Some time ago, there was a sixty + year old woman who was in distress. She carried worrisome health issues linked to her extra weight. Her weight didn’t just happen to appear one day, but gradually crept on over a period of years. She was known to regularly engage in yoyo diets, so many times that she lost count, but gradually the pounds snuck back along with an extra two to five, as well. As each new pound attached its self the woman’s health concerns intensified.
It seemed as if her entire life was a tangled mess and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t unravel the mess. She had to face everyone at work, at church, giving a speech, even shopping, wondering what people thought of her size. It was a horrifying process to have to live life as an overweight person and not feel good about it. She even sensed how people seemed to gage her intelligence in a negative way, solely based on her size! Nor did they readily accept her observations or viewpoints with any degree of seriousness. This nightmare of hers went on until ultimately descending to a gloomy place where the walls closed in around her in a suffocating manner.
She was incredibly weary of her burden and longed to unravel the ‘why’ of the choices she made where food was concerned. She ended up taking a journey to find self so she could get at the root reasons for the choices she made, with food being the product of choice as an attempt to meet her needs. As it turned out, her difficulty was actually a misunderstanding of her root character needs, thus misinterpreting how her expression of love and fear of rejection added to any misunderstandings in her relationship with others.
She prayed to her Heavenly Father, but something was different this time. With tears flowing, she relinquished her heavy burden as she sought God’s guidance for a way to become fit again based on a healthy lifestyle rather than the typical diet routine. She didn’t know how, when, or where the answer might emerge, so was positively surprised when an unexpected inquisitiveness emerged leading her on a quest for answers and a yearning to achieve control over an aspect of her life that had baffled her for years. She took the time and effort to learn a new way to fulfill her needs in a positive way instead of a negative way. July 13th, 2012 was ‘the day’ when she had her ‘aha’ moment. It was the day she embarked on her life-changing decision...
Yes, this is my story. Today is my one year anniversary and I am able to say I am significantly healthier today than I was a year ago. The added gift to my ‘get healthy’ kick is that even though I wasn’t aiming for a major weight loss, I am pleased to announce that because of my effort I have lost sixty pounds. I am sharing this with you so I can speak about my heartfelt thankfulness for my Heavenly Father's gift of improved health and a better understanding of what makes me tick. I am acknowledging that I have boarded a vessel for the long-term, leading me onward to a better-quality life while on this earth.
Perhaps this might be a lot to take in and I am not hinting that I've got it all together now. No, far from it. I am imperfect until the day I die, but my imperfection is being used by God's perfect and sustaining love to help me persevere while on this path called life. In addition I am not suggesting for any of you to instantly jump on a strict restriction of food intake for the purpose of becoming skinny or shrinking your thighs. Neither am I suggesting you should become obsessed by your body type as long as you are eating healthy and feeling comfortable in your own skin. God does not care what you weigh (I know it sounds crazy, but it's true!). Read 1 Samuel 16:7. It states that man looks on the outside but God looks on the heart. God loves you equally whether you are a large size or a small size. Nothing you do or not do can possibly cause Him to love you any more than he does right now. When I finally comprehended the above verse I asked myself, “okay, if my size doesn't change His love for me, then what does God care about?”
The Bible shows us that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. In 1st Corinthians 6:19-20, we are called to glorify God in body and spirit. In John 15:8, Jesus goes on to tell us how we are to glorify God through the fruit of the Spirit (joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control). “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” It is my understanding of these verses that what really concerns God are any thoughts or behavior that becomes like a weed and obstructs the fruit of the Spirit. My tendency to overeat was a way of providing comfort for what was going on in my heart thereby hiding myself from the emotional pain. As it turns out, my behavior was actually clogging the fruit of the Spirit.
In summation, I believe the real issue is not about size, but rather, striving to better understand why we do what we do so we can be a better steward of self. If we embrace our surrender to God's wisdom, He can teach each of us how to become a better manager of our body and help us remove the obstacles that keep us from bearing His fruit. I sincerely hope that by sharing my own struggle with weight, I might be an encourager to those of you who might be struggling as well with health issues due to extra weight. That is all I have to say about this, but before I go I have included a Bible verse as an encouragement to you.
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
I wish you good health,
I sense a need for something greater than self. So, I am led by Christ's love to be an encourager as I share about His faithfulness and grace.