I fail a lot. There are also areas in which I have had great success. My successes only came after I'd made such a big mess of my life that I finally allowed the master designer to restore me. I had gained up to 430 pounds, and my life felt like it was beyond repair.
Thankfully, no one cleans up our monstrous messes better than God. He doesn't just straighten up the disasters we create, He restores and resets us to His original designer specifications when we allow Him to do that.
Losing 250 pounds was a monumental success, but I first had to fail greatly. The greater the fall into the depths of despair, the more joyous the victory.
When my phone dies completely, the only thing that will solve the problem is to restore it to the original settings. Obviously somewhere along the way, I messed it up. Only the one who manufactured it knows how it works best.
We want a simper solution, though. We want to discover the app we added that caused the problem in the first place. That way we can just remove it, and the problem will be fixed.
For years I was looking for the quicker way to solve my weight issue. I wanted something that would solve my problems without having to change everything about my life.
What I finally realized was I needed to allow God to restore me. All my preferences needed to be erased and overwritten with His navigational system. It's one that doesn't involve using food as my go-to source for everything.
Restoration Beyond Imagination
It reminds me of all the home makeover shows. The flippers have the vision of what the dilapidated house can become. Then the contractors take out all unnecessary walls, cabinets, flooring, fixtures and anything else standing in the way of the house becoming a home for the waiting family.
In some cases, the entire house has to be gutted, foundation rebuilt, walls moved and rooms rearranged. Cosmetic changes like paint, wallpaper, tile and flooring are added to make the home an entirely new and renovated space.
It is not like it was 50 years ago. It is better, more glorious and grand than the original owners ever imagined.
Restoration beyond our wildest imagination is what God has in mind for us. He sees in us raw material He can use to make us brand-new. He can restore the years the locust has eaten, the plagues have devastated and the armies have destroyed. We might feel like a wreck now, but just wait until we allow God to take over completely.
Too Deep to Climb Out
The disasters we make of our lives don't have to come in the form of extreme weight gain like mine did. It can be overwork, control, stress, overspending, failed relationships, trying to fix everyone else's problems, divorce, emotional traumas, alcohol, pornography, drugs and so many other things that cause us to feel like we are falling deeper and deeper into the abyss.
We are falling into an endless cavern so deep we will never be able to dig our way out. So we just surrender to our whims and go with our selfish desires which never completely satisfy, but keep us in our downward spiral.
Jesus had a different answer, though. He said, "If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross daily [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living]" (Luke 9:23a, AMP).
We look for solutions in all the wrong places. The answer is not to fill our emptiness with more of things we crave like more food, more money, more sexual exploits.
Our schemes to fill the ache inside always fail because God is our Master Designer. He is the one with the vision. His Holy Spirit is the only one who can work on rebuilding, remaking, redesigning us into what God meant us to be from the beginning of time.
Every person on earth has been created to step into their destiny as a child of the most high God, heir to the King of kings, made in His image and stamped with His approval. The only caveat is we have to surrender our wills to Him. That's the only way we will become true children of God.
Allow Him to begin working that process in you. Hand Him your mess and watch Him make a masterful message out of your life. Let Him to show you what you need to learn to become all He has in store for you.
Easiest Hard Thing I've Ever Done
I'm not saying it will be easy. As a matter of fact, it may be the most difficult thing you've ever done. Allowing God to rip out all the trappings of this life that you've come to rely on won't be easy.
I always say, though, that losing 250 pounds has been the easiest hard thing I've ever done. That's because God gave me the strength, and still gives me the strength daily, to say, yes to Him and no to the foods that created my mess in the first place.
Surrendering the things we have come to rely on does seem hard. It is the only way, though, to step into the fullness of that beautiful, new, more functional and purposeful design that He has in mind for each of us.
Are you ready to begin? What walls need to come down in your life today?
Teresa Shields Parker is the author of five books and two study guides, including her latest, Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy, and her No. 1 best-seller, Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds. She is also a blogger, spiritual weight loss coach (check out her coaching group, Overcomers Academy) and speaker at TeresaShieldsParker.com.
This article originally appeared at teresashieldsparker.com.
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