It was quite a conundrum – what would God give me? Which prayer would He answer?
The prayer for me to be thin… or the prayer for God to rule my heart?
Well, hang on. Let’s rewind a moment to the beginning…
Weight has been a problem for me the past decade. I just was not happy with how I looked. I’m healthy, but I used to be thin.
I used to be THIN, and wow, did this thought take over my mind and dominate my life.
When I gained some weight, I was dealing with a lot of anxiety and depression. Food became a comfort for me. I really wasn’t happy that I had gained weight, but if you’ve had problems with depression, then you know that it’s hard to pull yourself out of the pit.
Every time I met someone new, or went anywhere different, I would think, “I hate people seeing me like this – this is not how I look.” I would strive to go to the gym and workout, which I enjoyed, but I also enjoyed eating and I made slow progress. Without quick results, I then would become defeated and go back and forth on crash diets.
My heart and mind were in a very bad, self-defeating place. A place that didn’t love myself and certainly wasn’t capable of receiving God’s love for me.
I was all consumed with the thoughts of not being thin anymore. Actually, consumed is far too light of a word. Obsessed is more like it.
I need you to understand that all the while weight was ruling my life, I was also continuing to walk with God and follow Him. I was actually a seminary student at the time, and my life had been deeply devoted to God since I was 16. All of this was taking place well over 10 years after deciding to follow Him and working professionally as a Christian minister.
So, I knew the Bible, and was studying it academically in preparation for my master’s degree. I also knew God personally, as well as I could at the time, at least. So of course, I was well aware of one of the most prominent aspects of Jesus’ ministry here on Earth – His miracles.
You know the ones where Jesus showed up and people were miraculously healed. Where the blind saw, the deaf heard and the dead were raised from the grave.
That’s all big time stuff, you know.
I thought, “Well if God could do all of that 2,000 years ago, surely He can do it now.”
So I prayed…and I prayed hard.
God, take this away from me. Help me to be thin again. Help me not to run to food. Take this away, I don’t want to live like this anymore.
And believe it or not, nothing happened.
As time passed, and I continued to pray, and continued to try to lose weight without making progress, I started becoming very confused. “What is going on here? God, I thought you were a God of healing, the God of strength, the God of power, mercy and compassion. Why are you not answering my prayer?!”
Okay, that might seem a little brash, but that’s how it really went down. I feel very comfortable in my relationship with God to be authentic, especially in light of David’s honest connection to God you see in many of the psalms he authored. I believe that God already knows what’s in our hearts – it’s us who sometimes do not feel comfortable or right in sharing it with Him.
But more than anything, I was simply confused.
I really thought if I had faith the size of a mustard seed then I could move mountains. I believed what Jesus taught and I believed it deeply.
So what happened?