Slave To Food– A Journey To Freedom

11 Oct

Ok, readers, bear with me here.  I am about to spend the next several minutes sharing about a part of my life that very few have seen.  I’m going to do some peeling back of the layers of the last 8 years, and for me, it ain’t gonna be easy!  However, this is part of my story and I know that part of the reason it has been given to me is to re-tell it to others.  So, here I go!

Food.  Everybody eats food.  Food is every where.  We have to eat food.

Food is a spiritual matter.  If it were not so, the Bible would not have so much to say about it.  So here’s my story of how food and my spiritual life are intertwined and how food became bondage in my life.  I’m here to tell you how it got started, the 8 year struggle I endured, and how I received freedom from bondage.

HOW IT GOT STARTED:

Eight years ago, soon after I got married I experienced an agonizing miscarriage that knocked me off my feet.  It’s still the lowest low I have ever experienced in my life.  Physically it was horrendous.  Emotionally I was broken.  And spiritually I was in despair.  I quickly became depressed.  At the time I was so unaware of what was really going on.  I put on my smile and my “I’m ok” front and sluggishly pushed through life.  All the while I felt so empty and at times the pain felt unbearable.  I slowly started literally feeding my loneliness and pain with food.  When faced with trials and difficult times we as humans will in return turn to something– either God to help us face the reality or something else to make us avoid the reality.  For me it was food.  Food became my drug and I was addicted.

THE 8 YEAR STRUGGLE:

I soon found myself not only carrying the burden of the miscarriage, but now I also carried a weight of guilt.  I continued to wallow in my despair and self-control was no where to be found.

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.  Proverbs 25:28

I was like a city broken into and left without walls.  The enemy took camp in my soul and I had no defense.

These 8 years looked like a graph of wavy lines with highs and lows.  I would reach a point of feeling tired of being defeated so I would turn and run to God and ask for help.  I always just wanted a good, quick fix– some rest for my soul.  I had my mountain top moments when I felt like I was on top of the world and that I would never eat one extra bite of food again for the rest of my life.  There were many days when the desire for victory was about my image.  I wanted to look a certain way and be well thought of by others.  This all stemmed from vanity and had nothing to do with me wanting to bring glory to God.

I cannot begin to tell you the toll that this sin had on my life.  It affected everything.  EVERYTHING.  How I felt.  My marriage.  My friendships.  My personality.  At this point I am not going to get into all the details of those things, but I will say that I felt terrible physically– little did I know what was actually going on inside my body.  It was complete haywire!

At this point it was somewhere around a year after I had the miscarriage.  David, my husband, and I still desperately wanted to have children.  But it’s hard to conceive a child when you feel so terrible and your body isn’t functioning properly.  After some time I finally had to make myself go see a doctor.  Mainly because David was telling me to.  I dreaded facing the doctor.  I knew in my head that my problem wasn’t something that a doctor could fix.  It was at this point that I was diagnosed with PCOS and started taking medications to regulate my hormones.  I felt a little hopeful that we would get pregnant and that it would cure a lot of my problems.  After a couple years of doing that and still having zero success with pregnancy I gave up for a while.  I stopped taking my medicines and once again I wallowed in despair.

I spent the next couple of years doing all that I could to avoid the conversation with David about pregnancy and going to the doctor.  Surely you can get the picture of how miserable this was without me having to go into the details.  IT. WAS. AWFUL.
I continued life with a tight grasp on food–  Still using it  to comfort me, avoid loneliness and bring me a short-lived euphoric moment.  Self-control was still far from me, so destruction was constantly upon my heart.

I finally reached some sort of a breaking point and went and saw another doctor and from there was sent to a specialist.  It was at this appointment I was given a detailed explanation of PCOS and the effects it has on my body and becoming pregnant.  I was put on several medications and educated about how weight loss would help this illness tremendously.  We left that appointment feeling so hopeful and on top of the world.  I had the “I can do this” attitude.  Key word to failure being “I”.

It was a vicious cycle that started at this point.  Because I had been told that weight loss would help and because I failed at weight loss I would eat more.  Failure. Defeat. Eat. Repeat.

This cycle lasted years.  I lost count somewhere along the way.   But it brings me up to more current times.  This past year.

God in His unfailing goodness to me put me in certain situations.  He didn’t leave me in my pit of despair.  About a year ago I started a Bible study and I happened to read a book that had a chapter on self-control.  There was a lot of stirring going on in this heart.

I still remember the day that I was praying and begging God for a child and in His still small voice I heard Him say, “repent”.  It became so clear to me in that moment– how could I be asking God to bless me with a child while I am wrapped up in bondage to food and I haven’t repented.

