My name is Janelle Keith and I’m addicted to coffee. I live in Oklahoma with two cats (don’t judge), and my loving husband, Terry. I have a big story of losing 132 lbs. and am wholly devoted to Jesus, my Savior instead of my sweet savior of chocolate. God uses my passion for writing, speaking life and encouragement, plus positive eating habits as He punches through your heart barriers. We are all under His grace and drawn in by His giant love of each one of us. You can connect with me more here: http://www.thejanellekeith.com.
I gasped when I saw it. I didn't remember that much chocolate could exist in one single buffet line. I was mesmerized by the shiny and sweet-looking goodness. The lines to scoop up plates and platters of the decatant desserts were endless and filled with eager chocolate connoissuers. I wanted to be in those lines twice over. I wanted it all.
Worse yet, I was willing to hide that I wanted it. Who would know if I actually jumped in head first? Consumption of every square inch of all that light and fluffy cake? No problem. There was such a desire to take a dive right in front of that guy who looked like he need to wait at least five minutes to let his food settle.
Ever want something that bad?
Y'all don't know what it's like. You don't know the depth of food temptations that reaches the soul. You couldn't know or realize the intensity of it, unless you have been there and are fighting to stay free of it.
My grade school principal didn't get it either.
The day that Mister announced my weight to the entire 20-student class of my private school was the most humiliating and demeaning set of numbers a chubby girl could endure. I'm sure China heard his voice that day. I SO wanted to jump ship and drown in a sea of pity.
Again, here was another demeaning amount of desserts set before me.
The nerve of people making chocolate into a flowing sea in a place where to get away from it I had to jump ship...literally. I just stood there all numb like and such. The powerlessness I felt in that moment was transcribed as a chocolate trance to find the end of the line and jump on board. My heart was on hold and my desires were captivated. I.wanted.every.lick.of.it.
I remember that fateful day when Mister boomed my weight to the world and my desire was then immediately anchored to my dark chocolate history. OOOH the milky sooth coos from a chocolate milk carton of comfort was overflowing with each imagined dip of satiny goodness. So I just....dove into my shame and swam in a sea of guilt and blame.
I almost choked back the tears of how wonderful it all tasted as a third grader. That memory came back to me as I stood in line on that floating chocolate boat. For a second I wanted more and more comfort and then something shifted inside that made me quickly drop the idea of just a skewered pineappley dipped chocolate treat.
I saw myself (in my mind) at 244 lbs, (my weight at the beginning of my weight loss journey) and I realized that I didn't want to go back. Even knowing that one treat would not add over 100 pounds back onto my body, I put the plate down. I remembered where I used to be, I remembered how I got to where I am today, and I remembered all the work and tears it has taken me to get to where I am. And I thought of how God wants more for me over my selfish desires.
I remembered why I started this journey in the first place, plus my promise to invite freedom into my life over lusting desires.
I remembered Mister. That day, in the third grade, I traded my self-esteem for a lie that returned in a failed way of comfort for my hurting inner being. What I didn't know then (because I was a child), was that I believed a lie as truth. It was in the third grade that I chose to let food have it's way in me.
Once I stood there and saw the endless chocolate river I remembered my "why" and that I became a power-filled overcomer. I thought of all the lust that has been cut out of my life. I also remembered a promise that was made between myself and God. I vowed that I would stay pure in the area of my desires for unnessary calorie choices.
I haven't always kept my end of the bargain but He has.
The self-esteem that I lost as a third grader rose up strong, renewed and wouldn't be sabotaged again. You see, I could have eaten as much as I wanted to and gotten away with it but I am the one who has to live with me after I put the empty plate down. I have to answer to God about that action, since He is my accountability partner.
Remembering this convenant action with my Rescuer helps me keep this promise true:
Hebrews 8:10 "This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Isreal after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people."
When I saw the brown river, all I could think of was my convenant with God that was written on my mind and heart. Afterall, I am His "people". I remembered that obeying God was giving Him permission to control my desires in every area and having self-control in my choices. I also remembered that I didn't have to hand over my permission to a chocolate power anymore. Suddenly or not so quickly, I lost my desire to give my tongue to a lie once again.
Even chocolate with all it's alluring power that flows in a river can't break a promise between you and God. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about breaking a food rule, life is too short to keep my own list of wrongs when it comes to food rules and food was put on this earth to enjoy. I'm relying on my relationship with my Deliverer that gives me strength and shows me out of every temptation known to man, even the ones dipped in chocolate. Nope, I ain't got time for that!