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.
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.
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?