Today's blog post from my tashalee.org (search for that and you should find it) health blog...hope you come visit! love, Tash
Raw Vegan Christian
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. ~2 Corinthians 9:7
Early in my transition to a plant-based raw food diet, the majority of my struggles were emotional. I frequently had feelings of self-pity that God was calling me to eat this way. I often felt jealous of other Christians that felt no conviction regarding healthy eating. I had deep feelings of loneliness because such a major life transition was very difficult, and I desperately wanted to have other Christian journeying companions--yet to be a "raw vegan Christian" at the time, even on the internet, seemed almost unheard of--much less, a high-fruit/low-fat raw vegan Christian.
I recall one year that was extremely difficult. We were a part of a wonderful house church. We loved the teaching and the members. At the beginning of our involvement, a meal was served beforehand, ended quickly, and teaching began. I focused on loving others and engaging in conversation, and before I knew it, it was time for "content time". As the year progressed, however, the meal became longer and longer, and it became increasingly difficult for me to deal with, emotionally. Although I stayed true to my convictions at house church, the following days I had severe struggles with self-pity and loneliness. When we moved, we were sad to leave our wonderful house church...yet for me, it was a HUGE relief.
God gave me a wonderful gift in our move. Not only was my hubby very supportive of my eating convictions (he was quite impressed with the changes in my health) and had become a vegan himself, but God gave me a Christian friend who lived in my area and was also a high-fruit/low-fat raw vegan. It blessed me beyond belief to be at Christian fellowships with someone who also refrained from eating the food that was being served. It was an indescribable gift and treasure for me. Through the long, difficult year, God had really grown me in learning to walk with Him in those "alone" times and get my eyes on Him and His suffering when I am feeling self-pity. But now, He had led me into a time of refreshing fellowship. I was grateful for the growth through the hard time, but....no doubt, I was sooo happy to be in a new season!
God eventually led my friend to a slightly different style of eating, which was definitely sad for me, but by this time I was feeling much more comfortable with the diet God had called me to. My hubby was very supportive, and the sad feelings passed before long. I felt happy in following God....which brings me to today.
Last month, following the advice of some long-time low-fat raw vegans, on my trip to visit family & friends in my home state, I gave myself the freedom to not be perfect with my eating. It was incredibly liberating to not feel like a "bad person" because I ate some non-optimal foods (that in the past, I may have considered reasonably healthy options). I was able to feel and see the HUGE difference in how I feel, look, serve, and function when I am eating low-fat raw vegan vs. a more traditional diet. I could not deny the huge increase in insulin I needed, the lethargic and depressed feelings in my body and mind, the poor digestion, bloating, gas, snoring, odors, and--the brain fog. Wow. I felt BAD, physically, that whole month. Before eating low-fat raw vegan, I never realized that I was feeling bad...now that I have felt incredible, light, energetic, alert, sensitive, focused, and happy--I know that I want to follow God in this because I like who I am when I am who He created me to be. I have so much more to give to the world when I am "my best self"--eating optimally for optimal living.
This year, God has really helped me to deal with my issues of pride and judgment. He has really humbled me and reminded me that transitioning is HARD--physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He has reminded me that the circumstances that led to my education about eating raw foods for healing...well, it was certainly atypical. Of my own accord, I would not have sought education about eating for health. My history was anything BUT healthy eating, and I fought against anyone who had anything critical to say about my food choices.
Just one more reminder that ANYTHING good in me is from God, not from me. Being a raw vegan Christian was not my idea; it was God's. But I am soooooooooo glad He had this idea. His ways and thoughts are higher than mine. It has been such a growing process and I am sure it will continue to be. I am no longer fighting God on this one. It is a true gift to honor God and offer Him my best as make each food choice for His glory, each day.
God, my thanks are beyond words. What an incredible privilege and journey, by Your plan, to watch this body heal and respond to foods that nourish, or go downhill from foods that destroy. Forgive me for my rebellion, self-pity, jealousy, short-sightedness, and stubbornness. Thank You for Your grace and patience with me, Your child. May this life glorify You and bring You pleasure.