Updated: Nov 14, 2022
A congratulations are in order, you have officially made it to the last blog of the mini series "Let Go, Let God." Through the three week series I greatly hope that God spoke to you in some way. If you haven't checked out the other two blogs, please do! Just like the last two, this subject is very personal.
The habit of emotional eating began as a child. My amazing Grandma Debbie and beautiful mom both taught me to eat dessert, aka sweets, when I was happy, sad, angry, for celebrations, and even in times of much needed relief. This innocent action that I thought was the answer to all things, soon became one of my deepest and greatest struggles. Instead of going to God when life got tough or praising God when life was happy, I immediately sought out to go to dinner and eat way too much or buy myself a nice medium blizzard ( a cookie dough one might I add, I couldn't just like the simple mint chocolate one or get an ice cream cone). Through much repetition, this action became second nature. I never thought twice about what I put in my mouth. My mom began to be healed from emotional eating, as well as some other food related topics, and attempted to pass it onto me. Of course I was all on board at first until I realized what it felt like to deny the flesh. From middle school on, many times, I would buy comfort food and sweets and harbor them in my room (have my grandma buy them). When I started driving, I would buy a flurry or blizzard and eat it in my car so my mom wouldn't know. I knew it was wrong.
The reason it was wrong? Numerous times I put a sweet in my mouth it was not out of pure desire to taste the goodness of it. Oh no! I chose to eat ice cream, chips, little debbie snacks, ect. to either heal a broken heart or celebrate a small victory in life. Let me stop right here and say this....it is 100% okay to celebrate with food, dessert including. Numerous times in the Bible, God called His people to celebrate with huge feasts. It is also okay to do the typical ben and jerry's after a huge break up. (These types of situations are few and far between and personally, I don't find anything wrong with coming together as broken people to be sad.) However, it is not okay to become unbalanced in this area. Being unbalanced can look a many ways. To some it can be going to their favorite food every time a bad day occurs. To others, it looks like filling an empty soul with any type of food to attempt to fix this huge hole inside themselves. To a few, it appears to be eating a candy bar for every test they pass or every time they don't do another habit they desire to break. When in reality they are just creating another problem. The issue is not food or dessert or even comfort food. It is the choice we make to put those items on the top of the priority list. To choose to eat instead of pray. Now sometimes, I eat and pray at the same time...but I am jumping ahead now. When choosing to go to food instead of God, we are telling Him He is not good enough for us. He is not able to help us, but this food item can. The book, "Trusting God," puts it best. It is a sin to disobey God but it is also a sin to not trust in His goodness/sovereignty. Meaning, we can obey all we want but if we are not able to believe in whom we are obeying, deep down, the ability to give God glory is lost. Selah.
So what do you do? How does one begin to let go of food and let God? It is VERY recent that I have been completely free of emotional eating. Will I stumble and fall? Yes! Will I be forgiven? Always. However, the freedom I experience is much greater than the taste of a blizzard or reesee's cup. Plus, it tastes much better when you are only eating it because you desire to taste the item out of pure enjoyment of what God has made. My journey to freedom began a couple years back when my mom posted a quote and scripture verse on our fridge and then asked me to listen to a certain sermon series. The quote: "A bite of food, that should spark worship in us-not a worship of food, of course, but of the Creator of food," (Matt Chandler). The verse: "So whether you ear or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God," 1 Corinthians 10:3. Through reading these words every time I opened up the fridge, God began to soften my heart. I had never been open to first off admitting I was emotionally eating, let alone desire to fix it. Step one: admitting you have a problem. Of course I had no clue where to start or how to fix what was broken. However, I did have a God who knew how. Therefore, I remember running and watching the sermons over and over again. Then reading christian books about it. All the while, asking God to continue to change my heart to want to change. Honestly, I am not sure when this epiphany happened or if God just began to ask me to do it; however, all I remember is one day I prayed to see if God really wanted me to eat whatever it was I so desperately needed. From that moment forward, instead of just denying my flesh I also asked God if it was okay to eat sweets, comfort food, and junk food. Now I never asked permission to eat fruits and veggies or even meat. But the amount and the sides were prayed about. Many times I drove through a fast food restaurant and ordered while praying and there were many times where I just ate whatever it was anyways. But in the midst of whatever decision I made I was aware that God was greater than any food item. He alone has the power to bring about change. THE MOST IMPORTANT PART! I cannot count the times God asked me why I was eating ice cream or chocolate and I would immediately stop eating it and save it for later. You see, I was not enjoying what He made. Rather I was stuffing myself to fill a void in my life. But I have got to admit, it took A LOT of praying while eating before I started seeing freedom in not having the sweets at all.
Just this week, I looked at a candy bar and did not even desire to taste it. I never EVER thought I would look at a piece of chocolate and think to myself, nah. Like WHAT?!? But it 100% happened and I am so so grateful for it! My senior year of college, I thought I had found freedom in emotional eating but I easily went right back into the unhealthy habit as soon as the next bad thing happened. What is the difference between then and now? The honesty, the vulnerability I have with God and others. Plus being willing to go to a professional and talk about emotional things plays a part into the ability to see truth. One day, only with God's help, you can also be FREE! Free from the pull of eating without thought, eating in order to feel better, eating because you are sad, eating because you just can't handle life...One day God will be enough! Until then, keep asking God to break and mold your heart. Seek help. And choose to say no and praise God every time you do.
P.S. In case you need to post these two sentences somewhere:"A bite of food, that should spark worship in us-not a worship of food, of course, but of the Creator of food," (Matt Chandler)."So whether you ear or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God," 1 Corinthians 10:3.