Sunday, October 26, 2008

On My Knees

I have a serious confession to make to you guys today... those that have been with me for a while know that I am truly my own worst critic, and sometimes put a little too much pressure on myself to meet goals/deadlines.

This morning when I did my weigh in, I was up a couple of pounds... and I honestly had a moment where I wondered why I put myself through this surgery and all of the emotional twists and turns that have come with it if it wasn't actually going to change my life for the better.

In moments like that - I tend to want to retreat from the world and hide from whatever the perceived failure is... and this morning that meant that I really didn't want to go to church. (It's okay - I'm inviting my Pastor to read this... so stay with me here...)

I walked into the YMCA this morning like I have many other Sunday mornings, and this was to be the morning that I first heard God speak to me... it was subtle at first, but when I sat back and added all the minor occurrences together - it was truly a message from God.

As I sat there doing my Sunday morning routine of folding the programs for our service, one of the men from the church, Steve, came up to me and asked me how much weight I've lost. Now, I know that my fellow weight loss surgery buddies have had this happen a lot, and honestly it has happened to me too - but this was different. I don't think that Steve even knew that I have been trying to lose weight, and I know that he didn't know about me having surgery...

It just struck me as different - this wonderfully nice man that I know from Sunday mornings - sought me out to ask that question, and then to tell me that I look great. On the very morning that I was feeling the most down about this process that I have been and continue to go through.
It was as if God was speaking through Steve to tell me to look at how far I've come, and to renew my strength to carry on with the rest of the journey.

The morning continued, and we started our service. This morning, Justin (our Worship Pastor) chose one of my favorite worship songs to sing. Take a moment to listen to the words of this song, and think about the powerful message that can be taken from the lyrics.

For more reflection here are the lyrics to the song you heard above:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back I know You are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go Lord,
You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth

Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

Once again, God spoke to me through this song this morning to remind me that I'm not alone in this struggle - he is with me through the whole process, and it is my pleasure to tell everyone that I've only made it this far in the journey through him.

I can't even put into words how timely this song was for me this morning. I am caught in the storms of my life, and sometimes I forget to realize that with God - I need not fear - he'll never let go.

The final time that the message to me from God came through this morning was in the message that Pastor Kevin gave today. We've been going through a series called "40 Days of Community - What on earth are we here for?" which has lead us through the book of Acts.

Today's portion of our series was titled: An Unstoppable Force - we read through Acts 5:12-42 (NIV) , and we took some notes - this is where I applied it to my weight loss struggle. (I also understood it in the context that Kevin was presenting it - as for our church to be an unstoppable force)

What did they do?
They were obedient in adversity.
They chose to obey God rather than men.
They rejoiced in their suffering.

What we should do:
Do what God calls us to do even when it is hard.
Care more about what God thinks than what others think.
Rejoice even when things are difficult.

(there were more bible verses studied, but I'm trying to condense this as much as possible.)

This is how I think this applies to this particular struggle in my life - I think that for so long I've worried about what others think about my weight, because we all know what pressure society puts on us being thin and beautiful... but God thinks we are all beautiful - after all we are exactly how he created us to be, right?

I want to do what God is calling me to do, and what he is preparing for my future (I desperately pray that he's preparing me to be a mother)... and in that I need to rejoice in my struggles because if this was easy - I wouldn't be learning anything, right?

So my lovely internets - today has renewed my resolve to continue down the path:
  • My workouts are going to be meaningful.

  • I'm going to make a conscious effort to watch what I'm putting in my body - no more mindless snacking.

  • I'm going to drink water instead of anything else - when and if I drink my full 64 ounces in a day - then I can have some iced tea.

  • I'm going to thank God for everything I have accomplished in the journey thus far, and for every new milestone that comes in the future.

  • If things haven't changed dramatically by mid-November - I'll be going for my 1 year surgery follow up and I'm going to ask Dr. Weinstein every question I can think of!

  • Above all - I'm going to use my knowledge and tools to the best of my ability for God, my family, my friends, and myself.

  • I'm going to actually start believing and living like my body is a temple.

I welcome everyone that is reading this, and everyone that will read it at some point to hold me accountable for these commitments, and if you hear me struggling along the way - remind me of this post and this day.