Willpower or God’s Power-You Choose

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: August 11, 2016

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Submitted: August 11, 2016

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All of my life I was addicted to sugar. It started innocently enough in childhood. I’d get treats here and there. We’d have candy at Christmas. And Easter. And Valentine’s Day. And Halloween. Do you see the pattern? As I got older the occasional treat turned into a daily habit. Sometimes I’d eat sweets and then skip my meals so I wouldn’t eat too many calories. It didn’t seem like I had a problem because I was never overweight. I kept it all under control.

Nine years ago I adopted my daughter, Hannah. I didn’t want her eating a bunch of sweets like I did, so I restricted the amount of treats she got. But I couldn’t limit my own. As she got older I hid the cookies and donuts and ate them when she wasn’t around or sleeping. This is when I first noticed I had a problem. Over the next five years I asked God to help me two or three times, but in my heart I didn’t really want to change. And nothing did.

About four years ago a friend’s daughter was in the hospital with a life-threatening illness. The night before I went to visit her, I felt like I should fast, so I decided I wouldn’t eat breakfast before I went to the hospital. That morning as I prepared to leave with an empty stomach my friend sent me a message not to come, as her daughter wasn’t doing well. I sent her an email back saying that’s exactly why I needed to come. While I waited for a response, I saw a donut on the kitchen counter. I thought to myself, well since I’m probably not going to the hospital I may as well eat it. As I put the donut on a plate, I heard God’s still soft voice tell me not to eat it, but I did. I couldn’t help it.

Within a few minutes my friend responded that she wanted me to come and pray for her daughter after all. As I drove to the hospital I kicked myself for eating that donut. I knew I was supposed to fast. I also knew if there had been no donut, I would have waited to eat a bowl of cereal.

I was angry at myself, and I was determined to be done with sugar. I vowed not to eat any sweets until my friend’s daughter recovered. I abstained with relatively little effort, until she died a few weeks later. Then I fell off the proverbial wagon—I didn’t have a reason to stay on it anymore. I struggled for another year with my addiction, until I found myself eating pints of ice cream at a time. I really didn’t even like ice cream.

I was disgusted with myself for being weak, and I realized my addiction was a hindrance on my journey with God. The Bible says one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control, and I didn’t have it in this area. The Bible also says we are to have no other gods before God, but I did. I bowed down and worshiped the god of sugar, and it was no longer acceptable to me. I knew God’s strength is made perfect in our weaknesses, so for the first time I cried out to God from my heart to give me His strength and deliver me from my life-long addiction to sweets. This time I meant it.

The next day I went through my cupboards and threw away my temptations. I told Hannah there would be no more cookies, donuts or ice cream in the house, as I would be fasting sugar for the rest of my life. As the days passed, I noticed something was different this time. There was no internal struggle. I didn’t have to use willpower to say no to sugar, I just didn’t want it. In fact I was almost repulsed when I looked at sweets or smelled them.

I became so confident of God’s work in my life that I started allowing goodies in the house for Hannah to eat. Even baking muffins and cookies for her didn’t cause me to stumble. It’s been three years and I can honestly say God freed me of my addiction. I can also honestly say He could only do it when I truly surrendered myself to Him. Kicking that sugar addiction was a piece of cake, and that victory showed me that God is willing to help me in every area of my life.

I encourage you to search your own heart to see what holds you captive. If you truly want to be set free, then with a heartfelt cry ask God to deliver you, knowing that if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:36). It’s much better to start this New Year with transformation, not a list of resolutions that can’t be kept.

God bless,

Denise

 


© Copyright 2017 Denise Buss. All rights reserved.

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