Sunday greetings my low-carb friends! Don’t you just love Sundays? I highly anticipate this day each week. It is my absolute favorite day of the week – for many reasons: worship, fellowship, learning, and relaxing. My mind is drifting back to two weeks ago today as I was experiencing my last day from a refreshing three week vacation in beautiful Ireland (definitely not relaxing because of how active we were – but it was certainly refreshing to be away from work and to be surrounded by God’s beautiful creation in the lush green Ireland).
The picture above is from our last full day in Ireland. We saved the most strenuous day for last – not on purpose, of course, it just happened that way! I can’t put into words what this eleven mile hike up and down the white trail of Glendalough National Park in the Wicklow Mountains did for my spirit. I have never done anything like this in my life. I was never able to do anything like this is the past because of my excess weight. Lose 100 pounds and you get a new lease on life – and for that I am truly grateful and thus, the reason for this post.
I’ll be honest – I have really been struggling since I’ve been home to find the words to write. I have plenty to share. God is teaching me new things every day, but I was having a hard time getting confirmation on exactly what to share. I had jet lag for a solid week (never thought it would take that long being a fat-burner and a great sleeper!). I had to go back to work immediately and I have some pretty stressful things going on at work. I had no energy to do housework, much less sit down and write. But here I am today – I HAVE MY INSPIRATION!
The inspiration came to me through the very last day of my six week study that I did through Proverbs 31 Women First 5 App (ladies, if you are not in a daily bible study – I highly recommend this daily study). This study, Return to Refuge, and the one right before it, Prone to Wander, has taken me through twelve books of the Old Testament – the minor prophets of Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi! Phew – I am proud to say that I made it through all of them and learned many new things since I’ve never studied them in a block like that.
These books are HARD to get through. Every single one of these books we find the Israelites knee deep again and again in their wayward living. They are continually wandering from God and finding themselves in some very unfortunate situations. Their human, sinful behavior is on repeat. I read this history and I sometimes think to myself – AGAIN? Like, come on! Your Jehovah God has corrected you time and time again – and yet here you are, right back in the routine of sinfulness and waywardness. Praise God that He is a God of compassion. He never changes and is constantly seeking our HEART!
So, I have to admit that I was grumbling a teeny bit about this last study. But I have faithfully committed to following along with whatever Proverbs 31 publishes next. So, what GIFT does God give me with the very last lesson and very last chapter of the Old Testament? THIS:
This verse absolutely blew me away! You see, I have felt that I am inadequately explaining why this journey has been mostly spiritual when people ask me about my transformation. It is very obvious that I have lost weight and people are genuinely curious – so I get a lot of questions. Sure, the weight loss has been a wonderful gift – but the biggest effect this has had on my life is the result of my spirit just overflowing with JOY and my unquenchable thirst for more God in my life. I have a really hard time explaining this. For me, the prize is the renewed and deeper relationship I have with my provider – Jehovah Jireh. I sometimes feel like I can’t fully explain it and that people don’t fully believe it! And this is the BIGGEST part of this journey that I want to catch fire!
This verse is a wonderful validation and confirmation of what has been on my heart. And God gave it to me right in the midst of a few weeks of struggling. I just have to break it down!
Malachi 4:2 (NIV translation)
But for you who revere my name: some translations use the word “fear” instead of “revere”, but it’s not a “fear” that is frightening. It’s a “fear” that demands respect, so I think “revere” is my preferred word here. If there is one message that I have received loud and clear through this journey – it’s that God is faithful and my ultimate provider. How can I not respect that?!? I do, with a holy reverence to Him.
The sun of righteousness: God and his glory are being compared to the sun.
Will rise: Christ is the “rising sun”.
With HEALING in its wings: for those that revere Him, here is a promise of healing – and a healing that will rise up on Christ’s wings. Healing and renewal in HIM.
And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall: Okay, I kind of laughed comparing myself to a cow here, but have you ever watched calves? I had the pleasure of watching them in Ireland and I could sit and watch them ALL day. Plus, one of my favorite uncles grew up and still lives on a dairy farm. It was absolutely one of my favorite places on earth to visit as a kid. I found the calves precious and adorable. Release them from a stall and they just want to frolic and enjoy the freedom in a pasture. I CAN RELATE!
I have been set FREE from many horrible metabolic dysfunctions that sucked the life right out of me (not to mention would put me on a path to an early grave!). I didn’t appreciate my spiritual relationship with Christ when I felt awful. It was all I could do to go through the motions of being a Christian, wife and mom day to day. All I wanted to do was sleep – so I was living like a zombie. But now I am healed! Hallelujah!
Since I turned to the only one that I knew could deliver me from this exhausting existence, my life has changed 100% for the betterment of my spiritual, physical, and emotional health. God gave me this gift. I am humbly guessing it’s because I started obeying His word and chose to trust Him through this process. It all started with begging him to take the exhaustion away and to renew my spirit and daily living. God answered those prayers and right here He shows me in His word that it is a promise He gives to all of us – BUT FOR YOU WHO REVERE MY NAME.
Because of this healing, I have so much more to share in the weeks and months and years ahead – I am faithfully praying that God confirms my direction. I am super excited by all that He has taught me and all He will teach me – it is very overwhelming. If you are a praying friend, I covet your prayers.
To close this blog post, I would just like to share a little about the conversation I had with my pastor this week. He knows where I’m at and he knows my struggles with work (he used to work in my industry!) and he knows my Type A tendencies and my obsession with wanting to get it all done NOW. So, this week he told me that I’m in a similar spot that David was in after he was anointed as king by Samuel. David went back to the pasture to shepherd for years. It wasn’t until about 15 years later that David became king! This also happened to be the chapter we are on in “The Story” this week – which is why I say another “God-incidence”. His timing is always ON TIME! I am just completely in awe of everything He reveals to me on a daily basis. My pastor reminded me to appreciate this “pasture” time – like the calves that frolic in the field. I am going to sit in this time of PURE JOY and I pray the same for you. I honestly believe that if you tune in to what God can provide for you, you will realize this quote that I’m stealing from my pastor today:
So my dear low-carb friends – hang on! You’re about to experience your own journey to your Joyful Keto Life as you obediently tune into all He provides for you spiritually, physically, and emotionally! Prepare for your healing and always Choose Joy!
What are your thoughts on what God shares in Malachi 4:2 for you personally?