Freedom?

birds_freedom_by_tina6668

Ok, so [again] it’s been wayyyy too long since I’ve posted on the blog. I’ve just been so busy!! Today, I’ve been babysitting since 7:30 this morning (which is finally starting to catch up with me – I’m so tired), and I think we might be going to the playground soon. I’m babysitting a six-year-old little boy and have been for about a month now. He’s definitely a cutie but has his moments‚Ķ Ha ha. But anyway, things have been going ok I guess. Not perfect, but better I think. It’s been a while since I’ve had a blow-out binge episode, and I think I’ve had a pretty steady weight for the past month (I might have gained like 5 pounds). The urges are still there though, that’s for sure. I’m constantly thinking about how I need to lose weight and how I would look so much better if I did. I’ve been feeling so ugly lately, and it really gets me down. ūüė¶ I mean, I have felt better about who I am as a person, but that doesn’t necessarily make me feel any prettier. I think I’m kind of doing the same thing I was doing with my past boyfriend – thinking that my current “beau” isn’t going to like me anymore because I’m getting bigger‚Ķ

Which isn’t right‚Ķ

I think…

Ugh, I just wish I could take it all back experience freedom again!!

I was going to say that I wish that I could take it all back, but I really don’t. This is a part of my testimony that God has allowed me to have so that I can reach out to other girls who may be experiencing something similar. So, I don’t wish it would’ve never happened; I just wish that it was a part of my past rather than a constant part of my present. It’s torturous, depressing, consuming, distracting, annoying, embarrassing, and just all things bad. It’s like a ghost that continues to haunt me every day, never at rest. I’m so ready to move on, but for some reason beyond my understanding it won’t let go. What is it that I find so appealing in those behaviors? The comfort? Satisfaction? Freedom? Is it because I do in fact find freedom in acting out on my urges? I guess that makes sense in a way‚Ķ I’m always denying my desires as I seek freedom from this disease, which is so ironic because restricting your behaviors is the exact opposite of freedom.

Or is it?
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it. What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?'” (Matthew 16:24-26 HCSB)
Maybe I’m thinking about it the wrong way! I think it’s time for some serious reframing to happen in my mind. I shouldn’t want to lose weight because it will gain me worldly approval; I should seek to honor God with my body and not give into temptations of gluttony or selfishness in order to soothe myself or make myself seem more appealing in man’s eyes.

Thank You, Lord, for making me enough.  Help me to seek beauty in Your eyes rather than trying to find it in this world.  Father, give me the strength I need to be an overcomer; I know that without You, I would never stand a chance.  I praise You for bringing me this far, and I am confident that You will deliver me from this battle.  I love You, Father, and praise You for all that you have done, are doing, and will do for me.  Jesus, I pray that I will continue striving every day to live my life as a reflection of You instead of a reflection of society or the people around me.  Thank You for willingly becoming the ultimate sacrifice so that I may live free from the bondage of my sin even though I am so deserving of it.  God, I ask that You will be with me and the rest of my family and friends who may be starting school or preparing for it this week.  I pray for smooth transitions to a new chapter of our lives.  Through it all, though, I pray that we all remember that even though our surroundings [or even our entire lives as we know it] change, You are the only thing that remains constant.  Thank You, God, for never leaving nor forsaking us!!!

Heavenly Father, I ask all of these things for the glory of Your name, Amen. ‚̧

I need You

Things got better [for a while, at least], and are spiraling down once again.  Last week was great until I slipped up on Friday, and I never recovered from it.  I feel so hopeless sometimes, really.

I had an appointment with my nutritionist¬†this afternoon and got the usual stuff:¬† a new goal sheet, some dietary information, and of course some new rules.¬† Ugh, I am just so tired of the fight.¬† It’s a battle that I’m losing.¬† I even had to call my mom today to so that I could cry to her about how sad my life is (thank goodness she is always willing to listen).¬† It’s been so long since I’ve just let it go like I did.¬† I’m exhausted from worrying so much ALL the time about EVERYTHING.¬† I feel horribly ugly – I’ve gotten too fat to fit into any of my clothes except my nike shorts and t-shirts, and I have acne that’s worse than a 16-year-old boy’s.¬† I know I’m supposed to feel beautiful because I am a “divine work of art signed by God,” but I can’t seem to make myself believe it.

