Turning 47: Finding the Significance of the Last 7 Years
Earlier this year I did a Bible study about Joshua. Joshua is the one who actually led the Israelites to claim the Promised Land. Although Moses had been their leader all those years in the desert, he did not get to enter the Promised Land.
When I was about to turn 40, I read Deuteronomy 2:3. It was pivotal for me on my faith and fitness journey.
“You have circled this mountain long enough; turn northward” Deuteronomy 2:3 (AMP)
That was how God got my attention and that was when I realized that I had been circling that mountain of diets, gimmicks, and quick fixes long enough. It was time to turn north! Just as the Isrealites had wandered for 40 years, I too, had wandered in that desert. But my desert was the pursuit of weight loss, trying all of the diets and doing anything that promised to help me lose belly fat.
So I began the journey out of the desert and into freedom in Christ. It wasn’t an overnight change, but it was a change nonetheless.
First, my focus changed. Even though I had prayed and read Scripture throughout the years in my desert and stayed on my knees before the Lord, I still allowed my focus to remain on my weight. But this time I started to really focus on God’s Word and prayed new prayers asking for help to stop the cycle. Any time the negative feelings started, I replaced them with God’s Word. I stopped scrolling the internet and reading magazines to find a new diet or quick fix.
Secondly, I participated in an online group and started becoming vulnerable. Yes, I had friends while I was in the desert, but we simply made each other depressed with our stories of how we wanted to lose weight but couldn’t lose weight The online group helped me shift my focus away from purely weight loss to being faithful to the Lord first. I learned that all women struggle with these feelings, and we need to share them and support one another along the way.
After that group, I felt the Lord asking me to share my story in a bigger way. In fact, during my discernment of what step to take, the words “Tell Your Story” appeared in lights on the stage of my church. I knew He wanted me to step out in faith. So I started my Facebook page and began sharing my journey of finding freedom.
Next I wrote a devotional that shared all the verses that the Lord used in my life to help me find this freedom and build my healthy life on a foundation of faith.
Back to that Bible study I did earlier this year. After Moses died and Joshua took over, it took seven years of battle for the Israelites to claim their Promised Land.
I turn 47 this month. The message here is not lost on me. I’ve been on this journey for seven years. It hasn’t been easy. I don’t get it right every day. I have had to work through insecurities and old thoughts that attack me. I have to stay focused and ready each day so that I don’t cower and lose the battle.
I know with God on my side, I can remain victorious. Sometimes I feel like a failure because I still struggle. But then I realize that battles aren’t won overnight. Each day I can learn something new. Each day I can put into practice the fruit of the Spirit.
Life is about the journey. It’s about the process. We never simply arrive. There are always new steps to take and growth that must happen.
How do we claim our promised land?
Hold onto God’s Word
- Write it on note cards
- Daily Bible study
Pay attention to our thoughts
- Positive affirmations
- Fill our cup
Be obedient to God’s call on our life
- Love and serve others
- Share your story
A few highs and lows of the last 7 years
In 2013, I ran 13 half marathons (13.1 mile race). It was my 13 in 13 year. It was a fun goal to set and achieve.
I entered the online space. I started as a Beachbody Coach. While that was how I got my feet wet in this space and learned a lot, it was not the right fit for me. I love the Faith and Fitness Sisterhood that we’ve created here.
While God set me free 7 years ago, I still held onto a few things…like the scales and calorie counting. It took some time, but I finally tossed the scales and stopped logging everything I ate. It was another step toward freedom and learning more about my body and being okay with who I am right now…each and every day.
A pretty devastating time for me was the summer of 2016. It started with some knee pain that only got worse and worse. To keep a long story short, I was told I have “bad knees.” More than one doctor told me that I have arthritis, minimal cartilage, etc, etc. One doctor tried to tell me to hang up my running shoes. Another said I could still run, but I would have to learn to manage the pain and swelling that would happen with my knees. That has resulted in a major reduction in running miles. But, praise the Lord, I’m still running! It’s my favorite, and I’m thankful for it.
I became an author two years ago with the release of my first book “40 Days of Faith and Fitness: A Devotional Journal.” After that came a study guide and then a book last Fall/Winter titled “Turn Your Holidays into Holy-Days: 31 Day Guide to a Happy Healthy December.” And just this month, I’m releasing “40 Days of Faith and Fitness for Tweens and Teens.” Becoming an author is something I would have never imagined even five years ago.
At my core, I’m a counselor. It is what I received formal education for. I have a counseling degree from Indiana University. Although I don’t have an office, counseling is intertwined in everything that I do. As an online influencer and the founder of the Faith and Fitness Sisterhood and membership community, I approach everything with faith-focused counseling. My approach is to help women from the inside out. The changes are based on feeling better, feeling more confident, and achieving a better life now.
My journey and my battle of finding and fighting for freedom over the last seven years. #faithandfitness Click To Tweet
Over the course of these seven years I have fought battles, and I have seen God’s provision in my life. I continue to rely on His strength. I can now look back and see how this journey of freedom was set in motion seven years ago but it wasn’t a one and done thing. Every day I have to claim the freedom. Some days the journey is easier than others. But each day I must arm myself and be prepared for whatever might come.
It’s not too late for you to start feeling good about yourself in the body you have now. I know it because I’m learning it and living that every day myself.I'm turning 47 this month. I've learned how you can feel good about yourself in the body you have now. #yourbestnow Click To Tweet
Here’s to another year on this journey! If you haven’t joined me yet, will you?
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