So, to be completely honest, after such defeat yesterday coupled with the comfort of past pleasures, I was not going to choose recovery today. I was going to let my eating disorder run with me in full capacity today. I was going to do that! I wasn’t going to try and fight it at all today... But, the day has taken a turn - a much needed turn - for the better!
On my way to church, I got right with God and let Him wash over me. I told Him that I was going to walk into the church, ready to receive, and that my expectation was for Him to show up! Let me just say that He is GOOD!
From the songs that we sang during praise and worship through the end of the service, I could feel that God was with me in a very real and tangible way. I could tell that He heard the desperate cries and pleas of my heart, that deep down I really wanted to choose Him.
Since it was Father’s Day, they did a special presentation to recognize the fathers in the service. As this took place, I was reminded of the immense love of my heavenly Father... I felt like if anything, the least I could do today was try to honor Him by nourishing my body - that if I can’t find enough reason to do it for me - that the choice to honor and glorify Him by making the practical decisions to nourish my body was the best form of worship that I could offer Him today... It was when that thought came to me that my day started to turn around... That the desires of my heart in relation to this day began to shift.
During praise and worship, the worship leader read from Deuteronomy 4 where it says, “But if from there you will seek (inquire for and require as necessity) the Lord your God, you will find Him if you [truly] seek Him with all your heart [and mind] and soul and life. When you are in tribulation and all these things come upon you, in the latter days you will turn to the Lord your God and be obedient to His voice. For the Lord your God is a merciful God; He will not fail you or destroy you or forget the covenant of your fathers, which He swore to them. For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from one end of the heavens to the other, whether such a great thing as this has ever occurred or been heard of anywhere. Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you heard, and live? Or has God ever tried to go and take for Himself a nation from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, by war, by a mighty hand, by an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown, that you might realize and have personal knowledge that the Lord is God; there is no other besides Him... Know, recognize, and understand therefore this day and turn your [mind and] heart to it that the Lord is God in the heavens above and upon the earth beneath; there is no other.” (vs. 29-35,39) As these verses were read aloud, and as I read them silently, I was amazed and felt like this passage had been shared just for me today! I desperately needed to hear and receive this truth! I called out to my God - out of utter necessity and desperation - and He heard me! I sought Him, and I found Him! My God is a merciful God! He will not fail me! He will not forget the promises that have been made to me! He has spoken to me and continues to speak to me as I pass through this scalding refiner’s fire! I will turn my heart and my mind to Him as I receive His truth! For my God is Lord over the heavens and the earth! He is in CONTROL!
As the service proceeded, the pastor continued a message that he introduced two weeks ago entitled, “The True Heart of a Champion.” I was looking forward to hearing more from this message (and will be looking forward to hearing more of it in the coming weeks). Wow! This message is such a timely one for me! Truths spilled forth as the pastor shared this morning. He is using the story of David and Goliath as the biblical reference for his message. Some valuable things I wrote down from the message today are:
No one is exempt from passing through turbulent times.
Life is a constant cycle of facing one struggle and persevering through it only to encounter another struggle and persevere through it and on and on...
A crisis doesn’t make us; it simply reveals who we already are! It is when the pressure is intense and we get squeezed that what is really on the inside of us becomes evident. The heart is deceitful above all things; who can know it? Crisis will allow what is in our hearts to be revealed.
Anything worth having is going to cost you something!
Some challenges are solved in a day; some aren’t solved in a lifetime!
Champions see the potential reward if they win! You’ve got see the prize in order to fight the fight. Seeing the potential reward builds hope to press on!
Champions see what others don’t see. What you are looking at makes all of the difference. Are you looking at the GIANT or at GOD?
There are more great things that he shared today, but I will only share these for now! It was a powerful message that really got me to thinking about the challenge and struggle that stands before me in relation to recovery and overcoming my eating disorder. I have been so overwhelmed by the strength, weight, and pressure of the battle that I have slowly turned my focus to the “Giant” in front of me and taken my eyes off of God. I realized that I have to change the direction of my gaze - that I must fix my eyes on my God - the Author and Finisher of my faith - if ever I can continue! That is what I am choosing to do this very moment! I am choosing to restart by refocusing!
I am embracing the newness of this day. I am rejoicing in the fact that I am not alone in this fight. Even though it has seemed unbearable and even though I failed miserably in many ways yesterday, I am choosing to stand up and press on in the fight for my life! I cannot give up! I cannot let fear keep me from rising up and choosing to do whatever I have to in order to overcome! I will not be defeated!
I am asking myself this question to help me to refocus: “What is the potential reward that awaits me if I fight to overcome my eating disorder - if I stand up to anorexia and bulimia and don’t give up?” As I try to think rationally about this and fight against the lies that come in full force against my mind, I will say that the potential reward that awaits me is joy, is peace, is laughter, is hope, is LIFE! The potential reward that awaits me is victory, is freedom, is a story that will inspire others who are coming from the same pit from which I have come. The potential reward is health, is longevity, is the opportunity to embrace all that the future holds. The potential reward is self-discovery, is removal of masks, is the opportunity to be real - to be me! The potential reward is gratitude, is thankfulness, is honor and praise. The potential reward is being a testimony that testifies to the glory of God as the changes in my life radiate His awesome and incomparable power. The potential reward is both to discover and fulfill my destiny. The potential reward is to enjoy and embrace life rather than resent it, run from it, and try to escape it. The potential reward is the formation of greater faith, greater perseverance, greater endurance, a better developed character. The potential reward is recognition of the value of never giving up, is recognition of the value of the journey. The potential reward is to affect change for the rising generation of young women and little girls. The potential reward is to release and unlock the voices of those who are silently screaming. The potential reward is to be - to be all that I can be - and not to be defined by society! The potential reward is without limit if I will press on day in and day out - if I will run the race set before me! The potential reward is not just for me to enjoy but for the masses who come after me! The potential reward is worth fighting for!
So, there you have it! I am going to take a change and say that today may mark the day that everything changed. Today may just be the first day of the rest of my life! Today may just be what I have been waiting for! Today may just be the day that I realize that - TRULY - I am meant to live for something more! Today may just be the day that I really choose to fight to save my life!
Only time will tell, but I feel empowered, and I feel bold!
I feel ready to take the steps that await me on this journey. Even though the path is uncertain with many twists and turns, even though its length is unknown, I will choose to walk it...
ONE DAY AT A TIME!
ONE STEP AT A TIME!
ONE MOMENT AT A TIME!
They say that slow and steady wins the race. I will take this journey in stride. I will embrace each stepping stone. I will embrace each bridge. I will embrace each victory and from every failure and fall, I will rise up. I will keep my gaze fixed on the One who equips me with strength to make every stride.
Today may be the first day that I really feel like there is hope to continue, the first day that the quotation my friend shared with me months ago actually starts to sink in:
“They say she’s going backwards. Indeed she is; she is getting ready to take a GIANT leap forward.”
Maybe, just maybe... Only time will tell!