June 30, 2011

Begin Again

As I was reflecting on the session that we just completed, A New Beginning, I concluded that the most important skill I have been able to develop over the past year and a half is the ability to begin again. This is not the same as starting something new. (I have always been good at that!) No, beginning again means to simply pick up where you left off and continue on. I strongly believe that if you can do that, you have the "secret weapon" to weight loss.

Beginning again is not in my nature. At this very moment I could probably produce over 20 half-finished projects from my house. The walls in my kitchen have been half-way painted for months (pictured above). I'm really good at beginning things, but less good at beginning them again. As I told the group last night, the ability to begin again is from God, not me.

Getting to that place, or developing that skill, required letting go. I had to let go of a lot of hopes and dreams and expectations. The hope that this would be easy, the dream that it would be fast, and the expectation that I would never mess up. I was holding on to those things with all my might and as a result, I had no might to do the work that needed to be done. I couldn't do the work while I was just standing there trying to hold onto stuff. Beginning again requires letting go, and taking risk.

Weight-loss has been a life-long struggle for me. Like many who are probably reading this, I tried about a million different times to lose weight. Early on I would tell myself " Okay, this is it. This is the time. I'm going to do it." And then I would fail. Sooner or later I would get motivated again. I would think "Okay, now this is the time. I mean it. This is it." And then: boom! Fail. At some point I would scrape up a teeny bit of dignity and go again. I began to think more along the lines of, " Maybe this time will be the time? Who knows." Eventually I got to the point of starting these things and thinking, "I know this isn't going to stick. Why am I even doing this?" And as you guessed, I would fail those times, too.

Can anyone relate to this? If so, allow me to offer some hope. After years and years, painful years, of beginning again, the time has come. This time really is the time! What if I had given up? What if I had decided to never begin again? I would never have gotten to the the time that really is the time. No matter how silly or futile it feels, you have to begin again. Over and over and over.

Success for me has come in the form of a million "beginning agains".  The only way I know to be able to begin again--over and over and over--is to keep putting my hope in something bigger than myself.

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

Don't be afraid to let go and begin again--this time might be "the time."


Deb Willbefree said...

Loved this--and perfect timing. God is so good with that timing thing, isn't He?

I woke up this morning--after a month of do well, mess up, do well, mess up, and finally several days of all out binging--knowing that today was the day to begin again. I just knew it.

The Lord did a work of setting me free from some oppression Sunday and that freedom has been growing since then. (Oddly, it was after that work that I binged. It was the enemy's last stand.)

Today, I have felt freedom and release from the moment my feet hit the floor this morning. I've been rejoicing and doing spritual warfare on my, and my bloggy friend's, behalf for the last hour or so. I am seriously fired up. :)

When I settled down enough to read, I read your post. :D

It's time. I'm letting God be big in my life.


Absolutely, Positively Josie said...

Starting something new v. beginning again: what a sobering distinction! I won't say I've tried it all, but I've sure started it all! You hit the nail on the head and give all the credit to Jesus!

I'll always appreciate your service to the Lord with this blog and your weight-loss experience and your life. Thank you for being here!

PS: thanks for the Scripture in my last post! PSS: the pie was a "funny cake." Pie crust with gooey chocolate on the bottom and cake on the top. Boo yah! It's not extremely sweet, so I guess that makes it all right. =)

Please don't make one.


Stephanie said...

Love the post!!! i can so relate. I start again every day. I have good intentions but i seem to fail a lot but i pick myself up and dust off and try again...you just never know when it will be your day. that is what i tell myself. i think this time i will just do one thing at a time. Exercise first...get the habit and then food consumption.

you and your blog are a HUGE inspiration for me!!! you keep it real! :)

momof3girls said...

starting again, gives the possibility to make it to the finish line. It is pressing on, regardless of life's cirmcumstances! If you keep pressing on, how can you lose!

SAMANTHA said...

THANK YOU ... very inspirational post :)