Lasting personal transformation requires changing your actions. However, if you do not believe change is possible or that you deserve more than the status quo, you will find yourself standing at square one again and again until you do.
A foundation of faith
Faith is an essential part of making a fundamental life change. Better understanding the role of faith in a purpose-filled life is a huge part of my personal transformation story.
God can heal; I have seen it in small ways in my own life. Even though I have not yet heard a testimony on this particular affliction, it is therefore possible, to be miraculously healed of obesity. I prayed and prayed for my body to be different so I could begin living a better life.
For years I prayed to wake up 6 feet tall — finally height/weight proportionate. I even prayed my obesity would be linked to a medical finding, as though having a disorder would make the extra 100+ pounds reasonable.
At that time, I saw my body as broken but my life as a whole was pretty good. Asking for more felt greedy. I reasoned, if God meant for me to be thin it would just happen.
Faith alone is not enough
Personal transformation does not come from faith alone, it requires specific actions. God asks us to put some skin in the game. We must participate to reach our divine purpose.
The Bible offers many examples of faith in action. On such example is the story of the healing of the paralytic. As Jesus walked through a crowd at a healing pool, he encountered a paralyzed man who had been ill for 38 years and was confined to a mat.
“When Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had been in that condition for a long time, he said, ‘Do you want to be well again?’
‘Sir,’ replied the sick man, ‘I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is disturbed; and while I am still on the way, someone else gets down there before me.’
Jesus said, ‘Get up, pick up your sleeping-mat and walk around.’
The man was cured at once, and he picked up his mat and started to walk around.” (John, 5:6-9)
Here, Jesus is the ultimate life coach. He does not offer sympathy for our physical condition, he questions why we let it stop us from living the fullness of our divine design.
Combine faith with action
Faith alone can’t reveal our purpose if we choose to remain paralyzed.
We all have mats, obstacles trapping us in our circumstance, that prevent us from seeing a way forward. We are meant to live abundant lives. Finding our way to abundance often requires asking for help.
Unlike the physically paralyzed man in the story, our paralysis is often rooted in fear that moving toward our purpose will be too painful to sustain. This fear freezes us to our mats.
In my case, picking up my mat meant walking into a Weight Watchers meeting then following the program to the letter. I was afraid of what I might have to give up, but I knew I couldn’t stay stuck any longer.
I quickly discovered the process, though challenging, came with great joy. Through the work I connected more and more with my true self. Connecting with myself made me a better wife and friend. Ultimately, I realized my purpose was to spend my life encouraging others.
Faith with action makes lasting transformation possible
Today, faith is where I tether my harness every time I push beyond my comfort zone. It is a reassuring hand on my back strengthening each next step on this journey.
Faith is an incredibly powerful force. We must put faith into action and, in so doing, release everything keeping us from our divine design. Only then can we live fully and begin to make the way more joyful for others.