After my last post I received an email with this question, “How did you figure out what your “heart issue” was/is? Did you do counseling? And, then how did you change it from medicating with food to true healing?”
I have been mulling over this for days. I hope I can answer it well, because I already feel like I am fumbling.
I believe that my heart issue is the really the same heart issue we all have – idolatry. Idolatry surfaces in our lives in so many unique ways. For me, I know that at some point due to pain, disappointment and unmet expectations, I began to turn inward. In my own little world I could justify eating my feelings – whether happy, sad, angry – whatever. I could justify not taking care of my body. It wasn’t that I didn’t care; I was very centered on self. I just wanted to feel better.
This is what I mean when I say that real change, particularly with weight loss, is an inside-out transformation. Deal with your heart issues – emotional pain, idolatry, baggage – whatever yours is, and then you have taken the first steps towards freedom. Yes, I did do counseling for a couple of months and then DivorceCare to continue to work through the grief and move towards healing. While these things were instrumental and totally essential, they weren’t a cure-all, but rather a part of the process God used to bring about healing. Real healing began when I got real with myself. I couldn’t blame anyone; being a perpetual victim only shackles you to your heartache. I had to own up to my own failures in my failed marriage. I had to own up to my sin, my poor choices and the reality that I had to take the first steps and extend a hand to get out of the pit.
The moment things began to really move forward in my heart was when I began to actively seek forgiveness. To give forgiveness that wasn’t sought out. Forgiveness is freedom. You’re not giving that person who hurt you a “Pass/Go” card nor are you saying that what they did was “okay.” You’re releasing them from your judgement, from your hatred and your pain and giving them over to God, the only righteous judge. Belive me, I know this is difficult to do and it requires a great deal of faith.
Listen friends, and specifically to my friend who asked the question that sparked this post: There is absolutely nothing extraordinary about me, except for my exceptional desperate desire for freedom and joy. Good things take hard work, and it’s baby steps all the way. Whether that’s weight loss, fulfilling a dream, healing a relationship, whatever . . . “Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.” Psalm 37:5 (NLT)