Beloved, God has been dealing with me, and I believe this is a word for our community today also.
Here's the backstory:
Last week, on Tuesday, my doctor told me I had to stop eating dairy (cow”s milk) products in order to keep breastfeeding my son. We had him tested and he does NOT have a dairy allergy, so we've been trying to manage his feeding issues with medication and probiotics.
However, his symptoms been getting worse, not better.
So, my doctor told me that I need to stop eating dairy even though he's not allergic. Apparently, babies can be sensitive to dairy and have bad side effects from it, even if they aren't allergic.
I was really upset to hear this news. Frankly, I felt like I had been given a death sentence.
I love dairy.
I love cheese.
My primary food group is Mexican food–yes, with All The Cheese.
I love yogurt. As a lifelong vegetarian, it's hard for me to get enough protein. But I eat tons of Greek yogurt as my protein source.
I love pizza. And pretty much all other kinds of food that involve dairy.
And I'm already a lifelong vegetarian; so, frankly, I didn't know what I would eat without dairy. Cut out meat and dairy, and it didn't seem like much else remained. I've even tried to give up dairy once before, but was unsuccessful.
As I drove away from the doctors office, fighting off tears, I began to seek the Lord.
I know that people say “fed is best,” and it doesn't matter whether my baby eats mother's milk or formula, as long as he's fed. I understand that that is true. But breastfeeding is important to me, because it's best for my baby if I have the physical capability to do it–and I do. My sisters in Christ prayed that in for me after he was born (because, for awhile, I couldn't feed him).
So even being able to feed him at all is a breakthrough already.
And I didn't want to give it up. But, I'm already so stressed that I didn't want the additional stress of finding a whole new diet to eat–and having to cook all my food.
Plus, I was afraid I couldn't do it.
So I began to seek the Lord's heart on this matter.
I pondered each of the options for moving forward with feeding my son:
- I could try to go off dairy, despite the horror I felt at the thought of doing so. I knew this would not be easy, but it would be the best option in the long run, both for me and for my baby.
- I could put him on formula, but then he wouldn't have the healthy antibodies and nutrients that I do have the capacity to give him.
- I could make zero changes and basically let my baby suffer.
I know that Father isn't angry when we choose not to breastfeed our babies. I knew that formula was acceptable …
… but “formula” is not what Father was saying.
Father was telling me to die to myself.
Father was telling me to surrender Lordship of the food I eat to Him. Father was telling me to do what's best for my body, and for my son, both. Father was telling me to hand Him what I love: food, wonderful food.
It was really hard. I cried quite a bit.
I didn't think I could make it.
But I had to make a choice.
It was suppertime, and I had another appointment, so I had to get some fast food on my way. I didn't even know what to get, but I felt the Lord guiding me to a fast-food burrito joint, where I was able to get a rice bowl with no cheese and no dairy of any kind.
Somehow, on the way there, I made my decision: I would go off dairy. I would die to myself, surrendering something that was precious to me to the Father. I would do this not because my son couldn't eat any other way, but because Father asked me to give Him my treasure–the food I held dear.
It was really hard, but Papa came up under me.
I have never been able to go off dairy before, even when I tried for my son. But this time, there has been a supernatural grace. And today is the 7th day since I went off dairy. I haven't had a bite of it since last Tuesday at lunch … and things are going fine.
Here's why this is important for you:
I wanted a breakthrough–to be able to breastfeed my son–and I got that breakthrough, months ago. But maintaining it is going to cost me something. Frankly, it's going to cost me a price I never intended to pay.
Nevertheless, Father holds out His hand and says, “Do you want to move forward? I need you to surrender the thing you hold dear if so.”
I didn't want to surrender. I really didn't. But as soon as I made the choice to surrender anyway, thinking it would be a horrible process, the Lord gave me a grace to obey instead:
- A grace to make these choices He wants me to make.
- A grace to become healthier than I have been in a long time.
- A grace to keep my son eating the best possible food for him, and feeling better while he does it.
To get to the next level of blessing and well-being, I had to surrender.
And right now, so many of you are on the verge of breaking through into the next level too.
You're standing on the edge of a breakthrough that is going to revolutionize your life. Your breakthrough is going to improve your life in so many areas. It's going to improve:
- Your marriage;
- Your finances;
- Your home life;
- Your health;
- Your workplace;
- Your ministry, and more.
Your breakthrough is going to help not only yourself, but others as well.
But in order to step into your breakthrough, Father is asking you to give up something dear.
He's asking you to give up something you love … something you cherish. Specifically, He's asking you to give up something that brings comfort to your flesh, but actually hurts you in the long run.
That something, whatever your treasure is, is standing between you and the next level.
It's keeping you from seeing more answers to prayer. Father has so many answers to your prayers laid up in His storehouse in Heaven. He greatly desires to give you what you're asking for. However, the thing that you are holding dear–the thing He is ever-so-gently asking you to hand Him–is in your way.
He's asking you to surrender that thing to Him today.
You feel like it will be hard, and it will be a challenge. But you know what? His grace is sufficient for you, for His strength is made perfect in weakness. Papa is fully aware that you feel like you can't do it. However, as soon as you decide to throw yourself on His grace and strength and give that thing to Him anyway, He will come up under you with His supernatural help.
And suddenly, you will find yourself doing the thing you couldn't do, after all.
It's not impossible. It's not too hard. The things the Lord commands you this day are not too hard for you.
Because you have Him in your court. He's on your side, and He will never let you go.
Will you make the choice?
Will you surrender? Will you die to yourself and live to Him?
Papa needs you to do it so He can answer your prayers, and you're only one decision away. The choice is yours today.
What choice will you make?
If the Lord is dealing with you about giving something precious to Him, too, please leave a comment below!