Be A Prisoner of Hope

May 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-hope-concept-image28927468

We’re all locked into something

Something that seems to never change

Something you think will never improve

Some hopeless situation we feel drained by

Some insurmountable mountain we can never climb

 

It could be…..

A job we can’t stand

A house we don’t like

Children we feel inadequate enough for

A relationship that appears to have no future

 

Maybe its….

A prison cell from a criminal act

Or a wrong conviction

Perhaps its….

Guilt

Regret

Shame

 

Perhaps your prison cell is your body

Like mine was at 417 pounds

Yesterday I ate dinner with my family at the dinner table

Where we have two long benches

All the chairs are gone

Broken by me

One by one

As I got bigger

 

My body was a prison in which I lived

Day after day

Month after month

Year after year

I was NOT a prisoner of HOPE

But I was a prisoner

I was a prisoner of past mistakes

Wrong choices

Addiction to sugar

A prisoner of regret

At the lost years NOT playing with my children

Because I could barely stand in one place for more than a minute

Because I could barely walk across the baseball field

To take my son to practice

Because I could not fit in the narrow hallway at ballet

For my little girl who longed to be a ballerina

I was a prisoner of embarrassment

That little children stared at me in the stores

Or at my children’s school events

Causing my children to feel the need to defend me

Oh how that hurt my heart

Embarrassed when I broke chairs and toilet seats

Embarrassed when I fell and 4 large men had to work together

Just to get me off the floor

 

I didn’t break only my chairs

Or my toilet seats

I broke a friends kitchen chair

A friends toilet seat

And that’s when my prison became more real

Because I stopped going out

Out to friends houses

To restaurants

To church

To anywhere at all

If I could avoid it

 

And once I gave up

Once I let my body take over

Once I let my weight determine where I could go

And what I could do

That’s when I truly became

A prisoner of HOPELESSNESS

A prisoner of DESPAIR

A prisoner of NO SECOND CHANCE

 

When you do that

When you give up hope

That means you’ve abandoned yourself to your fate

You’ve accepted that this is your life

And this is how it is always going to be

Because this is how it’s always been

For just so darn long

 

How many diets did I go on??

How many times did I go on EACH ONE??

How many prayers did I throw up in the sky

Only to feel them crashing back down upon me

Like God’s “Return to Sender” stamp

Like someone taped an eviction notice

On the little door of hope that was still left ajar

Now slammed shut by a feeling of utter futility

 

I always considered myself

Somewhat of an intelligent individual

I had accomplished many things in life

And I was proud of those things

I had a Bachelors degree

A Masters degree

Four children I felt blessed to raise

And yet this issue

My weight

My overeating

THIS I could not control

And not for lack of trying

 

You name almost any diet out there

And I’ve probably tried it

Bought it

Read it

And failed on it

 

After a lifetime of struggling with my weight

After almost 20 years of being overweight

Obese

And then morbidly obese

I finally threw my hands up and said

FINE

THIS IS WHO I AM

I ACCEPT IT

And then my weight soared

Because finally…..

I had given up all hope in wild abandon

Come for me….I said

To diabetes and high blood pressure

To back pain and lack of mobility

To sleep apnea and lack of energy

To never socializing again

To never fitting anywhere again

To a life of binging day after day

To caring for my children from a recliner

Like someone who is paralyzed

Like someone who is little more

Than a prisoner of obesity

Waiting to die

 

That was my life

Less than 2 years ago

And yet here I sit

23 months later

240 pounds lighter

From a size 38

To a size 14

No longer a prisoner of my body

Free to go where I want to go

Do what I want to do

See who I want to see

I can take my son to baseball

And my daughter to ballet

I can run and jump and hop and skip

I can even do a cartwheel!!!!!!

(Not a good one….but you can recognize it!)

 

Am I no longer a prisoner?

On the contrary!!

A prisoner is what I am right now

A prisoner is what I am blessed to be

Because I am a prisoner of HOPE

 

Return to your fortress, you prisoners of HOPE

Even now, I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.

Zechariah 9:12

 

We are all locked into something

A good mood

Or a bad one

Hope or Despair

Dreary Anticipation

OR

Confident Expectation

 

What will you choose today?

Because you CHOOSE hope

You don’t wish you could get some

You don’t wonder if you’ll ever feel that way

YOU CHOOSE IT

Because hope is NOT something you see

It’s not something you touch

It’s not something visible

Hope is this….

 

Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?

But if we hope for what we do not see, we await for it with patience.

Romans 8:24-25

 

 

Who hopes for what they see???

Do you hope that your car is in the driveway

When you see it parked there?

Do you hope your TV show will come on tonight

When you’re watching it right now?

Do you hope that you can pay your bills this month

If the money is already in your bank account?

NO!

Hope is not what we already see

What we already have

Hope is the confident expectation though

THAT IT WILL COME

Whatever IT is

 

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1

 

Hope and faith

What is really the difference?

