I am amazed at how things have changed! I was commenting to TR a few weeks ago after talking to a friend on the phone - "She's having the same struggles!" He thought at first that I was excited that we weren't the only ones with health problems - and maybe that is true to some extent. It is a relief to have people I love and trust to share the experience with. I'm not excited that some are struggling with their health, but it does feel good to be able to talk about it.
And even with those who are not making enormous changes to their eating habits I feel as though I am not viewed quite as weird as before! That feels good too :)
In the midst of all this awareness of what we as a people are eating I am finding there is a lot of conflict arising. Not direct conflict of course - you maybe would even disagree with me that it is conflict - but rather a more hidden conflict :)
I touched on this a little bit in my post "When You Hear One Thousand Voices", but I wanted to really spell it out here, because I am hearing it more and more. Out of my mouth and out of others mouths. And I don't think it needs to be this way.
"I made cookies today . . . they had wheat in them, I know that's bad, but . . . "
"I had bacon with my lunch, I know you don't eat bacon, but . . . "
"We went out to eat the other day, I know that fast food is so bad for you, but . . . "
(These are all fiction statements - but they are based on things I've heard, said, or read.)
In a time when those making changes need the most encouragement we are apologizing for not all making the same choices.
I don't think it needs to be that way.
Don't assume that because your friend wouldn't make the choice you did that it is a wrong choice. In fact I'm sure your friend has made compromises just like you. We've all strayed from our "ideal" diet. We all have more changes that we'd like to make that still seem a little too hard (or expensive!). Instead of feeling discouraged in the face of our friends we should instead be lifting each other up and encouraging one another.
A few weeks ago I was very discouraged. The weight of my family's health was on my shoulders and I felt as though I was doing everything wrong. I was feeding them all the wrong foods and they were paying the consequences. A close friend of mine was privileged to bear my burden with me and as I was speaking she interrupted me (like all good friends will do when you're going on and on down the wrong trail!) and said "Look at how far you've come! You have done so much for your family. Just think about all the drugs TR would be on and how much pain he would be in without the changes you've already made. You are NOT failing!" What wonderful encouragement!
Let's be the words of encouragement to those who need it. Whether it is with making food changes, exercise changes, financial changes, or any other life changes.
It is hard to change and feeling like we're not doing it right is so very discouraging. Don't feel you have to do it like you perceive those around you. After all, our example is Jesus, not our neighbour. If you really feel like you're doing it wrong, let Him be your judge and your comfort. Bring it before Him and seek His counsel.
Let's be encouragers! Let's be lifting each other up in prayer and speaking words to build each other up! When we all get to heaven I doubt that our Father will ask us why we were still eating wheat when we knew it was hurting our bodies. Rather He might be more interested to know why we were tearing each other down instead of building each other up. Why we spoke negatively about someone elses changes instead of praying for them.
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thess. 5:11
On another little side note that is not related to this post at all, I wanted to share a special moment I had this morning. My sweet Kara woke up very happy and instead of crying like normal, she was just chattering away in her crib. When I went in to get her she just squealed and was so very excited! I picked her up and she put her arms tightly around my neck and gave me the sweetest hug. Such a wonderful moment to treasure :)
*I'd love to hear from you! Please feel free to drop an encouraging word in the comment box :)