Rebecca Nesler’s story is different from most people who have found Weigh Down to lose weight. She explains, “My journey didn’t begin with a physical weight problem, but the heavy burden I carried from childhood was equally great. I remember when I was in the 2nd grade in Dallas, Texas one of my friend’s parents were into pot and pornography. I’m not sure of all the reasons, but at that point my behavior changed and my mom took me to counselors, child psychiatrists and therapists trying to get me help.”
The doctors diagnosed Rebecca with learning disabilities, ADD and put her on prescription drugs. “Since I was about 8-9 years old I was in therapy and counseling and put on different anti-depressants and medications to help with focus.” When she was a bit older they took her off those medications and gave her Paxil and later Zoloft and a few others before the final diagnosis at age 22 of bipolar disorder. She says, “The long-term effect of all of this had me convinced as a young girl that something was wrong with me. This thinking had groomed me to believe that I was messed up, and that any kind of pleasure was to be grabbed and lived out to the fullest.
“So my drug addiction began when I was just 13 years old. The previous year I had started smoking cigarettes with friends. In junior high, I progressed to marijuana. Then in high school, my addiction progressed to an array of drugs. I was completely out of control.”
“When I received the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, I was told that I’d battle this mental illness for the rest of my life. I did not realize that this was just a lie from satan to sidetrack my focus from having the Fruits of God’s Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control). I sought to fill this empty, sad, and lonely life by any means necessary – anti-depressants, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes- you name it, I used it to make me feel happy. None of it worked.”
Early on Rebecca’s parents knew there was something going on with her. “They tried the Tough Love support group, but I laughed at the guy they hired to help. Such disrespect. Eventually, I got deeper into trouble and even had a run in with the law.”
“This was a very dark time for all of us. My parents were at a loss of what to do. The court tried to help me by sending me to a behavior modification rehab for 6 months. It was based on the 12 step Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous principles…and it worked…sort of. I ended up relapsing many times and went back for a second time. The court said if I failed this time, I was going to prison for the full sentence of 5-10 years.”
Rebecca ended up relapsing one last time after her best friend committed suicide and then decided she HAD to get clean. She moved back in with her family and started over. She cut off all the old friends and renewed her relationship with her soon-to-be-husband. Her mother-in-law Patricia Nesler, a member of Remnant Fellowship Church introduced her to the Weigh Down Advanced Bible study. “Initially, I picked up a few of the principles but never fully put it into practice and changed all the way.”
“After my husband and I were married, we struggled greatly for 3-4 more years and then really hit bottom. Patricia had been asking us to move to Nashville for a while, and so Labor Day weekend of 2007 we did. I saw a difference in the Remnant Fellowship children she provided childcare for and the families that came by. I knew they were happy. I was not. Bipolar had taken over my world and I was submerged in the throws of the medication and a literal zombie. My husband, kids and everyone around me suffered from my selfishness. I was ready to die.”
But God had orchestrated their move to Nashville. As she witnessed the continual happiness, joy, love and peace from the Remnant Fellowship members, Rebecca wanted those things and realized this Truth could finally set her free. “My first experience with going through a Weigh Down class and truly putting what I learned into practice was through The Legend to the Treasure Series. The veil lifted instantly, and I was able to see that I had caused all the pain I had been suffering in my life by my selfishness and self-focus. By putting what I was learning into practice every day, God then delivered me from drugs, cigarettes, hate, jealousy, anti-authority, mental illness AND excess weight. I was free! I joined Remnant Fellowship in 2008 during the Feast of Tabernacles.
“Learning I have to replace this search for a feeling was not something that I grasped quickly and still am learning more about this today.” Initially Rebecca was extremely thin from the drugs but later gained her weight back—and then extra weight—because she didn’t fully understand God’s principles taught in Weigh Down about following the body cues of hunger and fullness. So she took The Breakthough Series which helped her lose 20 lbs.
Since then her family has been united through marriage to the family of Remnant Fellowship shepherds, Rob and Tiffani Day. Rebecca gets to use her incredible gift as a make-up artist to help the church with various productions from the You Can Overcome Show to the live viewsical production V2 – Voices.
When asked what would she would say to other people struggling with addiction and/or what the world would call “mental health issues”, she says, “There is no better feeling on this earth that can possibly come close to the feeling when you are in God’s favor. No drug or mood-altering chemical is worth losing that! If this is something that you think you need, I would challenge you to try God for 30 days – fully of heart and mind – and let Him show you that He CAN provide every feeling that you crave. HE is the giver of all things.
“I have personally taken a multitude of prescription meds on the market and have never found that any of my issues went away. They were only made worse by the side affects. I spent so much money and time on appointments and time away from people I loved. I would just talk about myself and be self-focused. These Biblical principles taught by Gwen Shamblin, if fully and honestly applied, will not only improve your mental health but EVERY aspect of your life. Your finances, marriage and broken relationships will be restored. You will have favor in the workplace. Your children will desire to be around you all the time. Your weight will be lost or gained depending on what your body naturally needs. I could go on and on!
It must be said that I fully believe it is critical to be a part of a fellowship of people who are living out the Truth. There is no way I could have overcome the drug addiction without Remnant Fellowship Church—being under the teaching that gave me the “how to” steps to freedom and also being an active part of this community of genuine believers who are helping each other out in life.”
Rebecca says, “I have a great fear of going back to that life. It is frightening that I could have ever been like that. That I could’ve been so far away from God’s protecting hand. Over the last 8 years, God has done a mighty work – healing my marriage, our finances, given us many blessings – too many to count!!
“The teachings at Remnant Fellowship have taught me how to be a Godly parent and friend, how to be an employee under my boss, the way to treat others and what being wife really means. My children (Kai-11 and River-12) have learned this relationship with God and now have their own relationship with God, daily answered prayers and seeking His will for themselves. Every year has been a new layer of seeking Him and His will for my life. My life has so much purpose and meaning now…..I will never go back!”
Rebecca sums up her inspiring story with one of her favorite scriptures: Jeremiah 29:10-14, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you.”
For more information on the classes mentioned in this article visit www.weighdown.com Also, please feel free to call our office at 1-800-844-5208.
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