Epic Love

Remember how everything used to be “epic”?

Epic this and epic that. For a time, epic was the adjective for everything. Interestingly enough, I don’t hear the word epic at all anymore. 

Maybe it’s because I’m in Japan speaking Japanese, or maybe the word epic has simply gone out of style.  At any rate, I’m glad if it has gone out of style because the word became so entirely overused that it made  my ears hurt every time I heard it.

Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad but I simply got tired of people describing commonplace, very  “un-epic” things with such a meaningful adjective.

So while I’ve avoided the word for a long time now, I couldn’t help but think that epic was the most fitting word to describe the topic that’s been on my mind lately…


Although I’m sooo not the romantic sort, my flower filled social media feed and the courtyard at the mall that’s especially sectioned off for Valentine’s Day gifts are just some of the things that have thrust the topic of love into my thoughts.

While all the hype over human love, teddy bears, chocolate, and roses can be cute, there is a love that completely surpasses the Valentine’s Day hype excitement and deserves the title of absolutely epic.

This epic love is present 24/7 and 365 (or the case of this year 366) days of the year. It doesn’t end when the music stops, the roses die, and the dog eats your teddy bear.

It is bigger than failed relationships, broken promises, and energy-sapping eating disorders. It transcends emotional barriers, shame, guilt, hurts, pains, failures, and insecurities.

What love am I speaking of?


for the Father himself loves you dearly… – John 16:27a NLT


Have you every really stopped to consider that God loves you dearly?

Read John 16:27 again. Read it 20 times if you need to and place the emphasis on different parts of the verse.


for the Father himself loves you dearly…

for the Father himself loves you dearly…

for the Father himself loves you dearly…

for the Father himself loves you dearly


The God of the Universe, who has always been and always will be, whose thoughts are so much higher than ours, and whose ways are unsearchable–this God loves you dearly!!!

The God who created all of nature, took time to intricately form you in your mother’s womb, and sent His Son to this world to die and show us what true love is–this God loves you dearly!!!!


God’s love is so noble and elegant. It is free of the smallest smidgen of self-centeredness. It is not demanding. Because of His love for us, God has given us everything that we need to survive and thrive. Moment after moment He gives us breath and daily supplies us with an abundance of good things.

He loves so much. In fact, God is love.

And God loves us. He loves you. He loves me.

His love is so rich and strong, great and tall, deep and wide.  It is a love that cleanses us from our sins, erases our guilt and shame, and gives us worth and purpose.

It is so absolutely epic that it cannot be fully comprehended by the human mind.

When Paul in the Bible spoke on this topic to the people living in Rome, it seems as if he were totally overwhelmed by the wonder of God’s love as he boldly proclaimed:

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39 NKJV

This is good news!! The love of God is for us and nothing can separate us from it ever.

Although sometimes we may not always feel that God loves us, we must believe that He does because He never lies. Through the darkness and haze of our eating disorder, it may feel like we are abandoned or as if this love is just out of our grasp.

We may feel guilty for the damaging behaviors and broken relationships caused through our eating disorder. We may be so caught up in the lies of our disorder that we are convinced that we are not loveable or worthwhile.

But of course none of that is true.

In spite of what we may feel, the fact that God loves us no matter what remains a solid, undeniable fact.

Although our eating disorders may try to get in the way of (or take the place of) God’s love, the fact is, they can’t.

God’s love is changeless. Though we may feel wasted and worthless, disconnected from God or other people, His love remains the same.

He has always, and will always, love us.

Despite our feelings, we can embrace belief and dismiss any doubtful thoughts that may try to convince us otherwise.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? … Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? [or eating disorder?]* … Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. – Romans 8:31-32, 35, 37 NKJV

*the words “eating disorder” are supplied

What can I say? This verse says it all.

I’m sure you noticed the words “eating disorder” in there too. Of course those are my supplied words but the verse clearly states that there is nothing or no one that can separate us from this epic love of God.

It is through this God who is full to the brim with never-ending love for us that we can become more than conquerors over our eating disorders. It is this epic love of God that breaks every chain and sets us on the path to freedom from living under the dictatorship of ED.

Through the endless love of God, we become more than we could ever imagine.

So this Valentine’s Day,  rest in Gods love for you. Soak it up. Embrace it. Know that you are loved dearly by the God who has done and will do everything to heal your brokenness and to see you set free!

This is truly epic.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. – John 3:16-17 NKJV

In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. – 1 John 4:9 NKJV

What does God love mean to you? Has the considering the love of God been helpful to you in any way during your recovery? What word do you think best describes the love of God?






Letting Go–an update on my journey 

Happy 2016!!!!! 

I hope that everyone enjoyed pleasant holidays with family and friends. 🙂

I had planned to share a blog post before now but I didn’t because I’ve been having some really rough days in recovery lately and did not want to bring tons of negativity to this space. 

That being said, I don’t believe that I can never write on the blog if I’m feeling less-than-pleasant but since I desire this blog to be an encouraging space for readers I felt compelled to step back from the blog and the blogging world in general for a short season.  

During this period of no blogging I attempted to reflect and plan what my next steps were in this journey of recovery I embarked on 6 months ago. 

