and God gets glorified as we offer the struggle to Him. If I say that my life is too hard or I can't do it or I want someone else's life then I am calling God a liar. What I need to affirm is the truth, which is: everyone has struggles. It's just that all struggles look different. Some may appear "easier" but you can't escape reality. Life is never a fairy tale. However, my life as I live it in obedience to Christ is blessed beyond words no matter how it may appear to others or feel to me.

Fairy tales are about fantasies and dreams and unreality. Reality is God's truly wonderful amazing plan for our life. It may be filled with heartaches, disappointments, loved ones lost, and physical pain but in every loss, in all the pain there will always be Jesus' hand holding ours, His plan working everything together for good. This may seem like the only news account, the only forecast for our life now: this pain, difficulty, loss. But it's not. Our life is Jesus. He is wonderful and powerful and a Giver of all and only good gifts.

I choose to lift my eyes in joy and defiant gratitude to the One who "is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us." I have no idea what's in store tomorrow but I do know one thing for sure: My Father's plan will always be wonderfully perfect for me.