My doctor and I were shocked. I, a seemingly healthy 40-year-old woman, had a blocked artery. Then there were my blood profiles: both cholesterol and blood sugar too high. I determined to set things right, chopping veggies and putting them into baggies, adding salads to each night's downsized dinner. As the knife struck the cutting board, I heard the Holy Spirit murmur, It takes time and commitment to be healthy, doesn't it? I knew he wasn't just talking about my body. He was talking about my soul.
Because it's easier to ignore spiritual issues, God often uses physical symptoms to help me take a closer look at what's happening inside. Insomnia forces me to examine what I'm not handing over to God. Tension headaches ask me to slow down and loosen my grip. My physical illness got my attention, so I decided I'd work on what lay beneath.
I'd developed a pattern of taking on too much. In order to (falsely) comfort my overly busy self, I ate the wrong things in the wrong quantities. I finally understood that my overfed but malnourished body was an outward reflection of an overfed but malnourished soul. While I had many activities that looked good on the outside and garnered praise, they ate up time I might have spent deepening my relationship with God.
I'd relegated my prayer life to rushed pleading in the midst of trouble; my relationship with God felt empty and silent, stagnant and struggling. My body displayed on the outside what was happening on the inside. In the process of healing one, could I heal both? It was time for me to take a serious assessment.1