Tom & Jennifer Quinn were married in 1996. Despite taking pre-marriage classes, they were not equipped for a successful marriage. Tom says the only reason their marriage survived the first few years was his “obligation” to not divorce, especially since they now had a young son. Tom explains, “I was wrestling with the reality that I would spend the rest of my life unhappily married. Meanwhile, Jennifer was wrestling with thoughts of how to get out of our marriage. To cope, I threw myself into work and hobbies, avoiding my role as husband and father. Jennifer turned to food, work and exercise as a gym instructor.”
In 1999, a friend told Jennifer about a faith-based weight loss program called Weigh Down. She immediately read The Weigh Down Diet book by Gwen Shamblin and laid down her obsessive exercise routine which consisted of working out 2 hours a day, 5-6 days a week. Then she read Gwen’s next book, Rise Above, and learned more about how to develop a personal relationship with God. “I learned how to trust God and let go of the detailed daily lists that I used to keep. I also took a Weigh Down class and my relationship with God started to grow even more! While I was developing a closer relationship with God, Tom did not grasp the depth of Weigh Down. He wasn’t interested in listening to any of the materials at that time.
“Regretfully, I fell away from the Weigh Down teachings during a series of life-changing events. God gave us our second child, a precious daughter, and shortly after, we moved as God led us from Wisconsin to West Virginia to do mission work. It was a lot of change which caused me to lose focus on what I learned in Weigh Down.”
After a period of testing in their lives Jennifer explains that, “I felt something inside me calling me back to Weigh Down. I felt like I hadn’t really understood the ‘food part’ of the program even though so many other things had changed for the better. In May 2003, I went on the Weigh Down website and found the Weigh Down Advanced study. That class changed my life in so many ways. I was finally given the answers to so many lingering questions, especially questions about my purpose in life and what the church is called to be!”
Tom even listened to the audios with Jennifer this time! As they heard Gwen Shamblin speak and read from the Bible, it became obvious immediately that this was the Truth they had been searching for so long.
Jennifer continued to learn and grow in every area of her life too. She says, “I learned how to honor and respect my husband in my heart (not just in action), how to joyfully raise my four beautiful children with love and patience and how to appreciate correction from God and teach my children to do the same. I’m so grateful to God for what I have and what I’ve learned – to not be greedy or give thought to what I don’t have. Rather than focus on selfish things, I’ve learned to focus on selflessness and living for God’s glory! I now go to God for comfort not things on this earth. I have lost 35 pounds of greed by following Weigh Down. I only choose to exercise for the joy of the physical activity when time or opportunity allows.”
As Jennifer submitted her will, God was moving Tom’s heart to be a better husband. For the first time, the Bible was no longer a collection of stories or just historical readings. The Quinns were being taught to read it in the context of “looking for God’s guidance, love, correction, and approval, just like Jesus Christ told us to do”.
Tom had always been athletic growing up in Wisconsin, but later struggled with his weight after marriage. He too started following the teaching of Weigh Down and lost 60 pounds and improved his health tremendously. In addition, he says God cleaned up his heart. Tom has been able to lay down sins that had become a stronghold in his life for years, never to return again! He says the resources on All Access along with the Constant Encouragement CD’s keep him inspired and focused.
Jennifer says “We have peace beyond what I would ever have imagined possible considering the early struggles in our marriage. These blessings for obedience give us hope for our children and a desire to share this incredible experience with others. We are eager to pass this gift down to the next generation!”
Hear more from Tom and Jennifer on Remnant Fellowship TV