Ever feel as though you are free-falling without a parachute and no one to catch you? It's as if at any minute you might plunge into the abyss of nothingness and no one would even notice? Although it's true that we all feel that way sometimes, God has everything under control if we turn it over to Him.
We don't have to worry and fret about what to do next, all we have to do is ask Him (John 16:24). He will direct us if we are willing to listen (John 10:27). And He always catches us when we fall. Free-falling is just a part of taking the journey with Him, enjoying the risks and challenges as well as the security of knowing He's got us (Psalm 18:32).
God has a destiny for each of us. We do not have to flounder our way through this life. We do have meaning, purpose and destiny. It is all found in Him. He desires for us to be His masterpiece, His handiwork, His poetry.
"We have become God's poetry, a recreated people who will fulfill the destiny He has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born He planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it" (Eph. 2:10, TPT).
I've known this truth for years. I knew God loved me, had a call on my life, something He had designed that only I could do, but I was too busy living for myself. But on the outside, it looked as though I was doing everything for everyone else.
I volunteered. I taught Sunday School. I led small groups. I published a Christian newspaper. I was on boards of directors for Christian organizations. I ran a business. I was a wife and mother doing everything I could for my family. And I was a glutton.
I see this same scenario often, and I understand it completely. As Christians, we are taught to take care of everyone around us first. To love others. We forget the last part of that verse, though. It says to love others as we love ourselves.
At 430 pounds, I was not loving myself because I was not taking care of my physical health. Truth be told, my physical health was just the tip of the iceberg. I was carrying tons more emotional baggage that left me believing a lot of lies about myself, others and God.
I ate to reward myself. I ate out of selfish desires to have what I wanted. This was not loving myself. It was doing harm to myself.
Jesus said it this way, ""If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross daily [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me]" (Luke 9:23, AMP).
That, my friends, is the definition of free-falling. We don't know the outcome, but we trust at the end everything will be all right. The parachute will deploy. There will be a net to catch us. We will land without injury. And if not, we trust God for the results.
We have to be willing to give all to Jesus. We have to be willing to put ourselves on the line. Truth is, if we are not physically fit to some degree, we will not be able to do that.
Weighing 430 pounds, I was also selfish in that I couldn't answer God's call to do much of anything. If it required any physical stamina at all, I was sunk. I volunteered for other things because if I didn't feel good physically that day, I didn't have to do it.
If we allow God, though, He will help us on this journey. He will help present your whole spirit, soul and body as blameless on that day when Christ comes. "Faithful is He who call you, who also will do it" (1 Thess. 5:24).
Wake Up Call
I know this change doesn't happen without our participation, without it becoming an all-consuming desire in our lives. At some point in time, we have to decide if we want Jesus more than we want a cookie. It really boils down to that simple choice.
Free will is an awesome concept because it puts the ball in our court. No longer can we blame God for our shortcomings. He has given us everything we need for life, and He wants us to live this life full to overflowing with abundance (John 10:10).
We all need a wake-up call. I had several on my journey. You can read about them in my memoir, Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor. The major one for me came when I was told by a cardiac surgeon I only had five years to live. That was 18 years ago.
It took some time, but with God's help I turned my life around and lost 260 pounds, Today, I live my life helping others turn theirs around as well.
I love coaching people through their weight loss journey and discovery of what they were created by God to do. I've learned, though, I can't be another person's wanter. They have to get their own.
They have to want to go on this journey. I can't make them. However, if a person is wants the journey, desires the journey more than anything else, I can help them get there.
Maybe that's you. Maybe you are finally at the point where you desire this healthy living journey more than anything else. If that's you, I'm willing to work with you. I can help you achieve the success you've always dreamed of, because I know a God who is a giver of dreams greater than you can imagine (Eph. 3:20).
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.
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