If you’ve been connected with Thin Within for longer than ten minutes, you’ve heard Heidi and Christina talk about Truth Lists.
These can help you get a breakthrough in an area of your life that is currently tripping you up, keeping you bound, or bringing you confusion or downright misery.
A Truth List is an excellent tool for renewing your mind. In fact, I’d call it “mind renewing on steroids”! Or a “fast-track to a sound mind” in an area you know you’re not sound in! It can really pack a punch to any wrong thinking that’s currently holding you captive, ineffective, or stymied in a certain area.
There is no one best or right way to do a Truth List. You just want it to include truths that will help you view a real-life situation the way God views it — which is the only right way, because God’s way is the only way that will bring healing and wholeness! Nothing else can or will free us from our wrong thinking — thinking that can derail us, spiral us downward into sadness or depression, or take us in a wrong direction.
How to make one? Where to start? … Just with something — anything — that is currently bothering you, keeping you from walking in victory, joy, or freedom, or something that continually nags at you, robbing you of peace.
As you will see below, each Truth List is completely different. None of them followed any rules. Each has its own style and focus. Some are long, some are short.
Some were shared in our small coaching group, where I gathered them for this article, and one of them I transcribed from a porch chat by Christina.
I share these with you today in hopes that they will open up for you the wonderful world of creating a Truth List for a real-life aspect of your journey!
Truth List about My Weakened Physical Condition
What is true: I am not my activity level. I am not my energy level.
However, God’s truth about this is that…
🌷 I am a child of the king no matter what my energy level.
🌷 I am a princess bride.*
🌷 No matter how I feel physically, I am part of a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a person who belongs to God.
🌷 No matter what condition my body is in, I have been called out of darkness and into his marvelous light to declare his praises…
🌷 And that is who I am most fundamentally. No matter how I feel physically or what infection I may be fighting or what blood clot is in my body, if any, I have been purchased with the precious blood of Christ.
🌷 No matter what I look like or how emaciated my body may be, no matter how little muscle or how weak I am physically, I am the temple of the Holy Spirit.
*And, speaking of “princess bride,” I have a special treat for you!! Here is the beautiful Princess-Bride Heidi herself on her Wedding Day, with several of her Thin Within sisters! (From left to right: Emily Felts (featured in the next section), me / Barb Shelton, Christina Motley, Heidi Bylsma Epperson, Judy Halliday (founder of Thin Within!), Jan Tabrizi, and Karon Ruiz)
And here are Heidi and her handsome Prince-Groom, Michael Epperson! (Wedding Day: June 29,2019) Michael MADE the chocolate cake, which was amaaaazing!!!
Truth List about Restoration and Freedom
by Heidi, Emily, and Bridget
Heidi asked our small coaching group: “Please share the truths you have added (or could add) to your truth cards or truth list from Hunger Within chapter 2.”
The first ones with the pink flowers 🌸 are by Heidi; the next ones with the white flowers 🌼 are from Emily; and the last ones with the sunflowers 🌻 are from Bridget. Thank you, ladies, for sharing your contributions!
🌸 I CAN be healed and restored through God’s power.
🌸 I CAN be set free from disordered eating.
🌸 In my attempts to “manage” or “control” the impact food and eating has on me, I create entanglements that enslave me even more!
🌸 Fixed formulas of restraint and a constant fear of failing will never work.
🌸 Any formula that prevents failure also prevents freedom!
🌸 I need to develop new and appropriate coping techniques to replace the disordered behaviors of my past.
🌸 It is entirely possible that all of the changes that need to be made are so threatening to me that I will be tempted to back away from having my grave clothes unwrapped and keep the grave clothes bound around me. I may even want to flee back into the tomb and pull the stone over the entrance.
🌼 As I accept the challenge of freedom and resolve the pain hidden beneath my eating, I am free to enjoy a peaceful relationship with food and my body.
🌼 God’s gift to me is resurrection — restoration and recovery.
🌼 Recovery from disordered eating is not only possible; it is what God intends.
🌼 Today I present myself to Jesus, ready to have my grave clothes removed: to give voice to my hunger within, and — in His presence — to listen to myself, body, mind, and soul.
