Conundrum is a large sprawling city no one intentionally visits. Those who live there want to get out, but have no plan of how to do it.  It is the place of endless merry-go-rounds of which almost no one gets off.

Samantha had chosen to live in Conundrum. Her main problem was, “How can I lose weight and still eat everything I love?” Asking herself this question continually kept her a resident of the community from which she longed to leave, but could figure no way out.

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The definition of the word conundrum defines the city perfectly. It means a confusing and difficult problem or question. Samantha’s confusion, difficulties, problems and questions were always with her, continually spinning around in her head.

In rains almost constantly in Conundrum. On days it doesn’t rain, the sky is cloudy and overcast with an atmosphere like a heavy blanket of doom. She lived there, while her husband and children lived elsewhere. She lived there even though her health was headed steadily downhill. She lived there even though her purpose had become finding the next roundabout and going in circles.

In Conundrum there were no four-way stops, only roundabouts. A four-way stop necessitated making a decision. Do I go now or wait? Is that person going or not? What if I start out and someone else does at the same time? No just better to wait.


To help traffic move along some resident invented the roundabout, which Samantha called merry-go-rounds. Here people didn’t have to make a decision. They could, if they wished, simply continue in a never-ending circle. And many did.

Samantha stayed on the merry-go-round trying to make a decision about how to stop the downward spiral of her life. Her doctor had told her she needed to lose weight or he was afraid she would wind up in the morgue one day. He had given her a diet plan to follow.

She had followed it for a while, but then her birthday came and she couldn’t go through her birthday without cake and ice cream. She reasoned, “Who does that? Even God would want me to enjoy my special day.”

With that one act, her diet went into the trash can. Now she weighed more than when she began the diet. It always happened that way. Going off of a diet made her feel like a failure and that made her mad at herself. When she didn’t like herself, she ate and gained weight.

In reality this was the reason she felt more comfortable in Conundrum. She stayed where everyone, like her, had a problem they couldn’t or wouldn’t solve.

Exit Here

One day while driving round and round her favorite merry-go-round, as she called it, eating a bag of candy bars she had just bought, she noticed a sign she hadn’t seen before. The sign simply said, “Exit here.”

As she went around one more time, she wondered if the sign led out of Conundrum or just off the roundabout. In that moment, she didn’t care. She was sick from eating so much sugar and felt dizzy from her many times of going around in circles.

She needed to get off this merry-go-round that was wreaking havoc with her health, stalling her life, disconnecting her from her family and throwing a cloak over who she was destined to be.

In one act of desperation, she took the exit. As soon as she did, a whole new world opened before her. The sky changed from the dark, overcast and cloudy to sunny, bright and beautiful.

She opened her car windows, slid the sunroof back and basked in the simple joy of a new atmosphere of light. Thoughts began to return: her husband’s laughter, her daughter’s songs, her son’s calmness. How she had missed those things.

She glanced over to the passenger seat of her car halfway expecting to see one of her family members sitting there. Instead everywhere she looked there were candy wrappers, drink cups, fast food containers.


For the first time in a long time, she wanted to get rid of all of the junk in her life. As if Someone were reading her mind, a car wash appeared out of nowhere. She pulled in and began cleaning out her car.

As she tossed items in the garbage bin, it was as if she were cleaning up her life, surrendering the things that had bound her to Conundrum. She even threw out all the rest of the candy bars she hadn’t eaten. This was a first for her. She had never thrown away food before, especially foods she loved.

Could it be she was really changing? Could it be that she could be free of the endless cycle of going nowhere?

She vacuumed out the car and wiped down the interior. It felt as if she was polishing up her own life, making it the best it could be, getting it ready for something different.

Weak Made Strong

Noticing the outside of her car was caked with dirt and mud, she made another decision. She would go through the car wash. She was amazed at the fact that she was actually making decisions and the decisions were making a difference.

Sitting inside the car as soap sprayed every inch of the vehicle and huge brush rollers removed the dirt and mud, she contemplated what it would take to remove the debris attached to her own body.

Looking up she noticed another sign: Cor 12 9. She was confused for a moment, wondering if the sign was a mistake and if it meant Car 12 9 or something like that. Then as the suds cleared from her windshield she saw there was a 2 in front of the Cor and more punctuation. It said 2 Cor. 12:9.

She remembered then. She remembered it all. “My grace is enough. It’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.”1

In that moment, God somehow inserted His presence into her conundrum making everything clear to her. In reality, she knew He had always been there, she just hadn’t gotten to the place where she wanted to be led by Him or listen to Him. She had to recognize her weakness for Him to activate His strength in her life.

Her weakness was fast food, candy and sugary drinks. She had just cleaned those out of her life and thrown them away. She had admitted her weakness with that one act. When she had made the decision to get off the merry-go-round that had become her life, God had given her the strength to go the next mile.

New Creation

Now she had submitted to the process of cleaning things up, making them like new again. It was symbolic, of course, like everything on this journey seemed to be. Still, she was confident that God would make her a new creature,2 someone with purpose and destiny.3 She was headed to become who she was always meant to be.4

It wouldn’t be easy. She knew that. She’d need help on this new journey, but as she miraculously pulled into her own driveway and saw her family running to meet her, she knew God would bring the help she needed to walk out the journey that was before her.

Confusion would clear and she would begin changing from the inside out.5 Finally, she was ready to be completely done with Conundrum. She couldn’t wait to get started living her new life never to go back to the not so merry go-round.


If you’re ready to step out of your life of endless weight gain, I’m here to help you. I know your conundrum. I’ve been there. After losing 250 pounds and keeping it off, God has directed me to help you. I’m ready to do that. Begin a whole new life in my coaching class, #KickWeight. Last session the group lost a total of 387 pounds, but more than that they changed the way they approach their issues. They found the principles I teach work whether they had 10 or 310 pounds to lose. To take your exit out of conundrum and into #KickWeight, go HERE and join today. You can live the life you always imagined because dreams can come true with God’s help.

1 2 Cor. 12:9 MSG

2 2 Cor. 5:17 NLT

3 Ephesians 2:10 TPT

4 Psalm 139:16 NLT

5 Romans 12:2 MSG

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. Her other books include: "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, both available under the weight loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab on her website. Also check out her blog and Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast under the tabs by those names.