Since my last post I’ve reached a crossroads in recovery. I hesitated to share it here on the blog at first but concluded that it would be a shame not to chronicle it on my recovery blog

You see, I have been struggling in recovery quite a bit lately. I’ve been hanging on the edge, about to fall off. 

I had been actively engaging in eating disordered behaviors and suspect that I migrated to another iteration of my eating disorder. 

There is no need to chronicle the exact behaviors here as I would hate to trigger anyone and would waay prefer to focus on Jesus and especially what He has done for me recently in this journey called recovery. 

The other day my struggle reached a climax. I felt completely alone with no one to talk to about the depths of my concerns. 

Please don’t get me wrong. My life is full of wonderful supportive people but that does not mean that I just go and talk to them about my personal concerns. Also, my family was sleeping (or preparing to go to sleep) in America and were therefore unavailable to talk. 

Yet, even if they were available, I would not have shared with them everything that was concerning me. 

I really needed Jesus. He is always there for us and is able to handle the all “heavy conversations” and the depths of our frustrations and concerns. 

But at the time I chose not to remember this beautiful truth. I chose not to speak with Him. 

Instead I allowed myself to become enveloped in anger and exasperation with myself, my eating disorder, and the pain it has caused me. 

The more I thought about it, the more angry I became until I was filled something very near to rage. 

I couldn’t handle the intensity of emotion anymore so I started crying hard.  I ran down the stairs and out the house in an attempt to conceal my torrent of emotion from my housemates. 

As soon as I had made it up the road to a remote, quiet spot I really cried.

I raised my voice in sheer exasperation. I paced. I wept. I cried myself completely dry. 

A million questions raced through my head. I wondered why after 6 months of being ‘in recovery’ I was still struggling like this. I wanted to be ‘perfectly recovered’ and wondered how I should proceed. 

Not only was I very angry with myself, I was also angry with God. 

“You never respond to me!” I passionately prayed aloud. 

After those words escaped my lips I immediately calmed down and considered what I had actually said. 

Really Jade? Does God really never respond to you? Is this really true? 

Deep down in my heart I had a dull sense that God had already responded to me as to how to proceed in recovery. Deep down in my heart I knew that God had already given me the answer to my questions and  solution to my troubles…

…and that I wasn’t listening.

Hushed and thoughtful I asked God for a specific sign. I just wanted to make sure that what I thought He was saying was really what He was saying. 

When the specific sign that I asked for was fulfilled less than 5 minutes later I was shocked. 

I have no idea now why I was shocked because what God was telling me was to return to what He had been telling me all along in life and recovery. 

Ironically, it’s the name of my blog–the Surrendered Stomach. 

God wanted me to surrender totally and completely to Him. 

He wanted me to let go. 

To let go of everything–even the good things like my recovery–and give them to Him. 

God wanted me to quit trying to muscle my way out of my eating disorder and instead let Him create perfection and foster healing in me. 

Somehow I had started trying to do everything by myself again. I had quit praying about my recovery. I was determined to reach the ‘perfect’ healthy weight on my own. I was caught up in finding the perfect diet and doing everything right on my own. 

And it wore me out. 


When I returned to the house I felt impressed to read a friend’s blog post that I had neglected to read earlier while staying away from reading blog posts in order to think. 

Her post was exactly what I needed to hear. Read it for yourself but she reminded her readers of the importance of surrender to Jesus especially in this New Year season with all of its resolutions that we may be tempted to try to accomplish in our own strength. 

And so I re-surrendered my eating disorder, recovery, weight, diet, emotions and everything to God. 

Immediately after surrendering myself to God I felt free and light and happy! 

It’s a second surrender– a new beginning.  

I can trust God with my eating disorder struggles. He will help me and make the things I was working so hard for possible if they are what He knows to be best for me. 

I don’t have to to try to have everything perfectly figured out. Instead I can relax and focus on listening to God because He does speak to me!

I’m happy to say that I am experiencing more peace now than I have had in a long time. Somehow my surrender had slipped but God has brought me back to recovery with Him. 

I’m not saying that there will be no more recovery challenges, or that I will never experience anger in my recovery again but I do know that, if I continually choose surrender to Jesus, He will work everything out for me. 

And while my statement that “He will work everything out” may sound a bit vague, it’s true. 

I’m not sure how God will bring closure to my eating disorder or how He will continue to lead in my recovery but I do know that He will lead as I surrender. 

To be honest, sometimes I’m scared to surrender to Jesus. I think we all are at times. We’re not sure how things will turn out if we pursue the course of surrender. We’re apprehensive about what God will do with us if we give Him our hearts. 

But it is at times like these that we should look to the Cross and consider the awe-inspiring love of Jesus. 

All Jesus does is love us. He knows and wants what is best for us and when we allow Him control over our lives He can accomplish that. 

I’m so happy that, by the grace of God, I’ve resurrendered my recovery to Him. However, I also find myself slightly afraid that the peace and freedom in Christ that I’ve experienced lately will disappear.  

But there is absolutely no cause for worry.  Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever and He will be with me in the peaks of recovery as well as in the valleys. 

Oh and one more thing. 😉

Have you read that quote that says “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily”?


