Monday, August 11, 2008

What I Most Want You To Know - God's Grace

Our guest blogger this week is a new friend, Fran McCleland. I met Fran in my First Place class at church and she already has a special place in my heart. I know that you will find her story of how God is helping her to make healthy choices day by day an inspiration.


In Jan 2007 I felt a need to get healthier and I stepped on the scales (after I finally found one that would actually weight me) and it said 358.6 pounds. I actually weighed more than twice what I should. That meant I needed to lose 184.6 pounds. That goal seemed unattainable. How could I possibly lose that amount of weight? God's Grace! How could I keep up a program for the length of time needed to rid myself of essentially one and a half people? God's Grace! And God was there with me each and every day.

By Nov 2007 I had lost 72 pounds. I was eating better and exercising more. I didn't do it right all the time. Sometimes I just plain cheated. Sometimes I didn't eat enough. But through it all God was right here helping me to make the right choices. Sometimes giving me a way out when I wasn't capable or willing to do the right thing.

In Jan 2008 I joined First Place at my church. What a difference that made for me! The Bible study helped me to see that I wasn't fully trusting in God and giving this over to him. So I put away all the junk, the supplements, diet pills and such and really trusted in God to work wonders.

I learned the weight loss plan and began to eat a more balanced diet. I became obedient and spent time with God talking and praying. I began to spend more meaningful time reading God's word and studying the Bible and my Bible study. I trusted and God showed me that He can accomplish great things when I am obedient. I no longer see making the next right choice as a sacrifice but as being obedient to the Father. I know that God loves me just as I am but I also know that I am pleasing God by being obedient and it is my hearts desire to please God.

Being with others who are working toward a healthier lifestyle has made the journey so much more fun and exciting. I have made some really great friends and have met some truly inspiring women. I feel as if I fit. And I can't remember the last time I felt that way. I have lost an additional 44 pounds since Jan 2008 and even though I still have 67 to go I know that with God's Grace I will get there. I just remind myself everyday that all I have to do is the next right thing and God will handle the rest.

He has changed my life so dramatically since He and I started this journey that it seems overwhelming at times. I have been given a desire to maybe inspire but hopefully help others on just such a journey as this. Believe me it is a journey, not just the weight loss but the newfound confidence and belief in myself. The ability to physically do things I haven't been able to do in years. I no longer feel as though I am on the outside looking in but rather I am actually living the life I have been given. I not only look different but I feel different. I feel like a girl! That is a feeling I welcomed. Sometimes I even feel pretty.

Through God's Grace I feel as if I am beginning to live the life God wants to me. I know that God has more plans for me and I look forward to them. I am scared sometimes of what God might ask me to do but I try to face each day with a willing heart. I know that God does not make us do anything, He simply presents the opportunities and "it is up to us" to be willing to make the right choices and receive the blessings He has planned for us all.

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. (I Cor. 15:10)

In his hands,

Fran McCleland

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