I want to start out tonight by saying thank you: we recently hit 45,000 subscribers on here, and so I thought I’d just take a sec to express my gratitude for your readership. Thank you, I love you.
The time between Christmas and New Years is always a bit of an anomaly. You’ve officially “done” Christmas, and you’re kind of in this limbo waiting period for New Years. You’ve got extra time on your hands — because people don’t really go back to work 100% just yet; there’s loads of leftovers lying around – even though you’re trying to get back to your normal, healthy routine. It’s kinda like a reflective twilight zone.
And we’re all going through it. Especially with New Year’s resolutions looming in the back of everyone’s mind. Case in point: this week I have received so many messages and emails about recovery.
And particularly, how to feel worthy of recovery.
I was sitting in church last night, and I’ve been going to this new parish recently, and I hate to say it, but the priest tends to be a bit unnecessarily loquacious with his homilies. Like — too many romantic descriptors. I don’t need to know that the fog was enveloping the car like the dawn of a crisp winter morning on the harbor of Maine, with a ship’s bell ringing faintly in the distance, reminding one that even when we can’t see, we can listen…
Linguistically beautiful, yes — I appreciate what you’re trying to do here, Father. But we’ve been sitting here for an hour and a half — please get to the point.
Anywho, I was admittedly zoning off a bit, thinking about some of these messages I’ve received, and about my own life in the last year. And it turns out, there is quite the connection.
This year has been a bit of a revolution for me personally. I was thinking about it, and as the young girl in the midst of her anorexia, I would have never dreamed it would be possible to be where I am today…not just physically and mentally healthy, but specifically — having the courage to open my heart to others.
This last year is really the first time I’ve truly and fully shown other people my heart, and let them in to experience it. Dating-wise, friendship-wise – I’ve broken down those “arms-length” barriers.
During my anorexia, and the majority of my recovery, I’ve felt the constant battle in my heart of believing that I was worth loving, worth knowing. That wound cuts deep, my friends, and so to be at a point where I am fully embracing and accepting love and connection from others — is a huge victory that’s been equally terrifying and freeing. And it has completely changed my life.
It is a gift I wish I could go back and give to the scared, chained, and broken me, so many years ago.
And that’s when I got to thinking about those sweet readers who have emailed me about not feeling worthy of recovery.
In life — and especially in recovery — there are things that shape us. Influences, both good and bad. They impact our decisions, our actions, our thoughts, our self worth. And they come from all different sources: family, school, society, religion, media, etc.
Well, the thing about an eating disorder, is that it becomes the greatest, most powerful influence in your life. An influence that is founded in lies.
The belief that one is not worthy of recovery — that is a lie from the pit of hell.
And I can say that, because I have been there. I have walked that despairing and desolate road. The feelings of worthlessness and guilt and shame — those are real. They’re strong. And gripping. And will clamp you down, pinning you under their weight, oppressing you with lies that feed into self-destructive behaviors.
It is a suffocative existence that I lived with for years, when it came to my belief that I was worth loving. And frankly – it’s still something that I have to actively resist.
But that, right there, is the key. That’s the way out: the light at the end of the tunnel: resisting.
Silencing those lies takes incredible strength and persistence and courage. But every day — several times a day — you’ve got to actively resist the lies being hurled at you by the enemy, and replace them with the Truth.
The “Capital T” Truth that comes from God, Himself.
The “Capital T” Truth that declares your worth, your goodness, your value. The Truth that says I have an undeniable dignity, as a Child of God. That I am loved to the point of a Cross. That I am worthy of an abundant life, that is overflowing with love and joy.
But more than anything — that I am worthy of a life free from the chains of darkness — from an eating disorder, from destructive thoughts, from lies that are trying to ruin me from within.
God did not create me to live in fear or to live in a disordered existence.
Jesus did not suffer and die for me to live in the desolation of a warped belief about myself.
Believing that I was unworthy of love was actually a gross manifestation of pride. It was saying that my baggage was too big for God.
God’s mercy and grace has no exceptions, exclusions, or exemptions.
The freedom that comes with Christ is for absolutely everyone.
And so we need to claim it.
Claim it and resist all those lies that come our way each and every day. Claim it, for only then can we realize the full potential God has in store for us.
So 2020 — that is my prayer for myself, and all of you — resisting the lies, and claiming the Truth.
We are worth a life of freedom. Of love. Of being known. Of abundance, in every sense of the word.
Go, and claim it. And watch your world change.
“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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