"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:1 (KJV)
Hebrews 12:1 has literally become our minimalism journey anthem. The laying aside of every weight and besetting sin is our constant pursuit, and it is ever on my mind and foremost in my walk with the Lord. With all my heart, I want to please Him and live out the plan He has ordained for my time on this earth, and I know I cannot do that successfully while weighted down with excess.
I think often of the analogy the Apostle Paul wrote about in 1 Corinthians 9:24. "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain." Anyone knows that in order for a runner to run a race at optimal speed and efficiency, they have to cast off every ounce of unnecessary weight. To think that a runner could win a race with heavy objects strapped to his/her back, let alone excess body weight, is absurd.
Photo by Aaron Burden
This morning, as I spent time with the Lord and begged Him once again to help me, He began to remind me how far He has brought my family and me in other areas of life. He led us to sell our four-bedroom, three-bath home with a huge garage that was overstuffed with excess and release about 90% of our physical possessions. He brought us out of extreme debt bondage to a place of being 100% debt-free. He released us from untold layers of spiritual bondage and the spirit of legalism. He has opened our eyes and drawn us out of so many weighty, encumbering, besetting sins, all glory to God. So, why is it so hard for me to get a breakthrough on the stronghold of obesity?
If God can enable me to let go of things that had become such idols, to leave the home that meant more to me than I could even put into words, to completely stop using credit, and to walk free from the entanglements of so many levels of spiritual bondage, why is the tackling of obesity any different?
"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:27
"Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear." Isaiah 59:1
My being physically overweight is no more God's fault than our being in debt up to our eyeballs was His fault. This is something that I have allowed to let happen, and this is something that I am going to have to put forth the necessary effort and self-control to change just as much as we had to let go of the home we loved and say good-bye to so many beloved physical possessions. Those possessions made their way into our house over years of accummulation and with our consent, just like these excess pounds made their way into my physical body with my permission.
Over two years ago, on June 1, 2018, I wrote this post. On June 5, 2018, I published this post introducing The P.O.W.E.R. Tool©. (You are more than welcome to download your own P.O.W.E.R. Tool© by clicking HERE.) To say I wrote those posts over two years ago and to see the state I am in today fills me with incredible remorse, even shame.
One thing about tools, they only work and help you out if you pick them up and use them. We have an electric washer and dryer in our basement. It is there, at our disposal, to use any time we want 24/7. We can either gather the laundry from the clothes hamper in our bedroom closet and the laundry basket on Zach's closet floor and walk that laundry to the basement, sort it, drop it in the wash machine, add laundry detergent, and turn the knob for it to begin OR we can leave our dirty laundry upstairs in our closets and allow it to pile up to the ceiling. We can complain about how much we hate the piled-up dirty laundry, or we can implement our washer and dryer to help us get the laundry clean.
When the Lord inspired me to design the P.O.W.E.R. Tool, I had every intention of picking it up each morning and using it to help me stay on track. Somehow, over time, I have completely stopped using this tool, and it shows—in very obvious, unhideable ways. When I wrote this post, I needed to lose 60 pounds. Yes, I said 60. Imagine my unimaginable shock when I stepped on the doctor's scale a few months ago to find that my weight had balooned up to an unthinkable number, and suddenly 60 pounds didn't sound like so much to lose. I am SO ashamed. Just being real here ~ sorry if this post is too transparent.
Obviously, I didn't have to write and publish this post. No one is standing over me with a gun to my head demanding I tell the whole world about the horrible stronghold I am dealing with on a daily basis. I could pretend that I have been faithful and self-disciplined and stayed right on track. I could lie, either by telling you those things or by saying I have steadily lost weight and have now reached my goal (OH, to be able to say that!) or I could just omit the truth and avoid the subject all together. There is nothing compelling me to write this post, other than a sincere desire to help someone out there who is dealing with and fighting against obesity as much as I am.
I want you to know that you are not alone. Today, I want to say to you that I am right there with you - even more overweight than I was on the day I wrote the post announcing to anyone who wanted to read it that I was 60 pounds overweight.
