My "Heart Surgery" That Changed Everything

From Him Through Him For Him!


"For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen."

- Romans 11:36


My favorite verse in the Bible is Romans 12:2. You’re probably familiar with it! “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- His good, pleasing and perfect will.” My team name for my business is Transformation Nation. I have often used the hashtag #betransformed on my social media posts. I have it on journals and pictures and shirts. I love it, and I truly believe that when we truly encounter God and His great love for us, it transforms us from the inside out.


It wasn’t until about a year ago though, that I paid attention to the verse directly before it in Romans 12:1. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God- this is your true and proper worship.




Offer my body, too? THEN I’ll be transformed, God? Then I’ll have the “breakthrough” I’ve been praying so long and hard for? If I’m being honest, some of my first thoughts when I really dug into that verse were, “God, you can have it all. All of my heart and my life and everything in it. Use it all for Your glory. But my body, too?” It wasn’t until I really let the Lord perform some serious “heart surgery” on me that He revealed how much of an issue this was for me.


Why? Because, my body and my issues with it were (and still are if I’m not guarding my heart and my mind and staying grounded in His truth), the biggest idol and area of sin in my life. I have struggled with obsession, body image issues, and over exercise for 20 years, and having a career in fitness, even though I loved it, had magnified those issues enormously.


I knew I needed a “breakthrough” and I knew I needed to really “be transformed”, but I couldn’t figure out how to get there. No matter how hard I tried, I could never fully find freedom. I would swing from one side of the pendulum to the other. Obsess and restrict and “diet” from Monday until about Thursday, then grow weary and “fall off the wagon” and binge all weekend long, only to start the cycle over again every single Monday, vowing to do better. I lived as a slave to the scale, and that number and the way I looked in the mirror were the things I used to determine my self worth.


I hope you can’t relate to this, but I tend to think that many of you reading this can. Our culture is SO consumed with beauty, dieting, and the “next thing” to lose weight and get more fit, that we are inundated with the message that if we just reach that goal, we will find lasting peace and happiness. It came to the point that I had learned so much about fitness, food, and fat loss that I simply had had ENOUGH. I wanted freedom, and I began to seek it and surrender this battle to God.


I began looking at what He had to say about my health and how to care for myself in His word, and I realized that I had been doing everything wrong. As Elisabeth Elliot says, “We cannot give our hearts to God and keep our bodies for ourselves”. That’s what I had been doing for many, many years. 


While I wish I could tell you that, on one fateful day, everything changed and I have never since struggled with obsession or those negative thought patterns again, that’s just not my story. What I’ve realized is that this is something that I have to keep going back to God for and giving to Him every single day… and sometimes multiple times per day!


When I was writing this article, I opened up my Bible to study our verse in my favorite book of the Bible, Romans 11:36, and you can imagine my delight when I saw that it was the verse DIRECTLY before those two verses that been so impactful for me on my journey to health, wellness, and wholeness. “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen!”


All things, friend. It’s ALL from Him, and through Him, and to Him. All of it. Everything in our lives. It’s all His. When I started looking at my health and fitness journey as something that enables me to live a healthy and full life for HIS glory, and not my own, and as a way to accomplish all of the things that He has called me to, things started to change.


Those dysfunctional relationships with food and exercise started to get healthier. It has become my “get to” to exercise and eat well, not my “have to”. It’s given me that bigger “why” that I needed, and it’s helped me to find my happy medium, knowing that my body is a good gift from Him.


And, because He is so, so good, He has truly used all of it for good. He’s turned my years of struggle into something beautiful, and it’s my passion to fight for freedom in this area for all! Our Good Father doesn’t waste a single thing, and for that, I am so very grateful. 


I’m cheering for you sweet friend! Remember, He’s got you in the palm of His hand! Give him your all.


Andrea Stephens ~ CTC Influencer


Andrea is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor in Morgantown, WV. She recently became certified as a Revelation Wellness Instructor, and it’s her passion to share her love of Jesus and her love of fitness with others. She leads live fitness classes in Morgantown and has an online coaching business and community as well. Andrea and her husband of nearly 15 years, Justin, have 4 young children, 1 daughter and 3 sons. She has been a lover of Cross Training Couture since it’s inception, and she loves being able to share truth on a tank wherever she goes!

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Andrea Stephens Fitness / Website




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