Changes. They happen. I guarantee it. Changes happen, regardless of whether we want them to or not.
Recently, I’ve gone through some changes.
First – my family and I made a move from Tampa, FL to Huntsville, AL.
Second – I got out of full time preaching ministry, and took a job as a Discipling and Associate minister.
Third – I went off some major medication.
Fourth – I lost something.
Now, let’s discuss these changes real quick. Back in March of 2015, we moved to Tampa, FL from Nashville, TN to preach for the Northwest Tampa Church of Christ. My time there was both a blessing and a hardship. I will admit, I had a hard time there. It was far from my family. It was not the “Bible Belt” that I was used to. It didn’t have the traditional southern charm we grew up with in my family. But for 4.5 years, I worked with some great families in my church, and we miss our small group terribly. There were some great folks in there, even though one of them did ruin my birthday cake by putting turnip greens into some cupcakes…but that’s for another time.
We were not looking to move – but an opportunity landed in my life that I felt was directly from God. I was invited to work with the Mayfair Church of Christ and to serve on their leadership team as their discipleship minister. I began that job in October, and it has been the greatest blessing of my life to work alongside the best ministry staff in the world.
At the same time, my wife was able to secure a teaching job at Madison Academy.
When we started to make this transition, I decided to go off some medication. I hesitate to write about this, because it is deeply personal, but I feel like it could help someone in the future. In August of 2017, due to some situations that had occurred in my life, my doctor thought it was best, after visiting with a counselor, to go on some anxiety medication.
I remember when I took the first pill, I didn’t know what to expect. From my time in teaching and youth ministry, I was expecting to zone out – but what happened was exactly the opposite. The things I worried about, struggled with, things I couldn’t let go of – I was now able to deal with them. Things that got shut me down didn’t anymore. Situations I didn’t want to face were no longer a problem.
Lack of encouragement was a real motivator behind going on the medication. A person can only go so far without it, and was really struggling. While the medication did not provide “encouragement” it did provide the ability to see beyond it, to compartmentalize things, to move forward.
On Sunday, December 15, I took my last pill. I no longer need it. I have been encouraged and uplifted here and that was a MAJOR factor in being able to move past the pills.
Another major change has been something I’ve lost. Since August 7, 2019, I have been on the Keto Diet. I used to laugh at folks who did the diet. I couldn’t understand why people would want to restrict themselves. How can you give up potatoes and rice and chips?
Earlier this summer before all the changes began – I ballooned up to 315 pounds. It was officially the heaviest I’ve ever been. I was miserable. I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. I was in a bad place. When my wife and daughter moved to Huntsville ahead of me to start school, I began doing the Keto diet. No more than 30 carbs a day, try to keep under 1600 calories a day, and lo and behold, the weight started to come off.
I wasn’t able to weigh myself over the past few months since we’ve been staying with my in-laws with all of our possessions in storage. So this past weekend, when we finally closed on our new house and moved in, I was able to find the scales.
I’m down to 275. 40 pounds gone. And it feels wonderful. I still have a long way to go. But I feel so good. I’m not bloated, no upset stomach, food is no longer a major motivator in my life. I can bend over and tie my shoes without struggling. I’ve struggled with weight most of my adult life. I know that dieting is not a fleeting moment, but rather, a lifestyle change.
I say these things to motivate you. To encourage you. If you think you may need medications for anxiety, depression, etc. – don’t wait. Go see a doctor today. If you need to lose weight, don’t put it off. There’s no time like the present. I know, I know, the holidays are coming up, so you’ll “start it in the new year.” No, you probably won’t. Sure you may go and buy what you need and plan on it, but if you wait, there’s always an event coming up that you don’t want to miss. I did TWO THANKSGIVING MEALS and DID NOT CHEAT! Christmas is coming, and I’ll again do the same.
Finally – I’ve moved my blog to this new site – http://www.ministerlane.com – with hopes of having a more regular presence once again.