If we replaced the word ‘motivation’ with ‘surrender’ this quote also rings true.

The fact is that surrender doesn’t last. 

We’re human and even though we can have good intentions and plans it is all too easy to go back to our own ways. Or in my case, my own way of muscling through recovery. 

Yet if we seek God daily (even hourly and moment by moment sometimes) and ask Him to take us and create something beautiful, it is possible to live in surrender to Jesus and experience the peace, the joy, and the healing that is a sure result of giving ourselves, our recoveries, our worries, our problems–our everything to God. 


How were your holidays? What are your thoughts on surrendering to Jesus? Do you find surrender to be a necessary aspect of recovery? 

6 Scriptures to Beat Back Overwhelm this Christmas Season


It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the business and activities which make up our daily lives but this time of year can be especially overwhelming with holiday shopping, traveling, parties and dinners. 

Life speeds up as we try to keep up with our usual activities with the added holiday hustle and preparations for the new year. 

I’m smiling as I write this because what I described above is not quite my life situation at the moment. I’m not busy with Christmas shopping and am completely not in the holiday mode. I don’t think I’m in anyway affected by the holiday hustle and bustle. 

Or maybe I am…

I’m actually on a vacation from my regular mission work right now for a short trip to another part of Japan to record both classic and Christmasy (so yeah, I guess I am doing something a little bit holiday-ish) hymns and pieces with a Christian ministry here. 

Upon arriving, I received piles of music for which I was to provide violin accompaniments. 


The only thing is that almost all of the sheet music I received where either piano parts or soprano parts or flute parts or…anything but violin parts. 

Upon realizing that there were no violin parts and therefore I would have to create my own, I headed to the practice room and didn’t come out for 3 days. 

Okay, just kidding but I have been spending tons of time with my violin in the practice room…


A very unflattering picture actually taken a few months ago BUT I think it adequately captures the way I felt today minus the crazy hat! 🙂

…Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Playing violin is my #1 hobby but I’ve found myself feeling a little overwhelmed with all the music to create parts for in the short time that I have. 

As a chronic perfectionist, I feel pressure to have each of the pieces perfect and the violin parts well arranged. I’m concerned that I will mess up the live recording. So when I felt myself getting really tense this afternoon I felt God telling me to take a moment and get a little boost from His Word. 

I know that in the grand scheme of things, my overwhelm over creating violin arrangements is pretty small and insignificant. 

But not to God. 

God does not say “cast your big burdens and cares on me only. You can handle the little ones.” That is just not what is written in His Word. 

Jesus cares for us like crazy and wants to be our help, strength and support in the seemingly insignificant overwhelming things of life as well as the significantly overwhelming things of life. 

Are you feeling the pressures of the holiday season or just life in general?

Take a break and check out these Scriptures that are guaranteed to beat back that overwhelm! 


1. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy. Psalm 61:2, 3 (NKJV)  

2. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:5 (NKJV)

3. casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7

4. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)

5. The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace. Psalm 29:11 (NKJV) 

6. You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock. Isaiah 26:3, 4 (NLT) 


What do you do when you are overwhelmed? Does life get just a bit busier for you around the holidays? Do perfectionistic tendencies create overwhelm in your life?

Snowflakes and Recovery–My Random Wintry Thoughts

It’s cold. Like really cold.

I don’t know about where you live but where I live it’s freezing.  As I write this post I can hear the strong winds whipping outside my window. The area where I live is noted for it’s super strong winds which slice through your clothes, chilling your core and making you want to run inside and curl up by the fire. Or in my case, to curl up by the electric heater.

Ahh yes, thank God for electric heaters! I really don’t know what I’d do without mine as the houses here in Japan generally do not have central heating systems. 

Anyhow, all this cold weather started me thinking about snowflakes, snow, hats, gloves, tea, sleds and a million other winter things.

But I’ve especially been thinking about snowflakes, their exquisite wintry beauty, and possible lessons I can learn from them about recovery. 

Apparently the cold weather has frozen my brain too because I’m having a hard time bringing this post together but I’m going to try. xD

Consider the delicate beauty of a snowflake–its pleasant perfection, its unique pattern. 

All of that beauty, perfection and symmetry took time. 

It didn’t just happen all at once. It wasn’t instantaneous.

Alhough it may seem like snowflakes are formed instantaneously, the actual process takes time. 

This is where my mind wanders from snowflakes to eating disorder recovery, or recovery from anything for that matter–and perhaps where the snowflake analogy ends. :/

Whether or not the snowflake is the best analogy, I believe that often, as ED survivors, we’re in a rush in recovery–or a rush for recovery. 

We may be anxious to say we’re weight restored, or intuitive eaters, or free from disordered thoughts, or no longer purging or bingeing. 

We may long to be able to say we’re completely  recovered and confidently embracing life without our eating disorder. 

We may start out on the journey of recovery with high hopes and expectations. We may set dates and plan out the finest details of our journey in order to ensure that things go smoothly. But things don’t go they way we had planned. 

We still struggle, we fall, we rise. This pattern continues and we are tempered to become discouraged and disappointed. We realize that recovery takes much more time than we had initially anticipated. 

We wonder whether we’ll ever recover and whether we’ll ever reach our happy healthy place. 

