I am trapped in a cavernous, never-ending place.

My exercise is finding the walls that enclose me.

It is dark and scary here as I feel my way along the wall.

I am angry. I scream in pain, anguish that no one hears.

I cry tears of regret—deep, gut-wrenching tears.


How did I get here? I chose this. I put myself here.

To numb the pain. To hide from the world.

To not have to face who I have become.

To run from my past and cower from my present.

I chose this tomb of death.


I am paying penance for being me.

I accept responsibility that weighs on my mind.

It overwhelms me and yet, I cannot lay it down.

It defines me and has become my existence.

I just exist. I do not live.


Fear of the outside consumes me so, I stay inside.

It used to be warm and cozy. Now it is just confining.

I’m swimming in my own inadequacies.

I am blind to possibilities of the lies I am believing.

They are the baggage I carry.


I long to be released from these limitations I have accepted.

I have heard voices beaconing me to come out

And yet I cannot fathom anyone wanting me.

They call still. They continue to invite me.

I have long ago stopped listening.


However, I can no longer stand under the weight of me.

I listen and recognize the Voice I know well.

He speaks through those I know offering hands of freedom

Within me starts to well up a new feeling of hope.

I see a trickle of light in the darkness.


As the Light floods this place I start to recognize

Deep gashes, slashes of open, oozing wounds I know well.

As my eyes focus on each one, the Voice says, “Hand them to Me.”

As I do I watch amazed as the hurts and pains of the past heal.

In their place, gold starts to form.


Each wound unveils more hidden treasure.

There is gold inside me! This one says strong.

Another says courageous, peaceful, patient, full of grace and faith.

I am a woman with gifts! They start to surface and yet,

I cannot use these in my solitude.


For years, I have embraced my fears, but that is not His design for me.

Though leaving this cocoon of my own making will be hard

My purpose is now clear—I must get out.

I must get out of myself to live the life

He has designed for me.


I search for the way out, a door, an opening to freedom.

More light is available now and I ask for the way

How to step away from this place I have created.

Over there—a strong shaft of Light.

It is a shape I know well. It is the shape of … my heart.


The Light blinds me, but all worries and fears begin to lift.

Years of pain is releasing and I run faster.

The weights dislodge as I focus only on the Light.

I am bathed in Light. I am reveling in freedom.

I run and I am filled with Light.


I am defined by Light. He has made beauty from my ashes.

I comforted myself with my self-imposed addictions.

I tried to give myself what I wanted, but it was not what I needed.

All along I needed His revelation design for me.

The Light has made me whole.


He helped me step outside myself.

As I look back I see a body that has endured trials,

A soul that has survived and come out stronger.

I embrace my body that had become my tomb

And I promise to take good care of it.


For it is part of me, but it does not need to define or entrap me.

It is a tool He uses to carry my heart, soul and spirit.

It is a container that evil attempted to squelch

And when the body is silenced so is my influence here.

Today, though, my body, soul and spirit live.


I live to do God’s bidding here on this earth.

I live to worship and praise the God who healed me.

I live to bring freedom to others.

I live to be a trophy of God’s grace.

I live surrendered to God’s design.

“Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in.” Hebrews 12:1b-2a MSG



Make This Holiday A Real Loser!

Sweet Change Weight Loss Coaching and Accountability Group is gearing up for the holidays. This used to be my worst time of weight gain. I’d do pretty good until October and starting with Halloween through New Year’s Eve I’d be eating every pie, cake, candy and hot roll I could stuff down. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can get cake off your mind and begin eating healthy through the holidays.

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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.