Envisioning Better Health? Start Within.

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Health is more than eating right and exercising.
It is addressing the well being of our spirits, souls, and bodies.

I attended a City Current seminar with The Biggest Loser trainer Dolvett Quince on September 21, 2018. He said, “Health is four pillars – physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional. If any one of those pillars are off, then the other pillars will suffer.”

I could write the book on what to do to lose weight: drink eight glass of water a day, cut out meat, sugar, and carbs, sleep 6-8 hours straight, etc. Why I wasn’t doing it consistently is the key to addressing the root of my weight issues. I have had to take a tough, honest look at my walk with Christ, my relationships, daily habits, surroundings, beliefs about myself, and more.

Living Out My Vision for Better Health

Since the beginning of 2019, through God’s grace, I have lost over 20 pounds. I am truly thankful. This is a lifelong process. I’m just walking this journey out with Jesus day by day. However, the following life changes have contributed to this result:

I have my quiet time with the Lord daily. I fill up on Him so I don’t have to fill up on food later.

Rick Warren in his Purpose Driven Life book said that while we can resist the devil, “The Bible never says, ‘Resist temptation.’ It says, ‘Flee temptation.'” Kimberly Taylor of Take Back Your Temple said, “The best way to win a fight is to not even get in the ring.” I moved out of my parents’ house and essentially fled food temptation and stepped out of the ring. My food purchasing decisions are completely mine. I no longer have to contend with soul food, cakes, pies, sodas, etc. I think twice before purchasing any of these items for myself because I don’t want to waste money on food that does not serve me.

I strengthened my decision by hiring an accountability partner Trina Sette, CEO of Go for Goals, to help keep me consistent. The three daily goals I routinely set are: follow the Daniel Plan, do 30 minutes of activity each day, and cut off eating after 9 pm. When I am tempted to venture away from these goals, I remember that she will call me at 10:15 am the next morning. I don’t want to come up short, and I don’t want to waste my money. In this way, accountability serves as the bridge between my decision and my results.

Trina also said during our initial call, “Food is not fun. It is only fuel.” I have had to disconnect food from the many other meanings I was assigning to it. It is not fun. It is not love. It is not comfort. It is not relationship. It is not relief from boredom or stress. It is not something to do. It is not a way to deal with my feelings. I can turn to Jesus for help with these concerns. Food’s only purpose is to give me energy to fulfill God’s vision for my life.

My work cutoff time is now 10 pm. This means I can get to bed earlier, get up earlier, and start my day feeling more refreshed.

Questions to Consider if Struggling With Weight

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If weight loss or maintenance has been a challenge for you as it has for me over the years, I ask that you consider the following questions. Hopefully, the answers will help you uncover the root of the issue.

Do you believe that God loves you?

Do you spend time with God daily?

Have you invited God into your weight loss journey?

Do you love yourself?

Do you know how to say no to yourself?

Do you know how to say no to others?

How are your relationships with others? Who energizes you? Who drains you?

How do you handle comments (good or bad) about your body?

How do you handle offense?

Do you feel your voice matters?

Do you ask for help when you need it?

Do you overcommit?

Do you have a vision for your life?

When you fail, how do you respond?

When someone says, “Just one cookie (or chip or whatever food will throw you off your plan) won’t hurt…” how do you respond?

When you decide to pursue better health, do you strengthen it with accountability to someone outside your world to gain and maintain results?

Is your environment set up to help your health goals?

Do you eat for any other reason than fueling your body?

Is there an area of your life where you need to face fear and step out on faith?

Why do you want to lose weight? Is it to better fulfill God’s purpose for you? Or do you want to lose weight for an event? A mate? Appearance? Revenge? To satisfy someone else’s desire for you? Because you know you should? Etc. (Hint: Besides living for God’s glory, none of these other reasons will work long-term.)

Are there any other questions that you think should be added to the list? What’s your health story? I would love to hear from you.

Anonymous – How Hidden Years Enrich Your Vision

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This weekend, I read a revolutionary book by Dr. Alicia Britt Chole entitled Anonymous – Jesus’ Hidden Years and Yours.

The premise is that true spiritual strength is born in the hidden places of our lives, when our potential is not seen, when our abilities are not appreciated, when we live in the gap between our dreams and life’s realities. Dr. Chole calls this an “anonymous season of the soul.”

The riches of this book are innumerable, but I will outline three points that resonated strongly with me:

Winter Hides Us So Summer Can’t Ruin Us

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Dr. Chole compares our spiritual development in the hidden years to the development and maturity of trees. Trees are stripped to their foundation in winter. There are no leaves, foliage, or fruit. Their growth is unseen, but not unimportant. They are bare, but not barren. This time strengthens the tree so that it can produce new leaves, foliage, and fruit in the spring and summer months.

In the life of Christ, most of his life was not documented. God hid Jesus so He could have protected, undisturbed room to be and become. His years in Nazareth were formative, to be rested in, not rushed through, and never regretted. They were unapplauded, but not unproductive.

In the same way, in spiritual winters, in the hidden seasons of our lives, when our visions are seemingly on hold, we focus on our character. Our main responsibility is to remain in Christ. God’s work in us does not stop in the winter, but He removes all advertisement to purify our faith, strengthen our character, conserve our energy, and prepare us for the future.

Every Choice Matters

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Dr. Chole recalls a conversation with a mentor named Marie who had suffered a third miscarriage. A well-meaning friend had told Marie, “You know, Marie, God is going to make you even stronger through this.”

Marie appreciated her friend’s thoughts but questioned her conclusion about the purpose of pain. Marie told Dr. Chole, “I feel that trials do not prepare us for what is to come as much as they reveal what we have done with our lives up to this point.”

