I don’t know who needs to hear this, but God is in control.
There are so many seasons in life — some of them difficult, isolating, exhausting, terrifying, full of sorrow — life can throw some incredible trials in our path. But no matter the circumstance, God is in control.
And the truth is, those seasons don’t last forever.
And for all the darkness, all those long nights, vast expanses of loneliness, physical pain and toil, there is goodness waiting for you on the other side of this season.
Hard to imagine in the present, but God will always make a way.
I just think back to 2007: those first several nights at inpatient for treatment for my severe case of anorexia. I was sleeping at the nurses’ station so they could monitor my heart and vitals through the night because my condition was so dire. I learned upon my discharge that it was the worst they had ever seen. But those first nights, I’ll never forget the beeping sounds of the monitor throughout the night.
I would stare at the ceiling with that rhythmic beeping, and I just remember pleading with God to get me out of there. Pleading with Him for help. Pleading with Him to rescue me from the hell that had nearly taken my life.
That was the first time I had realized the actual repercussions of my destructive life — the eating disorder that had been all consuming.
During the disease, I felt more and more invincible — and became more and more emboldened — as my body became more and more gravely depleted. Lying there that night, I realized that I was there because I did this. I starved. I threw away food. I over exercised. I was unwilling to nourish myself and take care of the body God entrusted me with.
I wonder if inmates have that same realization.
But I remember thinking: this is it for me. This is what my life will be going forward: the girl with anorexia. I couldn’t see past the obsession with food and weight and body image and sneaking exercise. I couldn’t believe I would ever be free from that hell. I couldn’t even remember a life before anorexia. A life where I wasn’t completely in this choke hold I found myself in.
If only that scared 18 year girl could see me now. If only she could see the life that God had waiting for me on the other side of my anorexia.
If only I could see that God always makes a way. That He has never and will never abandon me. That His Hand has the power to save, and the power to carry me through the most horrific seasons of life.
If that girl could see that my life today is filled with love: I’m no longer isolating myself, but rather: I have the most amazing husband who is absolutely the answer to prayer; an incredible family — with whom all the relationships have healed after the deception and lies I told them when I was in the eating disorder; wonderful friendships — old and new; that I’m living in my hometown — from which I had run away to NYC for 12 years in search of a “clean slate;” and that I’m healthy — complete with my fertility intact after not menstruating until I was 26 due to complications from being in a state of severe starvation for such a prolonged period of time.
The only way my story turned out that way is because of God. His saving grace, overwhelming mercy, and unending forgiveness.
That was quite a season, but all seasons come to an end, and new life begins again.
I don’t know who needed to hear that tonight…perhaps I needed to be reminded of it.
There is always hope to be found. Just do the next right thing.