By Karen Jakes
I was first introduced to Thin Within in 2007. I knew the principles would work because I had lost 25 pounds in 8 weeks on another hunger/satisfaction eating program in 2006. What I did not understand was why I would always turn to food and the underlying issues behind my addiction – my fat machinery.
At the end of 2006, my husband was laid off from his job, and we were on the verge of losing our first home. We put our home for sale and moved to live with my family in another state in order to save money. This was an extremely high stress situation. I again turned to food.
I found Thin Within while searching online in 2007 when I realized my weight was creeping back up again. I didn’t finish my online class because I found out we were expecting our first daughter after three boys. I really did not believe that you could do these principles while pregnant.( I was very wrong!) The stress levels of living with my family was more than I could bear. Thin Within went back on the shelf, and we moved back to our home trying to save it.
From 2007 – 2014, I lived by my own rules. I turned to food instead of turning to God during these years in which we did lose our first home. We also lost our first daughter – who died at birth, and my closest friend – my sister who died of cancer at the age of 37. At my heaviest, I carried 90-100 pounds more than what I should. I tried several eating programs and even hired a trainer thinking maybe I’m just not exercising enough. My weight would always go back up. I was not faithful to the principles because I was very much still into diet rules and many other underlying issues that God has brought to light during this Hunger Within class. I would dabble through the years but never faithfully committed to living a sacrificial life for God.
However, God is faithful never to leave us alone, and He was at work in my heart. I could never stop thinking about this way of living – being led by the Holy Spirit. This is true freedom.
I had taken pills, exercised obsessively, and been on many diets throughout the years. I was just plain tired. I would often remember the words God spoke to me in August 2011.
“Spend time in my presence. Let me transform you into the image of my dear Son, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Forego the ways of the world. I created you. I see your hurt, your pain. Let me help you. Do those things that bring lasting change. Let me bring lasting change no matter how long it takes.”
God’s beckoning was so real in 2011, and His words are still alive in my spirit! These words have been my driving force when I am tempted to walk away from this life of boundaries.
At the verge of losing my marriage and my mind in 2014, I made a commitment to God to give Him every part of my life – to become a living sacrifice in every area.
In November of 2014, I connected to Thin Within again and signed up for the next class which was Taste for Truth led by Heidi. That was the beginning of serious change as I finally realized my way wasn’t working. Mans’ ways will never provide permanent change. I had idolized and obsessed over a perfect body thinking that was real beauty. If I could only get back to a certain size then I would be happy, accepted, and loved.
I am so grateful that God used the truth in Hunger Within to unwrap my grave clothes. Hunger Within has gotten to the root of many issues and strongholds. I simply had no idea about the deep far-reaching effects of my many different life experiences from a child through adulthood. The entire book has been life-changing, and God revealed so much especially through the chapters “Worth Not Shame” and “The Present Not The Past.” Forgiveness has been a huge issue for me. Forgiving others and forgiving myself. My worth comes from God..not the shame of who I used to be. Throughout the years – even before our birth, the layers of grave clothes begin. God wants to unwrap us and show us who we really are!
I am still a work in progress, but praise God there has been progress! We are daughters of the most High God. I am a new creation. God is SO much bigger than any mountain in our lives, and our victory lies in keeping our daily focus on Him.