#Say Yes Saying yes to God… what does that mean? For me it means finally getting a blog up and running. This is something that has been twirling around in my mind for a long time. I’ve just returned from the She Speaks conference ( #Proverbs 31 ) and truly felt that it was time to put this dream into action and get started. My husband asked what I wanted to do this for, what was I going to write about? I don’t know the exact answers to that but I do know that every time I step out in faith and do or share something that is on my heart that I am blessed for it, whether in my own life or watching something great happen in another persons life. So….I don’t have an exact structure or theme that I’m going to be following. What I will do is share what God puts on my heart and pray that maybe in some small way it will bless whoever reads it. Maybe give them comfort to know they are not alone, or give them courage to try something new. To step out in faith and know that if God brings you to something, He will bring you through it. My journey of saying yes started nearly 9 years ago in a bible study in my home church. I had just moved to NJ (8th move in 8 years) and was desperate to find a place to call home. During a small group discussion a friend shared that she struggled with her weight and it had been a long time battle. I’m not sure why but I felt compelled to share that I knew exactly what she was feeling. You see, since the age of 15 I have struggled with weight/self esteem issues. I was never content with myself- always wishing I looked like someone else or had someone else’s body. I tried every diet out there, struggled with Anorexia for a few years, and ended up “settling” for Bulimia. It’s what I thought worked for me. Unfortunately it never did anything but cause my self-esteem and self worth to drop even lower. It became an ugly secret- one that I couldn’t escape from. It wasn’t until I started having my own children and realizing that I had a huge part in creating their self worth, that I knew I had to fight this battle. At the age of 30 (after 15 years of binging and purging) I stopped. I don’t know how, and I won’t lie- there were times that I slipped, that I had to pick myself up and start over again, but as the years have gone on I have managed to be healed from this disease with the Lords help. I still struggle on a day to day basis with the self worth- with the going to food for comfort mentality, with finding other things instead of Jesus to fill my empty places…but the more I say yes to God, the easier it gets to pick myself up and start again. Three years ago I came across the book Made to Crave (#Made to Crave #Proverbs 31) by Lysa Terkerust. I knew as soon as I read the last word in that book that I had to do whatever it took to get this study in our church. I remember at a women’s retreat I was on, looking at a friend in charge of classes at our church and saying this book has to get into the curriculum and if you can’t find anyone to lead it, I will. Now mind you- I have a terrific fear of speaking in front of people, or leading anything! I am much more comfortable as the follower. It was one of those moments where you say something and you think who was that??? I know those words did not just come out of MY mouth! It was the first step in my journey of healing. That “yes” led to a my first small group study- with about 15 women, where we all discovered that we are not alone. There are so many women out there that struggle with eating issues, and low self esteem…and even if it is not food- there are many other idols we “crave” to fill those empty places in our soul. For some women it’s shopping, some it’s their career, even children can become those idols. Anything that we put in front of God, that we run to for our “fix”. Many of the women in that class opened up and shared their struggles. I remember one night in particular sitting in the back of the room watching the DVD and the reactions of those women as the nodded their heads, laughed, even cried…I thought “wow Lord- only you could take something so ugly and turn it into something beautiful.” The very struggle that I had dealt with my entire life- could be the thing that brought me and other women closer to God. I suddenly felt compelled to share this with other women on a larger level. I ended up speaking at our ladies retreat- exactly one year from sharing that first “yes” with my friend. I was terrified about speaking to 200+ women, but prayed that if I could just reach one person it would all be worth it. After that session was over a young girl came up to me with tears in her eyes and asked if we could talk. We went to a quiet place where she shared that she was going through all of those same struggles- that she couldn’t believe there was someone else out there that would “get” her and not look at her with condemnation, but with understanding and support. I will never forget that night and will always hold her in a special place in my heart . It made everything I struggled with worth it. I’ve always held Jeremiah 29:11 close- “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future”… God knew exactly what I was going to struggle with and that thorn in my flesh that I have pleaded to have removed for years, would be the very thing that He was going to use to help bring others closer to Him. Yesterday morning I came across 2 Corinthians and it hit me….Gods power IS made perfect in my weaknesses….it’s only in Him that I am made strong. What Satan means for harm, God can always use for good- and I’m so excited to see what is in store for me as I continue learning to say Yes to Him.