one girl's journey to let go of the rulebook and embrace her already abundant life

For When God Gets Loud. And Very Clear. (Word of The Week)

BeSoberWhen the opportunity was presented, I could hardly catch my breath. It was a goosebump, hair-raising unveiling of what felt like something even better than I had been hoping for. Like the round peg that has been living in the square hole would finally find a perfect home. A long-awaited answer to a deeply passionate prayer.

And then it didn’t happen.

My spirit grieved, and my body pouted. My mind was confused, and my voice cried out in anger and hurt and utter sadness. Another chance like this, I was convinced, would most certainly not come around again.

Had I misheard His promise  that He had heard my prayers? That His Spirit was blowing a fresh wind of change? That my calling had not passed me by? That He would redeem the square-hole days?

And though I have often prayed that God would be “loud in my head” rarely has He been so clear.

Why? I asked.
You aren’t ready, He said.
So what must I do to be ready, Lord?

BE SOBER

There was no question what He was telling me. That my life, my purpose, my calling could go no further until the chains of addition were broken. That they forever would hold me back from reaching anything more. That already, imprisonment to my flesh had kept opportunities and relationships from becoming all that He intended.

And my addiction is food.

I have lost weight before. I’ve even been sugar-free before. For a YEAR. But I’ve never been sober. Not really. Not in any kind of lasting and meaningful way. Not in the clear-headed, taking stock, treating this like a real recovery kind of way.

Sober is a serious word. And He said it’s time to get serious about it.

Even after hearing, I’ve balked at any kind of action for almost 2 weeks. Until I shared my story with a friend, and the moment I said “Be Sober,” her eyes filled with tears. Because she knew, in that instant, the message was meant for her, too.

So I’m bringing the very thing I prefer to keep in the dark right into the light.

You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6)

I’m ready to be ready. I’m starting with Sugar. And committing to be Sugar Sober in October. And to write about it every day — in one way or another. And to trust that the sharing of my story might be any measure of freedom for others who are entangled.

____________________________________________________

sugarsoberoctoberIn response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October while I stay sugar-free. You can read previous posts HERE. To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Feel free to Tweet your own experiences with #sugarsoberoctober as well.

PLEASE use the comment section to share your own thoughts, questions, or experiences. Like any road, sugar sobriety is one more easily walked with friends. I do my best to reply to every comment.

Linking with Unforced Rhythms — a wonderful community of writers who gather each Monday to share with you HERE.

 

27 Responses to “For When God Gets Loud. And Very Clear. (Word of The Week)”

  1. Sarah Travis says:

    WOW Beth I have also been on the sugar free kick, stuck at it, lost weight, become a sugar monster again! I have NEVER thought of the concept of being “SOBER” and completely FREE from the chains binding me to my love of all things sweet (ok maybe a slight addiction)!
    I am doing a 21 day challenge with friends but I have a feeling it might become more :)

    • Beth Hess says:

      Soon I’ll post my story of my previous YEAR without sugar and how quickly the addiction sucked me right back in. I’m not saying that everyone has to be sugar free any more than I would suggest that ALL people need to avoid a drink with dinner. But I think I’m willing to concede that for me, sugar may not be an option for me again any more than an alcoholic could have “just one” beer.

  2. aljung72 says:

    Thank you for being vulnerable in your post. May God bless your humble submission and turning toward Him even in the midst of disappointment!

  3. ambercadenas says:

    I could cry here, Beth, at the raw beauty of your brave vulnerability. I am so, so proud of you. We are here and will be here, in words, in prayers, in the shadows of struggle, in the light of hope, cheering you on. I love you – you can do this. He’s doing a new thing…

  4. Praying grace and unexpected joy for your journey, Beth. Thank you for your vulnerability.

  5. bluebear17 says:

    I sat in my car today at 3:30, taking a break from a garbage day, by shoving garbage food in my mouth once again. Trying to feel some type of relief from the overwhelming sense of hate for my life and myself in general. I realized that this was my safe food spot. I eat here often. No one can judge me and tell me that the 1200 calories I just wolfed down like an animal is what has caused me to gain 20 lbs in a month. I don’t have to see anyone roll their eyes in disgust at me for the bad choices I’m making. And for the 15 to 30 minutes I sit there with whatever fat laden concoction I have chosen for that particular meal, I have quiet. I have some sense of relaxation. But today, today I looked in the mirror as I was stuffing my mouth with Arby’s new apple cinnamon crisp dessert, and felt as fat and disgusting as I’m sure everyone has been thinking I am for months. My face is fat. But I didn’t put the spoon down. I kept eating. Because if I don’t have food, I have nothing to numb my screaming insides. My boyfriend wanted me to go to the gym with him tonight and I declined. It’s not worth all the effort I’ll have to put in to lose 1/2 lb let alone 60 lbs. So. As I lie here in bed feeling guilty for not going with him and resentful and mad and angry and every other negative emotion I could possibly feel, this post shows up on my time line. Dang it Beth! Why do you always do this to me. So here I am bawling my eyes out, stuck inbetween wanting to do what is right and rebelling cause it’s too hard. And I don’t want to have to do what I did last time to lose weight. Pray for me please. Because I need to believe the God will be my comfort when Ice cream and French fries are gone. And I believe that for you. I believe that God loves you, and my friends, and neighbors and everyone I know, I believe He loves them and is there for them. And I try to believe it for myself. I know it in my head, but my heart doesn’t trust it for me. That’s sad huh. Anyway that’s where I am. And this is hwre your posts are hitting. So keep up doing what God says.

