Her breath was coming in short puffs as she lumbered from her Mercedes up the few steps to her massive front door.  The back of her silk blouse was wet. Sweat poured from her forehead.  She barely made it into the front door before collapsing in the softness of her favorite recliner.

Falling Money $100 BillsThe shopping bags thudded to the floor along with her exotic Sierra Coach bag. Anti-aging serum, night cream, day moisturizer, face serum and parfum rolled under the coffee table on the bamboo flooring.

She sat with her eyes closed sucking in air as if it were German chocolate cake.  The air her lungs so desperately needed cut like a silver knife.  Pain shot up her arm and into her chest.

Would there be even one person who would care if she died? Her obituary would appear in the paper and talk about how she had made a fortune from her advertising and marketing firm, the one that promoted a well-known fast food chain that contributed to obesity and heart attacks.  Funny?  Not from where she was sitting in her reinforced, extra-wide premier, soft recliner.  Not really.  Not now.

She was worth millions.  Her business was honed so fine she didn’t even have to go to the office if she didn’t want. Each second she made more money than she could spend in five life times.

She could purchase anything she wanted.  It was what she had lived her life to accomplish. Always more. More clothes. More cars. More furniture. More diamonds. More time? Not even her money could buy her that.

In the last 10 years, since her business had landed taken off, her weight had spiraled out of control.  She had eaten whatever she wanted that was decadent and sweet and fattening. Her husband left her for a pretty little thing.

She avoided friends. Her sister never spoke to her. She was too busy becoming indispensable to her civic organizations to pay any attention to her sister, except when she needed a donation. Maybe that would give her some brownie points in the end. She really doubted there would be a God around at the end. She’d certainly not heard anything from Him in decades.

Food and money were her family and her best friends.  Always available.  Not expecting anything. Always making sure she never had to feel…anything. Food would comfort her. Calm her anger over injustices done to her. Help her celebrate any victories. Keep her from crying those insulting tears. Yep, cheesecake, brownies, ice cream, candy, pizza, maybe even a steak every now and then. The finest money could buy.

It didn’t matter that her waist was ballooning out of control and every part of her ached, especially her chest. She could go get the nitro tablet, but why bother. It was too away, up the stairs, at the end of hall, third door on the left, bathroom with gold fixtures. She didn’t even have the will to try.

She wasn’t sure she even had feelings any more. There was always more food to mask any emotion. More money to purchase the next new thing.  No, feelings weren’t in the mix any more.  She was numb.

There was a time she had wanted to feel. She thought of a small chapel with wooden pews and her grandmother’s soft, mushy body as she snuggled up close to her and nodded off during the pastor’s sermon. She always stayed awake during the music, though. She loved hearing the pianist pound out the gospel tunes. Grandma clapped. Grandpa’s voice boomed. It was as if she could reach out and touch God, He was so close.

Where was He now, she wondered. Where had he gone in the years she’d been building her business and amassing more money than she needed and losing her husband and family? He seemed to be in hiding. She started to get angry about it, but realized she was in no position to get mad at the Almighty.

“Where are you, God?” she yelled into the eerie stillness of her mansion.  “Where are you when I need you?”

Then, she heard it. A small voice, almost imperceptible. She actually jumped a bit, so startled that Someone would talk to her.

“I’m here. I’ve always been here. You’ve always said you didn’t need My help. I’ve just been waiting for you to ask.”

“I’ve done fine on my own,” she retorted.

“Define fine.”

“Look, I’m not going to bargain with You if that’s what You’re thinking.”


“You can leave now.”

“If you wish.”

The beautiful old house seemed to gasp as His presence left.

And she slumped in the chair.

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. —Philippians 3:18-20 (NIV)

Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds

and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor,


An Interview With the Author of Sweet Grace
Fighting to More Than Survive
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.