I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles. (Psalm 34:4-6 NLT)
Last month, I shared about my happy tummy journey. On this journey, I’ve worked to eat good, healthy foods- protein and vegetables. I exercise three times a week. I focus on the end results–weight loss and feeling better.
Recently, I hit a plateau. It is partly my fault. I grew complacent. I’m not exercising as much because it gets darker earlier. I also did not plan for how I would handle the food holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sugary foods and dinner opportunities pop up randomly. I am always down for yummy food. I have a hard time telling myself, “No.” I find myself falling back into my old habits, like having candy for breakfast and bread for dinner, and I’m often moving less.
I am afraid. Will I gain back all the weight I lost? How do I maintain my routine in the face of all the wonderful goodies? I feel anxiety and depression setting in. I don’t want to go back to the other version of myself.
The negative self-talk begins. “You’re meant to be fat. Women who’re like you usually end up obese and diabetic. You’ll never win the battle against the weight. Why don’t you just quit?”
But I finally cried out to God, “Help Me!”
The Lord answered me.
He gave me a game plan. He reminded me of several things as I pressed toward my weight loss and, ultimately, toward Jesus. In doing this, I discovered newfound joy.
The game plan is the following:
1. Remember, we’re chosen. In both John 15:16 and 1 Peter 2:9, the Bible tells us God chose us. The scripture in John goes on to remind me when God chose each of us, He also “appointed me to produce lasting fruit” (NLT). 1 Peter challenges us to praise God because He has called us out of a barren and dark lifestyle.
2. Remember, we’ll have trials in life. 1 Peter 1:6 promises joy when we endure trials. Psalm 34:5 says, “Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy” (NLT).
3. Remember, we have hope. God is the God of hope, according to Romans 15:13. As we continue to believe in Jesus Christ, God’s hope will overflow confidently. Despair and anxiety cannot exist in the presence of Hope.
4. We must write our desired goals. Habakkuk 2:2 encourages us to “Write the vision, and make it plain on tablets, so that he may run who reads it.”(NLT). We must keep the goal ever before our eyes so that we can keep moving toward our goals.
5. We need partners. According to Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, “Two is better than one because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up.”(NLT). A partner will encourage and help us not to grow complacent.
6. We must pray. (Psalm 34:4-6) As I pray, God hears and answers our cries like any good father.
At times, we are faced with situations where we must make tough decisions and say "No" to certain things in our lives in order to say "Yes" to God. Whether it's giving up a bad habit or making a sacrifice for the greater good, prioritizing our faith and spirituality over worldly pleasures can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. Ultimately, it's about aligning our actions and choices with God's will and purpose for our lives, and trusting that by doing so, we will find true fulfillment and joy.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I come to You today with a heavy heart and a mind that is troubled. I feel like I am at my wit's end, and I am filled with fear, Jesus. I am struggling to find my way out of the situation I am in, and I know that I cannot do it on my own. That is why I am turning to You, Lord, and asking for Your help. I know that You are a God of mercy and compassion and that You are always there for me, even during my trials. So, I ask that You come to my rescue, Lord, and help me find a way out of the difficulties I am facing. I cry out to You for help and guidance, and I trust that You will hear my prayer and answer me. Father God, I thank You for the joy that comes from trusting You. I know that You have a plan and a purpose for my life and that Your desire is for me to live in abundance and freedom. I ask that You give me the grace to focus on Your desired goal for my life and to trust You even when things seem uncertain. I also ask that You lead me in the right direction to find partners in my journey. I know that I cannot do this alone and that I need the support and encouragement of others to help me along the way. I ask that You bring people into my life who will walk with me and help me fulfill Your plan for my life. In Jesus' name, I pray, Amen.
Your turn: Where are you experiencing fear? Have you prayed and invited God to help? What game plan do you have to conquer your fears?