Trust me, I’ve been there. I was there this week. Wondering, worrying, waiting–desperate to reach the recovery finish line. 

Photo Credit: lifewithoutanorexia.com
But then I was reminded in a million different ways that beautiful things take time. 

Recovery takes time.

Our eating disorders didn’t happen overnight and neither will our recoveries. 

Real recovery takes a lifetime of surrendering to God, loving Him and allowing Him to be bigger than our anxieties. It takes a lifetime of allowing Jesus to heal us and to make us whole in Him.

It is in this frustrating and sometimes painful process of waiting and allowing God to heal us that we develop the patience that is absolutely necessary in recovery. 

The patience necessary to allow God to show us the root issues and catalysts behind our eating disorders.

The patience necessary to allow God to dismantle the lies and disordered thoughts that swirl around our heads on a daily basis. 

The patience necessary to allow God to restore relationships that were damaged by our eating disorder.  

The patience necessary to allow God to help us rediscover life outside of our eating disorder. 

The patience necessary to allow God to give us a healthy relationship with food and our bodies. 

And all of this does not happen overnight.

And that’s okay.  

Because beautiful things take time. 

It’s our job to be patient, to stick with recovery, and rest in God’s wisdom and love. 

In this way we can take the pressure off, instead resolving to continue steadily along the path and finding joy in little victories and small steps in the right direction. 

No matter how long it takes, with Jesus leading us, we will make it to a complete recovery.  

Knowing that recovery takes time, we can wait for God and find peace in the process, trusting that in His time He will turn the challenges and pain caused by our eating disorder into something exquisitely beautiful. 

So let’s pursue patience, my friends, and remember recovery is not a race to the finish line but a process of beauty. 


What’s the weather like where you live? Do you prefer winter or summer? Do you think patience is an essential part of recovery? Have you ever been anxious to rush your recovery?

Never. Give. Up.


Never. Give. Up.
Those were the words God shared with me a few days ago in a random, middle-of-the-day quiet time with Him. 

Sometimes I just need to quit what I am doing and take some time to reposition my heart and mind towards Jesus and allow His Word to fill me. 

It’s in these short, middle of the day worships that I gain strength to continue on the right track when I feel like I’m very close to falling off the path of recovery.  

Ironically, at this stage in my recovery I have days where the voice of my eating disorder is very muffled or even non-existent. When this happens I am ridiculously happy and relieved. I think that I am no longer affected by my eating disorder and am done with the struggle forever!

However, in one way or another I am brought back to reality knowing that as long as we are in this world, we can be sure that the devil try to do everything he can to use our tendencies and weaknesses against us in order to cause us to fall. 

But we definitely don’t need to concern about that because Jesus is waaay stronger than the devil! As long as we stick with Him, He’ll keep us safe and protected on His path. 

Now that’s a cool thought if I might say so myself. 😉

Anyhow, back to where I started… there are some days where ED is very silent and respectful of my positive, non-ED-driven choices and other days where it seems that he is literally screaming in my ear. On these kind of days, if I dare not obey him he goes out of his way to my life miserable. 

Okay that was just a bit of personification  but you get the point. Some days I’m like “oh I’ve got this, recovery is SO easy” and then the next day, my head is suddenly infested with disordered thoughts and I feel pressure to give in. 

It’s normally on days like these–days where ED is very loud after a few days/hours of peace–that one major thought temptation pops up every time. 

Give up now!

Yep, that’s it! I’m sure you too have experienced the temptation to give up at some point in life. 

We’re human and sometimes feel that it would be better if we quit trying. 

But it’s in these desperate moments that we must turn to Jesus, hear what He has to say, and receive His strength to move forward instead of giving up.

Oh and by the way, giving up doesn’t help anything…

Recall for a moment the darkest points of your eating disorder. Maybe you didn’t care whether you lived or died, exercised obsessively, hated your body, experienced crippling fear and anxiety, hopeless, angry, drained of health and life. 

Do you really want to go back there? 

Do you really want to go back to the lowest point of your eating disorder or [insert whatever] you may be struggling with? 

I didn’t think so. 

Yet that’s exactly what giving up does. It brings us back to square one and gradually destroys the recovery strides we’ve  made…

Giving up is not good. Don’t do it!

That’s precisely  what God said to me a few days ago when I was on the verge of ditching my recovery. 

Thank God that feelings are just feelings, temptations are just temptations and we have God who is stronger and more powerful than both. 

But before this post gets way to wordy, let me share two scriptures God shared with me in that middle-of-the-day worship a few days ago. 

Are you ready for some amazingly inspiring Inspired words? Let’s go! 

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9 NKJV

But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. 2 Thessalonians 3:13 NKJV

The message of these two passages is pretty straightforward but in case you didn’t catch it I’ll explain just a tad. 🙂

I wanted to understand these scriptures in depth so I used my trusty BlueLetterBible app to do a little digging with BlueLetterBible’s electronic concordance. #thankGodfortechnology

I promise this post is not sponsored by BlueLetterBible but I can’t help but encouraging you to use their app/website for your personal Bible study. It’s clean, simple interface makes Bible study so incredibly easy and efficient.

