Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Raw & Unedited

I am in the process of a spiritual makeover. I am thankful to my Father through Jesus Christ that He does not want to leave me as I was, but to make me a new creation. (2 Cor. 5:17)

I know I am well loved as God disciplines those He loves. (Hebrews 12:7-11)

Did you ever work very hard on a paper in college or high school and thought it was the best work ever? That when you turned it in you just knew you were getting an A on it? Boy was it good and all the hard work with the reading, late hours, writing it all out. Perfect in your own eyes. Then the day the instructor or teacher returned the paper to you and it had a big “F” on it! Big disappointment! What went wrong?

Pride comes before a fall and God humbles the proud. Lord, keep me humble.

That’s what has happened to me in my spiritual walk. I’m going through the motions; doing the good things; saying the good things; acting the good Christian part. But I saw my grade – “F” this past week.

I’ve struggled and wrestled, but I have finally submitted and accepted my responsibility that I’m not doing what I’ve been instructed to do.

I plan to share briefly what I felt led by the Lord to do. Then as I am led by the Lord, I will post more specifically in each area.

I trust and believe God He is preparing me to go into the promise land He has promised me. However, there are still parts of Egypt that I need to be delivered out of me.

First is my struggle with food addictions. For years I have used food as a source of comfort. When I’m mad, I eat. When I’m sad, I eat. Depressed, I eat. Angry, I eat. Happy, I eat. Celebration, I eat. Nothing is wrong with eating as we all need to eat to get the nutrients and energy we need to function. But I have put food in a place where I value it more that my loving God. It has been an idol for me. I think of food and how I’m going to eat. I worry about when and how I’ll eat. I don’t live a depraved life, but have a depravation mentality. God’s word says not to worry about what to eat or drink or wear. (Matt. 6:33)

The other part of the food addiction problem is that specifically sugar changes my personality and affects my moods just as much as alcohol, nicotine or drugs. I want to feel a little high, I eat cake. I want to crash, I’ll eat more. It puts my blood sugar processes in overdrive. I’m torturing myself for the sake of feelings.

I have felt a clear prompting for years and years (thank God He is patient with me and gracious) but now is the time to be set free from this. I have to allow the power of Christ to work in me in this and be set free from food. For me to do this, I need to go through a cleansing season of eating lean meats, fresh vegetables, and fresh fruit. Eat potatoes (starchy veggies), whole wheat/grain bread, brown rice, or whole wheat pasta only once a day. That’s the plan the Lord has laid out for me. I know it. It sounds simple. But without the power of Christ, it will be impossible for me.

Second, is the area of selfishness. I have to live for others more than myself. As a mother, the Lord has shown me that I’m selfish in the area of discipline with my children. It has been easier for me to avoid discipline as it inconveniences me. Disciplining my children is a mandate from the Lord. I confess I get tired. Being a parent is the most demanding and difficult thing I believe the Lord has called me to do. Boot camp, working in office full of cat fighting women, long hours and demanding jobs were easier than the job of mother. I call this part of my life “Character Development 101.”

I also have to learn to live unselfishly as a wife. The only thing that is predictable with my loving husband is life with him is unpredictable. I enjoy routine and security. Life is not routine with him. Schedules fluctuate and I’m continually having to adapt; lovingly of course. Actually that’s the part I’m working on. I call what I have the “rain man syndrome.” Based on the movie Rain Man with Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise where Dustin’s character is an autistic savant and has to do things at a particular time and if he didn’t get to do his routine, he freaked out. Any changes scared him to death. That’s me! (Not quite as extreme, but close.)

Third, I believe at some time in my life in the future the Lord will call me into full time ministry. I have no idea when or how. I am the least qualified. But part of me has issues with it as there are things in the past I believed and trusted that the Lord called me to do yet when I stepped out, I felt like the rug was yanked right from underneath me and I fell flat on my tush. Part of me has doubts and fears of ever stepping in faith to do things ever again and part of me is excited with anticipation of the uncertain.

In preparation for this possible future calling, I have books on my heart to write. However, I rationalize by saying to myself, “Who will ever read what I write? Who am I to think others will read anything I write?” Then the other part of me tells myself, “If the Lord tells you to do, then just do it. It doesn’t matter who reads it. It doesn’t matter if it is stored on the computer til it crashes.” I believe the first book is to be based on my testimony (which you can read here.)

Therefore, I need to walk in obedience in these areas (there’s others, but these are ones I feel led to work on now).

1 Samuel 15:22-23 NLT

22 But Samuel replied,

“What is more pleasing to the Lord:
your burnt offerings and sacrifices
or your obedience to his voice?
Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
23 Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft,
and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.
So because you have rejected the command of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.”

I ask for your prayers as I step into the walk of doing as the Lord commanded. Prayers that I will live obedient to Him, to put Him above food, to love as God is love, to be unselfish with my husband and children and others in my life, and to trust that He holds my future. Thank you for these prayers.

Blessings in Christ--

7 gracious comments:

Emily said...

Hey Shonda...thankyou so much for sharing your heart. Your honesty and transparency have truely touched my heart. I have (and am) dealt with many of the same issues and we all need a Saviour! I listened to a Beth Moore teaching the other day that I think will really bless you.I think this is the link (I am not the best at this sort of thing)http://www.oneplace.com/Ministries/Living_Proof_with_Beth_Moore/?bcd=2/18/2008

I can't figure out how to link it:) But you can copy and paste.

Anyways, I just prayed for you and I am so excited for your faith journey! Keep turning your face to heaven and to the One who sits enthroned (Ps 123)...He is able and so are you!
Love and Blessings, Emily

Emily said...

I have to send you this Psalm, I hope it blesses you!

Psalm 123
"I lift my eyes to You,
the One enthroned in heaven.
Like a servant's eyes on His master's hand,
like a servant girl's eyes on her mistress's hand,
so our eyes are on the LORD our God,
until He shows us favor.
Show us favor LORD, show us favor, for we've had more than enough contempt.
We've had more than enough
scorn from the arrogant
and contempt from the proud."

We are so dependent on our Master, and like you, I have had more than enough of my own pride and the pride and arrogance of the Enemy in my life and those I love.
Show us favor LORD, show us favor.

Anonymous said...

Hello Shonda! I will pray for you as you step out in obedience...and see His sweet blessings He will bestow on you. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Braden, TN

jen said...

This hits hard today. Thank you for sharing your heart. God will bless you for it. Praying for you Sister.

Bev Brandon said...

Shonda, your words just endear me to you all the more.
Childlike faith,
childlike honesty,
childlike humility....
just simply beautiful.

When we recognize that we have problems, issues, things to deal with and WE ALL DO then God can do something about it cause Gal. 3:3 says we won't accomplish our goals on our own strength...did we start with God and think we'd end up doing it? No, and you haven't either for you know it is the beautiful God inside you that is rising up courage and strength in you to make that new man stand and stand you will! Love your courage and conviction!

Linda said...

Shonda, your heart is pliable and submissive to the Father, and that's reason for celebration. He will help you with your weaknesses, but those same tendencies will keep you coming back to him over and over. I am touched by your vulnerability in posting these things. It will help lots of women who come here.

annie's eyes said...

Thank you Shonda for your courageous post. This season of refining Fire is always difficult but so worth it when we stay on the path with Him. Which of us can't relate to you? Your writing this today touches my heart, and convicts me to be more pliable in His Hands. love, annie