Food Is Overrated

{EAT} this simple, three-lettered word ignites a firestorm of emotional response through its massive power and universal meaning. To eat = the one act that unifies all organisms on the Earth; from tiny bugs to giant predators, from plants to people, everything under the sun must eat. God created all with a basic instinct, desire and need to eat. We are equipped with hunger as a powerful signal to remind our bodies of this very basic need to feed.

So what happens when that basic right is taken away? I never imagined being able to answer that question, yet, it has been over EIGHT MONTHS since my last bite of food. In fact, as I have shared before, in the year 2014 I have only eaten on 17 days. Thanks to technology and advances in medicine, myself, and many others in this small percentage of the population, are able to survive without actually eating. Instead, my body absorbs small amounts of nutrition via feeding tube anchored deep in my intestine. As strange as it is, this has become my new normal and each morning when I wake I have learned to be okay with the fact that eating will not be part of that day’s experience. I have no other choice.

Some days, this harsh reality is easier to accept than others. Honestly, the more I think about or focus on what I cannot have, the more I can feel a fire igniting deep inside of me. Sometimes I get enraged and imagine myself breaking lots of glass in a violent fit, throwing my pole across the room, breaking it in half, or ripping out my feeding tube. Other times I become overwhelmingly depressed, weeping uncontrollably, wishing I could escape my circumstances, longing for my Heavenly home, and allowing my human understanding of justice to convince me that IT’S NOT FAIR.

It’s isolating to have this basic, universal act stripped out of your life. We celebrate, spend time together, do business, learn social customs and make memories over food. Breaking bread together is one of the most typical and enjoyable ways that humans connect with one another. If you go on a date it’s probably over food. Having a holiday celebration, birthday party, or family get together? You can bet all of those happen around a dinner table. I would argue that having to completely give up ALL food, cold turkey, knowing that it is poison to your body, is the most difficult addiction to break. Food is medicine, comfort, love, togetherness… it’s a drug- a necessary and essential drug for survival. Every day of your life, multiple times a day (if you are fortunate enough to live above poverty) you consume food.

Even though I cannot eat, just seeing food is comfort in a weird way. Food is a constant. It’s a reminder of wonderful memories and people who are now long gone. Although I have to fight off crazy hunger and the urge to put a bite in my mouth, I need to and want to be around food (some). When our house is filled with the aroma of food or I watch a chef on Food Network prepare a gorgeous plate, it gives me a momentary sense of normalcy. Many days I fight back tears as I watch my family eat, not because of my pain or hunger, but because I know I’m missing out on something. I’m missing the satisfaction that comes from the perfect bite. I’m missing a conversation starter, a memory, appreciating the labor and love that goes into a meal, being truly involved in a celebration, the list goes on. If I completely eliminated being around food, smelling it or watching others eat, I would be secluding myself from a great deal of time with my loved ones. And that would only amplify my loneliness and exclusion.

Intellectually, I have always known that Jesus Christ is the “bread of life” and whoever comes to him will never hunger (John 6:35). Yet I never knew it in the place that truly matters… my heart. Never did I ponder or seek to understand the meaning behind this powerful truth, until I had to deny actual food and rely on Christ to be my daily bread. Prior to this season of life, I didn’t rely on the fullness of God to satisfy my cravings, to fill me to the brim… I was ignorant of the significance of God’s banquet table or how we were created to literally feast on Our All-Consuming Savior. During my “fast” these truths have become reality and God has taught me to seek His fullness (Ephesians 3:19).

Now, I can confidently shout from the mountaintops:
“Yes, Jesus is the bread of life; He is our manna from Heaven! (John 6:58) Yes, it’s true, we no longer have to hunger or thirst because God offers us free nourishment that satisfies the soul! (Isaiah 55:1-5) Yes, my soul hungers for you, Lord! I know that it is possible to be fully satisfied by your love, beyond even the greatest Thanksgiving feast!” (Psalm 63:1-5)

One of the greatest blessings God has placed on my heart is this: “More than my body desires food, my soul longs for you!” Sometimes God requires us to give up the unimaginable, things we deem as essential /necessary, in order to demonstrate that He is more than enough! Take heart in knowing he WILL fill that empty space in a way only He can. Having to deny food, among other things, has awakened my soul’s desire for Christ. I take confidence in knowing that my “18th” day is coming; I must be patient, hopeful, and satisfy my hunger with the only food that truly matters.

10 thoughts on “Food Is Overrated

  1. Mallory, I hope you write a book or publish your thoughts! You have a wonderful way with words that can reach a lot of people for God and lift others in troubled times! Praying for you! God bless you!

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