I was sitting in the bathroom stall when I saw a man through the crack in the door.
Our family was heading to Orlando for a vacation and we were waiting for our next flight. My daughter Aryanna and I walked to the bathrooms, and I was following her into the women’s restroom while we were chatting with each other.
When I saw the man through the crack, I panicked and quickly exited the stall. He saw me in the mirror. His mouth hung open.
“Am I in the men’s bathroom?” I asked him, my heart racing.
“Am I in the women’s bathroom???” he asked me sounding mortified.
A stall door swung open, a man exited, and all three of us were looking at each other.
“I’m in the men’s bathroom!” I said as I fled the scene.
I walked quickly down to where our family and the Graber family, who were on vacation with us, were standing. Aryanna and Joshua had a big grin on their face.
“Aryanna, when did you realize we had gone to the men’s bathroom?”
“I knew right away because I saw the urinals.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Because I wanted to get out of there as fast as I could!” she said.
Joshua told us he heard us come into the bathroom and wondered why we were in there?
Then I looked down and realized I had walked the one hundred feet from the washroom to my family with my pants undone. In my panic, I forgot to do up my jeans.
I wish I could tell you that was the last time I ever walked in a men’s bathroom, but oh no, I seem to have an inner compass that takes me to all men’s restrooms, especially in airports…and it’s so humiliating!
Have you ever had a sin you struggled with, and your inner compass just took you back to it over and over again? It feels like a strong magnet pulling you with a force you can’t resist. You almost feel as though something takes over your body and puts it into “Automatic mode”.
I had an addiction to food. I used to be seventy pounds heavier than I am now. When my husband Vance and I were dating, I ate like a bird. Food wasn’t a big deal at the time, other than I had a weakness for chocolate.
“Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” –Matthew 26:41
I actually went through two weeks of not eating, when my mom was on vacation, for a boy I was dating, who had a wandering eye. When my mom called home to talk to me, I told her proudly about my success. I’m not sure what happened but a minute later I hung up the phone in fear and trembling and was eating my first meal.
Mom was a smart woman. I don’t think I had ever heard her so angry in my whole lifetime.
(If you would like to join an online group to encourage you on a journey to healthy eating and reclaiming your health, http://www.eatreal4life.com is hosting a January online group click here: Nutrition Repo: Reclaim Your Health)
Ten years later I had learned to stress eat and also to eat to stay awake. Food became something that ruled my mind, soul and body. I ate to block out the nightmare I was in. My son with autism, Kyle, sleeping was out of control and he was getting up a dozen times every night with night terrors, screaming and running around the house. I was exhausted.
Food became energy. Scientists in the past few years are starting to understand why people who get less sleep eat more. Click on this article to read more: Lack of Sleep Causes Overeating.
About ten years ago I was sitting in a psychiatrists office being evaluated to see If I could psychologically handle having food being taken away from me. I was going to be approved for gastric bypass. The psychiatrists supported my papers, and I was given the surgery.
You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. -1 John 4:4
I actually did very well. My stomach after two years was fantastic and I could eat just about anything, and in normal portions without gaining the pounds back. I still had a food addiction. Gastric bypass was not the answer to that problem. I was begging God daily to deliver me from this addiction. I persisted and would not give up, he heard from me nonstop.
Finally, my deliverance came, through sleep and increasing my iron levels in my body. When I started sleeping more, and my iron was standard, I began to stop feeling pulled in by food.
I became the opposite, I would sometimes forget to eat. I could go almost all day and realize I had hardly eaten anything.
I barely think about food anymore.
Food wasn’t a sin. Being addicted to food and going to food instead of God for comfort, was my sin.
I would have “binge night” in the past. The corner store was my friend. I would grab about ten chocolate bars, pop, chips and candy. I would put on a movie and eat till I was sick. Then vow to never do it again. But a month later there I was back. It was a vicious cycle that I could not control.
My addiction caused sleep apnea and chronic pain throughout my body. I carried my sin around my middle, and everyone could see it. I had thought maybe being a closet drinker would have been better, then I could hide my shame.
I hid behind Vance in a store at one time because I saw a classmate from high school and didn’t want them to see me. I was so embarrassed by my appearance.
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. -Romans 8:37
Sin entangles us, and when the Devil sees us struggling, he adds on the guilt and the shame. They go hand in hand. You never get one without the other. He is the master taunter. His whisperings will never cease:
You’re a failure
You are good for nothing
Jesus was put in the wilderness for forty days and nights where he was tempted by the Devil repeatedly.
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world.And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’
But God is the Master Deliverer. He came to deliver us from our sins. Jesus came to help us conquer and win the battle over the temptations that trap us. Since Jesus also went through temptation when he was made human, he understands our struggle and sympathizes with us:
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. –Hebrews 4: 15-16
I want to give you mercy
I want to provide you with grace
I want to help you
I love you
Years ago I saw God as the big man in the sky ready to pounce on me when I messed up. Now I see him as a merciful and loving heavenly Father who wants what’s best for me. God wants to deliver me from anything that is holding me back from peace and joy. He wants to shower me with grace and goodness.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. –Jeremiah 29:11
Have you been struggling with things in your life that only bring you shame and guilt? They don’t bring you peace and joy? You just can’t seem to resist doing them over and over again?
Knock on heavens doors with your prayers. Don’t give up. Today may be your day of deliverance. He wants to be the compass that leads you to happiness and joy instead of guilt and shame.
God desires to deliver you from the sin that entangles you and cuts you off from those you love. His deepest desire is to see you free.
He loves you💗
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. –Romans 6:12-14