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Transformation Tuesday

20150410_185557-1before circa 2012

My best “before and after” pics so far.

In the past two years, I have gone from 324 lbs and a size 26, down 155 lbs (100 lbs of this in a 120 day INTENSIVE window of time) to a BMI healthy weight of 169 lbs (so far) and a size 8.

I was at one point on 16 different prescriptions, including multiple inhalers, had chronic fatigue and pain issues, recurring pneumonia, sometimes serious digestive issues (I thought this was normal for everyone!), breathing and heart-racing issues, cyclical migraines, hormonal imbalances, systemic yeast infection, and bad skin issues, to say nothing of my depression and purposelessness –

I didn’t even know that my core belief was that I was not “worth” saving.

In spite of a 4 month window where I had to have spinal surgery, I have not gained back any of the 155 lbs I have so far lost, and I am HEALED of almost all my issues.

Now – NO pneumonia, NO remaining prescriptions, NO fatigue pain issues, my menstrual cycle has been 4 weeks regular for over a year (first time in my whole LIFE!) and only “normal” cramping (instead of the excessive, debilitating pain to which I had grown accustomed), and more than one medical professional has told me I have a heart “conditioned like a runner’s” .. and I have energy like never before, and clarity of thinking.

ALL because of GRACE.  ALL because we have a GOOD FATHER in God who gives generously to all who ask for wisdom, without finding fault. 

ALL because God gave me a vision of what he had MADE me to be.  ALL because He introduced me to my best friend who “just so happened” to be a fitness/nutritionist who faithfully encouraged me for YEARS beforehand to do the HARD thing, to be prepared to “pay in pain” because I didn’t get to my state overnight, a friend who would ultimately give me the tool I needed to succeed, and teach me to use it!  ALL because He led me to the godly woman who would also be my wellness coach to deal with all the mental/spiritual mess I was in that led to my morbid obesity in the first place.  ALL because He wanted to SET ME FREE from my mental and physical food addictions.  ALL because he wanted to strip away the WASTE I had made of my life, and make me NEW.  Again.  🙂

He is GOOD.

~Leah

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Depression POINTS To Something More

@Grace2Grow: ‪#‎Depression‬ comes in MANY forms & 4varieties of reasons. For me one big issue: I perceive on an “intuitive” level &struggle 2identify ROOT.

* In fight against #Depression I PREACH 2myself: ‪#‎faith‬ = often NOT understanding. Still, God is pleasd I believ him when I dont FEEL like it.

* #Depression is very real for ALL, tho we like 2deny it. Perhaps bcuz #faith is supposed 2cureall. ‪#‎Jesus‬ IS our hope ESPEC in midst of fire.

* #Depression usually manifests when I’v tried 2TAKE OVR some aspect of my life – 2MAKE sumthin happen. ‪#‎EvidenceImNotYielding2SpiritsLeading‬.

* #Depression is not ALWAYS an indication of a lack of surrender. Sumtimes there’s grief that invades &drowns the voice of Hope. ‪#‎TheGoodFight‬

* More than ever Im persuaded that HOPE gives birth 2FAITH. So when Im battling #Depression I must actively HUNT 4voice of HOPE 2find LIFE.

* My experience = I can “feel” when weight of a #Depression (oppression) lifts. &Always this comes after I express my longing heart in prayer.

* I can KNOW I must pray & give my “groanings” 2God as an offering, BUT in midst of pain it feels like THE most impossible thing! #Depression

* It helps 2make a literal ‪#‎notetoself‬, even a tweet: God is faithful, our feelings lie, #Depression does NOT last forever, our ‪#‎HOPE‬ is sure!

Be BLESSED, Beloved ❤

~Leah

Conviction? or Condemnation?

What follows below are some of my recent “tweets” ~ especially reflecting on the difference between “Godly sorrow” which leads to life, and “worldly sorrow” which leads to death.  I have found that one of the greatest confusions in my life has been to differentiate between when this feeling of “depression” is because of CONVICTION? (ie, from the Holy Spirit, because of some sin, and something of which I need to repent to be restored into right fellowship with my GOOD FATHER and others w/in the Body of Christ (my family and the Church)), or CONDEMNATION? (ie, an ATTACK from the enemy, trying to persuade me that I am worthless or so offensive to God that I couldn’t possibly be forgiven, etc.)  … Before chewing on my tweets, please read this Scripture from the Apostle Paul to the church at Corinth, following a rebuke he had given them, and in response to which they DID evidently repent and were restored both to right thinking and fellowship about and with God, and with each other and Paul as their pastor…..

