Fifteen years ago, today at inpatient, it was my 26th day. Nearly a month.
I don’t know why I had the urge to crack open my inpatient journal and find today’s entry, but I did — and it didn’t fail to offer some interesting fodder for the blog.
I mean…for starters, I wrote in my journal that I “had a burger, fries, lemonade and a cake batter ice cream shake”…so your girl was eating gooood!
But all kidding aside, those were huge “fear food victories” that clearly, I deemed worthy of a journal entry.
But what stuck out to me the most, was something that I wrote, just in my free-thoughts, that I chronicled. “Don’t put your faith in outcomes — put it in God, because then you won’t have disappointment.”
And gosh, is that ever applicable to today, or what. Thanks, little 18-year-old me, for really sticking it to me.
I am definitely guilty of this — putting my faith in outcomes. Perhaps that’s because I am a recovering perfectionist — and am a very…results driven personality type…go figure.
But I think we can all base God’s level of “caring” or His level of “love for us” on the perceived outcomes of our current life situation. Particularly when it comes to prayer: God, I prayed for this, and yet, you made that happen instead. Why??”
I try to picture where I was during that time, writing this. I had been at inpatient for almost a month. I had just been moved out of the nurses station, where I had been sleeping so they could monitor my heart and my vitals at night, because I was so dangerously underweight that spontaneous cardiac arrest was something that was a real concern.
But I had been committed to recovery for four weeks at this point, eating well, putting a little weight on. And actually…spoiler alert – I just read tomorrow’s entry, and this is the point of my stay where the other patients ganged up on me and complained to the nurses that I wasn’t gaining weight fast enough, and they all told the nurses that they saw me exercising, and out power walking in the desert of Arizona in the middle of the night!! And then, I was moved BACK to sleep at the nurses station as “punishment.” At least my therapist stuck up for me and told them I was not doing any of those things.
Ugh – I had forgotten about that little episode. What those tattle tale gals didn’t realize was that because I was so malnourished for so long, my body had been consuming my muscles and tissues for so long, meanwhile damaging all my organs, so the initial weight went back to restoring my organs and tissues and muscles FIRST, which is why the weight gain wasn’t so obvious in the first four weeks.
Anyway, THAT was a tangent I wasn’t expecting to go on…but actually quite fitting…for outcomes.
The brave, recovering young lady — me — that wrote that — “Don’t put your faith in outcomes, put it in God, because then you won’t have disappointment…” I had no idea what the “outcome” of recovery — let alone inpatient treatment — would be. I had no idea what life would be like. I didn’t know if I was going to fail, if I was going to have a life I actually enjoyed, if I would ever be able to restore the relationships I had destroyed during my disease…I had no idea.
But in that moment, I had total and complete trust in God, no matter the outcome.
It was the only way to get through such a scary and challenging time.
So why, now, in 2022, do I such trouble doing that?
Is it because back at that time, it was my only option? Because I was at the pit of rock bottom and the only way to go was up? Maybe.
But now, it’s hard. I want the outcomes of my prayers and faith to be what I want: part of my plan, in line with my vision of how my life should go.
This is really something I’ve been battling lately: selfish prayer. Praying for my way. When instead, I need to be praying for His way. His will. His plan to come to fruition.
And to be honest, that disappointment — is definitely a feeling I’ve been wrestling with in my prayer life, which has been weighing me down.
But I’m realizing that, by expecting a certain outcome, I’m putting God in a box and limiting the endless capabilities He possesses. And my impatience is not giving Him the time that He needs to bring His will to fruition.
Do I trust that God loves me, and has a good and perfectly timed plan for my life? Yes.
Do I have faith that God wants to delight me, His precious daughter? Yes.
Then I need to give Him the time and space to work, and just be grateful for every day that comes. Grateful for every moment I am given to live, to breathe, to love, to grow, and to be shaped into the woman He created me to be.
If there was ever a situation where blind faith in an unknown outcome — nay, an outcome that was scary and probably a bit unwelcome (IE — an anorexic gaining weight)) that was me, at inpatient, writing this entry.
But it is only proof that God’s outcomes are better than any expectation we may have.
Here I am, at peace with a healthy body, enjoying food, loving life, with restored relationships, and engaged to be married to the most incredible man who loves me and accepts me for who I am — past and all…God’s outcomes are truly beyond our wildest imagination.
We can place our whole faith — our whole lives, beings, health, future — our whole trust, we can place in His capable hands.
Because as little inpatient me reminds us at the end of this entry…”He loves us with an inexhaustible love.”
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