I would like to tell you that I am health conscious and eat for health and life.
I can be and do that. In fact, several years ago I dove head first into paring down my diet, cleaned it all up, and was feeling better than ever before.
It’s amazing how food manipulates a body, soul, and spirit.
When steps are taken to eliminate the bad, processed foods and add live, healthy, full of nutrients and enzymes, and all foods good for you, the hard work is worth it.
In fact, I felt like a new person. Better yet, the person I am meant to be.
I also added fasting. I learned about fasting years and years ago for spiritual reasons. I would fast for days with the intent to hear the voice of God clearly and watched as my prayers grew more in line with His wishes.
Let me tell you, if you have never fasted before, well…you are missing out. I know that there are some who cannot fast for medical reasons, but truly, it’s a game changer. This is where miracles happen. Or better yet, this is where a mind gets clear enough to see miracles that happen every day but is blind to.
I tell you this because I feel that those several years back, I was being prepared. I know this can sound strange to some, but for me, it sounds pretty powerful.
Right up until the time I was called to the hospital, I was on the cleanest diet I had ever been in my entire life. I was eating the highest and best of what was right for my body, which left me clean, clear, and bright. My senses were sharp. I was thinking clearly without unhealthy chemicals floating around in my brain to warp my thoughts.
From the very first ring of my phone, and even all of the things that happened prior causing that dreaded phone call, every cell in my body was fine tuned. My brain was running on the best grade fuel, and looking back now, I can see this as one of the many miracles in my life.
Yes, I believe God prepared me as sure as a soldier is prepared for war.
Because you see, I needed to be on my toes. No…more than that. I needed to be open. Wide open to hearing the voice of God. I needed to hear and know and feel and see all things spiritual. This became automatic. I didn’t have to try to do anything. Anything.
During the initial days, I would often try hard to pray. Use the right words and say the things I thought were right to say. Ask God the right questions. I would literally stop and try…but trying hard to do this felt so futile and shallow. At first, I would kick myself hard because…well, actually, isn’t that what a Good Christian does? Isn’t that what a Good Momma is supposed to do for her children? Pray?
And listen, I did pray. But it wasn’t like I imagined one would pray in the face of possible or grave danger. No. It was more like a constant current of conversation. There were no words to tell God what I was feeling, and even if I had the words, those feelings were wildly vacillating from one moment to the next. Often, it seemed like around every momentary corner, something new was happening and new information had to be processed. This wasn’t just any circumstance that keeps you on your toes like being super conscious while driving in heavy traffic, or being in a huge crowd at some sports event, or getting ready to take off on an airplane.
No. This was life or death.
How can I tell you how marvelously present God is in the face of death? It is both surreal and intensely real. Visible and invisible.
I remember times in my life when I have prayed for someone and was overtaken with the words of a request I often ask of God.
“Lord, be as close to (this person prayed for) as the mention of Your Name. So close, Lord, that if she would simply open her eyes and turn her head, she could swear she’d see your face.”
I don’t know how many times I have prayed those words out loud. But not for myself.
Yet there He was.
And I swear I could feel His face next to mine. I could hear Him breathing, and feel the heat of it against my ear. He never left. Not once.
I was not hungry during those fifteen days in the hospital. Not really. I was surprised, however, at the amount of unhealthy food available. Oh, I could make OK choices from the bad, but it all started with coffee. It was offered freely and I did feel the need for it at times, so I started drinking it. Quick trips to the cafeteria only offered carbohydrate laden bagels, sandwiches, and the like. I am sure I was burning so many calories just to survive, so I did compromise and began eating what was there. Often things out of a bag. Lacking nutrition. Empty calories.
I was comforted by the quick fix they offered…all of those carbohydrates. How they took over the pain for a little while. Gave me the needed energy to get through the next hour or two. It didn’t take too long before I was not even thinking about what I was eating at all.
Yet, God was still there beside me.
I don’t want to make this a conditional thing. I don’t want to lend the idea that we have to work at or do something specific for God to be close. One doesn’t have to follow some kind of strict diet or rules to get His attention. That would be religion. Law. Works.
But there is something to the idea of forsaking the comfortable things to reap the sacred. Denying the flesh to see in the Spirit.
This year after my son’s death, I haven’t cared much about what I eat. In fact, food has become the drug of choice. It is what I can turn toward to make me feel better.
I believe this has contributed to the pain I feel. I truly think this is what has pinned me into some negative and sad thinking. It has kept me dull and half asleep.
It isn’t the entire excuse. I know that the sadness must make its way up and out. I get that. But the things I mindlessly put into my mouth only contribute to the depression and can keep me here.
I have to add that I can look at someone who is, say…an alcoholic, or a drug abuser. I can look at the person who is painfully struggling with eating disorders or any kind of self medication and see myself. I’ve got a glimpse now into what might make a person turn to external and unhealthy things to cope.
I don’t claim to know exactly how they feel and why they do what they do, but I understand the desperate need to escape. If only for a little while.
But I want to wake up now.
It’s time to wake up.
It’s been said that the road to recovery from anything is to see the problem. Be aware that there is an addiction. Admit and confess it.
Like in the twelve step, “Hi, my name is ____________, and I’m a(an) ______________.”
So, here goes.
“Hi, my name is Libby. I am a carbo/foodaholic.”
It’s a start.