Psalm 68:19 “Praise The Lord; Praise God our Savior! For each day he carries us in his arms.”(NLT)
I am at the National Eating Disorders Association conference in San Diego. Today will be the first full day and I am still nervous and unsure of where I fit in. Where do I want to fit in? I am grateful for my husband’s support as I walked into the sea of the unknown.
Yesterday was a long day and my typical Winnie the Pooh thinking kicked in “think, think, think, think,” however I wasn’t sitting tapping my head, but dozing off and on in the plane that was taking me into the this sea of the unknown. I had and still have no clue what to expect. Will I, now that I am heavier, be a beast among a sea of Twiggyesque adolescents? I feel so……well, I have to say it “fat” even though my smaller clothes still fit, but now they really fit instead of hanging on me. Do I eat, or do I not eat, workout, not workout, purge or not purge? What do I wear? I wonder will there be any men attending or will my poor husband be lost in a sea of estrogen. All this rolls like waves through my brain lulling me to sleep while keeping me awake at the same time. What have I gotten myself and my husband into? Add to this my current, in my mind, unexplained weight gain, and I am swirling like a riptide.
I flipped through my daily devotional as the plane reached its cruising altitude and ask just for The Lord to grant me some sense of peace that he is carrying me in his arms. I get an image that he has given me time and time again. He is light, soft and cloud like with wings for arms that reach out and scoop me up to sit on his lap enfolding my entire being into his chest, but his time it is remarkable because I am in the clouds. I sense I will be okay.
I ponder what will scream disordered, or what screams recovery? Does this matter among a sea of other’s here that are possibly in my same shoes? I really want (what ever I do or do not do) just to scream “Me” a women that struggles with life like the rest of us just to make our way, who happens to be recovering from an eating disorder, and she loves Jesus who shed his blood for her; He loves her flaws and all. He is gentle with me.
I need people to be gentle with me as I appear recovered on the outside, but am still walking out the process as my mind continues to filter out what is the eating disorder’s voice and what is mine. Why is my body gaining weight, when in theory, I am eating fairly restricted….still. Why is one of the speakers, an author and award winner allowed to be both recovered and skinny? This doesn’t seem fair to me! God reminds me that He is fair, just and gentle. I close my eyes and envision him inviting me to sit with him as I enter rooms occupied with strangers. Ah, He calls me friend. John 15:15 “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead I call you friends, for everything that I learned from the Father I have made known to you.” (NIV)
I remind myself of this today as I sit through sessions that interest me and my husband. I thank him that he never lets go of me, even as I purge just a little to see, if after weeks, it is still available to me (and it is). He is right there with me as I try to wriggle out of his wing like arms, and I stop myself mid-purge. As much as I try to break from has embrace, he simply won’t let go….completely. Like a child that throws a willful temper tantrum, he may put me down. I may think I am on my own, but I am not. I am always tethered to my God, my life source, as a baby is tethered to her mother in the womb.
Yesterday I watched a young mama holding her newborn as we were waiting to board the plane. He was kicking, wriggling, bobbing his little head as if wanting to be free and yet held at the same time. There is no way that mama is letting go. There is no way God is letting go of me. I always have the invisible tether of the Holy Spirit drawing me back by putting a “check” in my spirit. My willful spirit may try to wander, but my God, my awesome God always says “okay my daughter that is far enough and gives me a gentle tug (or sometimes a swift yank) back into his wing like arms onto his lap right where I belong. Walking out my faith isn’t much different than walking out my recovery. It is a process that ebbs and flows like the tide I can see from my window as it lifts the boats in the marina up and then back down. I often feel jus like those boats;somedays I am up, others I am down, but I am always tethered securely.