Monday, 11 June 2012

Focus Fest, weight loss and surrendering to God.

Over the weekend I was privileged to spend time at Focus Fest – an annual conference for Christian women that takes place in Belfast. This year’s speaker was Valerie Murphy, the leader of Precept Ministries in Northern Ireland. In fact for the first time in a long time, almost everyone who took part in FF2012 was from here! And in my personal opinion it was one of the best conferences I’ve been at. The teaching was based around the theme  Born for such a time as this’ and the sessions focused on what we can learn from Esther, Mary and how having eternity in our hearts affects everything in our lives.

It was a very challenging weekend. Not only where we challenged about truly surrendering our lives to God, but also about finding God in every circumstance and trusting that our lives aren’t just a small puzzle piece on its own, but part of the big picture – and as such we are all born in the right time and at the right place to do exactly what God intended for us to do. It is so exciting to think that even though we may be experiencing pain or heart-ache, trials and troubles, good times or bad – that God really does have us in His hands, to do a job that He has set aside for us to do and at the most perfect of times so that the glory will ultimately be His alone.

One of the biggest things in my life that I have been unable to surrender totally to God is my battle with my weight. I am about 6 stone overweight (about 80 pounds for our American friends!) and I have struggled with this issue and my dependence with food since university. I have lost a stone a couple of times, only to put it back on with interest. And I have been a member of two gyms, Weight Watchers and Slimming World, but nothing has worked so far. During the weekend, while I enjoyed the teaching, loved the fact that it was so biblically based and got a lot out of the worship and the seminars, I really didn’t feel as if I had anything I needed to surrender or that I had anything that I was holding on to and not giving to God… until I woke up this morning to face the truth. I have been so focused on trying to lose weight, on trying and failing every week to eat healthily and not binge on chocolate, and on writing out exercise plans – and more exercise plans – while never actually starting any of them, that I had totally taken God out of the equation.
Don’t get me wrong – I am well aware that God is interested in every part of me and in every part of my life, and that He wants to help me in this struggle; and I have read some amazing books on the subject – including Lysa Terkeurst’s ‘Made to Crave’ – but I haven’t engaged fully with them and definitely hadn’t given it to God. Well now I have. As I sit here, I have committed myself to stop focusing on numbers (although I will be weighing in each week just to check I haven’t been fooling myself into believing I’m doing something I’m not – you may laugh but I am VERY good at fooling myself!!), not counting calories or trying to stick to ridiculous diets, but that I am giving my life and my eating habits over to God and that I will pray constantly as I begin the journey to a healthier me.
As we continue our way through Elizabeth George’s book, we have reached the third section – which is all about managing your physical life and your body!! God’s timing is always perfect and totally hilarious!! J Over the next three weeks we will be looking at why it’s important to look after our bodies, and going through her top ten disciplines that will help us to be in the best shape that we can be. I will also be linking you into several wonderful sites that have really helped me over the last few weeks and months as I have started my journey.

I hope this won’t be too hard on you – it’s always going to be a difficult subject as it affects so many of us – whether like me you have a problem with over-eating or binge-eating in private, or you suffer from an eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia, or you just need to lose a few vanity pounds, I pray that you will see that God really is interested in everything about you – including this. And He is there for us, to help us and to guide us through this minefield of food.

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