To me they are closely linked

And yet perhaps they are just different enough

For us to see a pathway out of our prison of despair

Faith is knowing that what you believe is true

Faith is believing that what you hope for WILL happen

You are convicted of its absolute reality

CONVICTED

Like a prisoner standing before a judge

Whose gavel comes flying down on the desk with a bang

And says CONVICTED OF HOPE

And you believe it!

You know it’s true!

What you need in your life

What you desperately desire

WILL HAPPEN

 

Now hope is slightly different to me

Because hope is “confident expectation”

Meaning you’re waiting

You’re expecting

You’re anticipating

But what….

What are you waiting for?

What are you anticipating?

What are you expecting?

 

For that car to slam on its brakes?

So you’ll rear end it?

And have THAT on your record?

Yes I think that way….

Five car lengths behind, Holly

AT LEAST

Because you know they’re going to do it

You just know they are

You’ve already been rear ended three times since you moved here

THREE TIMES

And of course it had to be my NEW van they rear ended

Oh they couldn’t have rear ended me any of the 5 years

That I had the old Suburban

No it has to be my NEW van….

OF COURSE….

Right???

Because that’s just my life

That’s just my luck

That’s just HOW IT IS

 

And that’s how I often talk to myself

With confident expectation that bad stuff will happen

With faith that my life is going to suck

OVER AND OVER

No matter what

So why bother??

Why try??

Why care??

 

Hope is the confident expectation of something

But faith is the absolute belief it will happen

So if you hope for something

And have faith that it’s going to present itself to you

Then statistics say

That it probably will

 

But I’m not “hoping” to get rear ended

I’m not “hoping” to fail on my diet before 10 am

I’m not “hoping” bad things will happen

Who would do that???

 

But am I expecting it?

Am I confidently expecting it??

So confident that my actions mirror my beliefs

Like driving so far away from the car in front of me

So slowly

That I get honked at

That I literally almost cause an accident myself

Because I am SO cautious

So scared

That I am the one actually creating the problem?

 

I have anxiety

It’s something I struggle with

I’ve had full blown panic attacks

On a highway in a Suburban full of babies

And that’s scary

 

I would feel the panic coming on

I could feel my fingers going numb

My face losing feeling

And then I’d say

“Oh my gosh! I’m going to have a panic attack!!”

“Oh no!! It’s going to happen!! It’s going to !!”

“We’re all going to die!”

“I’m going to crash this car and we’re all going to die!”

“Oh no! Oh no! Oh no!”

 

That used to happen to me every time

I tried to drive on the highway

Way before I left the house

I was confidently expecting to have a panic attack

And my faith and beliefs

MADE IT A FACT

 

Then one day I learned

That my panic attacks weren’t always triggered

By some external circumstance

It wasn’t the highway

Or the guy that cut me off in traffic

It wasn’t the rain

Or the fact that a tractor trailer was barreling down on me

It wasn’t any of that at all

It was in the “OH NO!!!!”

It was in the “OH MY GOODNESS!!”

That my panic attacks were triggered

 

You see the first thing that happened

Was stressful

I merged onto the highway and it felt like a close call

It seemed no one would let me in

And that was nerve wracking

But THAT alone could not cause the panic attack

 

It was when I said

“Oh my gosh! Oh no!! Oh my goodness!!”

It was in THAT moment

When I planted the seeds to grow the panic

Because I began to speak out of my mouth

That the worst was coming

“I’m going to freak out!” I’d think

“I’m going to lose it!!”  I’d say

And then I would

 

Why…you ask??

Because I confidently expected it  (hope)

And I believed in what I could not yet see (faith)

But what I KNEW WOULD COME

A full blown panic attack

And then it did

 

I still have panic attacks

In fact I just had one last week

FUN FUN FUN

But they don’t happen as frequently now

Because I understand it’s not the circumstance

That is making me panic

Because the panic comes from inside of me

The circumstance from outside of me

 

The circumstance is external

But it’s a trigger

Waiting to be pulled

The truth is this

I have to be the one

To pull the trigger

And it’s in the Oh NO’s and Oh my Goodness’s

And Not Again’s

That we initiate the process

That we allow an external circumstance

To pull an internal trigger

And set us off

 

I used to believe that I could not avoid eating a twinkie

I just can’t do it...I’d say

I just can’t

And that alone presented anxiety

Because then I’d think

Oh no! Oh my goodness!! There it is!!

There is the twinkie!!

I can’t resist it!! Oh not again!! No please!!!

And then I’d eat it

 

I was addicted to sugar

That was a major part of the problem

But the other part

WAS ME

I was a prisoner of my own mind

A prisoner of hopelessness

And we’re all locked into something

I was just sitting in the wrong cell

 

It’s time we all get in the same cell together

And lock the door behind us

So we can be prisoners of HOPE

Where hope locks us in

And won’t let us go

Where faith sets in

And creates a belief that we cannot fail

So long as we don’t give up

So long as we confidently expect the good

And not the bad

So long as we stop pulling the trigger

With all the

Oh No’s

And Oh my Goodness’s

And Not Again’s!

