Your Future Starts NOW

Your Future Starts Now!
This past weekend I attended the Designed for Life Women’s Conference at JQH Arena in Springfield, MO. It was a power-packed event – not just because of the world-class speakers – Robert Madu, Holly Wagner, and Julia A’Bell – but because God spoke.

Each message I heard challenged me, but one in particular stood out from the rest. It was a session with Julia A’Bell (Hillsong Church, Australia) entitled “Your Future is Now.”

When Julia was younger, she wanted to be a successful point guard, so she worked hard to sharpen her skills. Every day after school, Julia practiced dribbling the basketball in her garage – first with her right hand for 30 minutes and then with her left for even longer (because her left hand was weaker). Over time, Julia got good – really good – and was able to achieve her goal.

But in order for Julia to reach her preferred future – being exceptional in her sport instead of average – she had to make a choice. Actually, she had to make a series of choices, day after day. Julia learned to travel the difficult path of discipline. She traded afternoons with friends for hours alone in the garage. Bounced a ball instead of watching television. Pushed forward instead of giving up.

Julia’s story made me think about my goals. What things do I want to see happen in my life? And what choices do I need to make to get there?

I have several goals that I envision to be part of my preferred future, such as more date nights with my husband, for our daughters to love the Lord and His Word, and to travel on more outdoor adventures as a family. But there’s one area of my life that keeps tripping me up – my body.

When I look in the mirror, I don’t recognize the person I see. It’s not me. It doesn’t feel like me, either. No longer do I jump out of bed in the morning, eager to start my day. Now I sort of roll off my mattress and slowly put my feet on the floor. I feel old and sluggish, and I don’t like it. Not one bit. The extra 10 pounds I’m carrying right now feels like 50. My preferred future, which is getting back to my “normal” size, seems like a huge mountain in the distance. I feel as if I’ll never get there.

I exercise regularly and make nutritious food choices (most of the time), but I can’t seem to lose the extra pounds. Even though I’ve never struggled with my weight, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to stay fit as I’ve gotten older. I don’t like the fact that I’m getting fluffy and soft! Some people might blame my new shape on hormones. After all, I’m in my 40s now, and supposedly a female’s body chemistry goes wacko in this season of life. I could use that excuse for my excess baggage, but I won’t. I take full responsibility for my actions.

But I wonder, How did I get here?

The answer is simple: By taking one step at a time . . . in the wrong direction.

Over the past few months, I’ve been slowly sliding into a pit of despair because of this whole weight thing. A thick blanket of shame has covered me. I’ve been crying out to God, desperate for answers. Desperate for change.

During Julia’s session, she shared a simple truth I needed to hear: “God will help you with the changes you need to make now to experience your preferred future!”

Since the conference, the Lord has given me insight into how to reduce the inflammation in my body. 

  • Stay away from foods that are problematic for me: gluten, corn products, grains, chocolate, sugar, and nuts (especially peanuts).
  • Drink six to seven 8-oz glasses of water each day.
  • Stop eating a snack after dinner (when I’m not hungry but want something sweet).
  • Get back on track with strength training (3-4 times per week).
  • Discipline myself to eat slowly and to stop eating when I’m nearly full.
  • Recognize the temptation to eat when stressed and choose to do something else instead (like pray!).

What is your preferred future? Maybe you want get healthier and lose a few pounds (or a lot). Or perhaps the extra weight you’re carrying isn’t physical at all. Your marriage is falling apart and you don’t know what to do. Your child is far from God and doesn’t seem interested in spiritual things. You battle an addiction to alcohol or drugs. Whatever your struggle, you need to know that you can break free from patterns of sin. Your situation is not hopeless and not beyond God’s ability to heal. 

The transformation you desire begins with one step – a move toward God. When you turn to the Lord, He will show you the way to go. He’ll provide everything you need to pursue the wonderful plans He has for your life. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11 NLT).

Today you can turn your back on negative self-talk and listen to what God says about you.

Today you can refuse to be immobilized by discouragement and defeat.

Today you can stop trying to make strides in your own strength and lean on the Lord’s power.

Today you can choose a different path.

Today you can decide to take the steps necessary to achieve your dreams.

So, what are you waiting for? Get moving! Your future starts NOW!

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Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing Kristen! At first I thought she is writing about me (except I’m in my 50’s) and my goals! How does she know? I think sometimes we get so caught up in life we lose track of what is important. Sometimes we have to step back and do a recheck. I sometimes feel like I have an obsession with my weight and diet that I can’t enjoy life. I want to do what you have suggested. I want to turn it over to God and let Him direct my path. I just can’t do it any more. I am not over weight. I just don’t like the ‘fluff’ mostly my belly. I have been eating healthy and exercising (running and workingout) for 10 plus years. My energy comes and goes. I think there is some cause of inflammation. Thank you again for sharing!

    • Hi, Patti! Thanks so much for your feedback. Yes, it’s so easy to get caught up in things that don’t matter as much as we THINK they do. Believe me, I know! But, God does want us to take care of ourselves the best way we can. It doesn’t mean we have to be perfect, but we do need to strive to be healthy. I hope you were encouraged and motivated by the blog post to take steps in a positive direction. I know God will bless you as you honor Him by taking better care of your body.

  2. Diane Hood says:

    Such an encouraging and challenging word today Kristen! Thank you for sharing and for the tips to keep moving forward towards our preferred future by staying focused on God and what He says about us and His plan for us!

  3. I can relate to this! I’m almost 60, can feel the difference in my body, and I don’t like it. I have a bad attitude about it, too. I keep thinking, “But I made it this far in life. I put a lot of energy into my family, friends, job, and volunteering. Why can’t the food and fitness be easier at this time of life? Why does it have to be harder?”

    But, Kristen is absolutely right. It’s been a series of decisions–along with the bad attitude–that got me where I am. It’s time to do what I tell my students when they have a goal: take small steps, celebrate the small successes, and keep moving toward the goal by accepting that it will take work, sacrifice, and determination not to give up. Also, knowing there will be backsliding–because I never take a straight line to anywhere–and to recognize it quickly, and get back on the road to the goal quickly as well.

    I’m ready! This is timely inspiration, and with Kristen’s books that will guide me to get where I want to be, and know I can be, I’ll get there. And I also need God’s help, because I can serve Him better when I’m healthy, and I want to continue doing that as long as I can..

  4. I LOVE your website! I did the Daniel Fast for 40 days this past spring, and it was my “go to” guide. I felt great, and have been able to maintain a 14 lb weight loss, while toning up a great deal. I really needed to read this today. I am experiencing the same dissatisfaction with my mid-40’s body, and I know I can do better. I have been trying “diets” all summer that work in the short term, but do not give lasting results for me. I am more than capable of putting in the work it takes to get there, but have been too lazy to commit – chasing a “quick fix” instead. Thank you for your post! It really hit home and gave me the inspiration to make my health a priority, starting NOW.

    • Thank you for your comments and feedback, Denise! I’m thankful the blog post was a reminder of what you know you need to do. I pray the Lord will bless your efforts to honor Him by taking better care of your body. I know He will! 🙂

  5. I cried out to the Lord just this morning about this very same thing. When I saw this post it reconfirmed God’s message to me. Thank you Kristen.

  6. Thank u 4 this post!! As I read it I thought to myself and looked towards the ceiling and said thank u Lord! Because I was just looking at my feet and they are swollen. And I feel inflammation in my legs. I have been following you for a few years now. I get excited when u post things because I know that it is the heartbeat of God and you are sincere and honest. So I just would like to say thank u 4 letting God in your heart and letting him use you, I REALLY NEEDED THIS THIS MORNING.God bless you, Kristen♡

    • Hi, Tiffiny! Thank you so much for your kind words. It’s good to hear from you again! Praise God for His faithfulness to speak to us when we need encouragement. I’m glad He used my blog post to help you. May the Lord fill you with His power today as you put your trust in Him!

  7. Kristen,, thank you so much for posting this. You are always encouraging and I appreciate your posts, but this one is exactly where I am tonight. I can’t tell you how much it helps. Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to use your struggles to help so many others. That’s just how good our God is. He takes the very thing the enemy tries to use against us and turns it around for our good and His glory.

    • Susan, you’re very welcome. I’m thankful the Lord used the post to encourage you. Yes, God is so gracious to lift us from our areas of weakness and not leave us there! May the Lord fill you with joy, hope, and peace today as you put your trust in Him!

  8. Sandra Turner says:

    I just stumbled onto your website surfing thru the web. This article is a direct answer to my prayer. I feel Lord led and hopeful again. I want to do this for my walk with the Lord and my health. Thank you.

    • Good for you, Sandra! I’m thankful the Lord led you to my website to encourage you. God will help you make the positive changes you need to make. Just lean on His strength, and don’t give up when you make a mistake. Keep moving forward and believing for the victory you’ve already been given! 🙂

  9. Everything you shared I can relate to. I am 69 years old. I went to a Neurologist because of a drastic change in my hand writing. I mentioned this to my daughter who told me to see a doctor because there is a name for this. So I WENT AND THE FIRST THING HE said to me was that he thought I might have Parkinson disease. Well since his diagnoses all Heck broke loose. I am now experiencing falls and my knees were so painful when I TRANSITION FROM standing to sitting and vice versa,. Thank God I went to my orthopedic doctor who gave me cortisone shots in both of my knees and now the pain is gone but I am still experiencing falls. I have an appointment with John Hopkins Hospital in March for second opinion about this Parkinson disease which i refuse to accept. I thank God everyday for healing, and I believe I am healed. I know that God is not finished with me yet. I feel like I,m still young and there is a lot of life in me for God to use. I will not give up and I will not give in to this. I trust that God is my answer and I will seek him until I find the answer. God is good all the time. So my preferred future is to be healthy and mobile to be ready to do God”s will, to be a good matriarch for my family to lead by example, and to stay prayed up. In spite of it all I know that God is on my side he will never forsake me and I THANK HIM.

