This is the follow on post from last week’s Addiction post. It is a post I have not looked forward to writing. Using God’s word to try to explain something which has ultimately been a personal revelation from Him to me feels like a huge responsibility. Articulating it clearly and accurately feels hard and I feel clumsy in trying to do so. Please bear with me. This post is important to me. I want to write it, and I want to write it well.
You may remember last November I went in for an operation which would hopefully rid me of some fairly major issues I had been having since the birth of B4. Around the same time I felt a kind of hopelessness regarding my weight. It occurred to me that over my life time I have lost a gazillion pounds, and yet still remained large. Life stretched ahead of me with this pattern repeating itself; that mentality of if I could be ‘good’ for x amount of weeks/months and I could lose x amount of pounds all would be well and I would never struggle with weight issues again. That mentality was and is a lie. My weight was a symptom of a deeper problem, it was not the problem. The life which lay ahead of me would be a life half lived. It would be a life spent chained to the shackles of food. I was becoming literally and metaphorically speaking weighed down by calories. But worse than that. The way I saw myself was being distorted under this weight.
In that moment I handed my battle over to God. And I waited expectantly, knowing something would happen….‘those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles’ Isaiah 40:31
And it did. I put on a stone over the next week, the week spent recovering from the operation. Really?
Deciding to put the matter to one side knowing deep within that God would be dealing with it, I reminded myself that His ways are not our ways, His thoughts not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). I was still fat but I was at Peace.
Sometime in January I felt that God prompting me to read the Bible until He told me to stop. It was clear to me that He did not want me to study it. He wanted me to read it and listen. He would show me what He wanted me to hear. I speed read and have done since I was in school. I had never thought to speed read the Bible because it seemed to me to be a bit irreverent and yet that is what I felt led to do – speed read the Bible and trust God to stop me at the important bits.
Oh, and I was to read The Message translation. I had bought The Message, in large print, for the children when they were little to make the Bible more accessible to them, but I had never used it as my own study Bible. However I did as I was told and borrowed C12’s Message Bible. It wasn’t clear at first why God chose the Message but the more I read the more I realised how perfect it was for this project. It is very easy to read which means large amounts can be read in a relatively short time and it was truly a pleasure to read. However, the main reason it was so perfect for me at this time was my unfamiliarity with it. This meant that passages I had read umpteen times before were new and fresh to me, holding treasures I had previously overlooked.
I read, every minute I had. I told no one what I was doing. I read Genesis through to Deuteronomy and then felt led to Proverbs, after which I read the Gospels, Acts and lastly Romans. Every time I felt prompted I wrote a verse down. If you could only see the mish-mash of verses in my note-book. Very few of them were about food. Many of them were proclaiming the sovereignty of God. Bit by bit I was building up a picture of the Claire God wanted me to be and the gaping space between that picture and reality.
I intend to share more at a later date but suffice it to say my whole world was rocked and I was tossed out of the zone of comfort. It was exciting, truth be told. Words, good Words, from the mouth of God, were going in me at a speed I could hardly digest.
During my holiday in Northern Ireland I had more time to read and my notebook quickly became full of verses which God deemed important for me to know. All the time the picture became sharper. My family asked what I was doing, so I shared. My lovely mum-in-law and I chatted for hours about what I was finding and what it might mean. And then came the day which changed my life and the way I thought about myself forever.
And I will be sharing that part tomorrow. For now I am going to hold my breath and press publish.