Those on Fixer Upper make Demo Day look like so much fun. Who wouldn't want to smash stuff and tear things apart? However, when you realize your life needs a Demo Day and a total redesign, it suddenly doesn't sound like fun anymore. When it's a redesign by God, though, things can't help but get better.
In my life there came a day when it felt like God looked at me and said, "It's time for a total redesign, a total makeover." At first that felt pretty good. Free makeover? Bring it on!
Then, the truth came out. For me to step into the redesign God had for me, I had to first go through my own personal demolition. It was going to take more than a day for the things that shouldn't be in my life to be removed.
I had developed a really bad habit of using comfort foods to handle any emotions in my life. If I had a particularly trying day at work or a deadline I was trying to meet, I felt stressed and overwhelmed.
On the way home, I would go through fast food and get more than a full meal and then, take a drive in the country to eat, reward and comfort myself. Then, I'd be able to go home and fix a big supper for my family.
This behavior helped me gain until my weight reached 430 pounds. These were pounds and pounds of stress, overwork and emotional discord. The stress and overwork were drives I had placed on myself, desires to prove that I was worth something in God's kingdom. The emotional discord was how I felt when that somehow did not fulfill me.
While it is admirable to do things for God, it is not worthwhile unless we do things with God, unless God specifically calls us and anoints us to the work. Even then, we must do it with love and care for the body He gave us.
So many well-meaning Christians talk to me about how they feel comfort foods, fast foods and sugary foods have them captured in stronghold. They are on an endless performance treadmill of deadlines, speaking, singing, preaching, writing, coaching, counseling, building, growing churches and taking care of everyone else.
No Time for Me
The big problem is they have not taken time to care for their own bodies, souls and spirits. Now they are running on overload which leads to emptiness, extreme exhaustion and if they don't do something soon, total breakdown.
It is vital for us to learn how to manage ourselves well if we are to walk in our anointing. Our bodies are the temples the Holy Spirit resides in here on this earth. One of the most important callings we have is to steward our bodies, thoughts, emotions and spiritual connection to God well.
"Haven't you yet learned that your body is the home of the Holy Spirit God gave you, and that he lives within you? Your own body does not belong to you. For God has bought you with a great price. So use every part of your body to give glory back to God because he owns it" (1 Cor. 6:19-20, TLB).
How Do I Do That?
God reminds me often that His grace is enough. It's all I need. His power is made complete in my weakness (see 2 Cor. 12:9). It's OK for me to admit to God that I am weak around sugar and comfort foods and that I need His strength to resist those foods which are very addictive to me.
My demo season came when I recognized and surrendered to the fact that I am a sugar addict. It was as if I saw my body as a house with support beams made of mounds and mounds of sugary doughnuts, cakes, brownies and desserts. The floor was paved with caramels and the roof was made of chocolate bars. The walls were oatmeal cookies and the windows were toffee. The house was falling apart where windows, walls, floors and support beams had been eaten away.
This was not a fit home for me or the Holy Spirit. Everything had to go. We couldn't live there anymore. In an instant, my desires changed. I no longer wanted to live in a house of decadent foods. I wanted to be free of the craving for more and more and more.
With God's help, I had my demolition, removing the supports that no longer worked and putting an ever-increasing taste for God in their place.
He became my desire more than the foods that filled my pleasure senses. By eliminating the offending foods from my diet and my home, by concentrating on healthy foods and good exercise, the supports for my home began to become more of the design God always had in mind for me.
It wasn't easy and it wasn't instantaneous, but in the process, I lost over 250 pounds and discovered that the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (see Rom. 14:17).
Today, with my redesign becoming more and more clear every day, God called me to coach others how to climb out of food addiction and step into the design God has for them.
This is not about a diet as much as it is about being all God has for us to be. I share what worked for me and how others can find what works for them. I open up the Word of God and explain how God wants us to view this as a journey where we walk closer to Him so we can fit into the design plans He has for us. I encourage, support, uplift, answer questions, teach and provide resources.
Visible Display of Grace
Overcomers Community is open now for those who are ready to do this journey God's way. Remember, I don't promise easy. That's why I request those who come into the group voluntarily commit for at least six months at the low cost of $27/month.
It takes that long to learn how to step into habit changes that will last for the long haul. No lose then regain, then lose and regain even more. We want this to be the last time our members make an eating plan because it will be their forever plan.
God wants us to be a visible display of the infinite riches of His grace (see Eph. 2:7). It's His grace that has kept us here this long. It's His overflowing grace that forgives all our failures (see Eph. 1:7-8). It's His good plans that will lead us into the destiny He has for us.
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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