Sunday, January 6, 2013

Never Give Up

January of last year, I was starting P21 (21 days of prayer and fasting) asking the Lord, once again, to help me overcome my unhealthy eating habits, break my bondage to food and to help me lose weight for good this time.  I’m sure I was beginning to sound like a broken record to the Lord. Another on the list of my ongoing prayer requests was that the Lord would tell me what He wanted me to do - show where I belong. The Lord had shown me my purpose years ago in that of a Counselor, but where would He utilize me to the fullest? I was beginning to feel “unused” by God and it was breaking my heart and my spirit. So for 21 days I poured myself to the Lord and then let it go. Now I really could write a short novel on how the entire year unfolded, but I am only going to provide a very condensed version. This is written to give encouragement to those who are facing battles, those who have been asking the Lord for the same thing(s) for a long time and are ready to give up hope on hearing a response, and most importantly to me, that you will see as the story unfolds, the renewed passion the Lord has given me to bring His truth to those willing to listen, healing to the brokenhearted and freedom to those in bondage (especially to food).
As P21 began to wind down, I found a new drive within me to eat right and begin to exercise (I always start off the year with that drive); only we did not have the money for a gym membership or any kind of diet plan. So back to my knees I went. I did not want to let the Lord down, but I knew He was going to have to provide everything needed to carry out His plan. February is when His plan began unfolding, although while walking through it none of the things present or to come were evident as part of His plan. So here is the recap of 2012 an example of how awesome our God is if we will just remain faithful, obedient, persistent, and trusting in the act that He has a better plan for us then we ever could imagine.
January 2012: P21 – 21 days of praying, fasting and seeking the Lord
February 2012: While attending a church fair in Baker, I win a one year membership to a health club around the corner from my house in Prairieville.
March 13, 2012: A conversation between me and the Lord as I stood in the mirror disgusted with what I was looking at:
Me: Lord, I am tired of this battle with food- why am I always thinking of food?
God: No temptation has seized you except what is common to man – even Jesus was tempted with food while in the desert –and He overcame
Me: Yes, but it was easy for Him, he is God – He couldn’t sin
God: Yes and it is no longer you who lives but Christ who lives in you
Me: Would You please lead me NOT into temptation?
God: Resist the devil and he will flee
Me: I know, but I am weak when it comes to food. I need you to make me strong - I can’t do this – please, please, please deliver me already!! Help me!
God: Three times Paul pleaded with me and I’ll tell you the same thing I told him – my grace is sufficient
Me: Then would you please tell my husband to stop being a stumbling block for to me – quit bringing the junk home and sabotaging my eating plan!
God: I will never allow temptation to be more than you can stand, when you are tempted I will show you the way out so you can endure.
Me: UGH!!! Why do I even try to argue with You – You know everything and You are always right!!!
God: Yes, I AM and I AM is with you always and will be your portion J
March 15, 2012 - A friend that we have not spoken to in years calls out of the blue to talk about his new business venture – a weight loss clinic - opening in Prairieville, Louisiana. He invites us to the open house and asks if I would consider trying the program. He knows we are very active in the business arena in that area and are also active at our church and wants help in getting the word about the program. So I am asked to become the proverbial “guinea pig” - I agree.
April 2012: Our oldest son loses control of his truck and flips it landing upside down in a ditch. Looking at the truck, it is clear that God was with Him and spared his life.
Completed the first 30 days on the program and lost 23 lbs!!!
May 2012: Our youngest sons graduates “salutatorian” from Bethany Christian School - I begin a 21 day maintenance phase of program
June 2012: I turn 50!!! If this is what 50 feels like – bring it on!!! 2nd 30 days on the program begins.
July 2012: 2nd 30 days completed; I lost another 19 lbs, making that a grand total of 42 so for!!!
August 2012: My son-in-law loses his mother to cancer.
I become employed at the weight loss clinic.
September 2012: Our oldest son leaves for Afghanistan and our youngest son leaves for the Internship in Baker – I now have an empty nest!
October 2012: Baton Rouge Clinic closes and my husband ask if I want to buy it – my answer “NO”!
November 2012:  The Prairieville clinic becomes available and my husband proceeds with talks on what it is going to take to buy it. I am just going along for the ride knowing there is no way we can buy it, we can’t afford it. As I realize that he is serious, I begin to pray “Lord, I trust in You, if this Your will then who I am to argue with You, but if this is not, I am trusting You to close every door so tight that not even my husband will be able to swing it open.”
December 2012: The Lord makes a way for us to take over the weight loss clinic. And at the time we were to take over the clinic I received this prophetic word:
“Karen, I am watching over you. I know your struggles. I know the things you think about and the things you set yourself to do. I know your motives and your attitudes; I know all about you. I know you better than you know yourself. I am leading and guiding you and I have never left you nor have I forsaken you. I know all things before you and all things that are yet unfulfilled. I know what the enemy is planning for you and because of these things I am able to work on your behalf, and I am able to bring you through storms and through valleys of desperation and through the wars that you will encounter. I am able to bring you into the place of liberty and victory if you will believe in Me, trust in Me, and walk with Me, says the Lord. You are in a season of adjustment. Stay calm and refuse to allow stress to steal your peace. Wisdom is being poured out in abundance so that you can find the most effective way to deal with every situation, says the Lord. Let me lead you!”
Wow, what a year is all I can say! If you would have told me in January of last year that in one short year I would lose a total of 44 lbs., be smaller than I was in high school, be counseling women on both physical, mental and spiritual health in my own clinic, own and operate a weight loss clinic and still have my peace, I would have asked you to share whatever it is you were on because the hallucinations you were experiencing were pretty amazing!! Thank God, His vision for our lives is so much more than we could ever think or believe.
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Eph 3:20
Dream big; set your sights on the Almighty and may 2013 be the year of answered prayers and dreams realized for you. God Bless :)