Continuing with my Repost series, below is my very first (ok, ok … ONLY, I admit it – you satisfied? *hmph*) guest post by my friend Annie. She hasn’t been blogging, but you can still go check out the blog that she has there, and read the great stuff she has written. She will be back to blogging – I hope…
This is my first guest post! My good friend, fellow prayer warrior and all out good girl Annie consented to do a guest post for me…. part of the reason I hadn’t written anything myself is because I’ve been going through a lot of stuff… but I’ve also been waiting for her to answer me
Anyway, here it is! My first guest post! (And when you’re done, hop over to Annie’s place and read her stuff… she’s very good…)
Have you ever tried to …
break an old habit?
go on a diet?
change a wrong behavior?
I discovered about a year and a half ago that my intestines don’t digest dairy very well at all. (Some people call this lactose intolerance. I don’t like labels. Or excuses. So I don’t say this. I say I don’t eat dairy. It’s a choice, not a victimization. Anyway.)
When I discovered this, several things happened. Firstly, I was relieved. It explained several things that had troubled me for almost all of my life, and which I had asked the Lord many times to reveal to me what was going on. Secondarily I was chagrined. Really?? No dairy?? But I LOVE milk, butter, and cheese! I grew up on them. Yummy, yummy, yummy. Thirdly, I knew from Scripture that the promised land was ‘a land flowing with milk and honey’ and I had already looked up in the past the first occurrence in the Bible of eating dairy, and God Himself actually was the one who did. Abraham served curds to God when He visited him (as the three men) before He went down to investigate Sodom and Gomorrah. So. I believed then (and I believe now) that my particular problem is a problem, and not normal. So I’m still believing for the revelation on that.
At any rate, since that time, it has been a constant battle for me. It is really hard to go out to eat and find non-dairy options. This country’s cuisine depends on the cow like you would not believe. The real war though, was in my taste buds. The stuff just tastes so good. I may know in my head all the consequences of eating a piece of pizza or taking a bite of that yummy Alfredo sauce pasta, but my taste buds are in denial. They don’t consider the fact that if I eat it I’ll have to deal with the consequences. They just know it will taste good. And that’s all they know.
So I am left at the point of this decision. Do I give in to my tongue? Or do I respect the entire rest of my body and force myself away from it?
You know, when the Israelites left Egypt their physical situation changed. They were no longer in bondage; they had freedom. Yet even though their physical condition changed, in their minds (or hearts, as the Bible puts it) they were still longing for Egypt. Egypt was still their ‘normal.’ They didn’t take ownership of where they were and say, “I’m free, in a desert, and pressing forward to the promised land.” Instead they expected what they had had in Egypt. They expected provision a certain way; they expected comfort a certain way. And even though they knew that the precursor for having those things was bondage, they still didn’t give up wanting the ‘good tastes’ of Egypt.
So you’d think that after a year and a half I would have got this dairy thing down. I mean, it’s the same decision every time. But in my head you know … I always held on to the prospect of how good it would taste to eat it.
And finally I had an epiphany.
Psychologically, I hadn’t accepted that there had been a change. I let my mind keeping thinking that ‘normal’ was everything I used to eat. And therefore not eating it was ‘abnormal’ and ‘temporary.’ Light bulb! I decided to change that. So now, instead of looking behind me and ‘longing for Egypt,’ I created a ‘new normal.’ In my new normal … I just don’t eat dairy. It’s not something that’s forced on me; it’s not even something I regret. It’s just … normal.
You see, in the past, feeling bad was normal. And in my mind, I couldn’t break away from that. Feeling good (when I didn’t eat dairy) was just a nice perk. A temporary fluke. It wasn’t normal. I had put up with feeling bad for so long that it had come to feel comfortable to me. And regardless of the fact that I had plenty of evidence to tell me that a ‘new normal’ was possible … my heart had never accepted it.
The epiphany came when I was willing to look at that and say, “It’s not normal for me to feel bad. And look bad. It’s normal for me to feel good. And look good.” The choice to not eat dairy was just a part of my new normal.
So I am happy to report that the last month or so I have lived in my new normal. I’m not longing for Egypt anymore.
Normal never felt so good.
Has there been a ‘new normal’ in your life? Would you like to share?
PS: for those who are interested in my symptoms and results, I would love to answer questions. Most people, I think, wouldn’t, so I haven’t made that a part of this post. :)