I have noticed that there are two types of people in Thin Within:
- Those who stay on the fringes of the ministry, dabbling here and there, reading some, participating in a group or two – which I did for years! And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it! I was welcomed, accepted, and loved, and I received much in the way of encouragement and resources. And I learned and grew. But there was no “connectaccountability” – meaning no one knew when I was coming or going, or how I was doing with the program, other than what I chose to reveal in a group.
Fringe-stayers; comfy, but you don’t go anywhere (at least I didn’t!)
But I personally could just not get to a place of fully embracing the Thin Within message or implementing it into my life. That’s why I was SO glad when Heidi and Christina began their small coaching groups, as this was the opportunity I needed to be part of the second type of Thin Withinner:
- Those who jump in to the program head-first, with heart in tow, and become participants in a much deeper, real-time, connected way!
Woo-hooooo!!! So glad I jumped in!
This is now ME, too!!! And I like it much better than being in the first group! (Don’t worry, it’s much easier than doing the above jump would be, but it felt almost as scary right at the beginning!)
In fact, I love small group coaching – and Heidi and Christina(!) – so much, I’m now in my fourth group!
Perhaps you have made the jump into joining a small coaching group, and started out, but then got cold feet part way through and opted to pull out.
Or maybe you stuck it out, but didn’t feel you got out of it what you hoped.
No matter what boat you’re in – or not in – I have a few tips that will help you get the most out of your involvement with a small coaching group. Note that many of them are decisions.
1) Decide right up front – as in right now ~ that you will jump in to this program, specifically into your group, with your whole heart, and that you will give it all that you can! This isn’t just about Heidi and Christina giving to us, although they do much of that! It’s about what you bring to – and give to the group. In fact, if you decide to GIVE more than you receive, you will be even more blessed, because, as we all know, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Part of what they do is facilitate us connecting with and blessing each other!
I’ve often gone to a call just feeling grimey, like I’ve failed (cuz I actually had!), and like I need a good cleansing. But after each of our calls, I feel like I have been washed fresh and clean – by the Word, by sharing my heart and being showered with encouragement, love, and compassion. My focus gets changed from being downward-focused, to being , focused on Jesus’ cleansing grace, excited to jump back in whole-heartedly and right-heartedly.
2) Do your prep work for the call each week, as much as possible, not as a legalistic or performance-based thing, not just so that you can check it off your list (which, as confirmed “To-do-a-holic,” I do LOVE checklist-checking-off!), but rather, simply because these assignments are part of the work that God is doing to bring us out of Egypt and into his promised land! In our case, it’s the Promised Land of FREEDOM FROM EMOTIONAL EATING AND BONDAGE TO FOOD!!! I SO look forward to this, but, thanks to these coaching groups, I am much closer to it than ever before!
3) But, even if you are not able to do all of the assignment, or even any of it ~ and there will be those times – decide right now – this very moment(!) – to come to every single call that you’re able to, even, if not especially, when you you don’t want to come! Heidi and Christina are sooooo gracious – ALL of the time!!! Even if we have been unable to do the assignments, we are still just as welcome on the calls! We have ALL been there, and there is no condemnation, and we have still gotten much out of our time on the call, with noone thinking less of us for it!
4) Show yourself GRACE ALL through the process, because that is absolutely the theme of this ministry, and at the very core of Heidi and Christina’s hearts! There have been many times that I have felt like I deserved a little bit of scolding, but that has NEVER EVER happened! I have received nothing but encouragement, grace, and love!
5) Determine that you will discard any and ALL thoughts of self-condemnation! This includes being down on yourself, feeling like a failure, or entertaining any ideas of quitting. Since what we are doing in these small groups is really part of our walks with the Lord – in an area we have heretofore kept in a dark closet of our hearts – there’s really nothing TO quit! This is very much part of our journey with God! We are just bringing an area of our lives into a place of allowing God to have access to it – to heal us, and bring us out of that darkness and into His wonderful light! Sometimes that light can be blinding and uncomfortable, but it’s the only place we’re going to get fully healed!
6) Decide, instead, that when you fail or “blow it,” you will “observe and correct,” and focus only on what you can learn from any failure. And we get plennnnty of practice at this with Heidi and Christina, who simply don’t accommodate any attempts to beat ourselves up!
7) Likewise, decide right now that, when the Holy Spirit shows you any sin, you will repent quickly! No groveling, no retreating from Him, no justifying, no pummeling yourself for doing it again, no pity party. Just quickly come into agreement with the Lord (about your sin) and REPENT! Respond to His loving conviction and come back quickly to Him. Do not allow it to keep you away from Him. He is our only hope for transformation anyway, so staying away from Him will only cut us off from our Source of power and change!
Jesus’ arms – and those of Heidi and Christina and everyone in our small group – are wide open to receive us and swiftly get us back on the path to peace, healing, freedom and victory!
This is actually more like what it feels like sometimes!!!
8) Come to each call ready to be vulnerable and share what is truly on your heart! This is not the place to come with a happy-face mask and act like everything’s fine when it isn’t. This is truly a loving, caring, gracious group of ladies, under the loving and wise leadership of Heidi and Christina, and you can be totally yourself, totally vulnerable with them! You will absolutely FALL IN LOVE with these amazing people!
It’s like being part of a living, vital, growing, fruitful vine! We are all connected, all growing together, and in many ways producing sweet fruit together because of the input we all have into each others’ lives on this inter-connected leg of the journey. Yes, it’s difficult but we are in it together!
So – can you see why I am sooooo deeply grateful to be in a Thin Within coaching group with Heidi and Christina?!?
I know weight numbers are not a focus, but just so you know this really works from not only a spiritual angle, but from a physical one as well, I have lost about 30 pounds since starting this Thin Within journey! And I have another 20 or so to lose, which will put me at my natural God-given size, not necessarily “skinny.”
These small groups help me keep “walking in the light” where it’s much more difficult to hide in the darkness than when I’m “Lone Rangering” it! – which is SO easy to do when I am struggling and failing and sinning!
So if you are still on the fence, I encourage you to take this to the Lord, ask Him if this is something He wants you to be part of, and if so, don’t wait another moment to sign up and jump into this! It might feel like you’re about to do this…
…especially when you first join and come to your first group phone call. But I encourage you come to the water, LET GO of the rope – whatever is holding you back – and JUST JUMP IN!!!!
I can wholeheartedly assure you that…
the water is WARM!!!