Monday, September 22, 2014

YES...I am a miracle!

Good Morning Friends!  I often refer to myself as a walking-talking miracle. I believe this whole-heartedly, but am often asked about my thoughts on this. Do I really think that it’s a miracle that I lost weight?  Do I really think that God made me lose weight?  Did I pray to lose weight?  Questions like this are commonplace. The answers, however, are a bit more complicated….and basically are YES…and NO.

Yes, I believe that I am a walking-talking miracle, because I can’t really explain how I lost 270+ pounds in 2 years without surgery, diet pills, or some crazy fad diet. It’s only by the Grace of God…but at the same time, I didn’t just wake up ‘thinner.”  People often think of a miracle as something that ‘just happens” without explanation….like the parting of the Red Sea in the Old Testament, or the healing of the blind man or various other accounts in the Gospels.  God didn’t just go “poof” and all of a sudden I was a size 12.  My miracle….or my perception of the miracle….happened in my MIND and HEART….but that in turn, manifested itself in my body. 

When I share my story, I often speak of my Grandma Borawski, and I tell the story of her death and funeral. In my heart, I sincerely believe that my miracle began at her funeral…first during a conversation at the funeral home and then later during  the liturgy itself, when out of nowhere…on a cloudy winter day….a big, bright beam of sunlight appeared and shone directly through the new St. Theresa stained glass window in the church (ironically the very church in which I served as Faith Formation Director for over 15 years…and taught Religious Ed for many years prior to that....before losing my job ……the beginning of a downward spiral for me) That beam of light…came out of a winter sky and shined directly on me, sitting there in the pew, while others around me were standing up. I was unable to stand for more than a minute or two.  About a half hour prior to that moment I proclaimed emphatically that “ I’ll tell you what I’m going to do…I’m going to WALK Again” when asked, “so what are you going to do now, Miss Borawski…now that Grandma’s gone……who’s going to pray for you now?” 

Every time I reflect on this journey, I am overcome with complete gratitude…to my cousin for asking me such a question….for igniting a fire within….both anger and determination…..and for setting a miracle in motion.  I remember that moment….when I emphatically proclaimed that “You just watch…just imagine what’s going to happen in my life now that Grandma is in heaven. If she prayed or me every day on earth, what do you think is going to happen now that she is in heaven?”  Of course, I had NO IDEA what would happen…after all, there I sat…in a bariatric walker, weighing over 400 pounds, and unable to walk more than a few steps on my own.  What’s going to happen???? How can God possibly turn this around, I wondered, and yet, out of nowhere, I proclaim, “I’m going to walk again!” 

God must have sensed my doubt because it was only a short time later…at the church….when I was bathed in that sunbeam….that manifestation of God’s presence and power.  Ironically, it was so noticeable that my cousins and other family members began to tease me about being “the highly favored granddaughter.”  I just smiled, and knew that it was a message from God.  And so began the MIRACLE. 

Over the course of the next several weeks, there were many incidents that led up to the beginning of this journey. You can read about them on multiple sites and in various interviews. Just google my name of visit my website www.theresaborawski.net  if you want to hear about the specifics.  That moment….and the conversations and experiences that happened in the 40 days following Grandma’s funeral were the beginning of the miracle. The very fact that something happened in my MIND…that I even BEGAN this journey….is a miracle.  I had not tried to lose weight in a decade or longer. I had no DESIRE to lose weight. I had no INTENTION of trying. I simply DID NOT CARE….about my life….about my health…about anything…honestly, even whether I lived or died.  I was simply existing and wallowing in my misery. 

The moment when “something just clicked”….when God replaced despair with hope; doubt with conviction; hopelessness with determination; and pain, both emotional and physical with joy is the miracle.  The rest just simply fell into place.  Great things happen when you BELIEVE that they are going to…when you BELIEVE that GOD is with you….when you BELIEVE that you will succeed.  You begin to think differently….you begin to act differently…..you begin to eat differently…..because you BELIEVE that you are going to be successful.  I knew….that God was with me….every step of the way….every meal….every temptation….every time I wanted to give up or quit…..every time doubt crept in…. I KNEW and BELIEVED that I was given a miracle….even when it didn’t appear that way to others…..and therefore, I better act like it!  When I prayed, I didn’t pray to lose weight; I gave THANKS that it was happening. I didn’t pray to stick to my diet; I prayed that God would remove the DESIRE from me to eat those things which were not healthy or nourishing to my body. I didn’t pray that my pants would zip; I prayed and thanked God for the strength to continue on the journey and that I would recognize the ways He was there with me.  I still pray that way…because I still believe that I am a miracle….and I still recognize that I can only do this by the grace of God.

So, my friends…..when you ask me to pray for you…. I will….but I’m not going to pray that you lose weight or give up some addictive behavior or habit. I will pray that your thoughts will change and that you will recognize that YOU TOO are a miracle. There isn’t anything special about me….there isn’t anything unique… I’m just like you, and certainly….undoubtedly…..God can and will help you change your life as well.  Will He snap his fingers and make you wake up half your size?  Perhaps….for He is capable of all things….but unlikely. Will He cause you to drop your ice cream cone on the sidewalk or that bag of chips to be stale?  Maybe, but I wouldn’t push it. He will, however, help you change how you see the world. He will help you be grateful for the blessings in your life. He will, however, help you see things with new eyes….and he will…never, ever leave you!  Knowing those things….and believing those things that He will do/has done….will cause you to behave differently….to want to eat differently….to walk around confidently that YOU’VE GOT THIS!!!! 

I’ve said this so many times…and I sincerely believe this… God CAN and will help you move mountains…..but you have to pick up the shovel….and cooperate!  YES, I am a walking-talking miracle…..but SO ARE YOU!    Make today a wonderful day!