Okay, now that that’s out the way, here goes…

First, I wanted to know exactly what the Bible meant by “growing weary.” Since this phrase is seen in both the passages  I looked it up in the Bible concordance. The English translation was “to be utterly spiritless, to be wearied out, exhausted.” From my search, “growing weary” seems to have something to do with a way of thinking and feeling. 

As humans, we grow weary emotionally through our thoughts. Of course, growing weary manifests itself differently in different individuals but growing weary in recovery might look something like this: 

This is just too hard. I can never recover. I keep messing up and I’m tired of fighting. Anorexia just felt so good and safe anyway…

Undoubtedly thoughts of giving up on recovery will come, but when they do, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to grow weary by continuing to engage in this dangerous and exhausting thought process. 

Another phrase that’s seen in both passages is “doing good.”
I can almost hear you sarcastically saying, Now Jade, doing good simply means doing good. Please don’t overthink this. 😉

I know, I know. It may seem as if I’m overthinking but stick with me. 

In peeking at the concordance definitions, I discovered that this phrase could also be translated as “giving honor.”

Thus, if we inserted “giving honor” for “doing good”the passages would now read “let us not grow weary in giving honor” or “do not grow weary in giving honor.”

Exactly who are we supposed to not grow weary honoring?


Our lives are designed to give glory and honor to God. That’s the way God made us. He wants us to give glory to Him because He loves everyone and it is while giving Him honor that others can catch a glimpse of His loveliness, be drawn to Him and healed by His amazing power.

This led me to question: Does giving up on recovery honor God? 

Better yet, does recovery honor God?

You bet it does! 

Recovery shows that God is stronger than our eating disorder and even if the disordered thoughts and impulses never completely disappear we can still live free and fulfilled lives outside of ED and through Jesus Christ. 

Since eating disorder recovery brings honor to God–showing how loving, caring and powerful He is–than I think the verses could also be translated as:

“let us not grow weary in recovery” or “do not grow weary in recovery.”

Now those translations make me excited!

Last but not least, the first passage gives us a motivating reason why we should never give up on recovery! 

for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

This statement gives us hope that if we continue in recovery, good things will happen. It reminds us that the struggle is worth it and that in time we will reap good results!

The phrase “in due season” reminds us to be patient and trusting because God will bring us to the right place in recovery at just the right time. 

We don’t have to worry about results but can instead relax and trust that as long as we stick with Him and never give up we will reap results that are better than we could have ever imagined!!!

If you’ve made it to the end of this long read, you have my sincere thanks. 🙂 I hope these two verses inspired you as much as they did me. 

Have a lovely weekend and never give up!


Do you ever feel like giving up? What do you do to combat those feelings? Do you believe that full recovery from an eating disorder is possible?

Thinking Out Loud: 9 Reasons Why I’m Thankful Today

Good morning all! Happy Thanksgiving! This post was actually written 2 weeks ago but I’m just as thankful as I actually publish it today! Life has been very busy lately but I intended to get back on a regular posting schedule soon. I miss sharing my thoughts more often on the blog…    Anyhow, I wish everyone a wonderful holiday!

It’s been awhile since I’ve joined in the Thinking Out Loud party that happens over at Amanda’s every Thursday.

But I’m grateful to be able to link up now!

Can you guess what am I thinking about today?

That’s right! Thankfulness.

Although I am not in America at the present moment and won’t be for Thanksgiving 2015, I currently find myself completely overwhelmed with thankfulness to God for all of His blessings.

Of course it’s nice to have thankful feelings but let me assure you there are days where I don’t feel thankful at all. I’m sure you’ve had those kind of days too and it is  in these moments that we are still to be thankful regardless of our feelings, right?

However, since I do feel extremely thankful today I thought I’d roll with it and jot down the reasons why.

Are you thankful today too? Share with me in the comments your top reasons for thankfulness!

Thankfulness is especially necessary in recovery because it can be so easy to get caught up in the details of the process–battling ED thoughts, pursuing balanced eating, avoiding triggers–that we forget the bigger picture.

And what is that bigger picture?

That Jesus loves us, can heal us and wants to give us the best life possible.

Jesus can give clarity and purpose to our recoveries. He is the reason we are alive and have made it through the darkest parts of our life.

Jesus alone is one amazing reason to be thankful, don’t you think? 😉

Because Jesus is such an amazing reason to be thankful I could end the post right here but Jesus has given me some gifts for which I’m extremely thankful this glorious fall day!

I’d be remiss not to share them! 🙂

1. Jesus’ patience with me

I am SO absolutely grateful for Jesus’ patience with me. He continues to forgive me when I make mistakes, gives me energy to keep moving forward and is there for me every second of every day.

2. My family

I have the best family in the world. I’m so blessed to have such godly, hardworking, loving people in my life. My parents have been with me through every step of my journey, cheering me on and providing a wonderful home. As for my sister? She is so much awesomeness in one (human) package I can hardly stand it. 🙂 To say the least, I’m grateful for my folks.

3. Good weather

It’s been an unusually warm fall here in Japan  where I live. Not that I was here last year, but just hearing from people who have lived here for awhile it is normally quite cold already. While we’ve had a few cold days lately, most of our weather has been mild. The sun is out on most days too, making this fall a golden delight. I don’t like cold weather so I’m especially grateful for this lingering warmth!

