Uncomfortable, angry or crying onAna’s shoulder is how I spent the Fork retreat. It’s the best thing that could have happened to me.
The retreat was really called “Friendship Feast.” But I can never remember it that way. Forks were everywhere—giant posters, speakers’ messages about feeding yourself the right spiritual food. There was even an envelope you were supposed to open if you felt negative at any point, which contained encouraging wisdom and a plastic fork.
Were they reading my mind, or what? The particular thing I was struggling with at that time was overeating. I knew God had been asking me to eat healthy and lose weight and was just not able to do it. I even realized I was turning to food for comfort instead of trusting in the Lord to be my joy and strength. I’d been feeling really dry for a long time, as if I was living in a desert. I was a Christian but couldn’t feel any joy in my life anymore. Now all these forks everywhere. Could choosing the right spiritual food really be connected, for me, to how I ate?
Just a few weeks before that retreat, I woke up sick of myself being stuck in overeating; so sick I admitted the whole problem to a godly woman at church, told her I was powerless to control it and needed her to pray for me. I prayed and told God I was done, could not do it—He’d have to do it and I did not even know what to do about it or how. That awful point was actually the beginning of getting better, though it didn’t feel like it. I continued to struggle. But now when I chose the wrong fork and overate, it was all GOD that I could u-turn, go back to eating healthy, and not give up like before. And my friend continued to pray for me.
The Lord provided lots of help. Soon after Fork retreat, my pastor called for us all to do some fasting as a way of getting closer to God. That spring my Bible study was all about breaking free, and God showed me His character and love through the Scriptures. He got to the roots of my overeating and other sin, and finally, I could accept His forgiveness for my past and forgive myself for sins I so beat myself up about.Luke7:40-50. A year after the retreat, I’d lost weight and blood tests were so good the doctor took me off cholesterol meds.
I still have to be on guard to not turn to food for wrong reasons. But God is always, every moment, giving us another chance to take the right fork in the road. The incredible thing is, God gives so many second chances. His mercy endures forever. His mercies are fresh and new every day. And He’s always waiting and wanting to welcome us back. (Luke15:11-32).
Maybe it really was the “Friendship” retreat after all. Jesus says He calls us friends if we follow Him. (John15:14-16). Thank You,Jesus. Hallelujah!
. . . Roz