February 9, 2012

Didn't See That One Coming

On Sunday when I wrote my "week in review" there was a sentence that I can't get out of my mind. I was speaking of what happened to me emotionally when I weighed in and had only lost eight tenths of a pound:

"It really got the best of me today and I just felt mentally and emotionally tired with no reward of weight loss."

It stung a little when that line popped onto the screen. It's a very honest statement but one I'm not excited to admit still belongs to me after all this time. I tucked it away into a corner in my mind but it has continued to resurface all week, bringing along with it cinnamon rolls and peanut M&Ms...

Last night I attended a concert at my church. The performance was given by a group of children from an African village called Watoto. This is an organization in Africa that rescues vulnerable and marginalized women and children and puts them together in families. The children are taught about Jesus and raised to be leaders of Africa's next generation. It's truly an unbelievable thing they are doing.

During the performance a video depicting the everyday life of these children was shown. At one point the camera panned into a well pump dripping tiny drops of water. The narrator was describing the daily, endless cycle of walking and pumping, walking and pumping for these children--this is their life--just to get that water. And it wasn't much water coming out.

But I don't feel sorry for them. No, I surely do not. These children, these families, are full of joy. Perhaps greater joy than I've ever seen. Certainly a different kind of joy than I've ever seen. Their joy doesn't come from getting water. Their joy is in Christ alone. That is why even though these people may have been mutilated, forced to take the life of a family member, ripped away from their families, lost parents to AIDS, or walk the majority of any given day just to get the water they need to survive, they remain joyful. They find their purpose not in the things of this world, but in the Everlasting God.

When I saw the water dripping from the well I immediately knew why that particular statement about the small weight loss on Sunday had been haunting me. Here I am, toiling all week long, getting to the well, only getting that little drip--and then I'm furious. I am entitled to more water, no? No. I am entitled to nothing. The breath that I am about to take is a gift. The ability to walk, eat, measure things, share this with other people--all a gift. Grace, grace, God's grace. I am entitled to nothing.

It can be really hard to explain what goes on in one's relationship with the Lord to others. These particular writings are are a reflection of my personal convictions and the Spirit's prompting in my life. This is in no way a suggestion for others. Sometimes it seems like it would be best kept private, because it's just easier that way and perhaps that is how He intends it to be in certain instances. But for this particular matter, given this particular setting, I can't really figure out how to keep it private. So here goes...

I think what is about to happen is that I'm going to put the scale away. Possibly for good. I can't believe I am writing this. I hesitate so much in writing this. Because I might be wrong? Because someone may think it's silly? Because it is in direct opposition to things I've thought/written in the past? Because writing it means it's real? Yes.

I realize this is not a new concept. I have put the scale up before as have many others. When I did this before, I quickly realized that it was just a cop-out. But this current choice is being prompted by something different than it has been in the past. It's not because I'm afraid of what I'll weigh this week. It's not because I'd like to eat whatever I want for a few weeks without being bothered by the scale. It's the opposite. It's because I truly want to walk in freedom and this is the thing that has been identified to me as the major area of bondage. (Not coffee creamer. Duh.)

It is scary to me to think of not weighing every week. Very. Scary. But I will trust that this is His plan. And maybe I'm WAY off. Lord knows that's happened before. I could be back on the scale next week. But I don't think so. It seems like the Lord is really refining this whole process and taking me deeper and deeper into the heart of the matter.  I have never lived "healthfully" and not been simultaneously tied to the scale. What will this be like?

What it seems He is asking me to do is to stop living week-to-week when I am not promised the next hour. Stop being a slave to these weekly weigh-ins. I believe that He is asking me to continue taking care of my body, continue walking in the path of life (as He has shown me), continue dealing with my emotions...but in His presence, in His way. Not mine and not the world's.

I know He wants me to stop living as if weight loss is my life-water.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1) What I've always wanted is freedom. What I've been praying for earnestly is freedom. And I know He wants it for me, too. That's why Jesus came. And so It will be. I believe that truth and claim it.