FREEDOM FROM BONDAGE:

God’s timing was so perfect.  I found myself in a Bible study that had me in the Scriptures and had me facing my sin front and center.  I had just read a book that I mentioned earlier that had a chapter on self-control.  And it was summertime and I had an easy going schedule that allowed me so much time to be still.

By God’s grace, I realized that I had moments of emotional cries to God and desires to change, but I didn’t not repent.  As He revealed this to me I just cried out to Him to help me to repent.  I don’t even remember the words I said, but God knew my heart and He was all in the middle of this working.  I can’t really say that this was a one time prayer.  It was more like a week of praying and groaning.  It was painful and beautiful all at the same time.  I found that as I confessed, I found compassion from Him.

He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.  Proverbs 28:13

God gently showed me that my addiction to food was because I was NOT SATISFIED IN HIM.

I cannot create self-control in me.  I cannot create victory in me.  But I can run to God and fling myself down before Him, confess my sin and MOMENT BY MOMENT rely on Him to give me everything I need for life and godliness.

Even as I sit here and write this I am overwhelmed by His goodness to me.  That God did not leave me in that pit of despair, but rescued me.  I don’t question why I had to stay there so long, I rest in His sovereignty.

So now, here I am on this side of this journey.  I don’t want to paint this false picture that with God all your hard times just melt away and life is a bed of roses.  I have to DAILY, MOMENT BY MOMENT seek God’s strength to continue to walk in victory.  Have I failed?  Yes, I am human.   The difference now is by His grace I go to Him, confess my sin and meditate on Scripture instead of pushing my conviction aside and wallow in self.

I want to share with you some of the Bible verses that spoke so clearly to me during this struggle of habitual sin:

  • A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.  Proverbs 25:28
  • He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.  Proverbs 28:13
  • Romans chapter 6
  • Galatians chapter 5

I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the Lord. 

Psalm 40: 1-4

So there, in a nutshell, you have my story about my struggle with food and how God gave me freedom from it.  There is more to this story about my life now.  I am going to be writing another post soon to talk some of the practical truths about food, health and PCOS.  Part 2 has been written– Read it here:  Eat To Live– Just What I Needed

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8 Responses to “Slave To Food– A Journey To Freedom”

  1. Auntie Sue October 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    I LOVE YOU!!!!!!! oh, did I tell you that you are BRAVE?!!!! AS

  2. Stefanie Arnold October 11, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    Oh my word, Jill. I love you. This post had be BAWLING like a baby. I’ve been through the miscarriage part, but not without any live children. I cannot imagine the pain and confusion and hurt you must go through. I’ve prayed for you over the past 8 years, but not to the degree I should.
    For some reason after my miscarriages, I didn’t want to lose weight. To me, losing that weight was like saying that baby was never there. And he was. So I almost wanted to hang on to 10-15 extra pounds so everyone around me would remember. I’ve only ever told Jason that. I hate being judged and back then, couldn’t handle someone lecturing me about it. Especially someone who’d never been through it.

    I love the verses you shared. They’re all convicting and yet show God’s tenderness that he shows daily to us.

    This is awesome. I love what GOD is doing in your life and I love the journey He allowed you to take and the things He taught you. I can’t wait to read more about the ways you’re finding healthy eating/living to bless you!

  3. Misty October 11, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    I love you , Jill. You are my hero.

  4. Margie McCain October 12, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    Jill, what a beautiful way to express what was going on in your life. So glad you share this with others. For some reason, that seems to help with the healing process. Am awaiting the continuation of this beautiful journey.

  5. Lori Sumpter October 13, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    Jill,
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I often repeat this verse to myself, and these words always give me comfort!

    Jeremiah 29:11
    11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    Giving complete control to God is so difficult, but when we do he does amazing things!!
    Losing children is so difficult when God puts this desire in our hearts. Words cannot express how sorry I am for you, but happy you have found strength thru the word of God. I will continue to pray for you always.

    Lori

  6. Jill Denton October 13, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    Thank you all for the kind, encouraging words. It really means more than I can express in words. I very grateful to be on this side of this battle– one of sweet victory in the Lord. I look forward to sharing more in the near future. God is so good and everything He does is good…even when it doesn’t seem good in our eyes. To Him be the glory, honor and praise!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Eat To Live– It’s Just What I Needed « Inside Out - November 4, 2012

    […] case you missed my previous post about my struggle with food, you may want to read this little story […]

  2. A Promise Fulfilled « Inside Out - December 14, 2012

    […] to finish my story, but in case you are new here you may want to read these two blog posts first:  Slave To Food and Eat To […]

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