Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Showdown with God

I've been waiting to write the following for 19 years. This is my final decleration that I whole-heartedly choose life. I choose to own my recovery. And I choose to dive into the world. It's been too long. I finally believe the following:
  I am worth being loved.

As always, thank you so much for reading and sharing in my journey.
My Showdown with God

    In my last therapy session on January 4, 2012, my therapist Kristin told me that she’d like to see me sign up for a class. Or volunteer somewhere. Something to combat the loneliness that I feel as a result of being home alone every day. The loneliness can lead to bad thoughts followed by bad behaviors, etc. I told her I would. And she expected to have a positive report the next week. I had 7 days to procrastinate and goof off.
    On the following Monday, January 9 (two days before I had to go back to Kristin) I received a text message from a dear friend asking if I was going to the bible study on Tuesday. I hadn’t been to a study in such a long time, so I wondered why she was asking now out of the blue. I switched to on guard mode.
    The topic for the study was Battlefield of the Mind. By the title alone I knew instantly that I was meant to be in that room full of women. And a sense of dread came over me. But…I was hooked. I locked on to the very first words that Kelli, the teacher, spoke. It was already evident to me that I was going to benefit from this series - whether I liked it or not.
    I listened to Kelli speak, and my mind reeled - concentrating on her and being overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit that I didn’t know I invited in.
    I felt set up. By my friend and by God. And I was mad. Very. I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to face up and own why I wouldn’t give up control of the eating disorder. It was part of me, and it was my identity. I was known for it. And it made me feel special and unique. Most of all, when I stayed sick, I was always cared for.
    I wanted to run out of the room. But I sat. Paralyzed by what I knew I had to do. It was for my own good and my well-being. It was to save my life. The war in my mind started even before I left the church parking lot. Anger and fear fueled the debate going on inside me. I had two choices.

Give up control absolutely.

That was it, and I knew there was no other way. I had a choice to make.
    I felt like God was playing hard ball with me. I got angrier and angrier. As I was sorting clothes for laundry later in the day, I finally shouted in shattering silence for God to leave me alone. BACK OFF! I told Him.

And so He did.
And then there was silence.
    Shame and guild flooded me. How could I have such audacity to tell the Creator of the universe to back off?!

I quickly repented and begged Him to come back. I was genuinely sorry and remorseful.

And God was right there to tell me it’s ok. My Father took me back. The love I had questioned earlier in the day in bible study to Kelli was proven to me right there in the laundry room. And right then is what has been needing to happen for 19 years.
    I chose to live. I consciously chose to let God have the eating disorder. Its control. Its lies. It’s tragic consequences. I confidently declared that I wanted full recovery - something I was certain didn’t exist.
    The Holy Spirit flooded me with peace and the confirmation that God would stand right there next to me and love me all along the way.
I had resigned to the fact that I was probably going to die by my own hand. But God showed His paralyzing glory and love. And faith. And mercy. And grace. To me. Me.

And so I am in transition. Kristin reminded me that this is a major, major loss for me. I will grieve it and mourn. Giving up what has been your identity for over half your life is downright terrifying. I had to discover what it’s like to really live. To experience life while so raw and vulnerable. I thought Kristin was bursting my new found positivity bubble.

Not so.

She cares enough to warn me of the lurking dangers. She wants me to be careful. Be mindful. And to stay close to my biggest supports. I immediately threw out the bubble bursting theory and listened to what I needed to know to succeed. For once I submitted to her and let her teach me.
    Sure enough, I had a food challenge when I got home from her office. But, for once in my life I had the strength and armor on to tell myself to just stop. Be still. And I let God take over. And just like that, the struggle was over for me. I was just absolutely knocked on my rear with the power of love that I was just shown.

    I won the battle because I let the grace of God move ahead. And suddenly all the promises God made became absolutely real. And so the correct path that God wants me on was set forth before me, all ready for me to go. At the age of 32, I took the first steps that I denied since I was 14.

I know I am safe in God.
I’m no longer bound by lies and deception.
God is adjusting the lens in which I see Him and the world in general.

This evening I was practicing smiling more.
I looked like a dork, smiling at the reflection in the window sink.
 Eyebrows raising and lowering, trying to get the curve of my lips just right. My smile muscles have been atrophied for so long!

It’s always been a struggle. Food and lack thereof. But what I have now that I didn’t have then is the concrete confirmation that God will come along for my ride.

He’s been there all along. All I had to do was ask.

*I want to dedicate this to Pastors Monty Sears and Konrad Zeising. They’ve taught me how to put on the full armor of God. They’ve prayed for me in my most dire state.
And for Kristin Zauel. She never stopped pushing, never stopped believing I could overcome this hellish disease. She knew the proper buttons to push and never let me slide.
And for Jocele Skinner. My primary care physician. Not knowing exactly how to help me, she did anyway. She didn’t ever refer me anywhere else or tell me she couldn’t help. She had faith in me. Patience. She taught me to knit and spin fiber. She shared her home life with me. She told me what she thought about being an MD. And she knit me a blue beanie with yellow stars on it. My request. I’ll never find another physician like her. I fully believe she was the one meant to ever-so-gently ride my butt.

My treatment team is phenomenal. God is phenomenal. I’m alive. And I’m going to make it.

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