About this time in the year we are tempted to give up, throw in the towel, roll over, go back to old habits, or simply said…just quit. It takes time to lose weight and get healthy and most of us are just impatient. We want results today without much effort on our part.
To say that getting healthy is hard work is an understatement! I have been on this wellness journey most of my adult life. It has been some of the hardest, but most rewarding, work I have ever done. One of the reasons it’s so hard is because it is so daily. Every day I have to focus on tracking my food, settling myself in quiet time and planning out time for exercise. It’s a lot of work. Jesus never said it would be easy to love the Lord with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength. It requires us to be tenacious in our disciplines. I love the expanded definition of tenacious: determined or stubborn; tightly held; persistent; able to remember many things; sticky or clinging; not easily disconnected, and the synonyms: stubborn, obstinate, resolute, firm, persistent, insistent, dogged, determined, steadfast andinflexible. That is what it takes for us to not only win the battle against obesity but to live by faith in this day and time.
On February 19, 2014, I woke up with severe pain in my hips and shoulders. I had worked out very hard the day before and figured I had really overdone it. I tried everything that, as a trainer, I would recommend to someone who had these symptoms: rest, Epsom salt baths, anti-inflammatories and massage. About six weeks later, I went to a sports-injury doctor. He told me I did not have a sports injury; I had something systemic. He referred me to a rheumatologist. Finally on April 18, 2014, I was diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica. I had been in severe pain for almost two months, so I started immediately on high doses of Prednisone to help the inflammation—continuing on this drug for 18 months.
On August 1, of that same year, I received a word from the Lord that He would sustain me, strengthen me and heal me of this disease. I believed Him and still do; I take Him at His word. So what do I do in the meantime? What do I do while I am waiting for the healing to come? How do I function and do the things He has called me to do while in pain? How do I remain tenacious in my commitments? I found the answer in Colossians 1:28 and 29—I go in the strength of Jesus Christ. Paul said it beautifully in these verses: “He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.” This verse says that Christ will give me energy to carry out the works He has called me to do. He will help me and give me strength I do not have. That is how we persevere through all that life throws at us. We do not give up because the strength and energy of Jesus Christ will sustain us.
I just have to share that today I am free from the disease of polymyalgia rheumatica. I still suffer from osteoarthritis in my knees and wrists, but He is helping me manage that too. He has helped me lose all the weight I gained on the steroids and more. I am so thankful I did not stop believing; I did not give up, throw in the towel, roll over, or just plain give up. I have much more to hope for and He is our hope. Push on. Success will happen if we don’t give up. We do not quit. He is for us.
Vicki Heath, National Director of First Place 4 Health and Body & Soul Area Director in South Carolina. Vicki is a popular well-known author and speaker focusing on health and wellness. For more information on First Place 4 Health please visit www.firstplace4health.com.