I’m a wife, a mom, a grandmother, sister, girlfriend, and a Sunday school teacher for 30 years. I was a Curves coach, a secretary/minister assistant 5 years, and I’m also retired from AT&T after 31 years.
During a car wreck in 1997 as my car careened out of control, I cried out to God “Here I come.” In the last seconds of consciousness, I cried out again, “Oh God let me live.” By all rights, the crash should have paralyzed my body. I only sustained cracked ribs and a broken back. 25+ years later, I’m still walking and talking. He answered my prayers. God had other plans for me.
I grew up in church, giving my life to Jesus at 9 years old. Even though I loved the Lord, went to church, was a Sunday school teacher, I struggled with carrying around an extra 20 pounds on my body. Then later another 20 pounds crept on me. I weighed 40 pounds more than I wanted.
In 2000, our pastor’s wife introduced us to First Place for Health. In our first session our group of eight all lost weight and gained a closer walk with Christ. A year later our leader went into the mission field. Who was going to lead us? I really didn’t feel I was the one, but God knew better. These last 22 years, leading First Place for Health groups, have helped me with my struggle with weight loss and has given me a purpose to share what Jesus can do when we place him first.
In 2004, I started losing my hearing and began wearing a cross over hearing aid. In 2013 at a FP4H leadership retreat I was struggling to comprehend the speakers. Delilah, one of my First Place sisters, sat next to me and wrote notes for me so I could understand the content shared by the speakers. I didn’t feel left out. No one made me feel like a bother. I felt loved.
In 2014 I woke up, not able to hear at all in my good ear. That left me with no hearing in one ear and only partial hearing in the other. I received my first Cochlear Implant in 2015. In 2019, I had a Cochlear Implant in my other ear. Through it all, my First Place family was with me. They’ve always met me where I’m at.
First Place for Health delivered me from my poor habits. I lost the 40 pounds, maintaining it for over 15 years. When the weight started to creep back on and I regained 20 lbs, I didn’t give up. “Giving Up” is no longer in my vocabulary. First Place showed me how to give my weight issues to Jesus. I continue to work at maintaining a healthy weight.
God gave me a purpose. Through my FP4H bible studies and groups, I’ve discovered how to give my weight, and any other problem to God. I’m still leading and loving all this program has done for me personally. I also love seeing the changes in people’s lives.
First Place showed me how to place Jesus first. By doing this I grew in four areas of my life.
Body – Exercise is an act of worship, eating healthy
Mind- Quiet Time, thinking positive, scripture memorization
Spirit- I set my mind on God and recognize the Holy Spirit lives in me.
Soul- My bible study, daily Scripture reading, being still to listen to God.
1 Corinthians 10:23 (HCSB), states, “Everything is permissible,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible,” but not everything builds you up.
I am grateful that most days and hours of the day I make the next right choice.
Becky Bergner serves on the First Place Advisory Council. She continues to lead groups in her community and for the FP4H Virtual groups.