Today, a dream is coming true for me. My memoir releases on Amazon. No magic bells will ring except for the one on my alarm clock waking me up at 6 am when I know I will want to sleep in.
This dream has been a long time in the making. When I was a little girl I’d watch my mother devour a huge book in a day and be so engrossed in it she wouldn’t move from her chair.
She imparted that love of books to me as I watched her enjoy reading. She would take us to the library and we could get as many books as we could keep track of. I read mine with the same fervor she did her’s.
I especially loved reading the biographies of famous people written for my age group at the time. I felt these were books that really mattered because they always had a strong moral.
When I’d read all the biographies, I was frustrated the rest of the books didn’t seem as important. I decided then and there that one day I would write books that mattered with great story lines. Hopefully they’d be about real people, but if not I could write fiction.
In school, I learned I had a penchant for writing. I was one of those people who loved essay questions because I could always get an “A” even if I didn’t know the subject very well.
In college, I majored in journalism. It was a compromise because my parents wouldn’t fund a creative writing major. It had to be a degree that would result in a REAL job.
I graduated, started to work in journalism, got married, continued working, had children and eventually quit my job to operate a Christian newspaper. All the time, in my heart I wanted to write a book,
I was living my life, raising a family, working, doing church and Christian ministry work and found myself gaining an enormous amount of weight. I used food as my reward for hard work, my pain reliever, my celebration, my relief from any sadness or depression. In short, food became my god.
I could see myself in the pages of the Bible especially this verse. “For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven.”1
I knew I had a problem. As far back as 1977, I wrote out what God was telling me. “Stop eating sugar. Eat more lean meal, vegetables and fruits. Stop eating so much bread and starches.”
I dismissed His answer because I couldn’t ever see myself giving up sugar. It was impossible. I was too weak.
I went through many various types of diets, quick fixes, easy answers. I would lose, only to regain the weight plus more numerous times. I was angry at myself most of the time. I worked hard at my job and ministry efforts to try to make up for not being able to succeed in this area of my life.
Eventually, I gained up to 430 pounds. When a doctor told me I had five years to live, it did force me to take a long look at where I was and what I should do. Though it wasn’t smooth sailing, I did begin to lose weight.
When I had lost 250 pounds and been through many victories and setbacks, God tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Suit up. You’re in the game. Time to play with the big boys. Time to write a book.”
All of a sudden, I remembered my dream of writing a book that really mattered. Through the years I’d started books only to abandon the projects because I didn’t know where to go with the story. I’d cry out to God and ask Him for the plot, but He was silent.
This time, I saw a book clearly laid out before me: beginning, middle, end, inciting incident, anti-climax, climax and the overall message. It was the story of my life.
I should have been thrilled but, the dream was not to write a book about myself. That was the furthest thing from my mind. I had thought maybe I’d write a book about someone famous or amazing, someone miraculous.
Then He nudged me and said He wanted to use my life as an example that His power is made perfect in weakness.2 I couldn’t argue with Him there. I am weak and His power was the perfect vehicle to enable me to move forward.
Writing this book was a dream come true for many reasons. The biggest one is that I know it is a book that will make a difference for those who battle morbid obesity.
Today, my dream comes true and maybe yours as well. As you read how I battled “my demons”, as my daughter says, maybe you will start battling your own difficulties. I did battle them, but it was God who won the war. I was just a willing participant.
Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor is available on Amazon or on my website. I will autograph those purchased from my website. But you can get it either place.
I don’t care how you get it, just get it and read it. Then, use the link in the book to download the teaching guide that will help you through the maze of morbid obesity. I’d love for you to come back here and tell me what you thought of the book.