Well friends, I am officially BACK from Costa Rica! Thank you for all your well wishes and prayers! It was truly SUCH a fun trip, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity. And I promise, this will be the last blog post about it! Back to programming as usual on Monday!
I finally compiled all the video footage into a YouTube Video that I’m thrilled to share with you guys tonight! To be honest, we were too busy having fun to capture absolutely everrrrything, but we DID capture the best moments 🙂 So I hope you enjoy watching it!
**Update 8/30** I just got our footage of a mama whale and her baby that we saw when we were boating! So it didn’t make the original video, but I popped it on another one! **
But before I put the Costa Rica stories to bed, I wanted to just share one more story:
I really feel like I got reacquainted with my true self this trip. I faced so many fears – from swimming in the open water in the ocean, to zip lining through the jungle (see the video!), to going tubing (I hadn’t been since I was 8 years old! again, see the video!) — I could truly feel the Holy Spirit flowing through my veins this trip and giving me the strength and courage to do all the things!
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again — recovery is a constant evolution. You’re never just stagnant — you’re always moving forward, always progressing, facing new fears (and hopefully not the other way around).
But this trip was such a recovery win for me, and it was highlighted by the pinnacle event: surfing.
Before my anorexia, I was OBSESSED with surfing. My favorite Disney Channel Original Movie was “Rip Girls” and all I wanted to do was be a surfer. My bedroom was decorated in a “surfer girl” theme, complete with mosquito netting and a bamboo tiki bead curtain in the doorway. I even got a sweatshirt from my dream school: Hawaii Pacific University. I mean, I was all in.
But once my anorexia took hold when I was a sophomore in high school, my passion and dream of surfing quickly was snuffed out — along with all of my other hopes and goals and dreams. Eating disorders are like a category F5 tornado. They leave a path of destruction a mile wide that take decades to rebuild, if at all.
But “Take that, ED” — because this trip — I became that surfer girl my adolescent self always dreamed of.
Our final day in Costa Rica, we went surfing.
We hired two private teachers, and let me tell you — they were awesome, and really showed us the ropes.
And believe it or not, I actually caught on super quick! I caught the very first wave I tried (not that it was pretty!) — and then it was onward from there! ((The guy even pulled me aside afterwards and told me that I was a natural!)) I’m sure he was just looking for an extra nice tip — but hey — in the spirit of recovery, I’ve learned to embrace feedback – both good and bad – in a spirit of love and self-acceptance.
It was such a surreal experience. There was a moment I was paddling out to catch a wave, and the waves were just crashing into me, head first. I mean, that’s the thing, you have to paddle through the surf to get past their break point so you can catch the right one. So the paddle out — it’s the hardest part, because you have to battle the waves. So you’re getting salt water up your nose and in your eyes. And the board can hit you in the face. It’s treacherous.
And the whole time, I was just loving it. I was thinking to myself — this is such an allegory to my recovery, you know? You’re going to get beat up, crashed on, your eyes will sting at times, and you’re most often going to end up with a board rash on your elbow. But you’ve got to go through that in order to surf. You’ve got to endure falling, and the struggle in order to ride the wave. And when you do – it is the sweetest, most exhilarating feeling in the world.
But the struggle is how you learn. And sometimes you’re out there and you’re waiting and waiting and waiting for a set to ride, but the ocean is dead. Or sometimes the waves are too big. There is a respect you have to have for the ocean, if you’re going to surf.
And so it is with recovery. The more and more years I get under my belt — I’m at 12 now! — the more I have learned to respect my recovery and embrace my past. Not because I am “proud” of it or anything like that, but because of the woman I have become because of it. It has shaped me. It has made me who I am.
And in the spirit of this cheesy metaphor — it has taught me how to ride the waves of life — not just the ups and downs of recovery, but of life.
That’s what I was thinking of during that beautiful afternoon on the water. I was celebrating that victory of returning to myself. Embracing and fulfilling the passions and dreams that I once thought were lost forever.
But as my life has shown, and through the power of Jesus — absolutely nothing is ever “too lost” to be found. Never, ever.
Sometimes it just involves a little waiting for that perfect wave.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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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Here was yesterday’s video! https://youtu.be/8pmp4ZI968A
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