In January someone I love told me they had a feeling I was gonna die this year. They said they had a weird vision that my family would endure loss. Either my mom, or myself. My mom is 73, so that possibility increases with age, and clearly weighing 400 lbs increases the possibility a hundred fold. What a strange and even cruel thing to say to someone, right? I would be lying if I said that it didn’t mess with my mind. It did.
It worried me for a couple weeks. Mainly because I thought it was an awful thing to tell someone, and it upset me that it was verbalized. Yet as the time passed I found myself more and more thankful for the comment. As the days passed I found myself concerned for my health and wondering if the Lord did in fact give this person some wisdom on the subject. I was ready to make some changes to help myself lose weight and even though I clearly know everyone will die, I wanted to have a fighting chance at not dying prematurely, to my understanding. As is the case with most Americans, I found myself approaching health like a New Year’s resolution, armed with my will and determination. I lost thirty pounds and felt like I was heading in the right direction. By the time my birthday (February) rolled around, I was doing really well. I remember having a small slice of Tiramisu and after that one taste of sugar, I can’t remember anything else. It goes black after that. It’s like sugar is an eraser in my mind and body (more on that later). I just know that one compromise lead me to another one and on and on it went, as I yo-yoed and gained 20 lbs back. So remained the case until Bells Palsy. A frustrating diagnosis, but a Godsend nonetheless.
I am not afraid of dying. Let’s just get that clear. As a daughter of the King Jesus, I know with all my heart where I shall go when I die. I look forward to that day and I have even wished it sooner many times. My heart longs for His presence and to be in a place of comfort and eternal joy. Often when the world is overwhelming, I find my yearning intensified. I know to whom I belong, and to where I shall return. Death is scary in the thoughts of suffering or never seeing those you love again, in that sense it is a scary thing. I trust the Lord though and I know His presence will more than make up for any of that. My biggest lament with death, is that I don’t want to die in sin. The Bible tells us to test ourselves, and I do. I’m not clinging to foolish assurance of salvation. There is active testing of myself. I just mean to say that when I think of death, I often think that I just want to be sure that I am not walking in, or tolerating active sin [gluttony] when I die. I want to be aggressively putting up a fight and killing sin when I go. I don’t want to be unrepentant over this issue. I want to meet my Savior when I am covered in the bloody gore of killing my flesh!
Sin is worthy of blood, guts and gore! John Piper says some pretty phenomenal stuff in regards to killing sin, and I fully encourage you to listen to it all! (Check out day 6 references for the link). Recently I read through the Psalms and I was taken aback when I read the words of King David, the “man after God’s own heart,” and I see how gruesome some of his thoughts are in regards to his enemies. His words are hostile pleas to the Lord to slay his enemies. Rip them apart, cut them in tiny pieces he cried out. (See the language in Psalm 63, 64, 71, 89 to name a few).
Isn’t this the man who loved the Lord unlike anyone else?! Why so much gore and blood?! As I pondered this with my community of sisters, one of my mentors asked about our enemies. “Who do you consider your enemies?” My immediate thought was “SIN.” My enemy is sin. Its temptation and all that the enemy puts in my way to lead me to sin! She and I read through the Psalms together, and as we did I found myself replacing David’s real and physical enemies with my spiritual ones! As I read the Psalms now, I do agree that I want God to slay my enemies! Kill that temptation that wants me to fall and that wants to breed spiritual death in me! Yes Lord, cut it into tiny pieces and rid me of its existence! Have no mercy on it, Lord! Destroy it! Kill it!
THIS IS THE DEATH I WANT! The death that leads to life!!! And life in abundance! I am not afraid to die. The year isn’t over yet. I may not make it to the end. God only knows. When this “premonition” or “feeling” was spoken to me in the beginning of the year, my immediate thought was this one. I prayed it would be a spiritual and fleshly death! Where I would die to myself, my flesh and stop pursuing sin and selfish desires. So yes, in a way, I did die this year! I am so thankful for it! I am joyfully able to say that I am not walking in the active sin of gluttony and I am allowing the Lord alone to heal the brokenness in my appetite and my relationship with food. This is the work of God alone, I did nothing to get here!! By no means have I arrived anywhere! I am still a mess of brokenness, but for this victory, HIS victory thus far, I am thankful.
Only He knows how long I will live. I will not live in fear anymore, because He is good and faithful. I always feared the shame of dying as an obese person. Everyone will have right opinions of me eating myself to death, they’ll call me “selfish,” they won’t be surprised since after all, I did this to myself, it could in fact be ruled as suicide. I admit that I cared more about what man would say, than what the Lord would say. In dealing with sin issues we often care more about our reputation with humans, than we do about our standing with a good and HOLY GOD. I was absolutely guilty of this. I am yet again, thankful that he has worked in my heart and caused me to care only about what He thinks. I am broken and humbled before the Lord. I am incapable of doing anything to save or heal myself. I’m right where I need to be.
I always dreamed of dying in some mission field in the jungle or the desert, but alas this very well may be my jungle or desert. All I know is that I want to honor him as much in life, as in how I die. I am putting up a fight, and if it’s His will to take me as my sword is lifted high, then so be it. To Him be the glory.
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” –Psalm 90:12
Hear my prayer O Lord, and give me a heart of wisdom.
Thanks for reading and walking this journey with me. No matter how long it’s been, or will be. “To live is Christ, and to die is gain.” –Philippians 1:21