Monday, August 5, 2013

Redeemed From My Personal Battle

Today is the first Monday of the Month which means over at a Place Called Simplicity it is Memorial Box Monday!  A day for people to share the miracles that God has done in our lives, to encourage each other in the Lord.  To give glory to God and build each other’s Faith!  What a beautiful scriptural idea.  I love it!  Thank you Linny!

Isaiah 12:2-6  Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.  Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.  And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.  Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.  Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.

God has done so many miracles in my family’s life, that I never know what to share or where to start.  I did write a book of many of them but have not found a way to publish it yet!  Someday.  Someday.  The Lord willing.
I have prayed about what to write about and have been led to share with you something so personal that I have not shared it with many people at all in my whole life.  I don’t know why I am supposed to share it.  But I guess someone out there reading this needs it.  So in obedience I will do it.  Even though it makes me uncomfortable, exposed, and are pictures and truths, once out in public, in such a huge way, I can never take it back…..

Redemption means…compensate for the faults or back aspects of…to buy back….do something that compensates for poor past performance or behavior

Everywhere, all around me, all thru my life and days I see Gods redemption in our lives.  From my husband and several of our children, that should not be alive and were sustained and healed by Almighty God!  To my own slow path to healing in my health.  Also miracles on our farm and in our finances, over the years, many, many times.  
Redeemed, taken from hopeless situations to peace and joy and redeemed situations.  Many of the hard times we have went thru were so dark and so horrible.  We prayed and fasted........ and life would come down to the wire in the situation….when all hope was lost….and in the midnight hour….God, would heal, deliver, save,  come thru…. Redeem.  
Looking back on all those times, I think I know why He does that.  Not only because we are drawn closer to Him than ever before in those hard times of need.  But when no one, no doctor, no specialist, no person has the answers or ways to fix the situation.  God comes thru…..and there can be absolutely no doubt at that point….It was God Himself that did the miracle required.  Oh the great love of the LORD for us all.  It is so very humbling.

Today, I am going to share with you my struggle with food and eating.  To me it is a miracle where I am today in dealing with feeding my body.  It is personal.  It is exposing.  It is something I don’t talk about.  It is between myself and God but if He thinks it will help someone.  Praise and Glory to His name.

I was told by my mom and dad that the first time I had eating issues was when I was a toddler.  I am sharing this part because I think it might have played into my eating issues thru the years.   I was a picky eater anyways, or so I am told by my dad.  My family had a terrible flu go thru and being so young, I realized that every time I tried to eat I got sick.  So I just refused to eat or drink much even after the flu was over with.  My mom worked with me on it daily but it went on for a long while.  I am told I would stand at the bathroom sink and catch drops of water on my finger and lick it off, I was so thirsty but I still refused to actually drink larger amounts.  I was afraid I would vomit if I did, even though the flu was over with.  My parents took me to the doctors about it.  They started force feeding me and after a while I started voluntarily eating on my own again.  I don’t remember any of this. 
I actually realized I had an issue with food when I was about five years old.  I started to see that food and what I ate would often dictate my moods.  If I ate things I liked I was happy.  If I was not given a food I liked it literally put me in a bad mood and ruined my day.  If my siblings ate a food, I had wanted, at the supper table or a certain piece of food off a platter before it got passed to me I felt upset inside.  It would not only ruin my meal but also my mood for a while.  If I knew we were having a meal I liked ahead of time I looked so forward to it.  Foods that made me happy and I liked, I could not get enough of.  I would eat it till I felt sick if they let me.  Foods and what we were eating each day often controlled my moods a lot more than it should have.  I also sought foods to comfort me.

By the time I was a preteen my weight had bounced up and down throughout my childhood depending on how hard I was trying to control my eating habits.  My mom was a mom that’s love language was feeding us wonderful home cooked meals and deserts.  It was so very hard as I never remember her telling us "no" if we asked for seconds at the table or a cookie.  My sister was a fabulous baker so we also had huge amounts of made from scratch bake goods around all the time. 