🌼 God is in control of this process and he will comfort and sustain me. (from page 62)
🌼 My security and significance come from experiencing an intimate relationship with God.
🌼 An intimate relationship with God begins as I believe I can be restored and that God accepts me as I am, with all my flaws and frailties.
🌻 God’s restoration work is far more wonderful than the temporary relief of our weight problems. (from page 47)
🌻 By eating low fat and living by rules, I’ve created entanglements that enslave me even more. Hunger within is still active and rules will not kill it. Rules will not bury it because it’s not dead. It is very much alive.
🌻 Food rules and restrictions will not set me free.
🌻 Losing weight will not change my life.
🌻 Diets promise freedom and deliverance but don’t deliver it. (from page 46)
🌻 As He did for Lazarus, Jesus waited to help me:
- so that I’d be ready to hear and obey;
- because He knows that as sick and desperate as I am, this will not end in death; and
- that HE will be glorified in this deliverance and restoration.
Truth/Gratefulness List about my Teenage Daughter
Those of you who have, or have had, teenage daughters know that it can be extremely challenging at times to communicate with and deal with some of the issues, communication challenges, and struggles that they have as they are growing up.
When I was having a particularly difficult season with her, I decided I needed to come up with a truth list, but I also needed to practice gratitude for her, so I incorporated gratitude into it. So whenever we were together and I was having a hard time, those thoughts of gratitude would came up in my mind and my heart and renew my mind about her.
I also want to invite God into the situation of parenting a teenager. So, for example, I might have a prayer time where I am focusing on just gratitude for her.
🌻 Lord, I am so thankful that she and I can get together and talk.
🌻 I am so thankful that she still opens up to me and tells me secret things, and confides in me.
🌻 I’m thankful that she confides in me about her friends and relationships.
🌻 Lord, I am so thankful for the times that she and I laugh together! We get silly and laugh and roll on the floor and giggle and have such a good time!
🌻 Lord, I am so thankful for my snuggle times with her! Even though, she sometimes pushes me away, as teenagers do, we still get on the couch and watch a favorite show together and snuggle.
🌻 Thank you so much that she and I go on coffee dates together. She loves that, and it draws her back to me. It’s a little something I can do for her.
🌻 Lord, thank you for my daughter. She is creative. She is smart. She is funny. She is passionate. She is a good friend to others. And I am grateful for all her good qualities right now.
Truth List Regarding Insecurity and Inadequacy
This truth list is written in the form of a paragraph rather than a list, but it’s all the same truth. And I have been praying through it often lately! I am hoping that God will use it in some way with one of you!
I am really struggling with insecurity and inadequacy. I have just prayed through the insecurity questions in Barb Raveling’s book, I Deserve a Donut, and she is right. God’s view of me is so completely different than my view of myself! And what does the world see? “Oh… she has a lot going on but she can handle it.” And there is a part of me that fears that the people out there beyond my family are thinking “She doesn’t have time for me. … She doesn’t care about me. … I am not important to her.”
I have been trying so hard to take care of everything and everyone, and there is just not enough of me to go around. I am not strong enough, not healthy enough, not wise enough, and there is just not enough time to do it all. I have been giving myself no margin to just rest and be.
Even my rest times have been busy, taken quickly in the living room and working on things while laying down.
God hasn’t called me to be everything to everyone. God hasn’t called me to be perfect. God hasn’t called me to live and breathe in my own strength. God hasn’t called me to figure it all out or know all the answers…
God has called me to be His. To let Him. To submit to Him. To rest in Him. To trust Him. To surrender to Him. To let Him be my strength. To invite Him into everything, and I mean everything.
God has called me to lay down my weapons, to stop striving and to let Him lead me, even carry me at times. God has called me to give Him my heart. But there is peace in surrender. Sweet, pure, perfect and supernatural peace. And that is what I am desperately longing for.
Truth List about Having an Illness
Here is the Truth List that Jesus and I put together a while back about one of my biggest challenges — my illness. You can easily change it up to fit your own needs. Hope this helps and encourages you in some way!
🌳 Jesus is my healer.
🌳 Jesus is healing me.
🌳 Jesus is in full control of the Lyme Disease treatment process.
