Here I looked happy, but I was still struggling deeply… It was the years where I was learning that slavery in the mind is a powerful reality, but that GOD’S Power to free the slave through the Lord Jesus is infinitely more mighty, powerful, and marvelous.
Romans 11:33, ‘O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!’
Recovery is not easy by any means. It’s hard. I went through so many false starts, in which God, my Father, was teaching me so many precious lessons. There are highs and lows in recovery like so much of life. Over 4 or 5 years, I looked recovered, but like Jesus said to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:27, ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.’
I was painting the outside, trying to look good, and inside I was dead. I was trying to deceive myself into thinking that I could change my behaviors, even though I knew that only God changes the hearts and sets the captives free.
I needed the power of the Holy Spirit, the power of God, the power of Jesus to quicken me, because I was completely helpless when I tried in and of myself to recover.
Recovery is about identity, about who you are, not what you do (ultimately). Why? It’s because what you do flows out of the abundance of your heart, not the other way around. It’s about discovering who you are in Christ, before you can start doing the Christian walk. You have to know what it is to be FREE in Christ, before you can start living like a free man or woman.
Jesus Christ Himself said this in Luke 6:45, ‘A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.’
Who am I in Christ? Am I defined by being cool, smart, or ‘pretty’ by society’s standards? Or am I a child of God? Am I saved by ‘me’ or by God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth? What does it look like to be a child of God, not a person who is driven about by every wind of doctrine and opinion?
Galatians 4:4-7 says, ‘But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.’
God’s plan of salvation was perfect, and I was only on the receiving end. I didn’t do anything, and that truth is FREEING! Isn’t it AMAZING to know that Jesus Christ defines us?
The identity is of a Christian is not what we do. Of course, what we do flows out of who we are in Christ. We don’t keep living in vice, idolatry, and sin, because Jesus Christ came to remove us out of that old life of slavery to our idols and lust.
How does the world like to define us?
1. How much money you make.
2. The books you write.
3. The people you help.
4. The people you don’t help.
5. The money you donate…
Can you ever be good enough for them?
Can you be good enough for God Almighty, the source of perfection and goodness?
I can’t, but JESUS IS! Jesus was the END of the law for righteousness. That doesn’t mean that He ended the law. He fulfilled its demands on us. He took it, and He swept the condemnation of God away, fulfilling every last demand on the cross. He made it so we could say, ‘O how love I thy law..’ We can say that because we love to obey God. We love to please Him, not because we are trying to get to heaven, but because we love our Father so much.
The list could go on, but can we ever save ourselves by being just good enough? That’s what my ED was. I was trying to do something that was impossible, because I couldn’t reconcile myself to God, God Almighty, the One who made me for Himself.
We can’t make ourselves a Christian by any works of our own. If we could make ourselves a Christian, there would be no Christ. Christ came for the helpless, the broken, the corrupt sinners that we are, when we were completely shredded into a million pieces.
What is recovery? What did false recovery look like for me? What did real recovery look like when it finally came, just about one year ago now?
False Recovery was … letting fear and condemnation grip me, because GOD sent His own Son into the world, that I wouldn’t be condemned. I was condemned. I was wretched. I sinned. I fell short of the glory of God, but God sent His Own Son that we might believe and that we might be saved, not just from sin in this life, but from hell in the world to come!
False Recovery was… acting like I’m that old creature, that old slave to sin. I wasn’t remembering the complete freedom I have because Jesus Christ has made me free from that sin, that death in me.
Romans 8:2, ‘For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’
John 8:34-36, ‘Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.’
False Recovery was …. baking cookies and refusing to lick the spoon, fearing that the extra calories will somehow make me gain weight.
Psalm 27:1, ‘The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?’
1 Corinthians 10:29-31, ‘I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks? So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.’
False recovery was … hiding all my struggles because of my pride and trying to power through by myself.
1 Peter 5:6-7, ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’
False Recovery was … allowing myself to believe the lies of the devil that told me that I have to try to be ‘good enough’ for God, that Christ Jesus, somehow was not good enough for ALL my sins.
Matthew 19:25-26, ‘When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Psalm 103: 12, ‘As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.’
False Recovery was.. defining myself or even allowing myself to be defined by the way I ‘looked’ on the outside.
Freedom was remembering that God defines me as a new creature in Christ!
2 Corinthians 5:17, ‘Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.’
False recovery was … focusing on myself and taking my eyes off of Jesus, the only One who makes my life possible and hopeful.
Hebrews 12:1-2, ‘Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’
False Recovery was … saying that it can’t be done, not trusting the complete power of God to quicken the dead person that I was.
What does God say about me?
Romans 8:31-34, ‘What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. ‘
False Recovery was … living joylessly, not thanking God for the gifts of food and health and spiritual life and vitality and the hope of glory in Him.
What is recovery? What is joy?
It’s not defined by my body or my number on the scale or the food I eat.
All of that is a gift from God. All of that is a gift of God’s rich grace through Jesus Christ…
And so I can say to you that you can rejoice!!! Your identity in Christ will never change no matter whether you are struggling deeply or having the best time of your life. God never changes, and because of that, His purpose for your salvation will NEVER change. Once you are a son or daughter, you will always be that son or daughter.
Philippians 4:4-8, Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.’
Now then, in this past year what have I learned about real recovery?
God can heal anyone. I’m convinced of that, because everyday, I’m amazed to talk to more and more girls and boys who have experienced the power of His saving grace through the Lord Jesus Christ.
I can enjoy cookies, icecream, salad, and exercise now, and although ED thoughts still come back every once in a while, I’m really … humbled to say that freedom is possible, completely, 100% possible.
What is real recovery?
Real Recovery is eating a Squarebar and enjoying the whole thing because God made my body to need food! He made that food, and that means that we can eat it and praise Him for every bite.
Psalm 104:13-14, ‘He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;’
Real Recovery is filling the empty jar of peanut butter and not thinking about it because food is just food. God is worthy of my worship, but food isn’t. It’s yummy and delicious, but it’s not the reason I live.
Psalm 105:1, ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.’
Real Recovery is being able to smile with the people you love and just thank the Lord that He saw fit to bless you with a family that has understood all of your struggles and constantly born so many of your burdens.
Real Recovery was when I realized that I didn’t have to count every calorie and that it’s not me that controlled my body, even though I knew that in my head. It was realizing that God made me, and that He takes care of me.
Jesus Himself reminds us of that in Luke 11:13, ‘If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”’
If we aren’t good by nature and God is the essence of all goodness, how will He not provide and take care for every part of me, including my soul, spirit, mind and body?
Real Recovery was going on a 3 day long camping trip and eating so much processed, packaged food and not being anxious about it because God provided that food for us, and it gave us calories and energy to enjoy His AMAZING creation everyday.
Psalm 111:4-5, ‘He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is gracious and full of compassion. He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant.’
Real Recovery was enjoying baked goods, licking the spoons, and praising the Lord that you have the ability to eat, taste, smell, feel, and live in His world.
Real Recovery was and is knowing that food is food. God is God. He made food. He made you. He reconciled you to Himself by the Lord Jesus Christ who is the only way, truth, and the life. You can never be ‘good enough’ or ‘look good enough’ but Jesus Christ is EVERYTHING you will ever need. He is truly worthy of worship.
Revelations 5:11-13, ‘And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
When you started to really recover, what did it look like?
What are some of the lies you are still tempted to believe about your identity?
What is false recovery? What is real recovery?
I’m linking up with Heather for ‘Friday Favorites’ because this was my favorite post to write this week!