It started as soon as Rob left for the hospital. A dear saint from our church was hauled away by EMS for respiratory distress, and Rob was on his way. I started with the leftover meatloaf. Then, crackers and brie. Then, half a Hershey bar, bowl of Blue Bell ice cream, the other half of the Hershey bar, and finally, the fuzzy remains of a box Hot Tamales candies left here after Christmas. As Gari Meacham would say, “What the blaze!”
What the blaze is right. Something deep in my soul got scared. I certainly was not hungry. But, I needed reassurance. I needed quick comfort. I needed company. I needed reassurance that my dear friend would be okay. As a pastor’s wife, I know you should not have favorites in church, but this man is everyone’s favorite! I felt so afraid that I would not be able to bear the grief of loss if he went home to Jesus.
There’s been so much loss this year. Loss of relationships, loss of income, loss of connection, even loss of loved ones. It seems to be driving us, most of us, to turn to food for relief. According to a recent article from Mayo Clinic, if you have gained weight during Covid 19, you are not alone. There has been a lot of joking on social medial about the “quarantine 15” and “the Covid 19″. But it’s not funny. I think we underestimate the effects of loss.
For me personally, the awareness came the following day during my study time. In My Place for Discovery Book Two – the ways loss can have an effect on us, “binging” jumped out at me. There it was – this old habit of gluttony was waiting at the door for me to let my guard down, and, wow, did I let it down. You may be able to relate, thinking that food will solve the problem.
This is the thing about food. It’s delicious. It is comforting. Do a Google search on the words “comfort foods” and see what pops up. Here’s another thing about food – when we expect food to do something it was never designed to do, we will always be “unsatisfied.” Asking food to do something is not intended to do; yes, like asking food to comfort us, reassure us, and even love us out of fear. It is not going to happen. But I can tell you what will happen; physical discomfort, regret, and an unhealthy relationship with food.
How do you get better? Know God, know yourself, and understand the proper role of food. The more you lean into Him, the closer you get to Him. The more you know His goodness and faithfulness, the less you will rely on food to meet your needs.
My friend is going to be okay. He is in good hands at the hospital. God is taking care of him. He is faithful like that. My worries, anxieties, and binging were in vain – they didn’t solve anything. I allowed the fear of loss to trip me up to the point of placing my trust in food rather than God.
Here is the promise:
All eyes look to You,
and You give them their food in due time.
You open Your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
The LORD is righteous in all His ways
and gracious in all His acts. (Psalm 145:15-17)
I can share all of this because of you, my First Place for Health family. You are a family that does not judge but shows understanding, mercy, and compassion. Thank you for that.
Trust is in the Lord. Where is your trust?
Vicki Heath is the National Director of First Place for Health. Vicki is a certified fitness instructor for the American Council on Exercise, a certified life coach and Wellness Coordinator for her church in Edisto Beach, SC. Vicki is an author of the books Don’t Quit Get Fit, Wellness Journey of a Lifetime and My First Place. She strives to bring others into the Kingdom through health and wellness.
 Karen Porter, My Place for Discovery Book Two, Galveston, Texas, First Place for Health.