Thank you for all the kind birthday messages last week!
I had a lovely weekend. Steven took me to a gorgeous dinner on Friday night, and then threw me a party on Saturday with a small group of our friends! What a guy!!!
I’ve been making my way through your sweet notes on Thursdays post — thank you!! My heart is so warm.
I was reminded this weekend, just how beautiful recovery really is, and how God has delivered me from a place of true darkness.
I was getting a “birthday manicure” on Saturday, and as my nail technician was working away, she goes, “Wow, your nails are so strong.” Then just five minutes later, (they give you a little shoulder massage while your nails dry), and so she put my hair up in a clip, and she exclaims, “Wow, you have so much hair! It’s so healthy!”
And sitting there, I just kind of laughed to myself, remembering that that’s not how it has always been. And in that moment I said a quick thank you to God for totally and completely restoring me from that place where my hair was literally falling out from malnutrition.
My entire senior year of high school — and freshman year of college — when I had severe anorexia, I had about two inches of peach fuzz on my head due to being so nutritionally depleted. At 78 pounds, the health of your hair and your nails tanks, as the body goes into starvation mode, preserving its minute resources for the body systems most vital to keep you alive.
I remember just looking in the mirror at that time and feeling, not just hideous, but unhuman. Unfeminine. I went from having luscious, curly hair that was so thick it would break rubber bands, to something out of a horror film, a la Gollum.
His deliverance is an enormous blessing, and a gift I do not take lightly.
Perhaps not coincidentally, I also remember back to that time, and remembering the desperate dependence I had on God. For everything: For my next breath, for making it through the next moment. For comforting me in my fears. For sustaining me in my despair. The closeness I had to God during that very precise season of the early stages of my recovery at inpatient — that closeness I felt with God — where I could truly feel His presence, and hear His voice with actual phrases or verses to look up, or just little reminders of encouragement when I was weight restoring…I miss that. I miss that closeness. I miss that dependence. The way I felt I was literally enveloped in His strong arms.
I don’t miss the circumstances that brought about that closeness, but I do miss the intimacy I had with God during it.
Perhaps that nail tech’s comments about my nails and my hair, on my birthday, were God’s little way of reminding me of the journey we’ve been on together.
Perhaps it’s Him calling me back to His strong, loving arms once again. Calling me to actually sit and rest and be sustained in Him, instead of my current relationship with the Father where, I hate to admit it, I rarely make time outside of church for Him, and when I do pray, it’s never for myself, but only for other people. It’s like I’ve put a wall up around my heart, for fear that opening it to Him — and consequently to myself, too — might reveal some things that are painful, or things that I don’t want to face.
Wow – this post is all over the map. But that’s kind of my current state of things.
What I do know is that God has never abandoned me. He’s always there, and reminders of His presence – His love, His deliverance, His grace, forgiveness, and mercy – those reminders are right there: even your fingernails. It is up to us to notice and respond.
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“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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