…I need some encouragement, maybe insight on how you made it fully through recovery…to the other side and were able, and now are able to say you are recovered.–She asked me
Funny, I just wrote a book about this, and when presented with the direct question, I had no idea what to say. So, I took the dog for a walk.
What would I do if God didn’t drop things into my head? For sure, I wouldn’t be blogging and I wouldn’t have a book. Believe me, you wouldn’t care what I had to say.
I sat down to write this sweet friend back and nearly tripped over #3thingstomakerecoveryfinal
She gave me permission to share them with you:
1 of 3
1. I had to pitch all the women’s magazines. You’re right, it’s still all around you. You’ll still hear in the chiropractor’s office. Many of your friends will still talk about their weight management. But for me, eliminating the pictures made a HUGE difference. I can’t express how much. I deleted the workout sites I followed on YouTube. You and I know how to exercise. Watching those things only causes us to obsess over the “perfect” workout. Yep, trashed the Oxygen and Clean Eating Magazines too. Even the “healthy” ones. I even tossed some cookbooks. Everything that fed into the constant consideration and reconsideration of being the perfect eater or exerciser.
I fully understand the longing to still be one of the radicals. I still wanted people to look at me and think “She’s one of the fittest people I know”. Isn’t that okay?
Admittedly, I still struggle with this a bit. God has been so very, very good and even as I’ve cut my exercise to 1/10 of what it used to be–God and only God–the creator and sustainer of this body, has enabled me to stay at a healthy weight (he didn’t curse me for my rebellion by making me fat). So, the temptation is still there to want others to say, “Wow!”
You know what? I don’t remember the last time someone did. And good grief, you know what?? I don’t care
I came to better understand those emotions and the drive for perfection as I wrote my book. I had never before realized how much I WANTED everyone to think I was better–even better than they were. It’s an awful admission and kind of ironic since much of our eating disordered behaviors stem from feeling bad about ourselves and denying the things we want. But truthfully, I wanted people to envy and admire me. And when I was successful at running farther or eating less–I felt powerful and superior.
I have learned to overcome that desire. It didn’t come by abasing myself or convincing myself that I was an awful person for feeling that way. Really, it only came about as I have looked more at Jesus and less at me. Let me try to explain that one:
Instead of focusing on fighting my eating disorder. Instead of focusing on changing my thoughts or behaviors, in many ways, I quit looking at myself. You and I know that we can’t change ourselves, the Bible tells us that and we know by experience. But Christ can. So, instead of trying to fix me, I just began to stare more at Him. Read about HIS loveliness, play sermons and Christian music even when I wasn’t listening. And that leads me to another VERY important point.
Much of our church experience and even good pastors focus so much on changing ourselves and how we become more Christ-like and what we need to do to please God. A friend of mine introduced me to @PaulWMinistries. Oh Friend, the refreshing LIFE giving power of his teaching!!
You know what?? I can’t become more Christ-like. I can’t please God. Only Jesus can and Jesus DID. When He said “It is finished” He meant FINISHED!! All the God pleasing, doing good, etc was completed for me in Christ. That took even the guilt out of failing to recover so many times.
I BEG you to listen to some of his sermons. At first, it seemed so hard to swallow, too good to be true.
But isn’t that what Jesus is? Simply too good for our human minds to comprehend?
Here are a couple sermons that rocked my world. I began listening to him in 2010. And God’s word through his sermons timed perfectly to walk me through the last step of recovery.
Another killer teacher is @stevenfurtick. He’s doing a series right now on #CrashtheChatterbox. It is EVERYTHING we need to know as we combat, shut down and shut up the lies running rampant in our heads.
Point 2 is coming next week…I figure after 791 words, you might need a deep breath and a drink of water.
See you soon!
This morning, I sat wordless before the Father. Don’t you hate it when that happens? You’re supposed to be praying and all of sudden (or maybe not so suddenly, maybe it feels chronic) there’s just nothing to say? That was today.
But recently, I read @BlumLee on her fabulous site http://www.leewolfeblum.com and one little phrase lodged in my memory. She said something about writing from her subconscious. So, even though I was praying, I tried to let my mind go to what I was not thinking. I mean, after all, God knows all that anyway…right?
There’s a weakening in me.
Like a rope washed and weathered by sun and salt.
Its life work about to pitch mercilessly on high seas, the familiar dock and droppings, fragrant with fish and stagnant air–
All safety far behind.
I wonder, how long it will hold together at all?
I wonder at those boats I’ve seen loose from tether in the distance.
What do they do–Wild and loose?
Is it frightening everyday?
What currents and rough winds await?
Will I ever return?
I feel about and nearly.
I float on almost and possibly.
There can be no assurance, wild upon those waves!
What of all I’ve so long feared?
Lost, a drifter, no purpose or destination,
No identifying flag.
Or pirates and mercenaries to scavenge me for waste?
Primitive, small, sunk low.
But here I find at once I’m loose, and at loss, and quite lost.
But I’ve been drifting slowly now,
‘Neath rise and sunset for a time.
A bit more weathered, not worse for wear.
But maybe stronger.
No storm has torn assunder.
I’ve no sail to rip.
And out here, the droppings miss me, a scent of salt and singular freedom.
The air awash with wind and wild blue.
I’ve even begun to see the others,
I’m not alone out here.
So many must have lost their lines.
Wayward a few, crosswise against the tide.
Fighting for float.
I would have kept away,
Far safe from their troubled wakes,
Dodging waves in a cove.
But the cries became so loud!
