I have completed Breakthrough twice now. When I began Breakthrough for the first time, I was at a place in my life where I had struggled for a very long time with food. I felt very alone in that struggle and knew no one who really understood or cared. I had particularly been addicted to sugar and carbohydrates. My weight had fluctuated up and down for well over a decade, perhaps more, and I had tried many, many different weight loss programs and plans; some biblically based, some not. I had prayed for years about it and struggled, and though there was progress at times and I had certainly acquired more knowledge, nothing had permanently changed and I would just keep coming back to the same place over and over again: Frustrated, bound and ashamed. I really was at a place of despair that I would ever be free of this. I didn’t know what would be different about ‘Breakthrough’ and was afraid of putting more money into something else that may not work! I prayerfully considered whether or not to do Breakthrough, but with my husband’s encouragement I signed up to take the course.
Breakthrough has changed my whole perspective. It has caused me to think about the lifestyle goals that the Lord has for me. It has given me vision where there was none, it has helped me to see the reasons for how and why there needs to be lifestyle change and has shown me how important it is that I take responsibility for a healthy lifestyle, yet giving the Lord complete control of my health. Breakthrough has given me the tools and foundational principles to help me do this, and the support of a community, and friendships with other Christian ladies who understand and go through the same, or similar struggles. I am no longer alone in this.
But, even greater than these things has been the ‘Breakthrough’ in my heart and mind. The Lord has shown me who He made me to be, so that I am finally beginning to reach a place where I can say and believe the words from Psalm 139, “I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” My life has been one of striving, working to try and please God and others, always thinking ‘I’ had to do this or that, that ‘I’ just wasn’t good enough or that I needed to summon up some motivation and will power in myself, but that only led me to rock bottom! I do not believe that real, lasting transformation can happen apart from the Lord. I have come to a place where I have been able to fully receive, not just know in my head, the truth that God loves me, and that it is by His grace that I have been saved, it is not of myself. His love and His grace are unconditional for me and no amount of striving will change that. So I must cease striving and know that He is God, I must let go and rest in Him.
At my natural weight I am around 126-130lbs, but have fluctuated up and down like a yo-yo between 126lbs and 170lbs. Some of my family and friends over the years have often laughed at me when I have said I am trying to lose weight, as I most often come within a so called healthy weight range, and other than frequent fatigue, headaches, other aches and pains, brain fog and various other ailments associated with poor lifestyle habits, I don’t currently have an illness or specific health issue. But little do they understand what I’ve experienced or been through, or the immense inner battles that I have had, and that I face many of the same struggles as others who may have more weight to lose than I do. They have not seen the fear and anxiety I go through. They do not know the self-hatred that I’ve had and the shame I have about my body. They do not know of my emotional struggles, or the detrimental relationship I have had with food. I think the only reason I have not reached higher than 44lbs greater than my natural weight, is that I have gained weight, then gone full force at another diet or program and come all the way back down in weight, over and over, and over again.
Through ‘Breakthrough’ (and continuing involvement in Haven), the Lord has done some serious ‘open heart surgery’ on me. There was a specific trauma early in my adult life that left me wounded and scarred and had varying consequences. Unknown to me, whilst much healing had taken place, many things still lay buried deep underneath, and I was affected in ways I did not even recognize. ‘Breakthrough’ was a huge step in an ongoing process that God used to open up those wounds, showing me that the pain was still there after more than 23 years. He caused me to face some things head on and revealed to me many things that He wanted to heal. He showed me fears and hurts, my loneliness, my habitual thinking patterns and lies that I believed. He showed me where my life was out of balance, where I have not been living according to my values and showed me how who He has really made me to be had been quenched by all this junk! I could now see that my food addiction had been the result of going to food for comfort, to dull the pain, to give me company when lonely and to make me feel happy. Food had become my best friend (yet was ironically really my enemy and was controlling me).
‘Breakthrough’ has been a huge factor in beginning a process of healing and restoration in my life. When I took Breakthrough for the second time it was with a new perspective. This time, it reinforced to me who I am in Christ, how He has set me free and how He is renewing and restoring me and bringing me gently back into alignment with who He has made me to be, I was drawn into deeper worship and love for Him. I could do this course over and over again, and keep on learning and being reminded of things I can so often forget. I have not ‘arrived’ I am still progressing bit by bit and the Lord continues to transform me, with the renewing of my mind by His word, His truth. There are days of discouragement, or set back for some reason or another and I can so easily revert to old thinking patterns and habits, but I know to run back to the Lord and to His word, and have learnt so much in ‘Breakthrough’ that now better equips me to face the challenges.
Breakthrough takes a commitment and is hard work, but what is ten weeks in the scope of a lifetime? Our time and money are resources given to us by the Lord and this has been an investment of both that He definitely wanted me to make and without which I would still be bound, instead of free to live a new life.
John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”