Unloved

Posted: July 9, 2014 in Faith, Scripture

God knows pain. He knows more than anyone else the pain of being treated as unlovely. All of mankind, His creation, turns their attention away from Him and towards other things. Even the most devout have moments where “self” takes the throne. God longs for each person He has created to live in their true identity, the identity He gave, the identity he restored in Christ. God longs for us to know how great His love is for us. We are not left to identify ourselves as a only His creation but to receive His love as His child. While God longs for us, collectively mankind responds with disdain. Many turn some ebbing affection toward Him but even the sum of these moments is still a vastly outweighed by mankind’s love for other things. There is no doubt that God knows what it feels like to be unloved.

What do you do when you feel unloved? Personally, when I feel unloved by someone, I ultimately want to get as far away from that person as possible. I do not tend, however, to flee immediately from those who do not show me love thinking that if given time the relationship will change. Sometimes this approach works out and at other times it does not, I have stories of each. In the end, we eventually leave behind the people who do not love us, because (if we are healthy) we are drawn to relationships in which we are loved. One-sided relationships are draining.

Our proclivity towards building relationships with people who love us is what makes God’s story such powerful and mysterious GOOD NEWS! While He was not receiving love from us, God sent his son, Jesus to restore our identity as His children. In chapter 1 verse 21 of Colossians, Paul calls us God’s enemies. God sent His son into enemy camp where he was not surprisingly treated much like his Father; denied, rejected, cursed and hated. God let his enemies sacrifice His son for the payment of their (ours and everyone’s) sins.

I confess that sometimes have to work hard to remind myself that I am loved by God. I get caught up in all the reasons that He should not love me. But if I just stop for a second, while the enemy wages war in head, to think about what it says about God, that He sent His son to die for the most messed up version of me (and you), the God hater version, I know I am loved. If that is not love then nothing is.

We are drawn to relationships where we feel loved and here is God who loves us like literally no one else ever would. When everyone else would run away rather than be treated the way we treat God, He came down to us. When I am feeling lonely and unloved I need look no further than God who is always there and whose love is unmatched. I am not saying this as one who is there yet. Many times in those lonely and unloved moments I retreat to things that do not satisfy me for long and I push God away. God carries all those painful moments, when I turn to those other things and though he could walk away or remove me from existence, he remains and by His love so do I. I am drawn to this relationship with God because of His love and as I grow in my understanding of that love I will surely need nothing else to satisfy me.

Remember that reset?

Posted: February 5, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Its kind of funny how you don’t always do what you intend to do. I seem to have these great plans that at times get the wind knocked out of them. I last wrote on here when I was half way through the “Ultimate Reset” and because I never posted past the half way point you might assume I failed to finish. Well I did finish that reset and I lost over 30 pounds. More importantly, I learned a lot. I permanently changed some things in my diet like more water and no soda. I wish I could say that figured it all out and have I have seem nothing but success. But recently, I have not been as disciplined as I need to be. Which is a fancy way to say that I have pretty much just ate whenever whatever and as much of anything I wanted to. I have also not been exercising. Instead of just falling, I pretty much just did a nose dive off “the wagon”.

I’m not giving up by any means, I am just being real, it is so much easier to let my appetite be in control. I am still changing and I am still on a journey but it is hard. It is hard to stay focused on what could be (longer life, better health, more energy, being a positive example to my kids) rather than give in to the delicious familiar comfort that for me food often is.

Its hard but I intend to keep trying and learning. I am not the person I use to be nor am I who I should be. I am going to keep learning from my success and… my failure.

 

Today is the halfway mark of my 21 day Ultimate Reset. I feel better overall but these last few days my energy has been low, I went to sleep at 9pm last night which is early for me. I don’t know if the low energy is because my body is working hard to detox or if it’s because I’m getting a lot fewer calories than usual (it takes a lot of calories to keep this train going…and gaining).  Food wise this week is focused on whole grains, fruits and vegetables. That’s right, no meat.  I am eating a lot of new things, things like baked Tempeh. What is Tempeh? Tempeh is a fermented soy protein, it is less processed and therefore more nutritious than Tofu, it looks like hundreds of soy beans pressed together…because that’s what it is. Unlike Tofu, it has flavor, it is a little sweet and it is the consistency of undercooked pieces of carrot (a little firm and chewy).  I’m sure it is better for me than meat but I would still prefer any kind of lean meat over Tempeh (sorry PETA).

Eating so differently than I normally do is teaching me several things. First I’m learning how often I just want to eat, just to eat. At times I find myself thinking about what I could eat and then remembering I don’t need to be snacking and thinking, “Hmm, I’m actually not hungry”. Another thing I’m learning is to engage in conscious eating, that is thinking about what I’m eating, how it tastes and focusing on chewing it up well (something my great-grandfather tried to teach me long ago). Have you ever sat down with a snack to watch a movie only to look down less than half way through to see that your snack has somehow vanished?   That’s unconscious eating. I’m great at it! I’m also learning that the more water I drink the less hungry I feel. I know your parents probably told you that when you were growing up, turns out it true. I’m averaging 1-2 gallons of water a day (and 1 restroom break an hour).

I have lost 17 pounds so far (that’s more than my son weighs!). Apart from a few meals I haven’t felt like I was starving. Also, I feel lighter.  It’s amazing what drop a little weight does! I get out of bed in the morning and my back isn’t stiff. I am looking forward to seeing what else will change as I focus on being healthy. Stay tuned, in my next post I’ll talk about my exercise experience.