The Stone Collective is a community making much of Jesus as we create art, photography, prose, poems or music that commemorate the wonderful things God does in our life. Based on the passage in 1 Samuel 7:12-14, each month we will collect Ebenezer Stones as a regularly practice in the art of worship via our creativity. Want to join in on The Stone Collective? Create your own Stone and link up to LIVE IT OUT! Blog. #TheStoneCollective
Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I’m come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood. —Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
What is an Ebenezer Stone anyway? The word Ebenezer coms from two Hebrew words, Even for stone and Ezer for help. So, an Ebenezer is a stone of help. The first Ebenezer stone was place by Samuel-
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” 1 Samuel 17:12
This is right after the Israelites have repented and turned back to God. Samuel intercedes for them, and the result is that God helps them in battle against the Philistines. Samuel placed the stone as a remembrance of God’s help.
I wanted my Ebenezer this week to be a literal depiction of a stone monument. I have been battling my own Philistine for a long time. I, myself, am also that Philistine. You see, I have struggled for years with my weight and food addiction. I have always been heavy, now in my mid-forties, my youth is slipping away, and with it, my health.
About nine months ago, I started (again) on a journey of trying to get healthy. At the time, I didn’t follow any set diet. I eat clean, and exercise more. I just began trying to eat cleaner and move more. Over the summer, it was easy. Fresh veggies were abundant. I met my friends Jean Skipper and Jodi Ohl at the pool regularly to tread water. I even spent the big bucks to spend a week at Hilton Head Health. I saw great progress. But, there was still that nagging craving, obsession with food. Over the Fall and Winter, I managed to keep most of the weight off that I had gained, but in December and January, the scale took a tremendous jump up.
I decided that I really needed to jump start myself again, and decided to do the Daniel Fast. I started to do a little digging, and discovered The Daniel Plan from Pastor Rick Warren. I decided to do the detox outlined in his book. I convinced my hubby to do it with me. We committed to a forty day detox beginning Sunday, February 28. About that time, I also found that fellow Stone Collective member, Stephanie Ackerman, was committed to the Daniel Plan, and had. Facebook group set up for support. So, I jumped in there too.
I have tried all kinds of things to lose weight and regain my health. I needed to do something differently. The difference is that this time, it is to only a weight loss journey, it is a spiritual journey as well. I have been more diligent about being in the Word and in prayer. I have really been daily committing my body and health to God. It is working. I had headaches initially, but after a couple of days they subsided. Another thing that I very quickly noticed was missing was the obsession with food and eating and my cravings for all the wrong stuff. It was seriously just gone.
What took me so long to get here? I have been so like the Israelites, I had turned away from God so he couldn’t see what I was eating. I was caught in a loop of self destructive behavior that I just could not break out of on my own. I was my own worst enemy. But, then God….
So, here we are on day thirty-two, and I am seriously never looking back. I want more. I want more health. I want more Jesus. I am so grateful to God for the radical change in my thinking that has completely changed the way I relate to food and eating. I have lost twenty-seven pounds since last Spring. God has brought me this far and I know he will bring me further still. So I raise my Ebenezer to remind me.
Thanks for sticking with me for this long saga. I am looking forward to the months ahead with The Stone Collective. If you would like to join in, head over to the Live It Out blog page for the project- here . Thanks to Sarah Francis Martin for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful project.