Have you ever prayed and asked God one thing, and He seemed to answer with something that was totally off-topic? For most of my adult life, I felt this way when I prayed about my life's calling or direction.
My prayer would always start out something like this: "God, I know You've called me to write, but it feels like there is something specific I should be writing. Would You show me, please God? Call, and I will do whatever You want me to do."
Eventually, God would answer, but it seemed His answers to my plea for direction were totally incongruous with what I thought I was asking. His answers always seemed to come back to how to lose weight and get healthy. This was the one thing I didn't think I could do. Plus, I didn't consider this a life calling, like being a missionary, preacher, teacher or anything else that seemed godly.
What I didn't see all of those years, though, was how very persistent He was with this answer. Recently, I was cleaning out my office and found all my old prayer journals. It was a rainy afternoon, perfect for revisiting my life. Reading through them helped me see my life in a different way.
Back in 1977, God had given me specific instructions I had never followed. This came during a prayer time where I asked Him how I could move the mountain of weight that was amassing on my body? He told me exactly what to do. One of those things was to stop eating sugar.
I told Him that I knew I'd lose weight if I did that, but I couldn't do that. I said that because I didn't think I could give up sugar for the rest of my life. I also thought I shouldn't have to give it up because others could eat it, so I should be able to as well. For the next 30 years, I ignored His advice.
God did not forget, though. Any time I prayed about what I was supposed to be doing while here on earth, His answer would always come back to what He said back in 1977. Looking through my prayer journals I saw it clearly.
Teresa Shields Parker is the author of six books and two study guides, including her No. 1 bestseller, Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds. Her sixth book, Sweet Surrender: Breaking Strongholds, is live on Amazon. She blogs at teresashieldsparker.com. She is also a Christian weight loss coach (check out her coaching group at Overcomers Academy) and speaker. Don't miss her podcast, Sweet Grace for Your Journey, available on CPN.
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