What is coming to my mind as I finish up this post is a C.S. Lewis quote that has always been dear to me, and today more than ever: "If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair."

And then my life verses:John 8:31-32 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

So, what does all this mean in simple terms?
  • I will continue to post my tracker daily
  • I will continue to exercise
  • I will continue to set goals
  • I will continue to blog regularly
  • The time and energy I spend thinking about what the scale shows will now be directed to other matters
  • My actions will not be affected by the scale
  • I will abide in His word.
If you read this far, then you must really love me! Or be really fascinated by my neurosis, although I think for once, that's not what's happening here. At any rate--prayers are appreciated.

Going down the road less traveled...


Meghan said...

I love this post and how open and honest you are.

A couple of weeks ago I know God told me to put away the scale. He whispered, "I've got this, give it to me." I was extremely frustrated for the first couple of days but prayed and prayed and prayed. That week I became so much more dependent on God with this journey. I no longer (well, going on a couple of weeks) feel the need to weigh in but once a week. I've given my anxiety about it to the Lord. I don't feel like a slave to my weigh in anymore! I know he's got this. That week when I REALLY trusted him I pulled the biggest loss I had in quite some time.

Do what you need to do. I understand that you need to do what God is telling you to do.

I hope you find peace with this journey.

Can do mom said...

Love this! And yes, I did read all the way to the end.

I don't have time to write all that is on my heart but I want you to know that God is using you in ways that have nothing to do with weightloss. I call it God's perfect economy when this happens and I want to thank you for your being willing to be vulnerable and write of your struggles.

It's me, Cheri! said...

Keelie! I read the entire post and yes I love you! Even tho I only know u through your writings. You have ministered to me through this post. I believe that Still Small Voice is calling me to a closer walk. Your post is directing me where to begin. Thank you, my Sister in the Lord!

AJ T said...

Don't live looking in the rear view mirror. Keep moving forward, who cares what you decided yesterday, it's about being obedient today! If you bought those sweet rolls and God said throw them away...would it be worse to be a bad steward of what you spent money on or an obedient daughter to your Father?

That's the question that weighed on me today!

Molly said...

Do it! Do it! Focus on the behaviors that will get you to your goal. You can do this. I tuck my scale behind my laundry basket but I'm very tempted to store it at my neighbors house! Make sure that you measure or you have a pair of pants or something to help you see success. Does that make sense? I always feel like I need to confirm the successes. You're doing great - this is for life so figuring it out now is what we've got to do. You can do it!
I pray every night for our Heavenly Father's help - it works.

Kimberlynn said...

I really do love you Keelie!!! I applaud you for being sensitive to what the Lord is saying to you...taking you to a deeper place. I was so touched (and convicted) by the story of these beautiful joyful people. I've been struggling so much with joy and my lack of it. I've been far too affected by my circumstances, when I should have my focus turned to the only one who can change them...praising Him even if He chooses not to change them.

Be blessed!!!

Sharlie said...

Wish it had a "like" button :)
You always put things that I need to hear!

kellyo said...

Absolutely beautiful. You have verbalized what He has been trying to work in my life as well. Get my focus off the weight and food and on to Him! Thank you for writing this and pouring out your heart for others...
God Bless.

Jane said...

Amazing post, so beautifully written and honest. The line about being "entitled" to weight loss really resonated with me...I know that so often I focus on this tiny battle, but every day at my work I see people whose battles are much greater and more important than my struggle to "look good in my jeans," and those people often bear their trials with much more grace and determination than I do. Thank you for always reminding me to focus on the big picture.

Kelly said...

This post spoke to me in many ways.. what a privilege it is to get to read your honest thoughts and hear the ministry in your posts. I truly believe that you have been 'set free' from the scale burden that effects so many.. What a great feeling! I know that you will continue to be successful.. You're such a rockstar! Love ya! Yep, I read it all!! ;)