Hi. My name is Anjala and I am an addict.
These are the hardest words I have ever spoken or written. I first spoke these words for the first time just over 7-years-ago at my first 12-step meeting (Overeaters Anonymous). It was terrifying and freeing all at the same time. During these 7 years, I have struggled repeatedly to fight my addiction.
Steps one through three of most 12-step meetings are:
- We admitted we were powerless over food — that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Step 3 is probably still the hardest step for me. Just giving everything over to someone I cannot see has been so hard for me. Prayer, yeah, even harder. I do not know why I have such a hard time with prayer because I talk to myself all the time.
I think my other problem with the third step is that it is very much an action step. It takes work. It takes making a decision every moment of every day. It is also making the choice to do it. When you have the voices in your head telling you, no yelling at you, that you are not worthy of God’s love, it is sometimes hard to drown them out with prayer.
This also reminds me of the Enduring Principle of Responsible Choices.
Community of Christ Enduring Principles: http://www.cofchrist.org/enduring-principles
God gave me the ability to make choices – whether they are good or bad. When I make the bad choices to numb out my feelings with food, who is that serving? It is definitely not serving God. I am serving the darkness, feeding it, helping it grow bigger. In doing that, I make it harder to feel God’s love and to hear God’s voice.
As I was thinking about this Enduring Principle, it reminded me of the scripture found in John 8: 27-38. It states:
“They still didn’t get it, didn’t realize that he was referring to the Father. So Jesus tried again. “When you raise up the Son of Man, then you will know who I am—that I’m not making this up, but speaking only what the Father taught me. The One who sent me stays with me. He doesn’t abandon me. He sees how much joy I take in pleasing him.”
“When he put it in these terms, many people decided to believe.
“Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in him. “If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.”
“Surprised, they said, “But we’re descendants of Abraham. We’ve never been slaves to anyone. How can you say, ‘The truth will free you’?”
“Jesus said, “I tell you most solemnly that anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave. A slave is a transient, who can’t come and go at will. The Son, though, has an established position, the run of the house. So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through. I know you are Abraham’s descendants. But I also know that you are trying to kill me because my message hasn’t yet penetrated your thick skulls. I’m talking about things I have seen while keeping company with the Father, and you just go on doing what you have heard from your father.’”
My choosing addiction is trapping myself in a dead-end life. It makes me a slave to my addiction. Prayer and remembering the third step is a way to keep me from being a slave and will help me feel all the feelings that God gave me, not just the good ones. Also remembering that there are others like me will help me remember that I am not alone.
Instead of going to food when I am in a place that I want to numb my feelings, I need to pray for guidance. I need to pray to listen. I need to pray to see if someone else needs my help – whether in a phone call, text, email, or a visit in person.
How can you remember to make responsible choices? How can you take the times when you are feeling low and turn them into a blessing for someone else?
I pray that all of us, as a Community of Christ, remember that we will be free if we truly and honestly turn our will and our lives over to Him who can truly make us free from our own personal bondage.
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Featured Image from: Food Addiction Institution –
Community of Christ Enduring Principles-
BibleGateway: John 8:27-38 –