Why We are Good Enough for God. We Just Have to Trust Not Fear

A shot of one of the Sleeping Bear Dune Drive Overlooks that Mike and I ran over Easter (very hilly!)

A shot of one of the Sleeping Bear Dune Drive Overlooks that Mike and I ran over Easter (very hilly!)

Yesterday at church, my favorite Pastor preached. Dr. Bob Laurent. We've been in a series about the 10 Commandments and he spoke about "Do Not Steal." What was really cool about it is that he didn't stand up there and preach about following the rules. He preached about how following the rules instead of Christ - makes us fearful of not following them right. That fear makes us do things like steal because we believe that we aren't good enough for God, or we need to have what someone else has to be good enough (ahem - Wednesday video message - good enough). We become performance driven in following the rules instead of driven by His grace and love and we miss the point of why he came. 

He said, "We don't trust God's love so we choose fear. We think we aren't enough..." Wow, ever felt that way before? He got to the root of the issue - fear - and reminded us that God wants us to  TRUST.

He said, "Beloved, he will provide for you. Stay where you are - let him work in you. Your value comes from the death of Jesus Christ - is that enough?" That makes you think, doesn't it!?

So  -I just wanted to share with you what I wrote at the end of the service in reflection on Dr. Bob's words and my sermon notes. Maybe some of this will speak to you...

God I know I've been doubting you with my actions. Like I'm trying to have it arranged all together so I can offer it (me) to you on a silver platter. But you want the platter shattered. You want a shattered platter (of me) with all it's pieces so you can put it (me) back together and made whole. You want me "but God I can do..." and you want my everything. As I write this I'm hearing this verse:

Isaiah 43:19, "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams of wasteland."

So on Friday I had meeting with women who support Healthy Voice. I've come to the end of myself - where I can't do it all myself (which I knew) and I need help. So I reached out to these women who I've spent a lot of one-on-one time with to come together.

So we came together, let the Holy Spirit guide us (because He truly is what Healthy Voice is all about) and He gave us the direction. But before He did, he took a little bit of my weakness and laid it on the table. At one point, my heart began to break for those who are lost - with no direction spiritually, with only their material wealth or future accomplishments to give them peace knowing how much they need a Healthy Voice. I want so desperately for them to have it. But I also want to help pull it out of them. I want to help them see, and really all I can do - is BE.

All I can do is be real and be the voice for Healthy Voice so that HE Can do the work only HE can do, and my friends assured me of that. As my heart broke down with tears of empathy, my friends encouraged me and reminded me that God will do the job of saving the lost through the Holy Spirit. We just have to be real about our lives because he loves us.

They also assured me of this: Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

So being real - my heart breaks for those who are lost, but I know that God will use me to reach them. I don't have to do all the work. I don't have to figure out all the ways to get them. He's going to take care of that. He already has and does. So I'm just going to continue letting my heart break for them, and let Him continue to heal my heart and use it to reach them. 

My heart is all out for Jesus and I'm here to trust Him, to let go of my platter and let Him put it all together.

If there is anything I know about the last two years of growing deeper in my dependence on Him - even in a performance driven society - HE is the one who provide - not me, not my trying, but HE.

All I have to do is trust and know he's not looking for worldly, performance driven Meredith but daughter of the one true King, child of God, servant, warrior and overcomer Meredith.

That's it. That's all. He just wants me.

So here's ME!!

Today...I was in my devotionals and found this from Utmost for His Highest to really complement what I was writing. So maybe it'll give you a little extra oomph. And come back Wednesday for a little video message on "What to do with Not Good Enough" and a bonus at the end of the week about "Running the Race" as I'll be running one in Grand Teton on Friday!!!


Proof that Darkness Cannot Hide the Light: A Weekly Message from our Healthy Voice

As I sat down to write this blog, this song was playing on my computer. Maybe you'll listen to it as you read the rest of this blog. It helped me process as I wrote...

The rush of life can get to us - which is why I've come up North for a few days in solitude and stillness. We all go through seasons of busyness, of darkness - sometimes we don't even notice it - until it's overwhelmed us. In our house, we've had quite a few years - a LOT of loss scattered with joy, laughter, healing - inside and out, and new beginnings. During this time there is ONE that has gotten us through it - and that is God. When someone asks me what I've been doing - I can say this: I've been in the Word letting God direct my paths at a time when it feels like you can't see the forest through the trees. HE is the one who lights the way.

