God is the God of the impossible. He is also the God of grace. I know and have experienced Him in both ways my life. However, it wasn't always that way.
For most of my life, I believed the lie that God couldn't help me lose weight and learn how to live healthy. I also believed it was impossible for me to lose weight because I had failed so many times.
The fact that I'm here today and have lost more than 250 pounds is proof that God can and will help us. He doesn't see our failures as the end but the start of our journeys.
My belief was really at the core of my problem. I knew the Bible said what is impossible with man is possible with God (Luke 18:27), and I said I believed the Bible.
Even though I said it, I really didn't believe it, because true beliefs are revealed in behaviors. My behavior was saying I believed it was impossible for even God to help me.
I felt I couldn't lose weight so, l'd just do nothing. The problem is that doing nothing gets us deeper into the pit of despair. Nothing is not an option. We will either do what we've always done or we will change our behavior permanently.
I speak from experience. Wanting what I want got me into the biggest mess, the biggest brokenness and despair, the biggest failure of my life.
If the story ended there, it would be extremely sad. God, though, never gave up on me. His grace never left me, and His grace hasn't left you either. He will keep trying to get us to listen to His voice of freedom.
I can look back over my life and see the times God intervened to try to get me to understand where I was headed and stop me. I can point to the years and times when God tapped me on the shoulder and pointed the way to me, but I refused to listen.
Time and time and time again, He was trying to tell me, but I didn't and still ... His grace never gave up on me.
In 2013, when I reached an impossible goal of losing 250 pounds, it amazed me, because I know it didn't come by my efforts. It hadn't been possible when I had tried in my own way and own strength. It was only possible through the grace and strength of God.
Grace Is Power
Grace is what saves us, but we really don't understand the magnitude of the power it has. What does it take to raise someone from death to life, to change their eternal destiny from the fiery pits of hell to the wonders of living forever in the presence of God? It's not some nice little concept. It's power. It is the power of grace.
We have that same power available to us every day of our lives. It is the power that gives us the emotional stability, inner fortitude and presence of mind to say, "No, I'm not going to eat that. I'm going to eat this." Or, "I'm going for a walk or run instead."
The freedom Christ gives us is the freedom to follow Him. It is the freedom to do what is right instead of what we want in the moment.
I love Kris Vallotton's definition: "Grace is the power to do what you couldn't do one second before."
It's not physical power, like the ability to lift a car off a dying man. It's the mental, emotional and spiritual strength to do what you know God wants you to do.
Grace is the power that gives me His strength to overcome my weaknesses. In 2 Corinthians 12:10b AMP, it says, "When I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God's strength]."
Then back up a verse. Where does that strength come from? "My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness" (2 Cor 12:9, MSG).
Is God powerful all the time? Of course He is. Then why does it take my weakness for His strength to be perfected and show itself most effective?
When I am still trying, trying, trying to do this in my own strength, I will fail. I will eventually come to the end of my resources..
Taming My Monster
In 2009, I finally saw the roadblock that had been in my life for years. There was a visceral feeling in the pit of my stomach when I learned my issue. I am a sugar addict.
I literally felt the depth of what I had done for years and I knew what I needed to give up sugar, but I didn't know how I was going to do it.
A monster I had not been able to control was running amuck in my life. He was like a cancer eating away at my destiny. I had no idea how to contain him or control him.
I knew enough to know that God knew the answer. So I asked Him to lead me to one of his mentors here who could show me how to allow God to tame the monster in me. This time I meant it, and God knew I finally, really, honest-to-God, no-playing-around meant it.
I joined a group with a coach I trusted who knew what it takes to go on a total lifestyle change journey, and the rest is history.
In 2013, I met my goal of losing 250 pounds (which I've kept off) and wrote my first book, Sweet Grace. Now, I've written four books and have coached thousands of people through courses and groups to learn how to lose weight and step into healthy lifestyle transformations.
Some have lost a lot and some 10-20 pounds. It doesn't matter what the size of the mountain is you are facing, it still looks like an Impossibility to move. And it is without supernatural intervention.
Lisa, who went through one of my coaching classes, said. "I have always believed the lie that God doesn't care about what I eat. He's too busy for that. Using the tools Teresa has taught me has exposed that lie I was believing.
"Father God does care about me and wants to be a part of my everyday life, including what I eat. I've lost 10 pounds, but the best thing is I have gained trust in God and true freedom."
I've found that as folks lose weight in my programs, they gain so much more. They gain hope, faith, trust, love, joy, emotional freedom, mental clarity, a greater understand of who God is and an even closer walk with Him and probably most important How God sees them and what their destiny is in Him.
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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