The Weapons of my Body Mass Destruction
I honestly cannot express how different I feel on a daily basis. It’s like I’m living a completely different life than the one I lived before. I live in the same house, I have the same kids but my outlook has changed so much.
I’ve been trying and trying to put this journey into words and every time I try to I realize that there’s so much more to tell.
So… let’s start at the beginning of the end of the old Chet. (What you are about to read starts literally the day after the events described in Chapter 11 of Broken Mortals: A Journey of Hope.)
On the last day of our prayer retreat… I saw a friend of mine, Mandy Santana and she was positively glowing. You could just see in her face that something amazing had happened. I asked her what was going on.
She told me that she had just come from an appointment with one of the prayer teams at the conference and had experienced a deliverance, she had experienced a massive breakthrough in her life and was over the moon.
I knew that I felt like I had been carrying the weight of the world and I knew in my heart that God had a clear plan for me. I knew that if I was still carrying the burdens of my former self into this new position that I would not be useful to my family, my new board or Camp Chamisall itself.
I blurted out, “That’s what I need.”
She directed me to the right people but they looked at me and told me that I wasn’t actually ready for all that God had planned for me.
I remember being shocked and annoyed at this bizarre response.
They directed me to read the book SoulCare by Rob Reimer. I should confess that I have owned this book for years. I’ve even given it to people, but I’ve never read it myself.
At our final meal at the prayer retreat I happened to sit with my good friends Andy and Sarah Hunter. I mentioned the, in my opinion, bizarre behaviour of the prayer people. They looked at me with understanding and then clarified that I should read the SoulCare book.
In my typical Chet Kennedy behaviour I got home from the prayer retreat and got back to doing my thing. I had a church tour to plan, some documents to update and some meetings to organize. I had a new job, a new purpose and a new mission.
I completely ignored that SoulCare book.
Sometime in January Andy asked me how I was doing with that SoulCare book. I admitted, pathetically, that I had read no less than 14 other books since November but had not bothered to read that SoulCare book. I quickly clarified that if Rob Reimer wanted people to read it he should really record an audio book version so I could read it on my trips back and forth to Calgary.
Andy than made an appointment with me to work through chapter 1 the next time I was in Edmonton. We set the date in stone by entering it into the calendar app on my iphone.
Over the next few months Andy walked me through a beautiful process of unpacking some shame, some hurts and a lot of bitterness that had taken up residence in my heart over the many many years of my lifetime. I will say that the first few chapters were incredibly painful for me but as I got used to the process I could feel the ice walls I had built up beginning to melt.
I honestly don’t know what that experience is like for other people but going through that book changed everything for me.
The SoulCare book identified two major struggles that I had been dealing with.
I struggle with a fear of what people will think of me. In SoulCare it identifies this as people pleasing. Mine manifests in a number of ways but it became something that God wanted me to deal with.
The funny thing is, Broken Mortals: A Journey of Hope is pretty much an entire book of my own personal struggles. As we grew closer to the release date I found that I lived in a constant state of anticipation and dread. I often told people I was both excited and terrified as the release grew nearer.
Even though I knew that my heart and soul were on those pages and I was so afraid of what people would think I was trusting that the message of the book would overshadow my pain.
God used the book release and the SoulCare process to free me from my fear and I live life with more internal peace than I think I have ever experienced.
Me, Me, Me:
The other thing that the SoulCare book identified as a major struggle in my life was a blatant inability to say NO to myself. It seems so simple but I was a mess of overspending and overeating because I couldn’t control my own desires. Andy saw it clearly for what it was and saw how that narcissism was ruling my life and affecting my behaviours and my outlook on life.
It was so clear. So very clear.
The SoulCare process freed my soul from so much garbage. So much. It felt like spring cleaning where you manage to take out junk, broken stuff and old clothes and just take it all away.
So beautiful, so freeing, so simple.
And yet, I needed to find a new way to live or the danger is I might just end up back in the same place.
On Saturday April 13th, 2019 I was getting ready to head to SouthView Alliance Church for another stop on the Camp Chamisall Church Tour. Usually before a trip to Calgary I check through my podcasts and audiobooks to see what I’ll be listening to so that I can download anything so that I can save as much data as I can.
As it turns out, over the last few months I had completely finished all the downloaded audio books and I had listened to every podcast I had in the cue. With nothing to listen to and my desire to capitalize on my new pursuit of self denial I began looking for podcasts on intermittent fasting.
I had been introduced to Intermittent Fasting by my friend Drake Framer almost two years ago. I am a slow learner.
I came across one called Intermittent Fasting Stories by a lady named Gin Stephens. There weren’t that many episodes available but I downloaded a few of the most recent ones. I also downloaded some other podcasts that weekend but that doesn’t matter because all I listened to, whenever I was in the car, was this. I went through every episode they had and I was absolutely blown away by what I was learning.
On Sunday April 14th I bought a simple ebook from Amazon called Delay, Don’t Deny by Gin Stephens and read it in about 2 hours. On Monday April 15th I finished my first 16 hour fast and took these pictures.
Gin Stephens calls Intermittent Fasting the health plan with a side effect of weight loss. I have nothing to sell you. I honestly don’t know what to tell you but today I took these pictures.
I have been on a journey of healing that is healing my soul, my heart, my weight and even my budget. I’m not done losing but I’m ready to let people know that there is hope.
There is hope for your soul, there is hope for your broken heart, there is hope for your health and I believe there is hope for your finances.
That hope is found in Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
I’m so unbelievably thankful for those prayer people who told me I wasn’t ready.
It forced me down a painful journey of self discovery and I am so very grateful.