You are wondering, perhaps, after reading the last blog post by my sweet husband, Doug, if I “get” that I have an amazing man by my side to support and love me and stand in the gap for me when I’ve been unable to stand at all. I cannot express my crazy love for him and his loyalty in this life toward me. Each day would be so different with my mind getting progressively worse for years, but God knew Doug not only would choose me, but that I would be drawn to him. We go together. We fit. He is the buoy in my often turbulent waters helping me know my life isn’t over unless I choose it to be. I’ve stopped giving myself that option the closer I walk with God though. He is the first person I text when my mind, through Christ’s grace, has a victory. His love magnetizes me toward Jesus. Sometimes I ask him how he can love me for who I am and with all we’ve been through for the last 20 years. He says no one better has come along so…;) NOT REALLY! (unless he’s messing with me). It’s more than a commitment when you do life together and are more than roommates, quite honestly, and God knew that one day, if we continued to weather the storms, our marriage would be more than we could fathom. I love him. Before I continue, one of the most amazing things I need to share with you is that God’s hand has always been on my life. Not for any other reason other than I am His, just as you can be if you aren’t already. As I write to you each week, I try to let you in for a window (no, a doorway)view to things which have transpired in my life as a result of the free will of my family, my friends, and myself. Yes, God is sovereign, but He gives us choices so that our relationship is beyond amazing, not by His force, but because of His absolute love and grace. God knew before I was even born that, by the time I was on my own, I would be hesitant to love. He knew trust would be basically obsolete for me with the rehearsed rejection I had experienced by the time I reached my upper teens.
I started to “restrict” in many key areas of my life when I was at the end of my senior year of high school. My parents had only been divorced for a few months, and my “restricting” went beyond not eating much (the beginning of my anorexia). Explaining restricting, as I’ve experienced it, is sort of hard, but maybe this picture will help. Picture your hand as being restriction as a whole. The hand is a whole thing, like my life, but it’s made up of many interconnected parts. Just as the fingers branch out, so my “restricting” infiltrated into so many essential and precious things in my life. Like the underlying veins, tendons, and muscles of the hand aren’t visible, so “restricting” spreads into less visible, but no less present and powerful areas of my life, and these can be the elements that make my problems so obviously manifest and grasped wrongly.
My parents’ divorce was devastating for me. They were married for 25 years, and it had been rough many of those years. I moved to Texas with my mom at the end of my senior year and almost didn’t get to graduate. I was lonely from being separated from my sister by thousands of miles. This was the fifth move of my high school career and my grades showed it, as I was caring less about my performance by the start at each new school. My mom and I moved into a low-income area of Dallas after living in middle class California. But the hardest part wasn’t the change of view out our window as much as not knowing how I was going to take care of my devastated mom. On Sunday’s, my mom and I made a cake and bought a box of cereal, and those were our groceries for most of the week. Although I knew Jesus lived in my heart, I was scared of how my life was playing out. At that point, needing too much of anything was something I swore I would never be guilty of.
After school and work at night, we would walk to a Laundromat to wash clothes if we had acquired enough money to make it worth our energy. I was forming my own opinions about life…about God… and about how I thought He felt about me, due to what I was seeing and living. Abusive boyfriends were welcome, whether physical, verbal or both. It was a continuation of what I had already been through.
Why do I share this? Because you and me are smart, and we have experiences that affect us, and we hurt. At 18, all I knew was that more had happened before my eyes than anyone would want to hear me talk about. I was so tired of living. Scared to death of failing at life myself, I was watching my family dissipate, and I didn’t see anyone taking responsibility, so I absolutely did. I did, and those feelings of failure for not being able to keep my family together went past my surface skin all the way to my core. This has been the poison contained within me for too many toxic years.
Again, I thought not needing and not making more problems would help things get better faster…maybe. When expressed, hurt can ruin things. “Restricting” in relationships can make a friend feel untrusted, and it can cause them to go away. Hurt makes food grow in my mouth and my stomach. It makes very laborious work be required before rest. It has made me doubt beyond convincing.
But guess what: the deeper the hurt and need for healing, the deeper the Healer. There are losses here in this life, but there is the promise of restoration and amazing gifts you don’t choose for yourself because you don’t know how. Please accept God’s words to you and me as absolute truth and check this out… ”Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God…” Isaiah 43:1-3. He’s right here. He was there when my family didn’t make it all of those years ago. He knew who and what I needed and has been a faithful provider even when I didn’t stop to say, ”God, is this all happening because of me? Are you mad at me? Do you still love me and want me around?”
Today, would you do something I’ve only done in the last couple of years? Would you go to a quiet place and ask Him how and what He feels about you and listen to His response? You will absolutely not be disappointed. The Bible says that, in His love, He sings over you and me. That’s healing.
Love to You, Stacee
Jesus…I confess I do not know what I need. I am new at asking for Your divine help and need Your strength to come help me every moment both mentally and physically today. I come to you with open hands surrendering and asking for your truth to fill me. Thank You for wanting me and having so much joy in providing for my needs. Thank You for never leaving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.