Updated: May 2
In 2007, I vividly recall being faced with challenges in every aspect of my life. Family - I had lost mother in February ; Career- I left my job of ten years in March; Love - a relationship that had been rekindled for about a year, vaporized… again; Finance- After leaving my job, I started an entrepreneurial venture for which ROI was not immediate; and Spiritual - Well, I felt I was wandering in the wilderness, waiting on direction from the Lord.
In hindsight, I see that I was divinely positioned to make necessary lifestyle changes- my primary focus was my health. Since my financial resources were scarce and I didn’t eat meat, I was able to get incredible mileage out of Kroger’s 10 for 10 (that’s 10 bags of frozen vegetables for $10). In the evenings I met with my sisters to walk 2 miles at a local park. Midday I walked 2-3 trips around the block and rolled out my mat for abdominal crunches and leg lifts. Occasionally, I’d venture to the track midday to jog which for anyone who knows me, jogging was never and I mean not ever, a thing I wanted to do. On my solo ventures to the park, I’d put in my earbuds and listen to sermons, gospel music, motivational speeches, and pray intently to survive the laps around the track. Almost immediately, I lost inches, saw glimpses of tone in atrophied muscles and increased my endurance. When at home, I journaled, read and studied my bible, watched Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyers, Paula White, T.D. Jakes, and Bishop Dale C Bronner. Mind, Body and Spirit … renewed… albeit unintentionally.
As with the Israelites, somewhere around 2014, I found myself circling the mountain again as it pertains to managing my weight. This time I traded the mat and park visits for a gym membership with full access to ellipticals, treadmills, and resistance machines. At the time meat was back in my diet, but I chose baked over fried; replaced cakes and candy with fruit; and carbs with vegetables. Within weeks I was marveling at the results.
Today, I find myself in transition as it relates to career and ministry assignments, navigating life with limited resources, healing from the demise of cherished family relationships, needing to manage my weight- which I cannot entirely attribute to the Coronavirus pandemic response, and having margin -time and space as I wait on the Lord... just as in 2007.
Once again, I’ve reinstituted my proven process for success in weight management by making healthier food choices and exercise. Turns out, diet and exercise are also a proven process for success in wait management- managing the margin. While in the past I focused on managing my weight, this time my focus is managing my wait - making sure I don’t squirrel off track from my divine assignment or rush ahead of God.
Although I returned to my vegetarian lifestyle; I continue to eat meat when it comes to God’s Word. (Hebrews 5: 12-14 KJV) However unlike in 2007, I no longer dine at just anyone’s table. I’ve actually grown intolerant of religious ‘junk food’ and become very discriminate regarding to whom I listen, read, and fellowship. (Ephesians 4:14 KJV, 2Timothy 4:3-4 AMP, 1 Cor 15:33 AMP) While my taste in music will always be eclectic, my preference is authentic worship music because it induces intimacy with the Lord. It ushers me before Him and ministers to me while I journal or study. (John 4:23-24)
Aerobically, I exercise my heart and build endurance by serving where I can in the Kingdom of God, both in the Church and in the community. I even have a list of ministries and organizations in which the Holy Spirit has led me to serve and/or sow. I find that when I engage in spiritual aerobic exercise not only does the Lord fill my heart with His peace and joy, He directs me to opportunities to love and pour into others despite their objections, rejections and offenses. The enemy repeatedly tries to deter and distract me with these specific tactics, but his efforts are thwarted because loving others conditions and strengthens my heart. I am more inclined to love unconditionally, persevere through trials and challenges to attain the promise and less inclined to impose my will over God’s. (James 1:12 KJV, Hebrews 6:15 KJV, James 4:7 KJV, Phil 4:13 KJV)
During the wait, with proper diet and exercise, my endurance, strength, and relationship with the Lord are renewed. (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) Instead of dreading the wait and crying “how much longer” or “Lord why”; I find that I slow down, focus on the Lord and not myself or the wait, love, and live life. As a bonus, serving keeps me active and out of my kitchen which helps me with weight management. It’s Win- Win!
The Word of My Testimony
John 4:23-24 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold,  And will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions.
Hebrews 5:12-14 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
Hebrews 6:15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Psalms 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.