- Username: marylaw
- Location: Winfield, KS, USA
- Member Since: 7/26/2008
- BMI: 44.7
- Hoping to have surgery
- Surgery Type: VSG (11/17/08)
- Surgeon: Gregory Walton, M.D.
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Surgeon TestimonialGregory Walton, M.D.When I attended the informational seminar, Dr. Walton was the presenter. I was impressed by his unassuming demeanor, his humor, and his knowledge. When I found out that I could get an appointment with him, I was delighted. When I met with him, I just knew he was the surgeon for me! I have had several challenges already, and Dr. Walton has been very helpful and encouraging. His staff has been wonderful. Everyone emphasizes the importance of pre- and post-op care. Dr. Walton and I both know there are risks, not only in connection with the surgery but with me as the patient. I feel like I am part of the team, to make sure my experience is the best it can be. I feel \"heard,\" and that is so important to me. No question is \"stupid.\" I appreciate Dr. Walton's surgical expertise and his sensitive bedside manner.rnI'm sure Dr. Walton is not a perfect surgeon, but, so far, he's come close.
- Books & Literature - I'm an avid reader. I love to learn and be challenged.
- Writing - I enjoy writing spiritual devotionals and articles.
- Teaching - I'm a retired English teacher. I still enjoy teaching; I just don't get paid.
- Walking - I used to enjoy walking. I look forward to being able to again.
- Singing - My favorite form of worship is singing.
- Christianity - Radically saved (40 years and counting)
- Married - Very!!!
Life Plan Devotion #226 [remember] on May 31, 2010 7:16 am
Please pray for my daughter, Leah. The enemy is trying to steal the tiny baby she's carrying. :( We are standing, in faith, against the spirit of miscarriage. Please pray that my daughter will not give in to the fear. Thank you.
Life Plan Devotion #226 [remember]
Exodus 13:3 "And Moses said to the people, 'Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out of this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten'" (NKJV).
Today is Memorial Day, a day set aside to remember all those who have given their lives in service of our country, to defend the freedoms we enjoy. We, in the United States, do not know, by personal experience, what it means to be in bondage as a country, yet most of us understand what it means to be in bondage to sin and addiction, in some form.
After 500 years in bondage, the children of Israel finally cried out to God, and He heard their pleas. God always hears, and when He sees that we have had enough of being in bondage, He moves on our behalf. God chose Moses, to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, their land of slavery.
In Exodus 13:3, Moses is speaking to the children of Israel. They have left Egypt, but they have not yet possessed the Promised Land. Moses tells them to "Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." Moses realized that it is the nature of humans to forget, especially to forget the times that God has come through for us. It is important to remember when God delivered you from any form of bondage.
Moses reminds the Israelites that it was "by strength of hand" that the LORD brought them out. Moses didn't accomplish it; the children of Israel didn't do it. God did, and He must get all the glory. Even if you feel you did all the hard work, to be released from any form of bondage, it is still the Lord who gives you the wisdom, knowledge, strength, and power to do so. The wise person recognizes that, and says, "Without You, O Lord, I can do nothing" (personalized from John 15:5).
Yes, it is the Lord who brings the slave out of bondage, but the slave must be willing to go. The slave must be willing to walk out. No matter how difficult the bondmans' life, it still takes courage to go. God will never force you to leave, but He will make a way for you. He will open the door, but it's up to you whether or not you will walk through it.
Finally, Moses commands the people, saying, "No leavened bread shall be eaten." Leaven (or yeast) represents sin, and it is important to remove it from one's life. Unleavened bread was to be eaten, as a symbol of submission to God's will that we remove sin from our life. It is for our own good. Whatever binds you is sin. Uncover it. Rip it out, and throw it away! If you are a believer, sin (in any form) has no hold over you, unless you choose to remain attached to it.
What this has to do with weight loss:
Food addiction enslaves, and its grip can be smothering, but nothing, not even the bondage of addiction to food, is more powerful than God. If you identify with food addiction, remember that God wants to lead you out of that struggle, that bondage. You know you cannot do it on your own, but with God's encouragement, strength, and power, and your willingness to take the first step away from addiction, God will lead you out, one step at a time. One step at a time, one day at a time, you will reach your Promised Land.
Prayer for Today:
"Heavenly Father, I'm so tired of the struggle with food. I want to be nourished by food, not use it for anything else. It doesn't work, anyway. I feel powerless over food, and I am, but You're not powerless. Today, I will remember that You can lead me out of my bondage to food. Give me the courage to take a step in the direction of my Promise Land today, Lord, for I know that You honor obedience and a willing heart. In Jesus' Name. Amen."
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Flashback Friday Devotion #52 [renew me] on May 28, 2010 6:25 am
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Thank you to all who read my story the past week. The support and prayers have been overwhelming. If you missed yesterday's post (Life Plan Devotion #225), please read it on my profile blog.
Today's devotion is from my personal journal dated May 30, 2007, and it reminds me how much my life and personal walk with the Lord have transformed, by correcting my thinking and my speech.
I read so many posts on OH, where precious people say things like, "I'm so stupid," "I can't get this weight off," "It will never happen for me," "I'm so afraid of having WLS," etc., and I just want to tell them how detrimental is that kind of thinking and speaking. So often, those words become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Let's lift each other up in prayer today, especially any who may be having surgery.
Flashback Friday Devotion #52 [Renew Me]
It has been one of those battle days. The enemy has been whispering negative thoughts to me, and I have spent much of my day analyzing those thoughts. While Satan wants me to let those thoughts in, Jesus wants me to take them captive.
I was reminded of II Corinthians 10:3-5. Today I have focused on reminding myself that "the weapons of [my] warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. [I am] destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and [I am] taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ..."
I used to obey a food thought, giving in to the craving, indulging my flesh. I don't want to do that anymore. I can't do that, not if I want to present my body a living sacrifice. Even though that is my desire, I know that I can overcome only through the grace and power of God.
Every action begins with a thought...every one, without exception. While the Holy Spirit will help me guard my heart and mind, He will not do it for me. I must do my part, put on the full armor of God, and wield the Sword of the Spirit.
With every thought, I must line it up with the Word of God. It helps me to ask myself, "Would Jesus think this thought?" It is so important to be in the Word daily, if I want to be equipped to "take every thought captive to the mind of Christ."
Sometimes the enemy is so sneaky and whispers a seemingly-positive thought. For example, today he whispered to me, "You're going to lose all your weight, and be the only
person to teach others about how to get their weight off." Hmm...I like the first part, but the rest?
Galatians 6:14 says, "The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is my only reason for bragging." That thought did not point to Jesus, so it's a thought that needs to be taken captive. I spoke the Word out loud, and the thought disappeared. I was ready to speak the verse as often as needed.
I must guard my heart and mind. Otherwise, negative or falsely-positive thoughts will become a stronghold. To avoid that, I must think, dwell on "whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent, and worthy of praise" (Philippians 4:8).
Today, pay attention to your thoughts. Ask yourself, "Would Jesus think this thought?" If He wouldn't, then rebuke and rephrase the thought. Doing that will transform not only how you think, but how you speak and what you do.
God is ready to help us do that, if we ask Him to. Listen to this song called "Renew Me," as sung by Avalon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvF2eKzx0i8
Life Plan Devotion #225 [I'm still here] on May 27, 2010 8:55 am
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It's another beautiful day, but I'm not sure whether or not I'll go swimming, like I've done the last 2 days. I got a bit of a sunburn on my upper arms, shoulders, and upper back yesterday. I didn't even think of sunscreen!
I'm late posting today, because I received a phone call from a friend who needed to talk. I know the Lord will work out the timing, somehow. :)
Let's pray for those having surgery today, those recovering from surgery, and for all for whom my story has struck a chord.
Life Plan Devotion #225 [I'm still here]
Isaiah 61:1, 3 "He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release for the prisoners,...and provide for those who grieve in Zion--to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor" (NIV).
The story of my life has been written with tears, from pain and tragedy, but it does not end there! Every day is a new beginning, for me and for you. God's mercies are new every morning, and great is His faithfulness.
I do not blame God for all that has happened in my life. For a time, though, I was disappointed in Him. After all, I was young and innocent, so why didn't He save me, especially from the rape. I questioned Him, I railed at Him, I cried before Him, and He kept on loving me and comforting me.
In time, I realized my part. God had given me intuition, yet I ignored it and allowed my pride and caring what two strangers thought of me cause me to make a tragic decision. The decision was mine, not God's. The free will choices of Nate and Cedric affected me, in tragic ways, but God did protect me. I didn't get an STD, I didn't end up pregnant, and I didn't die.
God gave me what I like to call "holy amnesia." He knew how what had happened would have affected me, at the time, so He allowed my mind to tuck away the memories until I could handle them, with His help and the help of my therapist. I often wonder if my mother's death ushered in that time, for my mother, ever the genteel southern lady, would have been devastated by what happened to me.
Sometimes life is bad, but all the time God is good. In the backdrop of eternity, my weeping has endured but for a night. It is morning, and joy has come! (Psalm 30:5) Jesus Himself warned, "In the world you will have tribulation," so we shouldn't be surprised when it happens. However, He goes on to say, "but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). You see, what happened to me, and whatever may happen in the future, I have the Overcomer living in me.
Healing has taken time, and even though, at the moment, I feel there are no more open wounds, maybe I'll discover more. If so, I know the Lord will heal that broken place. Over time, as I was ready to let Him, the Lord has gently brushed away the ashes of grieving from the top of my head, and, in its place, He has crowned me with beauty. Over time, as I have allowed Him to, the Lord has held me in His arms, wiped away my tears, and given me the oil of gladness. Over time, as I have looked to Him, He has given me the strength to let go of the spirit of despair, and, in its place, He has clothed me in a garment of praise.
I was a victim of rape, but I became a survivor. Now, I am no longer a survivor; I am a victress. The Lord calls me an "oak of righteousness, a planting of the LORD," and my purpose is to "display His splendor" (Isaiah 61:3). May I ever be strong and shine for Him.
I share my story for one purpose, and one purpose only, and that is to encourage others who are hurting to turn to the Lord, for He can bind up their broken heart, He can release them from their prison of pain, and He can comfort them. He can, and He will, if He is given a chance.
What this has to do with weight loss:
If you put on weight because of a sad or even tragic past, you can take the weight off on your own. However, unless you gain healing for the broken you of the past, you will continue to struggle and turn to old habits of stuffing down your emotions. You must heal from the inside out. It's not easy, but with help, it will happen. As you find peace with your past, you will be filled with peace, and before long, your outside will mirror your inside. When that happens, the weight will be released, for it will no longer be needed.
Prayer for Today:
"Heavenly Father, I have done what You asked me to do--share my story. Now, Lord, I want to pray for all those who have read my story, especially all those who identified with it because of their own painful past. Lord, wrap Your arms around them, as You've done for me. Cry with them, as You did for me. Wipe away their tears, as You've done for me. Bind up their wounds, as You did for me. Release them from their prison, as You've done for me. Free them from the captivity of their despair, which manifested in abusing food, as You have done for me. May they break down every barrier that keeps them from loving You completely and moving forward in their life. Rebuild and restore, Lord, as only You know how to do. Remove their shame, rebuild their mind, will, and emotions, and restore to them the years and the joy that was stolen from them. I pray all this in the Name of Jesus, who came to give us abundant life, to the full, until it overflows. Amen."
Life Plan Devotion #224 [through the waters] on May 26, 2010 6:36 am
What a beautiful day here in Kansas! I have windows open, to bring in the breeze and so that I can hear the birds singing. What a beautiful day to be alive and to live for the Lord!
Please pray for those having surgery today, for those recovering from surgery, and please pray for one of the readers of the Life Plan Devotion, who must deal with a serious family issue today. God knows the details.
If you are new to this daily devotion, or if you've missed the past few devotion posts, you may wish to visit my profile blog and read them, before reading today's.
Have a great day.
Life Plan Devotion #224 [through the waters]
Isaiah 43:2a "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you" (NIV).
