1. The process of removing toxic substances or qualities.
Not too long ago I shared that I was in a processing phase. I have now moved into a detoxing phase. As I've shared, I have made drastic changes to my diet. No caffeine. No dairy. No sweets. I had no idea how the change in my eating habits would change my life. My heart. It has changed my clothes size and alleviated some of my health issues. But I wasn't at all prepared for the journey this would be for me. That it would become such a spiritual lesson for me.
A few weeks into the diet strange things started happening to me. I just didn't feel right. My skin started breaking out. I felt like a 12 year old again. I discussed this with a friend and she brought up the detox issue and how things get worse before they get better. Like my 7 days of caffeine withdrawal headaches. There was a time when things were definitely feeling worse. I have often joked about my hormones and my mood swings, but tonight I'm just going to be real honest. It's not so funny. For over a year now I have really struggled with feeling like my brain and body are taken over by evil forces for a week to 2 weeks every month. It has been the most challenging issue for me. I am thankful to report that this month I could really tell a difference! Praise God! You know Josh is praising God!
I don't know that this diet is going to completely heal me or do all of the things I hope it will, but regardless, I have been changed. It's really true what they say, fruits and veggies are good for you. :) But even more than that, as my body has eliminated things that do not benefit my body and taken in things that do, I've begun to crave those good things. When I was so sick last week and couldn't eat for a while I was worried that I would break down and end up craving cheeseburgers and cake. And I would feel justified in eating them. But, I didn't. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my body CRAVED things that are good for me. As that realization dawned on me, it occured to me that another type of detox has been happening simultaneously. A detox of my heart.
Tonight in our Bible study at church we talked about our call to Holiness as Christians. In the past I thought if people were "holy" that meant that they were pretty much sinless, only listened to gospel music and said, "Praise the Lord" a lot. Tonight we talked about the fact that as soon as we become believers we are called to holiness and we are called to holiness to acheive the work that God has for us. We also learned that it can only come from Him. We don't have the power to change our hearts. And our hearts are what He is concerned about.
You may wonder what that has to do with my diet. I'm trying to get there. And I'm trying to think of another word besides "diet" because this is not a diet for me. This will be an entire lifestyle change for me, much like becoming a Christian was. Often Christianity is something we compartmentalize in our lives. We have work and our social life and church. We attend services every now and then and try to be good people. We post that we love Jesus on FB. Sometimes we even listen to Christian music. But the truth is, Christianity was never meant to be a crash diet. We can't go to church occassionally and expect huge changes in our lives or to see amazing works of God. He meant it to be an entire lifestyle and lifetime of growth. Like I started my "diet" praying, "God, please help me pass up the cheeseburger" and then feeling really deprived, as a Christian I am guilty of just trying to get by. Trying to be the best Christian I can be without having to be too radical, too different from other people. Feeling deprived when I feel left out or like I'm giving up things. But, as a month goes by and it becomes my habit to do what is right for my body I begin to CRAVE things that nourish me. And as a Christian as I make it my habit to spend time with my Father, it isn't enough to just get by. I want to CRAVE Him and the things that He has called me to. The things that please Him.
None of it is easy. My mind, body and soul feel like I've been in a boxing match and only somedays I win. We misunderstand the journey we are beginning as Christians if we think it involves pretty dress clothes and potluck suppers. The journey of a Christian is one that involves a lot of detox. A lot of removing toxic qualities that separate us from God and hinder our work for Him. It's not easy to face our sin head on and deal with it. It's not easy when selfish desires and ungodly motives make their way to the surface. It hurts when we don't get our way and it breaks our hearts to see who we are without His redemption covering us. Being a Christian has very little to do with knowing the right things to say at church or acting a certain way. It has everything to do with our hearts and what is going on in the places other people can't see. We can go many years fooling people, but not God. We can "fake it until we make it" in many areas of our life, but not in holiness. It may hurt while He is rooting it out, but it is worth it when His qualities take root in us.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
"and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness"