What’s on your mind?

If we want our lives to change our minds must change.

Everything starts in the mind, if our minds aren’t in a healthy place, nothing else in our lives will function well.

In 2001 during my pregnancy I gained 100lbs, I went from 160lbs to 260lbs in nine months.

After I had my son I was depressed and in denial about my weight gain. I went shopping about two months after giving birth, and I will never forget the emotional breakdown I had in the entrance/exit of JcPenny’s.

When I arrived to the mall, I went into all of the stores I was able to purchase clothing from pre-baby. In my mind I could fit at least an extra-large in those stores, not anymore, I was a true plus size woman after having my baby.

This was so hard to grasp, I never thought I’d be a “big girl”!

For years I tried losing weight and one time I actually lost about 16 lbs within a months’ time. I put myself on a very strict diet and exercise regimen, but it didn’t last long, because mentally I was not ready.

What I needed to do also during this time is understand I was still Tia, I had just gained a lot of weight. My self-esteem needed to be repaired before I started my journey. I needed to realize I am Gods daughter no matter what the scale says. I am gorgeous no matter what size the tag on the inside of my garments read.

I had a personal trainer about three years after my first attempt to lose weight. He had me doing advanced exercises that put my body into shock, and that night I ended up in the ER. My parents literally had to carry me down my stairs in my apartment complex. They drove to get me in the middle of the night, I was in so much pain.

Once the injury took place I didn’t work out again for about a year and a half. After that I tried strict diets with co-workers and I went back to working out. I would lose 3–5lbs and go back to the behavior that caused the weight gain in the first place.

About a year ago I realized it’s a mind thing, the real battle is in my head with myself. I had to face the fact that I was an emotional eater, what I needed to do was change the way I viewed food. Food and I had a love affair going on for years and he was doing more damage to me than I bargained for.

So I prayed, I began to pray because I understood a real transformation of thinking and behavior can only come from God.

For 14 years I tried to do it on my own, but I couldn’t, I had to get help from God.

Lasting, true change can only come from a real encounter of the divine kind. If we want to see change in our lives we have to tap into God.

I prayed about my journey for a while. One day last year I got really serious about it and my mind changed regarding food. It was almost out of the blue my mind began to change. I knew it was not really out of the blue, it was due to prayer. I began to eat to live verses living to eat, my emotional eating patterns were gone.

Since December, I have lost 32 lbs.

The awesome thing about this weight loss is I did it without exercise, I was not able to exercise due to an issue with my leg. This was all diet modification.

I asked God to change my mind concerning food and God did just that!

I allowed God the space to show me how I got to this point. I allowed Him to heal my broken pieces and we began this journey together.

There is no magic happening here, only trust and belief in a God who cannot fail and me moving away from the table when my stomach is satisfied and not bursting at the seams.

The reality is, if we want true lasting success we have to partner with God in prayer.

I’ve been home for an entire month recovering from a knee surgery, and I knew I would gain weight, I didn’t gain one pound I lost SIX! I am blown away by my progress while being pretty much immobile, but I am clear it’s due to my partnership I have with my heavenly father.

Today’s blog isn’t to inspire you to lose weight, although if you walk away with that ambition I won’t be angry, but it’s about developing a healthy partnership with God through a healthy prayer life.

Prayer doesn’t just change some things it changes EVERYTHING.

Nothing is too small to God when it comes to you and I.

Philippians 4:6–8 New Living Testament

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

In order to be at peace with a situation, the first thing we have to do is pray. Right here it says, don’t worry about anything, and pray about everything, not just what we consider to be huge issues, but small things as well.

We shouldn’t only speak with God when things are going wrong, but when things are good. When we are developing a partnership with God we need to get in the habit of communing with Him daily in prayer, as Adam and Eve did in the cool of the day in Genesis.

Don’t just pray about illness and disease, pray about the “small things”, thank God for waking you up and giving you the ability to see, hear, feed yourself and walk. Prayer is not fussy, it’s a conversation with our creator.

I knew if I wanted my life, my mind and my physical appearance to change I needed to add God in on this thing and I NEEDED TO PRAY. So, what I did was stop worrying about the external and what people had to say about me. I focused on the root cause of my issue and I partnered with God, allowing Him to give me the solution for my issue.

God wants to partner with you in this life, this walk with God is not only on Sunday or Saturday morning, it’s daily.

God wants to be intimately involved with every detail of your life. We have to let God in, so that we can live full peaceful lives, no matter what obstacle arises.

Philippians 4:6–8 for me are the tools for a peaceful and fulfilled life.

Look at how it opens up, “don’t be worried about anything, but pray about everything, tell God what you need”.

The first thing we have to be sure of before we go into prayer is our faith in God, our belief in His ability to do whatsoever we ask Him to do according to His will for our lives.

God already knows what we need before we even ask Him, but if we don’t ask according to our faith we will not receive. We have access to the primary resource of all things and yet we walk around impoverished in hope, spirit and body because we don’t understand how much God wants to be a part of our daily routine. Start your day off not worrying about anything, but praying to God about everything and THANKING God in advance for what you asked for.

When we are thanking Him in advance for what we asked for we are stepping out on faith, knowing He will do what we asked if it is according to His will.

What are you worrying about? What’s keeping you up at night? What bad thoughts are dominating your mind, making it impossible for you to be productive? It’s time to stop worrying and start praying with faith in your heart.

What I am beginning to do is thank God in advance for what I know is coming for me, I know blessings are on the way for me so I am thanking Him in advance.

No matter how dark and dim it is, we learned last week that God is with us even in the valley of the shadow of death, God is there walking with us and leading us out of the valley. The valley produces prayer and trust, because only God can get us out of the valley.

Verse 7 says, THEN you will experience Gods peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Prayer mixed with faith and a thankful heart, knowing God is able to answer brings peace. Anxiety has to leave your life when you pray and know God will do it. The peace that is mentioned here is not just any peace, it’s a peace that we cannot comprehend. A peace that will take you off guard and shock you in the midst of chaos. It’s a peace that can not come from anything temporal. It’s the peace that guarantees joy in the midst of planing a funeral for a loved one who was taken too early. It’s the peace that will make folk think you have lost your mind, because they don’t get how you can smile during a foreclosure. It’s the kind of peace that causes you not to break when the doctor tells you you’re in stage 4 breast cancer and the prognosis isn’t good.

A real peace that reaches beyond the normal boarders of peace.

Verse 8 is my favorite part of the scripture here in chapter 4, it says, “and NOW, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

What’s on your mind? I guarantee you if the things listed above are on your mind, anxiety, depression and worry cannot find you. If they find you, they won’t be able to stay long because your mind will be so fixed on Jesus and those things pertaining to what is good and praise worthy, you won’t have time for negativity in your mind.

The bible tells us in Isaiah 26:3, You God, will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

What’s on your mind? How do you view yourself? How do you view life?

None of us have had it easy and all of us have bad days, but if we try our best to keep our minds on the one who created the day with us in mind, we won’t keep having nervous breakdowns each time something goes wrong.

Life is not perfect and we will not always be in the mood for positivity, but we have to fight against the comfort of what is negative and reach down on the inside and find the positive. We have to force ourselves to see the silver lining, and when we wake up daily with a thankful heart and a mind ready to receive from God the grace to handle whatever takes place in the day, we’ll be fine.

Devastating news won’t devastate us as badly if we remember that the one who created the day isn’t shocked by anything that takes place in the day.

Yes, we are human, we do falter in our faith, our thinking is negative at times, but we can’t stay in that rut, we have to fight our way out of it. The way out is faith, prayer, a thankful heart and a mind fixed on God.

A mind fixed on God means, I know no matter what happens, God is in control and He has my best interest at heart. Even when I hate what’s happening, I understand God is sovereign and there is purpose in everything that takes place.

Life is hard, this world can be harsh, evil is very real, we have an enemy that hates God and all of Gods people. The enemy of our souls is negative enough, we don’t have to be negative with him. We have to counteract his lies and evil schemes with the truth of God’s word and the resting place of prayer.

I’m changing my thought patterns concerning a few areas in my life, and this model in Philippians 4 has helped me tremendously.

Please read it in your down time and try to develop a prayer life if you don’t already have one.

Check your thought patterns, allow God the room to show you what’s broken and give Him the space to fix it.

I’m praying for our minds.

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Tia Parker

I am a Baltimore native, mother of one son, a poet, an encourager and a lover of people! Welcome to The Passionate Pursuit of Wisdom!