A Reason for Lost

This morning, I sat wordless before the Father. Don’t you hate it sunset-harbour-2-1016736-mwhen 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?

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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.
Certainly braver.
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

Buy the book here…

A Free, Luminous Ebook from SheLovesMagazine

A Free, Luminous Ebook from SheLovesMagazine

The August theme at SheLovesMagazine was “light”. At the end of each month, the incredible team of editors there, compiles a small ebook; a valiant attempt to corral and condense a month’s worth of wisdom, from global women into a few simple pages. This one is excellent and I’m honored to share.

One Word, 2013

My one word is a little scary. I have actually been contemplating it for days and kept trying to chose my own. They were expected words, typical New Year words and I wanted something different. I kept asking God. 
As I began my first blog post for the New Year (see yesterday) the word came to me. 
NAKED. I want to understand what it means to be so cleansed and forgiven by God that unlike Adam in the Garden of Eden, I can stand before Him naked and unashamed. 
I want to see the nakedness in front of me in the form of need or poverty. I want to see hurting people in nakedness and offer them the clothing of the comfort of Jesus Christ and His righteousness. 
I want to live in naked honesty before everyone, so that I never have to reap the consequences of even the tiniest white lie.
I want to reach out specifically to those girls who through the viciousness of an eating disorder have such a terrible body image that they despise the beautiful naked, perfect body God gave them.
So. Naked, is my word for 2013.

Read about the significance of One Word, and others’ One Words.

She Loves Magazine

One of my greatest pleasures and honors is writing for SheLovesMagazine.

Regardless of individual issues, anorexia keeps all relationships at arm’s length. My heart screamed for my husband to love me, call me beautiful and scare away all my self-loathing. At the same time, my sharp hip bones, malnourished mood swings and amenorrhea told him I was unapproachable.


You can read more of this post here… Jesus Never Gave Up On Me

Guest Post at SheLovesMagazine

Sometimes I think everyone knows my story. Goodness, I thought I knew my story. But as I began to write this piece for SheLovesMagazine, the editor, Idelette, kept sending me small editing suggestions. The more I worked, the clearer my own story became  – to me!

I saw pride in myself, mingled with fear and longing. It was more than a joy to join SheLoves authors in sharing a little bit about what my Jesus has done for me. It was life-giving.

To Need Nothing, Is to be Like God

Part 3 – Domestic Violence and Eating Disorders

Soon after, I discovered his pornography addiction. Confused and defeated, I wondered when it would end. I knew of a girlfriend who had struggled in her marriage due to her husband’s use of porn, so I sought her out to gain some advice. After a few well-chosen questions from her, she got my entire story out of me.

Help wasn’t hard to come by when I finally reached out. For years, friends and family had lingered in the shadows, trying to help but repelled by my insistence that I was fine and I didn’t want their help. My greatest courage came from the gift of empathy from women that I knew to be beautiful and wise and had also suffered at the hands of an E.D.

It was this friend who finally put words to what I had been experiencing: sexual abuse, rape, physical, verbal, emotional abuse. I began to do research and discovered she was right. After seeking the counsel of other older Christian women who had survived domestic violence, talking to DV advocates, sheriffs, reading books, articles and praying very hard, I knew I had to leave my abuser. I had to protect my son and myself.

I couldn’t see the truth of E.D.’s abuse until I saw how he had abused other women. It wasn’t hard to see their scars; scars through which their true beauty still glowed with all its strength. As I listened, read and learned I finally began to see the truth of their words – that E.D. was killing me, too.

The following year was riddled with divorce proceedings, protective orders, living in a shelter, watching the rearview mirror, legal paperwork and court appearances and many fearful nights of crying out at God. With the finalization of our divorce, my now ex-husband was ordered to graduate from a Batterer’s Intervention Program before having unsupervised visits with our son. Just three weeks shy of his graduation, he took a polygraph test through which he admitted to molesting at least five children. After another year in a custody battle, I received a verdict from the judge: I won sole physical and legal custody of my son with no contact between my son and my ex.

Even once E.D.’s cruelty was uncovered and I knew the truth of who he was, it took years to divorce him. I lived in treatment homes, went through counseling, cried and cried and cried. Several times I wondered if I had healed enough to take E.D. back. Surely I could keep his misbehavior under control. Dabbling with him, speaking to him on occasion only lengthened my recovery process.

The last four years have been a roller-coaster ride. I left my marriage devastated physically, emotionally and spiritually. I felt like I was alone. I felt God was distant. I was angry at my abuser and at God. I screamed at God for answers … I’d decided I wouldn’t let go or let up until He answered me. Finally, God did speak to me and radically changed my heart from one of hatred and bitterness to one of seeking and learning. Now I encourage abuse victims and survivors, as well as educate others on how to recognize and respond to domestic violence.

The last four years, (at least four years) have been a roller coaster ride. I have married a man who loves me, and still once or twice E.D. has come to call. My only solace and hope has been in clinging ruthlessly to the hand of my Savior, Jesus Christ. Even greater still, has been His grip on my hand. He promised that no one, not even E.D. can snatch me out of His hand.

