Caving to Your Cravings

Caving to Your Cravings

Sherries story2

I am so excited to introduce you all to Sherrie! She is on the Day of Collide Team this year and will bring such a refreshing perspective and heart to the team. She is on a journey toward healing and is open to growing and being real in her story. She is so eager to learn and do ministry, that I can barely wait to do it alongside her! As you read what she has to share here, you will find all of this to be true! Enjoy!- Willow

It started in the beginning, the very beginning, in the Bible when Eve was tempted by the fruit of the tree that she was told would fulfill her in a way that she deserved, in a way that would bring her life and new sight.

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Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. The serpent said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘you must not eat from any tree in the garden.’?” The woman replied, “we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘you must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman, “for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. After Eve took of the fruit, the Lord came looking for her, He pursued her, and Adam and Eve hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “where are you?”. He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid…” Genesis 3:1-10 (paraphrased)

Reading Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food by Lysa Terkeurst * opened my eyes to the revelation that my struggle with food was not just in my head; that it was a real struggle that women before me have faced. In reading her book (which I highly recommend you do), I realized that even the first woman in this world fell to her cravings (even if it was fruit and you know, not a brownie). The story that God placed right in the beginning of His Book explained a very real battle that has been waging since the beginning of time – women and their food vs. Jesus and His truth. This was the beginning for me. I began truly seeking and experiencing an incredibly powerful healing and freedom through discovering God’s truths.

All my life, I have heard the enemy’s (the serpent’s) lies about what food could do for me. Food has been my enemy and my friend. I have had a love/hate relationship with food – both loving those gooey brownies, but hating the shame that followed when I caved to my cravings and had not only that brownie, but 12 more to follow. I have used food to comfort me when my alcoholic dad waged war in my home. I used food to control my body – to meet the world’s standards of beauty – to get to that perfect size – to ultimately be accepted. In my world, food had the “power” to make me feel beautiful and skinny, or fat and ugly. I used food to feed my feelings and to get rid of them, I threw up in the midst of tears as I sat over a toilet, overcome with guilt and shame.

I realized that the original sin involved Eve succumbing to her cravings because she thought it would give her something she wanted, something more to control. Just the same, I realized for myself that it wasn’t the food that I struggled with, it was the belief in myself I needed to realize that I am enough when I am living in God’s love and absolute grace. I needed to accept myself and the season God had me in without constantly pursuing the next thing. I needed to love myself right now and stop pursuing what wasn’t mine to pursue. “Her job” or “her pant size” or “her will power” or “her self control and discipline” or “her body” or “her {fill in your own}” were not mine. I am enough, and so is she. When we stop comparing ourselves and accept our beautifully made selves, we discover peace and joy. We discover freedom. Eve wanted something that wasn’t hers to have and it left her in fear and shame.

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The beauty of it all, as I have realized, is that our cravings are very real, but they were not meant to be filled with food (however enticing that food is). These cravings are places in our hearts that were meant to be filled with Jesus’ love and grace. We all have a Jesus who will run into us and give us a joy and satisfaction like nothing else we’ve experienced. Those places that are filled with hurt that we want to stuff with food are the exact places God is wanting to fill with love and warmth.

Going back to the story of Eve and her caving to the serpent’s lies, it is important to really understand what happened afterward. God came looking for her. He pursued her and looked for her, but she was afraid and full of shame. I think that this describes so many women. Whether or not you believe it, you were created and formed by God and He is constantly pursuing you. No matter what size pants you have, how many of those cookies you ate, or what you have done, God absolutely loves you and seeks to find you in the midst of wherever you are. He is far more satisfying than 12 donuts, a cookie or a bag of chips, let me tell you.  I may or may not have experienced both Jesus and the bag of chips ;). Jesus is supreme.

 I share because sharing has brought me freedom as so many women have come along side me to help. I believe other women need to know they are not alone, and it is only by opening up that we can truly understand that we are in this together. Because of all of this, I believe God called me to create Wonder Women Freedom. It emphasizes not just one woman, but many women, joining together to find freedom. Together, we can discover God’s wonder and awe in who each of us are. We can rediscover the joy in eating as God intended, while building real friendships with other women. I believe that the lies will be torn down when women are speaking boldly about their struggles to each other and bring them to light. I believe through sharing, women will find God’s truth, love, grace and acceptance for who we are, just as we are – messed up, but loved and in need of a Savior and a power that can transform our hearts, our minds, and our bodies.

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Let’s not let any distraction – brownie or that entire bag of chips – take away from who we are in Jesus and the pure joy and freedom He longs for each of us to experience. Let’s acknowledge that our struggles and our cravings are real, but that they have been misdirected. These cravings may only be filled with true unconditional love of Jesus. We talked about the beginning of the story, but you have an opportunity to choose the outcome of your life. You are on the receiving end of a pursuit – one that is bound to end in victory if you let it. A victory that Jesus has waiting for you as you collide into Him like a daughter into the arms of her loving daddy.

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1 Comment

  • Jackie Hopkins says:

    Hi Sherri! I loved reading your article and reflecting on how the serpents in my life have affected my beliefs and struggles with food and acceptance. This is such an awesome community of women helping women through Christ. I know I will want to be a part, if it’s only reading your articles and your blogs. You have true writing talent and your desire to use it for good is awesome! I’ll definitely be in touch. As, a writer and a poet, perhaps I can contribute? Take care and CONGRATULATIONS!!! 🙂