Psalm 3:3 “But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my Glory, the one who holds my head high. 4 I call out to the Lord and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5 I lie down and sleep; I wake again because The Lord sustains me.” (NLT)
Hebrews 4:15-16 “this High Priest of ours understands our weakness, for he faced all the same testing we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So, let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (NLT)
Both of these scripture seem to confirm my vision of the little girl in the red jumper offering God her heart, and in turn his promise to shield her and cover her like the fog covering the ground. Oh how he understands my weakness and shows up with his grace, mercy and strength when I boldly come before his throne.
I believe that The Lord speaks to me and reveals to me and the little girl in the red jumper handing over her heart that he is indeed the one who has sustained me and the little girl who is me these past few years and has been the lifter of my head because I do go to sleep only to wake again each day. He has a purpose in all of my suffering even when it appears hidden from me. I try to remember that my suffering is nothing compared to his suffering on the cross for my salvation, for all of our salvation.
He must be the one who sustains me because I am out of strength, yet I press on. I put my faith again in The Word. Psalm 107:20 “He sent out his word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death” Oh how many times has he snatched me out from this door of death?” It is more times then I can begin to count.
I often plead with God to reach down and flip off the eating disorder switch as well as the neuralgia, just as I switch on and off my lights in my home, but He has not. The switch remains in the on position, but I am beginning to feel a subtle change. Could it be that my switch isn’t a simple switch, but one that has a dimmer? He has his finger on the knob and is slowly starting to dial it down as I surrender to the fact that he is control; I am not. Maybe I am finally letting him keep his hand on the dial, instead of reaching mine up to the switch to push his away? I am sometimes not sure if it is a willful surrender, or that I am just too damn tired to reach up and peel away his fingers so that I can grasp the knob. Either way, the knob, and myself (for now) rest in the palm of his hand.
I am reminded this weekend, as I listen to pastor John Eirich that when Jesus spoke the words,” It is finished” in John 19:30 it is actually one word in Greek meaning the work he came to accomplish on earth was finished, but the results would continue over time for all mankind.
I leave the service with the charge to discern if I am looking for an instant result that God wants to accomplish over time, or am I waiting for God to do something over time that he wants to accomplish right now? I am guessing that as far as healing, in my case, it is something he wants to accomplish over time. Then again, maybe I could shorten this time frame by faith and cooperating with the healing God has set in motion. It would be easier for God to turn the eating disorder completely off, if I wouldn’t keep grappling with him for the switch.
This past Thanksgiving I decided that I would come boldly before his throne instead of the porcelain throne, cutting my flesh, or depriving my body. The problem was that I didn’t feel bold. I felt exhausted, defeated and child like as I often do when departing from my therapist’s office, my dietician, and a new clinician I see for an intake interview for a new type of therapy. It isn’t that any of them have let me down or put me down, but that I feel as though I have let them, myself and God down. How can I muster up the strength and wisdom I need to approach the throne of My God I have let down?
I hear God speak to me, “Keep it simple.” Huh? What does he mean by keep it simple? As I reflect on this, Vince Lombardi comes to mind. Yes, the world famous Green Bay Packers’ football coach. Those of you that know me, know that I am passionate about the Lord, my family, and football! All three of which I credit to my father. He loved the Lord, his family, and football. A particular quote ran like a tight end in route through my mind. “Football in hand, Lombardi walked to the front of the room, took several seconds to look over the assemblage in silence, held out the pigskin in front of him and said ‘Gentlemen, this is a football.’ In only five words, Lombardi communicated his point: We’re going to start with the basics and make sure we are executing the fundamentals. (Packerville.blogspot.com)
I find myself not just humming, but singing the simple children’s song “Jesus loves me this I know for the bible tells me so…” This is all I need to get through the week of a new clinician, putting down my son’s beloved cat, and a holiday that revolves around food. It becomes my basic mantra, and hence; reminder of all of His words that I treasure in my heart.
A children’s song hardly sounds bold. Children are small, meek, and weak, but most have this innate drive to survive that has not been squelched by cultural norms, neglectful parents, or fear of rejection. They ask for what they need. They are initially bold because they know no other way.
I recently left my therapist’s office pretty angry with her and myself as well. I am angry with myself for resorting to the eating disorder or cutting to deal with my physical and/or emotional distress. I am frustrated and angry with her as she once again suggests that I join a Dialectical Behavior Therapy group (DBT) because I am obviously having trouble with my emotional regulation. I feel like she sees this as an inherent character flaw instead of a very typical response to a rare and unusual disorder. I feel like I have failed traditional therapy, or rather that she feels like I have failed traditional therapy. My thoughts starts surging like an electric current through my mind reminding me that once again I am not enough. “If only” blinks off and on like the Christmas lights across the street. If only I didn’t reach back for the eating disorder, if only I didn’t try the cutting, if only I didn’t develop this neuralgia ….I decide not to go there, because I am here and doing the best I can under the circumstances.
I want to say, “Fuck you! Why don’t you and the rest of those that think I am irrational walk in my shoes and see how well you stay emotionally regulated?” But I don’t I remain silent feeling beaten down and misunderstood.
I am so filled with frustration as I feel like she sees me as weak and pitiful, that I miss her compassion and empathy. Does she not see that this brings down the emotionally and mentally healthy of the strongest women until they are shadows of their former selves, even those without eating disorders or trauma piled on top of it? I miss that she is trying to understand the affliction and how it torments me and other unfortunate women. I miss that she sees my desperation and her desire to keep me safe. I grew up keeping myself safe, and did a damn good job at it. So, this oddly feels like a criticism, and not the intended compassion.
It chips away at them, their relationships, careers, self-esteem, dignity, and their entire being. Maybe, in a warped sense, I am fortunate to have the vestiges of the eating disorder to grab onto instead resorting to more desperate measures? But I remember God’s words to me as I prayed, “I know this is rough, but hold onto me and me alone. Don’t touch that dial!”(Eating Disorder)
I feel like I am shifting a little as I made it through Thanksgiving without purging or cutting anything but the turkey. I am trusting God’s words, but also there is boldness rising up in me. I will be damned if I will confirm everyone’s assumption that I can’t get through this holiday without purging or cutting. I call out and reach out for Jesus with both hands and hang on tight because to letting go of the eating disorder feels like falling off a cliff. I close my eyes to see that he is there just as I saw him in my vision. I know I am covered and feel that The Shield of Faith rolling over me like that blanket of fog covers me.
When I am afraid, I sing or hum “Jesus loves me this I know…” When I am angry, “Jesus loves me…” When my pain escalates Jesus loves me this I know…” When I want to purge, “Jesus love me this I know…” When I see the scissors “Jesus loves me this I know….” I hold this in my heart to slay my giants just David held a sling and a simple stone in his hand.
“Jesus loves me this I know for the bible tells me so, little ones to him belong they are weak but HE is strong. “
If I can go back to the basic cornerstone of my faith that Jesus loves me, because the Bible tells me so, then I can build on this one statement an entire foundation of faith and reside in the castle of truth that He is always good. He is good when he flips the switch in an instant; He is good when he dials it back over time. Either way he will finish what he has set in motion.