Break Through: Summer of Freedom
Faith in flip-flops. There is a reason I chose that name for my blog. It captures who I am. And who am I? I am a woman who is trying to walk out her faith in Jesus Christ and follow Him with passion, humility, integrity, and wild, child-like abandon in every area of my life. It is not always easy.
The month of April was a pivotal month in my walk with Jesus. In the middle of the month, our youth group went to Baltimore for Summit, which was a youth conference for the teens of our district. It was a good weekend. During the evening service on Saturday, God did something in me. I still cannot fully put it into words. Every time I try to articulate it, I cry. It’s kind of annoying.
I came home and a few days later left for an 8-day vacation to Virginia. Every year my best friend from college and I get together for a long weekend of eating, shopping, praying, talking, and resting. We take turns coming to each other’s house. This year, we decided to go to where we went to Bible College. Our denomination has a Center for Spiritual Renewal on the grounds now. I tacked some days on before and after to have some solitary reflective/prayer time. It was a great time. A powerful time. A refocusing time.
One of the things I really have felt that God has spoken to me over the past few months is the urgency of time. I am 43. I have one life to spend. That’s it. And mine is half over. In Bible study a question was posed, “We have one turn around this planet – when will we decide we want this one life to count?” Now is the time. I want to make this one life He has given me count for things that matter. Things that are eternal. Things that bring joy and pleasure to my Creator. The question I have been asking God is what is keeping me from being all that He has called me to be? What are the hindrances in my life that trip me up? I talked some of them over with Jodi. And we prayed. After she left to go home, I spent time in reflection and study…and I felt there were two areas. These two areas are different but grow from the same root. And the areas are physical health and financial health. I have issues in both. But I am going to talk about the physical.
If you were to look in my closet, you would find clothing sized from 6 to 16. And I have been those sizes and everything in between. You can tell how I am doing emotionally and spiritually by the size that I am wearing. I have struggled with my weight as long as I can remember. In seventh grade I remember going on the apple diet (I made it up myself…for some reason this diet never did take off ). I would only eat an apple a day (an apple a day keeps the doctor away…twisted thinking…I was only 12 for crying out loud!). I got really sick and my mom made me eat when she discovered what I was up to. I have tried the cabbage diet (gag), Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers, the Color Diet, and others that I have invented myself…in my life-time I have probably gained and lost 300 pounds. I keep gaining and losing the same 50 pounds over and over and over again…
My mom passed away at the age of 46. She had awful health habits. She smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day, had diabetes and did not do much to take care of herself. I am three years away from turning 46. I do not smoke and am not a diabetic but I have inherited some of her genes. I don’t want my body to give out before my mind and spirit. Like King David, I want to “serve the purpose of God in my own generation” (Acts 13:36).
A couple of weeks ago we had a guest speaker at church. He said something to Pastor Jim that struck me. He said that a lot of pastors do not want to deal with hurting people. When PJ told me this, I asked “What other kind of people are there?” I have never met anyone who has not had some kind of hurt or wound. You don’t live very long without stuff happening. We all have wounds in our lives that we either try to heal ourselves – or we run from through self-medication…We all use different coping mechanisms — some turn to alcohol and drugs and gambling, others turn to pornography and sex and a life of promiscuity, some seek fortune and fame to fill the wound….my drug of choice is food. Jesus has healed me from so much and set me free in so many areas yet this is the one area that I cannot seem to get sustained victory over.
And I feel now is the time. Time to face the root cause of it. Because we all know that it is not about the food. I have taken steps. I have joined Weight Watchers again (balanced approach to eating). I am checking in every Monday with Jodi…not just about the pounds being lost but also the struggle. And this week I have started Beth Moore’s Breaking Free Bible study. I claim freedom in this area. But I know I need the help of my Savior.
According to the Bible, I am to bear much fruit which means I am meant to be effective. And throughout my following of Jesus, I need to allow Him to prune the areas of my life that are prohibiting me from being all that He has called me to be. We were not meant to just get by in life. We were meant to live a full life, an abundant life. Once we commit to Jesus, we just don’t sit by, twiddling our thumbs waiting to go to Heaven. We are to get busy living. We are to get busy enjoying this one life He has given us. I claim this to be a summer of freedom.
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)