A note about this multiple-part testimony: It seems so self-indulgent to me to share here on the blog all of this “All About Me” journey thing. My hope is that you will be encouraged! No matter how much “wandering” you think you have done, I am willing to bet I have done more! No matter how long you feel it has taken you to “get it” with regard to Thin Within principles, I am willing to bet it has taken me longer. No matter how many poor choices you feel you have made, I hope you can see I have made more! And *I* had a set up for “success” years ago!
So…that is why I have chosen to take the time (and space) and share this lengthy testimony with you. I truly hope that you can be encouraged. I have been the queen of failures, the master of flaky “commitments,” the expert of “good intentions!”
But God can and will turn any of it around. ALL of it matters! Rather than think it proves that I am a failure or flake, I choose to believe that it proves that God has deposited into my life investments that are now finally “maturing” (even if I am not! LOL!). Truthfully, if He can finally get through to me given all the chances I have had, then He can definitely transform ANYONE! So BE encouraged! And forgive me for going on and on with my testimony…
Letting Shame Win
Continuing from part 3…
The book project merged into another writing project through the holidays of 2001—what has now become the 12-week Thin Within Foundations Program material. As with the birthing of any work of value, there were many challenges. Looking back now, I can say it was all wonderfully worth it!
But at the time, facing the impossible tasks of writing constantly for short deadlines while trying to keep my home and homeschooling my then 8 and 10 year olds…emotionally, I was a basket case. What could have been an opportunity for growth—well, I allowed it to send me back to familiar coping mechanisms instead…plunging myself head long into overeating! Can you believe it!?
Do you find yourself gravitating toward that which is familiar–even when it is destructive? I know I do if I am not vigilant and guard against this tendency! That period was proof of that!
My journal entries at the time I was writing with Judy read like one struggling with two extremes (or what TW calls the pendulum swing). Resolved to demonstrate the freedom in practice that I knew Jesus had paid for me “in theory,” I repeatedly confessed my struggle with overeating to God and begged for His rescue. I lamented that even during my partnership with Judy Halliday—a wonderful mentor—still I hadn’t begun to live out the freedom that Jesus paid to provide for me. The feelings of defeat were, at times, absolutely overwhelming. More than ever before, I began to understand these words of the Apostle Paul:
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? (Romans 7:18-24)
The problem was, I continued to leave out verse 25 and chapter 8 verses 1 and 2 which reads:
Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!…Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
I continued to write for the Thin Within company through the first part of 2002. The book came out in Spring of 2002. We filmed the earliest videos for the company about that same time. But how was I supposed to testify about the effectiveness of the Thin Within approach when my body didn’t reflect that truth? I knew it *was* effective, but I wasn’t choosing to live according to what I knew. What kind of testimony is that? (More shame piled on…)
It is still difficult for me to see or hear that people have viewed those early TW videos…but I know God can use even a cracked pot to contain his glory!
Nevertheless, the “truth” I lived at the time wasn’t the truth I knew in my head. Shame began to return to my life more quickly than any weight I had formerly lost (which is saying a lot as the weight had returned QUICKLY).
Shame is dangerous. It causes us to isolate, to hide, and furthers our sin/shame patterns. have you found that to be true? I know now that if I have been hiding out at home and not getting out to see people as often, to evaluate my life…what is going on. Am I caught again in a shame cycle?
This, too, is written about in the Thin Again book. So much of what I had learned remained only in my head, however. The more I knew and didn’t apply, the greater my shame.
At some point, I supposed I couldn’t “handle” continuing to connect with my friends and mentors in Thin Within if I wasn’t going to change. Slowly, I drifted away from my association with the Hallidays and the Thin Within company.
In fact, I was ashamed that my name had been placed not only in the acknowledgements of the TW book, but also inside on the front page! God’s call was irrefutable. Yet I continued to resist.
Oh, dear reader…my heart is heavy as I share these details with you. I do so in the hopes that you will know that no matter how rebellious or sinful you may feel you have been or even are…I have you beat! My own rebellion is far greater!
When it comes to giving my heart and eating to the Lord, no greater love could have been given…and yet I continued to resist. So many chances. So many opportunities. Yet I began to feel as if I didn’t want my name to be associated with Thin Within or the Hallidays. I felt I would reflect poorly on the Hallidays, on Thin Within and on the Lord. I wasn’t yet living the truth that I knew was contained within the pages of the book. Shame is so deadly.
But God had a plan…
Part 5 of Heidi’s TW Testimony is here