If we focus on him, seek HIM above all us - he'll guide us. 

I can be tempted to focus on Healthy Voice and planning - but planning can only go so far. I have to act on the things he directs me to do.

God's the one who carries it out and I have to be the one to take action forward on the stuff he's put on my heart. HE is my light and guide, but he also doesn't want me to hide my light. That is huge. I have to take the steps no matter how much I fear the light maybe not being there.

Last night I posted this photo below on Instagram - a glimmer of light between dark clouds and rough waters. With it I had this passage: In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9.

About twenty minutes later, the skies started to open up to this picture - the glow started to spread. It's like the light was getting brighter - His presence, his light and the light in me.

Then I went inside to sit down and write this message and the sun started to literally glare in my eyes, as absolutely bright as it could be - right in my face, like it was directed right to me.

And that whole process of the glimmer of gold, followed by the brightness opening up the sky and then the sun glare into my eyes - just reminded me of the process of life, and the seasons we live in life. Sometimes the sky seems dark and we're looking for that little glimmer of light. Then one moment it just gets brighter, and then sometimes God is showing his light so bright that it feels like it's made for us (which it is!)

It's like God is saying, “Look at the light I can bring to you. I love you this big. I bring you this much light and more. I am your light and I shine in the darkness. YOU shine in the darkness my child!" I will remember how bright that light was last night, for a long time...

So I guess what I'm saying here and in my video is "Rest in him. Trust in him. Seek him."

I want Healthy Voice to succeed in reaching people but I've got to let HIS light guide me - not the work itself. Then I've got to take the steps he guides me towards. This week he's had me focus on the spiritual gifts he's given me to encourage through my writing, speaking and teaching. Then I have to let the rest fall into place. 

You know part of me coming up here this week was to visit a very special place to host a retreat. I wanted to do it last year and life didn't let it happen. Spiritual experience retreats are part of this plan for Healthy Voice because just like I got away to connect with God and my Healthy Voice, I want to help others do the same, and coming to places like this - where you and we together can get away from the rush of life - can do just that. So there it is - it's about being accountable, growing up, being responsible for the LIGHT that is un us because darkness cannot hide that light, no matter how grey it gets.

Here are a few of the verses I mentioned in the video:

1) Your word is a lamp unto my feet. Psalm 119:105

2) The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. Matthew 4:16

3) You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

4) The light shines in darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5

5) When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. John 8:12

6) Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of the light.” John 12:35-36

The final Words at the last stroke of paint - REST in me. TRUST in me. Seek Me.

These were the finishing touches on this masterpiece of a sunset God created last night...

And so - I leave you with the glorious display God showed me last night. He was the painter and all I did was watch and run out to it so I could share these pictures with you. It's proof that we are God's masterpiece and he really does have it all worked out for our good - if we just trust him and let HIM lead. Every color, every detail of a split second - he's got planned. We just got to get ourselves out of the way and follow him.

For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 NLT

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Have an awesome Memorial Day, and I can't wait to see what God's got next for your Healthy Voice.

It's Amazing what God CAN Do with Our Brokenness and Why Our Next Generation Deserves a Spiritual Solution

I got this at a Women's Retreat a few weeks back. Thank you Angela Bryant for leading us!

I got this at a Women's Retreat a few weeks back. Thank you Angela Bryant for leading us!

7 years.

I was seven years old when my parents got divorced. I was 31 when I began these last 7 years of life in recovery.

I got to choose. Either I was going to keep walking as the victim on the inside of the loss I'd had as a child - escaping with my drugs of choice - food, alcohol, overexercise - or I was going to find the courage to change. In one instant I got to choose to be victory or defeat. In one moment, I heard God's voice calling me to a new life and I chose to believe. I may have been a victim as a child to a change I couldn't control. But as a grown woman, I could take control of my own life and choices. I could stop reacting by running away (literally and figuratively).

 I could stop the cycle and get the help.

I'm glad today - BEYOND glad, I got the help.

I am a victor in Christ. I'm an overcomer. Where I am weak, HE is strong. Where WE are weak and can't find our way - HE can be the light...