🌳 Jesus knows and sees what I am going through… every symptom, its severity, its duration, and how I am limited because of it.
🌳 Jesus knows that the way I feel physically is very closely connected to the way I feel emotionally and spiritually.
🌳 Jesus sees and understands what I am grieving as a result of Lyme Disease. He grieves with me.
🌳 Jesus has not forgotten me.
🌳 Jesus is not confused or tired or absent or busy with other things.
🌳 Jesus hears and answers every prayer that is said for me by myself or someone else.
🌳 Jesus is in control of the timing of this journey and His timing is always perfect.
🌳 Jesus is using this trial for His own perfect plans and purposes in my life, and in my family and friends’ lives.
🌳 Jesus is strong in my weakness.
🌳 Jesus will provide what is needed for whatever He is asking of me.
🌳 Jesus is my Savior… not people, not food, not distraction, not what I can do or accomplish.
🌳 Jesus calls me to surrender to Him every moment of every day in the midst of this challenging journey.
🌳 Jesus calls me to love Him with my whole heart and to let Him order and arrange and prioritize my days.
🌳 Jesus will complete the work that He is doing in me.
🌳 Jesus is protecting me daily from much, much worse.
🌳 Jesus is doing a work in my heart.
🌳 Jesus will cause everything about this journey to work together for my good and the good of those I love.
🌳 Jesus is mine and I am His.
🌳 Jesus has chosen me to be His beloved girl, redeemed and washed clean and radiant in His sight.
🌳 Jesus does absolutely nothing outside of His boundless love and relentless grace for me.
🌳 Jesus will never fail me.
🌳 Jesus is with me.
🌳 Jesus has me.
Truth List about Eating with my Family:
🍔 Eating with my family is a precious gift from God.
🍔 My family includes three fun, silly, interesting teenagers and I love the stories that are shared at the table!
🍔 In a few years we will have an empty nest and I will miss family dinners.
🍔 Truly celebrating and enjoying family dinners has nothing to do with eating too much food.
🍔 Eating God’s way at dinner honors God and the precious gift he has given me in my family.
🍔 Being the last one to take a first bite ensures that I am being a servant of my family.
🍔 When I take even smaller portions, eat at a ridiculously slow pace, choose water as a beverage and listen to my body I am surrendering to God’s way of eating and that feels GOOD.
🍔 True freedom is being able to say “That’s just enough.”
🍔 God’s way is always best for me!
Truth List about Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake & Anything Chocolate Chip:
This has to do with emotional attachment to a food. There is a certain cake in our family that is very very important. Why? What’s the big deal?
Well, growing up, my mom was not a cook or a baker, and so she had just a couple of recipes that were very special. She needed some kind of go-to for potlucks, birthdays, and special events. She had one cake that she made my entire childhood – a Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake. It’s really easy to make, and it’s absolutely delicious!
That means every birthday, every gathering with others we loved and cared for, every church potluck, every time people came to visit, we had that cake! It was also special to me because my mom would involve my brother and I while she made it! And it would be a big deal… we would put in the eggs, and mix the batter, and make sure to alternate the flour and the sour cream… it was like an art on how to make this ONE special cake! And then we got to lick the bowl – who gets the spoon and the beaters? So you can imagine how special this cake was in our family!
Several years ago, my mom wasn’t able to make it anymore because of the Alzheimer’s Disease. But still do! I can make it in my sleep. I can whip it up in 10 minutes and have it in the oven. I try to make it often, and not just for special occasions. I also make it for my parents because it’s special to them.
(Here’s Maddie — center — with one of these cakes for her birthday! That’s Christina’s mom, Silke, on the left, and Christina on the right!)
So you can imagine how emotionally attached I am to this cake! And how impossible it seems to eat 0-5 with it. When I make the batter, I just want to eat the whoooole thing!
For years I didn’t really understand why! I thought: What is the big deal?!?!? Why do I have NO self control whatsoever with this one food? It’s a go-to for me, if I’m feeling very sad, or very angry, or upset… or celebratory!
