“Listen to my words, Lord, consider my lament. Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” Psalm 5:1-3
I rolled over and looked at the clock. Another day. Beyond all reason and rationality, I slid out of bed and stripped off everything that might weigh even the slightest ounce as I headed to the scale.
I thought, “Maybe today will be the day the scale will be my friend and not reveal my secrets. Maybe somehow overnight the molecular structure of my body shifted and today I will magically weigh less.”
I yanked out my ponytail holder – hey, it’s gotta weigh something – and decided to try again. But the scale didn’t change its mind the second time. It was not my friend this day.
Vowing to do better, eat healthier, and make good choices, I headed to the kitchen only to have my resolve melt like the icing on the cinnamon rolls my daughter just pulled from the oven. Oh, who cares what the scale says when this roll speaks such love and deliciousness.
Two and a half cinnamon rolls later, I decided tomorrow would be a much better day to keep my promises to eat healthier. But tomorrow wasn’t the day. Or the next. Or the next.
I knew I needed to make changes. Because this wasn’t really about the scale or what clothing size I was; it was about this battle that raged in my heart. I thought about, craved, and arranged my life too much around food. So much so, I knew it was something God was challenging me to surrender to His control. Surrender to the point where I’d make changes for the sake of my spiritual health perhaps even more than my physical health.
I had to get honest enough to admit it: I relied on food more than I relied on God. I craved food more than I craved God. Food was my comfort. Food was my reward. Food was my joy. Food was what I turned to in times of stress, sadness, and even in times of happiness.
I knew this battle would be hard. But through it all I determined to make God, rather than food, my focus. Each time I craved something I knew wasn’t part of my healthy eating plan, I used that craving as a prompt to pray. I craved a lot. So, I found myself praying a lot.
Sometimes I wound up on the floor of my closet, praying with tears running down my face. And I gave myself permission to cry, just like the psalmist in Psalm 5:1-3, “Listen to my words, Lord, consider my lament. Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.”
And that is literally what I did each day. Laid my requests before God and waited in expectation. Moment by moment, week by week, month by month, I made the conscious (and many times, painful) choice to surrender my desires to the transformative power the Lord wanted to work in and through my life.
Then, one morning, it finally happened. I got up and for the first time in a long while, I felt incredibly empowered. I still did the same crazy routine with the scale, no clothes, no ponytail holder. The numbers hadn’t changed much, but my heart had. One day of victory tasted better than any of that food I’d given up ever could. I had waited in expectation using prayer as my guide and I did it.
Have there still been hard moments after that victorious morning? Yes. Have there also been great signs of progress? Absolutely!
I can’t promise you there won’t be any more tears. There will. And I can’t promise the scale magically drops as quickly as you wish it would. It probably won’t. But it will be a start. A really good start.
Excerpted from I’ll Start Again Monday by Lysa TerKeurst Copyright © January 2022 by Lysa TerKeurst. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. LysaTerKeurst.com.
Lysa TerKeurst is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries. Her latest book is I’ll Start Again Monday (January 2022). Lysa lives with her family in North Carolina. Connect with her at LysaTerKeurst.com or on social media @LysaTerKeurst.