***

My heart aches for those who are broken on the inside - especially those of our next generation who are deep in the trenches of peer and life pressure with access to substances at every corner. I'm glad to take this opportunity to mark Mental Health Awareness month to share my testimony of getting help and to point out the importance of THEIR mental health. They are our future.

No matter how much we may have materially or resourcefully, or how much our parents love us - we can still hurt at the depths of our soul. There are a lot of kids out there, and grown adults who still struggle with past trauma, with feelings of brokenness, low self-esteem, insecurity and fear that occurred from things like divorce, loss, toxic homes and more. Without another way the quick-fix escape from reality becomes alcohol, drugs, food, cutting, and the like, but they don't HAVE to go there. And if they GO there, they don't have to stay there. They have a choice. But it's up to those of us who've walked through the pain to share the hope.

I am blessed to have found a spiritual program at the young age of 31. It is the program that pulled me out of my spiritual emptiness. It's the program that pulled me out of my destructive thinking, behaviors, and broken heart. It's the program that showed me the way to WALK this life, instead of escape from it. Most importantly -  it is the program of 12 step that opened the door for a new relationship with God that I never knew was possible. It's the program that gave me the space for self-seeking so that God could remove the hurt and the pain in my heart to bring peace.  

I truly believe the solution to all the struggles our next generation face in unhealthy behaviors could be solved by a spiritual solution. Not everyone belongs in a 12-step program, but everyone - especially every child deserves a spiritual solution. I know you and I can be part of that solution. 

 

The lamp of the Lord searches the spirit of man; it searches out his inmost being.
— Proverbs 20:27

Another thing the program and my relationship with God did was bring me to the Word of God which brings LIFE. Today I find abundance in it and I just wanted to share one of the stories that was brought to me today as I looked up the significance of the number 7 in the Bible and found one of my favorites. I hope it speaks to you....

Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand

Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”

His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?”

“How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked.

“Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.”

He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children. After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.
— Matthew 15:29-39, NIV

This story is proof that he heals the BROKEN hearted (like you and me). Not only that - he wants to take care of us. He wants to provide for us. Here are the Disciples going, "We've only got 7 loaves," and he's saying, "That's okay," and just does what only he can do with the little they had. The story is proof, that he can do MUCH with the little we might have. Maybe it's a mustard seed of faith. Maybe it's something in us that we know we can't do enough with - but we TRUST that HE can do, because with 7 loaves he can feed 4000.

***

A little Musical Inspiration

There are two songs that speak to me right now in this stage of my sobriety. I hope you'll watch the videos below and they will speak to you.

The first one is called "Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)", by Hillsong and it is one of those whose lyrics often play in my mind:

"All these pieces broken and scattered in mercy gathered mended and whole. Empty-handed but not forsaken. I've been set free. I've been set free. Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I see. Oh I can see you now. I can see the love in your eyes. Laying yourself down. Raising up the broken to life....So take this heart Lord, I'll be your vessel - the world to see - your life in me."

It reminds me of the verse that has been speaking so profoundly to me in Romans 12:1-2. "Therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, please and perfect will."

The second, "Through All of It" by Colton Dixon - I heard last night on the way to a meeting and the words were just so profound. Most poignant were these, "I have won and I have lost. I got it right sometimes, but sometimes I did not. Life's been a journey. I've seen joy. I've seen regret. Oh and YOU have been my God through all of it."

The last one came on while I was writing and it sums it all up and it's called "Thank you Jesus" by Hillsong. "You've given me life. You've opened my eyes. I love you Lord. I love you Lord. You've entered my heart. You've set me apart. I love you Lord. I love you Lord."

Thank you Jesus.

 

And this is one final shot I had to share to mark the day. This is a picture of from my high school graduation at Gwynedd Mercy Academy in Gwynedd Valley, PA. It is one of my favorites because it's a shot of my two favorite angels always with me on my shoulder - Dad to the right of me, Grandma Cass to the left of me (who was sober when she died). I know they can't read this but today I'm especially grateful for the walks they walked and the doors they opened to my recovery. Forever grateful. Forever changed.

And this is one final shot I had to share to mark the day. This is a picture of from my high school graduation at Gwynedd Mercy Academy in Gwynedd Valley, PA. It is one of my favorites because it's a shot of my two favorite angels always with me on my shoulder - Dad to the right of me, Grandma Cass to the left of me (who was sober when she died). I know they can't read this but today I'm especially grateful for the walks they walked and the doors they opened to my recovery. Forever grateful. Forever changed.




