New Branches, New Fruit

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It has been a long road, but today, I can finally say that I lost 5 lbs. You just don’t know how good that feels!  Any other time in my life, those 5lbs were just the beginning – small stuff, nothing big.  But today, I feel like those pounds were labored over!  Now that I reflect, I’ve learned so much about being healthy and losing weight – by not losing any weight.  Ha!  I am honestly surprised by how much I have learned by not meeting my goals.  God is always up to something.

Here is a verse that comes to mind, “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful” (John 15:2).  My attitude – pruned.  My laziness – pruned.  My eating habits – pruned.  Exercising regularly – pruned.  The funny thing is that none of those things are visible to someone who does not speak to me about my weight. The scale doesn’t say it.  My clothes don’t report it.  Its practically invisible.  Seems a bit unfair;).

Several months ago, I was fortunate to hear Rev. Nichelle Nelson preach a message about how God often places us in situations where he causes us to “dig deep so that we can build high.” In the message, Nelson used the illustration of the story of the Three Little Pigs to describe the outcome of building a house made with straw compared to building a house made with brick.  The story is common:  the big, bad wolf was able to destroy the pigs’ houses that were made with straw, but was unable to destroy the house made with brick. As I applied this to my recurrent struggle with weight loss, I realized that often I was building a weight loss “house” of straw.  Straw houses.  How many of us build straw houses with our weight loss attempts?  Our habits?  Our health behaviors?  Our structures are weak.

Here’s the thing – I cried and pouted the whole way through, but with every gym visit, I was building a brick house. Hated picking salad over pizza, but I was building a brick house. Every walk I took instead of taking the bus – a brick house. Practicing this behavior for MONTHS with no changes – a brick house. Every single time I read my Bible and spoke to God about my weight – a brick house. Praise be to God!

Three years ago, I was at my goal weight, but more unhealthy than I had been in a long time.  My back hurt constantly.  My gym membership grew cold.  I made eating choices based on my desires, rather than what I know to be good fuel for my body.  I wasn’t doing well.  But the scale said things were fine.  So, based on my measuring stick – things were fine. I had quite a bit to learn. And then I got pregnant.  And gained a whole bunch of weight.  Never thought I would thank God for that – but I do.  And now, 15 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight, I can see the purpose.  I understand the reasoning.  I can accept the pruning (e.g., frustration, lack of changes in weight) as love.  Thank you God for pushing me to become the Rachel you always knew was there.  Things are looking better over here :).  Thanks for the prayers friends.

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