I lived in shame for nearly 30 years. I knew I had an issue with food. I knew processed sugar and flour were like drugs to me.

I knew I was guilty of something God had clearly showed me I needed to stop. I just couldn’t give it up. And thus, shame and self- condemnation abounded.

It didn’t come from God. He was not condemning me. He just pointed the way out of the extreme mountain of flesh that I had allowed to entomb me.


Keys to Freedom

He had given me the key to freedom. It was right in the door of the cell I had built for myself the place. I told myself was comfortable. In reality, it was anything but comfortable. I was dying in that dark and dreary place.

Oh, I put on a good front. I smiled. I did my jobs. I took care of my household and family. I did everything but take care of the most important person I was put her on earth to take care of—myself.

God was trying to be my teacher and guide, but I had built walls to protect my tomb. I was trying to fix my problem on my own. I didn’t like God’s suggestion of giving up processed sugar. I wanted a different way.


What I didn’t understand was He was not trying to enslave me, He was pointing the way to freedom. He did this by giving me the ultimate gift—grace.1

I hadn’t grasped how this how grace-thing works. He gave His life to give me my life.2 It’s the ultimate sacrifice of love. He is God, but when He came to earth He gave up His right to divine powers choosing to live as a mere human being3 like you and I. After His death and resurrection, He took back up His divine powers and God exalted Him.

Jesus knew humanity was doomed. Every human, including me, would fail because of their sin nature.4 It was up to Him to live a sinless life. And if that was not enough, He had to die a cruel death to be the sacrifice that would save me if I would believe on Him.5


His life and death were not to condemn my failures, but to provide a way through to a perfect God in spite of my failures. Because I believe Jesus, I no longer have to live condemned.6 I live trusting in the only One who can give me full and overflowing life.7

The interesting thing is evil also knows Jesus. Evil is out to steal7 the abundance God has to offer me. All evil has to do is get me feeling shame, guilt and condemnation.

And then, dragging my tail between my legs, I lock myself in my tomb and curl up and die while alive. I feel I deserve whatever bad stuff is coming my way because I am not perfect.

Here’s the truth, God already knows I am not perfect. That’s why Jesus paid the ultimate price for my failures.

He knows we aren’t perfect, even with His Spirit living inside me. I am still human and will always be. To continue to beat myself up, is the worst thing I can do. It is like saying, everything Jesus did for me was not enough.


However, remember this, He knows me and you completely. He knew me before I was  born. He created me inside my mother. How I would grow up was not a secret from Him. He saw me and saw me potential. He wrote the book about how my life would turn out before I uttered my first cry. 8

His death was more than enough to take care of anything I have done or ever will do. He died is so I don’t have to live in guilt and condemnation. Rather I live in an ongoing relationship with Him. And when I fail, my goal is to quickly run to Him, repent and ask for forgiveness.

I ask for His continual help on this journey, not for myself, but so I can fulfill the destiny, purpose and plans He designed for my life.9 And going forward I get my personal victory as I am able to lay down the things I crave and tap into His freedom. As I do, that close relationship with the Father is more than I can think, imagine or dream of. And I wonder why I waited so long to walk in obedience and freedom.

I begin to understand more of Him. His goal is to build an army of followers who will let their light shine so that others will follow Him. I know I am in that army. I feel His power filling my life as I follow in obedience to what He has shown me.


As people, we will fail. Grace is our freedom ticket. Staying in a state of continual and immediate repentance, accepting His forgiveness, forgiving others is the only way to live in freedom.

It’s in this the place grace built that Jesus’ prayer will be answered—the one I should pray every day. “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is heaven.”10

Because of grace and freedom, my shame and guilt are no longer welcome. To keep nursing them and providing hospitality for them in my life means I do not trust the ultimate power of God to forgive me completely.

He is the one who pleads my case before the Father. It’s because of what He did in my place I no longer have to wallow in my failures. I can live redeemed, set free by His blood and righteousness.

When God looks at me, He no longer sees the wrongs I’ve done. He looks at me through the blood of Christ. He sees only what He has planned for me.


I had erected a wall of shame in my life. On it were snapshots of every time I ate what I knew I shouldn’t, every time I vowed before God I would eat to live and failed, every time I said I’d begin to exercise and didn’t follow through, every time I spent money for junk to fill my pleasures and cravings.

The wall was erected so that I could have my pleasure in seclusion. I didn’t want others knowing what I was doing. I didn’t want them to join me in my riotous feasting. To invite them into my life would mean I would have to be held accountable.

Walls are designed for protection. Walls are built out of fear. What would happen if I invited others in? What would happen if I admitted my failures?

The wall had to fall. I needed the help of the full Trinity for it to topple. It was a cooperative effort, but with one mighty blow of repentance it fell.


When the dust cleared on the other side stood the faces of hungry people looking to me to show them the way. On their legs were chains. In their hands were the keys to loose those chains.

I wanted the wall back. I wanted to hide again. I wanted to help them, but it seemed too hard. I heard every excuse though they did not speak. I heard their hearts crying in desperation.

And, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, these individuals with the hollow looks in their eyes were entwined with my destiny and purpose.

Can I do it? No, I cannot. I can only be a failed and flawed human being following a perfect Savior. With Him as my guide I can lead those who want freedom.

I do know the path. I can be a guide out of bondage. I can lead them out of shame straight to freedom found only in Jesus Christ.11

I can and I will, but only if they are willing. I cannot want it for them more than they do.

So I lead. And suddenly I stop and look back to see there are multitudes following. All along the way their chains lay discarded.

I look up into the face of a laughing, smiling Jesus who says, “Every pain I went through was worth their freedom and yours.”

Let me ask you, what are you bound to? Are you willing to do what it takes to obtain your freedom?

sweet-change-sidebar-ad_finalI’d like to invite you to Sweet Change Weight Loss Coaching and Accountability Group for the transformation of your life. Find out what more there is to life than food. You are worth the investment. Please consider what your life is worth and join us on the journey. Just click this link for more info>>>Sweet Change.


Don’t forget to check out Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor and the Sweet Grace Study Guide,both available on Amazon. Just click the book titles to take you there.


1 Ephesians 2:8-9

2 1 John 3:16

3 Philippians 2:6-11

4 Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23

5 John 3:16

6 John 3:17-18

7 John 10:10

8 Psalm 139:13-16

9 Jeremiah 29:11

10 Matthew 6:10

11 Galatians 5:1, 2 Corinthians 3:17

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.