Friday, March 28, 2008

Holding Fast

I have been sitting on a few things that I wanted to write about, mostly because I didn't have any idea on what I needed to say, but today I know.

So here it is...

Last week I was reading my bible, and drinking coffee of course, and I read this verse in Joshua 22:5-

Love the Lord your God, 
walk in all His ways, obey His command,
hold fast to Him and serve Him
with all your heart and soul.

Although I am fairly familiar with this verse, I felt that I needed to write it down in my journal. Ii wasn't sure why.

I was taken with the words hold fast. Hold fast to Him.  

I thought maybe it had to do with an opportunity that came several weeks ago.  

Mrs. Moofish and I were given an opportunity to do some ministry together for the Women's Group at her church, and I was up to my eyeballs in preparation to speak to this group.  It's a seven week study on biblical womanhood. The first night I would talk about what it means to be a Christian woman in today's society. We would be looking at Psalm 84 and see, first hand, how the Christian life was meant to be a journey. One that we have to commit to, lest the distractions of the world steal our focus from the Lord, and place it on areas that seem more attractive. 

When I read the verse in Joshua, I felt God was trying to get my attention, but why? Was it to hold fast as I got ready to teach? Perhaps in preparation, to encourage someone else to hold fast? (Isn't it funny when we hear a word from God, and we assume it's meant for someone else?)

Monday morning of this week, I woke up anxious. It would be the first night back in ministry   since we moved from North Carolina.  I had a lot to do on Monday but I knew if I didn't take 10 minutes to be with the Lord in prayer, things would only get worse.  It was almost 1:00pm before I had the opportunity to do so, but when I opened my bible, to read further into Joshua, I read this:

But you are to hold fast to the Lord your God, 
as you have until now.
 Joshua 23:8 (emphasis mine)

Uh, hello? There was my answer.  

I still felt anxious, but I felt better. What I didn't realize was this verse was not meant for that day, but for the days that were to come.

Mrs. Moofish and I facilitated our first Bible Study night together, and things went well. As we locked the church doors and drove home, we were very excited, and wound up, and slightly heady from all the nerves we carried throughout the day.  

Although I was exhausted, I didn't sleep well, and on Tuesday morning I was tired. Later that evening I felt unsettled and grouchy. 

Tuesday night sleep felt like it never came. 

On Wednesday, I found myself entertaining old, and ugly thoughts.  The Mister calls it "Stinkin' Thinkin'. I knew something was up. 

About 7 years ago I was dealing (very poorly) with some old issues in my life, and as a result I lost a significant amount of weight. 

On purpose. 

It hadn't been the first time I had done this, but it was the first time it had become visible enough to really concern those around me. This time it was more critical, because not only did I have a family to care for, but I was also getting pretty involved in the women's ministry at our church.  I had responsibilities. 

This problem in my life was a symptom of other issues. I guess I could say I was trying to take control of things or situations that felt out of control, but I really believe that it was much more than that. When this happened I was very happy, had two beautiful babies, a loving husband and all the stuff thats useful for living a productive, happy,  American life.  Things were all very well, and good. Except my head was filled with false thoughts I chose to believe were true.  

I was believing crazy things that a rational, well fed mind, don't believe. Like, unless I worked out for a certain amount of time, then my entire life would be ruined.

I also believed crazy things that we all experience in the day to day life of a media fueled culture: that thinner is better; that being fit means you are a well organized, disciplined person, who has her life put-together; that all those things combined make you like-able; make you good.  Perfect.

You know what? These things? In and of themselves, are good things. But, they don't define who we are.

God does. So hold tight, hold fast

And I am mostly talking to myself.

Why I am sharing this detail about myself in all this internet glory?  I am not really sure. But I do know this: I am not one who blames satan for hangnails, and everything that goes wrong in life, but I do believe he is our enemy. An enemy who is ready, and willing, to distract us from the deep and abiding water of life that is God! 

The Lord and I, with the help of some excellent Christian counselors, and the support of family and friends, have worked through some amazing issues in my life. I have felt fairly free from the old habits of wanting to be super thin (give or take some hormonal moments!) for almost three years now.

Today I feel strong, and healthy! I eat normally, with the exception that I eat frequently! And I do this, for the most part, without guilt, or obsessiveness.

This week the enemy tried to get me to believe that I was still a slave in a field that I don't want to walk in anymore.  And that makes me mad! 

I am still consciences about how I fuel and care for my body, but I am no longer a slave to the numbers, to the outward appearance. I no longer believe the lie that those things will make me happy, fulfilled, and good.   This was not an over-night process. It took years, and I still have to work through things from time to time. But the struggle isn't what it used to be. 

I am no longer a slave. I am free. 

This morning, after days of cloudy thinking, I woke up ready to fight! I have worked too hard to just "mosey on in" to that stronghold again.

When I opened my eyes this morning I remembered to hold fast.  If I am going to be really honest, then I must tell you that this morning I sort of grabbed on in obedience. I grabbed on because I knew I really hadn't any other choice.  And right now at 1:00 pm Friday afternoon, I literally feel the "weight" sliding off my back. There is NOTHING heavier than believing something that isn't true.  

We can hold on to Him! We don't have to believe things that aren't true about us. We are who God says we are.  When we hold fast to God we don't have far to look when we have lost sight of the truth!

Many of you reading this now, probably know all this already. But just in case you don't, take it from someone who's been there. God cares for you. Hold fast to Him. It doesn't matter what you look like, or what you struggle with, or how unworthy you feel. He cares for you. 

Don't you believe otherwise...

~La Vida Dulce!


mer said...

Kellie...I LOVE this post and how honestly you've shared your heart and your freedom from the lies that once held you captive.

I've been tempted lately to go back to my "stinkin' thinkin'" and have had to hold fast to what God says about me. His voice is the truest thing in my life, but sadly, there are many others that try to scream louder. It really is a fierce battle, and I think it's especially fierce for women.

Thank you for sharing this. I was blessed by your words.

Megan said...

Thank you for sharing. THANK YOU. God is using your words. It's so awesome to have sisters in Christ out there in internet world. You are such an encouragment to me!

meh said...

Thank you for be willing to share your heart so openly... it is inspiring to me! I suppose there are different issues for different women, but the same truth applies to all. I need to hold fast to what God says about me. I need to hold fast on to Him alone. Thanks, sweet friend!!

Janel said...

That is awesome! Thank you for sharing your heart.

This was very encouraging to me and I am sure to many others.

byebyepie said...

Thank you.

Sarah said...

Great post! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

God is so good to us and it is so easy to listen to the voices of the world and what the world thinks is good for us. It is easy to get sucked down the stream of "I wanna's" and "She has. . ". Definitely gotta hold fast to what God means for each of us individually and praise Him for our own individual blessings.

Keep up the good and faithful fight!

Lara said...

Wow, I have been studying what it means to "abide" in God. Sounds a lot like your "holding fast". This has jumped out at me lately. I John 2:24 from THE MESSAGE...Stay with what you heard from the beginning, the original message. Let it sink into your life. If what you heard from the beginning lives deeply in you, you will live deeply in both Son and Father. This is exactly what Christ promised: eternal life, real life!

Janel said...

Thank you Kellie for sharing this. I am working very hard to listen to God and believe his truth, rather than the lies I tell myself. I appreciate you being real here and sharing your struggles. It was a blessing to me today.

jen said...

Thank you for sharing this. I, of course, found it through today's post, but I hadn't read it for some reason. God knew I needed to hear this today though. :)