In the early stages of coming out of a chloroform-induced state, I do not grasp the exchange of words between Nate and Cedric, nor am I able to understand why Cedric is saying that I promised to sing a song to them, but I pay attention to the four words whispered to me by God, "Say nothing; just sing."
I open my eyes, the sunlight piercing them, causing much pain. Clearing my throat, I croak out, "What?" Cedric repeats himself, reiterating my promise to sing a song. I see Nate staring at me, in the rear view mirror. The voice inside me, no longer a whisper, again warns, "Say nothing; just sing."
Opening my mouth, I sing the first song I can think of, a song from my childhood, a song that wells up from the deepest part of me, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong."
By the time I finish the chorus, the car turns into the church parking lot. I fumble and fairly stumble out of the car. Despite still feeling confused and in pain, I manage to say, "Thanks for the ride." Cedric giggles and responds with, "No. Thank you."
Climbing the steps and entering the church, feeling like I must be getting the flu, I am surprised that the service has already begun. I look at the clock at the back of the church--it is 7:10--two hours and ten minutes have passed.
My therapist has me breathe my way back to the present, and I open my eyes. My face and blouse is drenched with my tears. I didn't realize I had cried through the nearly two hours of hypnosis, of the two hours of trauma I endured on Sunday, June 13, 1971.
Why didn't I remember what happened, when it happened. If I had, I could have tried to fight or get away, but my therapist says, "You might have been killed." I know he's right.
In a state of shock, I do realize that being chloroformed and raped at the age of 15 changed who I am, and it explains why I had panic attacks and depression for decades, why I'm obese, why I have trouble trusting men and being intimate with my husband.
After getting back home, I write in my journal. I don't want to risk forgetting all that I remembered. My daughter comes through the door, and we talk. I share everything, but I begin to question my memories. Maybe it was all just my vivid imagination.
My daughter says, "Didn't you remember the date?" and I say, "Yes, Sunday, June 13th, 1971." My daughter pauses, then says, "If that date was a Sunday, wouldn't you have to believe?" and I shake my head "yes."
We move to the computer, and I type in "June 13, 1971" at the Search bar. It takes a while to find a web site that provides a calendar for 1971, not just a list of what happened on that day, but we're finally successful. I scroll down the page of monthly calendars to June, and I hold my breath.
There it is--June 13, 1971, and it was, indeed, a Sunday. It's all true. It has to be. I sit there weeping, with a mixture of regret and relief.
I had begun a new chapter in my life, one that was to make me more desperate for God than I had ever been. [to be continued]
What this has to do with weight loss:
When you get to the root of why you gained weight in the first place, you are at a moment of decision. You can continue the self-destructive behavior, or you can decide to deal and heal, knowing that it won't be instant, nor will it be easy. Know that while you may experience moments where you feel like you're passing through high waters, the Lord is with you, and you will pass through.
Prayer for Today:
"Heavenly Father, there are times when there seems to be no shortage of problems and crises, but it makes me realize all the more that there is also no shortage of Your grace. You have promised that You can work all things for our good, for those who love You and have been called according to Your purpose (Romans 8:28). I may not be able to imagine how that's possible, but I trust You. I know Your Word is true, and I'm willing to be patient, to see Your Word fulfilled in my life. I'm desperate for You, Lord. You are the air I breathe. You are the only song I can sing. When I begin to fear the difficult days ahead, when I must confront the past, I ask You to grant me a willing heart, to sustain me. I pray in the Name of Jesus, who was crucified, who paid for all sin, even the sins committed against me. Amen."
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Life Plan Devotion #223 [through the fire] on May 25, 2010 6:30 am
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Today, we continue my personal story. If you didn't read yesterday's devotion (#222), I'd encourage you to read it, first. You can find it on my OH profile blog.
Please pray for those having surgery today, those recovering from surgery, and for anyone who has suffered from sexual abuse.
Life Plan Devotion #223 [through the fire]
Isaiah 43:2c "When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned" (NIV).
I knew better, but it was pride and caring about what two strangers thought of me that caused me to get into their car. It was a decision that would change my life.
