I can vividly remember the way I felt the day my husband packed his suitcase and moved out.
As I watched the door close behind him, I fell back on the couch.
A distinct and overwhelming feeling of dread came over me.
All hope was gone.
The life I had spent the past 10 years building was over.
Before me, I had two babies still in diapers, a preschooler and a 4th grader.
I was sitting in the house we had just bought a few months earlier with boxes still left to unpack.
1600 miles away from my family.
I did not know a single person in this city.
Not even a neighbor.
In that moment, I knew with absolute certainty that I could not survive.
The next few weeks were touch and go.
My mother was having some difficulty traveling and could only call me every 15 minutes to make sure I was still alive.
That’s no exaggeration.
I literally thought I would die.
Panic had overtaken me and I had reached a point where I didn’t know how to go on.
And this is when it happened.
I made a decision.
My decision was to survive.
That was all I had to do.
Get through the next 15 minutes.
And when those 15 minutes were up, get through another round.
If I could just survive the day then that was my victory.
That was a good plan for a crisis.
But at some point in the past 5 years, I never reevaluated the plan.
I never got beyond just “surviving”.
And the truth is, God wants so much more for us than just surviving.
5 years have passed since my divorce but my plan to just “function” had become a hard reality.
I didn’t dream for anything more.
The larger you get, the smaller your world becomes.
You can no longer do things or go very many places.
You become more isolated.
I had built for myself a safe place where no one and nothing else could hurt me.
Just me and my hostess cupcakes.
Food remained my constant companion.
In the past 5 years, food had become my spouse.
There for me “in good times and bad”, “sickness and health”…
Til DEATH do us part…..
And at 417…450…or whatever-I-weighed-now pounds…THAT promise was going to come true a lot sooner than I had anticipated.
It was time for me to reevaluate my plan of just “surviving”.
And it was time to start living again.
My brother made a courageous decision 2 years ago to have weight loss surgery when his own battle had led him to a treacherous state.
Given a death sentence by the doctor, he was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure, Diabetes, High Blood pressure and a wealth of other problems.
Instead of accepting his fate, he chose to reach out in faith and make a bold move.
He had weight loss surgery and 2 years later he is 250 pounds lighter.
His doctor told him that he has been CURED of congestive heart failure.. an INCURABLE disease by man’s standards.
He is building his own personal trainer business now inspiring others to LIVE instead of “just survive”.
Today I can buckle my seatbelt.
Walk my kids to school.
And do more than just function.
I can participate in life again instead of just survive it.
I’ve put together a video of my past 5 months to celebrate how far I’ve come.
But I’m not stopping now.
Life is about more than just surviving.