I have lost and found the same 25-30 pounds about 5,341 times. Seriously. That’s what it feels like. As I continue my journey of freedom, releasing this weight, for dare I say it….the LAST time…I find myself fighting fear. This fear is reasonable, one could say. You should be scared. Be afraid. Be very afraid. You have to understand that it’s not just about the weight. These extra pounds are a reflection of emotional stuffing, spiritual starvation, ironically. I love these words from A Course in Weight Loss, “As an overweight person, you have given birth to the body of your suffering; it’s now time to give birth to the body of your joy. Your body today is a product of yesterday’s thinking; as your thoughts change today, your body will be different tomorrow.”
I have set a pattern in my life over the past fifteen years that shows I have every right to be afraid that I will “go back.” It’s a scary thing—to realize you’ve been in this exact same space a bazillion times, while at the same time wanting so desperately to believe this time is different.
So I was processing this with my Jesus, and telling Him that maybe it is a good thing for me to be afraid, fearful of returning to my old body and soul-killing patterns. Maybe I should fear…
But He said, "No, baby girl. Don’t be afraid."
This conversation with Jesus, spirit to Spirit, took place on a steep hike up to a Cross located at the top of Mount Hermon Conference Center. Since we are whole beings, made up of body, soul, mind and spirit, I find that talking to God while I am pushing my physical body is a powerful experience. As I wrestled my body, pushing it hard to make it up the hill, I was wrestling with God about this issue of fear. I knew, as I wrestled with him, that fear was not a part of his plan for me in this area of my life. So I hiked and hiked and cried and cried, and I found a rock, to represent my fear. I laid that rock down at the foot of the cross and said, “Jesus, I give my fear to you. I let it go today. No more fear of going back.” I cried from a place deep within my being, letting go of this painful place of fear that was holding me captive.
I have learned in my life with Jesus, that when I give him something of mine, He always offers me something better in return. So what did He want to give me instead of fear? I slept restlessly throughout that following night, and awoke in the wee hours of the morning, with the word He was inviting me to: Alertness. “I don’t want you to be in fear, Christy, but I want you to be alert.” The verse in 1 Peter popped into my mind and I scurried out of bed to find it and write down this fresh revelation, this new pattern. Alertness not fear.
Be self-controlled and alert, for your enemy, the Devil, prowls around like a lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him! 1 Peter 5:8-9
Then I noticed the verse before—Cast all your anxiety on him! (verse 7)
I give him my anxiety about returning to the bondage and burden of overeating and sedentary torture and I receive the self-control and alertness that He offers me as I submit myself to His Spirit, resisting the ploys of the enemy who is always up to the same old tricks-lying to me to try to get his way. Not gonna happen this time.
You have to understand that writing this takes some serious bravery, because now I have WITNESSES to this life God has invited me into. I have people who know my secrets! Again, I lay the scary aside and I embrace the vulnerability that comes when I get real with God and people.
After my middle-of-the-night-epiphany, I went back to bed. The next morning I woke up and I sensed God inviting me on another hike. I left Doug a quick note, telling him where I would be, and I embarked on another journey. As I hiked up to the Cross, with a new word, alertness, I was overwhelmed at the goodness of God. I sensed him saying to me what He said in John 15. “Stay in my love. Stay in me, Christy, then you will live free. Stay in this moment. Don’t go back. Don’t go forward. Stay in my love, right now. Stay in my love. Stay in your body. Stay in my love. Stay in your body.”
Isn’t that what we do—we leave the present and go somewhere in the future, and usually forget that God is there too.
By staying in this moment, alert to God’s presence, we can walk in freedom from whatever wants to keep us down. Worry, fear, addiction, striving, depression, workaholism, not-enoughness…You name it. Your issue may not be food, but I know you’re tempted to go to some little mini-god to make you feel better for a minute.
Are you like me at all? Is fear keeping you from living free? What is holding you back? What about laying it down at the foot of the cross and asking Jesus what He wants to give you in it’s place?
Exchanges with Jesus are the best.
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