My name is Janelle Keith and I’m addicted to coffee. I live in Oklahoma with two cats (don’t judge), and my loving husband, Terry. I have a big story of losing 132 lbs. and am wholly devoted to Jesus, my Savior instead of my sweet savior of chocolate. God uses my passion for writing, speaking life and encouragement, plus positive eating habits as He punches through your heart barriers. We are all under His grace and drawn in by His giant love of each one of us. You can connect with me more here: http://www.thejanellekeith.com.
I was giddy like a school girl honestly. I was in line to see my favorite “author-crush”, the infamous Jon Acuff. Many of you know his humor from Stuff Christians Like. And many books later, he has penned yet another best-seller, Do Over. Through his writings I have had a secret “I want to write like him” obsession for years.
It’s okay to have role models in your dreams. That’s really who Jon Acuff is to me. You see, Jon Acuff is a dreamer. He taught me how to dream. But more than that he taught me how to see art within myself and he doesn’t even know it.
My husband has taught me to be the same. Terry was my first fan in this whole writing thing. But I always believed that he was because being married to me requires him to be. I but I realized he’s been a supporter of my art since day one. He has been awesome in his protection of my dream, as well as giving me permission and freedom for it.
I’m just now seeing some of my dream realized in what I have spent years developing on my own. I have an incredible story that I am sharing in book form of losing 132 lbs. naturally by God’s most awesome help. Do you know that Satan has been saying “my story isn’t big enough, it doesn’t matter, and isn’t significant?” Yeah, a triple trifecta lie! Can I just tell you how hard it is to fight the enemy on your own?
I find it interesting that this very weight loss battle became a battle when I crossed the enemy lines and had to fight my way out. Now it seems like a battle in my new lifestyle as I’m trying to get my story out. You see, sharing my story is something I know that I am supposed to do. While I can’t control the outcome, I can share what God is doing in my life and what He has done for me. He literally has saved me twice. The first time was for my salvation need and then the second time, after I surrendered my will to overeat every food group on the face of this planet to Him, then He saved me from a certain path of self-destruction.
I get to share God’s glorious work by doing what God has gifted me to do. As I trust God for the results of where this little book is going to go, I also trust God to be faithful that the work He is doing on the inside of me completes me as it’s completed. It’s who I am and how I have been encouraged lately to do one of the things that God has called me to do.
So back to why I was giddy. Upon meeting Jon, (because we are tight like that now) I didn’t know what I was going to say when I actually met him. I was just praying that I wouldn’t make a fool of myself in front of him. Instead he encouraged me with a HUGE way it was heaven sent. What Jon Acuff did for me my husband couldn’t do.
When you listen to a negative voice about dreams it takes a toll on that part of you that does the dreaming. I wanted what others saw in me and it was if I was challenged to want to fight for it. God overpowered the enemy’s lies as it took a complete stranger tovalidate me. Jon Acuff did that because he’s in the “business of writing and dreaming”, says my husband.
Yes, that’s it!
I held Jon Acuff in a position of authority in my mind about all things dreaming, writing and merging the two worlds together, and after I received it I was able to move forward in my dream fulfill my purpose on this earth. God delivered it THROUGH Jon Acuff for His purposes because I kept missing it from my husband. I love how God does that, gets our attention in ways that only mean something special to just us.
As I shared that I was writing a book about my weight loss, Jon Acuff said this:
“Your book is going to help people!” he said. I asked him “How do you know you haven’t even read my story?” Jon replied, “No, I haven’t but I know people. And because of what YOU have done, they need to know. But here’s the thing, YOU get to go first. And it doesn’t have to be perfect.”
I melted on the inside, one super-foolish girl tear. Talk about powerful. Everything he said was like a bar of gold, wisdom of it’s finest quality. That’s all it took to set this little writer titillating, happy, and back to her little laptop and set up serious shop to crunch out this story.
Guess what my husband said…when I told him this? Not “I told you so!” or “I’ve told you that so many times.” No, he continued to support me as he always has. He considers me a very creative person on her way to doing great and mighty things for God. Now I may take my liberty in doing this via the “scenic route”, but he still remains of the best supportive fans of what I do. It’s with God’s freedom and by our trust in God to take this weight loss message where only God can.
My husband leads me in ways that sometimes I can’t lead myself. With my trust in God, I am validated in my role within my family, my ministry, the works of my hands, and in life.
Thank you Jon Acuff for being a part of this process. I’ll never forget you.