Introduction: "Finding Your Want To"
Let's start this off with a confession: 90% of the books I read, I merely skim over the Introduction. I typically feel guilty about this too, like I'm breaking a rule or something. But this book was different. I approached this book like any other thinking to myself...I'll quickly flip through these few pages to get to the "real" stuff. But somewhere between the first sentence and the second paragraph I was hooked and instantly became a "rule-follower" and read the introduction. I feel like a real grown up all of a sudden.
What hooked me was the instant connection I was able to make and how I found myself feeling like Lysa TerKeurst had somehow read my journals.
"It's not the 'how to' I'm missing. It's the 'want to'...really wanting to make changes and deciding that the results of those changes are worth the sacrifice." (11) Me too.
"Another day, another time. I'm doing the best I can." (11) This exact thought has saved me from a life-changing (and much needed) self imposed guilt trip to the gym.
"the thought of taking the plunge and signing up for another diet made me want to sit down and cry. And eat." (13) I'm fairly certain to assume that this cycle itself has added on a few dozen pounds.
So throughout these first few pages I'm just sitting there wide-eyed, literally nodding along. And then-well then things got real. And here came the tears. Anyone else?
"I think we all get to a place sometimes in our lives when we have to give a brutally honest answer to the question, "How am I doing?" It's one of those middle-of-the-night contemplations when there's no one to fool. There's no glossing over the realities staring us in the face." (13)
I had that moment, where I laid there in the dark with tears dripping off my face as I tossed around that question in my head for what seemed like forever- How am I doing?
I didn't have an exact answer. It was one of those questions where there were no real words to sum up what my response would be if someone would have been sitting there with me asking that question to my face. But for lack of words-I knew it wasn't good. When my mind went to my health and my weight I couldn't even tell you how "not good" I was doing because I had been too utterly terrified to step on the scale for months. I had been shutting down the thought for so long and feeding myself excuse after excuse of why I could justify not worrying about my weight at the moment. By the way, that moment turned into a few years. Like Lysa says, "It is easier to make excuses than changes." (14)
So when she uses the story in Matthew 19 when Jesus commands the rich young man to sell all he has and come follow Him I saw the connection that was there between myself and my weight battle. When it comes to this struggle I have hardly denied myself anything. Food I really want? Go for it. Too tired to work out? Eh...maybe tomorrow, it was a long day.
All of a sudden this took a swift change from the number on the scale that I was too terrified to face or the increasing pant size. It became something I couldn't "excuse" myself away from. There was nothing else I could call it but blatant disobedience.
If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (Mark 8:34)
"With Jesus, if we want to gain, we must give up.
If we want to be filled, we must deny ourselves.
If we want to truly get close to God, we'll have to distance ourselves from other things.
If we want to conquer our cravings, we'll have to redirect them to God." (16)
It's past time I start living out the truth that I can't expect to have everything I want and still be the person I want to be. It's about choices and what's the best and most God-honoring choices I can make. This next part rocked my world...
"God made us capable of craving so we'd have an unquenchable desire for more of Him, and Him alone. Nothing changes until we make the choice to redirect our misguided cravings to the only One capable of satisfying them. (16)
Does that shed some hope on this situation to anyone else? My cravings are not bad or sinful, they are put there by God. If I would begin to stop taking that craving to food and begin to take it to the only true satisfaction-Jesus-I would be a whole lot closer to Him and a whole lot physically healthy. And that right there made me say inside-ok I'm in...sign me up.
Here's a few practical steps I took last week:
1.) Repent and ask God to forgive me for the wrong way I've handled the cravings He has given me and for "excusing out" His Holy Spirit's guiding on the subject.
2.) Wake up, say a big prayer asking for strength, and step on that scale. It was time I face that monster and I needed to know where I was starting.
3.) I downloaded a free calorie & exercise tracker on my phone. I personally am using the "Lose It" app, but I know there are lots of good ones.
4.) Begin my day by surrendering this battle to the Lord and asking for His wisdom to lead me to the healthy and right choices and the strength and discipline to make those decisions. No, carrots are not going to taste like pizza because I say this prayer, but I've been around this mountain enough times to know that without His power working through me on this I might as well stop before I even start. I'm hopeless without Him.
5.) I took my meals and my eating one day at a time. Looking at a whole week (or lifestyle) of healthy living was enough to make me go back to the couch. So for this day-or sometimes just the very next meal-I will make a good choice.
So what about you? What stuck out in the Introduction to you? Maybe your battle isn't even with food-that's fine! What area is God using this book to speak to you about? Any practical tips that worked well for you that you would be willing to share? Comment down below and link up! Make sure you stop by and see what Crystal & Rebecca thought about the Introduction as well, they are amazing women of God who have incredible insight and I truly believe you will be blessed by them as I am.
Also I want to point out that at the back of the book are some really great resources that I plan to take full advantage of. Look up and use the "Verses by Chapter" and "Healthy Eating Go-To Scripts", I believe in the power of God's Word and those are some really helpful ways to incorporate it in this struggle.