I overate this holiday season. Yup. The "no overeating-preaching queen" overate. Went too far. Overdid it. It was likely a combination of things – I cooked so of course I had to taste the food :-), I made way too much food, ate too fast, and filled my plate too high with things I really wanted to eat. As I sat with an overfull belly, I tried to think how I could salvage this experience and make something good still come out of it. As I was reminded of what overeating felt like (my stomach honestly was fuller than it had been in a very long time), I was struck with a sense of unfamiliarity. What I immediately realized is that this is no longer my identity. I am not this girl. She died a long time ago, and I by no means intend to resurrect her. As it spoke to God about what I had done and reflected on some of the things that likely contributed to my overeating, one of the first things that I did was repent. Immediately. It was not okay, the behavior was not acceptable, and I did not make any excuses.
As I woke this morning, I felt a sense of "grace" covering my activities of the last few days (I know, don’t judge me. :-)). A familiar verse came to mind: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, insults, and hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
While I am not feeling incredibly strong at the moment, I do know that my choices do not dictate my future. The enemy would love for me to just quit. I think that is what happens to many of you. You have a day where you go off of your diet plan, you overeat, or you do not workout as you intended. Our former selves scream, "See! You can’t do it. Why even bother to go on?" However, I have tasted the new version of myself. A new identity, an individual who is been changed by the power of Jesus Christ. I KNOW that is an absolute lie. I know where my strength comes from, and I know that only in Jesus Christ have I been able to walk in freedom for so long.Therefore, while my old self attempted to make an appearance this weekend, she will immediately be gone at my next meal. Immediately. I have no place for her anymore, and she is no longer welcome.
Reflect on this: "Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "the Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him"– Lamentations 3:22-24.I’m choosing to rest in the compassion of my loving God this morning. I’m choosing a compassion that compels me to be better, that will empower me to shoot for higher, and that has been a familiar presence with me throughout long years of weight loss, maintenance, and freedom. His love fights for me, and I felt him fighting for me this morning. Reminding me that his grace sustains me.
While I could choose to be consumed by the shame of making a poor choice, I will not. I shove those thoughts away, and pull from the truth of God’s Word. His compassions never fail. Through my poor choices, and through times when I think I have really fallen short, his grace sustains me. Therefore, I can get up, and try once more. I can have a new day, a clean start, and walk in newness of life that a relationship with Jesus has brought me. I’ll remind myself of my seven steps and move in the right direction again.
I hope your holiday season went better than mine did in the area of overeating. But, for some reason, if it did not, push forward. Don’t give up. Take a stand, make new choices, and push forward to obtain the freedom that Christ Jesus has already obtained for you.