May 30, 2012

Wednesday SHINE.....


Today's Reading: Job 30

Happy Worship Wednesday, SHINE girls! Get your groove on today with God's LOVE for YOU! Celebrate your Lord and Savior in song by turning up the radio and singing out loud to Him! Oh, how He loves it! (remember David? he was not afraid to do a little song and dance for the Lord!)

As we continue with our theme of Freedom this week, I asked my friend Lisa to post about her journey to Freedom in Christ.

I was brand new friends with Lisa when all of this was taking place. It has been one of the biggest blessings of my life to watch it all unfold in a front row seat!

I told her yesterday that I can relate to many parts of her story, and I'll bet you can too.

Be blessed, my friends.

Lisa's Story: 

Summer of 2009, I did a Bible study that changed my life.  Now, I have only used the phrase "changed my life" in regard to 2 things.  First, giving my life to Jesus Christ, obviously changed my life, and when I married my husband.  I now have to include the book, "The Excellent Wife" as a life changing moment in my life.

What that book showed me, was relationships outside my marriage, that had an enormous impact on me, which in turn, affected my marriage.

These relationships...the approval, daily contact, are we good, are we not, was my text replied too fast enough, was my email perceived the correct way, are we spending enough time together, am I missed.  These relationships were the driving force behind how I thought about myself, daily.   And they had been the driving force for years and years.

It does not matter how I got there, all I knew is I was there, seeing plain as day that this is not where I wanted to be emotionally, was not my best in this place...I needed to make some changes.  But I had absolutely no idea how to do this.

How do you step away from all you've ever known?

I started telling the Lord what I wanted my emotional and relational life to look like.  I would chuckled at the absurdity of what I was asking for.  I would cry at the enormity of my request.  I would shudder at the realization of where I was and how far I had to go.

But I told the Lord that I was ready.

I knew and believed with every fiber of my being that WITH MY SAVIOR holding my hand and guiding me, I could emotionally, stand on my own two feet.  That I could learn who I was in HIM...and that would be enough...I would be whole...just me and Him.

A big part of my life, was my weight.  I started gaining weight when I was 18.  There had been some incredibly unfortunate things that had taken place in our family, resulting in my finding empty comfort, in food.

Like most women, I had tried all diets, Weight Watchers, Atkins, often with short-term results.  Exercise, to the point of almost passing out, this too, with short-term results.  Diet Coke, Marlboro Lights and shopping during my lunch hour, followed by the same after work, and for dinner.

I would lose 15-20 pounds, the most, 30 and relish in all the bright-eyed "acceptance" I would receive from those in my life.

This battling my weight, i.e., emotions/relationships/self, lasted 20 years.

Since Summer of 2009, when I took my sweet Father's hand and let Him lead me down the road of renewal and healing, I have lost 70 pounds.

I first noticed, March of 2010 that my clothes were feeling loose. I was not on a diet, did not own a scale, and had, as much as possible, accepted that fact that I was going to be overweight for the rest of my life.

Emotional renewal, heart renewal, turned into physical renewal.  I do not know any other way to explain it.

As I walked the, joyous - painful - exciting - frightening - elating, road with my Rescuer, He taught me who I was in Him.

With Him, I shed the past.  And became whole.

In the past 3 years I have read Psalms 23 over, and over, and over and over...

I am able to picture myself in each verse.  How I longed to rest, emotionally and relationally, in that fact (vs 1) That the Lord is my Shepherd, I have all I need.  I wanted to emotionally and relationally, (vs 2) rest in green meadows as He lead me beside peaceful streams.  Oh how I hungered for peace.  (vs 3) He renews my strength (I was weak) and guides me along (healthy relational and emotional) paths, bringing honor to His name.  Oh Father I praise you for the unbelievable miracles You have done in my life.  THANK YOU!!

Can you relate to my story?  Read Psalms 23 out-loud and picture yourself in each verse.  Talk to the Lord as you read this chapter about the places in your heart and life that need peace - renewal - strength - protection - comfort - blessings - goodness - unfailing love.

And now, giving to Him all the glory for the work He has done in my life.  Praising Almighty God, my Rock.  My Redeemer.  My Savior.  My Rescuer.   I am yours sweet Father.

Psalm 23 (NLT)

A psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3     He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
    forever.