After a month and a half of a concerted effort to comfort myself with food (and almost 13 lbs later...yes, you read correctly...13 lbs), I decided my heart felt better for the lack of restriction but my body DID NOT!! Our trip to Michigan found us in the home of a friend who kept only organic food in the house. (How did you gain 13 lbs then, you ask? I had to travel to town for ice cream!) She set a great example for my family, and when we returned to California, my daughter asked if we could clear our cupboards and get rid of the junk. I readily agreed. I told my family I wanted to try something new. I said that for one month, we were only going to eat organic food or food with all natural ingredients. After that month was up, we could revisit how it felt, and if we want to continue, great. But if we want to introduce one or two items we really missed back into the mix, we could do that as well. Everyone agreed.
The first two days of our foray into health was an adventure. I was cutting produce and the house was wafting with the fresh aroma of summer. Everyone was on board. Everyone was happy.
Then Day 3 hit.
They say it takes three days to establish a habit. Well, by Tuesday evening, my son looked at me and said in a minor wail, "I'm sooooo hungry!" Clearly, this habit did not want to take.
"You just finished dinner 30 minutes ago," I said.
"But I'm stillllllll hungryyyyyy!!!"
"Son, you had steak, a whole ear of corn on the cob, jasmine rice and a salad. How could you possibly be hungry?" I complained.
He shrugged but I noticed him blinking quickly, the pitiful action of a 12 year old boy, aware of becoming a man, thus trying not to cry.
"Are you feeling deprived?" I gently asked.
"Yes." he flatly stated. Then...."Wait, what does deprived mean?"
I started to laugh and so did he. I explained that being deprived means you feel like you are missing something you truly need or truly want. He quickly nodded his head up and down. "Yes, I definitely feel deprived then." I smiled but felt a bit sad.
And in that beautiful moment of understanding, it hit me that this must be the way our Heavenly Father feels when we don't understand our path and struggle tearfully against His plan to bring out the best in us.
Something is new, and we are afraid.
Something is hard, and we quit.
Something doesn't fill our human need for immediacy, and we seek comfort in worldly things.
How does He keep loving us and gently coaxing us in the right direction?
How does He not just throw His hands up in the air, and say "I give up! Do what you want."
How does He not get angry at our desire for more, more, more?
Our house is too small, so we are a failure.
Our checkbook depleted, so we are ashamed.
Our wardrobe is lacking, so we refuse to see friends.
Our thighs are too fat, so we hide in the house.
How does He do it?
He forgives our questioning and second guessing.
He hopes we will choose a change of heart.
He realizes our very humanity makes us weak,
then He shines as bright as we will allow ourselves to see
so we can lean on Him for strength.
My son had a pudding cup - all natural ingredients, of course - and with it, chose health.
Chose the unknown over the comfort of the familiar.
Chose to follow.
God, help me to do the same.