One wish stood out above all others on my 2016 dream list. “I want to speed up and slow down at the same time.” There is only one way to do that.

I have to slow down to spend time in God’s presence. Then I must speed up in His strength to join Him where He is at work, instead of running off in my own direction.


Slow Down

Slowing down and speeding up at the same time summarizes where I am now. What I’m counting as my fourth book, Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God’s Help, launched yesterday, February 14, 2016. It feels like it’s been a long-time coming.

My other books were birthed fairly quickly, even my first memoir Sweet Grace was nine months start to finish. Sweet Freedom, though, has taken over a year of labor pains. The book can best be described as me allowing the reader to travel through the emotional and spiritual jungle of my journey.

Speed Up

Sweet Freedom has been a struggle, sometimes like wading through mud to get it completed. However, it has reminded me that freedom is not won without a cost. That cost is learning the truth  that I am weak, but God is strong.1 I wanted to speed it up, but every time I tried, God was saying, “Hold on. Don’t rush the process.”

After losing over 260 pounds, I know the absolute truth of not rushing the process. Slow and steady really does win the race.

On my weight loss journey, I always wanted to lose my mountain of weight quickly. Every time I tried to cut out more calories and exercise harder, I would find myself going forward for a while. Eventually, though, tired and hungry, I would go backwards and gain the weight back plus more.

Speed Up to Slow Down

God wanted me to remember that slowing down is necessary to get the proper marching orders from Him. In order to do that I need to stop being Martha, and become Mary.2 The key to my journey has been realizing Mary was being more active when she was basking in Jesus’ presence and hanging on to every word, than Martha was scurrying around in the kitchen.

She wasn’t hearing Jesus’ plan, but Mary was. Mary was hearing what was important, so she could work with Him to accomplish it. WhenI know Jesus’ plan, though, I realize I can’t accomplish it without His strength. When I grab hold of all He is to help me, His grace-power kicks in. I slow down, and I speed up at the same time.

It’s like the plaque in my great-grandmother’s kitchen that said, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” I just have to stop. Admittedly stopping and slowing down is hard for me. However, I’m learning the real importance. Without stopping, I just get more behind. I have to be intentional about what I am doing. That only happens when I slow down and wait for Him to move me forward.


I marinated in Sweet Freedom. There were times I could do nothing else. The next step was unclear. God wanted to remind me how I got from where I was to where I am today. He wanted me to ponder how to lead others through their jungle to their own sweet freedom. He wanted me to remember, the journey with Him is all about Him. I cannot muddle through on my own.

Each book I write I’m more aware of how much I need His wisdom and anointing to finish and finish strong. Perhaps in the middle of huge project is one of the only places God has my full attention.

This partnership with God is one of the reasons I love writing or any big task, even like extreme weight loss for instance.  I’m leaning on Him for every step of the process. He always waits for me to ask for His help before stepping in, and totally rearranging my life.

I know everything He’s led me to write and showed me to do have made this book more able to speak truth into your life, and after all, that’s the main purpose. I wrote this book just for you.


Slowing down is where I find truth. If I slow down God will teach me something new in what He writes through me. The truth I learned from Sweet Freedom is something I’ve always known to be true of God’s other gifts: From freedom I take and freedom still remains.

God never runs out of freedom, grace, mercy, favor, wisdom, victory, strength, joy, love, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, beauty, abundance, truth and any other of His gifts. The supply is inexhaustible.

If I take some there’s more than enough for you, and even more for me when I need it. There is always more where that came from. There are always more areas where we can be set free. That will continue until God calls us home.

Speeding up is necessary for me to go forward with whatever good work God has called me to. Slowing down is when I take intentional time to connect with Him.  I speed up when I have God’s grace-power propelling me forward. I slow down when I enter the presence of almighty God. My wish come true.


Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off is about total transformation—body, soul and spirit. It’s about allowing God to help us overcome debilitating emotions and spiritual misbeliefs. It’s about understanding health must be sought in every area of our lives for us to step into our destiny. It’s available now on Amazon. Just saying that excites me beyond belief. Get your copy by clicking HERE. Write a review, and preorder the Sweet Freedom Study Guide. I can’t wait to hear what God does for you through His book.

12 Cor. 12:9-10 NLT

2Luke 10:38-42 NLT

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.