Growing up, I was taught to always look up, to hold my head high, to have confidence. It was a wonderful teaching. A wise teaching. Today, God reminded me that our wisdom comes from perspective. And today I learned it can be a good thing to keep your head down and keep going.
I started walking early in the cool of the day before the sun started beating down and heating things up. I was determined to walk an hour. Determined to feel my feet pound on the gravel road and force the calories to start burning. Determined to change my mind set and and my body and to not give up. Determined to start and stay on fire with it all and not back off of myself or give myself an easy way out.
I didn't wake up with that determination but I'd seen a picture of me from the day before and realized I'd excepted the place that I'd gotten too in my journey to be healthy and lose weight. I'd become complacent almost. I couldn't see me though. I felt so much better than I did at 303.3 pounds that I was just happy to be smaller.
God has a way of showing me truth through photography constantly though and it was no different this morning when my best friend posted a picture of my husband and I holding his new little baby girl from the day before.
Before that moment this morning with that picture, I thought I'd really lost some weight and looked so much better. Fake cough. The roles just don't show as much when your standing up. Sit down on a couch and face the facts when a camera is in your face. And, for those that know me, thank you so much before you even say it - that you think I look better. I truly appreciate that. BUT I'm not done. This battle isn't done. 43 pounds gone isn't the victory. I probably have another 100 to go. For real.
I had weighed 303.3 pounds when I started this battle years ago. Now I am at 260 having lost to 245 and gained 15 back. Again. Watching the scale creep up. Terrified I might have to buy a bigger size of jeans when I'd been so proud last year to get into 18's.
I'd been at the same size, same 15 pound window of weight loss and gain for 1 year. Again.
I am the most stubborn person on the planet. Beating my face on the same brick wall I remember from years ago. Yes at a better place but still holding myself back from the victory! Why? I don't know. God is still healing some things in me. Teaching me to lean on Him instead of food. Some people like drugs. Some people like shopping. Some people like whatever will fill them other than God. I have liked food. But I'm learning. I'm not giving up. So I keep sharing. Some will be sick of it and want me to shut up. Some will need it though. In this world we want it all now and I definitely haven't gotten this "right now". Some folks can be determined and do it right away but this girl had to make a life out of it, a life out of overcoming herself lol. In the end God says He will take my bad and make good though and I trust Him. I know He will. Anything that my existence can add good to is a reason to live.
So. This morning I put my walking shoes on and I didn't give up. I grabbed my phone and headphones. I put on Joy Fm - a Christian Station that I love and don't get to listen to very often and I set out to walk. Only for some reason my connection wouldn't work and Joy Fm froze and no matter how much I fought it, it wouldn't connect. So I took a couple of pics and dropped my phone down on the lawn aggravated and just walked. And I thank God that phone wouldn't work.
In the cool of the morning I felt my feet on the gravel road. I heard the breeze through the forest trees. I breathed in the peace and beauty like I hadn't done in quite a while. I quieted my mind and asked God to walk with me. I spoke for a bit with Him sharing my heart. I asked Him to let me be still though because HE knew my heart anyway. I heard Him say "I created you to be a fighter, to not give up, to be a voice for our people, the ones that don't have a voice, the believers that don't know how to speak out. I'll empower you. I'll strengthen you. It is not a matter of being "normal" Shannon. (My inner voice is always saying I just want to be normal when it comes to my size but only God knew that.) It's a matter of excess. I will get the excess off of you. I will give you balance and victory." I know God was speaking to my heart about my weight but I also know God. Metaphors are a part of Him. In His brilliance I know He was speaking of my life as well. Not just my physical but mental and spiritual. At the moment I can only focus on the physical and I'm so over joyed to know that He's got this.
Why would I ever give up when God is leading me? No matter how hard the fight or how weak I really am, I can not give up. We are not alone in our battles. He is with us. I looked down at the road. It was a long road. My journey to heal has been long as well. I held my head up and focused on where I was going. As the minutes went by it got harder and harder. Lap after lap of going up that hill and down. Thankful for the down. Trying not to cry on the up hill moments. Telling myself that it was worth the dedication and sweat. My steps got slower. I pushed myself but it was getting harder and harder.
I looked down at my feet. One step in front of the other. I just kept watching each step. I felt something shift inside me. Like when your coming off of a ramp onto the highway and you push the gas petal a bit harder to pick up speed and hear the engine kick into that next gear and the power start to flow. It was that moment for me. It hit me that concentrating on each moment, each step was my power not searching for the end like I'd done all these years. Sick of the battle, I'd always looked ahead to when it would be finished but in this morning's walk God changed my perspective. Living in the moment and focusing on God in the fight and staying the course helped me walk those last 20 minutes like a champ. My head was down. My determination at it's height. It's ok to change perspective. Just don't give up the fight. I love you guys. He loves you more. xoxo