It is that time of the year again when setting new goals and strategizing how to achieve them is the talk everywhere. From the moment the last midnight toast happens, the confetti falls, and the New Year begins we hit the ground running. We sign up for the class, buy the treadmill, set up the budget, purchase the nicotine patch, and give ourselves another pep talk that this year is going to be different.
And I have been right there with you. In the past, there have been many times I have fought against the mighty current of my habits only to infamously run out of steam a few weeks into “my resolution.” It was a common theme in my life. And predictably those self-defeating words would piggy back right on top of my failure. Those all too familiar words, “I tried, but I just can’t do this. It’s too hard.”
And then one year, when my resolution became a mandate due to my health, those words unexpectedly became the doorway to my freedom. For years, I had tried to lose weight, change my diet, and get healthier, but I always gave up the fight as soon as I ran out of “will power.” Ten days of counting calories into dieting, I would run into a Hershey bar and it would be all over. But this time something different happened. Yes, I admitted those words, “I can’t do this!” but this time they were followed with “but I know God can give me the strength I don’t have to keep going.”
Exchanging my “will power” for His power was the key. I still had to put in the time, work hard, and choose change, but now I wasn’t alone. And God changed my why too. Now it wasn’t just to feel and look better it was to serve Him with full energy, be a good steward of my body, and allow Him to take up more space in my heart where overeating used to fill.
By inviting Him in prayer to join in the journey and walk beside me, I was better able to fight off mindless eating. Those words helped me empty myself of me, my cravings and my pride, and learn to crave something new in my life. I exchanged less mac n cheese, and mashed potatoes and gravy, for what really satisfied and that was a deeper relationship with God. And the result was the scale moved, steadily and surely. Turning around a habit might seem like trying to stop a cruise ship that weighs 46,000 tons, but when you lean into the God who created the ocean that cruise ship floats on, you can surely trust in His strength to help you navigate choppy waters.
It hasn’t been easy to teach this old dog new tricks. I always say I am one candy bar away from disaster, but I fight back by staying close to the best personal trainer I could ever have. God’s Word and promises take up more and more room where warm chocolate chip cookies used to hang out. The more I lean into the Lord, talk to Him in prayer, and read His promises, the less my cravings have power over me. No matter what vice or habit you want to break, our beautifully satisfying Heavenly Father will make sure you hunger no more. Don’t give up, but fill up, on Him!
“And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” Isaiah 58:11