It was a heartfelt cry for help. She shared her story. It was a similar story to those I've heard throughout the years. As a matter of fact, her story was so similar to mine. She lost 100 pounds, but now finds herself in "a terrible place and very out of control."
Out of control and yet trying to hide that angst was the story of my life until I began to realize my issue was just the opposite. I was trying, trying, trying to be in control, and it was exhausting.
I'd go on a diet and greatly restrict myself for a season, lose 100 pounds, but then reward myself with a great dessert, something my Grandma would have made. That would throw me back into the tailspin of weight gain.
Nothing worked right for me to lose weight and keep it off until I realized this one simple truth: I will never be in control until I let God have full control of everything in my life, including what I eat and why I eat it.
Self-control or temperance is a fruit of the Spirit that eluded me for years. Self-control doesn't mean I control myself. It means I allow the Holy Spirit to control everything. I give control over to Him. I am under His authority, not mine.
Under my authority, my selfish interests raise their ugly heads and scream at me to reward myself for hard work, to indulge myself when I need comfort, that it is fine to eat when I'm lonely because food is my companion or that it's OK if I eat this because I need extra layers of fat to protect me from men who might harm me or people who might belittle me.
God has a different plan. He asks us to give Him control of our "self." The dictionary defines temperance as "habitual moderation in the indulgence of a natural appetite or passion." When the Holy Spirit is in control of every part of us, self-control becomes natural.
Somewhere along the way, though, a part of us has been short-circuited, circumvented and emotionally we think we need food, alcohol or any number of other things to keep us under control. That then becomes the way we control the "self" part of us. And then that spins out of control.
We live in the Romans 7:19 conundrum of "the good I want to do I don't do and the wrong I don't want to do, I do." There are root issues of why this is happening. They stem back to childhood. They are emotional in nature, and they get stuck inside of us and override our rational decisions when we are adults.
Many times they are things we don't consciously think about because we are adults now. We know, for instance, that Grandma didn't mean for us to keep running to the foods she fed us when we feel unloved. But we do. How do we get through that one?
As adults, we've dismissed Grandma's involvement because she's already dancing in heaven, we loved her and she meant no harm. But emotionally we are still tied to her. So we have to embrace that emotion, recognize it, forgive her, renounce the lies we believe and hear God's truth.
There are many other issues, things like abuse, loss of a parent, being bullied in school, and many others, that emotionally govern our lives. God loves it when His people get set free.
The evil one has found the way to stop us dead in our tracks. Our minds don't see food as a big deal. But we have allowed it to capture us, and now, it controls us.
It wasn't until I finally relinquished the sugar (completely) and started listening, really listening, and allowing Him to lead me, really lead me that the switch began to happen. To date, I've lost over 260 pounds.
Emotions and Freedom
In the middle of all of this, though, I also began working with several coaches who taught me various aspects of inner healing and freedom principles that I use today in coaching clients.
In VIP Freedom Coaching, I'm working one-on-one with 12 people to help get them where they need to be. To discover the roots of the core issues and get rid of them. To give them the tools so they can continue to pull up new roots they discover. Because another thing I've realized is Satan also likes to hide our root issues. When we understand what he is doing, we can stop him.
This group is designed specifically for those who are desperate for their own freedom but are also trying to lead others on their freedom journey.
I am no longer wallowing in that Romans 7:19 conundrum, I'm living in the freedom of the life-giving Spirit of Christ, and that's such a good place to be. I'm no longer out of control, I've given control of myself to the only One who gives me strength in the midst of my weakness.
Teresa Shields Parker is the author of seven books, all available on Amazon. Her latest book, Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God, is available now, and Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds is the No. 1 Christian weight-loss memoir. She is also a writing and weight-loss coach, blogger, speaker, wife and mother. Visit her online at TeresaShieldsParker.com to find her books, coaching programs and free gifts.
This article originally appeared at teresashieldsparker.com.
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