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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

And I saw in my dream...a turtle...




I bet you're thinking this blog will be about a dream I had. And you're right! But before I get to the dream, which I am purposely withholding until the very end of this ramble, you will need to be patient and read the blog from start to finish, otherwise the dream will make absolutely no sense. So, be patient and read on!

As most of you know, I am on a wellness/healing journey...my body has gone rogue and has been very mean spirited for years now. My new doctor, whom I adore, has made it clear that if I want to go on living, and do it well, there are some major changes that need to take place. Boy, was that an understatement!

Last night my sister asked me if I would want to post about this nightmare, er, journey I am on and I told her a gazillion other people have done it already so why me? But this morning I thought, "Those gazillion people do not know me or get to read my humble blog" so what the hey. And since this journey is not just about eating, maybe it can help and encourage someone else who's in similar circumstances. After all, that IS what this blog is about!

So, because of you my dear sister, here goes...this comes from my journal this morning...

This journey has been so much harder than I ever thought! When I began, I was starry-eyed and in a state of denial, I am sure of it. I foolishly believed that I had the strength and will power to eat nothing but meat and certain veggies and consume untold numbers of supplements for 30 days with no problem. No diary? Who cares! Chocolate? That is so passe! Grains? Who needs 'em, there's cauliflower rice! Nuts? Tomatoes? Sugar? Small things in the scheme of life! Now I can only wonder at my naivete and self-confident foolishness. What was I thinking? 

I knew in my head that food was my "drug of choice" but I never realized how dependent I am on it for happiness and fulfillment...popcorn and cheese for movie night, taco salad on Sundays, nuts and ice cream in front of the TV, Saturday night pizza, waking up in the morning and thinking of all the glorious food options for the day and how much happiness that food would bring. Now I wake up and groan...and roll back over, sheets covering my head. No eggs and cheese for omelettes? Life is so not worth living! 

My life as I knew it has ended. This way of eating eats up my time...I feel like my whole life is spent shopping or studying or planning or cooking...it's all about food...and not the kind of food that I had known and grown to love!

Now, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has brought these health issues into my life for a reason. He could see what I couldn't...that  my biggest problem was not a health one, but a spiritual one. God knows that until I crave Him more than food I will always be captive to it. My head understands this but my flesh is fighting it like a Ninja warrior...there are days I want to quit as I scream out, "Who the hell cares? If I die, at least I'll die with a smile on my face, eating the food I love." And therein, my friends, is the LIE I have been believing...food will never love us and we were never made to love food. Or anything. More than God. Ouch.


So to help me out, God kindly provided a study on just this topic...The Armor of God. It came at just the right time, though Heaven knows I have been so busy trying to keep this health thing going that I didn't have the time to do it justice. But just embracing the basic, bottom line truth that we have an enemy who is out to destroy us...who knows our weaknesses...our vulnerabilities...and what lies we are believing so that he can take us captive, has been a lifeline that I have been holding on to when I am sinking under fear and doubt. 

I'm slowly learning to ask myself, "Is what I am thinking right now God's Truth or the enemy's lie?" Example? "You'll never be able to do this." Really? That's funny because God says I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength! I am amazed at how many things I believe and act upon that are lies. But they had become a part of the broken record in my mind that I have listened to over and over again for years and never questioned...things like, "You deserve it"..."This will make the pain go away"..."It's tradition!"... and on and on and on.

"You deserve it." No, actually I don't! I don't deserve the sickness and pain of what eating this tempting food will do to me. I am precious and beloved in the sight of God...His daughter...and I choose to listen to Him and believe what He tells me. I love the truth that He knows me and has good plans for me!

"This will make the pain go away" No. No it won't. If I eat this or do that, I may feel better for the few seconds it takes me to indulge, but then my head will hurt and my body will ache and guilt and condemnation will haunt me. And everything I have worked so hard for...lower blood sugar numbers, normal blood pressure...decreasing weight...energy and optimism and hope and a closer walk with Him...will all be sabotaged. And then I'll feel so freakin' guilty I'll do it again and again and again. I will not be weary in well doing for in due season I WILL reap. God said it and I believe it!

"It's tradition!" Yeah, but old things are passing away and all things are becoming new so maybe it's time for some new, healthier traditions! After all, it's not food that defines happiness, but the people you are with and the God you are celebrating. I just have to see through new eyes.

These are just a few of the lies I have been unearthing. Every day it has been a battle to bring my thinking and eating under His control, to wrestle with the enemy of my soul, depending on God's Word and strength to help me overcome...one choice, one meal, one day at a time.

This has given me a new understanding and compassion for those whose drug of choice is anything but God...those addicted to alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, sex. Whatever. There is a bondage there that can't be broken apart from God. All addicts are in a life and death battle, and willpower, inner strength, and desire to change can never overpower the one who comes to kill and destroy us...our health, our marriages, our families, our very lives. It has been humbling to learn how very dependent I am upon God...how incapable of victory I am apart from Him. And for this reason alone, I can now thank God for bringing this hardship into my life. I love Him and need Him and depend upon Him as never before.

So, for all of you who have faithfully continued reading until now...dream drum roll...

I saw in my dream (I had to say that as I have been leading a study on Pilgrim's Progress and I always thought that sounded so cool!)...

There was darkness and fear and I was running and trying to hide. The next thing I saw was Ted and I, driving through the mountains, me snuggled next to him on those great seats from bygone days where you could actually sit side by side. As we drove it was a gloriously bright and beautiful day and I exclaimed, "It's not the Rockies, but it will do!" Driving along, we came to a village I have seen in many of my dreams and even though it wasn't our home, it felt like it was. Ted spied a gift shop and asked me if I would like to stop. (That alone proves God was behind this dream!) As I entered I saw in front of me a counter, and on that counter was a stand covered with magnets. I was drawn to one with a turtle on it, a turtle with flowers on his head and the word Courage underneath him. I also bought a pink fluffy hat but that's another story!

I've been thinking of this dream for over a week now. I understood the Courage part, and the idea of a turtle slowly plodding on to get where it needs to go. But the flowers on its head?

It wasn't until today that I got it! I was staring off into space as is my norm these days, and my eyes fell on the pictures I had hung over our TV...prints from our trip to Sedona last year that I had framed and matted... pictures of birds and sheep and chipmunks wearing hats made of flowers and seeds and fruits...pictures that make me smile and bring me joy. And then I started to cry. I got it...I understood the dream! The turtle was me on my journey! It will be a slow and steady plodding on, and courage will be necessary. But along the way, I will be decorated with beauty and joy! 

There is no food, no activity, no thing, that can promise this...a life of faithfulness and beauty and joy following the Lord. Yes, it will take courage to go forward into this new way of life, but God is my Strength and my Fortress, my Deliverer in whom I trust. What can man do to me? What can the enemy do to me?

What a glorious thought this is...and hilarious also, for of all the things I ever pictured myself as, it was never, ever a turtle...a courageous turtle...with flowers on her head.

But if God sees me that way, so be it. It is good. 




If you are interested in Vicki Sawyer's artwork, here is her site: https://www.zazzle.com/vickisawyer/products


photo credit: Carlos Velayos <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/37289194@N03/33900829490">Nunca pierdas la ilusiĆ³n...</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">(license)</a>