I’ve debated over whether I should say anything more about my weight loss journey here. But after I gutted myself last time I suppose I have nothing left to be ashamed of. I am now over 25 pounds lighter than when I began. I don’t want this to be about me though. Accolades make me uncomfortable. I’m not looking for a pat on the back from anyone. Rather, I want to use this small milestone to acknowledge the people in my life who have supported me and loved me through this process. I haven’t made it easy.
It comes as no surprise to those who know me when I say that I am by nature very headstrong. You will not easily convince me to do something I don’t want to do. But through the admonishment of my friends and the grace of God, that is changing.
I have a couple of very special friends who are in this endeavor with me; my sister Jordan and friend Amber. In the beginning – truthfully the first 3 months – they all but dragged me along as we learned to eat healthier and work out. While they swapped stories of success or failure, I sat silently sulking and just praying for the conversation to be over. I said before that I wanted diet in secret. So the last thing I wanted to do was talk about it. What I failed to realize is that my silence turned me into a leech. While they were talking things out they were provoking each other to love and good works. They were encouraging me… and I was sucking life from them while giving nothing back. These girls fleshed this out with me – with persistence.
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” (Proverbs 27:6) I know this saying to be true. I found myself standing in my bedroom talking with Amber and Jordan one Sunday a few months ago. We didn’t have a typical house church meeting – the Holy Spirit had ideas of His own that morning. These faithful women gently and cautiously confronted me in my stubbornness and sulking attitude. It was not easy to hear. I looked in the mirror that day. Not literally – I was all too familiar and unsatisfied with my physical reflection. I saw my reflection in an altogether different way – through their eyes. And it wasn’t pretty.
I’d grudgingly made the outward changes necessary. I followed our meal plans. I exercised (when I felt like it). I thought that was enough. But my attitude stank. Through the faithfulness of these young women I saw Jesus Christ, “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” While I was being stubborn and selfish, they encouraged me, hoping Christ in me. They extended mercy when I’d done nothing to earn it, and showed me the grace to change. The faithful wounds inflicted that day prompted the first fruits of repentance growing in me. I would not be where I am today if not for their continual support and encouragement. They have forgiven much.
Each of us have charm necklaces that are telling the story of our journey. A pearl marks the beginning, and an initial pendant marks the loss of the first 10 pounds. The third pendant is a post with the word “metanoia“ inscribed into it. It’s the Greek word for “repentance”, meaning change the way you think. This marks the loss of 20 pounds. And it’s been a significant reminder to me that my mind is changing in the way that I approach food and exercise. This is not a “lose-weight-quick” scheme. This is a lifestyle change. There are permanent changes happening in my heart, mind, and body through this process. I no longer crave foods that aren’t good for me. My body is being conditioned to crave movement and action. This may sound crazy but I’ve grown to love feeling sore after I’ve really pushed myself working out. I crave that feeling! My mind has changed for good. Repentance has taken place by the grace of God and I am amazed.
1 Timothy 4:8 says this, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that is now and of that which is to come.”
This rings to true to me. It’s my experience that God had to change the way I think, transforming my mind, before my body – my flesh – followed suit. And that is what is important. Because my body will one day give out. There will come a day when I’m no longer able to do the things I’m capable of now. But the lessons I have learned in this – the relationships that I have gained – are of far more profit than my physical body changing. I’ve entered a whole new level of friendship with Jordan and Amber. Jordan is my sister, and I’ve known Amber for 8 years, but despite that our hearts have been knit together in ways we couldn’t have imagined when we took the first step in this journey. This has proven to me that godliness is profitable for all things – especially my relationships. I am so grateful for their faithfulness to me, their patience, and the love that is continually being poured out. “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
So, thank you, Amber and Jordan. I know you are His.