4. Sleep

I have been so tired lately. To be honest I was a bit surprised at this at first because I rarely get tired. But since my body seems to be craving more rest these days I’ve decided to go with the flow and get a little more sleep. I am so thankful for a comfy bed and the ability to get tired because it remands me that I’m human and need to take time for self-care.

During my the depths of my eating disorder I couldn’t have cared less about taking care of myself. I ignored my hunger and sleep signals to the point where they hardly existed (more on that in another post). However, today I am grateful that God is giving me the ability to be able to listen to my body and act accordingly. #recoverywins

5. Friends

Friends are God’s blessing to us as relational human beings. Whether it’s Skyping with my lovely friends back in the States or making new friends (in a new language) here in Japan, friends are blessing and I am grateful for them. Friends have played a significant part of my journey and they constantly make me think and challenge me to be a better person.

6. Running

Running and I have a had a very tumultuous relationship in the past as it played a crucial negative part in my eating disorder. Yet I’m extremely grateful that I’m in the process of finding a healthy, happy balance with exercise. I no longer feel as if I have to run X number of miles kilometers anymore or force myself to do exercises I don’t even like.

For the present, I’m focusing on enjoying nature and doing what makes me feel good which happens to be running right now. The fall colors here are gorgeous and taking a nice long run after work gives me so much joy. I’m grateful that Jesus has given us humans the gift of movement and I want Him to continue to teach me how to use it in a balanced way.

7. New experiences

Life is full of new experiences lately. Since coming to Japan, I’ve met so many wonderful people, learned so many new words, new foods, explored new ways of transportation and the list could continue forever. BUT, that’s not the point.

The point is that I am grateful for these new experiences that continue to catapult me out of my comfort zone and stretch my brain to the max. They are developing me into a stronger person and opening my mind to a way of life I’ve never before experienced. I’m grateful for all the new experiences, both good and bad, because they are teaching me to rely on Jesus. I want Him to be my Best Friend and Guide in this Japan adventure.

8. God’s love

God’s love is awesome. It is unconditional and overwhelming. Recently I’ve tried to take some moments to consider the Cross and the amazing sacrifice of Jesus. The amount of pain and hardship He went through for us to be free from whatever binds us is almost too good to be true. Yet it is true and everyday Jesus continues to give us strong evidences of His love and care.  I’m so grateful that God loves me. He loves you too.

9. YOU

I’m grateful for you–the readers of this blog–who, well, read (of course), listen, comment, and cheer me on in this journey to wholeness. You are truly a blessing!

Have a tremendous Thursday!


What are you thankful for this fine fall day? How does thankfulness help you in your day-to-day battles? What is your favorite holiday?

Happy November + My Story

Happy November! 

I cannot believe that it’s November already! Am I the only one that believes this year doesn’t really have 365 days in it? I know the year is not quite over yet but it seems to me that 2015 is actually an 100 day year. 😉

But since November is here, I’ve chosen it as the month to share the story of my eating disorder experience with you. To tell the truth, I’ve really hesitated over whether or not to share my eating disorder story here on the blog.

I desire this blog to be a healing space where we can focus more on Jesus the Healer and less on ourselves or our issues and thus I seek to be constantly cognizant of the type content I share. 

I’m seeking to strike the balance between ‘pressing forward to things ahead’ and looking back to praise God for how He has worked in my life in spite of myself.

Ever since I started this blog in June, I felt that it may be helpful for my readers to know more of my personal experience with an eating disorder. 

Reading the eating disorder recovery stories of other bloggers was a huge catalyst in my own motivation for recovery. I was inspired by the testimony of others and reading their stories reinforced the fact that I am not alone and that there truly is hope of recovery. 

Thus, when Emily from Beauty In Christ blog asked me if I’d be willing to share my story, I decided to give it a try. I took the leap and put my experience with an eating disorder into words. 

The story was featured on Emily’s lovely blog last week and I’m excited to share it with you today! (It’s a long read so please forgive me.)

May you have an inspired and productive Monday!



I’m not sure where my story begins or ends. I am simply a work in progress seeking to be healed by Jesus. I am confident that as I allow Jesus to become a greater and greater part of my life and thoughts, eventually my eating disorder will be eclipsed by His love.

 I want to honor Him by my existence because He is the one who created me, has been with me through all the good and bad parts of life, and is helping me along the path of recovery.

Thus what I am about to share with you is not my story. It’s God’s story. It’s the story of God saving me from a continuous cycle of negativity and self-hate that has manifested itself in my eating disorder. 

Although there are many negative details that could have been included I want to focus most on Christ’s restoration of my mind.

My mind is where my eating disorder began and in the same way my mind is where God’s healing begins.

From a young age I formed habitually negative ways of thinking about myself and was severely self-critical anytime I felt as if I had “failed.” 

I wanted to be perfect and when I felt I wasn’t, I would become deeply disappointed or outrageously angry with myself. I believed that I had been saddled with a bad personality and at times regretted my very existence.

Thus long ago the foundation was laid for the perfectionistic thinking that served as the catalyst for my eating disorder. 

