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  • Writer's pictureTammy Toney-Butler

Lust of the Eye

For the longest time, I could not say no to food. Food controlled me, and I was always tempted to eat just one more cookie or have just one more piece of pizza, pie, or cake. I lusted after food and was addicted to the way it tasted in my mouth and landed on my tongue.

As a survivor of child sex trafficking, multiple childhood sexual assaults, the loss of my father to suicide, and the failure of a mother to protect me, my journey was long. I loved food and found comfort in controlling what I ate. No one could take that from me, and it was soothing to lose myself in a cheeseburger, footlong sub, or bag of potato chips. I transformed one chip at a time and felt peace and comfort. But, the momentary glee was soon erased by shame, guilt, and self-loathing. I hated myself for giving in to temptation over and over.

As layer after layer went to my waistline, I felt dead inside. I would diet and achieve weight loss, only to gain it back plus twenty pounds. A perpetual cycle of dieting and overeating, but never able to break the cycle.

What was wrong with me? Why could I not resist, push away, or choose another path? Doctor shaming did not help. “You realize you are morbidly obese and need to lose weight.” “You need to cut out sweets from your diet.” “Do you know your BMI is in the morbidly obese category?”

Not every physician or healthcare worker shamed me, but they never fully grasped that eating was the way I coped with being made a sex slave at age 6. Of course, they never asked about my childhood.

Did you suffer an adverse childhood experience that never came up until about two or three years ago? Of course, the question was right after the last flu shot question. Oh, have you ever been molested as a child? Then, the next question was about a past surgery or something.

How can I disclose something so triggering and rank it in a category with a flu shot? A yes or no answer to satisfy a boxed template of questions geared towards reimbursement, asked by a rushing healthcare worker. Anyway, I digress. Where was I? Oh yes, my lust for food. My food addiction was significantly impacting my life, and not in a good way.

It was only when the Holy Spirit filled me after I said yes to truly surrendering my victim self to Christ and letting go of that little girl that I was set free. I was freed from food addiction, and I never cursed again, either. As an emergency department nurse, I cursed like a sailor, but never again after Christ changed my life. It’s amazing how a huge weight was lifted off after I let go of the weight of the trauma. No longer needing food to cope, I broke free of lusting after food.

Instead, I craved more of Jesus. I longed for the Bread of Life and Wellspring of Living Water. I craved the Word of God, and layer after layer, melted off physically and spiritually. Only to be replaced with my true, authentic self before evil knocked on my door as a child. Letting go and letting God was the best decision I ever made. I am down about 75 pounds now, and it’s an effortless transition. I asked God to take it from me, and He did at the moment of true surrender.

What does Scripture say about temptation? Let’s explore God’s Word now.

Do Not Love the World

15: Do not love the world [of sin that opposes God and His precepts], nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

16: For all that is in the world—the lust and sensual craving of the flesh and the lust and longing of the eyes and the boastful pride of life [pretentious confidence in one’s resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father, but are from the world.

17: The world is passing away, and with it its lusts [the shameful pursuits and ungodly longings]; but the one who does the will of God and carries out His purposes lives forever.

Yummy Word now, that sustains me. For the first time in my life, I am in control. God is so amazing, and if I can be set free, so can you! Never lose hope, trust the process, and seek the answer; His Name is Jesus.

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