I hope you all don't shy away now that God is coming into this blog, but He is the reason I started it. The desire He put on my heart to write about the true, honest struggle of recovery....that is the only reason I am typing today. It was His desire, not my own. I think I have lost sight of that. Sight of why I started this blog. To be honest....raw and honest. And I want to get back to that. I will write in my ups and my downs and will write about the truth of my recovery. That is where healing lays....is in truth. But the truth is also I can't do this without God, so God has to be a part of this blog and deserves to be a part of this blog. Anyway...enough about that...onto the heart of the matter here.
This weekend I have been struggling with feeling that maybe I can't recover outpatient. I had a little breakthrough yesterday, but I was still stuck wondering...."Can I really do this?" Well I woke up this morning still in a funk and realize I had 30 minutes till church. I will be honest...I didn't want to go this morning. For some reason I just wanted to start packing and come back to campus. I didn't want to go sit in church...I just wanted to hide myself. But then the guilt of not going to church, not being a "good" Christian crept in. These feelings of guilt aren't from God at all and usually they push me to engage in behaviors and self-defeating talk, but this morning I didn't want to deal with them so I got up and went to church. This was one of the best decisions (if not the best decision) I have made over the past few days.
The service was amazing and was about being at a breaking point, turning point, or tipping point in life. Breaking point is where you don't know/have lost hope in anything changing. Turning point is when you say "Yes" to God. Tipping point is when your obedience begins to have impact beyond your wildest dreams. The part that really stuck out to me is when the pastor shared about the story of the cripple in John 5. Basically the crippled man was at a breaking point....he had been waiting for someone to put him in the healing pools (the theory was whoever was first in when they were stirred would be healed) for 38 years. He probably was feeling quite defeated. Then Christ came and asked him a simple question: "Do you want to get better?" The cripple responded how nobody had put him in the pool and people always get in before him, but that is not what Christ asked. Christ just asked if he wanted to get better.
In that moment I realized I have been trying to figure out the perfect plan to recover and then would rely on God to get me through the plan, but God has been there this whole time asking "Do you want to get better?" And though my answer is Yes....there is more to it. It is more of a Yes, but I am scared and I don't want to gain weight and I don't know what people think and I've had this so long and so on and so on. But during the sermon (which there was so much more goodness from it...feel free to go listen to sermon at my church's website) I realized God just needs the Yes and He will take care of the rest.
So I decided to be obedient and when it was time at the end to go up for healing prayer I did....second best decision I've made this week. The prayer rocked my world, changed my heart, and has made today such a freeing day in recovery. Some things that came out I think are just for me, but there is a tool I really want to share with you all.
Dining with DaddyAt some point during the amazing prayer, Kim who was praying for me with her husband said God was putting on her heart to tell me to picture Jesus at the table with me every time I eat my meals and snacks. I came to find out later this was also something God spoke to my stepmom when she was praying for me. I know this seems simple....to picture Jesus at the table with me....but to me it means everything.
With Jesus at the table with me....I don't know...I just feel okay eating everything. Eating my full meal plan. In reality, Christ is always with me and thus He is at the table...I've just never realized it. I've been desperately looking for someone who I was comfortable eating with who could hold me accountable to get portions...and yet the One has been there this whole time. If I am eating with Jesus....then I don't want to deny myself the food in front of me, the food He has provided. I don't know why...I just don't. I don't want to skimp on my meal plan, because I know He desires me to get all those nutrients in and I know that He knows I can do it. It just changes the game.
It makes meals something I desire to do. With Jesus at the table I know I have accountability but also support and motivation. I know his Peace and Strength is at the table too. That He will sit there as long as it takes for me to get through the meal or snack. I know that the desire of His heart is for me to complete my meals and snacks and I know that with Him there I can.
Kim also said it's like each meal is a way to worship God. By completing my meal and giving my body the nutrients it needs (which I know it's what I need because God provided me with a nutritionist who says so) I am telling God "Thank you" and praising Him. Again, eating becomes a positive thing. It becomes about time with my Father and about thanking Him for the vessel He has given me. It's just more joyous.
