Saturday, November 5, 2011

My Story II - Struggles on the Journey

  In the last post, I left myself undergoing a major paradigm shift. However, a shift is a step, a step is a process, and a process is hard. 
There were many physical obstacles to overcome. You recall I feared fats like the plague. Protein was a "good" thing, but in my thinking, I did not have enough calorie dollars to spend on meat. Running a cost-benefit analysis on my calorie bank account, veggies were the only food which fit my budget. All that had to change, and fast. 
See Jenn sit down. See Jenn place peanut butter in bowl. See Jenn add coocnut oil to said bowl. See Jenn dump yogurt over described concoction. ... See Jenn gag. Calories! How on earth could any Western girl justify eating fats she was not going to use? See how out of it I was? 
Aside from they very powerful gag reaction, my body had also been damaged enough to create some aversions of its own. Food intolerances, with which I have always struggled (another post for another time), grew powerful and multiplied like rabbits. One day yogurt was fine, the next it had me clutching my stomach. Eggs, dairy aside from a certain brand of yogurt, and anything containing them had long left the scene. Then nuts flew the coop. Then grains. Then tomatoes. And on it went! 
What is more, my body had wasted away. I hurt everywhere. Due to a car accident a few years ago, my neck and back were misaligned. Now the pain reached oppressive levels. You see, without enough fats, nutrients, and proteins, your body cannot repair on a normal basis. That is why seemingly simple issues worsened rather than were resolved. Brain fog clouded my cognitive abilities. Leg cramps inhibited walking. And on it went again!
The biggest physical obstacle, though, was what I call the Skinny Hump. I could not get over the fact that I could not and would not be thin like the media said I should be. The mirror about killed me. If I noticed any "extra" weight, the reaction was at best mixed. Yay! I am doing well in becoming a Fair Lady. Sigh. Why must being a Fair Lady imply not being pretty? (Note: My concept of pretty was still pretty skewed. Remember, healing and sanctifying are processes.)
All these physical obstacles floated atop a mess of spiritual ones. The most obvious issue was that of control. I liked the driver's seat best, thank you very much. However, I knew God's control far surpassed mine. One blessed, the other destroyed. So every day I died to self. Well, maybe not every day. There were instances when Jenn thought she was God and tried to snatch the reigns from her Maker. It is enough to say those times were miserable. Little by little, it became easier, more natural, to live in His paradigm rather than the sinful one I created. It should make sense, considering His Spirit, through His Word, crafted me a new nature with each passing moment. Is not His grace beautiful? But I digress....
There were social problems through which to sort, too. For a while, I had been receiving compliments on my looks from people whose concepts of pretty were just skewed as mine were. Now those folks saw me in a different light. I was being odd, not living according to their perceptions of normal, and it made them uncomfortable. Mayhaps my change pricked their own consciences, but that enters speculation. Whatever the cause, loose friends and acquaintances turned up their noses at a girl who actually wanted to gain weight. For someone used to making a living out of people-pleasing, that was hard. 
The difficulties did not stop there, however. I. still. craved. control. There were morning where I would freak if I did not find a certain spoon with which to eat breakfast. It was a control thing. (Actually, I think certain family members - ahem - hid my OCD spoon. Good for them.) Thankfully, that is over now. Another control example is timing. I had my routine down to the minute - on all our house clocks. If I missed by a minute, it ruined my day. That, too, has eased, thanks to the diligence and patience of my family and faithfulness of my God. 
These freak out sessions, naturally, put more strain on my relationships with father, mother, brother. Sigh. I was a bother, was I not, Josh? Since my family openly fought my idol of control, it was second nature to fight back. I had done so for years, but I knew I had turned the page to a new chapter of working with them instead of against them. Again, this transition seemed awkward to me, even repugnant. At first. 
Quite a few valleys to cross, no? The underlying problem was my refusal of grace because it conflicted with my perfectionistic control. If I ranted because of that lost spoon, I sunk to a depressed state, firstly because I had lost control over that spoon, and secondly because I had lost control of myself. If one does not understand grace, those failures are unacceptable. My family  gently yet firmly walked me through these thought processes, exposing my wickedness and need for grace. It was painful, and there were nights without sleep when I wrestled with assurance. Was I a Christian? Did I love God more than myself? More importantly, did God love me? Once reality struck - that I behaved like a bonehead whenever I cheapened God's holiness by imposing my rules - He softened me and I relinquished. 
Yes, there is a pattern of me shaking my puny fist against the Almighty and He putting me back in my place. It was a bitter, yet so sweet, surrender.
Next post will be a little more happy, doncha worry!

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