"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power,
of love and of self-discipline."
2 Timothy 1:7
The setting: Haciendas Colorado - an incredible tasty Mexican restaurant
The time: Last night
The characters: me and friends Michele, Melissa and Danica
The last few months, and I honestly can't remember when it started, I have gotten together with these three ladies at Haciendas. Last night we agreed to go again and toast Danica and Michele and cry in our drinks for Melissa, who is soon to move to Hollywood.
But I was in no mood to go. I was in pain. Why? I knew that I needed to say NO to flour tortillas, chile rellenos and a margerita. No, No, No. Denying myself is still not easy even after doing it often the past ten months. And to say no on a night with girlfriends?
OUCH. I thought about my NOS throughout the day. I had a plan and I needed to stick to it. But I dreaded it and anxiety grew.
So much so, that as I walked into the restaurant, Michele took one look at me and said, "Are you okay?" I'll never be a poker player.
I brushed her off and the four of us sat down to dinner. Lots of laughter and perusing the menu ensued. The chips came, but that wasn't difficult for me. I told myself I would have exactly 10 and I did. But then the moment of truth. The waiter asked what we wanted to drink. Michele ordered a diet coke. WHAT? My ears perked up. As I said iced tea, it was easier than I thought. I wasn't the only one saying no.
Later we ordered food. I thought I would have salmon, simply because it sounds diet-ee. I didn't want to have salmon at a Mexican restaurant.
Michele ordered first. She chose the California tacos. And then she said, "But I'd like to have them in lettuce cups."
WHAT? Lettuce cups and not flour tortillas?? My ears and heart perked up. A new choice. A choice to be healthy and get something I liked! I ordered the grilled mahi-mahi tacos in lettuce cups.
They were outstanding.
After the waiter left, I was asked by Danica what was up. Knowing I was with good friends, the tears came. The pain from having to say NO so often is exhausting and on this night, I felt it intensely.
My friends did something that was absolutely wonderful. They empathized. They reached out and touched my hands. They felt WITH me. The tears turned to giggles with Melissa declared, "It just sucks that you can't have cake."
Yes, indeed it does. It's just for a season. But it still hurts. The pain I walked into Haciendas dissapated as my friends listened and cheered me on. It was as if they took little bits of my pain and tucked them into their purses so I didn't have to leave with any.
2 Timothy 1:7 talks about the SPIRIT of POWER that God has given us. Last night I had none of it as I entered a restaurant to be with friends. But in the midst of my Jesus-loving sisters, they gave it to me. Just as they took bits of my pain, they reached into their hearts and gave me that power that is ours to have if we just ask and receive.
The tacos in lettuce cups were amazing. But better than them, was the taste of God's sweet gift to me in friendship.