More Reasons Why You Really Are Beautiful from Your Healthy Voice

If you saw the video yesterday or you haven't, here it is along with some  other resources to remind you that you're beautiful! 

Here are the verses I shared in yesterday's video: 

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or high height for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the thing man looks at, man looks at outward appearances but the Lord looks on the heart.
— 1 Samuel 16:7 NIV
Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.
— John 7:24, NLT
Your beauty should not come from adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
— 1 Peter 3:3-4

Here are the songs in a You Tube playlist I literally heard over the course of the last couple days that pointed to the message:

Beautiful, Beautiful - Francesca Batistelli

Beautiful - Mercy Me

Beautiful - Dan Bremmes

Beautiful Things - Gungor

Today is Beautiful - David Dunn

You're Beautiful - Phil Whickam

A More Beautiful You - Johnny Diaz

Try - Colbie Caillat

You're Beautiful - James Blunt

 

 

 

 

And here are a few pins from this week that I found as I was creating this message:

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Do You Know You Are Beautiful? Thoughts After the #KylieJennerLipChallenge

Courtesy of us magazine.com.

Courtesy of us magazine.com.

Did you see all the fuss last week about Kylie Jenner's lips? They called it the #KylieJennerLipChallenge. The internet was jammed with images and stories of kids who'd taken the challenge - to put a cup over their lips so their lips could look something like hers. Some of the photos were literally brutal. Cosmo magazine (of all places) highlighted "The Best Way to Attempt the Kylie Jenner Challenge"which showed a pretty interesting and hilarious way of participating in it. Here, another article in the Washington Post talked about it's dangers. These articles were just a few of many highlighting the extent people went to and how much you can tell the media just loved covering it.

Now, Kylie Jenner said herself in response to this that her lips are natural. I mean - obvi. Have you seen her family? 

I think that Kylie Jenner is beautiful. Of course! But she is her OWN kind of beautiful. She is not THE template for beautiful. She's just beautiful. Period.

Hello ---YOU are your own kind of beautiful --- yes, you. Anyway....

I tried to find on the internet where and who started this whole challenge. I couldn't find it. What that tells me it was a trend started by much of the under 17 crowd who religiously watch Keeping up with the Kardashians (#KUWTK). They want to look like a Kardashian so bad, that they'll ruin the structure of their face and lips just to make the attempt. Mind you - these are pre-teens and teenagers doing this. 

This challenge/trend last week showed me that we truly are "surface beauty obsessed," and the worst part about it - is that the proof is coming from mostly our next generation. This is just a sign of where we are showing them where to steer their ship - to value outer beauty over anything, and to do anything you can to get it - even give yourself a bruise on your face.

The problem with this is that we aren't just negating out own innate and inner beauty, we're defying it. We're not just looking at someone else's beauty wanting to have it, we're hurting ourselves to get it. I'm telling you - this is not what God meant for us, and it's certainly not what he meant for our future generations. Of course maintaining outer beauty is one thing. I'm not saying not to wear makeup or get your haircut, or do other things to accentuate your beauty. But we've got a problem if we're attempting to disfigure ourselves so we can look like someone else.

There is a saying, "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder." It basically means everybody has a unique idea of what it means to be beautiful. Meaning - it's all relative. Meaning - what one person thinks is beautiful, another person thinks it's kinda beautiful or outright ugly. So why are we trying so hard to be who we are not, to be someone other than ourselves? In the words of Colbie Caillat, "You don't have to try!"

You don’t have to try so hard
You don’t have to give it all away
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don’t have to change a single thing
— "Try", Colbie Caillat

 

Attempting to fix that insecure Unhealthy Voice that says, "I'm not beautiful enough," just like any other voice like it - is never going to BE enough. Just BE YOU!!! Be You-tiful!!

Seriously ---

Do you have any idea how beautiful you are - no matter WHAT? No matter what you think, feel, see in the mirror. No matter WHAT anyone else sees, thinks or feels about your beauty - it does not matter. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.  Period. 

Even at the times when you don't feel beautiful - you ARE Beautiful.

I know you don't feel it or think it sometimes, but it is TRUE. Each of us is uniquely beautiful and there is no standard of beauty in the world. Beauty is an INSIDE JOB. It shines from the inside out.

