Julian of Norwich declares that Christ’s incarnation and passion bring Adam, meaning humanity, out of “hell.” If “hell” is a metaphor for the bondage of sin, then what “hell” do I want to be released from?
Well, there’s a question for the brand new year. All of my life I have fought the demons of overeating. I was fighting them when I didn’t even know I was fighting them. Even when I became aware that I was fighting them, I didn’t know why or when I began fighting them. Now that I understand the why and the when, and now that I understand that my eating habits are a result of bad habits created in my childhood, a childhood filled with trauma and emotional abuse, I am still fighting them.
That became clear to me over the Christmas and New Year holiday.
I have been going to Weight Watchers for 6 months. I have lost 36.6 pounds. This is the fourth time in my life I have lost any significant amount of weight. My plan for the holidays, which included a visit to friends and family, was to maintain the weight I had lost.
When I came back and stepped on the scale, to my utter dismay, I was up 8 pounds. 8 pounds in one week. Now, in the last 5 days, all but 2 pounds have gone away. I realize that most of it was water retention. Because while I did not track meals during most of this time, I did watch portion control. But I was not eating as I am accustomed to eating, so salt, fat, lack of vegetables, and probably some mindlessness, certainly would attribute to the gain and in turn, the rapid loss this week.
I was so distressed by the gain that it consumed me. I honestly thought it was all about the gain until I read Julian’s words this morning. Then it dawned on me that my distress was about much more than the weight gain. It was the shame. It was the sense of failure. It was the feeling that I was still the eight year old fat girl who didn’t belong anywhere, and who would never fit in. It was the extreme feeling of brokenness.
As I meditated over these word, the Lord spoke to me.
“You are not broken.”
“You are redeemed.”
“My beloved Son took on hell and all its fury so that you could live an abundant and joyful life.”
And I think he said something like, “Now, get up, dust yourself off, rebuke those demons, and get back to the business of living.”
Dear Heavenly Father, today I rebuke the demons of overeating, gluttony, and self-medication. I claim the power of your Son Jesus, who died for me, and rose again, so that I could be released from the bondage of sin. Release me now from that “hell.” Amen.