God showed me in real, tangible ways that I am special to Him and didn’t deserve abuse. God took the ashes of my existence and is making a beautiful life out of it.

This is truth. This is where truth is found. It is mined out of the ashes of pain. I heard someone say recently that we are wrong when we associate hard things with bad, and things that are easy with good. Someone else pointed out that Moses had to walk bravely up a mountain into thick darkness to be where God was. (Ex. 20:21)

At Predatory Lies, I long to make truth brighter, more aggressive, louder for the sakes of those who have E.D.’s hands over their ears or the hands of an abuser. Rachelle is working to strengthen the voice of truth. Please, loop a circle of hemp around your wrist, take our hands and SHOUT. Truth won’t be ignored.

The indented portions of this post were taken from Marissa’s post at SheLovesMagazine. Her words prompted the pieces of my own story. Please visit SheLovesMagazine and the site of Marissa’s own ministry Signal on VOICE.

Part 2 – Domestic Violence and Eating Disorders

I read this post on SheLovesMagazine, one of my favorite online Christian publications. As I read Marissa’s story, I heard the echo of my own. Listen:

I met my abuser at church. We were both attending seminary, headed into full-time ministry. I was an ordained elder in my denomination and a Bible college graduate. I’d studied Scripture, debated theology and had been involved in church and ministry for as long as I could remember.

I met my abuser within the walls of a Christian home. I bumped into E.D. in the halls of my church, hung out with him in my youth group. I saw E.D. in safe places and good places and at first his words were mild, gentle, simple advice. “You could be healthier if you ate less. You could be much more perfect if you were a little stricter with yourself. Just work a little harder.”

Being a “Christian” was easy, for the most part. I even knew all the pretty, cliché things to say to those who needed counseling. My life drastically changed when I met … him. He was charming, handsome, smart, funny and going into ministry … everything I ever wanted in a guy. When our relationship turned physical quickly, I was uncomfortable but, for fear of losing him, I went along. Light petting turned into a full-blown sexual relationship and, despite my best intentions, I was fearful of saying that “no” that I’d encouraged so many girls to just-say.

E.D. was easy to follow and easy to love, at first. He made me more admirable and   self-disciplined. When I was with him, heads turned. “You’re so strong! I wish I could be that thin.” When he started to get meaner, I told myself that he was just making me a better person. I was still able to talk about my faith and encourage other people. I was considered a leader.

As we left the parking lot after our wedding, my now-husband was different. He was angry. I did everything I could to help and to make it better. The abuse gradually escalated. The sexual abuse started right away and got to the point where it was happening multiple times a day. Finding out I was six weeks pregnant six weeks after we got married only made the abuse worse.

As E.D. and I spent more and more time together, things began to change rapidly. He pulled me away from friends and family, especially at meal times. He insisted that I workout multiple times per day, even when I began to bruise easily, lose my hair and my thinking became foggy. Like a snowball rolling downhill, things got worse by the day. Soon, I couldn’t even see a true reflexion in the mirror.

Partial bed rest ordered from my doctor was ignored by my husband … I had too many things to do around the house to keep him happy–my homework, etc. No chance to sit still.

E.D. denied the validity of doctor’s orders and my parents’ concern. He demanded clandestine jumping jacks, long walks, white lies about my after school activities (at the gym instead of at work.)

Gradually, I quit classes and my job and became a prisoner in my own home. I begged him to stop yelling at me. I cringed when he raised his hand to hit me and cried when he gripped my arm and blocked the door so I couldn’t pass.

I quit going home to visit during college. Too many people were concerned about me and tried to meddle in my diet and exercise. I quit hanging out with friends. Too many opportunities to eat during social activities. I certainly quit dating. If I were to cheat on E.D., there would be hell to pay.

Eating Disorders and Domestic Violence

This began as one post and grew to much more than you would be willing to read in one sitting. That said, permit me to post three times this week. Don’t miss a day, truth has a long story. 

I had no idea that October was such a popular month. My sister, Rachelle, of WeavingSunshine, informed me that it is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I remembered that it’s Pastor Appreciation Month. I also just learned that it’s National Book Month.

Rachelle, has a broken heart for the lost, hurting and broken in our world. Since she was little, she talked about growing up and teaching in an inner city school. In middle school, she transferred to a school on the poorer “side of the tracks” because she wanted to be a brighter light than she felt she could be going to a Christian school. She has talked about starting an orphanage called Our Father’s House. So when my little sister told me that she was going to donate part of her profits from the sale of her hemp jewelry, it warmed my heart but didn’t surprise me.

I started thinking about domestic violence. I didn’t think that I had any experience with such nightmares. I’m sure I have met a few people with those skeletons in their closets, but I was unaware at the time. However, over half of my life was mauled by E.D. (eating disorder’s) violence. And in treatment, I learned that many of the girls’ stories included years of abuse which led them into E.D.’s arms.

Part 2 tomorrow.