And everything chocolate chip has become a go-to for me because of that cake: chocolate chip muffins, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip granola bars and scones, chocolate chips in yogurt, ice cream, chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate chip mint ice cream, and shakes…
One day the Lord and I sat down together and we did some journaling. Well, *I* did the writing, and I tried to listen while He talked. I asked:
“Lord, I want to understand! I don’t want this to master me! Will You help me? Show me what’s going on here? And show me what is true from Your perspective so that I can make and enjoy this cake! And not eat to an 8 every time I do, and then I feel awful!”
So first, He showed me why I have this very strong emotional attachment to anything chocolate chip. (All the above that I’ve shared.)
And here is my very short Truth List about Chocolate Chip Cake: Only three truths, but it’s enough; it’s power-packed and it’s enough to help me each time I’m getting ready to bake it or eat it, or anything chocolate chip…
🍪 Chocolate chips do not own me; they remind me of love and nurturing from my mom and Omama.
🍪 I am not mastered by anything chocolate chip. I’m not! It’s just food! I’m NOT!
🍪 Chocolate chip foods do not provide comfort, love, nurturing, energy, or healing. They don’t! They don’t provide ANY of that!
As a special treat (quite literally), I thought it would be fun to see Christina’s Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake recipe itself! And she graciously consented to allowing me to include it right here! She doesn’t need it herself as she has it memorized and can make it in her sleep! But she wrote this one for a friend and had her get a picture of it just for this blog post! (Yes, she is that wonderful!)
And it looks like it is well used! Hopefully the Truth Lists in this article will be, too!
(Be sure to use Christina’s last Truth List if you make this recipe or anything chocolate chip, if this is a challenge for you as well!)
Thank you, Christina and Heidi for your candid contributions to this blog post!
And blessings on you, our dear reader and fellow sojourner, and on your process of using any/all of the above Truth Lists, as well as coming up with your own! – which we would love to see! Please feel free to share in a comment!
I want to tell you a story, a true story I will call “My Jonah Story.” I must advise that this story is a bit dire and messy so a word of caution while reading if you will! So, if you’re still with me, here goes:
I just finished reading the book of Jonah. It’s a very short book in the bible; only 4 chapters. After I finished observing and correcting my situation, I must say that I was a little disobedient in my walk with God (how can you be a little disobedient with God?), and I suffered one volatile night, “explosive” enough to not go down this path again!
As you may or not know, I am beginning my path of learning to walk again with Pal, which is what I call my prosthetic foot. It’s been both exciting and exhausting at the same time.
I had asked God to help me do something different, and boy did He answer that prayer! Keep in mind that, for the last year, 90-95% of my time was spent in bed. All I could do was read and read and read, study the word, watch TV, and do homework through Bible studies and Thin Within. I was just tired of doing that, so Pal comes into my life.
As I started putting Pal on, I felt a shift in my thinking. I started to lean towards activity and exercise. I even caught myself looking into some supplements that could help boost me.
My husband was urging me to do that because he had mentioned that he wanted to try one of those green drinks. So I watched the 20-minute video and thought it was interesting. We have a vitamin shop close by, so my husband went and purchased a jar.
I tried one, but didn’t like the taste, so I proceeded to try the red drink instead. The next day I made a smoothie for breakfast and it seemed to work.
Remember I had not prayed about this; I’m just going with the flow. I did say, “God I hope that am doing the right thing here. I’m not sure if you want me to do this.”
The third day I tried a peanut butter smoothie with the drink, and was boasting that it kept my hunger at bay. I really didn’t want any food. So I kept thinking, “I’ll just have a smoothie and one meal and that’s how I’m going to release weight. I’m not dieting. This stuff is going to work!”
Well later on in the evening of the third day, my stomach started to rumble. James, our son, had just gotten home and the lady who brought him home was talking to my husband. She is a sweet lady, but talks a bit much. I needed to get my husband’s attention because I REALLY had to use the bathroom. I eventually managed to get to the commode beside my bed and relieved myself. My husband got me back in the bed and under the covers.
[My word of caution now goes into effect, in case you thought that last bit was “it.”]
Not even ten minutes later, my stomach started again. This time it was too late. I found out I had diarrhea! So after we got me cleaned up and changed the bed and I took some of that pink drink for diarrhea, it was now about 12:00 midnight. I told my husband that, if I have to go, I will brave it out until the morning to keep him from having to get up and not sleeping through the night.
