In my post yesterday, I shared that the way I deal with bad body image and how I truly learned to love myself was through God’s grace, and by just accepting the love that Jesus is pouring out on me. (And on you, too)
And I wanted to just pause for a minute here. Maybe you’re reading this and it sounds really foreign to you. Maybe you roll your eyes and think, “Oh man, she’s one of those people…a Jesus person…psh…NEXT!” Maybe you hear that and think, “I am just so far gone, there’s no way I can get to that point where I truly believe that I can have God’s grace.” And I just want you to hear this – I grew up going to church every. single. Sunday, and I couldn’t even believe that I could have God’s love. I thought, “There’s no way I can get to that point of freedom. I’m too horrible a person. I don’t deserve it.”
So what then? Am I doomed to this prison of ED hell forever? How did I overcome those feelings of unworthiness? How did I get to that point of actually believing He loved me and died for me?
Picture this: You’re a gardener. It’s wintertime. The ground is dead and cold. But you want to plant a flower. So you dig a little hole and plant the seed into the barren dirt. And every day you go out there and water it. Every single day, you go out there and nourish the ground with water and fertilizer. You clear the weeds, scare the birds away. And for weeks and weeks, months and months, you don’t see anything. There’s no sign that your hard work is paying off. You can’t see the roots growing beneath the surface. You can’t see how the constant watering has changed the composition of the soil. Time goes by and now it’s springtime, and the earth is becoming more and more open to life because every day, you’ve been watering that seed and nurturing the soil. Until one day, you see a hint of green. A little sprout has come out of the ground. And so you continue to water and nurture it every day and that little sprout grows and grows until it becomes a beautiful, radiant flower.
Alright, maybe a little cheesy, but it’s really true. That’s what I had to do. Every day, in my journal, I would “water” that part of my heart. I had to fill that part of my soul with the Truth that He does love me. That He wants to help me through this incomprehensibly difficult time in my life. That He wants to take the Eating Disorder from me and give me a life of freedom. Filling your mind and your heart, day after day with the Truth – you can’t see what it’s doing to you inside. You can’t see how the Truth is working on your heart until one day, you just wake up and really do believe it, and really do feel that joy and freedom.
My journal that I kept at inpatient is literally filled with bible verses, quotes, and sermons that helped me though it. They “watered” my soul, even when I couldn’t accept the truth, until one day I did, and it turned my life around. So I’ve decided to share some of them with you. Maybe you can’t believe that it’s true. Maybe you don’t want to accept the truth for fear of what it might do to your life. But I invite you to just think about these messages. You don’t even have to do anything, the truth will work on your heart. Just expose yourself to the Truth. God will do the rest.
Romans 8:18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will give us later.
Psalm 18: He rescued me because He delights in me… In Your strength I can crush an army. With my God I can scale any wall.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given you a spirit of fear and timidity, but of POWER, love, and a sound mind!
Matthew 11:28 Come to me all you who are troubled and weighted down with burden and I will give you rest.
Matthew: 14: 22 “I am here. Don’t be afraid.”
Psalm 34:4 The Lord…frees me from all my fears. Those who look to Him for help will be radiant with joy. No shadow of shame will darken their faces. I cried out to the Lord in my suffering and He heard me. He set me free of all my fears. He rescues me.
Romans 8:31 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? No…I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love…Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away…Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us.
Hebrews 12:1 Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
God dances in heaven when I eat.
Psalm 143:3-10 May Your gracious spirit lead me forward on a firm footing…Let me hear of Your unfailing love to me in the morning, for I am trusting in you.
When we see God for who He is, we see ourselves for who we really are.
Acts 2:25 “I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken for He is right beside me.
Re: Peter walking on water: Peter didn’t stay on top of the water, (i.e., he sank when he took his eyes off Jesus) But he DID get out of the boat. I got out of the boat. Failure is not final.
God wants us to run to him. God takes our failures, picks us up and saves us. He knows we’re not perfect and loves us anyway.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only begotten son that you may not perish but have LIFE and have it TO THE FULL.
Psalm 27: The Lord is my light and my salvation so why should I be afraid? The Lord protects me from danger so why should I tremble?
Zech 2:8 We are His most precious possession.
Matt 10: 30-31 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid. You are valuable to him.
1 Peter 5:7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about what happens to you.
Jeremiah 30:17 I will give you back your health and heal your wounds, says the Lord.
Psalm 121:1-2 I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord. The maker of Heaven and earth.
Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.
Eph 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Isaiah 41:31 But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
We think God’s love rises and falls with our performance. It doesn’t…He loves you for whose you are: you are His child.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.
Jesus I need you to carry me through this because I can’t do this on my own. Our perspective is limited, but God has been through it and knows what’s best for me.
God’s hand is always there; Once you grasp onto it you’ll never want to let it go.
Put 110% into recovery for 60 days and just see what happens.
Work TOGETHER with God to kick ED out of my life.
It’s a gamble: What if God tells us He loves us? That we’re righteous and that He’s absolutely crazy about us? That no matter what we do, He’ll love us and throw us a party? That He lives in us and we don’t have to wear a mask? That we don’t have to fear? How much will I let Him love me?
Jesus says: Nothing you could do could make me love you more. Nothing you could do could make me love you less. I’m crazy about you.
Not only are we saved by grace, but we heal by grace.
HEALING IS A CHOICE.
So you want to get well? Jesus meets us WHERE WE ARE and gives us a choice: “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk.”
The pathway to healing is not always what we want, but the end is what we need and full of blessings.
2 Cor 12:8-10 ‘My power works best in your weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may work through me. Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am STRONG.
Psalm 34: Look to Him with radiant faces and there will be no shame.
This may be overwhelming. You may think, “Okay, I hear you. But I don’t believe it.” Or you may think that because of this and that in your past, that you are disqualified from His love and His grace. Or, I’m too broken — I have to be better than I am right now to be worthy of that love.
Sweet girl, there is nothing you can do to be disqualified from His love. He wants you just as you are right now. He wants the broken, vulnerable, dirty, filled with shame and guilt, defeated and scared person that you think you are right now. He takes your imperfection, and loves you anyway.
And if you don’t believe this – if you just can’t see yourself being a Jesus person, or that, maybe you could believe those quotes, but you just don’t want it to interrupt your life. Well, I invite you to just take one of those quotes. Take one that maybe sounded intriguing or hopeful to you: maybe this one: “We are God’s masterpiece.” Or maybe this one: “He rescues me.” But just write it on a post it and put it on your mirror, so that every morning and night when you brush your teeth, you see it. Just read it. You don’t have to believe it. Just read the phrase. And see what happens.
So you’re not on a mountain top singing about how much God loves you. That’s okay. Maybe you’re curled up in a ball in the dark, believing that there is no way you’re worth that love – Believing that He doesn’t care that you’re suffering. Sweet girl, He does care, and He is desperately sending you love every second of every day, hoping and pleading for you to open your heart and accept it. Because once you do — once you open your heart to His love — things change. The days get a little easier. Your self-worth gets a little better. Meals become less scary. And you grow and grow until you become that beautiful flower.
14 responses to “Daily Thoughts for Strength”
[…] at a time when I have been closer to the Lord than I have ever been before – through daily prayer, Mass, listening to Christian podcasts and music, and opening up to people in my life about my ED […]
[…] But everyday, it’s keeping my eyes focused on Jesus. […]
And right when I begin to foolishly think it can’t get any better……….
Hah, thank you 🙂
Absolutely beautiful. You write with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Bless you
Wow thank you. I am humbled. Truly. God bless ☺️
I once prayed that I might go hungry. I don’t know that that was such a smart thing to do. I had read so many stories of explorers suffering hunger, thirst, fatigue, and warriors facing hunger, thirst, and fatigue. I felt that I couldn’t live right without understanding them and being like them. I always felt that the scriptures were meant to be reflected in my life, but it just never seemed to happen. I guess I thought that praying to go hungry (I also prayed to commit some great sin so that I could repent and be like the great repenters of the past.) would expedite the process of becoming more like the greats mentioned in scriptures that I read and re-read, read and re-read. I also began to believe that working through the night was the thing to do. I read so many scriptures of great achievements by working through the night while the enemy slept. So one time I went Monday day through Friday morning 8:00 am without sleeping within that week. I wanted to do some long fast like Jesus to understand him better. I feel like I was such a hypocrite when I was preaching Jesus. I said that fasting was eating spiritual food rather than physical food. I thought it all made sense. I guess I considered that even though I had never thought that as I had fasted, that in reality I was doing it. I pulled a puzzle out of my bag of tricks. A simple “T” cut into 5 pieces. I said that it was faith that would allow one to solve that puzzle, but I, myself, had