For as long as I can remember food and self were in the center. I remember from a very young age being pulled to food and would often hide it and eat it in secret. My Mother was very thin and so was the rest of the family. When my Mom died at age 12, the outside force that helped me keep that weight down was removed, I came home every day and ate a half of box of cereal while watching a soap opera - this became a ritual as early as 8th grade and soon it started to show up quickly on my body. At the same time, I really missed my mom and there was no one around to point me upwards - I would get told all the time "I am not sure why you have it so hard." "I hope you get to be happy again someday." "You have such a hard life" "I can't believe that you have been through so much and no one really takes care of you." This was compounded with a year of "counseling" where I was told my father was this, my mother was this and I needed to express myself, I was treated unfair etc. blah, blah, blah All this to say - that I bought into it - hook, line and sinker. My whole life then began a search to get my needs met - to be fulfilled - to be taken care of. I became full of self-pity and greed for attention, prideful and self-centered. I do remember looking for God in a lot of places but never being able to grasp on to anything and the bible seemed so intimidating - even if I would try to read it - I would not be able to understand it. I was not raised religious, but if I ever got invited to a service I would go - I longed to be around friends who had a faith - Catholic or whatever because they seemed so lucky to be religious, but I never seemed to fit in anywhere.
At the age of 27 I walked into a church after being completely humbled – relationship abruptly ended, lost my job etc. etc. Within a week of attending this church a woman handed me a Weigh Down Diet Book. Little did I know that the answer to all my pain would be opened up through this book and the answers to how to be happy would be completely unveiled - I was about to learn how to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and this book and this shepherd was about to open up the Word of God to me and show me how to walk it out. I had just won the spiritual lottery. That was in 1997 - and I often look back at receiving that book as the single most life-changing event in my life.
I started losing weight and I loved everything about Weigh Down because the more I applied the principles the more I broke free. I did every class, had every audio etc. I loved it so much; I traveled to Desert Oasis in 2000 to hear Gwen Shamblin speak live. I was totally and completely blown away. I knew that what I was hearing was totally different and totally true--better than anything I had ever heard in my church or in my life. The Word of God was becoming so real and my mind began to grasp that the Bible was something that you could understand and LIVE. But in some ways I felt alone - others around me in New York, except a few fellow Weigh Downers, did not feel the same way and if I tried to explain it they seemed put off or confused.. At the end of Desert Oasis 2000, Gwen talked about the Remnant Church and I absolutely LOVED the video she showed. I was so bummed that I lived in New York and that Remnant was in Nashville. Finally, I found something, but it was a 17 hour drive away. They had a meeting about Remnant that night and I attended with a friend at the time. Still I loved it, but believed it was impossible to be part of it because I lived in New York.
Another half year passed and a "Remnant Weekend" popped up. I had been dying for my husband to get to experience what I had at DO 2000 so he said he would go. I was blown away that weekend. I never felt so much love and I never heard so much Truth - I never heard so much of God's Word. I never heard anything before in my life that made this much sense. I repented and was baptized that weekend and left a very changed person only wanting God to rule in my life - I wanted a Lordship - I did not want to decide anymore when I ate, where I would go - I wanted to be led by the Spirit - the Holy Spirit – not by the blowing of the wind. That was the beginning and on September 13, 2001, my husband and I joined Remnant Fellowship Church. Our lives have never been the same and we have never looked back.
I can truly say that having been a member now for over a decade that every year I have grown closer to God. I still LONG to get to church on Wednesdays and Saturdays to hear the teaching, the music and the testimonies. Church is exciting- God’s Spirit is so alive and present. God continues to convict me every day of where I can be more pure and more like Christ. I love that feeling… and I get excited when I know I can change. I continue to have answered prayers. I have learned and continue to put into practice hour by hour dependence on God. I look towards the goal of Heaven and feel I have thrown off the chains of the world and selfish ambition. My soul yearns to learn more and have more – humility, single focus, love and all the fruits of the Spirit. I credit anything of value that I have or have learned in my life to this message for it opened up the God’s Word and HOW to have a relationship with God to me so that I was able to live it, be changed by it and hopefully inspire others to want it to. God is everything!
To learn more about how Candace has been set free, read Rise Above and you can see more of Candace’s story on the You Can Overcome show at www.RemnantFellowship.tv.