Before and After

How God speaks through acts of faith.


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If I were to show you my “before” and “after” picture, you wouldn’t see much difference. I haven’t had a dramatic weight loss. My big change has been on the inside.

Twenty years ago, as a young woman, I was insecure. Unprepared. Making bad choices. Today I’m more balanced, strong, and confident.

My turning point came when I had four children and our financial situation was dire. I was working four different jobs and still not making ends meet. My first job each day was working at the YMCA as a fitness instructor. One day, while leaving the Y to go home and get ready for my next job as a receptionist, I heard God speak to my heart.

There was a lady I worked with at the Y who was always kind to my children and me. Pearl knew we were struggling financially and she kept my kids in the nursery while I taught class. As I walked past Pearl’s desk, I felt God ask me to give her the only $20 bill in my purse, the one that had to last until the next payday.

I continued walking, thinking that the voice I heard was just my imagination. After all, why would God want me to give all the money that I had to someone else when I needed it to buy diapers?

As I got in my car, I asked God to show me a sign that it really was His idea. I headed out of the parking lot. Before I made it to the exit, I saw Pearl walking toward her car. I stared at her for a moment then parked my old beat-up car, grabbed my $20 bill and started running toward her.

I handed Pearl the bill, telling her that God wanted her to have this money. As she unfolded the twenty, tears began streaming down her face. She explained that it was the exact amount she needed to pay a past-due bill. 

On the way home, I wondered if I had been part of God’s plan… and worried about my needs. When I got home, there was a mysterious box by the door—it was full of diapers. The next morning I opened the front door and noticed something on my driver’s side window. I couldn’t believe it—there was a $20 bill somehow attached to my window without anything securing it.

This incident was monumentally important to me. It showed me that God would care for my children and me. I had begun to be shaped by faith.

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Get more advice from Theresa!

Find all you need to know on whole-person
wellness in
Shaped by Faith.

Theresa is a former model and nationally certified fitness professional who teaches people to use their faith to inspire fitness and their fitness to strengthen their faith. She is the author of Shaped by Faith: 10 Secrets to Strengthening your Body & Soul, and two exercise DVDS: Pilates for the Soul

She and her husband, Robin, have seven children and live in Calhoun, Kentucky.

You can email her with any questions or concerns.

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