Did anyone else set New Year’s Resolutions?! How are they coming? We’re a month in and I’m guessing the gyms are getting a little quieter. I’ve made resolutions for years with varying degrees of effort; both in forming them and in following through. The one thing I’ve never done…ask God for help. That’s right, I’ve been a Christian for close to 30 years and have never asked God for help with a New Year’s Resolution. Until now.
A little backstory will help you know about my struggle with food and why I need God to help me. Growing up in a small town I was blessed and cursed by all of our classmates knowing each other pretty well. This subjected me to quite a few friends (Tara, Titus II Woman founder, being one of my favorite) and quite a few “mean” kids. One of the latter took to calling me “Fatso Roe,” Roe being my maiden name. At the pool I would occasionally hear, “there’s Thunder Thighs.” My dad would frequently top these off with the prophetic, “if you eat that you’ll get fat like your mother.” Food can be an idol just like anything else. It can consume your thoughts, your attitudes and actions. Some people idolize food by eating too much of it and others by not eating enough. Over the course of 15 years of making my own food choices I’ve amassed 200 pounds of “extra skin.” I can only share this number with you now after recently reading Philippians 1:20. “For I fully expect & hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die.” NLT
So, to combat this lifetime of self-indulgence, I’m combining my weight loss efforts with daily Bible devotions. Yes, after 30 years I’m finally going to do it. I’m reading the Bible. How can a self-proclaimed Christian go her whole life without reading it all, you ask? I get hung up on the details. I didn’t know it came in contemporary language until I finally started playing around with my YouVersion Bible app. Now I read the Message or New Living Translation. I’ll often revert back to New King James when I’m like, “hey, I remember that said ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ not, ‘wonderfully complex!’” What makes me think I’ll succeed this time? I have an arsenal of support. My boyfriend’s father was a Lutheran minister and has passed down a great deal of knowledge. There’s Google where he fails. I have reminders on my phone. I have 3 devotionals that are specific to my other Resolutions. I’m accountable to people. Oh, and most importantly, I’ve asked God to help me. It took me an hour to sit down with 5 verses during my first couple of days! I needed to know a lot of backstory since I started with Matthew. But, it got easier and I’m so encouraged in all aspects of my life.
As my journey pertains to weight loss, here’s what I’m finding helpful, so far. In 1 Corinthians 6: 12, you say, “I am allowed to do anything – but not everything is good for you. And even though ‘I am allowed to do anything.’ I must not become a slave to anything. You say, ‘Food was made for the stomach, & the stomach for food.’” And Philippians 3:19 and 21. “Their god is their appetite. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own.” Each day I strive to make my body and my mind more like God’s and I ask him to help me along the way. I know I cannot reflect Him well to others if I am busy being embarrassed of my body. I cannot express Him well to others if I do not know His word.
I pray that each of you is growing by learning about yourself and what God has to say about you, whatever YOUR idol may be. Whether its sex, drugs, rock and roll or ice cream, we’ve all got one. “God help me identify what holds me back from glorifying you fully. Show me how I can fulfill your works as you’ve designed me. Help me find your mind and access the mind of your Son so that He may replace my thoughts and help me live my best life. I pray this for myself and anyone who may read this, that they may find healing and peace.”