“In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.”
Psalm 18:6 (NIV)
Last time I spoke about how God started me down the road to true freedom. It started with me crying out to Him and Him answering in the most loving way possible. There were sacrifices that I had to make to walk His road, but the further along in the journey I got, the less they felt like sacrifices and the more they felt like offerings, gifts to Him.
In August I ended my 40 day fast and with that came some major answers to prayer for things I’d been asking God to fix in my life for a while. Within two weeks, I decided I needed to fast again and tried to begin a 90 day fast, something I felt God was inviting me to do also. However, I kept breaking the fast, and while the scale hasn’t moved down any more since August, it hasn’t crept back up either. I still have continued exercising six days a week, but some of the areas where I’d found freedom in the eating pattern God had invited me to participate in, I was starting to experience bondage again. Hip and leg pain were coming back and I knew it was largely because of things I had added back into my diet.
I had to make another decision this week. God invited me on a journey to complete freedom – did I want to stop one third of the way there or did I want to see it through to completion? I’m greedy. I want complete freedom so I’m choosing to fast again – this time making the commitment to restart and fast for 90 consecutive days. God is the One who showed me 90 days is my number. Since I waited so long to start again, I’ll be enjoying Thanksgiving and Christmas while fasting this year. This fast isn’t quite as strict as the last one, but I will still be making sacrifices during the holidays and honestly, while it will be hard in the moment, I’m okay with it.
I’m looking at this experience from a different mindset than I have any other “diet” I’ve participated in. First of all, it’s not a diet. God is teaching me a new lifestyle that He wants me to live under. He’s showing me what is normal for me and since my “normal” has been so skewed for so many years, it will take at least 90 days to make and maintain healthy habits. I’m “under construction” during this season in my life and my prayer is that when this 90 days is over, I’ll emerge liking the changes in my eating habits as much as the energy and life that God is giving back to me.
I’m not looking to diet and then “eat anything I want, like that skinny person over there.” That’s not the true freedom I crave anymore. I’m looking to thank God for the blessing of loving me enough to show me what I need to do in order to live the life He has chosen for me. I’m looking to get to the size God designed my body frame to wear, eat the foods He has chosen to fuel my body without pain, and not have to worry about “dodging the bullet of diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure because I would rather eat recklessly than mindfully.
I’m choosing most of all to say thank You to my Father who loves me enough to want the best for me, and to show me the boundaries that will help me get there and stay there. After all, those boundaries bring me the freedom, they don’t keep me from true freedom.
© 2016 Cheri Swalwell