At the beginning of the New Year, I always take time to understand a bit of what God has in store for the New Year. In 2018, there are two main Biblical numbers to consider which relate to each of us becoming new in this New Year. It is a year of overcoming bondages and beginning again. We all need new beginnings and although every year is a chance to do that, it is even truer this year.

2018 is your year for overcoming bondages, especially bondage to sugar and comfort foods. These feel like impossible bondages to overcome because they are ingrained in our lifestyle and our habits, but this is the year for your new beginning.


One of the only places in the Bible the number 18 is mentioned is in Luke 13:10-13. This is where Jesus heals the woman who had been bent over and crippled for 18 years. This is why the number 18 is symbolic of overcoming bondages.

“He was teaching in one of the meeting places on the Sabbath. There was a woman present, so twisted and bent over with arthritis that she couldn’t even look up. She had been afflicted with this for 18 years. When Jesus saw her, he called her over. ‘Woman, you’re free!’ He laid hands on her and suddenly she was standing straight and tall, giving glory to God.”1

In some translations, it says she was afflicted by a demonic spirit. Whatever the case, when Jesus touched her she was able to stand up straight. Imagine not being able to stand up straight for 18 years, only knowing people by their feet instead of their faces. Then, imagine her joy when she stood up straight and tall and the very first face she saw, was the face of Jesus. That’s shouting time in my book!


Eight is symbolic of new beginnings because that is the number of individuals saved in the ark. These eight started the world over again. There could have been more had they been obedient to God. Still, “God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water.”2 What a new beginning, to be the only people in the world.

Think about it a minute. The woman bent over and healed from her bondage had to start all over again. It’s very much like living life in one way and then, having an entirely new life. She could do things she couldn’t do before. She had the ability to work. It was probably really had to work like she was. Everything about her life changed when she allowed Jesus to help her overcomer her bondage.

Noah, his wife and his sons and their wives started over in an entirely different world. Talk about a grand adventure. They set up everything from the beginning. They began the earth again.

Two Lives

When I look at my before and after pictures, it is very apparent that I have lived at least two lives. I have these pictures on my business card. I handed it to one lady who said, “Is that your writing partner?” She was shocked when she learned it was me. Losing 250 pounds will change a person. Of course, it didn’t happen overnight like with the bent-over woman.

It happened gradually, but there was a definite time when I surrendered everything to God and made a willful decision to follow His way instead of mine. He touched me and it was as if I became a new person with a new mindset. I saw my abject poverty before God. I saw my sin of eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I drowned out the still, small voice with gallons of diet cola which only made me want to eat more sweets. What God said to me, did not matter in that major area of eating.

Most of us want to use a few pounds. I can say that because two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. We want to look and feel better, but we really do not want to live better or eat better to get there. Please understand. I’m not talking about a diet. I’m talking about a total lifestyle change. I’m talking about going one way at a full gallop and turning and going the other because God said so.

It’s A Start

2018 is about new beginnings because even understanding we have a bondage is a start. I never saw food as a bondage. “I have to eat,” I’d tell myself. I just didn’t have to eat everything in sight.

When I finally understood I was addicted to sugar and high carbohydrate foods, I realized why I could never stay on a diet. Because after every diet, I’d go on maintenance and reward myself with just a little of all the goodies I’d been missing. And then, the cycle would start all over again. I was in bondage to those foods. I couldn’t eat just a little.

I allowed God to get ahold of me and began changing my lifestyle into one that supports the health and well-being of my body, soul and spirit. I began eating healthy and my body began responding with vigor and anticipation of each new day. I looked and felt better because I was living better.


For some reason, though, most of us are afraid to change our ingrained habits. The unhealthy foods we eat have become like a drug to us. We don’t know how to lay them down even though we know God wants us to. Simply stated, we have given in to fear.

This is where I found myself. I knew what to do, I was just afraid I didn’t know how to do it. I began working with a coach, who’d been where I was, and a group of others like me on the journey. Looking to God for our help, we began our journey out of food addiction.

I’ve taken the principles I learned there, along with my experience as a weight loss and life coach along with losing more than 260 pounds and put it into one large Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Coaching Community.

Not About Diets

January is traditionally when we make resolutions and start a new diet only to stop it a few weeks later. I’m not offering you a new diet. I’m offering you a new way of living, a complete change from what you are doing now. I’m asking you to allow God to take charge and be accountable to Him, to me as your coach and to a group of peers on the journey with you.

I’ve put all of my video teaching resources into the members area of this group, plus I’ll be doing weekly videos either a teaching video, Q&A video or a webinar. Of course I’ll be coaching and answering your questions. I want this year to be your year to overcome the bondages of food addiction.

This does not require a large investment, less than $1 a day. So what do you say? Are you ready to give God’s way a try? Are you ready to do something to change your life, for the rest of your life? Are you ready to restore your health, energy and vitality?

Great, because Overcomers Community is waiting for you. During the grand opening going on now, you can join for only $27/Month. The price will never go up as long as you stay in the group.

What are you waiting for? Enter 2018 with the goal of health—body, soul and spirit. GO HERE:

I’ll see you in the group.

1Luke 13:10-13 MSG

21 Peter 3:20 NIV

Make Room for Change
What About Humility?
Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 260 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. She has three more books, "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing An Appetite for God." Sweet Grace and Sweet Freedom study guides are available as well. All books are on Amazon. Her Coaching Programs can be found under the Weight Loss tab at To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking Tab.