Welcome back to the Interview Series! So many good books have recently launched into the world. What a gift to know the authors behind these life-giving words.
It was a joy to spend time with Asheritah this summer at the Speak Up Conference. She had just turned in her manuscript to her publishers then, and now her book, Full: Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction, has released!
Interview with Asheritah Ciuciu
1. Tell us a little bit about why you decided to write the book Full:
This isn’t the book I wanted to write. I would have rather written about two dozen other topics, but as God revealed to me my issue with food fixation, and as He graciously led me into freedom and fullness in Jesus, how could I keep quiet? I have, as the psalmist says, “tasted and seen that the Lord is good,” and my obsession with food faded into oblivion.
Jesus says in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life to the full,” and that full life is exactly what I began to experience. I want that for others, too. Women and men who feel consumed by their food choices, who want to break free from the bondage of food fixation, who yearn for the freedom that diets and healthy eating plans have failed to deliver… those sweet faces were on my mind as I wrote every single sentence.
2. What is one of your biggest struggles when it comes to food?
My biggest struggle is continually surrendering this area of my life to God. Even though there was a specific point in my journey when Jesus set me free from food fixation, that victory is lived out day by day, bite by bite.
I want to have “arrived” in some sense, to be completely perfected in this area and have a miraculous success story that makes everyone ooh and ahh. But that’s missing the point. While we’re on this earth, we will stumble and fall, but every mistake is another chance to experience Jesus’ forgiveness and grace, and turn our hearts back to Him. It gets easier with time, and there are more victories than setbacks, but it remains a daily choice from now until eternity.
3. What is one of your favorite Scripture verses for combating food fixation?
Oh, there are so many to choose from! In fact, I collected 20 verses on the topic of food and satisfaction, and I worked on memorizing them during this intense season in which God set me free. Truly, God’s Word was instrumental in overcoming food fixation.
If I had to pick just one, Galatians 5:1 comes to mind: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (NIV).
In the context of this passage, the Galatians were tempted to become slaves again to the Old Testament laws and rituals, and Paul is exhorting them to cling to their freedom in Christ. For me, this looked like abandoning crazy diets or strict eating plans (but also mastering my cravings and appetites) through the power of the Holy Spirit living in me.
This goes right with the passage from 1 Peter that says, “People are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” I don’t want to be mastered by my appetite or by an obsession with healthy eating. I want to be controlled by the Holy Spirit, because that’s true freedom.
4. In what ways have you experienced victory in regards to your book’s topic?
Oh, in so many ways! I was blind to how Satan used food fixation to keep me far from God. It wasn’t even on my radar. The truth is that Satan will use whatever tool he can to distract us from seeking satisfaction in God, and if money, sex, or power don’t hold any sway over you, then French fries or skinny chocolate lattes just might.
But those things never satisfy. Not truly. And this realization was a victory in itself. Since that lightbulb moment, I’ve become more sensitive to the emotions and events that drive me to the ice cream carton, and I’ve learned how to take those needs to God instead.
We need only to ask, and God will awaken in us a spiritual hunger like we’ve never experienced before. And then He’ll satisfy us with more and more of Himself.
5. What do you hope readers gain from your book?
My heart desire is that they may be awakened to the surpassing sweetness of Jesus’ presence. That they may taste and see that He is good. So good, in fact, He’s better even than chocolate cake.
My prayer is that readers would refuse to nibble on the pleasures of this world and would find, instead, the deepest soul satisfaction that Jesus brings. And then, they will begin to experience the full life that Jesus promised to bring us. The full life found only in Him.
6. What has been one of the most rewarding experiences during the book publication process? What has been one of the most challenging aspects?
By far my favorite part has been working with the publication team. From my lovely acquisitions editor to my copy editor to the designer… every single person who has touched this book has made it better in some way or another. I really liked being stretched and challenged and questioned about one point or another. You know, I almost self-published this book a year ago, like my previous two books, and we were actually three weeks away from launching when God led me to put the brakes on and pursue traditional publishing. And I am so glad I did. Full is all the richer for having gone through the publication process.
The most challenging part, hands down, was overcoming my perfectionism. I thought I had writers’ block, but really, it was just my fear of writing anything other than a perfect and complete final draft from the get-go. Ridiculous, I know, but that fear cost me precious months of writing time. I’ve since discovered that a first draft is supposed to be bad. Truly. I had to literally set a timer and force myself to write for 30 minutes straight, even if it was terrible, just so I could process through what I wanted to say. And I’ve found that I needed to write through the “meh” parts to get to the good stuff. It’s like mining for gold. You won’t find it at the surface—you need to drill through layers of dirt and rock. Similarly, you’ll write a pretty unimpressive first draft. That’s okay. The rewrites and the edits are where you find the gold.
7. Will you offer up a prayer for those of us who are struggling to find satisfaction in Christ alone?
Father, You’re such a good Father. Thank You for all the ways You seek us out and call us to come back to You. Thank You for the gift of good food. For tastebuds. For creativity in the kitchen. But more than that, thank You for the surpassing sweetness of our Savior. Thank You that You created our souls to find satisfaction in You, and that You make us restless until we find that rest in You. Stir in us a hunger and thirst for You, Lord. More, and more, and more. Give us more of You. We want to be women and men who experience the freedom and fullness that only Jesus brings. And may we join in with the Spirit and the Bride who invite an onlooking world to come find satisfaction in You as well.
We love you, Lord Jesus.
8. Anything else you’d like to share?
I’d love for your readers to join me for the 7-Day Food Truth & Dare Challenge. Discover 7 powerful truths and 7 bold dares that will change your eating (and your life) forever. Sign up here.
Thank you for being with us today, Asheritah! And thank you for your encouragement to find satisfaction in Jesus alone.
Asheritah Ciuciu is the author of Full: Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction and a popular blogger and speaker.
She grew up in Romania as a missionary kid and studied English and Women’s Ministry at Cedarville University in Ohio. Her passion is leading women deeper with Jesus through daily devotions and spiritual disciplines, both in her local church and around the world through digital discipleship (at www.onethingalone.com).
Asheritah is married to Flaviu, her childhood sweetheart, and together they raise their spunky children in northeast Ohio.
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