I sleep in a hospital bed. Sure enough, about 3am it started in again. My stomach started to rumble, and continued rumbling on for two more hours. I was miserable, wet, sticky, and stinky.
I may not have been in the deep dark belly of a whale, but I was most certainly in a deep dark mess!
It’s funny now, but it sure wasn’t when I was going through it!! By about 5 am, I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to wake up my husband. Can you imagine what I said? I told him I’d had a blow-out! HA! It was more like a sonic boom!
My husband had put a pillow under my leg the previous night, and we had to throw that away in the trash.
Thank God I had a plastic sheet on the mattress or we would have needed to get a whole new mattress.
So I got my answer. This is not what God wanted me to do.
As I think about this hysterical story, who would have gotten the glory for the weight release? I would have. It was my own control and concoction that would have gotten the glory. God would not have been anywhere around.
He is a jealous God; He wants me to surrender and obey him. He must and will get ALL of the glory for my weight release!
I have learned my lesson. And I found out that “God, I hope I’m doing the right thing” does not count as a prayer.
But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving, I will pay that which I have vowed.” (Jonah 2:9)
(See her bio below.)
My flesh machinery has really been riled up these past few days, with food loudly and persistently calling my name, like, all the time! Awaiting zero has been harder than usual.
We are taught in Thin Within that overeating – eating when we aren’t hungry – can cover raw, uncomfortable emotions, thus numbing us and keeping us from dealing with emotions that really need to be dealt with, not buried alive or smothered.
Doing things that I know I should be doing often helps me ignore the loud calling of my name by food.
My food is to do the will of Him who sent me, and to accomplish His work.” (John 4:34)
I’m fully aware this is Jesus talking, and that I’m not Jesus! Or diety! But I believe that this principle – that doing the will of God is food to us – is true for us, too, and Jesus lived it out first to show us how to do it.
But still… right now all I want to do is eat! EAT EAT EAT!!!! UUUUGH!!!! (This is as embarrassing to admit as it is frustrating to feel!)
But the Lord reminds me… I am not without help! He Himself helps us:
Apart from Me you can do nothing…
But He has also inspired His people to create resources that help us more clearly see – and accurately apply – these truths. And He has given us many wonderful resources in Thin Within, especially via Judy and Arthur Halliday, and Heidi Bylsma! I am currently going through Rebuilding God’s Temple, and in the Week 10, Day 4 lesson, we are asked to take note of specific emotions that are stirred up in us while awaiting zero, and then also journal about them. So that’s what I’m going to do right here – share with you my process… for better or worse…
1. Identify the emotion that’s surfacing while awaiting zero:
That’s easy! ANXIETY!
2. Journal about it:
I know scripture clearly tells us to not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, to let our requests be made known to God…
And I totally get that and agree with that! Well, I totally agree with that, but I’m not so sure I totally get it, or I wouldn’t still be dealing with this stuff, right? But nonetheless, I am anxious.
The wonderful thing is that God knows us, He knows we will be anxious, and He has made provision for this emotion in these verses:
Pour out your hearts to the Lord for He can help.” … “Make your needs known to Him.” … “Come and talk with Me, oh my people…”
So I will take Him up on his offer and start pouring… making my needs known to Him… and coming to and talking with Him…
Here are my current anxiety-causers: (They really boil down to two.)
One is that I have a busy few days coming up, and I am anxious about how I’m going to get everything done. How do I best prioritize, not get side-tracked, and use my time the most wisely?
The other is that we will be having company staying at our home for several days. I have a melancholic personality and I enjoy – and actually need – time to myself. Having company will entail interruption to my usual quiet days – quiet because we are empty-nesters and my husband is retired. So this will be challenging to my flesh, especially since hospitality does not come easily or naturally for me – probably because I am basically selfish, and hospitality is basically all about unselfishness. It will be rewarding, too, I enjoy people once they are here, but I am still anxious about this.
So identifying the emotion and journaling about it got everything out in the open, and definitely helped, but now I need to take it to the next level and “finish it up”; I need to…
3. Pray it all the way through.
Okay, Lord, here I am…
Lord, You know all about the anxiety that is having a hayday in me right now. And I’m sure this is part of what’s drawing me so strongly to want to eat right now, to try to mask it or smother it or avoid dealing with it, or D. ALL THE ABOVE.