When I turned 14 I started to obsess about food.  I worried if certain foods were healthy or not to put into my body, how many calories it had in it.  If it was an apple it had to be the best looking one in a certain size in order to allow myself to eat it.  If I ate I would try to exercise off the calories in the food I just consumed.  I battled with food all thru my life and teen years silently.  No one knew.  They didn't know what I did to purge the food from my body.  Or how long I would go with out eating.  Or the binging going on.  But in my late teens it became evident to all around me what was going on as I could not hide it at one point....I became very thin.....I had slid into anorexia/bulimia.  It was all finally exposed.  I will not go into detail about all I did to my body at that time to not gain weight…as I think it gives people (especially young people)  ideas who are prone to this type of thing.  But lets just say I abused my health and body and was taken to doctors for it and was hospitalized once for it because I was in such a weakened state.     I must admit the hospitalization scared me and I did try harder at that point to overcome it.  But every time I started to gain weight and got up close to 100 pounds I would panic and regress.  

When I got pregnant with my first child, Stephen, I was 18 years old and I weighed 85 pounds.  I was not walking with the Lord at all back then and I tried very hard to overcome my eating issues on my own.  I could not handle dealing with food and maintain a healthy weight.  It was either me being overly controlling or throwing all thoughts about food to the wind and using it to soothe my hurts of life’s daily struggles, that I had created by the way I lived.   I was told if I didn’t gain weight it would harm the baby I was carrying and so I went totally the other way in eating.  I went from 85 pounds at my first prenatal visit to 195 at the time of delivery! 

From that time in my life my eating was just abnormal and out of control.  My weight yo-yoed, in large amounts, up and down for 10 years till William was born.  My pregnancy with William catapulted my weight to what doctors would call "morbidly obese".  I am 5’2” and I never got below 250 after Williams birth and lived most of the next 10 years around 310 pounds. I have never liked having my picture taken so have very few pictures with me in them through my adult years but have found a few to share with you.
It was not my intent to ever have this happen to my body.  But I had struggled with food my whole life and just could not get on top of it. 
I could easily go totally without food (not think about it or eat it) but we need to eat.  I just could not handle dealing with  it. 
We had medically fragile children in the home by then and I had my family eating so healthy.  Grinding wheat, baking bread, our own goats milk and made cheese from it too.  Gardening.  I made sure my family ate so healthy.  I even blended natural whole foods to put into Antonio's and Elizabeth's G-tubes.  I knew the importance of feeding our bodies right.  But neglected myself terribly.  Often missing meals all day because I was so busy and eating  a huge meal right before bed to compensate. 
I tried and tried to change.  I tried about every diet out there.  I prayed and prayed to God to help me as I could feel how unhealthy I was becoming.  I could diet all week and lose 5 pounds and then gain it back on the weekend going out to eat just one time with my family.  The battle was so long and hard that over time I felt worthless, defeated, I had very low self esteem.  And I know this is not something people like to talk about….but I was treated badly by many people because of my weight.  

Now I must step in at this point and share……my husband is a gem of gems.  He has never in all my life said one thing negative about my weight.  He never put me down, never degraded me.  Never treated me any different.  His nick name for me has always been “Gorgeous”  He usually calls me that instead of my name.  Always has.  He has always looked at me as his lovely wife and acted totally attracted to me.  Thank you God for such a man.   

When my mom passed away at the very young age of 58, of congestive heart failure and complications from diabetes.  The way she ate and her being over weight for so many years had played a large part in her health and final passing.   I was scared.  The day before she passed she begged me to promise her I would lose the weight I needed to, to be healthy.  I promised and I did lose a small amount but I could not keep it off long term.  No matter how hard I tried. 

Then a few months after my mom passed, I had a health crisis from stress.  Many of our children were very medically fragile with lots of hospital stays.  We love all our kids and they are a joy but I would be lying if I didn’t say at times it was very stressful with all their life threatening issues…..but put on top of that working with DFCS though all those horrible, stressful cases, I was pushing for another adoption at the time that was not going the way we were praying for... and then to top it off, I had become very unhealthy and very over weight.  My blood pressure soared, my thyroid in the tank, anxiety attacks, extreme exhaustion and my health started to decline. 

I fell on my face before God…..I cried out to Him for help like I never had before over my issues with food.  I wanted my whole life to glorify Him.  Heavy or not I wanted to be healthy and be able to deal with food in a healthy way.   I wanted to live for the Lord and be here to care for my husband and children that God had blessed us with.  I didn’t want to take medication or be sick.  I asked God to be my weight loss partner and said I would be faithful.  To please help me get  my eating troubles under control.  And you know what????  He did just that.

