I often ask myself, “if I didn’t have the issues of not eating and self-harm and depression, would I be close to God?" I’m a pretty independent gal, and God knew I would have an ornery and self-sufficient streak that is far wider than any stripe going down the back of a skunk! I can take no credit for Him choosing me to break the cycles and solid chains of these illnesses in me and stop these issues that bind from continuing in our family. I cannot let that happen. But in the midst of this work, I have to remember that the presence of struggle does not indicate the absence of God. One of the most commonly quoted verses from Scripture, is from the book of Psalms, where David writes to us about His relationship with the Lord. He says, “…Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” David knew struggle…we know struggle. God’s words to us are timeless. Look at this with me though! God knew struggle would be part of our life, so He unmercifully said, “suck it up!” Actually, that’s far from what He said! That’s what we can say to one another or in our minds when we don’t understand what others are going through. But the Father says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Hope. Here it comes in the form of peace. Peace from God.
Basing our lives on scripture, not the lies of our struggles, is solid ground, my friend. And there in that very spot, is where I am. Putting one toe at a time on different ground that doesn’t move when I do. Putting my weight on the ground where Jesus firmly stands. Trusting that the eating disorder is NOT solid ground. Furthermore…trusting that there is life beyond being numbed out from lack of nutrients. The day in and day out of eating. The fighting the enemy's lies in my mind (telling me food is not for me) with scriptures. Getting out of bed and making it so I won’t get back in it. Not comparing myself to where others are in their journey. Not hurting myself out of frustration of eating my meal plan. And anger with my mind due to chemical imbalance that medicine merely takes the edge off of. Right now I’m in the trenches.
This is all part of me not merely living…but getting a life. A life of Truth. This will not be my life forever. But each day for now it’s like I get up and if possible, seemingly pushing a repeat button. New behaviors needing consistent practice or they are gone. I say the following over and over …(I have to or I lose!) It’s once again from the amazing songs of David. “Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” (Psalm 25.5-6)David cried out to God relatively often! He’s a good guy to read because his sin, like ours, was great. Yet the Father’s forgiveness and hope for his life was greater still.
So to answer my opening question, I’d like to simply say, I’d without a doubt be hopeless in any life situation without God literally not even letting one of my toes touch the ground without His help…His guidance. He Is the Healer who mends our hearts, our minds, and our bodies. That’s who He is. That’s what He does when we let Him, and in the way He sees best for you and me…and I am growing as a result of the way He has chosen to do so in my lifeeven when the growth seems slow. Growing pains are often painful but how small in my faith would I be without them.
Brief post this time. But this does not necessarily equal low hope. Sometimes we just are where we are and that’s okay! Please let me leave you with this today… It’s truly great! Picture this form of encouragement in your mind as you read...
“A mighty wind blew night and day.
It stole the oak tree’s leaves away.
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark.
But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around.
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
'How can you still be standing ,Oak?’
The oak tree said, 'I know that you
Can break each branch of mine in two,
Carry every leaf away,
Shake my limbs, and make me sway.
But I have roots stretched in the earth,
Growing stronger since my birth,
You’ll never touch them, for you see,
They are the deepest part of me. Until today, I wasn’t sure
Of just how much I could endure,
But now I’ve found, with thanks to you,
I’m stronger than I ever knew.'”
“The Oak Tree”( author unknown)
Grab the trunk with me. It’s closest to the roots! The "wind" of addiction or illness or struggle is so strong and many will break under the lies, but God…God is our Father and our heritage is composed of deep roots. Deep roots! Hang in there with me please. Let’s keep fighting together! We can only endure the relentless wind because of Him.
Love to you,
I dedicate this post to my precious mom. The words from the poem were from a card she gave me recently…at the perfect time. Thank you mom. I love you!