“God can help us find new meanings to old stories.”
This evening, I was prompted to flip open my journal I kept from my eating disorder Inpatient Treatment facility. (The one that was the basis for my book, Bloom). And the very first line of the page I flipped to, from Day 23, was exactly that:
God can help us find new meanings to old stories.
Boy, how true that has been in my life.
But that’s not where my mind initially went.
Instead, it went to Simone Biles.
You see, just a couple days ago, she made big time waves in the news — not because she pulled out of the Olympics, nor that she ended up with a bronze metal on beam — but rather, a very jarring Instagram post about…abortion and foster care.
Biles, a Catholic, posted this on Instagram:
And if you cannot read all the small print, here are her comments, verbatim:
“I already know this is going to start the biggest argument & may even lose followers BUT. I’m very much pro-choice. Your body. Your choice. Also for everyone gonna say ‘just put it up for adoption’ [12 eye roll emojis] it’s not that easy & coming from someone who was in the foster care system TRUST me. Foster care system is broken & it’s TOUGH, especially on the kids & young adults who age out. [And] adoption is expensive…I’m just saying. And don’e even come at me if you couldn’t keep a mask on or refused to wear one.“
Now look, I’m not going to sit here and try and comment on what Biles went through during her time in the foster care system. I cannot speak to her pain. I cannot speak to her trauma. I cannot and I will not. She says it is broken, and I believe her. There is a giant need for improvement in the foster care and adoption industries, that is a known fact.
But to simply write off a child’s chance at life, saying – the child is better off to be killed in the womb, than put into the foster care/adoption system…it is just so sad to me.
So incredibly sad.
But I don’t want to sit here and pass judgement on Simone Biles and the trauma she’s sadly endured.
I want to go back to that little one liner from my inpatient journal:
God can help us with new meanings to old stories.
You see, when I look at Simone’s “old story” – yes, it is absolutely terrible and heartbreaking that she had to experience, first hand, the brokenness of the foster care system. BUT, look at how she overcame. She triumphed over that adversity, and went on to become arguably the best female gymnast in the history of the sport!
She is an overcomer! She rose up from the ashes of her past and prevailed!
That is a new meaning to her old story, that I pray that one day she can come to see and appreciate.
Because right now, the meaning that she’s living with is: abort the children so they don’t have to suffer through the broken foster care system like I did.
Oh how that must hurt God’s heart.
I pray that God change her heart, like He changed mine.
You see, for many, many, many years, I carried around so much shame and guilt and anger that I had to endure that traumatic season of anorexia in my past.
Friends, that season… it was as though I was living in hell. I lost my friends, my health, my faith, my future, my dreams, my relationships and at 78 pounds, I nearly lost my life.
And I just couldn’t let those feelings go. I was dragging around this ball-and-chain of resentment and shame.
It was the meaning I had attached and solidified in my mind for my story.
It wasn’t until I handed it over to God, for Him to redeem and make new, and help me find a new meaning to it.
Now, after much prayer and healing, I can truly say that I am grateful for the lessons I had to learn the hard way.
Not that I’m thankful for the anorexia, per se – but I now fully appreciate how those trials and traumas shaped me into the woman I am today, and have set my life on the path He intended for me, and have given me a meaningful opportunity to help others.
I am grateful for His saving power, rescuing me, redeeming me, and setting me free.
My second chance I have so generously been blessed with is the new meaning He helped me see.
And that’s what I pray for Simone Biles.
“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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