God, help me.  Restore me.  Heal me.  I need You more and more every day.  Father, thank You for giving me the strength to get this far.  I may feel down right now, but I know that You have saved me from so much more destruction than I can imagine.  Without You, I would be nothing.  Lord, I just feel so broken right now.  I need You to pick me up, hold me, put me back together…  Help me to find that hope that I once had; help me to stay motivated.  God, I pray that every time I feel like giving up, I would be reminded of the strength I have in You.  Please forgive me for all of the ways that I have failed You (I know they are too numerous to count).  Thank You for the gift of the cross that You so lovingly gave me and for showing me grace when I least deserved it.  Jesus, thank You for taking on all of the pain and suffering that is rightfully mine.  I know that Your ways are higher than my ways, Lord, and I ask that You would guide me as You will.  Heavenly Father, I ask all of these things for Your glory alone, Amen.

Religion says DO; Jesus says DONE

I love this video so much. ¬†It so easy for us, as Christians, to get caught up in the legalities of religion. ¬†I know I often make decisions or act on what I think is “right” instead of taking a step back and asking God for guidance. ¬†I forget that, in the light of God’s grace and mercy, no matter what or how many “good” things I do, I will never be deserving of the gift He has given me in eternal life. ¬†BUT, there is also no amount of “wrong” things I can (and will) do to separate me from His love.

Ok, confession time‚Ķ ¬†Lately, I have been struggling to find my passion and inspiration for writing, which is strange because I have never really had a problem with it. ¬†I find myself feeling flat and, frankly, apathetic. ¬†But I think it may be from the stress of this semester; it’s finally made me kind of numb to everything. ¬†I tend to block things out rather than confront them, and I get so wrapped up in worrying about things that I never get around to accomplishing anything! ¬†I think it might be a procrastination mechanism, to be honest. ¬†But I have recently had a wake up call. ¬†After making a couple of bad (and when I say bad, I mean the worst I have ever received) grades on assignments this past week, I know that I can’t keep running. ¬†I can’t keep hiding. ¬†I have to face reality with confidence, for I have not received a spirit of fear but one of POWER (2 Tim. 1:7). ¬†But it’s not just from school that I hide myself. ¬†It’s life in general. ¬†My recovery, anxiety, guilt, the list goes on‚Ķ ¬†Sometimes I feel that I have messed up so much already, that there is no turning back. ¬†But that is not who I am! ¬†I am filled with the joy that comes only from my Heavenly Father. ¬†His love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18); it is perfect, infinite, and unwavering.

“When the disciples heard this, they were utterly astonished and asked, ‚ÄúThen who can be saved?‚ÄĚ ¬†But Jesus looked at them and said,¬†‚ÄúWith men this is impossible,

but¬†with God all things are possible.‚ÄĚ

Matthew 19:25-26 HCSB

Praise the Lord for His grace and mercy. ¬†I am so unworthy; yet, He loved me enough to send His SON as a sacrifice for my sins. ¬†Jesus took on the weight of my transgressions, bore them on the cross, was separated from His own Father, laid in a tomb, but ROSE AGAIN. ¬†He DEFEATED death. ¬†For me. ¬†For YOU! ¬†That’s why there is nothing that we can DO that will earn us salvation. ¬†God has given it to us freely; all we have to do is reach out and take it. ‚̧

Satisfaction

Therefore, don‚Äôt let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of what was to come; the substance is the Messiah. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on ascetic practices and the worship of angels, claiming access to a visionary realm and inflated without cause by his unspiritual mind. He doesn‚Äôt hold on to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and tendons, develops with growth from God. If you died with the Messiah to the elemental forces of this world, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations: ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt handle, don‚Äôt taste, don‚Äôt touch‚ÄĚ? All these ‚Ćäregulations‚Ćč refer to what is destroyed by being used up; they are commands and doctrines of men. Although these have a reputation of wisdom by promoting ascetic practices, humility, and severe treatment of the body, they are not of any value in curbing self-indulgence. (Colossians 2:16-23 HCSB)

