Well friends… I hate to admit it. I cheated.
but you know how when I let something slide just a little bit, it’s THAT much easier to excuse other things?
I’m learning so much about myself though this whole thing, you guys. It’s like starting straight into a mirror that’s pointing out some of the scary sin patterns in my life
(uh oh, things just got real).
But really. Let’s talk about that for a second. The cheats started out really tiny. I accidentally ate two bananas one day. An honest mistake. Still a cheat, but an unknowing one. Then I took a bite of a roll when some friends came over. Felt pretty guilty about it. Next day, I had a few sips of a “no list” drink. THAT is when I really started to get into trouble. That cheat didn’t feel bad at all. No sting there and I just wanted more. Next day I went out to eat and said “yes” to a few things I shouldn’t have. And I was done after that. Nothing that night was a huge cheat and I ate SO much healthier than I did before starting the detox, but THAT is exactly how I justified it.
“One night of eating mashed potatoes and a few bites of creme brûlée isn’t going to be the end of you, Lacey. You can jump back on the band wagon tomorrow. And let’s be real, if you were REALLY jumping off here then you would eat an entire plate of pasta and a whole dessert to yourself. You’re doing a LOT better than you were.”
Um. Gross. Cheating is cheating, Lace.
After that meal (and really all I cheated with was a serving of mashed potatoes and three bites of dessert) I could IMMEDIATELY tell a difference. A sugar rush like I’ve never experienced in my life. It didn’t really hit until about an hour and a half later… but when it did, WHOA. I woke up that next morning with one thing on my mind: coffee. Specifically coffee laced with cream and sugar. My now-typical black was NOT going to cut it that morning. Or at least that’s what my brain was saying. I was slipping fast and needed to let my community know RIGHT THEN so they could stop me. Did I though? Nope. I was a little bit embarrassed that I had so easily given in and I didn’t want to tell them.
Isn’t that how it happens though? I can’t help but see the parallels to the ugliness in my life. Things that I KNOW shouldn’t be there, KNOW that I don’t need, KNOW are hurting me… yet I still come back to them like a child desperately longing for another cookie. I have trusted friends and mentors around me who know my weaknesses, my old sin patterns and the things about me that just aren’t Christ-like at all. I’m grateful for these people, but if I hide from them when I feel ashamed of ways I’ve failed… I give life to the lies and blind myself to truth.
The little things hurt a tiny bit when you begin, but its truly terrifying how easy it is to justify a big “cheat” to yourself when those little things go unseen, unheard and unaddressed by those who know you well. I wish I would’ve let my Detox buddies know what I was craving coffee that morning. Really, I wish I would’ve told them about the bite of a roll on Saturday.
If I had chosen courage to admit my shortcomings (no matter how little they seemed to me), then I have no doubt that my friends would been able to prevent the fallout that ensued the other night.
No one wins in BBQ Pringle Binge 2012.
Ten days ago I would’ve NEVER thought I would cheat for BBQ Pringles. Please. I’m so much stronger than that. Pringles are total trash, delicious trash that I LOVE… but still trash. Totally not on my radar for cheating. But “worthwhile” cheats cheapen things until eventually there you are, sitting on the couch with your second handful of Pringles and two Reese’s pumpkins waiting in the wings, audibly saying “I should NOT be doing this!” yet still popping another chip.
once you pop… the fun don’t stop, people. Crack-laden “potato” crisps.
A bummer of a lesson to learn, but I’m glad to stare it down right now.
What about you? Are you like me, hiding the “little” cheats from people who know you too well? Friend. Let me tell you, get that junk out of there right now and tell someone you trust that you need a buddy to help you recover from Pringle Binge 2012. I’m not talking just healthy eating here, folks. What in your life is hidden away, so that no one can see? It might be time to bring it to the light, in a place you can trust.
The good news is: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hilll cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14 ESV.
For those who trust in Christ, there is no condemnation. We have been given new identities as a new creations. In Matthew it says that we are the light of the world. Not “when you do the right thing you are the light of the world.” No. We are light. Just like salt can’t lose it’s saltiness, a light can’t be less of a light, intrinsically. It IS light.
For believers in Christ, you are light. That won’t change. Don’t hide anymore… there is no condemnation, just forgiveness and grace. Gather your community around you and expose those tiny cheats that will bring you down.
Maybe you’re reading this and you been making it quite fine on your own without faith. Maybe the things you’d rather keep hidden are bigger than you think anyone could ever redeem. The truth is, if you are exhausted of hefting around things that are too big for you to carry anymore, there is perfect love available that will cast out fear and free you from the things that seem to trap you.
Perfect love. It casts out fear and can’t be found anywhere other than through Christ.
Today, I’m grateful for the reminder of this good news for my Pringle-lovin’ soul.
highlight: jumping back on the bandwagon tonight with a really yummy, detox-friendly dinner
lowpoint: diet coke yesterday. The sugar cravings took over.