The jeans I use to fit into are now pinned on the bulletin board in the room I write in. They use to fit me loosely, now I can’t close the top button. It happened gradually, the spreading of the fat beneath my skin over the top of my jeans. You might not have noticed. I keep buying new jeans that are one size bigger; my shirts are baggy and the sweatshirts I wear are two sizes too big.
You didn’t see me late at night eating five bowls of cereal, or eating a pound of strawberries with a cup of whipped cream. Trying to fill the empty places in my soul with food.
Food is attached to happy memories. Memories as a child eating a bowl of cereal with my brother before we went to bed. Delaying bedtime by putting in too much cereal and then adding too much milk, and then adding more cereal.
The house is quiet at night, the children are asleep, my husband is asleep, and I sit alone at the kitchen table with a gallon of milk and a bag of puffed rice cereal. I eat until the bag is empty, my stomach is bloated, and I fall asleep in my chair.
Yesterday when I bought groceries, I walked past the bag of puffed rice cereal on the bottom shelf. It is 2 dollars and 69 cents for 1 pound of whole grain naturally nutritious cereal. I said, “No, I won’t buy you anymore. You are my past and not my future.”
The cereal didn’t answer me. It is really only a bag of puffed rice. The bag of cereal has no emotion, but I attach a bag full of heavy feelings to the little bag of food that weighs 6 ounces.
I can not go back in time, or recreate a sense of security by eating cereal late at night. Food will never fill the empty space in my soul.
God loves me no matter what size my jeans are. I know that. The jeans are only to remind me I want to fit into them again. I want to control my eating.
I am looking for comfort in the wrong place.
There is only one thing that can comfort me late at night.
A glass of water.
The water I drink will remind me I have been remade. Water to drink and the living water that Jesus offers.
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 3: 13,14
Jesus will fill the empty places, and my jeans will fit again.
Every hour on the hour I drink a glass of water. I don’t always remember, sometimes I drink water on the half hour and some hours I forget. I pray when I drink. I pray for friends and strangers. If you would like to be on the Water Prayer List, if there is something you want prayer for, please tell me in the comments, or send me an e-mail privately, firstname.lastname@example.org.