"Go ahead and dare to believe that this time around things will be different."
I think that Lysa Terkeurst's "Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, not Food" will be my constant companion in the coming year. I can already see that I will read it not once, but repeatedly as I journey towards health and fitness and, although I never suspected when I began this, towards a closer relationship with God. It is taking me a long time to get through the reading of the book, as it is changing me as I read; and I believe change for the better should be savored!
Made to Crave is, according to the back cover, "the missing link between a woman's desire to be healthy and the spiritual empowerment necessary to make that happen." It is not a diet plan or an exercise program or a how-to manual. It is a companion to use alongside whatever approach to living a healthy life you have chosen. Lysa's premise in a tiny nutshell is that we, as the title says, were made to crave - but we were made to crave God, and have replaced God with food. ("Chocolate is my comforter and my deliverer.") Her book goes about helping us find our way back from that, by first reminding us that Jesus asks us to give up the one thing that we crave more than Him, and to follow Him.
When it is framed like this, it seems it should be joyously easy to turn away from my evening brownie and ice cream and toward my Lord! The comparison is not even close! As St. Augustine wrote, "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you." A million double fudge brownies could never sooth my restless heart! Why have I never thought of this before? How could I have been blind to this?
Previously, I have outlined the dozens of diet plans I have tried in the past with varied success-- but none of them touched on spiritual truths. None of them shamed me like this Now, before that makes you run away screaming from this book -- it is not Lysa's writing that shamed me-- she wags no fingers nor criticizes at all. She is simply sharing her own spiritual journey with the reader. It is the realization that I have been turning to food when I should be turning to God that shook me. Lisa has helped me realize that as I make progress in changing my old bad habits and lead a healthier life, I am removing obstacles that have separated me from my God! This is a whole new level of inspiration to help me on to success.
The reward is not simply a healthier, thinner, stronger body and smaller dress size. It is clear that God is calling me to a closer relationship with Him. It is clear that He is using Lysa's words to show me the way. (Please see my previous blog post "A God-wink and the Missing Ingredient" which explains why I believe that.)
The one central truth of the book could alone make all the difference for me. Yet, there are so many other gems that Lisa lays out for us in this book. I will happily share more of them in future posts as well as the impact they have had on me.