CORErecovery- Out of the Valley “I’ll Think about it Tomorrow”

 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”  As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.  If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. James 4:13-17

In recovery, we often live in the “one day at a time” mode.  “I’ll think about it tomorrow.”  Like Scarlett O’Hara, looking too far into the future can seem overwhelming.  We are not sure how long we can maintain the momentum of recovery, how long we can stay on our meal plan, how long we can avoid that eating disorder behavior that has provided comfort for so long.  But again, like Scarlett, we say, “After all, tomorrow is another day.”  We fear the future yet we count on it.

In recovery, “tomorrow” can be an enemy.  Either we can’t imagine being able to maintain recovery into “tomorrow” or “tomorrow” becomes a way for us to defer our recovery.  How many times do we say, “tomorrow (or some other time in the future) I will be ready to recover…I will go to treatment, I will spend my time there, I will make better choices.”  Of course, tomorrow does offer the opportunity for grace and the making of better choices, but “tomorrow” is funny, as soon as it becomes today, there is another tomorrow, another chance to wait.

In my own recovery, at first, although I knew I needed help, I felt like when I got to that certain number on the scale, I would then be ready to “learn how to eat”.  I thought that if I could just stop seeing the flab, the dimples, the…whatever, I would be “happy” with my body and then be ready to learn how to “keep” my new body—the healthy way.  I wanted to use my eating disorder as a diet/exercise routine to get to my “ideal”, then I would use “recovery” as my way to maintain it.

The problem was that I was just like the people who James is talking to in our focus Scripture for today.  I thought I had time to do what I wanted, how I wanted, and when I wanted.  It had not occurred to me that “tomorrow” was only there for me if God made it so.  Yes, “tomorrow” can bring hope, in fact, hope requires a future, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do see.”(Hebrews 11:1), however, although we hope for tomorrow, we live in today!

In order for me to move from “tomorrow” into “today”, I needed to have hope and faith that what I could not see, recovery AND health, was better than what I was currently experiencing.  I needed to acknowledge that yes, God’s grace and compassion is new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23), but that part of accepting this gift of grace was giving my plans over to Him….TODAY, and every day.  This meant not just giving over my future plans, but my daily plan to achieve control, to weigh a certain amount, to fit into a size, or even to like what I saw in the mirror.  Instead, I would need to say that I was willing to do His will for my life, today, tomorrow, always….and this would mean commit and stick to ALL of recovery, all the time.  I did not need to say, “if it is your will, God, I will do the good things of recovery.”  I needed to say:

 “Father, I know your will for me is one that brings hope and a future.  These plans will prosper me and not harm me.  I know my eating disorder is harming me, so I know it cannot be your will for me to continue in it.  I know the good I must do, Lord.  Help me to do it.”

James is clear in his writing.  In chapter 2, verse 17, he reminds us, “faith, by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”  In the focus passage for today, he writes, “if anyone knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is a sin for them.”

WOW.  If you are a believer, you are given a hope and a future. BUT, you are also given a TODAY.  He has plans for you TODAY!  Let us seek the will of God for our lives, acknowledge the “good” we ought to do in caring for the gift of our bodies, and then DO IT!  Choosing to hope in the Lord and seek out His plans for us is a daily choice to do the good we know we should do.  Yes, we may wait on the Lord, but we needn’t wait to choose to honor Him with our bodies.

You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
1 Corinthians 6:19b-20

Breathing In (Bible Study)

Read the entire book of James.  (its not long, I promise)  James has certain thoughts about how our actions and faith are connected.  What are they?  What hinders you from putting your faith fully into action?  How does an eating disorder or addiction (or selfishness, greed, discontent or any other thing we might struggle with!!) cause you to not be able to do the “good you ought to do?”

*Note: James is not saying that works equals faith.  We do not “do” anything to make God love us or show us grace.  Rather, James is pointing out that if we truly believe God and have genuine faith, we would have an outpouring of action to share with others and show our gratitude!

 

Breathing Out (Prayer)

I encourage you to use the prayer from the devotional as a guide and write your own, from your heart.  Ask God to reveal the truth of Jeremiah 29:11 and to show you how to honor Him with your body as it says in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

“Father, I know your will for me is one that brings hope and a future.  These plans will prosper me and not harm me.  I know my eating disorder is harming me, so I know it cannot be your will for me to continue in it.  I know the good I must do, Lord.  Help me to do it.”

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One thought on “CORErecovery- Out of the Valley “I’ll Think about it Tomorrow”

  1. I don’t know if others are like me in keeping a few, or more than a few outfits in the closet, hoping that soon they will fit. I have very few clothes that actually fit, and to me they are dumpy and unstylish. I somehow think that my minimal diet and exercise efforts are going to give me a closetful of wearable clothes. I rarely get on a scale, but when I do, the numbers haven’t gone down. Tomorrow, tomorrow! Someone else could probably wear the clothes today. The real problem is hoping in tomorrow, instead of in Christ today. I can’t get healthy in my own strength. My obsession, frustration, and disappointment is putting the hope in my efforts. I spend more energy on wanting clothes to fit, than in just being healthy. Putting so much hope in tomorrow robs the joy of today. Thanks Jeannette for your faithful words of wisdom.

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