I love the feeling of being utterly alive, of feeling health and well-being flowing through every part of me, of that bones vibrating thing.1 It didn’t used to be that way. As a matter of fact, I felt dead for many years.
Truth be told, I was dead or slowly dying in many areas of my life. I am comprised of a body, soul and spirit. No part was healthy. All was lacking. I was breathing. I was working. I was going through the motions of daily living. I was trying to control my emotions and keep them quiet. I was going to church, teaching Sunday School, leading groups and going to church every Sunday, but it still was not sinking in where the rubber meets the road.
I knew my body was dying and I was hastening its demise by feeding it all the wrong kinds of foods and allowing fat to pile up everywhere.
I knew my emotions were in sad array. There were so many things I had shove to what I felt was the cellar of my soul where nothing could harm me. In doing that, I had only allowed them to take over at odd times, mainly when I was trying to do the right thing.
My mind had a lot of information, but most of it was not usable because as soon as I would try to put it into practice, my emotions would veto it and cravings would take over.
When that happened my mind followed my emotions and resulted in behaviors I did not want, but I did anyway. It was that old conundrum: “The good I desire to do, I do not do, but the evil I do not want is what I do.”2
Then, there was my spirit. I said for years I was spirit-led. The problem was, I was led by my spirit, my human spirit that is always on the side of self. I was letting me lead instead of tuning my spirit with God’s Spirit and allowing His Spirit to completely lead me.
On the outside I was a mess. I weighed 430 pounds. I could put on the Christian hat really well, though. I knew a lot of stuff. I knew how to apply it on most every level, except one. For me that one level was what mattered. Not being obedient in that one area made me feel like a hypocrite.
I rationalized that I was doing well in my Christian walk because I followed God in almost everything. However, almost doesn’t cut it. With God I must follow completely or fellowship doesn’t mean anything.
When my behaviors line up with what God tells me, that shows Him that I love Him. When I trust Him enough to do what He tells me to do that is obedience, born not out of obligation, but love, pure and simple.
God’s Love Lesson
I needed a lesson in love. From the very beginning of my life, God was there, loving me, wooing me to Himself. I accepted Him into my life at age 7, but in reality I didn’t grow in my love of Him much. In knowledge of Him, yes.
“And this is love: that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.”3 Love is shown in obedience. Don’t get me wrong, I followed the rules I knew to follow, but no pastor ever told me they related also to what I ate, how often I ate or how much I ate.
When I finally got up the courage to pray about my one area of despair, I didn’t like God’s answer. I didn’t want to surrender certain foods that had become my go-to source for comfort, protection and companionship. So I rebelled and for the next 30 years I struggled with what was not so hidden a sin.
Not So Hidden Sin
It’s funny that we think it is hidden. No one wants to tell us it’s a sin because, let’s face it, two-thirds of Americans are in the same boat as we are—overweight or obese and beyond. So of course, we’re all going to pretend all is well.
What I learned on my journey is all is not well if I have put something above God. I put my love for sweets, cakes, cookies, pastries, breads and starches above my love for God. I was not hungry for God. I was hungry for those things.
I wish I could say changing was easy. It’s not easy. Changing from the inside out is akin to going through the chrysalis, a dark place where everything, and I do mean everything melts. Only one thing remains—the original design of the Creator.
It was in that place that my transformation happened. It was there that I was made new.4 It was because of going through that process that I lost over 250 pounds and have kept it off for almost four years. Thank God, I can say today my body glows with health and my very bones are vibrating with life.1
Jesus daily invades my life with His presence. It’s not unintentional, though. I have invited Him to do that. I’ve invited Him to lead me and I have told Him I will listen. I have also given Him permission to tell me when I turn to the right or to the left and step off the path.5 He will do it for you as well.
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Those who really did the work in the course are now spiritually activated to keep going. If you’re ready to do what God tells you do about your health issues, run, don’t walk, to #KickWeight and signup today. The group is open for registration, introductions and initial homework. Go HERE NOW!
1Proverbs 3:8, MSG
2Romans 7:19, MEV
32 John 1:6, MEV
42 Cor. 5:17, MEV
5Isaiah 30:21, MEV
6Romans 12:2, MEV
7Luke 1:37, MEV
Teresa Shields Parker is a wife, mother, business owner, life group leader, speaker and author of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor and Sweet Grace Study Guide: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Overcome Sugar Addiction and Sweet Freedom. Get a free chapter of her memoir on her blog at Teresa Shields Parker.com. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page or Twitter.