What does arrival look like?
Since I last posted, I feel like I have been making major progress toward my weight management goals. Visiting the dietitian was a very good decision; I finally got the chance to get a little guidance so I could tweak the nutrition content of my meals. Since doing that, and combined with a little physical activity, I have seen the scale begin to move again (yay!). I was finally on my way to arriving at my weight loss goals.
In these last few weeks, however, I have not been doing as well. I have been struggling more with overeating, and saying no to things I did in the past. My once daily physical activity has transitioned to 1-2 days per week, definitely a far cry from what I know I need to be doing. It’s just, well….harder.
I gained a bit of clarity today after church. I can now see that along with the victory came something else that is often coupled with success: self-sufficiency. For a few weeks, I was thinking of my weight journey as nearly complete. Something in me started to believe “I got it.” It really was quite subtle. I had arrived, I told myself. My, it felt so good to think that way. I just stopped believing I needed any more help. I stopped asking for it. I stopped praying about my eating and weight. I quit seeing the dietitian. I am doing a good job, I say. I can take it from here, God. Thanks for all the help you gave me–I now know what to do. I will let you know if I need anything in this area.
Arrival has always meant the end. But, today, I was reminded that we are not built like that. God has made us all needy and dependent; We are ALWAYS going to need his help again. He made it like this on purpose. We are always going to need what he only can gives us (John 4). I am now seeing that arrival in its healthiest form looks a whole lot like dependence. I am practicing all I have learned, but am depending on God to help me do it. I make progress with all that has been revealed, but I remember that it is never my strength that causes me to prosper. As Jesus says in John 15:5: , “I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me, and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
I finally am able to see again. My “not doing as well” is because I have stopped drinking from the source of my strength. I detached myself from the vine, and without knowing it, placed myself in a position to fail. The truth is this: making eating choices is just the surface of my freedom. I also have to contend with matters of the heart (e.g., loving food more than God), my worship (e.g, turning to food to make it better), and obedience (e.g., stopping because I know I had enough). Oh, God. Help.
I am now rethinking arrival. I recognize how that word does not fit when I think about my struggles and this journey. I am working hard to stay dependent. I will always need God’s help. And that’s ok–it’s how we are built. Journey on, friends.