I know logically this may seem silly, but I have been doing it all day today and my temptations to restrict portions only came up once and were so easy to overcome. When I am enjoying the time with my Father and picturing Him at the table I know it's all going to be okay. And it's not just a picture, it's reality. He has always been there....ED has just been standing in the way.
The food I enjoy with Him at the table is His gift to me....and I don't want to deny His gift. Also, since its His gift I know it is the perfect portion and perfect amount of nutrients for my body. He has given my a nutritionist who has given me a plan that I need. And since I also know that plan and my relationship with my N is a gift from Him (seriously....there's a whole story behind this) I know it's a gift from Him too. It's just the right amount. God won't give me more food than my body needs. He is my Protector and will only give me what I need, no more, no less. Just the perfect amount.
Another big thing that came from my time with the two prayer warriors, Mike and Kim, was that you know what...I deserve food. I deserve to love myself. I deserve to eat my meal plan. In fact, we all do. We all deserve to nourish our bodies. We don't need to torture ourselves using food, exercise, or any other method. We deserve joy and happiness. We deserve peace and acceptance. We deserve to live free and whole.
You see in my prayer time Mike and Kim asked me to talk to God about how this actions I do make Him feel. Instantly I was overcome with weeping. I realized that every time I restrict....even the smallest crumb...it breaks my Father's heart. Why? Because He desires so much more for me than being worried about food. Because He knows I need and deserve that food. Because He hand-made this body I have and He knows that food is what it needs and deserves to keep functioning. Because He sees the beauty He made in me and so desires for me to be able to see it too. To see myself as the precious gift He made me. As the unique creation He hand-created with such care.
I was so overcome with sadness in what I have been doing with my body. I realized in the moment of prayer, this body is a gift from God. It is the vessel God uniquely designed to carry my soul and both it and my soul deserve and need nourishment. Every time I restrict or overexercise, every time I don't finish my meal plan completely in portions....I am torturing myself. I am abusing myself and this vessel...and that breaks my heart.
Because no one deserves to be hurt and tortured. No one deserves to feel unloved. No one deserves to be hated and picked on. Yet that is what I do to myself every time I restrict. And I don't deserve that. And neither do you. NOBODY DOES! We deserve to nourish ourselves and love ourselves. To feel joy and to give ourselves whatever we desire. We deserve health and joy and peace......this will come as we nourish ourselves. I don't know....I just have this new view on everything. My ED has become the enemy, because it is just something that hurts me, even though it seems so safe.
True safety will come in the arms of my Father. True security coupled with the joy and peace I deserve will come from dining with my Daddy. With fighting this disorder with Him at my side. With finishing my meal plan no matter how scared I am. With clinging to my Father in this fear instead of running from it. That is what we all deserve. True peace, true joy, true love. For me, that only comes from my Father.
As I finished my prayer time I shared about this blog and how much of a blessing it is and Mike and Kim wanted me to share something with you all. Please don't let reading this blog come in the place of reading His Word. Because in His Word you will find true freedom and find your identity. Me....I'm just a messenger. These post are sometimes inspired by Him, but like any person...sometimes they came from my own heart, not His. And even when they come from Him it's not as true and divine as His Word. As time with Him. Because I am a messenger of what He has spoken to me in my time with Him. To find yourself and all the immense truths and desires I know He has for you, you have to be with Him. To dine with Him, read His word (for me this is just through a devotional), to find a way to communicate with Him.
I will be honest...I don't really read the Bible outside of my daily devotionals, but God speaks to me more through dance and worship music than He does from reading His word.I am learning there is no "right" Christianity or "right" way to be with God. God wants time with us and relationship with us and He will create a pathway for that that we enjoy. For some it is in getting lost in the pages of the Bible, for me it is dance, for some it is art....I don't know what it is for you,....but I know you will know when you find it. I also love just talking to my Father in prayer. That's right....talking. Nothing fancy...I just talk to Him as if He was sitting right there....because He is.