not been able to solve that puzzle on the first attempt. Was it an object lesson, was I a show-off unmerited, or was I just dancing the best I could until I learned the rhythm? I like to think it was the last, but it still bothers me that always in life one is thrust into things that there is no way to be prepared for. It seems that as soon as I say the word “hypocrite,” I realize that I don’t even know how to define the steps I took to draw that conclusion. I’m not poking at you or ED (although I probably would if I knew you. I poke fun at everybody and everything, but I’m a bit shy until I figure out what’s going on. It’s a good defense.) I write here on your blog even though you’ve mentioned your email, because I feel that I am responding to a topic. Opening up an email would not provide the basis for the conversation. I was just wondering…I had a question. You don’t have to answer. I’m just a very curious person. How long have you held to this idea of salvation in Jesus? If you’d rather not discuss it, that’s fine. I don’t mind. I just might mention that some of the verses you mentioned in this blog post helped me through the some lonely psych ward moments back in ’04. The Isaiah 41:10 verse Fear not, I am with you. As also, Isaiah 40:31 rise up with wings as eagles for trusting in God and waiting on him. I have to be honest. It all went away. I don’t know if that happens for everybody. I still hold to it all, but I don’t uhmmm…how do I say, I only try to survive and say only what will get me through the moment even if it’s denying everything I always held to. Maybe it’s just an illness, I don’t know. I just feel like survival is more important than faith right now. That’s why I ask the question I do, and I guess inherent in the question is if it comes and goes…(faith, that is).
Hi Daniel, thank you so much for sharing this reflection. It sounds like you’re really after the heart of Jesus and truly knowing His suffering personally. Very timely, given that it is Lent. To answer your question, I think that there will definitely be times, no matter how strong or bulletproof your faith is, that it will quiver a little bit. That doesn’t mean that you don’t believe, but I think we’re all human. There are definitely times when we may feel closer or more distant from the embrace of Jesus, but that is no reflection on His love for us — it is merely how we feel. That is why we cannot base our faith off of a feeling. I’ve written about this very topic in my post, “Mountain Top Feeling.” http://beautybeyondbones.com/2016/01/18/mountain-top-feeling/ So there’s that if you want to take a look. But I just have to have peace knowing how incredibly loved we are by God. He longs for us to draw close to Him. And give yourself some grace. There will be days — or even seasons, perhaps — where your faith may feel stronger or less strong than others, but God’s love and faithfulness is the same. Stay close to His Word. Dwell in scripture. And trust that you are a precious child of the King. Thanks for stopping by. hugs xox
What exactly is Lent? Might you explain? Never was familiar with the term, but I see it a great deal recently.
Hey Daniel! Sure thing. Lent is a Christian observance where we reflect on the time leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection. We do this by “fasting and abstinence” – little sacrifices that can bring us closer to Jesus, giving us a long, earthly taste of the Ultimate sacrifice that He paid when He gave up His life on the cross. Lent culminates with the celebration of Easter-when Jesus rose from the dead. So yeah! I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions! Yeah, there’s a lot going around the internet right now about it because we’re right in the thick of it. 🙂 thanks for stopping by! Have an awesome day xox
So many powerful scriptures that help us to know and draw closer to God. We are nourished by His words. One of the scriptures you listed was Matthew 11:28. I also like the rest of that chapter, that asks us to take His yoke upon us, for his yoke is easy and His burden is light. It paints a wonderful image of ‘yoking’ ourselves to Christ and choosing Him to be our partner to overcome our trials and temptations. I had an experience once where I was overcome with fear and anxiety for the safety of my children. I couldn’t function anymore and finally knelt down and asked Him to take the burden from me. And he did. Before I could even get up from my knees I felt completely enveloped in His peace and love and I knew He would be there for me and my family.
As a Latter-day Saint I have another favorite scripture along these lines that I’d like to share with you: It’s found in the Book of Mormon, in the section called Ether chapter 12 verse 27: “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”
Thanks, Gail for this great perspective. I love that verse from Matthew: yoking ourselves to Him. What a powerful thought. How awesome that God took that worry from you. He is good! And how interesting! Humility is definitely a very important quality to possess. Thanks for sharing that 🙂 sending hugs and love xox
Your words really hit home. I honestly have never considered recovery because I don’t want to get fat. I know it’s what will set me free but until I’m here, reading God’s words, through you, I can’t even consider it.
Thanks so much. So glad this resonated with you. Praying for you in your recovery. You can do it! I believe in you!! Hugs and love xox