One Sunday evening, thirty-three months ago, I made my promise to my son Justin to get healthy. Six days later, we lost him in a car accident.
Around our first Christmas without him, I started to feel sorry for myself. My friends were posting pictures of delicious holiday foods, and I longed for that familiar comfort. But, after years and years of going through various diet cycles, I knew those specific edibles were off-limits to me. Because when it comes to sugar, my self-control vanishes.
So, I got the idea to start an Instagram account to keep myself accountable to my promise. Do you know what I never expected? Freedom. Although I prayed to be free from my enslavement to food, I’m not sure that I thought freedom was possible. Food and I go way back; I remember finding creative ways to sneak and consume sugary treats as early as four and five years old. As a parent, I see that some of that is typical behavior. However, over the years, sugar became all that I wanted; it was my comfort.
Since I eliminated sugar before we lost Justin, it wasn’t an option for comfort after we lost him. I see it as one of God’s kindest gifts to me; because it forced me to turn to Him in my most profound anguish. Initially, It was scary, kind of like how you feel when the GPS suddenly disconnects when you’re in the middle of nowhere. Well, in the same way, this was a road I’d never traveled. Would God meet in my pain? And, how could I possibly feel the enormity of such loss without reverting to my former ways of coping?
I needn’t have worried; God is who He says He is.
Day after day, the Lord has met me with His Word. He led me to Scripture’s like John 7:37-38, “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'”
He’s comforted me with Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
He’s reassured me with 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
He’s upheld me with His promise of one day in Revelation 21:4, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
And today, He gives me hope with Psalm 27:13, “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
The losing weight part of my journey is slow. I have often wished I could be one of those people who loses 100 pounds in a year. But, my body likes to drop weight in seemingly minuscule increments, and I *think* I am okay with that. Because I am learning that it’s not about a perfect eating plan or the best exercise regimen, though both have much value. Ultimately, it’s about my heart. God wants me to love Him with my whole heart. While He shapes and transforms my inner self, my desires to please Him follow suit, albeit slower than I’d like.
King David’s words in Psalm 34:18, “Oh, Taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge on Him!” have been proven true in my deepest despair, and I am forever grateful.
Friend, we all have a story and a different set of life circumstances. If you are in a place where you feel stuck and defeated, please don’t lose hope. God is all about do-overs, even if it’s ten in one day! If I can walk this road, so can you. God always hears the cries of His children, and He will never leave you to figure it out for yourself. He will guide you with His Word just as He does me.
Do you need support in your journey? Message me, let’s talk.
Upheld in His grace,