Friday, May 8, 2009


I am still reeling from Wednesday's emotion/post. You should just know that I had a complete breakdown after posting that. (And I'm not really prone to breakdowns.) Suddenly, it all became real. The weight and gravity of God's work in my life completely overwhelmed me, and I just started sobbing. First at my desk, then in the restroom, then at my desk again while on the phone with my best friend. Then again when my boss came into my office. And later when I shared a bit with my other boss and his wife. (Well, for that one I just teared up a bit.)

Then yesterday, I found myself discussing the goodness of our God with a member of the church here...and the tears (not sobbing at least) started again. Then someone came in who had read my post, and the saltwater started to flow again. My daddy always said that God gave us tear ducts for a reason. And apparently, there aren't daily limits set on usage. :-)

A friend suggested that I must have really increased my prayer life with conversations starting, "God, please help me not to think about [food item]..." Totally appropriate in many areas of life, and I have absolutely prayed those prayers over many things. But in this area, things were different. Here was my response:

You know, I actually didn't have many conversations with God about "Help me to not think about..." When I say He set me free, I really mean it. Through His providential grace, one day food simply stopped holding sway over me. I had a few moments were I decided to visit the place of my imprisonment, but it became a (sinful) choice at that point, not a mandate. In so many ways, this journey has paralleled and illustrated what Paul is trying to describe to us in Romans 6 - We are DEAD to sin; therefore, it no longer holds sway over us. (Ergo, quit living like it still has power over you! my paraphrase) Max Lucado wrote a wonderful children's book about this that keeps coming to mind. Of course its name does not... :-( (Anybody know that book?)

Yesterday, I found myself sharing this with a friend, and I feel it really sums up well:

Just to be absolutely clear: This was in no way 'me.' It was in EVERY way Christ. Even my obedience was fueled by His strength. There has been nothing in my life that I've known to be so fully & completely His work as this journey.

I don't know *exactly* how we get from point A to point B, but point A is our struggle, and point B is our victory, and the path there is Christ. Somehow, freedom is found in Him. In my life, the tools He used were Weight Watchers & a gym membership. But they were tools only; the transformation was His.

I have so many thoughts and emotions rolling through me on this subject that I can't even sort them out well here, the place where I sort. I'll work on it, though, 'cause I'm pretty sure this Journey is a story worth telling well. But this one thing I do know, I AM FREE and JESUS WAS THE ONE WHO SET ME FREE! And yep, I'm yelling it. It is that important. :-)

Who I was:

Who I am:
Outta here for now,

P.S. Oh yeah. I'm crying again.

Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang:
"Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!"
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
"To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!"

The four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshiped.
--Revelation 5:11-14, NIV

(c) 2009


Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

Look. At. YOU! You are and look amazing :)

Love the last verse. Thanks for sharing the journey, it's inspiring!

t said...

Just one, huh? I'm posting the others with the post I mentioned :) . Go family - they'll all be on fb just like the play :) . I love having a camera.

Beth@playinwiththepaulsens! said...

oh j! isn't it amazing the places HE takes us!? Thank you for being so open and honest! no offense, but just that in itself shows me how much you have changed and grown! It is easy as well all reconnect online to think that we are all the same people we were back at CBC but wow, I know that most of us most are probably like me... VERY VERY different from that person I was 15 years ago! HEY!! I just realized that I graduated college 15... let me count again on my fingers... yep! 15 years ago! wow! I just turned 38! too! I am kinda proud to be 38! sounds really mature! ha ha!

Anonymous said...

Not to nit-pick, but you might consider changing your captions to "What I looked like then" and "What I look like now", as neither of them truely indicate who you WERE ore ARE in Christ.

joyce said...

Great picture---great haircut! Thanks for sharing. Love, Aunt Joyce

Debbie said...

You look amazing! Your story was (and is!) such an encouragement to Jonathan and I to get back off our behinds and back on our weight-loss journey as well, to leave a healthy legacy for Emily. We are so particular about her eating healthy... well... one must practice what one preaches, you know?

Anywho, now that I know your have a blogger site, I'll read up on you more often. I'm so glad to hear you're doing well.


Anonymous said...

Hey can I borrow that dress sometime;-)? Thanks for the reminder of what Christ can do in our lives. Love--Your Far Out Sister

ShalomSeeker said...

Far Out Sis: You BET! Finally, we can share clothes! (And that dress always has reminded me of you!)

Debbie: Welcome!

Aunt J: Thanks! :-)

Anon: Thanks! (I'd say more, but you already got your own post!)

Beth: Thank you. Your observation brought an interesting perspective to this whole journey. I guess I WAS a different person back then. I'm more-than-kinda glad that God has changed me in the interim! :-)

T: Thanks for the pics. And for sharing every moment of this journey. With God's grace, I might have been able to do it without you (only 'cause of how great His grace can be)...but I wouldn't have wanted to. :-)

Sarah: Thank you. All praise to Him who reigns above...and in my heart here below!