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.
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.
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?