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8 For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. 9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. 12 Therefore, although I wrote to you, I did not do it for the sake of him who had done the wrong, nor for the sake of him who suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear to you.  (2 Cor. 7:8-12 NKJV)

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  • What we are so quick 2call Depression may in fact be the Lord working 4our humility &sanctification! Ain’t nobody “happy” about dying 2self!
  • Do u feel trappd by ur sin? as if u cant do the right u wish u would? (Rom 7) Check ur affections &appetites; start w/where u spend ur time.
  • Circumstances of life are always testing our perseverance, our hearts/minds (increasingly more like Christ?), our walk in his peace, et al.
  • We may be 2quick 2placate or “medicate” our griefs, not realizing that mourning life’s losses INVITES God 2b our very present Comforter.
  • “Better 2go 2the house of mourning than 2the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men, &the living will take it 2heart…” Ecc. 7:2
  • Conviction &Condemnation are 2very different states of sorrow 4a Christian. 1Leads 2Repentance & LIFE, the other 2Despairing Unfruitfulness.
  • Conviction &Condemnation are 2very different states of sorrow 4a Christian. 1 is authored by a Loving Holy Father, the other only sees Self.
  • Conviction &Condemnation are 2very different states of sorrow 4a Christian. 1speaks sweet HOPE &promise, the other of failure &falling away.
  • Conviction &Condemnation are 2very different states of sorrow 4a Christian. 1clings to the WORD of God 4RESCUE, the other wallows w/o faith.
  • Conviction &Condemnation are 2very different states of sorrow 4a Christian. 1points 2Christ who CLEANSES, the other LIES “u can’t be clean!”
  • Conviction &Condemnation are 2very different states of sorrow 4a Christian. 1 = confession&RESTORATION! the other = hiding &self-mutilation.
  • Conviction &Condemnation are 2very different states of sorrow 4a Christian. 1gives way 2rejoicing &FREEDOM, the other 2wailing &bondage.

Blessings!

~Leah

Purity Forsaken, part 2

Continuation of thoughts from previous post:

….It is a battle no one but God knows you’re fighting. And possibly no other human will ever value, because they view you as foolish….You’re the butt of nearly every joke!

Yet it’s one battle more intimately tied to your walk w/God than perhaps any other, because our “sexuality” is a proclamation of the very nature of God himself….

So you keep turning away from TV, billboards, conversations, checkout lanes, commercials, books, movies, even friends….maybe even family. Without any “praise,” but the Proverbs 31 woman (as an example to me) does GOOD to her husband and not harm, ALL the days of her life. Even before she has met him.

And if she never meets him? She has honored God with her body; and tended the garden of her heart and mind….

I remind myself it is not a Lonely thing if the garden is the Lord’s.

Purity Forsaken

It is so tempting to despair of sexual purity in this culture of pornographic, animalistic reductionism which gives sex value only as it pertains to parts and bits and physical pleasure divorced from any genuine Love or self-sacrifice.

Masculinity and femininity are reduced to lines and curves and textures, to heat and wetness and odor….These things pervade even the most innocuous aspects of our “Entertainment” so anyone striving for purity is nevertheless infected. And any sense of the Sacred feels completely lost.

How do we get back from the place where sex is our god? How do we rescue our marriages? How can anyone compete with the allure of self-exaltation and no consequences….how can purity ever be seen as beautiful again? how can the tainted ever be made pure again?

Our best wine has been mingled with blood.

God, please save us from ourselves!

Meeting Michael

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Out with Mom for lunch yesterday, I watched a gentleman come into the diner – long greasy graying hair, beard, black trenchcoat, dazed expression.  I felt there was something going on with him, spiritually, so as he sat down I started praying that the Lord would show me what to say to him.  I mentioned it to mom, and she made one comment that immediately gave me my “opening line.”
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I waited till I saw the waitress bring him his check, and he was still eating his omelette, reading a book.  I asked if I could sit at his table for a moment, he hesitantly said ok and didn’t really look up at me, and kept eating.  I introduced myself, said I felt God had highlighted him to me when he walked into the diner, that he reminded me of someone (I was specific w/him about the “who”).  I asked his name, he looked at me suspiciously, and reluctantly told me his name was Michael.  I said “Michael, I believe God wants me to tell you that he loves you and that he hasn’t forgotten you.”  Then I asked him if he would allow me to buy him his lunch.  He didn’t like that idea, said it was nice for me to offer but he didn’t understand why I would do that.  I said, “It is just an act of kindness as an expression of God’s grace.”  He said no, he didn’t want me to do that.
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I again addressed him by name, and asked if there was anything I could pray for him for?  He said no.  I said ok, well I just wanted to say hi, and I repeated that I felt God had highlighted him to me, and that I felt I was supposed to tell him that God loves him and has not forgotten him.  As Mom and I were preparing to check out, ourselves, I went back to his table and just asked if perhaps he had changed his mind about letting me buy his lunch for him?  He said no thank you, and kept reading.  So I just said, ok, and God bless, and Mom and I were on our way.
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I have no idea what I expected, but maybe the encounter was more for my benefit than his?  To help me gain courage in talking with strangers?  Still, if you think of this man, Michael, please do pray for him, even if I did “weird him out,” a little.  ♥
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