Happy Summer! And Happy Fathers Day to my wonderful daddy!!!
It has been about ten days or so since I’ve embarked on this journey of full surrender to God in the area of my health. So far its been an adventure with many great moments and not-so-great moments. But I’m committed. Challenges will arise. Old thoughts, patterns and habits are sure to present themselves again and again.
“… but with God all things are possible. (Mat 19:26 NKJV)
Although this journey is new and the Surrendered Stomach blog is just a tiny infant, I have learned tons, actually bajillions. These last ten days have been amazingly insightful and inspirational. Day by day, I am seeking to move forward in surrender by God’s strength!
So I am anxious to share with you, friends, just a few things from my experiences of the past ten days. Nothing profound, just some simple insights and tidbits God has shown me along the way.
- Focus outward
The truth is, we can’t multitask. 😉 At least I can’t.
You probably can’t either, though. In light of this, it’s very hard for me to stay in a negative thought pattern when I am busy serving others, helping to brighten their lives. I’ve noticed that I tend to focus less on my own issues when engaged in thoughtful service and kind deeds. And the good news is, blessing others doesn’t have to be anything radical. You don’t have to donate $100,000 to some worthy cause to focus outward. It can be something simple. A smile in someone’s time of sadness, an encouraging word, a prayer… just something, anything good to take your mind off of your present situation and problems.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we should use good deeds as an avoidance technique to avoid facing our problems. Yet neither should we marinate in our issues, causing them to strengthen and fester. Showing kindness to others can be a simple boost, causing us take our minds off of ourselves and rather engage in making the world a happier place.
- Meditate on Scripture
Scripture meditation is the most powerful way to tackle temptation (more about that in another post.) God’s Word is powerful. It gives hope and strength. After all, God’s Word is what created our world. (See Psalm 33:6) I’ve noticed that when I think on Scripture, my mind is fortified and strengthened for successful conflict with my natural passions and tendencies. Its a law of our brains: What we think on, we tend to live out. So when we fill our minds with truth, we will live truth and avoid capitulating to lies about ourselves or our realities.
- Spend Quiet Time with God
Life is complicated. Thus, I need quiet time to focus my mind on God’s Word without distractions. For me, this happens in the morning at around 6:00am. It is during this time of Bible study and worship that I hear God’s voice most distinctly. In the last few days He’s told me some interesting and powerful things. He’s encouraged me to stay on the path of surrender, rebuked me for my wavering faith in His power, and assured me of His unfailing love and forgiveness. Remember, God speaks in a “still, small voice.” (1 Kings 19:12) In spite of myself, I want to take the time daily to hear what He has to say to me. And when I do spend that time in deep Bible study and prayer, day goes sooo much better. I feel stronger, more courageous and totally positive that God will be with me throughout the day. It’s amazing what a some quiet time with God can do!
- Keep Going
Never. Give. Up. In the last 10 days there have been several times that I’ve seriously lacked motivation to continue in my decision to surrender my health to God. I was particularly tempted on last Wednesday morning to give up altogether. But giving up is not an option. Well, yes it is but I won’t choose it.
Although the path can get rough at times, I’ve been considering these two thought-provoking questions: are my struggles and problems any easier without God? What exactly will giving up accomplish?
I’ve got to remember that I’m not doing this alone. God is right there with me, cheering me on!
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. (Gal 6:9 NLT)”
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jer 29:11 NLT)
I’m definitely not special. These verses are for you too!
- Celebrate Victories
Its so easy to be harsh and critical of ourselves. Since I am naturally perfectionistic, its easy for me to focus on missteps while downplaying victories. I am beginning to see that focusing on our failures and mistakes is highly detrimental to my success on this journey of surrender. Instead of focusing on my slip-ups, I am learning instead to celebrate the victories along the way, such as:
When I didn’t allow negative thoughts on my body-image to totally consume me. Instead, dealing truthfully with my emotions and replacing negative thoughts with God’s Word. Praise God, a victory!
Or when, instead of acting sullen at the table, I engaged in conversation choosing not to focus on my fears. Yes! A victory!
What are some of the lessons you’ve learned on your Christian journey specifically in relation to overcoming old habits and tendencies? Is there anything specific that God has taught you within the last ten days?