Final Thoughts on a Final Recovery, and Wednesday’s Promise

(The following post is a summation of the 3 Things to Make Recovery Final series and includes the promise I made last Wednesday to tell you one really special way that God reveals Himself to us.)
Just a couple more thoughts, I think sometimes our “Christian” life and struggle to manufacture faith gets in the way of really having faith. A lot of times during recovery I thought, “If I just believed God enough. Why is it so hard to trust Him?”
The other day I was enamored by one of Steven Furtick’s sermons in the Crash the Chatterbox series. He referenced Moses at the burning bush. Furtick pointed out that in all his arguments with God and reasoning as to why he shouldn’t be the one to deliver Israel, Moses never once doubted God’s ability.
God showed him several miracles and Moses knew what God was capable of doing. Instead, he argued from a place of insecurity, basically saying over and over again, “You don’t really want to use me to do this God. You’re awesome and all, but I’m not smart enough, I’m not a good speaker, I don’t have many friends left in Egypt, no one will believe me…”.
God didn’t set Moses straight by fixing Moses, or suddenly, magically filling him with faith. Instead, God simply told Moses who HE was. He said, I AM.
Every time Moses said, “I am not…”, God’s effectual response was, “I AM…”. This gets really awesome when we get to the New Testament and realize how many times God says that He has give us His name. Because we bear His name, all of our arguments about failures, small faith and insufficiencies are answered in our new name, “I AM.”
(2 Chron. 7:14, Is. 43:7, 2 Peter 1:4, John 17:11-12)
The answer to stronger faith isn’t to grit our teeth and try to force it. It isn’t to work harder or do more. It is simply watching Jesus, seeing I AM.  (A few verses and commentary on this: www.abible.com.)
This is why Paul White’s sermons hit me so hard and sunk in so deeply.
I had tried for SO LONG to conjure up this faith that should have made me a “good Christian girl”, impervious to stupid struggles and battles and fears and anxiety. I was exhausted because I couldn’t come up with faith or make believing in Jesus “work for me”. But that’s the point. When we understand that “faith is substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen” we can start walking in faith without holding out for “proof” that this works.
You’ve heard it said, “To know Jesus is to love Him.” (Maybe that was said about something else, but it has never been more true than about Christ). We cannot make ourselves love Him or believe Him. But the more we KNOW Him the more irresistible He becomes, the better we understand His voice and freer we walk day by day.
Hangeth Thou in There 🙂
#3thingstomakerecoveryfinal
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3 Things that Made My Recovery from Anorexia FINAL (1 of 3)

…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.

http://pwmmedia.podbean.com/2012/11/11/who-told-you-that-you-were-naked/
http://pwmmedia.podbean.com/2012/07/19/righteousness-101/

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.

http://elevationchurch.org/sermons/crash-the-chatterbox

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!

 

Naked Little Me, and Loving It

I chose NAKED as my one word this year. It sounds kind of crass, I know. But I think God is getting at something with me. There are parts of me that I often try to hide, or color over. Things about me that I’d like to change. I look at others and wish I could be more like them. I wish I were smarter. I wish I were more athletic. I wish I was braver. I wish I was more assertive. I wish… I wish…

I’m not talking about sins that I should get rid of, or surface things like change my hair color or make it curly or be a little taller. I’m talking about the things that I believe make me seem insignificant, less desirable, average or second best.

Through the bitterness of my eating disorder, God has been teaching me about His pleasure in me, just the way He created me. More than simply my physical body – which He did create specifically, uniquely and perfectly for me. My Father also created my mind – scattered as it may often be. He inlaid my passions and hobbies, knowing exactly what would fulfill me – even if it wasn’t going to be a six figure career. My Father was pleased to give me an eye for the abstract and an affinity for rainbows of color – even when others might wonder why my couch pillows don’t match. He placed in me a urge for activity that sometimes overwhelms me and sends me running like a frightened child back to His comforting arms.

It’s ME. It’s just uniquely, awesomely, bare naked, undisguised ME!

In that interest, I really enjoyed this sermon by Paul White, titled, Who Told You You Were Naked.