God is not subtle sometimes. In fact, sometimes, it’s as though He speaks to us through a fog horn. Or a crashing cymbal.
((And yes, that is yours truly in that photo!!)) hahah
I had one of those full circle, fog horn moments this weekend that really showed the faithfulness of God, in a not-so-subtle way!
So as you read last week, it was my birthday 🙂 And thank you, by the way, for the wonderful messages, I was so touched.
But my mom flew in and surprised me. We went shopping, and out to dinner with a couple of my friends.
But here’s the thing I didn’t mention…I threw a birthday party.
Yes. I threw myself a birthday party.
Which, may seem a) a little self-aggrandized and b) trivial….BUT…I have not thrown myself a birthday party since my anorexia and recovery.
Last year, my dear, wonderful friends threw me a lovely surprise party, but other than that, I have always wanted my birthday to fly under the radar without anyone noticing.
Because I didn’t feel I deserved a birthday party. I didn’t feel worth the hoopla and fanfare. Frankly, I was denying myself the love that other people wanted to show me on my special day.
And this is coming from the girl who LOVED birthday parties.
I mean, I had some EPIC parties growing up. Always themed. Always fun. I mean, my sweet sixteen party — the last ever party before the anorexia developed — was a pool party where everyone had to dress up in their most crazy, ridiculously goofy outfit ever. I went to the thrift store and literally bought a lime green onesie to match my lime green Volkwagen beetle.
So the fact that since then, I have been withholding that joy and that love from my life — it was just another leftover remnant of that ED mindset that can linger even when you’re in your 12th year of recovery.
But not this year. My best friend held my hand as I sent out the party invites.
And you know what? It was an incredible time.
I was surrounded by so much love and friendship that night. I fell asleep that night — albeit a tiny bit tipsy — just thanking God for the relationships that He has put in my life, and for renewing my heart and my spirit, after nearly succumbing to anorexia those many years ago.
But here’s where God really stepped in with the fog horn:
The next morning, I woke up and went to Mass — afterall it was Sunday. And the second reading brought me to my knees. It was from Hebrews 11:1 – “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (And if you’ve read my book, Bloom, then you already know the significance of this verse.)
But this exact verse, played such a huge role in my recovery from anorexia.
You see, during that time when I was actively in my disease, I was going to this kind naturopath for my Ulcerative Colitis — because my Ulcerative Colitis flare and my development of the anorexia happened simultaneous. My naturopath was a man of incredibly strong faith; and he gave me that verse – Hebrews 11:1 – to pray as I went off to inpatient.
“Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.“
Confidence and assurance in the unknown through faith in Christ Jesus.
The years in my anorexia were some of the loneliest and desolate seasons of my life. I spent that time pushing absolutely everyone away. I wanted to just be alone with my disease, so as not to have to be accountable to anyone. So I isolated myself. I didn’t return a phone call or a text message for 2 years. My friends would reach out and try to get through to me, but after years of being ignored and turned away, many of them just stopped trying.
Not all — I still have a core of truly remarkable friends in my life that are literal angels on earth who remained by my side, even through that dark time.
But to say that I destroyed relationships would be the understatement of the year.
And that was hard. SO hard. And I just remember feeling so alone on my cot at inpatient, and just hanging onto those words from Hebrews 11:1 — confidence in what I hoped for: that one day, I would return to myself – that I would become the goofy, social butterfly again – and have friends, and passions, and a full, meaningful life. There I was, surrounded by heart monitors and nurses and people trying to keep this 78 pound girl alive, and all my heart was yearning for was for the strength to open my heart to love and friendship.
And so, to hear those words echoed back to me at Mass that morning, after such an outpouring of love the night before by friends who truly love and care for me — it was the culmination of beautiful lesson in His faithfulness.
We have a God who keeps His promises. We can take that all the way to the bank.
Though I may never know exactly why I had to endure such drastic detours in my life, I do sometimes get glimpses of God’s orchestration in all of it. And yesterday was one of those times.
“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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Here was yesterday’s video! https://youtu.be/8pmp4ZI968A
A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia. Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.
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