I sprained my ankle Memorial Day Weekend, and because I was foolish and did not nurse it properly, I found myself practically housebound most of this year. UGHHHH!!!!!
Eager for connection with humanity, I asked my sweet friend about the woman’s Bible study at her church. It was based on the book by Lysa Terkeurst, Made to Crave. Lysa writes that some of us tend to satisfy deep desires and emotional emptiness or stress with food, instead of God. We were created to crave God, but in our fallen state we curb that craving with anything else, including food.
This curbing only offers temporary satisfaction. Because when the food craving is over, all we are left with is guilt and a tighter pair of jeans.
I was glad to attend, though I had missed a few lessons. Saying I felt welcomed would diminish the acceptance I immediately felt by this wonderful group of women. I dare say I felt like they wanted me there. Kind of like the feeling one gets when one is invited over for tea and a piece of pie.
At first I didn’t think the book would really affect me. I never considered myself what I call a blue-mood-eater. I have lived on a low carb diet most of my life, and for the most part had strong control over food.
It wasn’t until I ran into a situation that brought up emotionally-charged painful memories while running errands that this food trigger grabbed me, and proved me so wrong. It was past two in the afternoon, and I hadn’t had anything to eat but a smoothie for breakfast; so I was quite hungry. After my last errand, I pulled into the Burger King parking lot conveniently next door, with a strong craving for onion rings and a chocolate shake.
I could almost smell the onion rings and taste the chocolaty, creamy smoothness. Then, I had to put on the emotional brakes.
Wait a minute. I am very hungry, so why am I only craving onion rings and a chocolate shake when I plan to make myself my favorite sandwich when I get home?
Then it hit me.
Ah, yes, the extremely emotionally charged experience = deep need for comfort food.
Huh! And I didn’t believe I was very susceptible.
In Lysa’s chapter, “Emotional Emptiness,” she writes of the emptiness her father left behind in her childhood heart when he up and left for good. She struggled with only negative thoughts and feelings for her father, until one day while on vacation with her husband she saw snow. Lysa’s heart was warmed by a flicker of a childhood memory.
She grew up in Florida without ever seeing snow. During one rare cold spell the temperature was forecasted to drop below freezing. Little Lysa prayed her heart out for snow.
Her front yard was like a fairyland when she woke up. Without rain or snow, there were icicles hanging from the trees.
Her father set up sprinklers the night before.
This memory became a token of her father’s act of love for her. She chose to stop the hurting merry-go-round by replacing the bad memories with one solid, rich memory of love.
I found this to be personally powerful, and life changing.
I knew then I was meant to read that chapter.
I had become trapped in that hurting merry-go-round also. I decided to do the same with the handful of significant people who have caused me agonizing grief.
I would free myself from the bondage by letting go of the ugly memories with God’s help.
Like Lysa, I must choose to let go of those bad memories AND like Lysa, I must replace the memory with something I can visualize, something that will bring me back to a sweet time with each person.
I have tried many ways to bury the excruciating past. I have written the painful events on paper and gave them a burial, I have written letters and burned them. I have let the people know how much they have hurt me, to no avail.
I even tried peeling back the layers of pain a little at time like an onion, but I found that the closer I got to core of the heartbreak, the more the onion stunk and the more my eyes stung.
Even after repeatedly attempting these healing steps, I remained trapped in the profound wounding. It haunted me.
I’m thankful Lysa shared God’s gift to her through her father. A positive memory in itself doesn’t remove the sting of the pain that remains, but when that bad memory is purposely cast aside, and we chose to only concentrate on the good memory(ies); we can freely bask in the wake of the loving gestures).
For me, another link in the chain of bondage is loosened.
THANK YOU, JESUS! Thank you, Lysa! This is an answer to prayer!
I bought myself a Mylar balloon. Between the birthday, congratulatory and new baby balloons God surprised me. The store had the plain, ordinary white one in the picture.
I would write the offender’s names and the replacement memory I treasured on one side, and give all the offenses to Jesus as I released the balloon into the heavens; this time for good. They now belonged to God, and were wiped clean from my life. I would leave the other side of the balloon blank, white as snow just as God washes away my sins, He would wash others’ sins from my heart.
My heart’s slate is clean. Praise God!
Ephesians 4:26-27 In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
By ~ Elizabeth Yalian 2013 ©http://hiseyeisonthissparrow.com.