I once saw a shirt on a baby that said, “Be patient with me, God is not finished with me yet.” I thought that the person who put that on a shirt had given some thought on the hearts and minds of children and the love and patience they need throughout their tiny lives to help them adjust to being an adult.
And, so it was, until the other day when I was thinking of many things that I have been facing in my life currently. I have new job duties that will start tomorrow, family arrangements that are difficult due to work, two precious animals that can’t seem to adjust to each other, a sick mother, nieces and nephews that are beginning to drive and go to college and begin relationships, a cousin with an addiction problem and a weight problem that I have had most of my life.
As I was thinking about all of these things and praying I started to think about how difficult it is sometimes to change bad habits. Addictions or eating habits. I was thinking that the more you try sometimes the further out of balance you get. It goes okay for a time but then you fall back into your old pattern of eating (whatever) and you feel worse than when you started. Then I thought rehab or diet programs or management tools or training for your pets is not all there is to changing. It is great to have help from sources that have experience with the areas you need help with. But, this is not the only source we need to depend on. God is our very source of life and wisdom. And sometimes He is the very reason we feel ashamed of not being able to complete something we have started because we feel that we have failed Him.
I was thinking how hard it is for me to yet again join Weight Watchers. How I have joined so many times and not been able to reach my desired goal. I did reach my goal weight one time in 1987. I joined Weight Watchers in 1985. When I had made up my mind that I was not going to live the way I was living any longer. I couldn’t walk from room to room in my house, I couldn’t sit in a booth at a restaurant, I couldn’t get in the backseat of a car and I felt so bad about it all. I decided when I was 25 that I had had enough and that I was going to lose weight, go to school and get a job. I was so strict with myself that I never cheated on the program for 1 year and 11 months. I lost a total of 245 pounds. I weighed in at 400 lbs and when I reached my goal I weighed 155 lbs.
The night I reached my goal I decided that I would have some cheese. I love cheese. I had only been allowed to have 4 ounces a week on the program. That very thought was the turning point of my going in the upward direction of weight gain. The program required you to be at goal or below for 6 weeks to reach a lifetime membership. I did not reach lifetime membership and it has haunted me ever since.
Thinking about this made me question why I couldn’t stick with a program long enough to do it again. I was also thinking about my cousin because he has been to rehab after rehab and is unable to break free of his addiction for any length of time. As I was thinking this over in my mind I thought of the shirt I had once seen on a baby that said, “Be patient with me, God is not finished with me yet.” I realized that not only did this apply to babies, it applied to everyone. We all need God’s help. We are all a work in progress. We all need the patience and love of others because God is not finished with us yet.
When I thought of this it was so clear to me. We don’t need to be ashamed to try again. We need to never stop trying. God is not finished with us yet. He wants us to keep trying. Pick up and go until we reach our desired goal. And through His love and patience we will be able to see the finished product. Thank God I am a work in progress!