I attend 12 Stone church in Snellville, GA, and although today’s teaching was geared toward honoring Father’s Day, the valuable lesson that was brought forth was priceless to me in my search for inspiration to continue on my path of recovery, and I wanted to share my thoughts with you.
The sermon today was based on two concepts: working to provide for your kids is honorable, and making time for your kids is powerful. Replace kids with recovery and you have my new mantra. Think about it- recovery is one of the most needy, precious, priceless endeavors that you will ever face.
You have to provide for yourself in recovery.
Provide space to heal- I can honestly tell you that I have over and over again asked for, demanded, and taken the space needed to work on my recovery. Last year, it meant leaving my kids, my husband, my job, my life to honor myself enough to provide the help that I needed to get well. When I got home from treatment it was me asking my friends and family to provide me with time to heal and re-adjust to life without ED behaviors. And just recently, I have taken the space from social media and writing I needed to reflect on why I want, need, and embrace recovery even in the face of uncertainty that life always holds. Working to provide the time, space, attention, love for recovery is honorable, self-full, and truly necessary for long term healing.
Hebrews 8:1-2 says, “We have a high Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven. There He ministers in the heavenly Tabernacle.”
I can rest easy in honoring myself and my recovery because there is a God in heaven who honored me by giving His only son in a true act of unconditional love for all His children. I am one of those children… I am His. I matter. So do my strife and struggles. God cares even when it seems like the world does not. When I honor myself I am ultimately honoring Him because when I am at my best I am doing my best work for His kingdom. I once heard struggle on Earth compared to Jesus’ struggle… We do not go through hardship on Earth because God is vengeful or unfair.
Making time for my recovery is powerful.
Time is a tricky thing… it can be the source of joy but also pain; it can be a blessing but also a curse. It can wound, heal, scar, and replenish… but my favorite thing about time is that it passes no matter what. It is the one constant in this life; everything is temporary- the good, the bad, the joyful, and the mourning. Time is going to pass, so I have learned that instead of fighting it I can embrace it with grace and fervor that will aid in bringing me through pain and suffering and setting me up to bask in the joy that time can bring, too.
What does that mean for me? It means that instead of trying to avoid, rush through, or fast forward through pain, emotion, and tough times, I need to be present in the time at hand to fully honor my power and strength that God has given to me. The other day, when I was struggling with the feeling of imperfection in my body and the old anxiety that attaches itself to being full, I made myself sit in the moment in those feelings without rushing to get rid of them. I deserve to feel the power that I have cultivated in my recovery. Think of it like this: we all know the speed limit, but we have a choice to break it or to adhere to it. We all have the ability to know right verses wrong, healthy verses unhealthy, and recovery verses relapse- and all of these will look different for each individual in his/her experience; taking the time to recognize the difference in all of these spectrums takes courage. My pastor often says anything hard in life merely takes 30 seconds of courage. I use his tactic daily to face my fears, and I encourage you to do the same.
There is an age old saying of “people don’t change.” In a way, this statement is true. People alone will not change. With God, anything is possible. I am living proof. I went from an anxiety driven, self-hating, body and food obsessed, exercise addict to Brooke. I say Brooke because she is someone worth knowing. I am now not only a mile time, flat stomach, and a clean-eating lecturer that takes others down, but I am now a child of God who lifts others up. My value is in my heart, not my body. My mind is clear enough to connect and healthy enough to live free.
God raises the dead to new life. We all have challenges to face in this life, and if we go at them working to provide and make time to cultivate the best life possible, God will be there fighting alongside of us. What is your challenge? What is God calling you to provide for and spend time on? Where do you need to honor yourself and nurture your power?
One of my favorite quotes is by Ron Blue- he says, “The longer term your perspective, the better your decisions will be.” To have the bigger story, see the bigger picture. Recovery is my big picture, so I am providing the space and taking the time to honor that vision for my life.
Exodus 3:14, “I Am that I Am.” God is bigger than my struggle, and all I have to do is reach for him and he will meet me in my needs. His timing is perfect, but my timing is worth my efforts. Work to provide and make the time. It will bring you honor and power.