Zechariah 4:10 “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” (NLT)
Dream Small (Josh Wilson)
Don’t buy the lie you’ve got to do it all
Just let Jesus use you where you are
One day at a time
Loving God and others as yourself
Find little ways where only you can help
With his great love
A tiny rock can make a giant fall
Stillness, journaling, scripture and prayer leads me to hear God speaking to me about smallness (no I am not talking about my body) as I see myself holding on to a well tied knot somewhere on the frayed cord of recovery. It reminds of those dang ropes in gym class with a large knot at the bottom and little resting knots equally spaced all the way up to the ceiling. I could never quite make to the top. Sometimes this feels like a metaphor for my perfectly imperfect life, and perfectly imperfect recovery. As I have said before, "I am learning to be okay with this."
Hand over hand I would reach up the rope of woven nylon cords, pulling my clasped feet up, dragging my knees up to meet my chest, and then pushing them against the rope to inch my body toward the coveted bell, or… at least the next knot. I would get close, but never quite close enough and I would often find myself holding on to a knot close to the mat where I began my climb. So very frustrating to never quite make it to the top. Ah, perfection! For some/all of us perfection will always be a bell at the top of a rope that we can never seem to ring. Perfection is an illusion a mirage that we see off in the distance, disappearing just as we believe we have reached it.
I often wonder how much further I could have climbed if instead of looking at the bell, I kept my eyes fixed upon each knot, one at a time? In the words of Josh Wilson, maybe there are times in life when dreaming small is a really "BIG" deal. What if dreaming small didn’t paralyze us on the very first low hanging end of our rope, but allowed us to climb in challenging, but realistic increments? The top will always be there, no need to look to the bell, just the next knot before you.
I think recovery may feel like this sometimes and I suppose that is why seeking recovery one day at time or one bite at a time really is okay. No judgement no shame! And what if we allowed ourselves the grace to fall and know that in the moment, hanging on to the low hanging knot is the best we can do? Hanging on isn’t failure Sweet Sisters, it is survival.
My mind goes to Peter walking on the water. Getting out of the boat was one thing, and staying afloat another. Check out Peter's story here. I thought this was whimsical! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVy9HGr3Qig
I felt compelled to look up the definition of plumb line and how a plumb line and small beginnings somehow were relevant to me and recovery. The purpose of a plumb line is to determine a straight and vertical line. When the chord is held up with a weight dangling at the bottom, the result is a straight line. It is used during construction to ensure the work is being done is straight. (findanyanswer.com) Thank you Google!
Recovery is a construction project, or rather a re-construction project. It is demolishing all the lies that the ED has convinced us are true about our bodies, mind, souls and spirit. It is about following what is what is plumb, what is true. It is following God’s truth by our vertical connection to him.
Think of that cord with a weight tied to it as permission to pause and check to notice if your recovery is a linear vertical connection to Jesus or if you have veered off course. Use the knots in the ropes to pause rest and assess. So often we expect our recoveries to be built over night and to be linear. This one of the great lies or myths of recovery Satan would have us believe. Sometimes, I find this myth perpetuated by our media, the ED organizations, or even leading professionals in the world of ED.( Thoughts for another day).
Buying into these lies or myths of a perfect recovery is one of the very ways we can become stuck in the cycle of shame that circles us back into the ED. When I lapse, I try to remember that plumb line, what is true about the nature of recovery, what is true about God’s mercies. How can I reconnect to His truth? I have come to except that my recovery isn’t perfect, nor linear, and I am okay with this as long as I continue to begin anew.
Can you allow yourself the grace to remember the “small beginnings?” Can you allow yourself the grace to revisit the small beginnings if need be? Can you rest on the Knot? God always rejoices in beginnings because his mercies are new each day.
One doesn’t build a structure and then check to see if it is plum or true! No, they stop along the way to survey the work and use the the line to confirm if they are to continue building or need to stop and make adjustments to what has is being built. This, my friends, can be the difference between a lapse and a relapse. (Lisabeth)
We talked last week about perfection and recovery in a support group I lead on Monday evenings. Here is an article that may be helpful.