Turning a Setback into a Comeback

 

The shirt I wear when I need a morale boost.

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. – Philippians 3:13 NLT

 A year ago I was a mess physically. Overweight, tired all the time, pushing through each day joylessly, miserable when I got on the scale and even more so when I looked in the mirror, and wrestling with insomnia night after night, despite sleeping pills.

I knew the answer lay in what I ate. I’d tried just about every diet out there, and mostly they worked – for a while. I’d lose a few pounds, start feeling good, then revert to my default mode. After all, how could a Slovak gal like me resist pasta and bread?

But a year ago I came to the end of my rope. I needed help. So I contacted a certified nutritional therapy practitioner. And my life changed.

Amy Taladay taught me a lot not just about the right foods, but about my own body and its response to the foods I eat. Within a month foggy-headedness disappeared, energy returned, pounds dropped off, and for the first time in years, I was able to sleep without sleeping pills. Folks told me my skin glowed.

Finally! Not a diet, but an eating plan I could live with for the rest of my life.

Then I went on vacation. A granola bar here, a slice of pizza there, and soon I was in default mode. Not entirely, but, hey, I wasn’t reacting to the food, so maybe I was healed of whatever it was that caused all my issues.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive! And that includes deceiving ourselves. By March, the gluten rash returned with a vengeance, as did the insomnia, fatigue, and brain fog. The numbers on my scale inched up.

Back to square one. But at least I know where square one is, and at least I have the resources to get back on track with what I call my vibrant health plan.

I will turn this setback into a comeback.

Peter, too, failed miserably, doing the very thing he boasted he’d never do – deny Jesus. “And he left the courtyard, weeping bitterly” (Luke 22:62 NLT). Yet less than two months later, we see Peter preaching boldly to a crowd of thousands in the very city where he denied Jesus (Acts 2:14–41). Of that crowd, 3,000 became believers.

Now, that’s turning a setback into a comeback!

How do you turn your setback into a comeback?

First, stop denying and face the truth about yourself. For me, it was accepting the fact that certain foods cause distress to my body and I need to avoid them  – for the rest of my life.

Second, truly repent, which means “to feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing.” The negative effects of the foods I shouldn’t have eaten caused me great regret and remorse.

Third, determine not to make that mistake again – and commit to a positive, corrective course of action. For me, I committed to following my vibrant health plan to the letter, even though it takes hours in planning and preparation. The time spent is worth it.

Fourth, seek the counsel of those wiser and more knowledgeable and the support of those who truly care about you. I’m blessed to have a husband who encourages me to eat the right foods and is willing to eat whatever I make, whether it’s a flop or a hit. And to have the support of my prayer team, precious friends who uphold my writing and speaking ministry. They know whatever affects my body will affect my ministry.

Fifth, pray, asking for wisdom, guidance, and supernatural enabling. “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13 NLT).

And finally, let go of past mistakes. Learn from them and move on. Pursue the vision of whatever goal God has placed in your heart.

Lord, give me the strength, wisdom, and courage to turn this setback into a comeback. And I will give You the honor and the glory. Amen.

“Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.” – Psalm 50:15
Read and meditate on Luke 22:31–34, 54–62

© 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

Stuff, Stuff, and More Stuff!

 

The status of my writing room/study presents an overwhelming de-cluttering project!

“Travel light.” –Jesus, as quoted in Luke 10:4 The Message

 When my mother-in-law passed away 19 years ago, I didn’t want the stuff my husband carted up from his former home. I had my own stuff. And I wanted my home to reflect me and my tastes, not his mother’s. But I love my husband and knew he didn’t want to part with something that was his heritage.

Circumstances of late have led to another season of transferring stuff (mostly from the attic, which was neglected the first time) to our house. So while DH is going through boxes and seeing dollar signs (“I wonder how much this old book would be worth on ebay?”), I’m growling inside. I want to simplify my living space, my calendar, my work schedule, my life. To him these things may be valuable, but to me they’re just clutter.

Clutter not only takes up physical space, but also usurps emotional and mental space we could be using for better things. It raises our stress level and takes its toll on our spirits. Even if we think we’re ignoring it and we say it doesn’t bother us, it does. It won’t go away until we do something about it.

So let’s look at some ways we can de-clutter our lives – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Pray. This is the first step. Ask for wisdom, insight, discernment. For courage to do what needs to be done, say what needs to be said (in love). For the Holy Spirit’s enabling.

Prioritize. Determine what’s important to you, what you can and cannot live without. Prioritize things. Prioritize your time. It, after all, is most precious and irreplaceable. What things do we do that we don’t feel called to do? That we said yes to because we couldn’t or wouldn’t say no? When you’re fulfilling God’s purpose for you, the joy will just spill out – you won’t be able to contain it. It will energize you.

Prioritize relationships. Which ones build you up, encourage you, energize you, uplift you? Which ones suck the joy, life, and spark out of you? God says we’re to love one another, but that doesn’t mean we’re to allow toxic relationships to poison our inner peace, infect our outlook and attitude, siphon the joy out of our spirits, and deflate our hopes and dreams. Pray for that person, but limit your time with them. Learn to say no. Firmly and politely.

Pay attention. Be alert for red flags – circumstances, gut feelings, advice from a trusted, godly friend or relative, or someone who’s learned lessons in the school of hard knocks, who’s had more experience than you. Seek God’s guidance. Remember Proverbs 3:5–6 and Psalm 37:23.

Pitch. De-clutter, Discard. Dispose. What haven’t you used or worn for a year? What are you hanging on to because you might need it someday? Can someone else use it? Pass it on, then. If not, pitch it.

Plan to live simply from now on. The best way to do this is to learn to say no. To yourself: “No. I don’t need it.” To others. Don’t accept anything merely out of kindness or guilt. Be gracious: “Thank you for thinking of me, anyhow.” Or accept it and put it in the box you have designated to give to charity.

Once you’ve de-cluttered your life, you’ll be amazed at how free you feel, how much joy you have, how much more clearly you’re thinking.

Clutter is a disease that infects not just our physical space but our minds, hearts, and spirits.

Trust God to provide you with what you need. Anything else is just stuff.

Lord, teach me to live simply. Amen.

 Read and meditate on Matthew 11:28–30

© 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.