I take the Word of God seriously.  I take Gods commandments seriously.  I fear and love the Lord God.  He is awesome and powerful.  And let me tell you…if you make God your partner in eating healthy or losing weight…if you are like me, you will not cheat or stray. 

He taught me...... I can still focus on eating healthy without obsessing.  That I didn’t HAVE to do heavy workouts to lose weight….I can walk as exercise and that was enough to get my metabolism back on track.  That the key to losing weight is not about losing weight. (new concept to me)  It is about eating to fuel your body at every meal, in a healthy way. (taking one meal at a time)  It is a life style change in eating habits that will make you healthy and once you are healthy your body will fall into line and your weight will normalize.  That you can eat a large volume of healthy whole foods, get full, have energy, and your weight will balance out.  It is not about loosing weight or being thin.  It is about being healthy and eating correctly.   

You may not believe this but this is the truth….God started showing and telling me what to eat and what not to eat.  At times He would tell me to put my fork down and not to eat another bite.  A few times I doubted what I heard and got sick from taking the next bite.  I kid you not.  To this day I will go into the fridge to grab a bag of frozen cauliflower and God will tell me no….to eat the broccoli instead….sigh….not my favorite.  But I do it in obedience.  Just as I am sharing this in obedience now.   

Since I have given my eating disorders over to God and left them there…..asked God to be my help in all I eat…I don't have a eating disorder any more.....I think about what to feed my body for a meal, make it and eat it.  The Lord has helped me lose and keep off for 7 years, 160 pounds or more.  
I can't explain how hard it was all my life dealing with these food issues.  How all consuming it was at times. How I would struggle and feel good about myself when I was doing well with it and feel totally worthless when I would fail.  This is the miracle God did just for me.  I am free!
He has set the rules of what I can eat and I totally stay within those rules.   Because He asked me to.   
I eat unprocessed foods.  Whole foods.  I enjoy the foods I eat even though when I fix it, I do very little to it. 
I am forever grateful to God for redeeming me from the issues I had with food and the extreme obesity that started affecting my health.  
Several years ago I had another health crisis and God has further shown me what foods to take out of my diet that were causing the debilitating symptoms I was experiencing.  He has told me exactly what I need to eat and how to eat it, to stay at my healthiest.  What a wonderful food partner!  God is faithful!!!!!!  I have been redeemed in so many ways from so many things.  All the glory to God!

Psalm 107:2  Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;

May the Faithful and True Lord God Almighty redeem you from the places in your life you feel held captive!


  1. Your honesty here is refreshing. There are so any who struggle with food issues/disorders and you have opened the door to them to turn to God for help.
    I do not have a food disorder, but many food sensitivities, and in my recovery process now for many years of illness I am trying to lose weight. I eat as you, unprocessed foods, organic when possible, etc. I am overweight and my body seems to rebel no matter how I limit foods, etc. I have been trying to DIET and today when I read what you wrote I realized that my body will balance itself once I am healthy enough. After being homebound 9 years I am now able to walk a mile nearly every day.....still holding weight :( BUT this helped me to realize that I can turn to God and He will tell me what to eat, when, and how to pray for the healing needed in my Lyme damaged body. Thank you for your honesty, your detailed account. May it bless others as it has me....

    1. Oh Renee, I have prayed for you many times on our fasting days. I totally understand how hard it is. When I mentioned my second health crisis, they thought I had Lymes too. My health deteriorated till they thought I had MS. I could hardly walk, had no strength. My body did not respond as it should. I could not drive some days I was so weak and uncoordinated. I had trouble concentrating and got lost driving a few times. It was bad and deteriorating quickly. I knew I was dying. I felt like i was being poisoned and dying. I went to all kinds of specialists and it was determined I had an auto immune disease. Where when I ate certain foods my body attacked my cerebellum of my brain and I would have all these symptoms. I was allergic to almost all medications and foods. That was why some days or weeks were worse than others. It was depending on what I ate and or was exposed to in my environment. So I prayed and prayed and God began to show me what to eat and not to eat. He also led me to a doctor in Texas that dealt naturally with auto immune diseases. Very slowly I have gotten better. Praise be to God. I now have quality of life and can care for my children and husband again. I can drive. I can walk. I do have to be very careful and make sure I get enough sleep, eat exactly right, and not get to stressed. I am also VERY sensitive to salt. As any one of those things can make me decline and brings back on symptoms. God is so good and faithful. He has His mighty hand on me and has helped me to heal and will faithfully heal you as well. I will continue to pray for you Renee. Peace to your heart and health to all your flesh. From the top of your head to the soles of your feet!

