I am now 3 months past my cardio event and surgery. It has been a challenge, but there have been many joys along the way. The prayers and loving support has moved me so far down the road of recovery. Tomorrow I complete 10 weeks of cardio rehab. Which has consisted of exercising 3 days a week. We are hooked up to heart monitors, we are weighed and asked about things like diet and exercise away from rehab.

The benefit has been tremendous. I am strong. I have lost 35 pounds, as of today. I get up early with energy and sleep better than I have in years and years. I am eating what God designed for us to eat.

So, where do we go from here? As this phase of recovery comes to an end, a new phase begins. And it’s a little scary. When it comes to keeping up on the diet and exercise, I’m kind of on my own. The accountability of rehab is gone and so will be the camaraderie.

A verse I cling to is… “2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self- discipline.” It isn’t time to shrink away from what God has been teaching me, but step into it with the spirit of power, love and self-discipline.” Probably the hardest for me is self-discipline. It will take commitment, planning and continually reminding me of the purpose for health. The healthier I am, the better I can serve God, my family and my church community.

This whole process reminds me of a couple of things. First, life change is easier if you have support. Often we don’t need people telling us what to do – – but we do need people cheering us on to make good choices. Second, it’s easier to stay on task if you are in a community with people who are walking with you. We need to see others on the path. One of the downfalls of many people’s experience in church is they think they are the only struggling because we all hide our struggles so well.  These things apply for health, spiritual growth, or even relational or social challenges.

What new phase might you be entering in trying to follow Christ’s plan? Are you clear on your purpose? Do you have a self-disciplined path you need to take? Are you part of a community that is on the path with you?

Here’s an IDEA: On my journey, I’m considering starting an online support/encouragement group for those trying to be a little healthier. If you would like to be part of this “Heart and Soul” group, comment on this blog, or email me. I’m not sure if it will be a blog or facebook group. Give me your feedback.