In my recurring dream, the car pulls back onto the road, then turns right at Bees Ferry Road. It is an isolated road, that goes on seemingly forever. My friend, Josie, and I used to rent horses and race them down Bees Ferry Road, knowing we'd probably never see a car.
I ask why we are going this way, and Cedric says, "It's quicker, less traffic," and Nate adds, "Plus, our church is on this road. Thought you'd like to see where we go to church." I know there is an old AME church somewhere on Bees Ferry Road, so I relax.
That's where the dream ended...night after night. In "real life," I remember that we drove Bees Ferry Road, all the way over to St. Andrews Boulevard and then back to Garden Road. At least, that's what I remember. The fact that the dream doesn't continue disturbs me.
I call my therapist, to ask if I can continue the dream while under hypnosis. Because I have so few memories from my childhood, my therapist had told me about hypnosis. I wasn't sure I wanted to be involved in that, but he explained that it's not like what you see on television. All you do is close your eyes, deep breathe, relax, and give yourself permission to remember. You know what you're saying, you know what you're hearing, and you know what you're doing. I was getting so little sleep, I was motivated to give it a try, if he thought it would work. My therapist was willing to set up a hypnotherapy session.
My therapist and I meet, and we pray together, for the Lord to return my memory to me, if it is time to do so, and for Him to gently lead and guide me. I don't know how long it took for me to totally relax, but my therapist told me later that it didn't take very long. The important thing is that I am able to finish my dream, without any prompting from my therapist.
I narrate the dream, beginning by saying, "I know it is June 13, 1971." The car does, indeed, travel down Bees Ferry Road, but it takes a sharp right on to what is really no more than a large path, and quickly comes to a stop.
I look to the right, out the window, thinking, "Their church must be out here." I do not see anything but woods, so I begin to turn my head, to ask, "Why have we stopped here?" Before I can say or do anything, I hear a commotion.
A hand with a foul-smelling rag covers my mouth and nose. I gasp for air, breathing fumes that make my head swim and my eyes close. I feel like my body is floating away. All I can see is a white fog. I can hear voices, but they seem far away.
I hear someone say, "I don't need no audience, man!" and the other voice says, "Just get done fast, so I can have a go!" I feel my body being turned and pulled flat. I feel weight on me, and the voice, Cedric's voice, close to me saying, "You're a pretty little white b_ _ _ _, ain't ya?"
My mouth feels bruised and my belly hurts, and I know I am being raped. I just let my mind...everything...just go somewhere else...to sleep. Time passes...I don't know how long. I don't know if Nate rapes me, too, but I think so. I begin to awaken.
My heard hurts, my mouth is so dry, like it's full of cotton. I want to cough, but I can't. I try to open my eyes, but I do not have the strength. I hear voices again, gradually getting louder. I hear Cedric say, "What are we gonna do with her?" and Nate answers, "If she doesn't remember anything, we'll drop her off; if she remembers...well, we won't." I hear the voices, but my mind can't seem to grasp the meaning of the words.
Cedric says, "Come on, Mary, you promised to sing us a song." I feel so confused, trying to remember making that promise, and confused as to why I cannot seem to open my eyes. I hear him pause and repeat himself. Then I hear a voice within me--I think it was God--whisper, "Say nothing; just sing." [to be continued]
What this has to do with weight loss:
There is a reason why the obese person put on his/her weight, and it has much more to do with life experiences than with eating too much. Dealing with one's past is much like peeling an onion--layer upon stinky layer. It is hard work, but is worth the effort. A trusted friend, pastor, counselor or therapist can walk the journey with you, and, of course, God will be with you through it all.
Prayer for Today:
"Heavenly Father, I praise You that when I walk through the fire, You are with me. Nothing escapes Your notice. Knowing You does not mean that I am protected from all harm, for another person's free will choice may affect me, but I am ultimately protected, because You can do the seemingly impossible, and that is to take an unimaginable situation--full of fire--and cause me to walk THROUGH it. You are precious, beyond expression. Thank You for Your whispered words of wisdom, guidance, and encouragement. May I always listen. I pray in Jesus' Name. Amen."