"'For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." ~ Jeremiah 29:11
I reflect on this day quite a bit, it is one of those infamous days in my life that I will never forget... or at least this day 12 years ago. January 10, 2001 was the day I finally gave up my fight. And let me just say my closest and dearest friend at the time, Anorexia, was none to happy about it. I was tired and sick of fighting to look like something or someone I was not supposed to be. A million different things run through my head on this day as it rolls around each year, mostly I'm just in awe of how far I've come and where God has brought me.
I don't expect that many people will get why I recognize this day or why I even remember it, but for me it's a day of celebration. I chose to finally let go of that which had so easily entangled me for so long. I had chosen to follow God in ALL He has for me instead of just a little.
I was 19 years old, scared out of my mind, but trusting that I needed help. After much discussion with my therapist, psychiatrist, and parents I opted to admit myself to an inpatient program for eating disorders without question. My parents got word that there was an opening in a program in the DFW area, and soon thereafter we were off to the hospital. I was now an adult so I'd be admitting myself, but my parents could stay with me up until I entered the psych unit. I cannot remember the last time I cried that much. I also cannot remember being so aware of my hunger. Later that evening I found out my sister came up to the hospital in hopes of seeing me before I entered the program, but it was too late, she'd have to wait 72 hours to see me. I remember thinking in that moment how blessed I was to have my sister. I'd spent so much time hating her... PRAISE God there was no long lasting damage due to the poor choices I made and the hatred I had shown my precious sister.
My first night at the hospital was terrifying and a bit like an out of body experience. I remember waking up in the middle of the night with a headache and after getting Tylenol from the nurses, I soon found myself getting sick. Looking back it was probably due to the anxiety and amount of tears I cried. But the fact that it even happened scared me even more and I realized in that moment that it was now or never. I was either going to kick this now or I'd find myself battling it in the midst of pursuing a romantic relationship and/or after I became a mom someday. I watched how painful this disease was not just to myself, but to my family and friends at the time as they struggled to understand why I suffered so much. Under no circumstances would I be able to carry on these bad habits, plus be a wife and mother.
After 5 1/2 weeks of treatment, the fear of a potentially deadly heart condition, and the love and support of family I walked out of the program determined that I would never go down that path again. And I haven't, but I'd be lying if I said there are not moments or days where it can be a battle. I know my weaknesses and I know when I have to fight to overcome them sometimes.
These days you'll find me working, or as I like to refer to it as "serving," as a counselor (LPC-Intern to be exact) and I love it! I can look back on that day 12 years ago and see that God was using it to prepare me for such a task, a duty, as this. Sometimes people comment on how hard my job must be and how draining it must be to listen to others and their problems, and it can be hard... if I let it. But more than that, I would define it as rewarding. God prepared me for a job such as this and I shall serve Him with all I have. If at any point in time He tells me that I'm done, I've fulfilled that which He has asked of me, then I will faithfully and humbly walk away. But as long as people trust me and are willing to open up their lives to me, then I'll be here.
"We live by faith, not by sight." ~ 2 Corinthians 5:7