“A Million Little Decisions”

Written on

October 26, 2018

Looking back, of course I was standing in the buffet line, loading my plate with casseroles and desserts, when she asked me how my husband felt about the baby. She said, “He must be so excited!” I looked at her more than a little confused. My “baby” was four. Whose baby had she seen Wally with? From my reaction, she quickly covered her mistake with the statement, “I don’t know where I heard you were expecting.”

I still didn’t get it.

At the time, I believed that she had heard a rumor somewhere and not that she assumed from my weight that I as pregnant.

At the time, I was pretty ignorant. Sure, I knew my body shape had changed and that the scales were reading heavier than they ever had, BUT, I had a whole list of excuses:
 -My body had simply changed after birthing three children.
-“They” weren’t making clothes true to size anymore.
-Weight gain is a common side effect of my medication.
-It’s hormonal.
-My bathroom scale is inaccurate.

At this time, I can look back at this list and see the absurdity in it. There is enough truth to them that the lies of each were easy to believe. The weight gain hadn’t happened over night and neither had my disconnect with my self-image. In my head, I thought looked one way, but the reality was different.

I was beginning to not like how I looked in ANY picture and I found myself trying to avoid being photographed. My favorite jeans were no longer comfortable. I didn’t like how I looked in anything I tried on in dressing room and I would refuse to try on anything above a “certain” number.

In my ignorance I assumed that my health issues were unrelated, but when my cardiologist explained that I would need to remain on my beta-blocker for, well, perhaps for the rest of my life, I had to ask him what I could do to not need that drug.  After all, at not quite 42 and in overall good health, this seemed a bit drastic. He was kind. He never said I was overweight. He didn’t put me on a diet or give me brochures about cholesterol. He did point out that losing some weight would give my heart a break and then -maybe, I wouldn’t need the prescription.

As we left the office all the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place – the lady at the buffet, the tight jeans, the way I looked in the family Easter portrait. The truth of the doctor’s words slowly exposed the reasons I had used to be the excuses they were.

I needed to lose weight.

I needed to lose it the right way for the right reasons in the right timing.

I didn’t want to send the wrong message to my impressionable daughters. I didn’t want my expectations to be unrealistic. I didn’t want to obsess over a number on the scale.

Prayerfully, God led me to examine and evaluate little decisions each and every day.

His Word tells me not to worry about tomorrow, but to focus on the gift of THIS day. I don’t know what will happen in the next 24 hours, nor can I change what happened in the last 24 – but I can take each day, each decision as it comes.

His Word promises that the Holy Spirt will strengthen and guide me and provide a way to stand up under temptation.

So, through His help and over the last  5 months, I have drastically cut carbs and soda. I have made moderate exercise a priority and just tried to be intentional about what I eat, when I eat and how I eat. By His grace, I have lost some weight, my clothes fit better and people have noticed.

I have prayed about writing about this on here because I have not wanted to draw attention to this part of my journey, but God has definitely used it to speak truth to me in some ways I think He is wanting me to share –

Like my weight gain, sin creeps up on us all. It doesn’t hit us all at once but begins to take its toll on our lives and well-being. We can make excuses and sweep it under the rug until one day we don’t like what we see when we look in the mirror. We don’t know how we got that way or what we really need to do about it – until we are confronted with the truth.

My Dr. Myers plainly presented me with the truth. His role in this is similar to the Holy Spirit’s. To be honest the self-evaluation that follows is hard. None of us want to accept that kind of truth, taking ownership of how we’ve fallen and seeing what we’ve become.

While God’s forgiveness is complete with our sincere repentance, the journey back to a healthy relationship with Him is often hard and time consuming. It is made up of lots and lots of small decisions each and every day – to pray or not, to read His Word or not, to obey in this situation or not, to respond in a Christ-honoring way or not, to consume this media, to spend this time on tech, to look for Him, to let Him be Lord . . .

When the effort is made, when we are faithful in the small things over time, the old, sinful self melts away and the hearts of flesh He is creating in us beats ever stronger. His presence in our lives is more intimately felt as we grow as His disciples.

The small things are important. Each decision we make either draws us closer or pulls us away from where we need to be. Are we losing ground? Are we gaining weight? Are we shedding sin? Are we building spiritual muscle?

This is how we “do” life with Him. This is how we abide. It’s in the “million little decisions” we make each day. All those little things slowly and surely add up to big differences – a life of faith lived out in real ways.

My prayer is that we will train and run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

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