In this week’s Saturday Share I want to introduce my good friend and favorite doula (a person who assists in birthing), Jess Dudley. You will find her at findyourfood.org where Jess transparently shares her journey out of obesity and now willingly and graciously extends her hand of assistance to all who are ready to say YES to life, abundant life by taking back control from controlling foods. If this sounds like a journey you’d like to take I encourage you to go visit Jess Dudley today.
I’ve known Jess for nearly 20 years. We were both moms of 2nd graders when she first caught my eye. Her daughter and my oldest son were in different 2nd grade classrooms on the same hall. I saw her as we each walked our children down that hall and into their classroom (back when we were allowed to do such a thing), but I did not know her.
In those days of my early Christian walk my anxiety over leaving my children out in the world created in me a desire to learn how to pray. I admit it – I was extremely fearful. I no longer had my children continually under my wing. I had the feeling of losing control (as if I had ever had complete control), and so prayers like “Now I lay me down to sleep…” were no longer cutting it for me.
I was crying out in my soul, “Lord, I need someone to teach me how to pray”! One day I walked to my mailbox and inside was a Focus on the Family magazine highlighting on the cover (no, I’m not making this up) Moms in Touch – the power of praying moms for their children and their schools. I held it in my hand in awe of God’s very clear and intentional answer to my cry for help.
The next day I carried the magazine with me to the school and down that same hallway with my son. I saw Jess up ahead and Holy Spirit pointed her out as the woman who would teach me how to pray. Please understand…I did not know her. Nor had we ever spoken to one another. We had no interaction which would assure me she was a follower of Jesus, but in complete terror and total faith I stepped forward. Magazine out front I spoke up and told her I believed she was supposed to teach me how to pray.
Well, she looked at me and said, “No, I don’t think so.” Had I gotten it wrong. Was there someone else Holy Spirit was pointing out. The next day I saw her again and similarly Holy Spirit pointed her out. I approached her again, and she said, “No”. This time I followed her all the way to the media center in the school where she was volunteering. I continued telling her my story and how I thought she was supposed to teach me to pray. Finally, recognizing I would continue to stalk her, Jess looked up at me and something similar to this, “Fine, I knew I was supposed to do it the first time you asked me”.
And that’s how we began our friendship – a journey together in prayer for our very culturally diverse and transient public school families, teachers and administration. Jess was my doula in prayer. She held my hand and helped me to find my voice before the Throne of Grace. Together we asked God to do what only He could do to encourage teachers and bring parents together in community to support the education of their children. As a partnership we recruited other mothers to come and pray with us. We became an official Moms in Touch prayer group.
Our children are grown and we’ve each moved to a different community, but we stay in touch. Throughout these almost twenty years, the Lord has zig-zagged our paths to cross at times. I’m delighted to see where the Lord has brought my friend – to take back her life and gain control over food. I cheer her on personally, but also as an encourager – a doula for many who also want to get their lives back.
Jess, my friend, it is a pleasure to highlight you and the ministry you have with Find Your Food
Find Your Food
When…When we pick food over our faith, shame settles in and it’s not long before we disqualify ourselves and slip away.
So often in obesity we tend to disqualify ourselves and any calling on our lives. We’re feel we don’t qualify…Failure=Disqualification, right?
Picking Food over our Faith to cope, to comfort, to even entertain. Well, we are sure that’s not right, right?
Well God showed up and started talking to me about this…
Please take time to click here for the rest of this inspirational post by Jessica Dudley.
You can also catch Jess Dudley on Facebook Live 9 a.m.