    • Beth Hess says:

      Oh, friend. I just want to wrap my arms around you and make sure you know you’re not alone. The in-between feeling you talk about is SO familiar to me. The wanting to want something other than what I’m doing in the moment. The hidden eating. The guilt. The screaming insides. But I also want you to know how deeply I am ABSOLUTELY SURE that God loves you so far beyond your pain and all the way to deep and real comfort. I promise. I am so very blessed that you would share your heart and your feelings here with me. That you would show yourself exactly where you are and let me and God love you right there. Will you PLEASE keep in touch.

  6. joanneviola says:

    I am finding it so amazing how this writing challenge is taking us in so many different & needed directions. May God bless you as you go through the month of October!

  7. Sharon says:

    Beth, the one word that came to my mind as I read this post was courage. It takes great courage to be this honest and vulnerable. I applaud you for taking this stand. The enemy knows our weaknesses, and he is so very good at exploiting them. For he uses any and every thing that will distract, defeat, delay, disturb us.

    I will pray for your new journey. I will pray that God will release you from sugar, and that He will work on the inner corners of your heart that will battle against His sobering work in your soul.

    You’re not alone.

    GOD BLESS!

  8. Thank you for your honesty. Sometimes we’re not ready for opportunities because there is more to learn where we are. I had fabulous opportunities for my novel around the turn of the century, but I bless that my novel was rejected because I had to run it through revisions that dumped me into an amazing and deep peace. I had to do the work.

    What you say about sobriety is very challenging. Not sure I’m up for it, but I admire your doing it. Bless you.

    • Beth Hess says:

      It’s so hard to admit that our own readiness is a factor because we haven’t been willing to do the work. You are so right about that, Katie. It’s good to hear from those who have walked it and come out the other side blessed. Thanks for being here.

      • But it isn’t just not being willing to do the work. I didn’t meet my editor until an agent suggested I work with her because I wasn’t able to draw my characters clearly. This was a consistent comment in my rejections. So I hired her and began to imagine life from their perspective.

        It was pretty amazing and produced a wild, unwieldy book. But it helped me make peace with those people (they’d died, so it was my only way to do this). If you read it you wouldn’t see that peace making, but it’s how I was affected. I came away realizing how deeply I was loved by my family. Again that’s not what you as a reader would see. The version of the novel that is out there is pared down from these drafts. The editor helped me very concretely. So sometimes it’s just that the right circumstances haven’t come to help us develop our craft or work or whatever.

        When I met Bruce, it was right after I gained insights into my past, that I needed in order to both receive him and try to keep the effects of that past at bay as best as I could. God didn’t spring me loose until I met the therapist and was ready for those insights.

        Your sugar challenge, challenges me because I don’t want to give it up or Diet Coke or Facebook first thing. So I’m going to read with much interest. Bless you in this and in your good work. Thank you for your hospitality.

  9. Simply Beth says:

    Beth, I think I may be most looking forward to your series as I so get that struggle with food. I will be praying for you through these 31 days and look forward to witnessing through your words how God is revealing Himself to you. Much love. xoxo

  10. Thank you for your honest sharing. I’m looking forward to reading your 31 days.

    • Beth Hess says:

      Honestly bringing things into the light is the only way I know to purge this addiction once an for all. But to have friends who treat the honesty with tenderness is a blessing. Thank you.

  11. Beautiful, heartfelt, inspiring.
    Keep it up.

  12. Cheryl Smith says:

    Beth, This post really hit a nerve. I have been fasting from almost all white, refinged sugar since July of 2007, when I had a very similar epiphany to yours. It IS possible! With God, we can do all things. In my particular journey, fasting from sugar has not been enough to remove the unwanted pounds, so lately God has been REALLY dealing with me about getting serous about taking it farther than just the removal of sugar….so now I struggle AGAIN, trying to bring my body under subjection to His will and be more moderate in other areas….mostly carbs, which turn into sugar. :( I can SO relate to what you are going througn on so many levels. You know, sometimes I believe we actually hold ourselves back from being all God wants us to be, because we fail to walk in obedience in these very kinds of areas…at least, that is how it is with me. Your post fell right in line with what He is showing me, and the most amazing thing is that He has recently offered me the opportunity of receiving Christian coaching for free!! I have chosen weight loss as the area I want to focus on for my coaching. But, I know that even with the coaching, if I do not do my part, this will never work, and I will stay stuck in this place of defeat and inability to move forward in my calling, God help us both…and all of the others who daily struggle along with us. You are definitely not alone!

    • Beth Hess says:

      Cheryl. It’s good to have those who understand on this journey. I am fully confident God wants more food from me than just sugar, but I also understand sugar is the hurdle I have to cross before any of the others matter at all. I’m SO EXCITED you get to work with a coach on this area. Coaching has been wonderful for me. Thanks for being here.

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