  2. Susan,
    God led me to your blog tonight - there is no doubt in my mind. Your words speak to struggles that are so very real to me right now. I wonder if you might be willing to be in touch with me through personal email. It is
    Thank you for sharing your heart!

  3. Melanie, It would be my pleasure to correspond with you. Thank you for your encouragement. I appreciate it so much. God be with you! Blessings! P.S. My email is under "contact me" if it wont work it is Look forward to hearing from you!

  4. ugh... I just wrote out a note to you and then found myself poking around and reading other people blogs before I hit publish.... silly me.... so here we go again.... I just wanted to say thank you for posting this story.... I had to come back tonight and re-read what you wrote cause I had a pretty spectacular time with the Holy Spirit today and He was teaching me and freeing me up from some of the "bondage" I have put myself under reguarding food. I was reminded of this post and how you spoke of the Lord teaching you what and when to eat so I wanted to stop back by and refresh my memory of what you had to say. I do believe I was one of those people that you had to post this for.... thank you so much for your obedience. You are a pretty special lady. ;-)

    1. So very glad my experience can help anyone. It really is a very hard thing to share and talk about. God is so good. I think in todays society it is much harder to keep food in its proper perspective because of all that they do to make it addictive and make money off of it. I pray God will free you from the bonds that bind, leading and guiding you to true health...So that you can be your best to take care of your family, sweet Maggie and work for the Kingdom of God till His soon return. Blessings!

  5. Hello Susan, I commented (or tried to) last night but don't think it posted so I will try once more. I am a new reader, having come from "The Blessing of Verity" blog. I am also a Christian.
    I've read a few of your blog entries since finding it last night and am inspired and touched by your words and esp. your faith. Then I stumbled upon THIS post and had a sort of "a-ha moment" because I really felt the Lord used this blog post of yours to speak to ME--and obviously others as well!
    I am 52, 5'6" and am morbidly obese. I weigh about 130 lbs more than I should. It is a huge burden (no pun intended). I have: hypertension, (treated with medication), untreated sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, irritiable bowel syndrome, anxiety/panic attacks and have suffered from depression and social phobia because of my weight. In fact, I've not seen my dad in over 20 yrs (they moved to las vegas in 1994) and while much of it is due to very limited finances (I am on disability) a big part of it is also weight related. I am ashamed to fly/travel, ashamed at being "this big."
    I started out (with no real plan) walking last March 24.I walked DAILY and had never done that before. I walked anywhere between a half mile and two miles per day. Not a major amount but a good start! I also stopped drinking Dr. Pepper. I lasted til August then began slacking off on hot days or days with high humidity or rain/thunderstorms. It became easy after that to consider myself "a failure" and quit. I know I need to start back up again! Thank you for your obedience to God and your testimony! Warmly, Lori

    1. Thank you so very much for writing Lori! A big hug from me here in Georgia. I will be praying for you when ever the Lord brings you to mind. God is so good and faithful. Do not be discouraged. I walk on a treadmill daily. I say my prayers on it at night before bed. So the amount of time I am on it depends on how long I pray. I had to stop walking recently because of a terrible flu that went thru our home. I have been slow to getting back to walking daily again. A day here and there but not steady like I know I should. I sleep better on the nights I walk. I know I unload toxins as I walk and keep my metabolism up. Also I have less anxiety problems when I walk before bed. I like the treadmill as it is in the privacy of our own home, so convenient not depending on weather and such. Tim and I recently wore out our treadmill and found a slightly used one on Craigslist for 75 dollars. God is so wonderful to us all. You are a child of the King of Kings, He will help you, you will do wonderfully. Blessings!

  6. Thank you for taking the time to write back and for your kind words and offer of prayer when you think of it. I appreciate that!
    Also I like the idea of a treadmill! I will check out craigslist too! Lori

  7. Thank you for your honesty. My weight has always been an obstacle in my walk with God. I never really stopped to think about it before. My husband and I want to serve in the mission field one day. But with my weight being out of control like it is we cannot.

    You have encouraged me a great deal already!! God bless you.

    1. We truly can do all things thru Chirst, who strengthens us. You will do great! I know it! Blessings!