Looking back, it happened slowly. But considering my past 5 months, it happened so fast.
I was in a wonderful wedding last weekend. I had packed my own lunch and snacks. GF, DF, SF, SF, FF, MF, CF, MF… blah blah… all the food restrictions I’m on. But I didn’t pack a dinner. I just felt it was rude to be a tupperware carrying bridesmaid.
And that’s how it started. There was feta on the salad. Sigh… what’s a little dairy? I had potato salad too. Totally would have had dairy. Then the champagne toast. I must say, I skipped all kinds of amazing food including the gorgeous pie dessert. And I was very proud of myself.
About two hours later my joints started screaming. Hmmm. There must have been gluten.
This week has been a weird one. Our apartments have a new owner and we’ve been working through some odd lease wording and the question of whether she even wanted any of the current tenants to stay. If there’s one thing that will freak me out every time, it’s housing. My family went through a short period of what I now know is legally classified as homelessness. Then as a new single female immigrant, I experienced a couple of years of uncertain housing times. Since marrying my amazing man, our housing has been fairly stable. Three moves in 13 years. Not bad at all.
But this week stirred up some deep-rooted fears about roots and “home.”
It was the tipping point. My brain was full of work, home, kids and I didn’t meal plan for myself or my family. And then I thought, “When my skeleton has waves of pain already… why not just eat with freedom?”
Last night was an evening of shame and failure. At my dear friend’s birthday party I ate homemade chilli made with canned beans, cornbread made with wheat flour that I smothered with dairy-based “I can’t believe it’s not” and… drum roll… are you ready? Oreo Ice cream cake. Drool! It was a ginormous piece. Huge. Covered in whip cream. Oh baby.
My first huge dairy ingestion since April. My first purposeful, rebellious eating of wheat flour. Immediately waves of pain rolled in. And the shame and regret wrapped around me like a blanket.
How could I be so weak? After so many months of being so focused and disciplined? How could I throw it all away for a few minutes of indulgence? How could I choose to damage my kids’ mum’s lifespan? How did I get here?
Know this about me: I am a quick learner and a deep thinker. This situation, although not at all good for my physical self, speaks louder to me about my spiritual self.
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My food infractions are such a good metaphor for sin.
What an amazing God is Yahweh. He sets us free and guides us in the paths of life. He gives us His Ways and His Truth. He gives us vision and purpose.
And so quickly I choose to trade it for momentary things. Tearing away from the things that bring life… and walking in things that are destructive and deceiving. Sin.
And the damage happens. Integrity: mud-covered. Freedom: scorned. Love and Life: turned from.
But the pain and shame and regret are not to be permanent companions. Our Savior’s embrace gives unending new starts. Thank our Creator and Source and Lover of us! Thank Him for new mercies every morning! Truly He is the King of all kings and the worthy God of all.
This life is not a sprint that depends on every split second being perfect. It is a long cross-country adventure marathon full of new chances and slates being wiped clean.
Oh how I treasure His mercy and grace! What an amazing glorious God!
Praying: May my physical health journey be as glorious as the life journey He gives each of us. In Jesus Name!
God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (The Message)