Of course I know full well that none of those will work, but that doesn’t mean I won’t fall for it, again.
Lord, I want to be honoring to you in how I eat, and I know I have not been, and for that I ask your forgiveness.
I come to You with the weightiness of my emotions, my selfishness, my confusion, my frustrations, my anger, and my insecurities…
…in this case, about hosting and entertaining guests. And I give it ALL to You, Lord…
You know what You want to happen with our guests, and I ask You to lead me that way and give me Your heart, Your love for them.
Help me think less about myself and more about them and their needs, and to make them feel welcome, and to show them Your love.
I also ask You to help me use my time wisely and get done those things that You want done, and let the rest go!
I cast all of these cares on You, Lord! I can’t fix them or get rid of them anyway, so I bring them to – and leave them with – You.
And I trust You with them, and to get me over any hurdles, and through any tough times that come up today and once our company is here. Please give me the words, the heart, the direction, and the wisdom I need in each moment.
Thank you, Lord, for everything You are doing and are going to do! Aaaaaaamen!
I feel like I broke off a huge chunk of a taproot today!
This bondage to food is like a huge tree with very long and thick taproots burrowing deep into the ground. The taproots become larger, longer, and thicker every time we eat when we aren’t hungry. The stronghold (tree and taproots) just get bigger and bigger in our lives.
What is it going to take to remove this huge tree and those very large taproots? It’s going to take spiritual weapons to remove it all!
The length of time it will take to remove the tree and taproots depends on how large the tree and taproots have become in your life.
For me, I became morbidly obese (I hate that term!), so my tree is gigantic, as are the taproots. It is not impossible to conquer this, but will take huge amounts of spiritual weapons to bring down the tree and dry up the taproots.
The spiritual tools I will need to use are: daily affirmations, mind renewal spoken aloud at least once or twice a day, prayer, Bible study especially concerning food issues, self control, faithfulness and discipline.
These will all work together to begin to loosen and dry up those taproots.
Last night I got the strongest urge to eat. I wasn’t even sure if I was hungry. It felt like I was getting a hunger pang, or maybe it was in my mind. I decided this would be a good time to practice saying no to my flesh, so I spoke out loud: “I’m saying no to my flesh.”
Saying no to my flesh is saying yes to honoring God in my eating, yes to walking again, (literally for me!), and yes to getting my life back. Getting my life back is getting my own independence back and doing things for myself again.
I had just heard a statement: “If my flesh is screaming, it’s not dead yet.” My flesh is like a little child wanting its way, having a temper tantrum. When this happens it’s a prime time to offer my body to and honor God. At that moment it becomes good seed to give to God.
So I felt like a huge chunk of the taproot was released last night when I didn’t eat. I offered my choice to not eat to God and honored him. I offered my body as a living sacrifice to God. I gave up food I wanted to eat and offered that to God as a gift.
Not eating is a seed, and when you give God a “not eating seed,” He multiplies that seed to you. He multiplies the seed sown and increases the fruits of righteousness in you. (2 Corinthians 9:10…)
It’s like a farmer planting seeds in the ground. Whatever you plant is what you get! If I plant tomato seeds, I will get tomatoes, not corn. If I plant cucumber seeds, I get cucumbers, not watermelons.
So if I want to not eat as much, then I will have to plant periods of not eating in my life. As I offer that to God, it becomes good seed for him to grow in me. Does that make sense? It is a spiritual law.
Here is the scripture in its entirety (KJV):
Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food and multiply your seed sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.”
The same thing happens when we tithe. We give, and he gives back more! It’s a beautiful law that works. I understand this principle financially and have seen God multiply my finances over and over again.
But trying it out with God in the weight-releasing realm was another story. However, God used a “Big D Episode” (being disobedient and paying for it with digestive issues and the like,) to turn my attention to this realm. So I’m beginning to put this scripture into practice in my life more and more, which is key.
It is amazing how God can take small amounts of obedience and turn them into huge victories. Only our God can do that!
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…” (Zechariah 4:10)
(See her bio below.)