this year i knew it was time to give up sugar for lent. i tried last year but failed somewhere in the middle and then didn't get up from there. God doesn't love me more or less for fasting, so who cares, i would think. but in my freedom, i had lost something that God was wanting to show me. it was a gift actually and i rejected it.
this year, i thought, it has to be sugar. i'll give that up again. as much as it pained me to think that thought, i knew it would be good. i bake practically every day. of course, i could give up many other things that consume my life for 6 weeks, but this was the one i felt pressed about. there are lots of things that rule my day, but there is something about food. food is a part of everyone's day and it guides social events and family plans and daily routines. i knew it would jack me up. bad.
and it did.
the first week was quite hellish. in fact, the first three days yelled, HEY! you're addicted to sugar, if you ever wondered.
addicted? no. not me. i just love baking. and eating crap. all day. and wait, i'm a little miserable and i can't say no.
and so God was kind. He did a work in me and i surrendered. i prayed a lot for help. it sounds silly, but i was struggling against a completely legal substance that i had used as a sort of drug. i worshipped it. and so there it was...this was a sin issue, a worship problem.
so when i started looking at it as a sin issue, that's when things started changing. i was praying more, repenting more, seeing my sin more. and needing God MORE. honestly, i don't now how people change on their own...i have no will power, so the only explanation i have is that God is working a miracle in my heart. i really relied on him for lasting heart change.
in the second week, after i got past the intense withdrawal from no sugar, i began to notice a couple of things. i was skinnier (i didn't want to lose weight), i wasn't taking 2 hour naps (this has been a 4 year conundrum), my cystic acne on my neck was getting smaller-- these weird, painful knots on my neck that i had off and on since in college, were shrinking. my periods were lighter and shorter. what? i wasn't starving all day because i started intentionally eating. i was less angry.
God was doing something. and He was changing me.
i was hungry to learn more about how food was hurting me and i was hungry to learn how it could help me heal.
lent gave me space to see all this. and God gave me the space to see Him. praise Jesus that He uses whatever He wants for His Glory. and why does He even care about my diet? what a God we serve that cares for the details of our health and our diet!
i'm going to do a series here on what changed during these past weeks. i'm excited about it and i pray that maybe you'll see the value of fasting from something you hold dear. specifically if you love sugar. there will be a challenge at the end. if you're up for some crazy change. a sort of create-your-own-lent-even-though-lent-is-really-almost-over. there's something about an elongated fast that creates space to see things you were blind to before.
i hope you'll stick with me over the next couple of posts. i'm going to be talking about what i was eating, what my kids were eating, some recipes, some health stuff, just whatever information from these past weeks that i can conjure up. it will be here. it won't be a long "series" and it won't be detailed. i'm not a doctor or an expert, but i can tell you how letting go of sugar has changed me.
maybe it will inspire you to ask God to work in your own heart?