Sunday, August 21, 2016
Saturday, July 30, 2016
I need you Jesus,
To come to my rescue.
Where else can I go?
There's no other name
By which I am saved
Capture me with grace
I've spent a lot of time over the last couple of days reflecting on the last year. August will bring the anniversary of when I drove to Birmingham armed with only a suitcase and a cell phone, desperately trying to find an eating disorder treatment center that could take me in quickly.
My Facebook memories have been kind of hard to look at lately because some of the pictures show an image of myself that I barely recognize.
I'm not the same person I was one year ago. I no longer live in fear, and I no longer spend every moment of my existence haunted by memories. God has shattered those chains.
My story doesn't bring me fear and shame, but instead I am amazed as I watch God using it. I am grateful.
I no longer look at myself with shame and hatred. Instead I see a fearfully and wonderfully made, beloved daughter of a God who understands me and chose me.
Love and support from others is not something I push away because I feel unworthy, but something I embrace with gratitude, and am thereby able to more freely give it as well.
Food is something I enjoy and view as a great way to spend time with precious friends.
Authenticity is something I value instead of something I fear.
All of these things, have been life altering. I'll never be the same. I can't go back. I've been changed, redeemed, and set free.
Today, in reflecting on all of this, I was hit with another aspect of my recovery journey; the physical aspect.
That's not always easy. That ugly voice of the eating disorder still sometimes creeps up and tries to tell me that because I'm physically healthy, I have no control over my body anymore. That eating disorder tries to make me afraid.
What that eating disorder doesn't know is that fear doesn't own me any longer.
I'm no longer a slave to fear
For I am a child of God
~"No Longer Slaves", Bethel Music
While I have been told SO many times about how physically sick I was, today it finally, truly hit me. I knew, because I felt bad. And I know from pictures. But today was different.
Today I found a pair of pants that I wore when I came to Birmingham in August. I watched my husband's eyes fill with tears when I held them in disbelief and asked him if I was really that small. I stared at them in shock as I realized that if I laid my hand across the waist, it was more than half of the pants. My hand was more than half the width of my waist.
I remember being proud that I could wear those pants. But today there was no pride or longing. There was sadness as I took in what I had done to myself and my family and friends, and gratitude for my health.
I couldn't digest it. I've seen pictures and I know it was bad, but to physically hold those tiny pants in my hand, was shocking. Those pants symbolized just how far I've come, and they are a reminder of all of the lies that I believed while I was enslaved in the shame and fear of anorexia.
I've gotten rid of all of my other clothes from that time, but those pants are going to stay. They won't stay as they are. I'm going to turn them into a piece of art of some sort. They will serve as a reminder of how far God has brought me. They will remind me of what my God can do.
When I think I need that false sense of control back, they will remind me that I've got too much to lose. They will remind me that I am a new person, and that I could never go back to that; that I never want to.
They will remind me of how hard it was today to see my husband tear up when he saw them and told me that, yes I was that small, and that "I was almost dead".
They will remind me that numbers cannot measure your worth and they can never make you happy.
Joy cannot be measured in numbers.
He walked on water.
He caused the blind to see.
The lame walked.
The sick were healed.
The hungry were fed.
He is a God of miracles. He is a healer. Every single day when I look in the mirror, I see living, breathing proof of that.
Sunday, May 29, 2016
Friday, May 27, 2016
Friday, April 1, 2016
Sunday, March 20, 2016
Sunday, January 17, 2016
Tonight, I did like every night (when I'm not recovering from abdominal surgery and living on the couch) and went to my room, snuggled under some warm blankets, got my Jesus music on lightly in the background, put the phone away, and pulled out my Bible and all of its current friends.
But tonight was a little different. God broke up my routine a bit (which is always a marvelously good thing, even--scratch that--especially when it's hard). I was reading a little book by Max Lucado called Everyday Blessings and playing a little catch up from being completely out of commission the last two weeks. The verse is Psalm 136:1 and the small little tidbit below it was like, well I said "smack in the face" but really it was more of a Father's loving, guiding touch; and I heard "I'm waiting for you to fully let me be your Father".
If I know that one of the privileges of fatherhood is to comfort a child, then why am I so reluctant to let my Heavenly Father comfort me? Why do I think He is too busy for me?
And I had to set the book and my Bible to the side and fall facedown before a Father who loves me beyond my comprehension, and has been longing to extend that comfort to a receptive daughter. And I cried a gushing waterfall on the floor that no dam could contain, but they weren't filled with sadness or defeat. They were filled with understanding, and gratitude, and regret, and peace.
Understanding that He's been extending comfort to me from Himself as my Father and also through godly people He has surrounded me with. Understanding that being afraid of being hurt, I've shoved it away, as I cowered waiting for it to be snatched away like some past experiences. Understanding that God is showing me another area of my life that I need to surrender control and go to Him for comfort and be receptive of that comfort in every avenue that He sends it my way. Understanding that it's time to start calling out the lies that I'm not good enough or that I'm not worthy of it and putting everyone else in my life, whether relationally or in passing, on a higher level that I think I will never be good enough reach to stand beside anyone.
Gratitude, that He never leaves me. Gratitude that He is opening my eyes a little bit at the time to areas of my life where that total surrender isn't quite total. Gratitude that He gives me everything that I need even though I don't deserve it. Opening my eyes that being undeserving of His grace, and compassion, and love, makes me human, but not worthless and not less.
Regret, for pushing away what He has sent my way; for retreating in fear and still carrying that stone of the wall that is my life that He is currently dismantling to rebuild on a foundation in which, He is Lord of ALL and the total surrender is daily and in every aspect of my life.
Peace that only He can give. Peace that He is always there and I can always go to Him. Peace because He is a Good, good, Father and a faithful Father who openly extends forgiveness, mercy, grace, love, and much more beyond the comprehension of man. Peace that He's walking beside me, carrying me as needed, providing Fatherly discipline and redirecting as needed, and a peace in knowing that that truth will never change.
No matter where I go. No matter what I do. No matter what the world throws at me, He is constant; a sure and sturdy foundation. No matter if I stray, I have peace knowing that my Father, my Jesus, will do whatever it takes to bring His wayward sheep home.