Fear a wretched sound,
A boat near sinking, a life near death,
Facing the one thing that would make it all it’s not–
Not a boat, not afloat, not alive.
I found a coil.
Neglected since I left the dock.
Warily, I wafted toward the distressed, and threw the line.
Not much, this little rope.
And I feared it would break.
Who am I? And what are my good intentions?
Lost, fueled by an invisible tide.
When my line reached her,
The wind began to blow.
And ushered with solemnity and solidarity
Our two hearts toward harbor.
When I read this poem later, I saw my purpose in those lines, my passion. God is using my once-lostness, my once-fearful, my once-dying to rescue others.
I pray especially, that anyone who reads my book finds hope and healing. #ThePredatoryLiesofAnorexia
Despite a promising plot, excellent arc and a dramatic climax, Against the Gates of Hell, by Mylow Young, fell short of my expectations. Flat characters, a heavy dose of “the hood” vernacular and poor editing detract from the book’s potential.
Against the Gates of Hell, is the story of estranged twins. Herby is a cop, his brother, Kerby, used to be. Nightmares and mood swings plague Herby as he struggles to deal with the loss of his partner, Jerry, during a drug bust. In response to a separate crisis, Kerby fell apart. Now he lives off the streets, using drugs and barely maintaining his job as a security officer. The conflict ebbs and flows as the brothers struggle to reconcile; both seek to repair and strengthen their relationships with God and their families.
My issue with the characters is best exemplified in Herby’s wife, Rene. She is nothing short of perfect. As a vocalist, musician and song writer, Rene is always worshipping, calling out, “Glory to God!” and counseling her husband using Scripture. She never utters a harsh word, has a cruel thought or disrespects her husband. Even the slightest inkling of her humanity is instantly reversed with a prayer or excused as righteous indignation. While I admire godly women, and seek to become a Titus 2 woman, a good story must expose both sides of characters, enabling the reader to empathize with them.
The language in, Against the Gates of Hell, is difficult to read. On several occasions, I had to stop and reread a sentence two or three times and sometimes simply deduce the meaning by context. No doubt it is difficult to convey the words with right inflection through script, but it gets fatiguing to read and interpret pages of dialogue such as, “Gotta make dis paper, drop dese few so I can re-up.”
Lastly, the editing lessened my appreciation for this book. Several times, beginning on the first page, Young switches verb tense. The opening line is written in present tense, but the second tag switches to past tense. These errors are not impossible to overlook, but frustrating nonetheless.
Overall, Against the Gates of Hell, has a lot of potential. The plot is good. If one is willing to read less discriminatorily, simply for the entertainment value, it would be an enjoyable book. However, the things I mentioned here diluted that pleasure for me.
All credit for the clever title and crux of this message are given to Louie Giglio of #passioncitychurch. This series, Winsome, is changing my life and validating my #story!
God’s been talking about going deeper. I love it when what He is telling me in one place begins to be reflected in other places, when the song that He is singing to me softly begins to resound from every direction, reinforcing the absolute truth of His words and my ability to retain them.
I just finished reading Ted Dekker’s book, Outlaw, and was only mildly surprised to find God speaking to me about going deeper even in those pages. (I’ll be sharing a full review of Ted’s book here shortly.)
In Outlaw, the primary characters learned to view their bodies as mere costumes. Through this knowledge, a peace that surpasses understanding is found. One who knows who he is in Christ; who he is in the arms and eyes of his Creator; who knows from Whom his very essence is derived, and the security of believing that his Essence-giver is indestructible, this one cannot be destroyed. Even pain is mitigated by the understanding that only the costume is being affected.
But then, a new kind of anguish struck, one that even the strongest character found overwhelming. Rejection assaulted him, loneliness swelled within him and for once, he couldn’t relegate the pain to simply a costume experience. This new pain could be said to bruise his very soul. And for moments, pages even, I feared for him. I identified with him.
But then, he went deeper.
You see, it’s not that our spirits, our souls, cannot be bruised. It is not that they cannot feel pain. But the truth is, the peace is found when we look a little bit deeper and realize, that despite the pain, there never was any danger.
For those who believe in Jesus and have rested all their hope in His finished work, there really is no danger. Even if the costume cries and bleeds, even if the spirit weeps, there never is any danger. And that’s where the peace is found – peering a little bit deeper.
Below the surface, even in the strongest of hurricanes, the water is safe and still. A submarine need only dive deeper to continue blissfully unaware of the surface destruction. Far below the chaos, for the marine life, there really is no danger.
Below your agony, below your sorrow, below your physical pain, your loneliness, your fear; below, slightly deeper, there really is no danger.
I will bless the LORD who guides me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I know the LORD is always with me.
I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.
My body rests in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead
or allow your holy oned to rot in the grave.
You will show me the way of life,
granting me the joy of your presence
and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Every January, the world seems to lose track of time. For a few days, all we can think about is how we are going to do things differently next year, in the future. Or, we look back at the last year and feel guilty about things that happened in days gone by.
The Bible doesn’t spend a lot of time talking about the past or the future. In fact, 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “The old is gone and the new has come.” So, the past is gone and the new is now!
The phrase, “This day”, is used frequently in the Bible. God tells us that He made this day, we can rejoice and be glad! (Ps. 118:24) In Matt. 6:11, Jesus reminds us to pray and thank God for His provision this day.
So, when others talk about New Year’s resolutions, or moan about the past, remember that your choices, actions, attitudes and words matter this minute, right now, this day.