It was such a blessing to speak at Community Fellowshipâ€™s Womenâ€™s Christmas Dinner. It was a beautiful night. Unfortunately, the video didnâ€™t workâ€”Iâ€™m so sad. But Iâ€™ll be sharing my Christmas message with you over the next couple of weeks as we enjoy Advent.
In the meantimeâ€¦.
David Yates and I went to high school together, and I recently reconnected with him on Facebook. I noticed that David updated his status with a request for prayer about his food addiction. I was super impressed that he was bold enough to put it out there for the virtual world to see, so I asked David to write his story. It is not clean cut, but it is powerful and real. I know youâ€™ll be encouraged by his authenticity…and reminded to pray for him.
|David and his cousin|
â€œI am not the best at writing about these things, but I will give it my best shot. I do hope this helps someone.
I am 36-years-old and have a beautiful daughter named Addyson. I work full time as a salesman in OKC. Iâ€™m also part-owner in a company and have spent the last two years getting it started. I was born in California, but quickly moved to the southern Caribbean with my mother. She was a computer tech and software designer for NCR. She was always gone.
In 1982 we moved to the states to Oklahoma City, and I was mostly raised by nannies and college students until I was in my senior year of high schoolâ€”I lived at my family home by myself most of the year. I have never met my father, but did talk to him a dozen times or so until he passed in 2008.
We moved around a bit and then I finished my high school career at Christian Heritage Academy in Del City, OK. I have to say that my one and only year at that school was the most amazing time of my school career. I am still friends with people from that year and they mean the world to me.
After high school I decided to go to a cooking school in Washington DC and I loved every second of it. The challenging part was getting a job that paid decently. I got a job offer from a security company to work as an officer for a Government site, which meant I would also have a clearance. It was a great opportunity because I would have my foot in the door with the government. I took it. I loved it. I was able to afford to live without asking for help.
I was also getting involved in an amazing church there. It was a family to me and I hadnâ€™t felt that in a great while. I was enjoying life and excelling. What I wasnâ€™t doing was being smart about money. I was getting deeper in debt. I moved up the ladder in my company and was a supervisor. I was also in charge of the evening services at my church as head usher. I greeted everyone who walked into church, and had a group of people who helped me. Everyone knew me and came to my parties all the time and I just enjoyed life. What more could you ask for?
My debt started to catch up with me. I got in a sticky situation and I made the biggest mistake of my life. I took money from the offering at my church. Not just once. I did it for a little while. I eventually got caught and confessed. It was my fault and I had no excuseâ€¦This is where people usually start to hate me.
I stole from a church. Do you know how that makes me feel? I beat myself up so much for what I did. I know the Lord forgives me, and I know many of my friends in DC forgave me, but the hard part is I donâ€™t think I still have fully forgiven myself. It has now been almost ten years and I am just now getting my life somewhat back in order with God.
I lost my family and I am so ashamed of what I did. I took from people who were doing good. I took from someone who needed it more than me, and for selfish reasons. I moved back to Oklahoma to start over.
One of the main things I am dealing with now is eating. I have always been a little overweight, but have been active. Now that Iâ€™m older, I am not as active. But, I still eat a great deal. I am on my feet part of the day and I sit the other part. I am an emotional eater, a depressed eater, and a bored eater. I know how to cook and I love to eat.
I am also not a person who likes to fail. I have tried one diet after another and exercised here and there, but not enough. I love to watch The Biggest Loser, but I am like they were in the past, and I sit there and eat while I am watching that show. I am at the heaviest I have ever been and I cannot believe I have let myself get this bad. I am now 350 lbs. It has taken me years to seek help.
I use to think that it was as simple as this: you need to stop eating as much and just stop drinking soda. What I am learning now is that there is more to it than that. I now have a counselor and a trainer for the gym. My counselor is helping me forgive myselfâ€¦ helping me let go of what I have been through in my life. My trainer is awesome and trying to push me into a regiment. I am now taking dance classes, and trying to do things that I should be able to do. Even though I hurt and am sore, I will continue.
Itâ€™s not a day-by-day thing for me anymore. Itâ€™s an hour-by-hour thing. Especially with the food, I have to keep seeking Godâ€™s help every hour. If I think about food for a little bit, then I want to eat, and then I go out for lunch, and spend money that I donâ€™t have, and I hurt myself all over again. It stinks. I am trying. It is difficult and I have to make sacrifices and I donâ€™t like doing that. There are days I mess up, but it is ok. I will do better the next day.
God is good. He has forgiven me and I am learning to forgive myself.
I am going to do this thing called life and I am going to enjoy it.â€
If you have any comments of encouragement for David, please leave them below.
And as always, may you live shamelessly.