Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Before way?

I was a member of another church for nearly 7 years. The Lord spoke to me on February 2, 2002 and told me “It’s time.” I knew exactly what that meant and began the painful process of grieving and leaving the place that had been the center of my world for so long. I have kept up with a few people, but have basically stayed away for the past 3 years. It was too hard, especially during the first year, to be there and the temptation was for me to keep one foot in the door so to speak. I knew that wasn’t what the Lord meant when He moved me on…so I had to literally leave the old place and cleave to the new.

The Lord has more than blessed the sacrifice…and that really was what it felt like…by giving me a true love for my new church, its people and ministries. And he has done all of that without diminishing the love I have for my first church home. For that I am truly thankful.

I was able to go back and visit this past weekend and had been looking forward to it for a while. I sing with a group that ministers at nursing homes in the city, and our group was asked to play at a fellowship my old church was having. I went expecting to be greeted with many warm welcomes…big hugs, excited questions about how I was and other sentimental things. What I didn’t expect was that some people wouldn’t recognize me.

Since I left I have changed quite a bit. The Lord has done a work of intense sanctification in me (which mostly feels like He has barely scratched the surface). Consequently, habits and patterns of sin have been dealt with…one of which was my gluttony. Since July 19, 2004 I’ve lost about 85 lbs. Though the numbers on the scale are way different, I’ve been through a few clothing sizes and had to push my car seat up quite a bit, I don’t see major dramatic changes in my physical appearance. But then, I see me everyday. There were a few people I had to say my name to before they realized who I was…many other double takes…and a few more “Oh my goodness! I didn’t recognize you!”'s. I even got a couple of “You look gorgeous!”’s.

I just simply wasn’t expecting that. I wasn’t expecting anything more than a few people saying “I can tell you’ve been losing weight.”

Despite all that, I still don’t see a huge dramatic difference on the outside…see:

December 2003

June 2005

But, I am grateful for the kindness of the Lord in giving me glimpses of what others see…and for allowing me to see what He has done on the inside. That part is the most dramatic and most important to me…that is what will last…what is of eternal consequence.

I hope people see that as clearly, too....and give all the glory to the one to whom it is due.


  1. Wow Tina! Losing 85 pounds is amazing! Not only has God changed you on the inside, but the outside as well. Your story is an inspiration!

  2. I am so proud of you...and grateful to be a part of this journey with you. I have always seen the beautiful person you are. You truly are an inspiration. You have shown me that when we commit to the Lord and cast down our idols, the Lord will make the hard ways easy and the crooked paths straight.

  3. You must be very proud of your success. Good for you!