I recently began a 60 day online course designed to address over-eating and all the complications that go with that. It goes far beyond the boxes of anorexia or bulimia, although it does include those. It addresses those more common, usually unspoken, eating habits.
I have only done 2 of the 60 days but so far I have unwrapped some juicy bites of truth that really explain a lot about me. I grew up in a family that used food for lots of reasons. To celebrate good news and accomplishments, to enjoy a summer evening or have special time together. It was a “treat”. It always included some sort of unhealthy food, usually ice cream or cakes. Sometimes it was just a snack from the gas station of an apple pie or cupcake. It was always delicious and it was always special and I loved it. Thinking of it now makes me feel nostalgic for those sweet times sitting on a bench on a warm night with my Oreo blizzard slightly melted with my family all near by. The food wasn’t the source of the joy, the special times were, but now as an adult the food is the thing I run back to to make me feel protected and happy again. The food is the thing I use to try and recreate the feelings of protection, joy, peace and, really, just fulfillment.
This course, The Lord’s Table is doing an excellent job walking me through a buffet of truth. It makes me verbally acknowledge to myself and my accountability partner that I use food to fill my emptiness. That I do not view food simply as a source of nourishment, but really as a source of happiness. It’s an empty well that I dip into time after time and only come up more thirsty.
My motivation for taking this course is not necessarily to lose weight, although I wouldn’t mind if that was a bonus side effect. No, my real motivation is because I know in my heart that the more I tear down the things that don’t satisfy, the more I will draw close to the One who will. Ultimately, this is what I want. Just to be closer to Jesus. I want to know what it means to have Him fulfill me in those empty places and not look for food, or whatever, to be a quick substitute. And let’s be honest, if it wasn’t food it would be something else. I have a whole list of things I use to fill those empty places.
I want to be the woman at the well who, after believing Jesus when He said he could quench that constant thirst and need, left her water pot and ran to tell others the good news. I guess in my case instead of a water pot it will be my dinner plate.