I have truly been blessed by my study of Colossians with my small group these past few weeks. God is revealing so much to me in this process, and these verses especially stand out to me. It feels as if Paul is speaking directly to me as he is writing… We are faced with “doctrines if men” every single day. To feel beautiful and accepted, we are bombarded with standards that are honestly unattainable and unhealthy for most girls/women. And these standards (which we think will somehow give us satisfaction) “are not of any value in curbing self-indulgence.” We must learn to turn to The Lord for strength to overcome the rough patches in our lives. For some of us going through recovery (or anyone, really), we are fixated on the thought of having a more “beautiful” outside or a “healthy” inside, but this does nothing but pull our attention away from what truly matters. We indulge in worldly things, but things of this world are going to die away. God is eternal. His love is everlasting. And He is where we find satisfaction.

[no] Answers

I have no answers.

I know where to find them… I know where to look.

But why am I holding back?

Why am I weak?

Because I am human.

Yes, I understand that no one leads a flawless life – especially me. The only thing perfect in me is my God – my Rock and my Redeemer. Anything and everything good in me comes from Him alone. Because of His all-encompassing grace and mercy, He allows me to start over with a clean slate every single day. Oh, how great is His love for us! As I write this, I am reminded of God’s incomprehensible goodness, and I begin to question the reason behind my worrying rather than the worry in itself.

He is where I find my answers.

‚ÄúKeep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7, 8 HCSB)

Spoken from the embodiment of perfection, Himself.

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Bliss

Ignorance really is bliss.  I have been thinking a lot lately about how easy life was before I knew.  Before I started worrying.  Before I became consumed by these destructive habits.

I often look back to the times when I didn’t feel the need to count every calorie or avoid “bad” foods.¬† I didn’t understand the effects my eating could have on my body; but, frankly, I didn’t care all that much.¬† I’m not saying that I was never self-conscious (because I definitely always have been); it was just never something that I put that much emphasis on.¬† I can remember when it finally switched for me – my turning point.¬† My freshman year of college; it was the first time I had been attending school and not simultaneously participating in some kind of extracurricular (band, softball, etc.).¬† But for some reason, even though I wasn’t trying to lose weight, I did.¬† It was probably from walking to and from my classes and having healthier dining options on campus.¬† Either way, people noticed.¬† And that felt good‚Ķ ¬†No, that felt amazing.¬† It ignited a fire in me that raged rampantly and consumed my thoughts, actions, and eventually my entire life.¬† It wasn’t really until the summer after my freshman year that I realized that I had a problem.¬† I was constantly looking up healthy recipes, subscribing to health food blogs, going to the gym as much as possible, and keeping up with every single calorie with an app on my phone.¬† It was just like an itch I could not seem to scratch.¬† I knew that I needed help, but I was having such a hard time communicating my struggles with others.¬† The guy I was semi-dating at the time responded to my concerns by saying, “I don’t think you can be too healthy.”¬† He didn’t realize how wrong he was and how hard it is to overcome such an intense internal battle.

Now, I understand how desperate I was to fill my life with something – anything – that I thought would make my life worth-while.¬† Something that would satisfy me and make me content‚Ķ ¬†What a selfish thing to do on my own!¬† I wasn’t thinking of anyone but myself and was so concerned with creating a better image of myself that I forgot what my purpose really is!¬† That is to glorify God with my WHOLE LIFE.¬† Not just the part of me that goes to church and sometimes blesses the food during meal time.¬† I had to [and am still working to] discover the value that I have in my Heavenly Father.¬† I was bought at a price!¬† What else do I need besides Him?

“Don‚Äôt you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.”

(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

I am still struggling to find my worth solely in the Lord; I am fighting these demons every single day.  But I know, deep down, that I am NOTHING without Him.

Holy Spirit, make Your presence known in my life.  Lead me according to Your will, and teach me how to accept myself the way You accept me.  Thank You so much, God, for your immeasurable and unending love for me.  You fill me with joy that surpasses any other.  Please continue to be with me in recovery and to lean on You more and more throughout the process.  These past few days have been really, really tough, Lord, and I ask that You would forgive me of the ways I have failed You.  And help me to forgive myself.  I ask these things in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.