Well, shucks. I’m sitting here, in my bed, face mask on, and sweeping the tears from eyes.
Nope. Tonight, these tears are swelling after reading a beautiful post, written by one of my dear readers, Arabella. (And yes, she has given me permission to write about her on here)
Tonight after dinner, I was scrolling through Twitter on my phone, dreaming of how in the heck to get Ben Higgins’ attention on social media, when I happened upon a notification that read, “A Book That Shaped my Recovery – Bloom.”
Wait a minute, I thought. THAT’S MY BOOK! My interest was obviously piqued, and I spent the next few minutes, pouring over Arabella’s heartwarming, vulnerable, – and exquisitely written – review of my book, Bloom. And as the tears rolled down my cheeks, I had to get up, grab my laptop, and write this post.
I want to start out by thanking Arabella for such a raw and honest review of my book. I am so incredibly touched that my book played a role in your recovery. And I am cheering for you, and the abundant life of freedom you’ve found with Christ in recovery. God is most certainly good.
As I sit here, on my third Kleenex, I had to stop and examine where this swell of emotion was coming from. Yes, clearly, I was touched by her review. But more than that, THIS was precisely why I wrote the book. This is the very reason why I chose to put my brokenness and wounds on display. And in fact, as I was writing it, I was picturing in my head – and praying for – someone just like Arabella, picking up the book and a pen, and working through her recovery, one day at a time, just like I did at inpatient treatment.
That was my deepest prayer: that my story would help a young warrior embrace recovery and find freedom. That by sharing my wounds, I could help someone feel not alone in their suffering, but empowered to find healing with Christ.
When I started this blog, back three years ago now — which is crazy to think about — I was so scared to share the story of my brokenness. I was terrified to expose the unfiltered, uncensored, truth of my past because it wasn’t pretty. I spent those years, destroying my body, and wasting away, not only physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually too. And all the while severely damaging all the relationships in my life.
At 78 pounds, my body was evidence of a desperate cry for help, and yet I ferociously kept the world at arms length, through anger, manipulation and isolation.
I carried around so much shame and guilt from those years trapped in my anorexia, and sharing it with the internet on a blog – let alone a book – seemed like the most frightening idea ever. Which is precisely why I knew that I must do it. I must share, in the chance that someone else in their suffering, might find, not only compassion and companionship, but the the strength to heal.
After Jesus died and was resurrected, He led his ministry with His wounds.
Not once, but twice.
He went to Thomas and showed him the scars on His hands and side, and said, “Put your finger here; see my hands.” Jn 20:27 He led with them. He wasn’t ashamed or afraid. He led with them, because they showed His love. They showed God’s redemption and victory. His scars were glorious. Glorious to the power of God, and His strength to overcome.
And as we are to follow in Christ’s perfect example, I knew that it was my job to share my scars, too.
Even single one of us has a story to tell. One of hope, redemption, and victory, whether we know it yet or not.
But God knows. God is working, and visible every step of the way, only sometimes we don’t realize it yet until we are on the other side of that season of trial.
But it is in sharing our stories, that allows the glory of God to be magnified in our lives. Showing how God can take the broken and make it beautiful. How God is Rescuer. Healer. Redeemer. That is written in our scars.
So Arabella, thank you, for having the courage to share your story, and for allowing my book to play a small role in that. You are a warrior, and I am inspired by your courage to reclaim the life that Jesus won for you.
I invite you to take a few minutes to go read her blog post. I hope that it moves you the way it did me.
And this week, I challenge you to share your scars with the world. Because you, friend, have a story that is worth telling. Believe that. I, for one, would love to hear it.
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