Michelle Cresap

Michelle Cresap

I have lost 84 pounds and my health has improved drastically. I no longer have to take insulin or any form of diabetes medicine.

My “before” picture was made on November 8, 2006, the day I received the Mississippi School Counselor of the Year award. This should have been one of the happiest days of my life; unfortunately, it was not. Numerous health issues made it almost impossible to even attend the ceremony.

Later, I had several surgeries, and the doctor diagnosed me with diabetes. I was placed on four insulin shots a day. I was at my heaviest – 250 pounds. I knew I had to do something or I was going to die.

I read a book by Carole Lewis about First Place and decided to try the program. With limited biblical knowledge, I felt hesitant to lead a group. Initially, I did part of the steps of First Place on my own. Then the Lord revealed to me that through Him I could lead a group. I bought a leadership kit and we started First Place at Hickory Ridge Baptist Church in Florence, Mississippi. This marked the beginning of a journey that would forever change my life.

A couple of months later the program was revised. In my discouragement I searched the First Place website where I found Joyce Ainsworth, a leader at a nearby church. She inspired me to continue with the new program. Joyce is now the networking leader for Mississippi and continues to be my mentor.

I have lost 84 pounds and my health has improved drastically. I no longer have to take insulin or any form of diabetes medicine. My diabetes is controlled through the new lifestyle Jesus has shown me and has enabled me to live.

More importantly, I have gained so much more than I have lost. I now have a personal relationship with Jesus that grows stronger each day. I know more Bible verses than I ever learned as a kid. I have bonded with a group of ladies that I can call on at any time. I can even play tag with my little boy!

I have always struggled with my weight. But when I finally let Jesus be Lord of my life and not just my Savior, I have been able to balance my life mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. The first memory verse I learned in First place says it all: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Matthew 6:33

Michelle Cresap ~ Florence, MS