The past 8 weeks, I've been leading a "Made to Crave" Sunday morning small group at church based on the book by Lysa Terkeurst. As I started reading it, God really opened my eyes to my sweets obsession. It was the first time I saw it as an obsession. I realized that I craved sweets in an unhealthy way. That I thought about desserts and sweets way more than lots of other things in my life. I got convicted about the amount of time I put into planning out what dessert I would have that day. God asked me "Becky, are you spending as much time and thoughts on your relationship with ME and sharing ME with others as you are sweets? Are you craving ME as much as your are sweets?"
Boom. It hit me in the face. That's when it became real. That's when I saw it as an issue for me. Now, let me stop and say - there's nothing wrong with sweets. God has just revealed to me that my love for sweets was an unhealthy thing that was pulling me away from Him. It might be something else for you, or nothing at all. This is just me and my journey.
So, Lent was approaching and God laid it very heavily on my heart to give up desserts for Lent. I'm not Catholic so I don't even practice Lent in the traditional sense, so it was all out of the norm for me. I'll be honest - I fought back for a couple days. I did not want to do that. It seemed too hard and too overwhelming. How was it even possible?
The week before Lent, as God was working on my heart about this, I was at my weekly Bible study group and a friend had a gender announcement for her pregnancy. She brought pink colored cake pops to announce it and celebrate with the group. She passed out the pops and before I knew it, I had mine DEVOURED. I practically swallowed it whole. I felt sick. Not physically, but mentally and emotionally. I couldn't believe I'd gotten to a place where I'd just shove something down my throat without even processing it because my brain and body were saying "GIVE IT TO ME!"
That afternoon, I saw what God was saying to me. I now saw the unhealthy attitude I had about it and the ways it was causing me to feel out of control. That was a lot of the issue for me, too. I loved sweets so much and thought about them so much that, at times, it left me feeling out of control. I didn't like the person I was when I was like that. I didn't want to feel out of control because of food.
I narrowed it down to no desserts at all, no sweets (candy, etc.), no chocolate, and no sugar in my coffee. For 46 days, I stuck to it. I spent the next 46 days really digging into God when I needed strength, really focusing on Him and His sacrifice and love for me. I remembered what Lysa said in "Made to Crave" about craving what you eat and asking God to satisfy you with healthy choices.
We went to the DR on our Mission trip and there was a day the missionaries took us to an ice cream place to buy us all an ice cream cone. Every single person in the group got some but me. It was VERY hard for me and Satan used it as a major temptation. He kept telling me that just once would be ok, it was free ice cream, who cares and I'm on a mission trip! I stuck to it and sat there as person after person asked "Why didn't you get any?" It was tough, but I walked away feeling very excited and proud of getting through that. (And if you're reading this and you were on that trip with me...don't feel bad about asking me....this is my issue not yours. God used that moment in a neat way in my journey.)
I had several conversations with people in my 46 days about my new no sweets self. People didn't get it, they thought I was crazy, or they loved it. Ben even thought I'd lost my mind. Until I explained the reason and what it meant, did he really understand it. (He was just mad we weren't going on our weekly fro-yo trips....ha) The ridicule from others was tough, but I remembered as I studied through the Lent season and God's sacrifice that He was ridiculed during His ministry. And He tells us in the Bible that persecution WILL COME. While my ridicule about a sweets obsession is nowhere near the persecution Christians in other countries face, or that Jesus faced, it just opened my eyes to the fact that when you choose to do what God's calling you to do, it still may not be easy. There still might be ridicule and confusion from others. But that's ok. That doesn't mean you change course. You stick with it and keep your focus where it belongs - on Him.
So where am I today -- several days past Easter and Lent is now over? I decided a few weeks before Easter to not make any kind of rules about everything once it was over. I'm not thinking too hard about it. I'm just taking it a day at a time. I do know I'm continuing to use honey in my coffee instead of sugar, like I was during Lent. I'm not craving sweets like I did before. I know that once I start eating them, I'll start craving them. I've learned that just because a dessert is available to me doesn't mean I should eat it. I'm going to continue to lean towards being dessert free. I brought back chocolate shakeology, but have yet to have a dessert. That's not to say I'll never have any, but right now I'm still kind of protective over my heart about it. I'm just going slow with it and trusting God to make it clear to me.