Trials are a window to the past. Our decisions today foreshadow tomorrow’s challenges and reflect yesterday’s choices. There are no isolated choices. Every choice matters. Every choice we make is an investment in a future we cannot see. Every day is shaped by the days that precede it and affect the days following it. Our past choices in our hidden years cluster and gain momentum that is revealed in decisions we make in the visible years.

The reason why Jesus was able to withstand Satan’s temptations in the wilderness was because of the choices He made in the hidden years: praying, meditating on God’s Word, obeying God without modifying His instructions, and making unrecorded, unapplauded choices that had prepared Him for everything to come. Jesus sacrificing His body on the cross would have been impossible if he had chosen to yield to Satan’s temptation to feed his flesh after a 40-day fast in the desert.

Our Vision Thrives in Hiddenness

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The hidden seasons are a gift from God to us. They build and grow within us God’s Word, self-control, an accurate portrait of God, an unshakable identity, trust in God’s timing, a disciplined imagination, an eternal perspective, and submission-based authority. Our visions thrive in this place of hiddenness because we can trust God with them, whether they come to pass in our lifetime or not.

Our response to the hidden years is to wait, keep our hearts and spirits pure, and befriend stillness and rest. In this way, we can stay close to God and passionately pursue His will on earth, whether seen or unseen.

Our only true temptation in our spiritual lives is to choose against God. But disobeying Him in one area can spread like mold to other areas of our lives.

Jesus overcame this by modeling unmodified obedience. He simply and profoundly obeyed. In this way, He could walk out of temptation uncompromised and into crowds with humble confidence. 

My Experience with the Hidden Years

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Only 10% of an iceberg is visible. The other 90% is submerged in the unseen.

True to its name, Anonymous explains Jesus’ hidden years and mine. In a previous post entitled Vulnerability + Vision = A Call to Courage, I shared that I believe God gave me the EnVision That! idea to help me emerge from hiddenness.

Since graduating college in 2007, I have helped my parents, family, and church in ministry and have spent most days serving in various capacities, ranging from typing, editing, and proofing books to assisting with the finance team, Adelphe women’s ministry, MoMEANTum Young Adult Ministry, outreaches, and more.

I know what Dr. Chole means when she said that we tend to compare our hidden days to “filler food” while waiting for the visible days or the “main course” For several years, I felt like church was all there was and that I had nothing else to offer. This false belief led me to make some negative choices in my health habits, appearance, false intimacy, and attitudes.

Yet, with God, every course is a “main course.” Every moment of our lives matters to Him. He is the one audience we always have, the one audience that matters most. He and His people deserve my best in my health, appearance, intimacy, attitudes, and every part of my life. This book graciously led me to repentance for times when I felt my days, choices, ideas, and life did not matter. They do.

Last year, during our Adelphe worship, I was wrestling with a major decision and received this word from the Lord: “Remember, I lead you step by step,” In fleshing out this EnVision That! idea day by day with videos, graphic design projects, and articles like these, I envision Jesus holding my hand and leading me into the light. I am grateful, humbled, and prayerful that He will guide me every step of the way.

EnVision That! Highlights Sheronda Williams

Sheronda Williams celebrates her 33rd birthday today (February 7, 2019).

EnVision That is proud to celebrate World Overcomers Church Outreach Director and MoMEANTum Young Adult Director Sheronda Williams on her 33rd birthday! Sheronda…

Thank you for your tenacity in doing the will of God, no matter what the cost. I have seen you make amends with people over seemingly minute issues because you felt His nudge on the inside to do it. I see how you pray multiple times throughout the day for the people you will oversee. You mentioned one time that you felt your life was empty in terms of the desire for a traditional family. But this is because you are full of the spirit of God, and He can fill you with Himself. Your sacrifice is great. Your reward is greater. You will see supernatural signs and wonders in ways that few others will. 

Thank you for seeing the best in others. Over the last two years, the ministry God birthed through you, the MoMEANTum Young Adult Family, is making a huge impact in the Body of Christ and in the world in every sphere of influence. But this is because you followed the Lord’s leading to bring us together and to build us up week after week in Him. 

Thank you for going out of your way to make others feel special. Your special day gestures, from giving Dad and Mom a Valentine’s Day dinner to taking me on an excursion to three different states for my birthday to surprising Allison for Thanksgiving in Australia, are epic! 

Thank you for the countless ways you give and sow into the lives of others. I have seen you make trips to other cities to help those who were less fortunate. I have seen you mentor a young girl in the Big Brother Big Sister Program for nearly ten years. You hold people close to your heart, and you care so deeply. 

You are younger than me, but in so many ways, I look up to you. 33 was a landmark year for Jesus.It will be the same for you. Enjoy your special day and month! So excited to celebrate it with you! 

EnVision That! Vision Casting

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On February 1, 2018, while driving down the street, I heard the phrase “EnVision That”  in my head. So I set to work fleshing out the idea. Since then, the idea has evolved from simply creating vision boards to coaching others in how to tap into God’s visions for their lives.

EnVision That is taking shape, but in a different way than I “envisioned” (pun intended).  I am holding the vision but trusting the process. This is totally new to me. Along the way, I have experienced several missteps (ex: selling vision boards is a no-go because of image copyright concerns) and victories (ex: gospel singer Jonathan McReynolds’ vision board hangs in his studio). Yet, I’m just putting one foot in front of the other and trusting Jesus to light my path.

I am so excited about taking this journey with you. I encourage you to write down your ideas, make them plain with a vision board, booklet, or other format where you can see them each day, and then act on them. You never know where they could lead!

Trecie Williams