And when I turned 15, everything came crashing down. 

I had anorexia. 

You wouldn’t know it at first because I still looked like a normal, healthy teenage girl. Yet inside I was in silent turmoil. That is why I am adamant about the fact that eating disorders have no weight criterion. 

Although my weight would later plummet, anorexia began in my mind. 

My eating disorder took firm roots during the rocky transition time from kid to teenager. I became increasingly interested in all things health and wellness. 

I scrutinized my health habits. I took up running and read all the books on health and wellness I could find. I increased my water intake, searched for healthy recipes, and experimented in the kitchen as much as possible.

Everything appeared to be fine at first. People commented on how “healthy” I was and how well I was taking care of myself.

While it is true that an increased interest in health and fitness is not bad in itself, trouble was looming on the horizon. I was fast becoming sick and I didn’t even know it.

Around this time, I was experiencing chronic indigestion. Every time I ate my chest would burn like a fire for hours afterwards. 

For awhile I simply ignored the pain and dealt with it in silence. However, my indigestion grew worse so I told my mom. Thinking that the indigestion might be the result of an allergic reaction to specific foods, I followed my mom’s suggestion to keep a food journal. 

I was totally astonished by what I discovered through tracking my meals so closely. My eating habits looked completely out-of-whack on paper! I’m eating way too much and way too many varieties, I thought.

For a time my realization changed nothing. I didn’t slash portions or cut out variety. Thoughts that my eating was “out-of-whack” simply rolled around in my head.
But soon several things would work together to bring me to a cold, hard resolution. 

For the sake of time and privacy I will only name a few. 

I found out that my sister and I weighed the same. This was a huge deal to me because she is four inches taller than I am. I panicked. What is wrong with me? Why am I so big? 
I ran into relationship troubles. Girls whom I had kindly befriended suddenly became cold and distant. They ignored me as if we had never had a relationship and I had never previously existed. I was bewildered and confused by this unusual behavior. 

Thoughts that I now realize as totally false lodged themselves in my head. It’s because I’m too big. That’s why they don’t like me. 

Subconsciously, I filed this reasoning away as truth. I’m fat. Something is wrong with me. I need to change.  
So I did. 

My mindset regarding food and fitness gradually became disordered. I began measuring my food, counting out everything, obsessing over calories, cutting my portion sizes, chewing and spitting, running longer distances, and weighing several times per day. 

Despite my efforts to stop it, indigestion continued to plague me. Since my indigestion always began shortly after meals, I became convinced that food was my personal enemy. 

Because of my fear of food, my weight seemed to be dropping effortlessly and I was elated! I had never felt so in control before. It was as if I’d discovered new powers. 

Around this time my family and I moved from the home I had lived in all of my life. Our new area was quite unfriendly. Very few people spoke to us at church. Although the high school kids I met in my new community were polite, I sensed that they already had their group of friends and weren’t looking to include anyone else. 

I was a bit lonely but chose to ignore it. I didn’t need friends. Although somewhere inside I was hurting, I’d discovered an enchanting band-aid of food restriction, 100% clean eating, and exercise. My band-aid felt tight and comforting to the point where I hardly noticed the pain anymore. 

“You need to eat some collard greens and pinto beans at 11pm every night!” A random lady at my grandmother’s church had just looked me up and down and blurted out this most unusual advice. 

I was taken aback. Why did she say that? I didn’t have to wait long for my answer. 

“They’ll fatten you up!” She said. With a few additional comments about how following her advice would help me to gain weight, she was gone. 

I laughed. Me? Needing to gain weight? That was a joke. If anything, I could lose just a little more. 

Later on, I related my strange encounter with “the collard green lady” to my family and we all laughed together. 

“Jade, come here!” The next evening my mom called me to her with a note of seriousness in her voice. 

Her searching eyes looked me over and fixed their gaze on my arms which hung like long spaghetti noodles at my sides. 

“You look like you’ve lost some weight…” The scale appeared and she discovered that I had indeed lost some pounds–13 of them. 

Soon I found myself answering probing questions about my current eating and exercising habits.

And then came the verdict.

“I think you have anorexia nervosa.”

What?! Huh? I was in complete denial. At that point I hardly knew what anorexia was.

I was told that I would need to gain X amount of weight immediately and was to monitor my progress with the scale every day. However, the next day when I went to find the scale, it was gone. I was totally confused. What is going on?! 

My next meal was served by my mom. She seemed to pile my plate with food. I broke down and cried. I wept and I wailed. To me, eating such an amount of food was modern torture and I was absolutely disgusted. Why is this happening to me? What is going on?

Whatever was going on, I didn’t have a problem. I didn’t have anorexia at all. I was just fine. That “collard green lady” has ruined my life. I wish I’d never heard of her or her advice ever!

With these thoughts in mind I went into fighter mode. I wasn’t going to gain any weight. I began all out restricting. 

I skipped any meal I could and when I did eat, it was charged with negative emotion. I felt guilty for eating and alarmed that what I’d worked so hard to build was being threatened. I reasoned that if I ate too much, I’d get worse indigestion than I already had. 

Thus every meal repeated the same drawn out, painful experience. I would serve myself the smallest portion possible and my parents would promptly serve me more. I’d respond with tears and anger, protesting vehemently the entire time. 

