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.

Factory Resets Aren’t Always the Answer

images

So we do not lose heart. Though our outward nature is wasting away, our inner nature in being renewed every day. –2 Corinthians 4:16

My friend and colleague Karen O’Connor once wrote a book, Getting’ Old Ain’t for Wimps. The older I get, the more I realize how true those words are. It seems that with every year, something on this old body quits working, or quits working the way it should, and never gets back to “factory settings.”

I say “factory settings” because a computer can be restored to the settings that were on it when you purchased it. The problem is a reset erases all the information you have stored. I may be able to reset my computer—and even my cell phone—back to the way it was when it was brand new, but that has both positive and negative effects. On the positive side, resetting it will get rid of the junk that I don’t know about or understand that’s using the memory and slowing my computer down. On the negative side, resetting would cause me to lose things I don’t want to lose, things I worked hard to produce.

So it is with our bodies. We may wish to be young again, to have the health and vigor we had back in the day. But then I don’t want to lose all the wisdom, knowledge, and experience I’ve gained over my lifetime.

Solomon advises in Ecclesiastes: “Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?” (Ecclesiastes 7:10).

They were better because I had my health. My dreams and my future all still lay before me like a field of unbroken snow. But I was clueless, selfish, and without God, and I do NOT want to go back to that state.

I’m in my mid-sixties now. I never thought I’d come to the point where health would be an issue. But here I am, researching natural ways to deal with the breaking down parts of my body rather than ingest more chemicals that may be more harmful than good.

My memory is slowing down, my blood pressure is speeding up, my energy is decreasing, my aches are increasing (Where? Everywhere!). I have more people in my life to worry about, but that means I have more love—to give and to receive.

I’ve lost loved ones, and the older I get, the more I stand to lose. But also, the more I get to love, as my family grows with grandchildren, and in a few years, great-grandchildren.

But I do not fear growing older, even with certain grief and pain and loss that is sure to come, as it does to all who live long enough.

I do not fear because I have a soul that is eternal, that isn’t wasting away like this old body is, but is being renewed daily.

I do not fear because faith, hope, and love are growing daily.

I do not fear because I will never be alone. My God is with me now, and He will always be, as He promised: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he; I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you” (Isaiah 46:4).

When the aches and pains (inner and outer) remind me of how old I’m getting, Lord, YOU remind me of how young my spirit is. Amen.

Extra tea: Read and meditate on 2 Corinthians 4:16–5:5 and Psalm 91

 

For more information about KAREN O’CONNOR, her books, and her refreshing perspective on life, visit her website. You can even sign up for her Senior Moments e-newsletter and blog, The Bright Side of Aging.