Fun fact: I don’t drink coffee. Yep – I am a caffeine free gal. And right now, I’m just sipping a piping hot camomile tea from my B³ mug!
And I am feeling good. Honestly, my heart is about as warm as this relaxing beverage I’m nursing.
Because I just saw one of the best movies in a while. I mean, it’s right up there with Unplanned.
I just got home from seeing the movie Breakthrough. If, like me, you haven’t heard of it — it’s the true story of a young boy who fell through a frozen lake, and his family’s journey of faith afterwards. Chrissy Metz – from This is Us — plays the mother and gives a phenomenal performance. And none other than Steph Curry — yes, the basketball player — was one of the producers of the film.
It was terrific. I won’t say anything that will spoil the film. But the boy is pronounced dead for 45 minutes, and in a miracle – comes back to life. And during the medical battle which follows, the mother never loses faith. She never stops believing that God can and will save her son.
Just — see the film. It was incredible. And supporting positive, Christian media and voices is so important in this secular world.
But this film haunts you. And it makes you confront your own faith. What do I believe when the chips are down?
Do I really believe that God can do the impossible? Do I believe that God is in control, and that things will turn out according to God’s plan — whatever that may be?
This rabithole of thinking brought me face to face with my past. With my recovery from anorexia. With my ulcerative colitis. With my mom’s stroke.
And I found that a beautiful theme has woven its way through the entirety of my life: surrender.
God works best when we allow Him to.
When we release our death grip of control, and let God work in His perfect, and unique way, only then are we given the precious opportunity to grow, to heal, to blossom, to be free.
We just have to take the step, and God meets us, and delivers us to that which He has waiting.
During my anorexia, I spent years – years – relentlessly striving to claim some sort of convoluted control over my life. Through the foods I was or wasn’t eating. Through the compulsive exercise I would sneak. The exhaustive schedule I was enslaved to – to the minute. The racing thoughts that berated my every waking moment. Days were a marathon of self-flagellation – mentally, physically, emotionally – and the only respite was when I’d collapse to sleep, only to wake up at 5:43 the next morning to do it all again.
But it was all driven by this need for control. This all-consuming fear that I wasn’t worthy of love, that I was a burden…and the manifestation of that distorted core belief, was my compulsive need to control that which I could…
And the only way I could break free from that, was by surrendering it to Jesus.
It wasn’t pretty.
I remember being at inpatient — this blue lipped, grey skinned, 78 pound shell of a girl — absolutely terrified. Because at inpatient, much like prison, the strip you of every aspect of control in your life. Literally. They determine what you eat, when you sleep, they drive you around on golf carts so you don’t walk and expend energy, they take away your books and television. They remove the mirrors in your make up compacts. They even flush the toilets for you. Every freedom is taken away…which is exactly what I needed, and what every person in recovery initially needs.
But those first couple days, I was just completely terrified. I was across the country from my family. And I was in this sterile environment, where I was going to have to gain weight. I was going to have to relinquish control. I was going to have to eat the foods I was petrified to eat. I was going to have to comply with their program. I had never felt so helpless or hopeless in my entire life.
But there was one night, where I was writing in my journal, and I just cried out to God. I just closed my eyes and cried, “I surrender. I give it all to You, God.”
I surrendered my recovery to Jesus. I vowed to comply with their program and eat everything that they placed in front of me.
I knew I couldn’t get through it alone. All I knew was that the only chance I had of surviving inpatient was with the help of God.
And just that little, tiny, baby step towards God was all it took for Him to swoop in and change everything.
I had to give control to Him. I had to let go.
I had to give God room to work. I had to give Him the chance to do what He does best.
And I’ve seen this time and time again in my life. During my Ulcerative Colitis – when I was hopeless and out of options, I handed my treatment over to God, and He brought the Specific Carb Diet into my life, and it has completely reversed my disease.
With my mom’s stroke – I was absolutely terrified in that hospital room, watching my father carry my mom’s lifeless body into the ER. And in that moment I handed her over to His control, and here we are two years later, and she’s made a truly miraculous recovery.
God works best when we allow Him to.
And that is one of the powerful takeaways from this movie, Breakthrough.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need to remind myself of just that — that I need to let go of things, and trust. I need to have faith that God is bigger than my situation. That He’s stronger than any obstacle that I may face. And that I can trust in His good and perfect plan for me. Not just His broad, general, big picture plan for, say…humanity. But for me. Caralyn. And for you, personally.
Jobs, dating, coming chapters, relationships…surrender. I need to give them all over to Him.
Lord, help me to find the beauty in the surrender.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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