How the AT is my giant
In knowing that we were going to thru hike the AT, I began to try to understand myself why? Why was I so drawn to this trail I had never given a thought to before? Why was I so at peace that we were not only going to do it, but we were going to finish it. What was the purpose behind all of my thoughts and feelings, because everything rational in my mind was saying it was crazy and there was no way we would actually even start it, let lone finish it.
Once we got settled back in AR, we returned to our previous home church in North Little Rock, AR and the pastor was starting a new series titled "GIANT". On the first Sunday of this series, they printed out the story of David and Goliath and put it in our bulletins along with our regular handout that we fill in the blanks while listening to the sermon.
This Sunday we were given a challenge. The first line in our bulletin read "I will never reach my full kingdom potential until i overcome my Giant"... then there was a blank for us to list our giant. That was pretty powerful to me. He named off a bunch of giants (stress, anxiety, addictions, money, marriage, parenting, etc). It took me the rest of that day and into the next to finally put my giant down and it incorporated my weight/addiction to food.
I have always struggled with my weight. As I stated in previous blog I am currently between 260 and 270 lbs with a 5'6" frame which isn't exactly anywhere near healthy weight wise although I am perfectly healthy otherwise. The past year I had actually attended a few overeaters anonymous meetings and began to learn that over a period of a very long time I had become what is considered an emotional eater. If i get stressed, I turn to food..... Happy, celebrate with food... Sad... you get the picture. It was my friend. It was always there for me and it wasn't alcohol or drugs so my thinking was it was "safe".
Now, how does this relate to the AT and it being my giant or have anything to do with the reasons for me to do this hike?
I love nature. I love to be outdoors. Something about it quiets my soul and i found every time we went camping all the stress and anxiety would roll away and i would get so caught up in that to even notice that it was time for lunch, or to snack, or need to get that emotional "fill". It only makes sense that God would have chosen something that I loved to do to motivate me to defeat my giant. The thing about it is, I realized this is about so much more than my weight or my food addiction. It is also about beating my fears, which are what led to my overeating and overweight. What are my fears?
1.My children growing up and leaving and losing the connections with them. Yes, I know this is a natural part of life, but it's not one I am facing very well. 2.Being around other people. I love social events but I have realized I love them because I enjoy people watching. I will be the one you will find in the corner hiding because I don't want people to see me and guess what I hide behind? Yep, my weight... It's become a logical reason to hide because I'm embarrassed and can only imagine what people are saying about me behind my back. 3.Failure- I'm afraid of not succeeding, so I rarely really try. I have had lots of really good ideas in the past, but due to fear of failing or being rejected just presenting my ideas, I didn't stick with them for very long.
The more I sat and thought about this hike and what the AT meant for me, the more I realized the AT really is my Goliath and I WILL defeat it. This will give me much needed time to connect with my kids, it will prove to myself that I can handle any situation that is thrown at us in the middle of the night in the middle of the wilderness... It is going to push me to my limits physically, spiritually, and emotionally, but you know what? I'm excited for that because i know it is going to change who I am from the inside out. At this point, I'm not even focusing on the weight. I know that will be a welcome side effect from it all, but I am more excited about the person I will be when I come off the trail vs. the person I am now. Unlike all of my other "good ideas" that i dropped I'm following through with this one. God used something that he knew I love dearly and he has been conditioning me for years with the knowledge and experience of camping and hiking to have the confidence that I can and will do this!!!!
At the end of the bulletin that day the last sentence read "Giants don't leave on their own; they must be defeated" For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand 1 Samuel 17:16
In researching and collecting gear, I am preparing for battle to finally defeat my giant in life while at the same time taking the journey of a lifetime.
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