I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another.
When I found myself sitting on my couch watching television, not answering the phone and wondering what I could eat next, I realized that step by step, I had become isolated, disconnected and overweight. Every once in a while, I would remember that there is a better way to live, and I would seek weight loss but ultimately fail.
First Place 4 Health was just my next weight-loss choice. Carole Lewis was in my first meeting, and she said that the good thing about First Place 4 Health was that if you didn’t quit, you would succeed, because success is in the process. When the going gets tough, I still remember those words, and they encourage me.
Somehow, I became a First Place 4 Health leader. I began to watch the reality of others’ successes and grew close to the ladies in my group. One by one they inspired me to be better and to do more. One member began to exercise. She started walking in a church program and soon was walking 11 miles and accomplished a half-marathon. I thought, Wow! If she can do that, I can start somewhere. Another member showed me what faithfulness looks like. She volunteered to lead accountability for the group and has been there every session. I saw compassion demonstrated when another member hugged someone who needed a hug. Others have taken the time to pray together privately. We were all encouraged when someone sent each of us an anonymous letter reminding us how much God loves us.
Each member has special gifts, and they volunteer to share them—music, bringing food, remembering birthdays, leading Bible studies, memorizing Scripture; hospitality, conversations, smiles, laughter, taking pictures, preparing wellness topics and sharing from the heart. Each week I am encouraged by their efforts, successes, and fellowship. I have come to realize these sisters in Christ are valuable, and I treasure them. I am still in the race for balance, and as I take each step, I am thankful that because of my involvement with First Place 4 Health, I am no longer disconnected and I see much less of my couch!
Action Item: Write a note of encouragement to someone. Write in your prayer journal why you are thankful for her, and then tell her the next time you see her!