Friday, April 18, 2014

I've gained so much ______________ !

Freedom from eating disorders is nothing short of gaining the ability to fly.

The haunting thing about eating disorder recovery is that, for so long, my identity was wrapped up in the eating disorder, and so I lost sight of who I was without it.  I thought that controlling my eating was a sign of my strength, the perfect way I can do anything I put my mind to.  And so, during and after recovery, I was frightened by my "loss of control."  I was haunted with the thoughts, "You no longer do this well."  The enemy tricked me by telling me what a failure I was for giving up E.D.  Demons constantly swirled around me, asking me who I would be with that part of my identity gone.  I was also constantly reminded of my physical weight gain.

But, when I prayed, when I fellowshipped, when I felt unchained while playing with my sweet son, I knew what I truly gained.  I just had to hold onto it.

Dear friends, I have a confession: There are some of you whom I've been avoiding because I didn't want you to see me now.  It's true -- I've gained probably 30+ pounds since some of you have seen me last.  And I've been afraid that that's all you would see, and perhaps it would be something you would talk about later.  I wanted to spare myself the shame.  Looking at me physically, that might be all you see, besides my much more genuine smile (eating disorders stole my laughter!).  Some of you didn't know I was struggling with eating when we were friends, and so I have always been ashamed that one might assume I just "put on weight" and that's all.

But you know what?  I'm so sick of being afraid.  Yes, I've gained weight.  But if everyone only knew what else I have gained!

I'm here to proudly proclaim that I have gained SO MUCH!  All that I have gained is from my Savior.  Everything I have gained, the enemy tried to keep from me.  But praise be to God for showing me a life that I didn't know I could ever have ... to Him be all glory and all honor.

Through my freedom of eating disorders, I have gained:

- Wisdom and insight (the Holy Spirit is alive and awesome!)
- Marriage (!)
- Moments with my son that eating disorders wouldn't allow
- True, unabated laughter
- The ability to empathize with the pain of others
- A deeper relationship with my entire family
- A sphere of influence through teaching and coaching
- The ability to share my testimony
- Anxiety-free meals
- More love than my heart can often contain
- Ambition to selflessly help others
- A song in my heart that never stops
- Conversations with other Daughters that changed my life
- Friendships that are deeper, stronger, and eternal
- A longer life
- An appreciation for God's creation in nature
- Strong MUSCLES!  ;)
- Thoughts and pondering that have nothing to do with food (thank you, Jesus!)
- Most importantly, an understanding of how great our God is, and how He loves us and never gives up on helping His children.  He sends signs and wonders, songs and stars, all for us.

So there you have it... I have gained more than weight.  Hallelujah!

What will you gain when you let God take over your area of struggle?  The scariest thing is that until you let go, you have NO IDEA what God will do with your life.  I promise you, it is greater than anything you can hope for.  Even the scariest part of giving up control becomes nothing when you see how the Lord starts using your struggle in a mighty way, to free you and to reveal His glory.

I pray for freedom in your area of struggle today.  Do not be afraid.  He will make your life more wonderful than you ever imagined.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9 (NIV)