In my last post, I mentioned that I am getting up three times a week at 5:00 am to go to the gym. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have NEVER professed to be a "morning person". In fact, my growing up years were literally painful because both my mother and sister were morning people- who actually talk, laugh and are cheerful in the morning. I swear, it's a sickness of some kind...
Anyhoona, if you would have told me a year ago that I'd be doing this today, I would've probably herniated something vital laughing at you. (Nice, I know, but I'm not perfect!)
Why, you ask then, am I doing this? Thanks for asking- I thought you never would.....
In January of this year I went to the Ladies Retreat through our church. Now in the past when I have gone, it's been mainly to have a relaxing weekend off from life, rest, eat tons of good food, and fellowship with friends. This year however, I wasn't even planning on going until about a week before the retreat. I had decided that it was too hard for my family for me to be away, and that I didn't need the time off. I know- what was I thinking?!?! What mother doesn't need time off?
I realized that I really did want to go, and signed up at the last minute. It's amazing to look back and see how God ordered my steps in so many ways to get me there- for He had a big work to do in me that weekend. About 3 days before the retreat, I threw my back out. Seriously out- I couldn't walk, sit or stand in any comfort at all, and spent the entire time flat on the floor of my house (try homeschooling 2 kids with an 18 month old running around while lying on the floor sometime- go ahead, I dare you!). But, God knew what He was doing- he always does. Because I was in so much pain and had to fight to get to the retreat, I was truly expecting something big to come of it spiritually. You see, had I been my normal self, I would've spent a lot of time being social there, and maybe not so much time being spiritual there.
As it was, I literally laid on the floor in the back of the room on a camping mat the whole weekend. The only time I got up was to eat and go to the bathroom. Ever heard the scripture, "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10? That's what I had to do- physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. And God changed my heart in a huge way.
The scripture for the weekend was Hebrews 12: 1 "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us"-- the Amazing Race. The speaker encouraged us to identify our weights- the things that keep us from running our race to the fullest for the Lord, and our besetting sin- the main thing in our life that encumbers us through unrighteousness. As I pondered her words from my position on the floor, fully expecting God to do a mighty work in me, I asked Him to show me my besetting sin.
The answer He gave? FEAR.
Fear of so many things- people, places, events- but most of all- fear of lack of control in my life. Specifically, fear of letting God truly be God in my life. To rule and make all decisions for me, every day. One of the ways I managed the chaos and hurt of my life before getting saved was through iron- fisted control of people and events around me. Gods used this weekend to show me that it was a sin, and lack of faith in my life not to trust Him in all areas of my life.
I have known for years that I have a problem with food and needed to do something about it- but I wasn't willing to give up my sin. Prov 23:2 says, "...Put a knife to thy throat if thou be a man given to appetite." and Prov. 23: 20-21 "be not among winebibbers ; among riotous eaters of flesh: for the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty..." For the first time I realized that my lack of obedience in dealing with this sin was based in fear. Fear of giving up the food I used for comfort, fear of allowing God to change me, even fear of having loose skin and an ugly body after the weight loss is done! It was amazing to me how much fear had permeated my thoughts and life. Suffice to say, I gave it all to the Lord that weekend, and since have been on an AMAZING journey out of the abyss of fear.
All that said- I was prompted by the Lord to join Weight Watchers, and also a gym. Since January 20th, I have lost a total of 19 pounds, and I feel great! I am going to the gym three mornings a week at 5am- and when I try to not go- my spirit literally wars within my body until I submit and do it. More important than the weight loss is the deliverance from fear, not only in this area of my life, but in all areas of my life. (That's another post though!). Trusting the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength is allowing Him to show me areas where I have strongholds, and then give Him the power to deliver me. Praise the Lord! It hasn't always been easy, but He has been there every step of the way with me.
Finally, Prov. 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not on thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."
Go ahead and try it. Just don't be surprised if He totally changes your life.
And starts waking you up at 5 am! AMEN AND AMEN.