 

What if we choose to have confident expectation

That things can change

Even if it’s been 20 years

Even if it’s been a lifetime

Because that was me

 

I lived a lifetime of struggling with weight

I was morbidly obese for well over a decade

And yet I’ve lost 240 pounds in less than 2 years

And I just got back from a morning jog

 

So what should we expect now?

Because I am nothing special

I am just a human being

But I’ve learned that I’m going to be a prisoner of something

So why not let it be HOPE?

 

I have only one thing to say to you today

YOU CAN DO THIS

No matter what it is

No matter what you’re going through

Have faith

Have hope

Believe that you can

Then lock yourself into the prison cell of hope

And throw away the key

 

 

Me July 2011

200VictoryFinalRun.019

And this next one is a picture of me just last week  with my friend Krystal

From the new blog Sugar Iz Crack

photo-426

Krystal has been my “in real life” friend for the past 7 years

No matter what I weighed she was there for me

And she’s supported me as I left my prison of hopelessness

And moved towards hope

Now she’s decided that it’s time for her to do the same

And I am going to be there for her every step of the way

 

Krystal has CHOSEN to be

A prisoner of HOPE

We have been friends a long time

And now it’s time to give back

I am dedicated to helping her

But more importantly

She is dedicated to the journey

So I’d appreciate you supporting her if you can

By visiting her blog

Because we all know how tough this can be

And what we all need

Is a little hope….

 

This next picture is of me with Krystal and Patrick

Patrick has become like family to me

Not only is he a personal trainer

Not only is he an overcomer

He is also a prisoner of HOPE

And he has shown me over and over again

That what we confidently expect

CAN HAPPEN

So we must control our thought life

 

Krystal and Patrick (being his usual positive self expecting the BEST!)

photo-40

The three of us together….hoping, expecting, and confidently pursuing VICTORY!!!!

patkrystal

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Samantha @ 24to30 May 22, 2013 at 11:54 am

I am REALLY good at confidently expecting bad things to happen. I am the classic glass half empty. My husband on the other hand, always expects good things to happen and is always glass half full. Sometimes is drives me crazy, sometimes I appreciate it. I never really thought about it like this though. I will definitely be working harder to confidently expect that good things are going to happen!
Samantha @ 24to30 recently posted..Just The Fat GirlMy Profile

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annamarie May 22, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Lovely post as always Holly. I just love your positive attitude. Now I will go and look at your friend’s post. And as usual, with your support I know your friend will conquer her obstacles too.

I do have one question, even if it may sound stupid. You stated about detoxing from sugar, meaning just sugar or is it carbs/sugar. Could you help me understand more? Thank you.

Many hugs,
annamarie recently posted..Need to be back in CONTROLMy Profile

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down May 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm

My friend Krystal that I linked to will be discussing exactly what she is eating and drinking which is my exact sugar detox program. She will give details!

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Cathy Jones May 22, 2013 at 1:09 pm

This is a wonderful piece Holly! There are so many things we hope for and then we tell ourselves that they will never happen. But Faith comes in and says, “As your faith is so shall it be!” Now, if we really hope and desire for our plan to work and come to pass we must say, “But with God ALL things are possible!” Now knowing that with God with us, we KNOW that what ever we ask He will give. Which builds our faith in a mighty way and causes us to see beyond our despair so the dreams we hope for will come true! I’ll be praying for your friend!

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MandaPanda May 22, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Way to pay it forward!
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Jayne May 22, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Holly this is just an awesome encouragement and oh so where I am living, thanks for sharing as always. You really have a gift for writing and encouraging others. Love, Jayne

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Linda May 22, 2013 at 2:08 pm

This is totally awesome!! What wonderful pics!! You are such a wonderful and beautiful person Hollly, that it just makes sense you have the same as friends. Linda xo

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Staci May 22, 2013 at 3:36 pm

All I can say is Patrick has the LONGEST FINGER EVER. How can you not listen when he points and says “Keep going!” Hahaha
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Rhonda W May 22, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Beautiful blog Holly and I most certainly will go check out your friends blog. I’m so very happy that she has decided to embrace a healthy lifestyle and what a beautiful thing to know that it was your influence that helped her get to that mindset. Have a wonderful week. Hugs, Rhonda (PS – Noticed the date on your magazine link says May 2011 instead of May 2013.. thought you might want to edit that)

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Lori May 23, 2013 at 3:39 am

I love this. Really needed some inspiration today. 🙂

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Troy O. Gray May 27, 2013 at 7:51 am

Ruthie, though, was put to the test in a way that I have not been, and pray to God I would not be. Her faith was not a sugarcoating over suffering, but rather like a rope line she held onto as she walked a narrow path along the edge of a mountain, through a blinding storm. There was nothing easy about her faith, though she made it look easy because she carried it so lightly. I still puzzle over the quality of her faith (“quality” = its particularities) and the quality of my faith, wondering about the strengths and weaknesses of both our approaches. I would not be surprised if readers of Little Way come away from it with questions raised about faith, not questions answered. I mean, there is no doubt at all that Little Way is an affirmation of faith and its power, but as the New York reader sees, it’s far from a book prescribing faith as a panacea. Ruthie’s faith was dearly bought, and tested by white-hot fire.
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