I wish I had a magic potion to offer you - believe me, if there were one, and I could get my hands on it, I would have already done so. I wish I could tell you to click on a link that would guarantee a miracle cure for your obesity. I wish I could hand you a simple solution that wouldn't require any type of effort on your part and would enable you to wake up tomorrow morning and see your ideal weight number miraculously appear on your digital scale.
I don't have anything to offer you but this ~
Sincere, heartfelt, genuine empathy because I am in the same, exact boat. I hate the fact that I have wasted all this time and fallen into such weight-loss apostasy and gone completely off the rails. TWO YEARS later, I am not only in the same, exact boat, "the boat" is straining even more now because I weigh substantially more than I did two years ago!
In my head, I KNOW all the right things to do. I have even made vows to God (it really, really sobers me to realize and admit this), and I have repeatedly and shamefully broken those vows. I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am for grace. Without it, I would have been cut off a long time ago. Why does He continue to forgive and put up with me when I consistently fail, fall short, and break my promises to Him?
"But thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness." Nehemiah 9:17
"For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Thee." Psalm 86:5
"He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities." Psalm 103:10
It's a good thing, huh?
I'm not sure why I entitled this post, "Weight Loss Confessions." I think I should have called it "Weight Gain Confessions," because weight loss doesn't show up in any of this equation.
My promises in this area don't really hold their "weight," pun intended, but I am going to openly proclaim that I am going to TRY to get back on the wagon today. One of the things that is motivating me very much right now is Kalen Bruce's new book, "10 Branches of Growth." Kalen is a USAF Soldier who writes from a perspective of being extremely disciplined.
And, that is the key. The Lord is showing me while reading Kalen's book that this all comes down to that one word - discipline, of which "disciple" is the root word. I call myself a disciple of Jesus, and true disciple of Jesus I am. I love Him more now than I have in my whole life, and believe me, that is a lot of love because my heart has been tender toward Jesus for as far back as I can remember. These days, I can hardly speak His name without tears. He has brought my family and me through SO much, and He means everything to me. I am His disciple - with all my heart.
But, physical weight is an area in which I am completely unhinged and out of control. I am so NOT under His subjection in this slice of the Whole Person Pie©. I can see so many areas of progress - I even feel (with much humility and realization of the fact I am subject to fail or slip at any given moment) that I have some slices of the pie completely minimized and under total submission to Jesus and His perfect will. Obesity is a continual reminder of the fact that when it comes to the physical slice of the pie - that important slice that includes the fact that my body is His temple - I am so far off track. It feels impossible to ever minimize this slice, but today, I am relying upon the truths in His Word.
"But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13
"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us." Romans 8:37
I am going to TRY to start picking up the P.O.W.E.R. Tool© each day and check off the boxes as I complete them. I am going to TRY - try being the operative word - to start drinking the necessary amount of water each day and to get back on an exercise routine. One of the things Kalen talks about in his book is intermittent fasting, where he only eats between 11 am and 7 pm each day. He fasts during the other 16 hours. I really think I can do this. I think one of the pitfalls I have identified while reading "10 Branches of Growth" is late-night eating.
So, this is my accountability post, and this is me, asking you to please, please pray for me, will you? I know without a doubt that some of my health issues would improve or even be elminated if I weren't lugging around this load of excess weight. I long to follow Jesus in ALL areas of my life, including this one, and oh, my, in this one I am failing so miserably. Biblical Minimalism is "a complete, whole-person release of anything unlike Jesus, a letting go of everything that hinders us from following Him wholeheartedly and single-mindedly, and a relinquishing of all that brings us under bondage to this earthly, very temporary life." I desperately need His help in becoming an overcomer in this area of my life, and your prayers are a Divine gift!
If you would like to get your own copy of Kalen's new book that is helping motivate me so much, click HERE.
Kalen recently granted us an exclusive Inner Views interview, and you can read it by clicking HERE!
May God bless each of you on your journey, and I deeply appreciate your prayers for victory in this area of my life!