I've been getting bogged down. In the details and the requirements and the failures and the frustration of this stuff. I've been getting reeeeally bogged down. :) Time to snap out of it!
For some reason I was prompted to graph out my weight over the past 10 years and get some perspective on this thing. So I did it. The graph below starts in 1998 when I was a senior in High School. I gained a few pounds between graduation and my wedding, but what began to happen after that is startling. I averaged a 10 pound weight gain each year. For nearly 10 years! Take a look:
Then in 2009, something remarkable happened. The gaining came to a halt, did a complete U turn and began a glorious descent back toward health. It is truly remarkable. To see it like this causes me to be so awestruck at the turn-around that a stagnant year doesn't really seem to matter at all. In fact, as one of my readers pointed out not to long ago--it could be worse...I could have gained.
I decided next, to create a graph that would show what it would look like if I had continued to gain weight at the rate of 10 pounds per year. Scary:
If this had been the case, I would weigh 250 pounds today (I weigh 170lbs). There is no doubt in my mind that is where I would be.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain...Corinthians 15:10
Creating these graphs has been so good for me! I SO needed to see this. We celebrate the victories as they happen, but we need to remind ourselves of them everyday. The victories have power when they happen--but they have power afterwards too. To remember that point where something clicked deep within me and there was no turning back--that is powerful! To think of where I was and to think of where I might be?! That is powerful. To be reminded what can happen when you string a whole bunch of "begin agains" together. Powerful!
There is a huge parallel going on here--I just can't ignore it. Can you see it?! First of all--this is what God wants to do in each of our lives. By grace, through faith (that he provides so that no one can boast) he literally lifts us up out of defeat and death. We become new. We are remade. The old IS GONE, the new comes in. A U-turn happens and life is never the same.
Second of all, those who are in Christ need to remember the power involved in the U-turn, every day. When I remember how miraculously that happened, how can I get bogged down in the details and the requirements and the failures and the frustration of not doing good enough? I can't. This is the power of the gospel, not only in the moment of salvation but for all eternity.
It is the power to begin again every single day. To remember that He did what I can not do. That in Christ, there is nothing I can ever do to make him love me more and nothing I have ever done that will make him love me less. That if I never progress another inch, his spectacular progress all the way to the cross is enough for me. That my worth has already been established, when Jesus died for me, and it can never be changed because he said "It is finished."
Swimming deeper and into these gospel waters is the only thing that captivates me more than my flesh. Indeed, greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world! (1 John 4:4) When I think about these things, food seems so trivial. The way others treat me doesn't matter as much. How well I am doing isn't a huge issue. Stuffing my face seems pointless. The glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ, shines so brightly that these things become dim and insignificant. Can you say freedom?!
Ironically, it is the food and the people and my lack of progress and the face stuffing that send me back to the edge again and again. But that's the point of it. To remind me who I am (nothing) and who He is (everything). I forget that. A lot.
In the gospel, there is power to overcome myself. There is power to do hard things. There is power to experience something better than I ever dreamed of or hoped for...and it hasn't a thing to do with the scale. It is the power to live, fully. It is the power to know what is REAL.
I need to think about it everyday so I can keep going. So if you keep reading, I'll keep reminding. I love you all and I pray that your progress is in Christ.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes...Romans 1:16