So no matter how hard you try to make yourself beautiful according to the world - your Healthy Voice, the God who loved you and created you wants you to KNOW It like you know your name.

He gave me these words to say to yourself the next time you look in the mirror:-

"You are beautiful to me and that's what matters. Even before you tried to change your outside, I knew you as beautiful - because I created you. No amount of attempts to change your beauty or improve it will ever be enough. None of them will ever fill you up on the inside. So when you wonder why you've tried everything and you don't feel beautiful - look inside and remember that I created you JUST as you are to be the beautiful person you are. You don't have to change a single thing because I love you and made you to be the beautiful person you are right now."

I found this awesome verse in the Amplified Bible that truly sums up the Truth:

He has made everything beautiful in it’s time. He has also planted eternity in man’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
— Ecclesiastes 3:11 AMP

Tonight, I get to go and echo this message at a local salon called Emblazon Salon. If you live local, you are welcome to come join us! Here's the link. I can't wait to talk about the Healthy Voice as it relates to how we define beauty in our lives. Tomorrow check back as I'll be posting the Beautiful You Tube Playlist I've been listening to while I create the content this week. Wednesday I'll be delivering another video message about how this message was one I needed to hear myself at this particular time and what God showed me in his Truth.

You guys have an awesome week and if this message helped you in any way, please post or forward it to your friends who need to hear it as much as you!!

"How To Not Feel Like a Failure" Your Weekly Healthy Voice Message

Happy almost end of the week everybody!

Guess what we're going to talk about today - failure. It's such an ugly word, isn't it? Yes I know. That's exactly why we're going to call it out and talk about it cause it's no fun to let it fester in us. I want to help you look at those places in your life where you're feeling like a failure (that you might not even notice). I'm doing this not because I want to make you feel bad about yourself but to help you see where the enemy does his hardest work on us - our fear and insecurities. 

 The more we're aware of his schemes - the more present we are to our own thought and actions - the more capable we are of hearing God's voice - and that's ultimately what we want.

Here's the video.....come back for the rest of the blog when you are done watching...

So... remember how on Monday I wrote about Lilly Pulitzer and Tuesday I wrote about food? I talked about how the "get" can be so consuming we don't even realize how much power we're giving to it - so much that we lose what really matters. I believe that at the root of this "get" is our feeling of failure. When we wonder why we have to have something so much - it's because somehow we believe it will fill us up. But it won't. There is only ONE who can fill us up. His name is Christ Jesus. So we can keep trying to fill our own cup, but it's never going to get there - which is exactly why all these "things" we run towards don't satisfy us. We can only get that by getting into relationship with Him, by getting in the Word. 

So the whole running towards things of this world or trying to make up for our feelings of insecurity only puts a band-aid on the parts of us HE wants to heal that we never give him a chance to when we're so busy "getting."

Maybe we need to stop being perfectionists, thinking we have to measure up to some standard and realize that no matter what is offered to us in the world - he is the only one who can make us whole. So, next time you reach, or even intend to reach ask God to give you some wisdom and grace to step away from it.

Ask him to reveal to you how that thing won't fill you. Sit down with Him in quiet. Read the verses I mention in my video and let Him heal your heart. Let him take you out of that constant cycle of "getting" and into receiving HIM.

I had to do it this week too. I turned to the Word instead of letting the failure feelings take me for a ride, and you know what? I found out that I've grown out of these times when I feel like a failure. Each time I get stronger. Each time I give that feeling or thought a little less power and I see how much God is truly working in my life. But it's a process and I've got to trust that He's guiding me through that process. Most of all - he CAME for that process. He came to heal my heart and yours, and sometimes we've just got to let him into our hearts so he can DO it! He knows our hearts are breaking and we have wounds. We just have to give him the space to do what he does BEST.

So I can tell you not to feel like a failure but the way you get that is by realizing that God doesn't create failures!!!!

Get with Him. Trust him. He can do more for you in the silence than anything else you can read about overcoming failure....

Is food the thing that takes priority in your life?

A pic of the Rehearsal Dinner Buffet at our wedding.

A pic of the Rehearsal Dinner Buffet at our wedding.

