I promised myself I wouldn’t make one of these New Year’s/Decade posts. Let’s face it — they’re tired. Every blogger and their brother is writing one of these reflection/look-at-my-life kind of posts, and so I didn’t want to jump on that bandwagon.
But this morning, I was scrolling through old photos, and came upon a photo from 2010 that really put this entire decade into perspective for me.
And it left such an impression, that I just had to share it with you guys.
The photo I’m referring to is this one:
*Sigh* – I see this photo, and I’m literally taken right back to that place. I can smell the hospital. I can hear the beeps from the monitors, and feel how cold and sterile everything felt. And also — how, behind that smile, I was terrified, exhausted, and completely out of hope.
This photo was when I was at the peak of my ulcerative colitis flare. I had been on bedrest for 9 months at this point, and my body had rejected every medication to kick me out of that flare.
It was just a few days after this photo was taken that I adopted the Specific Carb Diet, which truly was a God-send. My naturopath recommended this radical, therapeutic diet, and it changed my life — healed me from the Ulcerative Colitis, and has allowed me to be medication free and in remission for the last 9 years.
Seeing this photo today, brought this whole decade full circle for me.
Because it was through that very trial, that I have learned the most valuable lesson of my entire life:
Let God create beauty from ashes.
There’s a popular Christian saying that goes, “God will use all things for good.” And hear me when I say, that is absolutely true. But people (myself included) will say this at the most dimwitted times. I mean, I know people’s hearts are in the right place, but that’s not what you want to hear when you’re grieving, or going through a trial, or despair, or hard times.
Let God create beauty from ashes.
You see, bitterness is a very easy trap to fall into. When we live through such devastating seasons of life, becoming resentful to God, or adopting a spirit of anger or pessimism can be a natural response.
The “Why Me?” “Why Now?” “Screw This,” mindset can – admittedly – feel good. You go through something traumatic — getting mad about it feels like vindication.
But the thing is, if we dwell in that negative space, it creates a nearly impenetrable barrier for God to reach us.
During my flare, as the months passed, and nothing was working — by the literal grace of God, I realized that I had to surrender all of those negative emotions I felt slipping into my heart, over to God. The fear, the anger, the hopelessness, the frustration — I had to hand it all over to Him, to transform.
I had to allow Him to create beauty from ashes.
By clenching my hands in a fist, and remaining in a negative space, I wasn’t giving God the opportunity to transform my heart. Because I was, unintentionally, withholding it from Him.
If this decade has been one thing, it’s been the gradual and transformative process of God making beauty from the pile of ashes that was my life, captured in that photo.
For, from that hardship – I learned to truly take care of myself — mind, body and spirit. I kicked an exercise addiction, and truly rooted out every last lingering leftover from my anorexia. I learned how to advocate for myself and for my health. I learned how to cook, and started my blogging journey that has led me to where I am today.
God completely turned my situation around.
But I had to let Him.
I had to give Him my life to shape, and transform, and renew.
It is an incredible act of faith and trust to relinquish control, especially when it comes to your own life. And granted, when I did so, I had nowhere else to turn, but Up.
But it has been the theme of this past decade, and boy – what a beautiful ride it has been as a result. One that I could not be more grateful for.
Whenever I find myself stressing or caught up in anxiety from decisions or whatnot, I always try to remind myself just how good things are, when we give out situation entirely over to the One who creates beauty from ashes.
Afterall, He is in the business of miracles.
Happy New Year, Happy New Decade, my friends.
“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.
Sign up below for my free newsletter!
Get my daily videos, recipes and posts delivered straight to your inbox!
Here was yesterday’s video! https://youtu.be/8pmp4ZI968A
MAGIC TOOTHPASTE? Yes! I am in love with this superior whitening toothpaste. It keeps my smile sparkling, without sensitivity or bleach! I made a website where you can directly order this miracle product! So if you want to give it a try, you can go ahead and grab a tube for yourself. I promise, your smile will thank you!
I had so much fun going through the FabFitFun winter box — it’s filled with awesome products — from beauty, to fitness, fashion, skincare, home — all full size, valued at over $250, but sold for only $39.99 when you use my code “SANTABABY!”
Be sure to check out my affiliate, Audible. Listening to audiobooks while I cook is literally my new favorite thing. And just for you, they’re offering a Free 30-Day Trial Membership. And with this free membership, you’re going to get 2 free audiobooks! Literally. Free. It is the best deal ever. And if for some reason, you decide it’s not for you, you can cancel within those 30 days and it’s zero money out of your pocket, plus, you get to keep the 2 audiobooks. Soooo…it’s pretty much a no brainer. Plus, it’s a free and easy way to support this blog! So thank you!!
Huge shoutout to my favorite: Ethos Spa Skin and Laser Center in Summit, New Jersey! Located just outside of NYC, this gorgeous medical spa keeps my skin healthy and bright! Stop in and treat yo’self! 🙂
@beauty.beyond.bones – Instagram
For Podcast versions of my posts, please check out Patreon! It’s only $2 a month!! You make this blog possible 🙂
And really quickly, I’ve had several questions concerning my Amazon link (amazon.com/shop/beautybeyondbones) — You do not need to buy one of my specific highlighted products on my page, in order for it to “credit” my account. Any purchases that you search or make from anywhere on Amazon, after first visiting my Amazon page, will credit this blog and help support this blog ministry. I am truly so grateful and appreciative to those of you wanting to do so! So thank you! Again, it is an absolutely free, and easy way for you to help keep this blog going!