Yesterday evening, I was feeling pretty down in the dumps and depressed. I had spent most of the day alone studying, hating on myself for the fact that I was hungry for more food, and deeply craving Jeni’s ice cream, and could not find someone to go with me. All I had wanted for dinner was Fido’s sweet whole grain pancakes and to end the night with a treat from Jeni’s in hopes of reflecting the joyous memories I have going to these places with my diamond family in my sorority.
I came back to my room and lied on the carpet floor with my head down. Lies began to fill my head: you’re not good enough. I cannot believe you went to Jeni’s to get ice cream, that is so unhealthy for you. And by yourself? No one even wanted to go with you. You’re such a bad Christian. Why can’t you even eat right? Who even are you?
As I lied down on the floor, my roommate walked in. I continued to wallow in my lies and pity, and hoped for some sympathy. But what I received was quite the opposite. She said to me that I had a choice: either to sit there and wallow, or to get up and fight the lies with God’s truth. These were hard to hear, but to love someone, really love someone, is to speak truth to them that they may know more of Jesus and be made more like love, who is our God.
She reminded me of a story in John 5, where the man who is lame. Jesus asks him if he wants to be made well, and he said yes. My roommate asked me a tough question as I once again resorted to the floor: Mimi, do you really want to be healed? Then, ask Jesus, she said.
Those words hurt. She spoke hard truths to me about how I hide behind my good eating reals and orthorexic standards in order to earn the approval of others, and ultimately above God. The other day, I was thinking of a friend who has sexual sin in her life. I thought to myself, does she value God above her sexuality. And then, it seemed so simple.
Looking back and reflecting now, I think to myself, do I value God above all else: even above the perfectionist standards of the foods that I eat? Am I willing to surrender even this area of my life to Him? What if He calls me to be a missionary in a different country where the food is full of white rice and beans, foods I cannot imagine allowing myself to eat here? What if even this summer, the Lord is beautifully taking away my ability to control something that makes me dependent on it, and that I have become a slave to.
As I work at camp with the kids, the food will be neither organic nor whole grain, and there will be plenty of desserts. It is terrifying to think about, but I am so excited and grateful and hopeful that God is using it to help me to fully receive the gift of salvation without adding any of my efforts to it. After all, His sacrifice was and is and will always be perfect, and I do not want to adulterate or tarnish it by trying to add my own shallow works that will never measure up. My prayer for this summer is that God would take away my control over food and change my relationship with it, so that I may more deeply know Him, be made more like Him, and focus on serving the kids and advancing His kingdom, by His strength and grace.