We’re in the midst of repurposing the basement area of our home as the original space it was intended to be—a family room. We envision hosting extended family gatherings, small groups from church and fun time with friends and family.

Since we move to this house 18 years ago, the basement has served to house foster children and young adults. Through the years little has been done to the basement. To bring it back to its intended design, we are in our own season of demolition.


As always one thing leads to another and before new flooring can be installed, the old carpets and pads had to be removed along with tack strips. Then, the floor has to be prepped and leveled. Before that happens, though, the walls have to be primed and then painted. And before that, baseboards have to be removed.

Then, somewhere in the process, the decision has to be made to paint or not paint the brick fireplace. Finally, the flooring has to be installed and baseboards reinstalled. Then, window coverings, furnishings and finishing touches completed.

The tasks seem endless because one thing leads to another. Often in the midst, we just need a break from it all and tell ourselves why we are doing this in the first place.

It so reminds me of my weight loss journey. I knew with the state I was in, I needed a major upheaval of some sort, but I had no idea how to get there. I really thought I just needed to lose weight. That in itself was a daunting task since I weighed 430 pounds at the time.


What I finally realized, though, was that I needed to surrender all the obstacles standing in my way of going forward towards the life God had already designed for me.

That initial process was hard because the first thing that had to go was my dependence on sugar. I had to admit to God and myself that I was a sugar addict and that my life had become unmanageable. I was weak around sugar. I couldn’t say, “no.” Still, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt this was my main issue.

So I laid that on God’s altar. Out of love and obedience, I surrendered sugar to God. I asked Him to show me the next step, to show me how to walk out the journey.

He brought people into my life to help me, to guide me and goad me, to coach me and encourage me. Without them, I never would have gotten as far as I have on my own life-repurposing project. I would have stopped halfway through and gone back to my addiction. I would undoubtedly be in a much worse shape than I was when I started.


Instead, my life has changed, transformed in astronomical ways. Not only have I lost 260 pounds and kept it off for over four years, but I’ve written four books and two study guides and have over 800 blog posts on my website.

Then, God called me to coach others. He and I have coached hundreds of people who have lost thousands of pounds. By the grace of God, I have appeared on numerous Christian television shows and shared in workshops and speaking at numerous places, always knowing the God in me will not fail to give me the right words to say.

None of this was in my mind when I began my journey. I had two things I wanted. I wanted to lose weight and I wanted to write a book that mattered. God took my destiny far beyond my limited imagination.

Designed to Live

It reminds me of Joanna Gaines on Fixer Upper. She can walk into an old, dilapidated house and immediately see the potential. Through the magic of television, we see in her mind the drawings of what she is thinking as she removes walls, moves hallways around and remodels bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and living rooms.

Usually, the homeowners want three or four bedrooms and an open floor plan, but when Joanna and Chip, her husband the Demo Day guy, get done, the house is something that is beyond the homeowners’ wildest dreams.

That’s what God did for me. I look at myself in the mirror today and I am amazed at what I see. From where I was to where I am today is so over the top. He did far more than I could ever imagine or guess or request in my wildest dreams!1 God had more in mind for me than I did.

I’m so glad I allowed God to change me from the inside out.2 He showed me that only happens when I take my eyes off myself and my own selfish desires and fix my attention on Him.2

This week in Sweet Change Group, we’re talking about Demo Day and surrendering what stands in our way of becoming everything God wants us to be in order to allow Him to repurpose our lives.

Believe me, Friends, what Jesus has in mind for us only comes through surrender based on loving and obeying Him.

This journey we are on starts and ends in Him. He is our author and our finisher.3 If we stay close to Him and follow Him in everything He tells us and shows us, we can’t help but be repurposed, remodeled and remade into the new design He has waiting for us.

1Ephesians 3:20 MSG

2Romans 12:2 MSG

3Hebrews 12:2 NKJV

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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 TeresaShieldsParker.com. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking Tab.