I know, it sounds crazy. But think about it - have you ever had those times in your life that you may not be running women over for a piece of clothing, but you'll do anything to get a bite of your favorite food to comfort you?

I bet so! And guess what...God loves you anyway. 

Yes, that little voice beating you up for wanting it - is not Him. It's a punishing voice making you believe you are wrong to want something that tastes good. It's a voice that wants you to constantly believe that you aren't measuring up to your perfect eating goals. I know you get what I'm talking about here.

Why am I talking about this? Because knowing that my drug is more food than clothing, I know it's power. I'm one of those people that addiction professionals like to call, "cross-addicted." I'm in recovery from multiple addictions - both substance and behavioral. When I was in treatment I was given a gift. We didn't pretend that I had one addiction - to food. We looked at the fact that I have an addictive personality and I can be addicted to anything I like - shopping, men, chocolate, drinking, exercise, and the list goes on. I can take any of it to an extreme. 

But guess where it all started? It all started with the food when I was a kid and my parents got divorced. I am not there anymore. I'm not who I was, but the enemy DEFINITELY took advantage and planted a seed when I needed comfort I couldn't get. 

On Monday I woke up with a tummy ache and I was reminded of God's love. I laid in bed and let the Lord speak. He reminded me of why it's about SEEKING him first and FIXING my eyes on him, why he wants us to have no other gods before him - because nothing that tastes, looks or feels good in the moment can EVER satisfy us or fill the hole in our hearts that is meant for Him. He created it. He fills it. And every time we reach for a Lilly skirt at Target or a piece of unfulfilling food, we aren't meant to be angry at ourselves, we're meant to remember who DOES fill and comfort us. That's a moment for God's grace to step in, not our self-punishing voice.

Think about the last time you did something, then beat yourself up about it. If it was food you were seeking comfort from - you know it didn't satisfy your deeper hunger. You and I both know the food won't give us comfort. But a God who loves us no matter how many times we make that wrong choice - WILL. Just read this verse below. Slowly.

Blessed be the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of ALL comfort, who comforts us in ALL our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we abundantly share in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
— 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 ESV

If you believe God is punishing you for those little choices then you don't believe in a loving God. He loves you no matter what choices you make because he created you. He's just waiting for you to know he LOVES you.

So we can either take this time to seek comfort from food and let the enemy tell us the lie that our biggest addiction or idol can comfort us - OR we can realize when we're ready that it is only GOD who can do that.

I was reading this article on Monday, “I was a Food Addict,” by Karen Rabbit. Check it out and see if you relate to some of what she says. She talks a lot about the feeling of failure, the feeling that she failed someone, that she ate to take the edge off her feelings. DANG do I relate!!! Of course I can be one who is ruled by my stomach and it takes a power much greater than me in God to fight it! I let my stomach rule my life as a kid because I didn't know how much God really loved me. I wasn't in the Word. I was simply relying on what other people told me and I never felt secure in that. So that attraction to food became a power so strong, it FELT like a god. It was and can still be a way for me to comfort myself when I have a feeling even when I don't know I have it!

But what I do know today - is that it is NOT more important than God. It is NOT a god. It can tempt me into believing it still has that power over me. But God comes first and I go to Him when it's fighting for the power. It may have been a safe harbor for me as a kid but my only safe power today is Christ Jesus.

Even recently, with my surgery last year. The enemy completely took advantage of me in my head when the weight came on as I ate as I normally do. It wasn't just a physical battle it was a mental battle and I am STRONGER for it in spirit because I relied on GOD. I am slowly but surely getting back to my old fit self in mind, body and mainly spirit. I will always have the enemy trying to attack me around food cause he knows it's where I'm most weak. Hello! Read below.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
— 1 Peter 5:8 NIV

The beauty is that the Lord is strong where I am weak. The world will tell me it's got a way to "fix" my weakness but God reminds me HE Is the only one who can heal my heart and soul. HE Is strong where I am weak.

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
— 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

Take that devil. I may seek comfort from my fears, insecurities and failures but I ALWAYS will know that NONE OF that will give me what only GOD can give me. I already know I'm weak. I already know you are prowling like a lion trying to defeat me - ESPECIALLY since I'm giving God the glory. So you can keep attacking, but I've got a strong God who LOVES me. I AM a child of God. 

And THAT just made me think of THIS worship song.

Peace to you my friends! See you tomorrow.