Sunday Inspiration: Your Oasis
I’ve been told multiple times by multiple leaders to always read so you can stay filled up so that when the moment is right, you can use it to fill someone else up. In essence, "Leaders are Readers". I’m sure you’ve heard that.
Finding out what people read has become kind of an obsession. I’ve noticed that peoples lives directly correlate to what they are or are not reading. All of the multi-millionaires in my life taught themselves how to be avid readers. Success within every area of my life, including financially, is what I seek, so reading has become a part of me.
In any room of my home, you’ll find a book I’m reading. I of course have a variety. I can’t ever really stick with just one. “The Traveler’s Gift” I couldn’t put down, seriously probably one of the best books I’ve ever read. Overall, reading through a book takes discipline more than anything. And I have a love hate relationship with discipline. Just to be honest, I have to talk myself into all exercise, all good nutrition, all the time. I like the results it brings, but I don’t like training my flesh into obedience sometimes.
Anyway, one of the most poignant things I’ve read in 2018 so far was something one of our pastor's wives, Michele Stephens, wrote about in a devotional my church creates. This year it is called New Rivers, New Roads. And it was about finding and embracing and really living in our oasis as we find it within our desert or wilderness journey. Ever experienced a wilderness? Boy I have. That place where you feel abandoned, depressed, nothing makes sense anymore, and believing a lot of lies about life and about yourself. I’ve been there. And in the past, when I found my way out, I found myself dreading the next. What I wasn't seeing was that "dreading the next" was actually keeping me from seeing not only my progress, but seeing the oasis that I now found myself in. A place where I could rest, refuel, and then traverse to the next step on my journey. Anyone feel me here?
The reality hit me somewhere within one my wilderness journeys that I wasn’t embracing the oasis moments, because I couldn't see past my own feet caught in the pain. I guess I was still learning that it’s so important that we learn where we are to know where we are going, otherwise we will just stay there, and repeat it over and over.
How is this applicable to your weight loss journey? Are you like me and so much food happened before you knew it? I would literally go months without eating consistently well, and then wonder how I “got so fat!” The cycle would begin again. I would eat well a week, lose about 5 pounds, and then “fall off the wagon”, or at least that’s the lie I told myself, and then I would find myself circling that months of wilderness again, not realizing my oasis was that success of 5 pounds, where I could rest, relish success, and really be present there. Instead of keeping that trajectory, I would find myself just off enough to have lost my way, AGAIN. Thirsty in a dry desert wilderness. I was hiding. But what was I really hiding from. It's taken me 41 years to figure that out. And I've just discovered the very tip, I am sure.
Our church is studying Isa 43 this year. And Isa 43:20 talks about waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert for us to drink from; an endless supply of oasis just for us, to discover while we wander in our wildernesses. This spoke to my heart so much. Can you imagine right now how incredibly satisfying a cool drink of water is on your lips when you’re so hot? How you drink and drink, like you almost can’t get enough? And then you sigh, incredibly satisfied because your thirst is then quenched. God bless our oasis moments, when we actually open our eyes and see them! But my spirit was hit blatantly with a truth when I read this, and it was something I had never realized until that exact moment.
I hold the hands of people that struggle so much with insecurity, morbid obesity, and people that just honestly feel invisible and discarded. Telling them “I see you” terrifies most of them at first. It’s easy to hide behind a weight problem, or at least it was for me. I hated every second of it, hated myself, hated seeing fit people, hated it, felt peoples pity, but found comfort in hiding, and honestly in my food. It never once hurt me, at least that’s what I believed, as I would eat my feelings. Losing weight looked hard to me. But knowing people would see me and know I was battling obesity seemed even harder.
I realized, just after reading it about the oasis and rivers being there for us, the positive people in my life that loved on me IN TRUTH, no matter where I was in my journey, were actually part of my oasis within my journey. Those people that didn’t join in my bad behavior, but kept truth right in front of me, they were my oasis. And for me, the other people that didn't, were actually part of what was keeping me in my wilderness. I was going to have to make some changes, and only I could make that course correction, no one else.
It was in this moment, it hit me; almost terrifying me. I was training to be a tiny stream in an oasis for someone, for many someones. I was training to be a small vessel that held life affirming water for a thirsty soul. These aging bones, this many-times shattered heart; this perfectly imperfect body, mind and soul, I was called to be an oasis within a wilderness. Me. In all my brokenness, would be called upon to help love on someone in truth, and be a small part to help quench a thirsty soul with truth. Whoa.
Can I just be bold here and say, no matter where your beliefs lie, you too, are in training to become an oasis? You're called to be hope and truth for many someones, just like me. Have you run from it like I did for so many years? People would turn to you, needing truth, needing love, needing hope, and you stayed silent, leaving them thirsty, because you didn’t want the responsibility. That was me. For many years. I didn’t WANT TO BE an example of hope, because I was caught in a wilderness of self-hate.
Where are you today?
I pray this feeds your soul in the best way. To let you know that first of all, you’re loved, you’re appreciated, YOU’RE WANTED, and most important YOU are needed. Your success in your life, including your weight loss journey and everything you learn along the way, is literally filling you up to become an oasis for someone. YOU ARE a well of hope undiscovered. And I can’t wait to be a part of that with you, and see you inspire others.
Stay grateful. Stay humble. Stay in the mode of always becoming the best YOU!
Here's to you and the ABSOLUTELY AMAZING YEAR ahead of you!
Healthy Looks Good On YOU!
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