I always lived my life looking for the "next best thing," knowing that there had to be something that would finally make me happy. From childhood, I would look to others to see what made them seem so happy. Because I came from a background of expensive schools and most of my "friends" were financially well-off, I mistakenly thought that it was money or material things that brought happiness. A lifetime of looking to things of the world to fill me up left me financially, emotionally, and spiritually empty. I would rage at my parents, then my siblings, then my husband. I either overspent our money or spent my days trying to figure out how I could buy more things. I also turned to food, sexual sins, alcohol, recreational drugs, cigarettes, and gossiping friends to try and ignore the misery in my heart. I was a controlling worrier, who twisted my body into knots with trying to get everything on the outside right to be happy.
I became overweight as an adult, and was plagued with infertility as a result of the excess weight on my body and the resulting hormonal imbalances as my body tried to correct the problem. I was finally able to have a child as a result of years of hormone therapy, but because I was so focused on how to get and how to spend money, and how to make myself happy, my focus as a parent was not what it should have been. As a result, I became a frustrated and even more unhappy young woman and mother. Although I was raised in a religious system, I was never taught to turn to God to fill me up. No one in the expensive schools, the churches, or the therapists I saw had the key to unlock my prison.
It was not until I began attending Remnant Fellowship and taking the Weigh Down classes that I realized that the people I'd known my entire life were not truly happy, and that I had just been ignoring the fact that we all over drank, gossiped, manipulated others, raged at our families, and loved money! For the first time in my life, I met truly happy people, who spent money within God's boundaries, ate only when hungry and did not overeat or over drink, and would never gossip. I learned to shift my focus off of material things and onto God to fill me up. I learned that living by the Ten Commandments and always having the Fruits of the Spirit aren't just good suggestions that God would kind of like you to aspire to, they are a MUST if you want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven! And it IS possible to live like this! I have gained and grown in peace and patience with my daughter, to never rage at my husband, to be grateful for all my parents sacrificed to give me a good life, to wait on God to provide instead of running out and buying everything brand-new. I learned how much more fun it is to take care of God's house first, then the needs of others, and to wait on God to give me my own desires.
I lost all of my excess weight and now people tell me they can never imagine that I used to be 176 lbs at 5'4". I have since become pregnant with our second child with no complications. My coworkers never believe what a controlling, tense, angry person I used to be at work - one of them described me as a "lamb" and I had to chuckle to myself; if they only knew the old me! In restaurants and public places people often comment on how patient I am and what a good relationship I have with my toddler, when they see me stop what I am doing and attend to her needs. But the most important thing that has changed in my life is that living for God has finally made me TRULY HAPPY! I love God and the happy-face people see in public is the exact same face I have in the privacy of my own home, or even when nobody's watching! This is because the happiness radiates out of my heart, so it is impossible to hide. I want to invite people I've known, strangers, family members, everyone to try doing what Remnant Fellowship members do every day, living for God alone, because I know that their hearts will be all the happier too!
To find out more about how you can have the peace, patience and happiness that Larissa has, watch Remnant Fellowship TV – “Relationship With God” – You Can Overcome Season 1 Episode 14.