It's also appropriate to celebrate a victory I experienced this past year! Working off 50 pounds took commitment & determination. Here is a photo of me hiking over Labor Day with two of my favorite people in the world.
I wish there was a way to visually show the transformation that took place internally, and to explain the vital impact my faith played in my success. Someone asked me how I did it, and honestly I told them that I couldn't have done it at all without God's strength. This always seems like the cliche Christian response "oh, we just need to let God give us strength"... I believed this in my head but not in a practical daily impacting way. Through this journey I have learned how this is truth right down to the very core. What in the world does it mean to let God give me strength? I didn't have a clue how to apply this to my daily life, my struggles, challenges, temptations and failures. I needed to dig in and find out what this actually meant in a way that was meaningful and applicable to daily life. What I found was a bit surprising, but it shouldn't have been. God is good. God is faithful even when I am a complete failure. God is love. To use His strength is the best choice we can make! Why would I keep struggling through life on my own weak and puny strength when I have access to the strength of the One True God on my side?! This realization was not only life changing, but also DAY changing! I am NOT in this alone, I do NOT have to look to myself for answers, help or wisdom. I can plug into the true source of all wisdom, to my Savior who cares deeply for me and wants to lead me through life on a path that is best for me. Why in the world was I stumbling so blindly through my days and weeks when I could have been holding the hand of my Lord?!
The biggest thing I learned through this journey was not how to eat the right foods, fit workouts into a busy life or drink enough water to stay hydrated. It was how no matter what challenge I am facing, no matter what temptation is staring me down- I am not alone. Choosing to look to Christ in all circumstances as my source of peace, strength, rest and power. I am ready to enter 2013 with a refreshed spirit and a new glimpse of how amazing God is!