Ok, I’m just going to do it. I argued with myself for several days about writing this post, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to do it.
People don’t want to go deep anymore. Maybe they never did. I was born in NY and moved to Virginia around 13 years ago and I got a rude awakening. People in the south are different, not better, not worse, but different. My first husband used to joke around about people in the north being the “frozen chosen”. Being from the south he was used to people being very vocal and physically expressive, especially in church, and the churches that we attended in NY were not. That is not to say there weren’t churches like that in NY, because there were, we just didn’t go there. One thing I have perceived in the South is that people are very sweet, at least on the surface. That’s a word I see strewn about Facebook and other places daily. You hardly see a post that doesn’t involve “my sweet friend”, “my sweet sister”, “my sweet _______ “(you fill in the blank). I’m not trying to be critical, I’m just making an observation. The thing about many people in the north is that you will probably not refer to them as “sweet” at least not at first. We tend to be a little cooler on the surface, you have to go deep to find the sweet. On the other hand, people in the south are very sweet on the surface. You will see this when you go to a restaurant and the waitress calls you “sweetie” or “honey”. It’s not because she likes you or wants to be your friend, it’s just a habit, probably something she’s heard since she was a child.
When it comes to changing our lifestyles to facilitate real. lasting change it has to be deeper than just using words that sound sweet and helpful. This is not a surface change that can take place overnight. For the most part there is not a pill or a shot or a shake that is going to change your life, you have to do that yourself. I will not tell you it’s easy, because it definitely isn’t, but it IS simple. Even if there was a pill, or a shot, or a shake that would help you lose weight, what happens after you reach your goal?
I quit dieting when my oldest son was three years old and I still hadn’t lost all the weight from my pregnancy. I had anorexia that started back in high school and when I got pregnant I guess I thought I could let loose and just eat what I wanted for a change. Well, I did and gained about 45 pounds in the process. After dieting; going fat free, low calorie, low sugar and pretty much just deprived myself in general and I still didn’t lose all the weight, I read a book that changed my life. This book taught me that I had to do something that was sustainable, it couldn’t just be something to “lose twenty pounds”, because a diet is only a short term answer to a long term problem. I began being more mindful of what I ate, but in a different way. I ate the things I wanted, I just didn’t over indulge in them. Granted, back then I thought all fats were bad and I still abstained from most unless I was celebrating or just didn’t care. I have learned much more since then about what is good and what is bad, because I’ve learned to go deep.
I always believed that being skinny was the answer. If I could just maintain a certain weight, I would be fine. In the last several years I have learned that being skinny does not equal being healthy, and being a little heavier does not necessarily mean being unhealthy. My focus has shifted from being skinny to being healthy and this takes more than just a skimming over the surface.
I hear people all the time talk about trusting God to heal you, and speaking positive things into existence. I completely believe that our words definitely affect our lives, but I know now that we speak what we believe, not the other way around. I do believe God can and does heal people every day, but I also believe that we have a responsibility to be good stewards or caretakers of the health that God gives us. I suppose it’s possible to eat McDonald’s and Twinkies every day and trust God to protect you from the toxins that are building up in your body, but I’m not going to push my luck so to speak. I believe that there are consequences to every action…good or bad. If you constantly treat your body like a garbage can, you will end up feeling like garbage. If you treat your body like the beautiful self-healing creation that it is, you will feel wonderful. I know this because I have experienced it. When I eat food that I think I want, that is not good for me, my body tells me about it. This did not happen over night. It takes time, it takes going deeper, because you really want to be healthy all the way not just have a sexy body on the outside. You CAN have both if that’s what you really want, and it’s simple, just not easy.
*I heard a story once about a man who was trapped in a flood. At first the water just came up to the first floor of his house and he prayed that God would save him from the flood. A man came by in a small rowboat and offered to pick him up. “No thank you, I’ve prayed and God is going to save me” was his response. A little while later the water was up to the second floor of his house and he was looking out one of the windows. A man came by in a fishing boat and offered to pick him up. “No thank you, I’ve prayed and God is going to save me” was his response again. A while later the water was up to the roof and the man was standing on the peak of his roof trying to stay dry when a man in a large yaght came by and offered to pick the man up. His response was the same as the two previous times. Shaking his head, the man in the yaght continued on picking up other people who were stranded. Later that night, when the man realized he was in heaven, he looked at God and said, “Why didn’t you save me?” God responded, “I sent you a man in a rowboat and you refused, I sent you a man in a fishing boat and you refused again, finally I sent you a large yaght and you still refused. Three times I tried to save you and you chose not to be saved”.
The reason I share this is sometimes I think God shows answers to our prayers and because they are not miraculous enough or fancy enough, we turn them away. Sometimes we just need to listen when he’s trying to save us.