He Knows

Hello, my name is Martha and I’m a food-a-holic. I have been addicted to food since I was a little girl. It has been my solace, my comfort, my best friend at times. It has also been my downfall, bringing obesity and super-sized health issues along with super-sized clothes. It has been my master and my lover. Unfortunately, my being a food-a-holic has never been a secret, because it shows up in my gut and in my “full figure.” Every time I self-medicated the pain and hurt with donuts or cheeseburgers (note the plural) eventually showed up in a required shopping trip to up-size my pants.

By the grace of God, I am now a recovering food-a-holic having dropped the bulk of my weight several years ago (only because diabetes reared its ugly head.) I have learned to make better choices and decisions. And mostly, I have learned to depend on the Giver of Life instead of a pepperoni pizza for my comfort and joy. But it will always be there… That desire for what everyone else is eating. And have you watched television lately? It’s a terrible place for people like me. They can’t do commercials for cigarettes or alcohol anymore, but food?? Oh. My. Goodness. I can’t watch.

I have known and loved people who struggled with alcoholism, and somehow it was always a surprise. It was hidden. From the outside, everything seemed fine. No telltale signs to the untrained eye. The struggle is within, and deadly. Food, on the other hand, is both an inward struggle and a real physical struggle. It stretches the elastic on our pants and our pride. It bursts the seams on our skirts and our self-esteem. It pops the buttons of our shirts and our shame, bringing us to a new low.

BUT… “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) He knows every struggle I have fought with food my entire life. Every time I ate “one more” cookie, or the entire large popcorn at the movies, Jesus saw and loved me anyway. HE KNOWS. Nothing is hidden from God!! And I’m so thankful and grateful for it.

The song in my head this morning is He Knows from Jeremy Camp.

All the bitter weary ways
endless striving day by day
you barely have the strength to pray
in the valley low
how hard your fight has been
how deep the pain within
wounds that no one else has seen
hurts too much to show

all the doubt you’re standing in between
And all the weight that brings you to your knees

HE KNOWS, HE KNOWS
EVERY HURT AND EVERY STING
HE HAS WALKED THE SUFFERING
HE KNOWS, HE KNOWS
LET YOUR BURDENS COME UNDONE
LIFT YOUR EYES UP TO THE ONE
WHO KNOWS
HE KNOWS

we may faint and we may sink
feel the pain and near the brink
but the dark begins to shrink
when you find the one who knows

the chains of doubt that held you in between
one by one are starting to break free

every time that you feel forsaken
every time that you feel alone
He is near to the broken hearted
every tear
He knows…

I will struggle the rest of my life with overeating, but I won’t be alone in my struggle. The closer I am to The Lord of my appetite, the easier it is to push my plate away and get up from the table. To see food as the life-sustaining thing it was intended to be by the God who provides it. The closer I am to Jesus, the easier it is for me to hear His Holy Spirit whisper in my ear, “that’s enough for now.”

Click here to listen to He Knows from Jeremy Camp.

Being addicted to food has made me a great cook, and a lover of anything for my kitchen. The featured image is a shot of my Fiesta ware plates. I’m not sure I have enough!

HAPPY

I’ve been painting again. Walls, not pictures this time. It’s long overdue, and I enjoy doing it. While I paint, I listen to music for a while, then I switch to podcasts. The other day I listened to a podcast of the TED Radio Hour from NPR on happiness. Very interesting show about what makes some people have a happier disposition than others… The psychology behind happiness, the Harvard brains opinions regarding happy people, and more. You can hear the entire broadcast, or specific pieces of it, here.

On the broadcast, David Steindl-Rast talked about what it takes to be grateful. He argues that happiness follows gratitude, rather than being grateful because we’re happy. I agree. As a Christian, I know that I must give thanks in all things and at all times… Gratitude. If I am thankful for what I have, for the goodness of God in my life, then why would I NOT be happy? On the other hand, if I am only grateful when I’m happy, well… I imagine it to be like a child saying, “God, I’m not gonna be thankful and grateful unless you make me happy. If I’m not happy, then I’m not gonna thank you for anything.”

Jeremy Camp woke me up this morning singing these words from his song, My God. They made my day start with an attitude of gratitude to God this morning.

The Great Creator
Beautiful Savior
I’ve been redeemed
There is life now from Your victory
You are my God

One of the best ways for me to take my mind OFF myself and get my “grateful” on is to acknowledge God for who he is and what he’s done for me. It sure starts my day off right this morning.

Click here to listen to My God by Jeremy Camp.