Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Oh Honey...Oh Sugar, Sugar...


For me, sugar is the epitome of something one can both love and hate equally.

I love sweets. Cookies, cake, brownies, candy. Sweetened coffee, sweet tea, sweet everything. I love it all and cannot ever get enough. It just tastes so good and brings such temporary satisfaction to my taste buds.

I hate the feeling I'm left with after the sugar rush is gone though. I hate the sick, tired feeling I get after overindulging. As I said before, I cannot ever get enough. I don't stop with one chocolate or one piece of candy or one cookie or one piece of cake. It is rarely, if ever at all, just one of anything. 

For me, it's an addiction. I really, truly believe it is an addiction and a problem. Something I feel like I have very little control over. Something that often causes me to feel guilt and shame.

For a couple of years now I have felt compelled to participate in Lent with giving something up, sacrificing. And for at least a year now I have really felt convicted to give up sugar at least temporarily. And so this year, for this Lenten season, I am going to do just that - give up sugar.

I am terrified to be honest. Scared that I'll fail. Nervous that people reading this or people I tell this to will think I am just completely crazy. And already I have had someone ask how this is even possible.

Believe me, I have thought all these things myself.
"This is impossible. There is no way I can give up sugar."
"Sugar is in everything. Maybe I should just cut back."
"People are going to think I am crazy. They are going to tell me it is silly and stupid and pointless."
 "What if I fail? What if I can't do it? What if I make this decision and can't even make it a day?"
Those are only  a few of the thoughts going through my mind the past couple of weeks, especially the past couple of days. But for the past couple of weeks I have really felt the Lord leading me, asking me, to make this leap of faith, to trust Him, to rely and depend on His strength and make this little sacrifice. Because while giving up sugar for the next 40 days seems like such a daunting task, really isn't it such a small sacrifice in comparison to the one He made for us?

I'm still terrified. I'm still scared of failing, of not following through. But the Lord has already squashed some of my doubts in just the day since making this decision, this commitment. For starters, after doing some research, I'm realizing that while giving up sugar is by no means going to be easy, a sugar-free diet is not impossible. And you know what else? People are not going to think I am completely out of my mind, not everyone anyway. I have surprisingly received such incredible encouragement and support from the few people I have told thus far. 

If I try to do this entirely with my own strength, I will undoubtedly fail. The idea of sacrificing at Lent is not to prove to the world that "Yes, I can do this!" or to even prove it to myself. Instead it is a time for me to grow closer to God, to learn to rely on Him completely, to remember what great sacrifice was made for someone so totally unworthy. God wants me to read His word, to go to Him in prayer with everything, to cry out to Him when it gets just too tough. I imagine there will be lots of crying in general in the beginning!!

I don't look forward to the moments of saying no to something I want so bad or the moments in which I am angry or upset or even sad about not being able to have something I want so bad. I don't look forward to the terrible withdrawal I'm certain I will experience or all the work of planning and preparing food and meals that are sugar free. But I do look forward to seeing what great things our great God may have in store by me making this trivial sacrifice in order to grow closer to Him.

1 comment:

Danielle Bridgers Banks said...

SO impressed with your choice to give up sugar! Reading this has inspired me to try and cut back as well! I have been sooooo bad lately!!!