Counting the Cost

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’” Luke 14:28-30

Before beginning this journey of trying to lose weight yet again, I had a heart to heart with God. I was in a Bible study and heard this reminder that we have to weigh the cost of following Jesus and decide if it’s worth it. Are we all in? But, as the speaker continued, I was personally wrestling over the idea of starting a major life change. Was I willing to do whatever God asked me to do in order to be healthier and thin?

I’ll be honest. At that moment, I was up front with God and told Him that I wasn’t sure I could do it. I looked at the cost to build the tower, and I wasn’t sure on my own I had what it took. Could I give up eating out? Could I give up the sweets I craved? Could I start working out again when I had no energy? Would I start this blog as a public display of my commitment? Was I ready to humble myself so that God could be lifted high? Was I willing to exchange the pleasure I found in eating for whatever life God had for me? Was I willing to do whatever God asked?

At the moment, I simply said “God, please make me ready. Bring me to a point that the cost of this life is more than the cost of that life. I want to be your servant! Please don’t give up on me.” I started slowly, telling myself that even if I laid the foundation and got ridiculed for not being able to finish, it wasn’t all about me, really. If someone was blessed in the process, if God was exalted during the phases, then that was sufficient. So, I started writing again and made it public this time.

Then, I felt God calling me to “fast” (or abstain) from fast food for one month. I didn’t realize how much we relied on the convenience and taste of it until it wasn’t an option. I did have friends all meet for a play date at a fast food chain and I had to say no. It wasn’t easy! But, it wasn’t all that difficult either. The cost was worth it.

I was attending a Bible study and felt convicted that I started the morning eating all the sweets that these dear ladies bring in for breakfast (we all take turns). The first morning I didn’t take a plate and saw all my friends (who are thin and lovely, of course) eating, I almost cried. But, I made it through unscathed. Each week got easier. I didn’t even care by the final ones.

When we were able to get a trial gym membership by donation to a ministry, it was a gift from God. The working out has been enjoyable rather than difficult.

Now as I’m looking at my eating patterns and realizing there is more to give up, I look back at where I’ve come from and realized that the first commitment was what I needed. I prayed and asked God to help me, and He has been beyond faithful (as God always is!). He asks for a willing heart, and when we submit to His plans, there is such an overwhelming grace along the way. It hasn’t been one huge step but small steps, and I know He’s been holding my hand and guiding me.

Trust me, if God can change my life and help me lose weight – a gal who has been overweight a vast majority of her life – He can change anyone! Submit to Him, count the cost of following Him, and realize that it’s worth it. For even though it may seem difficult to make a huge shift in perspective, God will lead you step by step if you trust Him!

Dear Heavenly Father, first I must say thank You! Thank You for walking with us, leading us and even having grace and patience for us when we’re not sure that we have what it takes. Help us really count the cost and realize that following You is worth everything we give up and then some! Give us the strength to build after laying the foundation. May we become healthy and thin for Your glory, rather than an object of ridicule. May we live our lives to honor You. Help those who are on this journey with me. May they realize how You are carrying them each day. Praise You, God! In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!

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