GRACE: A Prerequisite For Growth
For the past couple months my focus had been less on eating super clean & more on just enjoying my meals with my family. I’ve been making a lot of changes in my life and a little freedom with my food has been healing and good for me.
Despite the fact I know this, I found myself falling into old negative thought patterns around food. Last night I overate at dinner and was extra bloated and instead of seeing it for what it was and letting it be a gentle reminder to me to not force myself to finish my food if I’m already stuffed, it turned into feeling unhappy with my body, guilty for the way I’ve been eating, and an opportunity to be overly hard on myself. Not only that but the negative thoughts regarding how I’ve been eating, then opened the door for more negative thoughts. Mom guilt, putting too much pressure on myself, & overwhelm started to set in.
I laid down to go to sleep after struggling with these kind of thoughts most of the evening & began to pray and take it to God. The thought, let these struggles strengthen me instead of stress me came to my mind. Then I thought well how do I do that?
Grace is the answer, I realized right away.
You see Jesus believes in self discipline. He believes in making sure we’re on the right path. But he does so with so much grace and love. He never beats us up and picks apart our flaws. He never focuses on us negatively. He never dwells on the would haves and should haves of our pasts. He’s always focused on how to lovingly help us do better next time. How to gracefully correct & convict us to change, not condemn us.
A few years ago, grace wasn’t even in my vocabulary other than in the meaning of doing something in a fashion that appears graceful to the eye. Grace in a physical sense. But I had never given much thought to grace in an emotional sense.
Grace is so essential though. Everything Christ has for us, is essential for us to have for ourselves and others. The love, the grace, the forgiveness, the compassion, the humility- in every aspect of our lives they are of immense value.
When we’re trying to become healthier or make changes with our eating habits or lifestyle, it’s so so important we practice grace with ourselves. It’s so important we value it just as much as we value self discipline and ensuring we don’t let ourselves dwindle down the wrong path for too long. Because if we’re not graceful and loving to ourselves, it breeds different problems. Sure we might get our diet “right” in our eyes but is our mental health alright? Is our body image healthy? Is our identity and sense of worth based on our eternal soul God created or how we look and feel in our fleshly body at the moment? When we base our self esteem on any level on how well we follow the diet we’ve picked for our self, we leave our self vulnerable to cycles of unhealthy eating. Cycles of self guilt and condemnation. No matter how healthy you are physically, these are not healthy to you spiritually and emotionally. Truly holistic healing & wellness values all three aspects of health, not one over the others.
It’s ironic this guilt and condemnation would set in this week because I had already planned to start a 21 day Daniel’s Fast on Monday. A Daniel’s Fast is basically eating whole food, plant based! God’s timing is perfect though, this Daniel’s fast is just what I need to healthily break my craving for some of the foods I don’t like eating so much while not overly restricting how I nourish myself to the point my mental health suffers. I will share my journey with the fast on my social media pages- Facebook, Instagram & my natural lifestyle group - and I encourage anyone who’d like to join me to do so! 💚 Remember though to practice grace & love for yourself during this fast first & foremost. If you are a believer in Christ, I also recommend praying and asking the Holy Spirit if it’s his will for you to do this fast at this time. The Holy Spirit is the only one outside of yourself that truly knows what is best for you & won’t encourage you to do something off of what they themselves would do. 🙏🏻 The Holy Spirit knows your history, your future, where you’re at physically, emotionally & spiritually to help you discern if embarking on a Daniel’s Fast is appropriate for you right now. I’ll include a link below with more information on what a Daniel’s Fast entails.