Hope, Not Hate

December 14, 2011 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

Spring Means Green and HOPE has Arrived!

Image by cobalt123 via Flickr

Why is it that when people talk about addiction they tell others that in order to quit you just have to be mad enough at yourself. You have to be tired of it. As if there is a threshold at some mystical spot in your soul where you have finally had enough and are now magically ready to change. I guess it does make sense, in a way. Just like at AA, the first thing you have to do is acknowledge your problem, acknowledge that there is something that has a hold on you that you are powerless to break. I think this is incomplete.

I spent years wondering where that stupid line was. I hated my problem so much, hated what it made me, but when did it finally become enough for me to change. It seemed that surely I would reach that point soon. After all, my self-disgust showed itself in tears, in extreme frustration, in utter self-loathing. How disgusted did I have to be for something to finally happen already!?

But I was searching for the wrong thing. After all, no good comes out of hate. I mean, isn’t “hate” still considered a negative word? It’s the opposite of love, and we all like that A LOT! And yet this thing, this idea, that we so condescendingly turn up our noses at while waxing eloquent on the virtues of loving and embracing all people, is what we are expected to turn to ourselves in order to make us better people.

No, for me, I never reached the point of having enough hate to want to change. And I have realized how silly that is. Even when we turned to God at our weakest, we weren’t truly saying, “I hate myself enough now.” No, the reason we cry out to the Creator of the Universe and Most Holy Being is simply…hope. Yes, we saw all the bad things in our lives, but why choose Him? It was because we knew that He offered us hope for change. And hope is the answer in this struggle also. Yes, we need to understand the problem and know that our addiction is wrong, but it is hope that things can be better that causes us to finally change ourselves. That is how it happened with me. And that is also how I can continue to walk this path of health every new day. I finally have hope that it can be done. If you have never experienced an addiction, that might seem like a silly, trivial thing. But those who have struggled along with me know what it is like to have absolutely no hope that they can be different. Those skinny jeans will always be no more than a dream.

But when we have hope that our dream is not just some unattainable thing, that in fact we hope for it in the first place because we were created to have it, then we can make a change in our lives.

But then there is the question of how. It’s not like what I am talking about is sitting there, rocking back and forth, and wishing upon the stars. Hope is practical. It means seeing the end goal in the beginning. But how can we see the end when we don’t even understand what the end could look like for ourselves? Romans 8:24 says, ” But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” – NKJV    We may not be able to see the end goal exactly, but God can, and He has promised us His help when we have trials. The answer to how we wait for this unknowable thing called freedom is to pray for it, knowing that even if we don’t understand, our God is faithful! He will give you your freedom; He will show you what it is you are hoping for. I think that, over everything else, if you struggle with food like I did, hoping for and knowing that you can change is the most important thing you can do.

A simple prayer for if you don’t know what to say: God, you sent your son so that I could be free from sin, even the sin of gluttony. I know that I cannot in myself be free, but you put your power inside of me. Help me to walk every day in the freedom you provided and show me what freedom looks like. You said that if we ask anything in your name, that you would provide it, so I thank you for my freedom.

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Entry filed under: Addiction and Help. Tags: , , , .

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