Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Road to Health Part 1: What Health is to Me

After being sick for the past two and a half weeks, I've had plenty of time to think about health. In times of frustration, I even thought about bargaining with God: "If you make me well, I will do more to be healthy." I stopped short of making the bargain because I fear failure. Maybe it's not really a fear, I just know from my past that I usually fail at this task.

And that's where my problem is: I depend upon myself and not the Lord. I'm learning that health has to do more with my total package: spirit, mind, and body. I am an emotional eater. I eat when I'm stressed, angry, and depressed. A vicious pattern occurs when I emotionally eat. I feel some emotion, so I eat to numb myself. Then I feel guilty for eating, and eat again. What's wrong with this picture? Aren't I, as a Christian, supposed to depend on the Lord for my strength and comfort? Instead, I take matters into my own hands, with disastrous results.

Here is what it looks like to depend on the Lord: Once I relay my feelings to the Lord, my mental state will change because my spirit feels peace. Once I feel peace, then I will no longer feel anxious and want to eat. I may still have some of the emotional energy left, but that is when I should go for a walk and pray.

I know, easier said than done. This is my thought though: Just as my vicious pattern of emotional eating became a habit, then after some conscious effort and lots of prayer, the new spiritual pattern should become a habit as well. The Word of God offers me hope: "Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established," (Proverbs 16:3). Also, Proverbs 16:9 says "The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps." You see, if I dedicate myself and my plans to the Lord, He will establish my path for me. One more bit of encouragment comes from Psalm 118:7: "The LORD is on my side as my helper."

Health to me is no longer the idea of looking great in a pair of skinny jeans. Rather it is being physically, mentally, and most importantly spiritually healthy in the Lord. It is allowing myself to feel my emotions and handle them in a spiritually mature manner. A mountainous journey lies ahead, but I know the Lord will not only set my path for me, He will be there every step of the way, helping me overcome my obstacles.


Anonymous said...

I'll be following along with you, intently, because I'm exactly where you're at. I know what to do, but I 'do it not' and according to my Bible, that's sin. I hate to think I sin every single day in this way, but I depend on me, not God to get me through the task of weight-loss and gaining perfect health. I know this! Why can't I change the pattern??? So, I'll learn from you, dear friend!

Thank you for putting this 'out there' - you and I cannot be the only ones stuck in this rut!

Denise Miller Holmes said...

I love those Scriptures. I think they are great for any obstacles or path we face. I'll be joining you in prayer as I have a long row to hoe with my own weight loss.