Today’s article is a guest post from my new friend, Kim Cook. Kim is a wife, who became a mother by the grace of God to 3 incredible step-children who in turn have blessed her beyond her wildest dreams with 5 grandchildren. Kim live in Denton , TX. attended Texas Women’s University. She works at Singing Oaks Church of Christ as the Office Coordinator and serves as one of the church’s Wellness Ministry Leaders. She is a certified Revelation Wellness instructor.
I am not a fitness professional. Some might tell you I’m a fitness fanatic. But that would not be true. I’m a Jesus fanatic. I’m a woman who loves the people Jesus loves, which includes all people. I believe we are all created to glorify God and to be in relationship with God. I have had a lifetime of body image issues. I have been overweight, and I have been underweight. I have even been just the right weight, but I was never happy at any of those places in my life, because Jesus was never allowed into my personal body issues. I never thought to ask Him to help me, or to be a part of that part of my life. I never thought He cared about my body and about what I was putting into my body. Let’s be real. Jesus has much more serious issues to deal with than my personal eating and exercise habits. This has changed for me. I have learned that Jesus does care, and it matters deeply to him for us to live a holy life. Author and missionary, Elisabeth Elliot, writes, “You can’t give God your heart, and keep your body for yourself.” This quote changed how I read the Bible.
I have been married to my husband for 16 years. Together we have been fat, and together we have been physically fit. He began the fitness journey long before I did. I began going to the gym with him in the fall of 2010. He is a personal trainer, and he is very good at nurturing people to a point where the light finally comes back into their eyes, and they are able to move in ways they believed were beyond their abilities, such as, walking up a set of stairs or getting off the ground unassisted. I see Jesus in him and in his personal training. When that light goes out we feel defeated. So, I grabbed my partner in crime (Chele) and we began working out at our local gym. We encouraged each other and my husband encouraged us. The gym is not my favorite place to be. At the particular gym we were attending, the personal trainers had pizza delivered and then proceeded to sit at their desks eating the pizza. At that moment, my heart hurt. My heart hurt for those who were coming to the gym looking for hope…for someone to understand their pain. When the smell of the pizza permeated the gym that day, I knew this was not the place they would find peace. This was not the place they would find hope. This gym was not the environment that would heal their hearts. This was not a safe place for them.
During March of 2012, I was on Facebook and saw a post for the Revelation Wellness Ministry. I showed this to my friends thinking “Wouldn’t it be great if the ministers at our church would bring this ministry to Singing Oaks Church of Christ.” The ministers replied “Wouldn’t it be great if YOU and Chele brought this ministry to Singing Oaks….” I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So, what if we did submit our time for the necessary training? What if we brought this ministry to our community? What if we were able to serve people by giving them what the world was robbing them of… health, dignity, community, and LOVE. What if… I contacted Revelation Wellness and looked into the training program. I loved it! Strategically, we needed two trainers to begin the ministry, so once again I grabbed my buddy Chele and said “We are going to become group fitness instructors! Doesn’t that sound fun?!” She is as passionate as myself about holistic wellness and she said, “Yes.”
Of course, I had all of the usual doubts. Who will show up to our classes, and what if they really do show up to our classes? I had to constantly remind myself that this was because of Jesus. He reassured us over and over again that he was in this journey with us, from fully funding every aspect of the training to guiding nutritionists to us who were willing to DONATE their time to our ministry to bring informative and educational information to our community.
And so it began…
On a Tuesday night in June, after becoming certified Revelation Wellness Instructors, we had our very first Rev Fit class. We had 20 people join us, ages 9 to 70, in a total body work-out and work in. We teach a full body workout designed to work every major muscle group in a safe effective manner with modifications for every level of fitness. At the end of class we have about 15 minutes of stretching where we “work in” Jesus through scripture and prayer. He is present throughout the entire class. You will hear the truth that YOU matter to Him… ALL of YOU! We speak words into the lives of our brothers and sisters like perseverance, freedom, joy, and we shout at the end of every class that “HIS LOVE NEVER QUITS!”
We are learning through this wellness ministry that Jesus has given freedom to the captives of obesity, disease, and shame. Freedom to move, freedom to eat life-giving food, and as John 10:10 declares, freedom to live our lives for Him to the fullest! So That we might go into the kingdom and deliver people from spiritual and physical poverty. I can no longer separate my physical self from my spiritual self, not with the Holy Spirit living inside of me. My relationship with God is made all the more whole when I can admit that He is in me. What I do with my body matters to Him. My entire life matters to Him.