    • Thank you, Patricia, for sharing. You are holding fast to God’s promises and putting your trust in Him. There’s no better position to be in! He will help you through this difficult season. You are wise to seek Him in prayer. May the Lord continue to strengthen you and uphold you with His righteous right hand!

  10. This article is truly an inspiration to me. I woke early this morning with my mind full regarding my health, weight, my body feeling “yucky” and much more. I cried out to God! I was directed to your site because of the fast that starts next month and He lead me to this article which is the answer and encouragement I needed. God answered through this article! I have joined the fast-“FIGHT” , and looking forward to my new future starting now! God has done all He needs to do—its time for me to do what I need to do to make this happen.

  11. Good morning Kristen 🙂 thank you so much for this nugget of wisdom you have shared with us. It has truly blessed me this morning during my devotional time. As was mentioned by yourself and the others I too have struggled during certain seasons of change. Nine years ago I was injured in the line of duty after a 26 year career causing much emotional and physical turmoil…change. Sinking into a dark place of despair I located an extra 25lbs and a weight that I couldn’t see in the physical but could feel deep inside. It took approximately three years for the surgeries to be completed and by that point I have all but given up. I was in prayer when the Lord had impressed upon me to fast and pray. I didn’t know how to begin so I search the web site and I found yours. I began a 21 day fast and it was life changing. I went back to the only thing I knew and that was discipline and obedient thriugh God and taking that one step. I am in my mid fifties and I am still trying to obtain my goal of losing the 25 pounds. But it’s in that journey and through the fasting in the prayer to God then I realized that our circumstances don’t define us and he holds my future and will direct my path one step at a time. This morning when I woke I was contemplating this is very thought about the up and coming year and wondering what it will for me. I had seen this article “Your Future Starts Now” the other day as I was browsing the site, however
    I didn’t read it until this morning. His timing is right on and thank you and the other ladies that have commented references the article. It has truly given me encouragement and blessed me. Thank you Kristen for allowing us the opportunity to share and for your transparency and the others as well creating a safe place to be open and real. May God continue to bless you.

    • Thank you so much for sharing! I’m so thankful the Lord led you to my website and to this post specifically. He is so faithful to meet us where we are and to speak life into our circumstances. May God fill you with His power and peace this coming year as you trust in Him! 🙂

  12. Alice Shaw says:

    I am so glad that you was led to me. I am dealing with physical Health problems, a nephew who continue to stay with me and I want him to get his own apartment and a husband that listen to his sister for everything to do. I have a desire to be by myself. I feel like I can do better. Yes I love him, but he goes against everything I suggest and think I don’t know what I want to do. I have had surgery on my head, but I think like I did before I had surgery. He is trying to control me and change everything I suggest or say I want to do. I feel he is my problem along with my nephew. Please give me some suggestions as what to do. I do believe in pray, Please help. Please Reply

    • Hi, Alice. The best thing you can do right now is draw close to the Lord. When life seems overwhelming, He is a strong tower that we can run to – our place of safety (Prov. 18:10). Focus on resting in His love, and He will enable you to show love to your family (even if they’re driving you crazy right now!). I’m not saying this path will be easy. It won’t. BUT leaning on the Lord for strength will unleash a supernatural power into your life that will help you walk in victory. Start by praising God. Praise Him for who He is (here’s a post to guide you…http://www.ultimatedanielfast.com/the-abcs-of-praise/). Then thank Him for the blessings in your life. I guarantee that if you do these things, you will have a fresh perspective. The Lord loves you; He is with you. He is mighty to save!

  13. My God is so awesome
    The year of the doer! My faith is on fire. For 3 years I have been transformed. now the fast! I believe God. I hear Him so loud and clear is scary! This fast has given me confidences. I believe in myself, fearless! I am with a man that is taking peace and joy out of my life. It’s time to move on. Today! Pray for my strength in the Lord
    Thanks for your help and support

    • Thanks so much for sharing how God has been working in your life! I pray you will indeed obey His voice and have the courage to do what He wants you to do. May the Lord fill you with His power and peace as you trust in Him!