Well, today was the day.
I had told myself all weekend that I would force myself to get back on the scale today. Yeah, it’s been awhile. And while I knew I had lost some weight, I only expected to see maybe a 5 pound weight loss. Maybe 10.
You see, I have this really cool, nerdy scale. It’s a Wi-Fi scale, that instantly shoots my stats (including body FAT!!) to my computer and records it in multiple places, so there is no cheating. There’s no pretending. It’s right there in my nerdy spreadsheet.
So, with MUCH trepidation, I jumped on that stupid scale today. To my complete and utter shock, it registered 20 pounds loss. In fact, not only did it register a 20 pound loss, it promptly emailed me a “Badge” that said “You’ve Lost 20 Pounds!”
Yes. I did the happy dance. Yes, it was ugly. But it happened.
It’s interesting, though, that finally I’m starting to see progress again on weight loss. I had done well at the beginning of last year, but then I seriously fell off the wagon as soon as I hit some particularly difficult challenges. I’m not one of these people who can’t eat when they are under duress or stress or upset. Nope, I go straight for the Ice Cream. The Whole Tub.
But in the last few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about excess. Not just weight, though that has definitely been on the top of my list. But I mean excess in life.
As my crew and I have frantically prepared for graduation company, we have ransacked this house. In doing so, I have been ruthless. I have purged this place of so much “excess” that we don’t need—-clothes that no longer fit, toys that my kids are WAY too old for, broken appliances, bulging files—I’ve even cleaned up my computer files. I like space. And lots of it. I guess you would call me a minimalist.
But getting rid of excess weight has got to be a part of this. My health is not good, at all—and I am FAR from old. 🙂 It’s not good because I’ve not taken care of myself. At all. I’ve let the despair and tragedy of this life cause me to often give up. Why bother? Why work at being well? Why work at living?
Because the alternative is selfish. There is much God would have me to do. And I can’t do that if I’m not well. Or if I am dead.
Depression is an evil thing. I can’t think of a better word for it, that isn’t so sinister. Despair crushes your spirit. It creates a fog that has to be fought through. And, sometimes, can’t be fought through without help. This I know very well.
But hope—that’s a completely different thing. Hope is life-giving. It is motivating. It is God-given.
But what do you do when you can’t find that hope? Because I also know that. I also know that feeling of having absolutely no hope. Of being so shrouded in despair that hope seems like a fairy tale. Like a lie.
It’s in those moments that you have to fight. You have to fight! And please hear me, if there is anyone who knows what it feels like to suffer defeat and to have no desire to fight, it’s me. I promise you, I understand. But I also know that fighting for joy, fighting for hope, is the only way forward. There is no other way.
And this fight can not be fought on your own. No, that doesn’t work. I’ve tried that, too. And have failed. At least 1000 times.
So, what do you do?
Go to God. Yes, I know what that sounds like. It sounds impossible, especially when you can’t sense Him. Especially when you can’t seem to find Him. Psalm 46:1 says
This is not a cross-stitch verse. It is not a platitude. It is truth. He alone is our refuge. He alone is our strength. And when we are in trouble—and we all are in trouble at one time or another–it is He who is a very present help. How do you go to Him? With honesty. Tell Him where you are at. Tell Him your doubts, your questions, your frustrations, your fears. Say them outloud. Write them down. There are days—many days—that I don’t have a desire to spend time with God; that I don’t have a desire to approach my God. Maybe I’m too tired, or maybe I’m afraid that it will do no good. But that’s not the point. The point is that your relationship with God is just that-a relationship. And relationships take effort. And time. And communication. Go to God. He sees, He knows.
And don’t give up.
Stand Fast. 1 Thessalonians 3:8