Renewing My Independence

By on July 1, 2011

Independence Day American EagleBy Shari Johnson –

I have been told for years, long before I understood it, that I have an old soul. Now as I approach the 50th year of my mortal body I not only feel that I have an old soul, I am beginning to believe I have an old body. I do not mind the aging, it’s natural, but I do not like the side effects. So on the eve of my 50th year, (I actually do not turn 50 until August 11, 2012) I am declaring my independence; and what greater time to do that than on Independence Day! So now you ask, “What are you dependent on that you are declaring your independence from?” It’s a long list, I hope you have time… no really, I’ll spare you most of it, but I dare say that I’m addicted to life and the fullness thereof.

To begin with, I love flavor! Life was meant to be lived and enjoyed, especially where cheesecake and potato casseroles are concerned. And for years I could eat to the fullness thereof and never gain a pound. Those days are gone, and my love of life has caught up to me. My on again off again dieting doesn’t work, and I need to make drastic changes, which calls for accountability partners.

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Praise God that He has spared me from most addictions, but over the years I’ve had a few. I was a smoker from my youth. Nasty habit! But when I gave my heart to Christ in 1996 and began working with youth the conviction was more than I could bear. So God sent a friend and a few left over nicotine patches to my door asking me to join him in quitting, and I half heartedly responded,  “sure.” That was on a Wednesday evening, I know this because a few hours later he stood before the congregation of our church in testimony praising God for having kicked the habit and wanted everyone to pray for Shari, because she quit tonight too….what! I couldn’t believe he told 150 people I had quit smoking. What was I going to do now but quit, I couldn’t let my new found friends down. And so I did Hallelujah! It was that accountability factor that kept me going and the prayers of the saints that help me win that horrific battle, and if you’ve ever had nicotine addiction you understand. May 26, 1996 was my independence day from nicotine!

Addictions are a tool of Satan that can drag you down short paths or long roads, most leading to the destruction of the body and mind. They drag you down spiritually and leave you feeling defeated. In addition to the addiction Satan sends friendships and kinships that drain you emotionally, not usually intentionally but for “your own good.” Food addictions are no different. Friends and family unknowingly tear down your self esteem through innocent comments and constant reminders that your weight is “an issue.” Skinny chicks on magazine ads and billboards mock you as well as your closet and compound this with the fact that you feel less than perfect physically it’s easy to throw your hands up in defeat… Don’t do it!

Friends and family may work for cell phone plans but not for dieting plans. This journey is yours, or should I say mine.

Any trial that I have made it through successfully has had one common thread of hope. Christ. My spirituality has brought me through countless storms and this one will be no different. Today as I begin this journey of independence from foods I find strength in Psalm 103 verse 1-5

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

I have never given up anything for the Lord that He did not fill the void with His grace and usually replaced it with something far more spectacular than what I gave up. From Psalm 103 I glean this wisdom.

  1. God’s benefit package cannot be compared or forgotten. He is my number one Fan and cheers me on daily.
  2. He has the healing power but you have to be willing to start the journey.
  3. A wise man (T.D. Jakes) once said that there are people in your life that you should walk away from, and there are some that you should RUN away from. Rely on God’s mercy, not others.
  4. And finally, let the Lord satisfy. With Him you can soar

Shari Johnson is “The Jesus Chick” writer/speaker and Bornagain child of God, saved by grace and serving Christ. Dedicated to His Service
through all she does. Wife to David, Momma to Tiffani and Whitney, Nona to Luke, Noah, Nicolis and Paityn. Find her here, friend her on Facebook or read her thoughts at



About Shari Johnson

Shari Johnson is “The Jesus Chick” writer/speaker and Born again child of God, saved by grace and serving Christ. Dedicated to His Service through all she does. Wife to David, Momma to Tiffani and Whitney, Nona to Luke, Noah, Nicolis and Paityn. Find her here, friend her on Facebook or read her thoughts at

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Renewing My Independence