Saturday, May 5, 2012

Feeling it deeply

On Saturday nights, I go to the contemporary service at my church.  It's more my speed than the classic services on Sunday mornings.  I like to be able to wear jeans and flip flops if I want to and there are a lot of younger people there.  I was looking foward to going to church tonight.  It's the first weekend of the month, so I know we were going to take communion.  I have permission from my Optifast clinic to take that tiny piece of a cracker and sip of grape juice that stand in the place of bread and wine.  But that's not why I was looking forward to communion.  I always feel close to God, but especially when participating in this activity.

As we began church tonight, there were some songs we sung that talked about how amazing God's love for us is and about how He saves.  By the time the communion items were being passed around, I was in a place of such incredible gratitude.  Since we wait to take the two items together as a church, I closed my eyes and prayed.  Some people do that, while others sing along to whatever the band is playing.  As I closed my eyes, I thought about how much God was blessing my life at that very moment.  I was wearing jeans that I literally could not get past my hips maybe a month ago.  I was wearing a belt that is only about 4-6 weeks old and it's so big on me now that I'm on the last hole.  I sat in that pew, feeling so humble.  A miracle has happened in my life.  At the beginning of February, three short months ago, I weighed 417 pounds.  And I felt awful about myself in every way possible.  I think I was feeling hopeless, yet I knew the numbing sensation food was giving me just wasn't working any more.  A multitude of awful events in my life helped me get there and me not really talking about them enough to other people didn't help matters.  I hit a bottom like I had never hit before.  I'm not saying I was suicidal or anything remotely close to that, not at all.  But I know I was feeling depressed and sad, yet putting on a stupid, fake smile so people wouldn't know what was going on.  Who was I kidding, though? 

So, as I held the communion items in my hands and I had my head bowed in prayer, I became absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude for the saving grace of God.  I could feel the tears filling my eyes as I had them closed.  I wondered if they would spill over when I eventually opened my eyes, but I let it go and just spent a few minutes telling God how much I love Him and thanking Him for saving my life.  I know He's not done yet, but just in that moment, He was in my heart in such a profound way.  I almost can't put it into words.  Finally, when I opened my eyes, the tears did spill over.  I was crying so much as I looked down at my legs, unable to lift my head all the way up into the regular position, that tears were dropping onto the upper leg area of my jeans like raindrops on dry pavement.  I found a tissue, but as I wiped my eyes, more tears would appear.  I sit near the front of a large church and I was aware that many people were watching me cry, but I really lost their presence.  Besides the pastor and God, everyone else was gone.  I let the tears continue to come until they were done coming. 

I felt so lifted, in a way I didn't think human beings could experience.  There is no battle of wills between me and the Optifast program.  I am not trying to sneak food, not even a little bit.  There is a peace about me when it comes to following the guidelines of the program, not questioning every little thing I need to do.  When I exercise, it is out of the joy of taking care of my body, not how many calories I can burn.  The pounds are absolutely melting off my body and I am not doing anything at all to sabotage that process.  I am simply letting go of the old me, guilty of making horrible choices around food.  More than the food and the whole weight loss process, I have found pure joy in God's love for me.  That's where the tears were coming from.  I made eye contact with the pastor and I could see he was feeling joy for me from where he was.  I have lost an amazing amount of weight in such a short period of time, but I have gained so much more.


Truth Teller said...

Beautiful beautiful post. :)

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