I was the fat kid growing up.
Not that I was ever really fat. The Renaissance era would have considered my slightly curvy body to be quite the norm, if not even attractive. But alas, we’re living in a postmodern society that reveres stick-figures and gives the rest of us a chocolately chip frappuccino to drown our sadness in.
Even though my parents told me I was fearfully and wonderfully made, I still struggled with my weight, trying to fit into skinny jeans, suck in my belly and avoid skin-tight blouses that revealed my muffin top.
But when I continued to look like a tomboy instead of a fragile princess despite all my wishing and scheming, I turned to food for comfort.
It was hardly noticeable at first. Just an extra scoop of ice cream here, another serving of mashed potatoes there. But I realized I had a real problem the day I ate a quarter sheet of birthday cake in one sitting. And I didn’t even like the taste of it.
Mastered by Food Addiction
The truth is, food had become not just my source of comfort–it had become my master. I no longer controlled what or how much I ate, and I was often disgusted with myself after I awoke from my self-induced food comas. And no one knew about my struggle, because I’m your normal-looking young mom who just likes to sneak in a candy bar once in a while.
But on the day I binged on my daughter’s birthday cake, I knew something was seriously wrong, and I had to change.
I tried counting calories and journaling my food. I tried the Atkins diet, the Paleo diet, the Trim Healthy Mama diet, and even the Green Smoothie diet. Nothing worked.
Until God intervened.
Awakened to the Sweetness of God
Through His gentle and loving touch, He showed me that my real problem wasn’t my food addiction; my real problem was that I was apathetic toward Him. As long as I turned to food instead of God, I would never experience the comfort of His presence.
I discovered that although I was a Christian, I was so stuffed with the pleasures of this world that I no longer desired God. And I’d only compound my misery when I sought comfort in the fridge. What I really needed was God.
I came face-to-face with the shocking realization that until I learned to hunger and be satisfied in Him, I would never overcome my struggle with food.
His Word came alive to me like never before as I read Bible verses on the topic of food:
Taste and see that the Lord is good. Psalm 34:8
How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth. Psalm 119:103
Jesus declared, “I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry again.” John 6:35
But then the most wonderful thing happened as I prayed that He would kindle my hunger for Him. Food cravings, weight fluctuation, and pant size all began to fade in the background as something more beautiful and awe-inspiring transpired before me: I was awakened to the sweetness of God.
Comforted to Comfort Others
In the most personal and intimate way, God became my comfort, meeting my every need in a way food never could. I’d be lying if I said it was all easy. There were many tears, wrestling matches, and “But why, God?” moments in my journey. But He’s been faithful every step of the way.
He’s been leading me beside still waters and quieting my soul with His love, even as He has taught me that because He is my Shepherd, I really don’t need to seek comfort in anything else.
This road isn’t easy, but it’s well-traveled by countless women who have shed the label of “fat kid” and strain forward not toward a size 4 body but toward a deeper relationship with Jesus.
And this journey of seeking comfort in God? It’s worth it, sisters.
Because chocolate cake ain’t got nothin’ on joy in Jesus!
Have you ever felt alone on your journey toward freedom from food addiction? How have you tasted God’s goodness for yourself?
Asheritah Ciuciu is the author of Unwrapping the Names of Jesus and Comfort Food: Overcoming Food Addiction with the Word of God. Asheritah grew up in Romania as a missionary kid and then studied English and Women’s Ministry at Cedarville University in Ohio. Her passion is helping women find joy in Jesus through a deeper walk with God, and she shares vulnerably from her own life experiences at One Thing Alone. She is married to Flaviu, a web programmer and artist, and together they raise their spunky daughter in northeast Ohio.
Asheritah has kindly offered to give away TWO copies of her new book, Comfort Food, when it is released this fall. Enter to win below and your copy will be mailed to you!
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