I made family meals miserable. I was miserable. I was both extremely angry and extremely scared. I felt constantly irritated and annoyed. 

I lost more weight. Every week my weight went down one or two pounds. I made sure of that. I had no appetite and all I wanted to do was run. 

My parents saw me losing more weight and disallowed me from running. I was devastated. I felt that a major part of my purpose for living was gone. 

Yet even being disallowed from running didn’t help me to gain weight. I still ate as little as possible and found multiple creative ways to continue restriction.
I simply could not accept that anything was wrong with me. I was persuaded that I was perfectly normal. 

Then life took a sharp negative turn. 
My grandfather became very ill and died. He was a fun-loving, influential person in my life and I was saddened by his death.

My dad lost his job and our family was thrown into a financial crisis. Suddenly we had to move from house to house, living with strangers and friends.

In addition, I had taken on some particularly challenging courses in school. They were stressing me out and I was determined to get perfect grades. 

Although my life was hectic and out-of-control, I convinced myself that I was okay. I handled myself well. I coped through my eating disorder–by controlling my weight and food intake. At least I’ve got this under control. 

During this time my weight determined my happiness. I weighed myself obsessively. If my weight was low, I was elated. If it was high–I immediately slashed my portions even more and waited for my body to respond. I was still solidly convinced that I was “too big.”

I kept a calm exterior but inside I was very angry. I was angry at my parents for cutting back on my running. I was angry at them for telling me to eat more. I was angry at life. I was angry that God designed humans to have to eat such huge amounts of food. 

My prayer life died. I was obsessed with food and numbers. I couldn’t focus and would end up on calorie counting and BMI websites when I was supposed to be spending time with Jesus. 

Yet through all my anger and vigorous denial, I heard God’s voice speaking to my heart. I remember sitting in church one morning singing the hymn “I Surrender All.” I can’t sing this, I thought, because I haven’t surrendered all. 

At that moment I knew that God was calling me to surrender my eating disorder–to voluntarily give it to Him. 

But I didn’t want to. I had no intentions of pursuing recovery. I hadn’t even truly accepted that I truly had a problem yet. My eating disorder was what was getting me through my tough times. I was strangely comfortable with it. I wasn’t ready for change. I was scared. 


One morning I noticed my mom looking at me with a critical eye. I cringed. I knew what was coming. 

“Get the scale,” she said. I did and stepped on. The number glared back at me like an angry judge. I’d lost weight again. 

My mom was visibly upset. That made me sad. She told me I’d need to gain a certain amount of pounds by a certain date or else.


I was beginning to see that I had an eating disorder. While a part of me wanted to gain the weight and be kind to my body, a part of me didn’t. I hesitated. I’m not sure I’m ready for all this. 

However, my mom made me promise that I would gain the needed weight. 

Although I’d made similar promises before, this time I determined to carry it out. I could see how hard this was becoming for my family and I didn’t want them to suffer. 

Although not quite within the allotted time frame, I gained the required weight and passed it.

My secret? I started binging. Gradually began to eat more and more out of sheer frustration, confusion and anger. Whole packs of this…huge servings of that. I ate until I was physically sick. I was angry that I was being forced to gain weight and I was angry that I was gaining weight. I used overeating until I was sick as a way to punish myself for ‘losing my self-control.’

I binged then starved and binged again. I repeated this cycle countless times. 
Although I looked more physically healthy than before I was firmly trapped in another manifestation of my eating disorder. I was discouraged and upset. 

“What do you have to lose by surrendering all this to God?”

That was my sister’s response after I had finished sharing my most recent food and fitness woes. I’d cried, complained and whined but now I stared back at her in wondering silence.

In that moment something clicked. This is exactly what God has been trying to tell me.

I considered my options and allowed myself to realize for the first time that I had absolutely nothing to lose by surrendering my eating disorder to God.

Instead, I could only gain! I could only gain strength, security, comfort, love, perfection and peace from Jesus. 

God could replace my eating disorder. If I allowed Him to occupy my eating disorder’s space in my heart I would no longer need to use it as a tool to cope with life. 

In exchange He would give me peace and direction and help me to make sense out of a crazy and tough world. He could help me get rid of my anger and pain and someday bring me to total healing!

My story is not yet finished but I am happy to say that I decided to accept that I do have an eating disorder and am daily seeking to surrender it to Jesus. Of course that doesn’t mean I don’t still have struggles with food, body image, and balance. I definitely do but now I have help to make sense of them. 

I still have tons of emotional and physical healing to do but Jesus is bringing me gently along the path of recovery. I often mess up but He helps me to rise up again. He gives me His strength and encourages me to keep on trying. 

God is replacing ED in my life. My story is not mine. It’s His story of healing and I am amazed at how much He has already restored me physically, emotionally and spiritually.

I long to share what I am learning through my experience with an eating disorder and my recovery process to help others who are also struggling to break free from the (false) security and comfort of ED. 

The biggest thing I am learning I recovery is profoundly simple: No matter what you’re currently struggling with or how much your eating disorder has beat you up, know that Jesus loves you, wants to see you recover, and has the strength to set you free!