Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 51

I saw a movie on Friday that I've been waiting to see for AGES. The movie itself was great but as much as I enjoyed it all I could think about the entire movie was a line said toward the beginning. It has since stayed with me all weekend.

"Sometimes you have to love what's good for you."

There is so many ways to interpret this. We might interpret it to mean that loving what's good for us isn't fun or loving what's good for us isn't what we want. Why is it hard to love what's good for us? On my Day 33 post I think I touched on this some. I previously wrote: I have often been that one sheep that God ran out searching for. He always came for me. He always held me and nurtured me back to spiritual and emotional health. And along the way I finally realized that if I embraced the fences, life would be so much better.

If I embraced the love of God and the boundaries He places in my life, then that would ultimately be the best love I could ever embrace. Joy will follow. Peace will follow. Intimate relationship with God will follow.

I've been on the other side of that fence thinking I wanted what I shouldn't have was so much better than what I did have or even lacked. But I found out the hard way that the grass was seldom greener and the consequences were much harder and costly than I had anticipated.

I think loving what's good for us parallels itself into many aspects of our lives. On January 5, 2009 I weighed 232.6 pounds. I simply loved food and had very little will power in controlling what I consumed. I was also a Type II Diabetic with an A1C that was barely normal and my cholesterol and triglycerides were dangerously high. The previous October my Dr. had told me that I had a 20% chance of having a heart attack in 10 years. I started trying to diet and work out but I had zero discipline and no strength or stamina. I was miserable but I kept eating. It comforted me, yet it was destroying me. I loved what was killing me. The food itself wasn't evil but how I used food to comfort me gave it a place of ultimate control in my life. Rather than finding comfort and peace in God. Some people turn to drugs or alcohol or sex, I turned to food among other things.

I decided I had a short amount of time to fix a problem that I had developed over my entire adult life. I went to what many may consider an extreme. After being overweight for over 23 years I had weight loss surgery - a vertical sleeve gastrectomy. I certainly wish I could have had the discipline and willpower to do it on my own but I didn't. I needed a tool. My sleeve gave me the tool. It gave me restriction to where I couldn't over-eat and after losing a mere 30 pounds I had the energy and stamina to work out and eventually started running. Less than a year later I weight 144. My diabetes is gone and my cholesterol and triglycerides are normal. I have my life back. I don't regret anything - except not taking control of my life sooner.

The same can be said of my relationship with God. I turned to God and was saved at one of the worst points in my life. It was 1995 and I was definitely at rock bottom. I don't remember having this miraculous epiphany or even feeling God's presence but I did believe in God. During this time, I met another woman at this time who had even worst circumstances than I did and she was so joyful. She often say the joy of the Lord was her strength. One night I told God that I wanted to be happy and at peace like Betty was. That was my beginning. I only wish that I had been discipled at that point. But I was fairly isolated and I thought I could do it on my own. I didn't realize that I needed a tool that would lead me into a deeper relationship with God. I stayed a baby Christian and fed on milk long after I should have been eating meat. I just didn't use the tools given to me.

Almost 15 years later I am using those tools. As well as the Holy Spirit guiding and directing me, God's word is a tool. Praise and worship music for me is a tool as is prayer. I am learning to love these tools and use them daily. I am learning to love what's good for me.

Today's Reflection: How simple it is to love what is good for me yet I made it so hard. My stubborn will gets in the way at times. Lord help me crucify my flesh on a daily basis so I can see You and not be distracted by the enemy's schemes. Your word says that whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things (Philippians 4:8 NIV). Help me take captive thoughts that would lead me away from Your love. Help me redefine what I think and what I choose to be a part of. I want to love what's good for me.

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