Every year God since 2013, God has given me a word for the year. The word for 2018 was humility. That word has come alive in a soft and gentle way for me this year and has given me an even more solid foundation to go forward into 2019. In 2019, God is changing things up giving me three words. This will be a year of deeper clarity as I learn more about vision, insight and discernment.

When He gave me these three words I assumed one of them was the word and others were descriptive of that one. However, the more I study these words, the more I realize they define a process. Throughout this year I hope to have much more clarity about this process, but here is where I am starting.

Vision

This is where we must start. “Where there is no vision, the people perish,” (Proverbs 29:18). It stands to reason, then, that vision is imperative.

When we hear the word vision, we immediately think of what we can see with our eyes. We think in the physical terms. However Solomon wasn’t talking about how good our eyesight is. He was talking about how good our perception, dream or desire is. He was talking about what we can see happening that hasn’t happened yet.

When we imagine what we dream of happening it has a greater probability of coming to fruition. Sometimes God shows us dreams of what He sees in our future. They may come in the form of symbols or numbers or an out and out picture of what He is wanting us to know is in our future.

Vision is a God-given ability to see or perceive will happen. Don’t discount your God-given dreams. They are given to you for a reason.

Insight

Insight is one of those words I’ve really never thought much about. However all through the Bible, God tells us of insight’s great worth.

Solomon was wiser than anyone else. That’s because “God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore,” (1 Kings 4:31 NLT).

In Proverbs Solomon tells us how instrumental insight is in our life and journey with God. “The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out. There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord,” (Proverbs 20:5, 30 NIV).

Paul chimes in. “This is my prayer, that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,” (Philippians 1:9 NIV).

So what is insight and how is it different from vision? If vision is the what, then insight is the why. If we have insight into why we are to work with God to accomplish a task, we are more likely to find a way to make it happen.

Insight must come from God. Paul tells Timothy, “Reflect on what I am saying for the Lord will give you insight into all this,” (2 Timothy 2:7 NIV).

Without insight a vision will just stay a dream. We need insight to know why our vision must happen..

Discernment

Discernment means to perceive what must happen and when it must happen. It also involves the ability to judge well whether we are doing something we should be doing or not.

Discernment keeps us in line with God’s heart. It is the key ingredient in this process of following God. We cannot follow God if we don’t know God’s heart. Because of this, making sure we have surrendered our will to God’s is paramount. If the kingdom of you is still on the throne of your heart, discernment will not be active in your life.

Discernment is built by spending time in prayer, not talking so much as listening to understand more of what God desires. It’s in that space that peace will replace confusion. Discernment operates in the midst of peace.

Hosea gives the people a list of things they need to do in order to follow God. Then He says, “Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand. The ways of the Lord are right. The righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them,” (Hosea 14:9 NIV).

Discernment gives us the guidance, assurance and peace we need to go forward in doing what God is showing us to do.

Journey

This is another way of looking at my journey and yours. On my journey, God clearly showed me that I not only needed to lose weight, but that I could lose weight. I couldn’t see it clearly until I happened to be going through old pictures and saw one of me in my wedding dress. It was a time when I was 250 pounds lighter than I was that day. That picture became a concrete vision of what I wanted to happen.

Later when a doctor diagnosed me with congestive heart failure and gave me five years to live unless I lost weight and kept it off, I got insight into why this had to happen soon. My daughter was nine. She would have been 14 in five years. I wanted to be there for all the great things that would happen in her life. I wanted to be there on graduation days and her wedding day. I wanted to be there for heron the special days in her life. But I also wanted to experience them for myself.

With vision and insight I gained greater clarity, but it was through discernment of how to walk out this journey myself that I was able to lose 250 pounds and keep it off. I was able to work with God to change my habits, develop my forever lifestyle change plan, work through my emotional baggage and begin to embrace all that God has for my destiny.

In the Year 2019

I’m not sure what this year holds for me. I know, though, these three words will be added to how I teach and lead. From experience I know that God will reveal to me more than I ever wanted to know about these three words.

Also coming in 2019, I’ll be opening doors to my course Journey to Transformation. This is the course that leads folks through the five stages of weight loss. The Journey course is a starting point designed to help you build a firm foundation for your weight loss journey,

We will open the Journey Course early in February 2019. To be notified when the course opens, get your name on the waitlist by going here: https://TeresaShieldsParker.com/JTT/.

Let’s go forward together!

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 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 four more books, "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "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 and under the book tab on her website. Her Coaching Programs can be found under the Weight Loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab. Also check out her blog at TeresaShieldsParker.com.