A small flame

A small flame

Lie: 'He can't be trusted.'


When I was 5, my family spent a week in Hong Kong on our way back to the U.S. for our missionary furlough. It was very different from the quiet little town I had lived in until that point! Early in our visit, my dad made a passing comment about the (then distant future) take-over of Hong Kong by China. My over-active imagination took that comment and ran with it. I was convinced that the Communists (who I 'knew' vaguely and imagined as very bad men) were taking over Hong Kong right. then.

I was terrified!

I would lay in bed in our hotel room, trembling, as I listened to the frequent sirens and noise that are part of every big city (though I didn't know that). I thought about what I would do if the bad men suddenly burst through our door. How could I protect my baby brothers and my parents? I was so relieved when we finally loaded our suitcases into a taxi and headed to the airport for our flight to California! I can remember scooting down in my seat so that the invading army would not see me as we drove to freedom.

My purpose for telling this story is not to prove what a strange little girl I was ;0} but to describe a way of thinking that has always been a part of who I am. To me, the oddest thing about my Hong Kong story is that I never once talked to my parents about how I felt. They had no idea how scared I was and why. If they had, they could have reassured me; helped me see how wrong I was. They could have comforted me. But I thought it was up to me to take care of myself.

Fast forward quite a few years later, and I've learned a lot about how important it is to build strong relationships with people who will 'do' life with me! I've also realized that this 'lone ranger' mindset has a huge impact on how I interact with food. I still think it's up to me to take care of myself. If I've had a hard day, if I'm lonely, if I'm frustrated or afraid or sad. . . it's still my job to take care of myself. To make myself feel 'better'. To give myself the rest, the company, the comfort, the security, the {fill in the blank} that I am missing. So I eat. Food is always waiting for me with open 'arms' and somehow in the moment I rarely remember what a fickle friend it is.

I didn't realize just how pervasive this 'take-care-of-myself' mindset was until we became a seminary family. As I watched God provide for our needs time and again, often in ways we could not have anticipated, I was struck by how often I turn to food instead of to Him to meet the needs I felt at a particular time.

And, as odd as it sounds, I was afraid to change. Fearful to turn to God instead of food after a hard day. I think I had an unspoken fear that He would stand me up. That I would drag myself away from the Oreos only to find that He wasn't there for me. So I told him that. I shared my fears with my Abba and said, 'OK, Father. If you want me to turn to you instead of to food for comfort and rest, then please be there. Please don't just leave me standing there holding my stinky day!' And can I tell you that He never has.

He. never. has.

He always shows up when I seek him instead of chocolate.

Isn't that awesome?!


1 comment:

Ronnica said...

"He always shows up when I seek him instead of chocolate." Amen. Needed to read this today...thanks!