Recently, a friend told me about her trouble with attachments to people because of being in an orphanage for the early years of her life without much human touch or affection. Instead of attaching to people in her life, she attached to things of this world—like cigarettes.
Several days later when I was at a prayer meeting, and we were taking time to “get right with God,” He spoke these words to me: “You are attached to food and to the television.”
I realized these attachments were getting in the way of attaching to the Lord and to other people. I developed these two attachments as a child because I had not formed a strong attachment to my parents, who had eight children and emotional issues. Food and television were where I went to receive comfort when chaos was breaking out in our home. Back then, I went to church every Sunday, but I felt God was not there for me either. Otherwise, He would have stopped all that was going on. I wasn’t saved until I was an adult.
In my present life, even though I have God as my Savior, I knew at that moment in the prayer meeting that I still tend to go back to my former attachments when circumstances became difficult in my life, especially during those times it seems God refuses to answer my prayers. Now was one of those times, I realized, as I agreed with the Lord that I was too attached to TV and food.
Then God said this: “You think if you let go of these, you will have less, but the truth is you will have more—of Me and from Me.”
At that moment, I repented of backing away from the Lord, of often turning to food and TV for comfort during my latest difficult circumstance because it seemed God refused to intervene. I knew, also, that I wanted Him to change the circumstance, but He seemed to want to do something else—change me, as well as give me all I needed to face this trial, such as comfort, guidance, affection, and love.
Today, I remembered I had written a blog about attachments years ago. I read it again, and it helped me. I saw that when various deep griefs come to my life, I tend not to turn to God or I give up on turning to Him, and revert to turning to these other attachments.
I wrote the previous blog as I was dealing with the suicide death of my brother. The anniversary of his death is in two days. He died seven years ago on February 28th.
I pray today and in the days ahead that my attachment to God will grow stronger and deeper, and that the things of this world will no longer have a hold on me. I pray the same for my friend.
Here is that blog from 2013 with two songs added at the end.
ATTACHMENTS First Posted on May 17, 2013
I have a confession.
I am too attached to food.
Although God has done much to set me free in this area ie delivering me from bulimia, setting me free from eating only junk food on any given day, ending the destructive behavior of consuming copious amounts of candy to the point of severe stomach pain, releasing me from hiding and hording food and much more, I’m not completely set free.
The truth is sometimes if I had to choose between being with people or food, I would choose food.
Worse, there have been occasions when I choose to be with food rather than with God.
Recently in a seminar I heard these statements:
“The problem is not overeating. It’s attachment issues. “
“In the absence of strong attachments and joy, we find sources of pseudojoy such as food.”
“We attach to the food and not the feeder if the attachment process goes wrong.”
“In seeking attachments there is joy or fear. We attach to the food instead of the fear if there is not a lot of joy in our attachments.”
These statements were from Ed Khouri from Equipping Hearts Ministry
What this man shared touched my heart since I knew I still had a problem with food. The issue seemed to be magnified since the trauma of my brother’s death by suicide last year. It seems I’ve regressed to my strong attachment to food which I had in childhood as I dealt with the trauma of not being able to form strong attachment to my parents. Instead I formed a bond to food. It brought joy which it seemed my relationship with my mother and father did not bring.
Even though my relationship with my parents has been healed, I can see that there still seems to be a child within me who goes back to the old ways of coping when hurts come.
The questions I have are, “How do I break this strong attachment to food?” “How do I instead form a stronger attachment to people and to God?” “How do I have sweet communion with the Lord instead of repeatedly turning to sweets?”
This is what I long for:
I shall be fully satisfied, when I awake [to find myself] beholding Your form [and having sweet communion with You]. Psalm 17:15 AMP
When I looked up the concept of attachment disorder online, I found this: “Adult attachment disorder is a term used to describe the emotional dysfunction of someone who cannot form intimate, caring bonds with others. The dysfunction may manifest itself as either a rejection of close relationships or a constant demand for them…”
Here are three ways to deal with this that come to mind:
- Fully grieve my past. Sometimes I think I’m finished doing this, but then new griefs come to the surface. I need to deal with them rather than ignore them.
- Determine to draw close—first to God and then to others. I need to ask God how to do this.
- Be open to healing moments.
My goal is to have a secure attachment to God and people and to completely break my unhealthy attachment to food. God wants to be my primary source of joy, and He wants me to experience a deep joy—instead of fear–in my relationships with people.
God, give me the grace to deeply and fully want what You want. Heal me of my “attachment disorder.”
“Control” by Tenth Avenue North
“Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong Worship