Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Sweet Stuff


Years ago, singer Billy Idol put out a great record, “Charmed Life.” And on that album was the single, “Trouble With the Sweet Stuff,” a song about his struggles with substance abuse.

Sweet Stuff. Trouble. Anyone out there getting the connection?

Valentine’s Day is a tricky enough holiday for those of us in eating disorder recovery, like myself. Let’s face it, chocolate, hard candy, marshmallows- they’re all in heart shape form, tempting us in our food and eating issues- and they are EVERYWHERE!!!!

But Valentine’s Day also can be a trigger for other forms of “sweet stuff” as well. Things like drugs, alcohol, shopping, sex and relationships can all be too appetizing to our unmet need issues. The vehicle can be as varied and unique as the individual affected by it. It’s not the thing that’s the issue, it’s the power and the promise we have attached to our chosen sweet stuff.

Whatever your weakness is, admit it, you’re being tempted by it, aren’t you?

And with that promised “sweet thing” comes the lure-okay, the lie- that with its presence in our lives, things will be perfect and satisfied. You may not be drooling over heart shaped chocolate candy, but Valentine’s Day may remind you of another true love, tempting you, seducing you.

“Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.”

Mark 14:38

Feeling it yet?

Ah, yes, Valentine’s Day!

So, the majority of us out there have mixed/negative feelings about the notorious heart day, not to mention, our own recovery journeys. We’re possibly staring down and/or devouring some very personal heart shaped sweet stuff right now, while believing it will capture the “perfect” promised solution of happiness and fulfillment.

Or, perhaps, we’re crying about not possessing that longed for sweet stuff, spending every bit of thought, energy, time and money focused on acquiring it to fill that gigantic hole in our souls.

The soul: that’s not something which is mentioned a lot during Valentine’s Day, is it? If it’s spoken about at all, it’s usually in reference to the romantic “soul mate” kind of thing. But this word is a much more powerful force than simply a sales tool designed to sell us “hearts and flowers.” The soul has often been described as being made up of three components: the mind, the will and the emotions. And those suckers can really do some hard driving in our lives, can’t they? Think of every major, complicated issue going on in our lives. The mind, will and emotions are at work, aren’t they?

And concerning addiction and recovery issues? How many of us can relate to the following Bible verse?

“Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.”

Psalms 107:5

Our souls are wrapped up in our chosen addictions, obsessions and compulsions; therefore, our souls are subject to fainting and falling.

But all hope is not lost, even if we’re lonely, even if we’re struggling, even if it appears our “sweet stuff” has got the upper hand. Valentine’s Day can serve as to be a reality check for all of us. But more importantly, Elohim can serve as our helper concerning our struggles.

 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but Elohim is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

1 Corinthians 10:13

That may include a phone call from an annoying, but much needed sponsor, who happens to reach us at the crucial point. That may mean an intervention from our family and friends. It may mean a recovery meeting, reminding us, once again, we’re not the only ones who struggle. It may be a Bible verse, appearing from nowhere. It could also include our Father speaking to any of us Himself. These are just a few possibilities of help. They are limitless. But the whole relevant point to whichever “way of escape” The Most High uses to get our attention, is that it will be exactly what we need, even if/when we don’t want it. We need it, all the same. Humbling, but oh, so true!

He knows our weaknesses better than we do. Scripture, in fact, tells us He knows our thoughts long before they enter into our own radar screen:

“You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.”

Psalm 139:2

That includes, for starters, our obsessive thoughts, our tortured thoughts, our hopeless thoughts, our powerless thoughts, our addict thoughts and our tempted thoughts. He knows. And that should be a comfort, not a terror to us. Yes, it is a sobering (no pun intended) thought to see His complete knowledge of us. But it’s not so He can crush us. It’s because He loves us so much and wants us healed and restored. Our chosen “sweet stuff,” no matter how appealing it may look, will not do that; our Father, however, will.

It does all come back to The Most High and to our spiritual connection with Him. If any addiction or obsession comes onto the scene, it therefore disrupts our relationship with Him, as well as our hearts and our souls. He does not want this at all. His desire is to love us and connect with us.

 “... 'Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.'”

Jeremiah 31:3

Whenever we are overwhelmed, tempted and assaulted by our addictions and vices, we need to remember the simple, childlike Truth: our Father loves us. It’s both a heart issue and a soul issue.

Have our lives become sour in any way, riddled with the torture and the difficulty of temptation? Wherever we find ourselves, in or out of our recovery, let’s take a moment now to meditate on our true, sweet Source:

“For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.”

Psalms 107:9

Whenever we’ve been tempted and/or have devoured all of the forbidden candy, however we’ve defined that candy, feeling defeated or hopeless, we need to remember that Elohim loves us- ALL OF THE TIME!!!

“Since you were precious in my sight… I have loved you…”

Isaiah 43:4

He loves you because, to Him, you’re worth loving, just as you are right now! That is the true sweet stuff our hearts and souls need! Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

 Copyright © 2017 by Sheryle Cruse



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