21This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. 22It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
Last year I lost thirty-five pounds. It wasn’t a New Year’s resolution. It was me coming to the end of myself and being willing to allow God to reconstruct my life. I’ve made resolutions before and kept them (for awhile) and then broken them. But this time it was more. I was tired of not being all that God had created me to be and I was ready to allow Him to re-create the girl he had fashioned me to be while still in my mother’s womb.
Everyone in my family has either the short-solid frame of my grandmother or the tall string bean build of my grandfather. I inherited the former. Even though I did not grow up being fat, I grew up feeling fat. My brothers teasingly referred to me as such, especially when I went through a chubby stage in the fifth grade.
I have several pictures of myself as a teenager. One of them is a side view revealing myself to be a five foot four and a quarter inch slender gal. Another is a front view of me appearing to be on the wide-side as I stand in between my two best friends, one of whom is shorter and more petite and the other who, although she is about the same width, is stretched out six inches taller. Every time I looked at that photo my brothers words echoed in my head and even though I knew I was not fat; I felt fat.
During my teens and twenties I occasionally gained five or ten pounds and then lost them just as quickly without ever doing anything about it. The weight came and went while my girlfriends and I merely complained about it.
Then my thirties arrived and along with it a thyroid that was not functioning at its maximum performance. I gained weight. Then more weight. It was frustrating because I was not eating excessively, just enjoying the same amount of snacks and junk food that I had for most of my life. Depression joined forces with the weight. I loved teaching and buried myself in my profession. I loved God and lived for Him, but the imbalances in many areas my life eventually brought me to a place where I realized that I no longer felt like me.
I attempted diets and remakes that worked temporarily, but it was not until I came to the understanding that it was not about remaking myself into the person I used to be, but about discovering who Christ wanted me to be today and allowing him to perfect himself within me, that the authentic changes began.
One of those changes was to lose weight. While losing weight was hard, it was the easy part. Now I’m learning to live out that new weight every day. Walking. Lifting weights. Drinking eighty plus ounces of water daily. Getting adequate sleep. Enjoying good food in the moderation that my body currently allows. Living it all with the Joy of the Lord.
The Word of God in Revelations 12:11 says: “And they overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony…” Every day I strive to overcome temptation through the power of Christ within me and through speaking His Word as a testimony or a confession of what he has done and is continuing to do in my life.
So I begin my day with God in His Word and I sense His power being magnified within. And then throughout the day I testify by speaking what His Word says He has done and is doing in me. The following verses are printed out on a paper that I carry with me to read throughout the day. (The verses included change according to my needs at the time.)
PURPOSE: To Maintain a Healthy Body.
Psalms 103 5: 5
5[God] satisfieth my mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
FAITH That God’s Word Works.
Mark 11: 22-24
22And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 23For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 24Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
SELF DISCIPLINE To Accomplish My Goals.
Galatians 5: 22-26
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance [self-control]: against such there is no law. 24And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Proverbs 25: 8
28He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
II Timothy 1: 7
7For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound [disciplined] mind.
SOURCE OF ALL MY POWER
Nehemiah 8: 10b
10[T]he joy of the LORD is your strength.
Philippians 4: 13
13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
The ATTITUDE With Which I Live
Psalms 103 5: 1-5
1Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 4Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; 5Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
This does not mean that I have been perfected. It means I live victoriously. Victorious living is getting up one more time then I fall down. Victorious living is becoming more like Him every day. Victorious living is speaking God’s Word instead of the problem or as my pastor so eloquently phrased it:
Faith does not deny the reality of the difficulty.
It declares the power of God in the face of the problem.