Part of my job this summer is to prep snacks for a day when campers have the opportunity to to choose their activities for the day. I make everything from smoothies to chocolate covered strawberries to cookies. One of the most popular snacks in Cayenne Pretzels. I have never tried them until this year and right now it is all I can think about. I don’t typically like to use the word addicted but I’m addicted to these pretzels. My meals today were unfortunately not as filling as they should have been and cayenne pretzels would be the perfect solution. I can justify about ten reasons why I should walk myself to the dining hall and grab a bag.
Thanks to a stomach ulcer (that was not due to my caffeine intake FYI), I currently weigh the lightest I ever have in my adult life but that triggered so much more in me than I expected. Eating the pretzels would satisfy me for a moment. Then like clockwork, I would be bombarded with feelings of inadequecy and failure. I would find myself doubting my worth and beating myself up about my choices. I would see the numbers on the scale rise (which is why I handed my scale to a friend for accountability). Having my food intake affect my mental and emotional state makes it clear that my relationship with food is unhealthy. More importantly, my relationship with food is a spiritual battle where Satan can have a foothold that results questioning my worth and believing lies from the enemy. It results in me not believing something about God, His character what He says about me as truth.
Being a girl for 28 years, I know I am not alone in this struggle. I have had countless conversations with girls I disciple and women who disciple me about this. Women in my life have called me out and pressed in when I tried to push them away in the months where Satan was winning. The battle of insecurity and worth is in our veins. The desire to be beautiful and desired is natural. I think most women have one area in their life they are insecure about (and if you don’t, I would love for you to teach me your ways). Maybe food isn’t your demon, maybe it is the need to constantly be working out and beating yourself up when you don’t. Maybe it is shopping for new clothes and make-up to fill a void you feel in your heart about your appearance. I don’t know what it is for you, but for me? It is the battle of what I eat or don’t eat and whether or not I worked out or not. Those two things affect my emotional, metal, and spiritual heath. It is an open door for an enemy who prowls around like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8).
When I find myself battling with self-esteem, body image, or my food choices I immediately take my thoughts captive (1 Cor. 10:5) and dwell on truth (Phil 4:8). I have to allow God’s truth to overcome Satan’s lies.
When I feel inadequate, I say to myself:
“My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness,.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Cor. 12:9)
When I question my worth, I say to myself:
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in Him (Eph. 2:10)
When I feel insecure and confidence is gone, I say to myself:
For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Tim. 1:7)
When I want to stop fighting the battle and let Satan win, I say to myself:
The Lord will fight for you, you need to be still. (Ex. 14:14)
When it comes to food, the pendulum swings to the extreme and I want to find that happy medium where my choices don’t effect every aspect of my life. This is a battle I want freedom for all of us because our identity is in Christ and the truest things about us as women is what Christ says about us. Our identity is not in athletic achievement, the clothes we wear, or the food we eat. It is in Christ alone. Inviting Christ into the darkest parts of my heart with a raw faith like Hannah had in 2 Samuel had allowed the truth of my brokenness to come into the light. He has done immeasurably more (Eph. 3:20) in my heart and His grace and mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-24). Inviting Christ into the struggle allows His power and healing take place in the daily walk.