I run in circles. Big circles that take years to finish, small circles that close before lunch. Round and round, passing the same landmarks again and again, almost never noticing anything further than my own feet. Every now and again I am fortunate to have my loops interrupted by people who love me, people who will lift my head, shake me by the shoulders, give me a firm smack across the face.
After lamenting cupcakes and wine yesterday, I received an email from a dear friend who I had the privilege of coaching several years ago. The message began, “This is not to be mean but because sometimes the coach needs a coach and it is ironic that we know things and forget them and need to remember.” I confess that I instantly closed my computer and started deep breathing to stave off a panic attack because who doesn’t love a message that begins with “This is not to be mean”!? But I remembered the sender and her heart, and knew she could only be “not mean” in love, so I went back in.
The voice that met me was indeed love, but it was not my friend’s, it was my own. She had forwarded me a string of messages we exchanged when she was wrestling with ketosis while battling depression and I was the one interrupting her circles. And because coaching questions never, ever expire, email never really disappears, and truth is extremely loud, the voice still works:
“Life without sugar and bread feels more like surviving than thriving.”
How do you define “surviving”?
How do you define “thriving”?
When you first wrote to me, you described bingeing, “auto-pilot” eating, and “never-ending cycles” of losing and regaining control over the food and drink that went into your body. How does that behavior fit into surviving vs. thriving?
In that first message, you expressed a longing for God to “heal [your] desires and obedience”. I invite you to reframe this season of your life — is it one of deprivation or discipline? Is it punishment or training?
These 30 days are restrictive by your own design. You are trusting God to use the tools of nutrition to reshape your body, your mind, and your behavior. There is a sense in which you are surviving withdrawal, surviving temperance, self-control, and dying to the flesh. But at the same time, you are thriving in obedience, humility, and hope.
This is a very difficult season for you for many reasons. Your God knows that, and he has drawn your boundary lines in pleasant places.
What are some ways that you can feel God loving you?
Are there any ways that you are resisting or fighting his affection toward you?
Where are you bristling at his discipline in your life?
How is he inviting you to surrender to his love and strength?