Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Giving Up Bondage For Lent

Last week, I posted this picture:


and shared that I was endeavoring to give up bondage for lent. No big deal, right? Pretty simple, just cut it out all together. 40 days won't be that bad. 

{Everyone is allowed to roll their eyes with me. }

Let's keep it real: it's daunting, big, unknown, and slightly confusing. But it's something that I want to dive into in this space, for anyone else who may be battling a similar struggle. For anyone who might be finding themselves twisted in some chains, all the while knowing that Jesus is holding the key to remove them. Or, if you're anything like me, maybe you've come to the realization that you're not just twisted in your chains; you're holding onto them. 

This really has nothing to do with lent. It's something that I hope to continue doing for long after the 40 days pass, and hopefully, something I will start carrying into other aspects of my life where those pesky chains can be found. But right now, my focus is on one rather large area in my life where I've been in bondage for a long, long time. And it's something that I desperately need to experience the kind of freedom only Jesus can bring, because it's something I can't simply cut out of my life. 

It's food. 

I have so much to say about this struggle. So much that I have on my heart to share in hopes that it may bring freedom into others' lives, as I'm praying it does in mine. But for now, I'll start with this: last year, I gave up chocolate for lent. And then, enjoyed it for just one day before giving up sugar all together for the month of April. If I'm being perfectly honest, it felt great. Liberating, even. 

But the fact that it only took me a mere few months to get knee deep back into a struggle with food and cravings and perhaps even addiction shows that I was in no way free. I had cut a part of "the issue" out of my life for a portion of time, maybe even developed some self control. But lasting self control can't simply come from self, can it? It requires the Holy Spirit to be the sweet fruit of freedom that the Lord intended it to be. 

I don't think I knew what true freedom was until my birthday of last year, when God so graciously plucked alcohol out of my life, and flung it so far away that I had no choice but to joyfully dance in the sweet, sweet aroma of freedom

I don't have to remind myself not to drink, and I certainly don't need to over analyze it. It just is; I just don't drink anymore. And with a mind at ease and a heart full of peace, I now understand what being free feels like. 

So on the contrary, I know what it doesn't feel like. And I know that I'm not living in freedom in my relationship with food. I haven't for a very long time.

So for lent this year, here is what I'm giving up:

I'm giving up eating for comfort. 

I'm giving up eating because I'm bored. 

I'm giving up over analyzing my food choices. 

I'm giving up comparing what I eat to what those around me are eating. 

I'm giving up feeling guilty over food. 

And I'm begging the Lord to reveal to me other areas in my heart that are living in captivity in regards to food. I'm asking Him to help me take that hand that has been extended out for so darn long. He's been ready all along, I'm ready to be ready, too. 

7 comments:

Heather Leigh @ Like a Morning cup of coffee said...

You are amazing girl!

The Pink Growl said...

AMY my sweet friend - I don't know how you always seem to do this, but God really just allows you to speak to my heart!! Ever since my engagement ended back in Nov 2012 (and after the initial non eating phase) I began to form a very unhealthy relationship with food that I have been battling ever since. Honestly, I've been at war. I feel foreign in this body that it heavier than it's ever been, and almost trapped. I have read books, I have prayed, I have been able to go a couple weeks at a time without being a slave to food, but then an emotion that I can't or don't deal with pops up and food enters back into my routine way too easily. It's such a struggle, but this is a huge inspiration to me! God did not create me for this struggle - he doesn't want me to be burdened by this. I need to get on board with this! I love you friend! You are so amazing!

Pamela said...

As I sit here & feel like a big fat cow, thank you. I needed this!

Melissa said...

This is SUCH A STRUGGLE for me too. I have to give it up. HAVE TO.

Love your transparency! XOXO

Angela said...

This is wonderful, girl!! Such a common struggle I think, but not many people open up about it.

Julie said...

This is SUCH a good perspective on food to be bringing into your life. I think that saying you're "giving up eating for comfort" is so much better than trying to cut something specific like desserts out. It's so much more healthy mentally and physically than "dieting" is! I'll pray for you this season as you embark on this new journey :)

Brittany said...

This is definitely something that I need to work on. I feel like I do okay for a week or two and then for the next two weeks it's like I cannot help myself and have to eat everything in sight! It is such a battle and one that is no fun at all.