Hello friends!! Happy Monday!
I apologize for my late post tonight, I was swept off my feet on a surprise romantic sushi dinner with my special gentleman. 🙂 And if there’s one thing I’ve embraced during recovery, it’s that you say YES to life, and all the beautiful adventures it throws your way!!
Oh my gosh, I am absolutely floating right now. Seriously, I don’t think my feet have touched the ground since Saturday!
You see, this past weekend, I was in Erie, Pennsylvania speaking at the 1:38 Women’s Conference! (For those who are curious, “1:38” refers to Luke 1:38 in the Bible when Mary gives her “Fiat” or “yes” to God. “And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.'” – Luke 1:38
So this past weekend was “go time!”
I flew into Erie — which is absolutely beautiful, by the way! — on Friday afternoon, gave my talk on Saturday morning at the conference, and then departed bright and early ((before sunrise!)) on Sunday morning.
Hopefully you got to watch the livestream! But if not, I will be sharing the link as soon as I get it!
But one of the highlights, was that I got to meet my beautiful friend, Dawn from Hugs’NBlessings! I have gotten to know Dawn for years through my little ol’ blog, and so it was such a joy to be able to spend time with her, and share meals together and truly make a new friend! 🙂
((Sorry, I have no photos, because I was having too much fun!))
But I’ve got to say, my heart is absolutely exploding – and it’s hard to even put the words to what it’s exploding with. Of course, love — and the outpouring of support and love from my new friends in Erie, and of course – gratitude to the Lord for bringing me through that horrible time during my anorexia. But I think the feeling that’s hitting the deepest, that I cannot quite put my finger on, is a mixture of both freedom and also — the inner peace that comes with sharing the most vulnerable part of who I am, and having it not only be accepted, but embraced and loved. I wasn’t judged. I wasn’t thrown out on the street because of the things I had done, but they loved and embraced me, mess and all. It was a beautiful thing, and my heart is singing as a result.
During my talk, I had an experience that I was completely surprised by. I was unsuspecting, and taken aback by how overwhelmed with emotion I was during a specific section of my talk. For about, truly two minutes on stage, I was so overcome with emotion, I couldn’t get words out. I was just up there with tears streaming down my cheeks, praying to God not to “ugly cry,” and regain composure ASAP!
I had just shared the depths of everything I went through during my anorexia — the self-destruction, the lying and manipulation, the self hatred, the fear, etc. And then I came to this section of my talk, which I was unable to get through, due to getting all choked up and verklempt:
“When I was trapped in that darkness, I never dreamed that I’d be able to fully be myself ever again. The bright, fun-loving, goofy girl who was a loyal friend, always up for adventures, and loved talking in silly accents…I thought she was gone forever. But by the grace of God, I can fully say that I am her, just grown, and with a life perspective gained through pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I am free. I have never been happier or more full of joy in my life. When Jesus says He wants to give us a life of abundance, I now know exactly what He means.”
I was up there, trying to get through that passage, and I was just thinking about how that hurting little girl could never dream that the life I have now is possible: that I am completely FREE of those shackles of anorexia, that I am truly in LOVE and have allowed an incredible man to get close to me and have shared my heart with him, that I have passions and ambition again, that I am able to have fun, be goofy, and truly love life.
I was just thinking about how I am so. grateful. with every. freaking. fiber. of my being to Jesus for rescuing me. But not just rescuing me, but fully restoring me. And not just restoring me, but making me truly, fully alive.
And being able to get up in front of people and share that, while truly embodying His grace through the fullness of my life – it quite literally moved me to point of speechlessness.
I don’t think I share that enough: how beautiful life is when you’re free. When you’re not enslaved to an eating disorder, and able to be fully present — and fully you — in the moment. I honest to goodness, have never been happier or full of joy than I am right now. Right this very moment.
It is truly the greatest gift I have ever received: this second chance at life, given to me by an incredibly generous Father.
And this weekend, it was the full circle moment, standing there, free from shame and guilt, letting my whole self be seen and known…and loved.
God is good. And without Him — His strength, His mercy, His forgiveness and love — none of this would be possible. Jesus is my recovery. He is my freedom. And what a true euphoria it is to be free.
“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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