The Cut Out
Have you cut out anything in this last year?
2021 has already been a year where I’ve seen the Lord chipping away at things holding me back. These things aren’t “bad”, but they haven’t been fruitful in my life. They’ve been keeping me from living fully and freely as a joyful child of God.
I haven’t been on social media since early January, and I finally decided to pull the plug and delete my accounts earlier this month. I’m so tired of the noise, the opinions, the arguments, censorship, and the division.
All the noise had prevented me from properly discerning the voice of the Lord and responding to it the way that He has called me.
For some people, I realize social media is a thriving spot to share the truth of the Gospel. But for me, it was not. I was often left feeling overwhelmed to the point where I wasn’t pleasant to be around. It distracted me from putting my full and absolute trust in the Lord and receiving the peace and freedom that only He can give.
Nothing else can fill my heart and soul more fully than Jesus.
I have been slowly cutting more things out. It’s been a strange, but necessary cutting.
Pulling the plug on social media- I found myself not really missing it all. It was freeing. Cutting out the noise, I’ve been using my time to make healthy decisions for myself and my family.
Then, the Lord directed me to drop the immense amount of caffeine I was drinking and cut out the sweets. I fought Him on it for a while, but with discernment, I knew it needed to be done.
I ultimately made the decision not because I wanted to be “healthier” (which is an obvious benefit). There was a deeper issue at hand.
I was relying on the caffeine or sugar high to get me through, rather than relying on my God to lovingly guide me through each day.
The caffeine was meant to “wake-me-up” or just help me make it through the morning with young children. I was grabbing candy off the high shelves to fill a nervous fix that I couldn’t seem to break without some sugar.
Through it all, I was slowly needing more and more caffeine later in the day. Then sweets seemed to not have a limit at times. My body didn’t appreciate having to keep up with my band-aid fix.
The Lord wanted to take my morning, take my anxiousness, and the difficulties of life. The cutting out had to happen. And the Lord graciously used that “cutting out” time for His glory.
Initially, it was difficult. Our culture screams at us, “Get your coffee in the morning!”
Through the headaches and irritableness, I knew the end goal would be so much better than where I had been. Feeling “addicted” to anything isn’t pleasant. You’re not really free because you “need” whatever it is you’ve been clinging to. When in reality, that thing is just taking the place of the Lord. The Lord wants us to seek Him in our pain, weaknesses, hurts, and the highs of life. The “fills” of this world are no match for being filled with the real deal- the power of Jesus.
Thankfully, my husband helped me cut out some of these habits by purchasing some alternatives. He bought some flavored teas with limited or no caffeine. He also bought me decaf coffee. I’ve grown accustomed to making my tea in the morning and being satisfied with that. It took many weeks, but praise God, it grew on me. I found some favorites thanks to my husband.
I definitely still have to be conscious of my sugar intake. It’s a matter of me asking “why” I’m eating something. Is it to “fill” a feeling, or because I’m bored, or am I just being lazy? Or, is it a sweet I’m enjoying after eating healthy foods throughout the day?
I’ve needed that reminder to take care of my body because the Lord dwells in me. I want to hear Him and respond when He calls. I can’t function properly or take care of others if I’m running on empty.
My habits have slowly changed not because of will-power but because of God’s power. That discernment from the Spirit guided me to make better decisions for my body in order to draw closer to Jesus and be free. The benefits not only affect me, but they affect those around me.
I’m not missing out on anything; I’m living more fully.
Thank you, Jesus!