Freedom in Obedience

by | Mar 31, 2005 | Charisma Archive, Uncategorized

As the oldest daughter in a Southern Baptist family, I learned early to be obedient, respectful, compliant–and to clean my plate. Daily my parents prepared fried chicken, fried pork chops, rice and gravy–foods well-known in the South.

My father’s family members were large, jolly and overweight, so my emerging chubbiness was taken for granted and accepted. In the fourth grade I weighed 110 pounds.

I was always one of the last to run laps in P.E. or be selected for the softball team. I learned the shame of obesity at an early age.

My first attempt to lose weight was in the fifth grade, when I joined Weight Watchers. Though my mother prepared healthy meals, I stayed with it for only three days and begged her to let me eat country cooking again.

Throughout school, I focused on academic accomplishments as I navigated through life as an obese teenager. It wasn’t until my senior year that I even tried to lose weight again. After months of starving and excessive nightly exercise, I managed to lose 42 pounds and began junior college at a svelte 128 pounds.

Two years later, I gained back 40 pounds, then I turned to a popular diet and quickly lost the weight. But for the next six years, my weight fluctuated wildly as I tried various diet plans.

My weight was excessive in 1988 when I needed to fit into my wedding dress. I did a stint with a national weight-loss center and lost about five pounds and $200!

During the next 15 years, I had two sons by emergency C-section and never lost the weight. With a very stressful job, a younger son with chronic illnesses and a husband in sales with a fluctuating income, I turned to food for comfort.

My excessive weight caused insomnia, and I didn’t sleep a full eight hours for about four years. Being depressed, sleepy and stressed out during this time caused my weight to go to an all-time high of 276 pounds. I couldn’t believe it!

After hearing the success stories of two friends who had undergone gastric bypass surgery, I began to consider it in January 2003. I vacillated between wanting to have it and feeling like a failure for needing to have it.

In February 2003, I went to a support group for gastric patients and was horrified to see such huge, obese women. I thought to myself: I’m not as overweight as these women. I’m not a loser; I don’t need this surgery.

The Lord convicted me of my attitude. He reminded me that whether you’re 25 pounds overweight or 200, you could have a problem with food.

I began to consider the surgery more seriously. I realized I needed help. Only I could make the decision for myself. I began to pray and seek God’s direction.

In September 2003 I went to a bariatric doctor who explained the pros and cons of the procedure to me. It would be a major lifestyle change, and only the Lord could help me succeed.

I also learned about the risks: One in 250 people die from this surgery. Some people have extensive problems and never eat normally again.

It was a journey only God and I could undertake. I submitted all the paperwork to my insurance company, and their reply on December 31, 2003, included these words: “Gastric Restrictive Procedure, With Gastric Bypass for Morbid Obesity.”

I could not believe I was classified as morbidly obese. I knew I had a lifelong struggle with eating; now I knew I had a problem.

If I chose to have the surgery, I would join the ranks of the losers who had failed to lose weight alone. But I had to do it. Obesity was affecting my life in so many ways.

I wanted to be able to raise my two sons. Though I didn’t have major health problems, I knew they were coming if I didn’t get the excess weight off.

On February 4, 2004, I had gastric bypass surgery. It was the day my life changed, the day I realized that God’s discipline proves His love.

People with eating problems don’t realize that God wants to help us in this area of our lives, too. We don’t realize what a barrier our weight can be in our walk with the Lord.

Searching to find balance and control in my eating has been a completely different way of life. It is so freeing and wonderful.

Now I have lost 109 pounds, and I have about 40 more to lose. God has improved my life in areas that I never dreamed of. I thank Him for His teaching, and I look forward to the years ahead with Him.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

In 1971, I was invited to spend one month in Singapore at a new institute that had been started by John Haggai. It was still in the formative stages then—a place where Asian church leaders would be trained and challenged to witness for Christ. Today, more than 40...

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

It was a Pentecost bloodbath and most Christians never heard about it. More than 50 Christians were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks on Nigerians this year. Scores of gunmen rushed in to kill Christians in the midst of worship. All told, over 360 million...

The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

In 1998, God gave me a life-changing vision of hell. I receive many questions about my experience from people all over the world, but one question I'm often asked is, "Who did you see in hell?" There are others who say they've had an experience like mine, and they...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...

RECENT ARTICLES

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

It’s a question I frequently hear. It’s one I’ve asked. And maybe it’s one you’ve asked, too. The question is, “God, why did You give this to me?” This can be any number of issues, from emotional or...
No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous than what the people of the world have ever before experienced. Even...

Curt Landry: 6 Ways to Open Your Heart and Mind to God’s Voice

Curt Landry: 6 Ways to Open Your Heart and Mind to God’s Voice

We are told that we must listen to God’s voice when we need to make important decisions. What does the Bible say about hearing God’s voice? How do we apply this to our everyday lives? 7 Bible Verses About Hearing God’s Voice “So then faith comes by hearing, and...

Pin It on Pinterest