She felt hopeless. Her face showed it as we held our first coaching session. Her biggest fear was that God had given up on her and didn't want to help her. She was tired, lethargic, stressed, depressed and had no clarity of purpose. After three months of VIP Freedom coaching, she has made a complete turnaround.
She admitted that she used food as a comfort and a companion. Her rational mind told her she had to lose weight, but emotionally she felt she couldn't live without certain foods, like fast food, soda and sweet desserts.
Glimmers of Hope
By the end of our first coaching session, God had begun to break through. I saw glimmers of hope cross her face and even hesitant smiles. She even planned to begin her weight-loss journey by drinking tea with stevia instead of soda. Instead of eating fast food for lunch, she was going to take her lunch from home.
She did well but would have setbacks. By being truthful about the things that would have made her feel like a failure and caused her to stop her journey before she started it, I was able to help her see what might have caused her setbacks. Using her failures as ways to learn about herself helped her decide how to revise her plans to address those times of stress that might cause her to eat off her chosen lifestyle change plan.
What I consider miraculous about inner healing sessions is how we can take issues from our childhood and connect them to emotional holdbacks today. Usually, these are situations or words that as a child we couldn't completely process, so they get stuck inside and become motivations today.
Our family members might or might not have done anything wrong. But it's important to know that it can still drive us today until we bring it out into the open and deal with it. During her sessions, she forgave her mom, dad and brother for various things that had happened in the past. She renounced many lies that said God doesn't care about her, love her or believe she is worth anything.
I truly love to just ask my clients questions, sit back and watch God work. In this case, He began to reassure her that He does love her, isn't mad at her and does care about her. He asked her to trust Him. This stymied her a bit because trust was something she admitted she had a problem with. With my prompting, she asked Him to reveal Himself to her.
What she saw next was glorious: a picture of a beautiful ocean with a beach at sunset. She said, "The picture makes me feel like I just want to stay here forever." Slowly, her concept of God was changing. What God was showing her is that He is someone who can be trusted.
Her major breakthrough came at the end of one my favorite sessions with her. "God just told me I am enough," she said excitedly. That session was pivotal because not being enough, not measuring up to others in her family who were more outgoing while she was more quiet, had made her feel like she was different and therefore not enough.
The other part of the breakthrough was she did this all on her own. I didn't prompt her to ask a question or ponder an insight. God just dropped it into her heart. He's so good that way.
In another session, she came to the point where she realized she felt she was alone on her journey and that the Holy Spirit was not there to help her. When she asked Him, He assured her that He is real and is with her. "He told me that I'm not alone to figure it out. He will guide me," she said.
At one point, she asked God this question, "Why are there so many people in the church who are overweight?" Her answer came in an unusual way. "I see the sun shining brightly," she said.
"What does that mean to you?" I asked.
"It means I can be a light. I can show others the way," she answered.
Then God told the woman who felt there was nothing beautiful in her at all that she was ok just the way she is. "He told me to take my journey one day at a time," she said. "He assured me of His delight in me. He told me that I am not perfect, but I am a work in progress. I don't have perfect theology or weight, but He still delights in me."
Hearing from God
At the end of our three months together, she had lost 12 pounds, a pound a week. She had learned how to plan her day. to eat foods that help her on her journey rather than harm her. She began incorporating exercise and activities like housework into her daily routine.
To continue the journey when she doesn't do it perfectly had been a major issue for her. Now, she says she doesn't carry guilt all the time if she does do something wrong. She doesn't give up if she makes a mistake. Being more open with prayer just being a conversation with God has helped her with that.
"I've learned a new way of talking with God," she said. "I have such confidence that I hear from Him and He does speak to me. I love that. I love knowing that I can ask Him a question or tell Him what's on my mind. I love knowing that He wants to communicate to me."
Through prayer and the tools learned in VIP Freedom Coaching she is now moving forward instead of feeling stuck and desperate. She finally understands that God is on her side. He is rooting for her freedom, and that makes her want to keep going.
She is no longer hopeless. She is overflowing with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. That hope is confident assurance, a sure and steadfast anchor for her soul.
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.