Shedding the Baggage

Hello again, accountability partners! You miiiggghhhttt remember me from two years ago. Here’s a brief excerpt to catch you up if you weren’t an avid follower of this publication at the time:

“I’ve made resolutions for years with varying degrees of effort; both in forming them and in following through. The one thing I’ve never done…ask God for help. That’s right, I’ve been a Christian for 30 years and have never asked God for help with a New Year’s Resolution. Until now. Over the course of 15 years of making my own food choices I’ve amassed 200 pounds of “extra skin.” So, to combat this lifetime of self-indulgence, I’m combining my weight loss efforts with daily Bible devotions. Yes, after 30 years I’m finally going to do it. I’m reading the Bible. This time the lifestyle change I’m choosing to make is to take God as my partner!  “Their god is their appetite. He will take our weak, mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own.” Philippians 3: 19 and 21. Each day I strive to make my body and my mind more like God’s and I ask him to help me along the way. I know I cannot reflect Him well to others if I am busy being embarrassed of my body. I cannot express Him well to others if I do not know His word.”

I want to formally thank those of you prayer warriors who’ve been praying for me or praying in general for those like me. I could truly feel the healing and my journey begin after submitting that. So, the burning question…how’d it go?! I’m thrilled to report that God has blessed me with the shedding of 150 pounds over two years!! Now comes the hard part…

You may be thinking, how was 150 pounds not the hard part?! Am I right? Well, part of my journey was bariatric surgery. I believe God placed the idea and the particular surgeon in my mind and on my heart. Not to say surgery was the easy option, far from it! However, I’ve had incredible success and it’s been life changing and such a life-giving process! It all started at a consignment sale when I complemented a woman when she seemed self-conscious about pulling up her pants repeatedly. I said something along the lines of, “that’s a good problem to have!” She shared part of her weight loss journey with me and was shouting her surgery from the mountain tops! She offered to share her surgeon’s book with me, “Obesity, It’s Not a Character Flaw.” I said I’d look into it. Mostly, it was just to let her off the hook. I really didn’t have the confidence that I was worth that much of her time.

Her words stayed with me, however, and I began to pray more specifically about this option. Could this be the answer to my prayers?! I’d been diligently working on my resolutions at this point, increasing my Bible knowledge, becoming even more prayerful, and sticking to my diet plan. It really wasn’t surprising to me that God would bless my efforts. After all, the month we started tithing we received two checks in the mail totaling $8,000! I’ve understood for some time that a clenched fist is not open to receive and an open hand and heart is open to receive more blessings. I still have a constant control struggle with myself over what’s mine and what’s God’s. Ultimately, I know it’s all God’s. That doesn’t make it easier to give it all to Him. What does make it easier is the spiritual practices I’ve worked to establish to make it more natural to give it all to Him; both my successes and my struggles.

Being almost two years out from surgery, I can no longer coast on my new tool. To lose weight I must stick to my bariatric eating plan and exercise. When people ask me about surgery I often say, “Its been great, but I didn’t have brain surgery.” By this, I mean that it’s still hard. Really hard. I’ve always been an emotional eater, social eater, boredom eater, 4th meal eater, eat-because-it-tastes-good eater…you get the picture. Now, with God as my weight loss coach, I lean on the scripture to renew my mind. Romans 12:1-2 ESV “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

I believe God’s will for us is to view ourselves as His perfect creation. Regardless of my size or shape, I am His perfect child. That being said, I have more energy and more confidence to do work to glorify His Kingdom. I am now married (to my aforementioned boyfriend from the previous article), work for my church, coordinate a MOPS ministry and LOVE my life. I’m not sure I would have been able to say any of those things without the renewing of my mind and presenting my body as a living sacrifice. I pray God speaks to you for the renewing of your mind and the shedding of your 150 pounds of baggage, whatever that may look like for you.

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Mack

By the time she turned thirty, Jennifer Mack, had been brought through the darkest and brightest of days, but she knew she needed to see herself as God sees her. She began her walk of self-discovery. She is walking that path and glorifying God with each step she takes. Jennifer is a momma to three boys and desires to see them know and love God with a deep and intimate relationship. Jennifer was born and raised in a small town in north central Missouri, and now makes her home in the bigger city of Columbia, Missouri. Jennifer is a graduate of Central Methodist University with a bachelor of science degree in Criminal Justice and Ethics and a minor in Spanish. While Jennifer spends her days raising her children and volunteering at her home church she constantly reminds herself of God’s promise to her through Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.