A wave came over me, almost like I was in the ocean waist high
and a pounding surf overtook me.
That’s happened to me. Curiosity dared me once to walk out into the Pacific and see how far I could go without the water coming over me. I went a “fur piece” as my relatives used to say, until a breaker of white water slammed me and pulled me under. The force, the power, was breathtaking – literally. I wasn’t under long, but it scared the bejeebies out of me. I didn’t understand until that moment just how powerful the water of the ocean could be.
It happened another time, but I wasn’t in water. I sat talking to six other women in a classroom. My new friend Sharon had invited me to speak at two breakout sessions for the Passionate Hearts conference here in Denver. When she called, I told her sure and asked for a topic. I assumed she had perused my website and picked something. Her answer took me for a roller coaster loop.
“Robbie, I want you to speak about whatever God’s overflowing your heart with today.”
I hung up and immediately told God, “NO!”
I’ve been speaking professionally in Denver for eight years. When I began I made a list of topics I could speak on. From time to time, I’ve updated that list. God has asked me countless times to speak about identity directly related to weight. My answer has been consistent.
“Not now, God. I will speak on that when I weigh 125 pounds. Which will probably be next week so…”
The day Sharon called, God had brought up the topic again. Again, I told Him I would speak on that someday but not now. So when Sharon said what she did, I felt a stab to my heart.
“It is time, Robbie.”
I don’t weigh 125 pounds. Far from it. In fact, weight loss has been my nemesis for years. My Joker, my Professor Moriarty, my Shere Khan. Like an endless series of Wylie Coyote cartoons, my roadrunner self just keeps running, but never completely victorious.
My weight loss stories, as well as tales of my weight gain have become tedious and boring to me. I could chart them out for you, but it would be like watching The Private Life of Plants narrated by David Attenborough. (This is an actual documentary – better than Ambien)
I am so DONE with dieting and obsessing about my weight. At 52 years old, I quit.
Now the first time I said this to myself I thought, “So you’re just going to let yourself go, Robbie?” No. May it never be. I always want to be healthier and more fit. But making it my number one priority is exhausting. And I have come to find that God is totally okay with me not worrying about calories or fat grams or food choices or exercises.
I have finally made peace with my weight. It will always be a struggle and a gift. It is the one area in my life that causes me to fall on my knees before God, more than anything else.
So I said yes to God and told Sharon I would be speaking on the topic “The Number on the Scale is not your Identity.” The three weeks of preparation consisted of some of the scariest moments of my life. Seriously. I almost cancelled many times.
It occurred to me that the enemy was launching a full throttle attack on my soul. He shot his flaming arrows of lies and accusations:
How can you talk about weight when you are clearly obese? You are going to be laughed at, Robbie. No one will come once they see that you are teaching this. You need to do this after you’ve lost more weight. Don’t do this. What a fool you will be.
I asked several folks to pray for me and because of the power of their prayers and the resolve of my obedience I kept trudging on.
The conference began on a Friday night, but the breakout sessions would be on Saturday. Friday night a table was set up with sign-up sheets for the breakout sessions with a picture of the teacher and a description of the class. At the end of the night I looked at the table. Everyone’s sign-up sheets were full with 20+ women in each class. My sheets? 6 women and 11 women.
My response could’ve easily been panic or self-pity. But God was working in me and I found it easy to shrug and say “Oh well. You are in control, God.”
In obedience I greeted the first group of 6 women.
In obedience I made it as much as I could a discussion, not just a lecture.
In obedience I told them of my struggle and all the lies the enemy had told me.
In obedience I showed them the battle tactics God was teaching me.
In obedience I jumped in fully, opening my heart up and telling them about my deepest wounds.
And that’s when it happened.
A wave came over me, almost like I was in the ocean waist high and a pounding surf overtook me.
The Spirit. I have known Jesus for over 30 years, and I never FELT the Spirit like I did in that small classroom with 6 ladies sitting with me. And guess what? He came again in the next session. Now I believe that the Holy Spirit is given to me when I accept Jesus as my Savior. So I know I have had the Spirit in me, guiding me, reminding me, convicting me for over 30 years. But His power? This was a new experience.
And I want more. More Lord! I spoke at a retreat the week after that and once again, the Spirit overwhelmed me. Just like that moment in the ocean, I never understood the POWER of the Spirit until I went under.
I asked my husband if there was a formula I could look up to have this experience again. He chuckled and told me to pray. So that’s where I am today, praying and obeying. Who knows what our Great God has planned for me, or for you?
I grew up Baptist and then became Non-Denominational. I’ve never been one to think I wanna be a Charismatic Holy Roller. Still don’t. But what I do want is to live fully and experience all God has for me. So, for me, that means, hanging out with our Lord, asking Him for more and obeying when He tells me to jump in without fear. Join me!