2 Corinthians 3:16-18, ‘Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there isliberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’
A couple weeks, or almost a month ago, I asked many of my precious friends on Instagram about the difference between false and real recovery. The devil is the father of lies, just like he lied to Adam and Eve at the very beginning of the world, and he was throwing his fiery darts at me over several years of recovery… I thought that I had recovered, but really, there were still remainders of ED, my idols lingering, that needed to be rooted out by the power of God and His love.
But first… I tapped into my friends on Instagram and asked them, ‘What is false and real recovery?‘ I started this series with this first post: ‘What is False and Real Recovery?’
Yet, I wanted to the experiences and stories of these precious women with you. Each one links back to each one of their accounts. Several of them have blogs. Others have Instagram accounts, and God daily uses them to encourage and build others up.
Kate from the Domestikated Life said, ‘I think false recovery for me was just going through the motions. Doing what I needed to do, but not truly believing it or valuing it. I did the bare minimum to get by. Real recovery was claiming that yes, I am recovered and my value does not come by proving myself in anyway, but in my identity as a child of God. In false recovery I lived in fear everyday, but I am no longer a slave to fear!’
Megan from Apron Strings and Sticky Fingers told me: ‘There are so many lies I struggle with. Believing that I’m not good enough at a certain size. Looking at someone else and wishing I was like them. Thinking that I can’t eat a certain food because it will make me gain weight’
Alison from Daily Moves and Grooves shared (who I was so blessed to meet in real life last year.): ‘I went through periods of false recovery where I would still plan out my meals very meticulously and exercise in vain, even though I knew I should stop. I would still revolve my social schedule around those things at times, and I didn’t trust in God enough to finally rest. As good as it is to invest in our health (we ARE temples of the Holy Spirit), our bodies are not everything, and I’m grateful that God has patiently taught me that lesson through time and inspirational people like you, Emily!’
Ashlyn from Determined to Live Strong (who is such an amazing fighter and encourager in the Lord) said, ‘Some of the big lies I struggle with in my head are that I’m alone. That I’m worthless, that I deserve this pain, that God is disappointed in me. Sometimes I even doubt God but it’s people like you who have shown be that I’m not worthless, that I deserve happiness, that God will never be disappointed in me. He’s shown His grace through all of this in so many ways. Every single day. He wakes me up in the morning and that means He wants me to fight and He knows that I can.’
Finding Strength shared what false recovery looks like, and I could resonate SO much with what she said: ‘Saying I’m recovering bug still weighing myself multiple times a day and overeating and majorly restricting are things that have held me back from a real recovery.’ (This girl is REALLY sweet, and I love watching her walk the road to recovery.)
Recovery Kitty gave a precious testimony to false and real recovery, ‘I went through false recovery my first time recovering. I was truly recovered for maybe a few weeks, but then I started feeling terrible about myself. I was over weight restored and wasn’t starving myself so everyone thought I was fine, yet I was battling these inner demons everyday that told me I was fat and needed to lose weight. Now that I’ve relapsed and am recovering again, I realise that I have to fight these thoughts harder than even because God made me to be the way I am. I should not try to change my body, because it is unique and a work of art.
Those were just a few of the responses, and I was blown away by these girl’s transparency and desire to share their stories, the ups, the downs, and the testimonies to the beauty of life and the redemption of Jesus Christ. If you want to see the original Instagram post, you can go here.
All of this leads me to a question that I have been mulling over in my mind and really praying and seeking the Lord’s will as to how to communicate this to all my precious recovery warriors out there.
This year was a year of real freedom for me, and I really don’t want to be proud about it, because it wasn’t anything I did. Yet, I am bursting with sharing this with all those around me who are struggling and battling, because the battle is still real, and I want to share the joy that truly does FILL you up from the inside and lead to real freedom from bondage.
Why was this year the first year of real recovery for me?
This was the best year of my life. It was not easy, but it was amazing.
I recovered in so many ways, and I’m still shocked to be saying that.
The Number One and Only Thing that led to recovery in every part of my thinking and life was learning that God loved me.
There is no other way I can describe it to you. Romans 5:5 says, ‘And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.’
I finally began to realize that the security of my identity, of my salvation was not in my love for God. If salvation depended on man, then nobody would be saved. I would be completely lost.
The beauty of salvation is that God saved us when we were enemies as Paul reminds the Christians in Romans 5, Ephesians 2, and other places throughout His precious Word.
I knew that I loved God. I loved my Father, because He had saved me. I had read the beautiful, the true, the living story of Jesus Christ who came down to earth and took the punishment, the holy wrath of God against sin, and that nothing could separate me from His love.
The fact of my daughter-hood was something I knew was true in my mind.
This was the year, that God, by His grace, and Holy Spirit shed His love abroad in my heart. I learned that God’s love WILL always be infinitely above and mightier than my love.
I knew God loved me. I can’t explain it. It’s too deep and too high for me to try to explain, but I can say that when the Holy Spirit, the Comforter whom Jesus promised chooses to come in this special way, it makes men and women bold like Peter and John in Acts 4:13, ‘Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.’
This love makes me bold to recover. I’m not taking any credit for it at all. I’m humbled by it. I’m undeserving of it, but my HUGE prayer for those who are struggling is that you might know the heigh, the depth, the richness of His love as Paul prays for the Ephesians in Chapter 3.
This is Love. This is mighty love. It’s like a panorama that goes on and on and on that I can never see the end of, and it just isn’t ‘humanly explainable.’ It was God’s mighty love that sent His Son to the cross. It was God’s justice enacted on His Son on the cross, that showed us the depth of His love. I can’t explain it. I don’t deserve it, but it’s REAL, and I want to share as much of that love with you as possible.
The love of God is the biggest force in recovery. It will turn you from seeking love from food, ultimate approval from other people, and it will give you perfect peace. It is God’s love that holds you, not your love to Him. God’s love is not a weak, sentimental Holly-wood version of love. This is the love of God, the love that causes me to cry out with Paul in Romans 11.
Romans 11: 33-36, ‘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! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.’
Remember. It is the love of God that secures you, not your love. Yet the love of a Father will always cause us to want to love Him more.
How can we encourage people to recover?
If you’ve struggled, how and why are you finding freedom?
Thank you Julia for the VERY FIRST Mental Health Monday! I’m so excited to look at ALL the links.