What real recovery looks like

“I haven’t felt free in a long time. I’m either trapped by anorexia or hindered by anxiety. I want to be FREE.”

“I’m literally at the cusp of recovery. I’m not in need of mans help at the moment, but God’s. I need to rely on him now, I needed to a long time ago. I CAN AND WILL LIVE A LIFE FREE OF THIS!!”

“I’ve never felt my heart cry out like this before. No matter how many counseling session I attend, how many books I read, coping strategies I use, I have never felt this before. I want to do more than cry because to cry doesn’t touch deep enough. I think I want to mourn, I want to let myself feel the pain I’ve kept behind bursting doors. Only Jesus knows what I’m feeling, I can’t trust this expression of pain to anyone else but him. He’s the only one who can feel it too.”

Above are three journal entries I’ve written within the last month.

Possibly for the first time in my life I’m understanding how hard it is to follow God every step of the way.

It’s really hard to follow God, there I said it.

To follow God through recovery is so hard. To hold Jesus’ hand is hard because he’s asking so much of me and yet nothing at all. I once read a quote that said God loves us just as we are, but too much to leave us this way. I’m trying to wrap my head around it. I am loved as I am, Jesus will have me just as I am, but I am loved too much to be left this way.

I’ve been told by so many people to just go to God. But just going to God doesn’t do anything. I have to GO to him.

Most people describe mental illnesses as chains, that they are bound. For me they are more like balloons. I often feel like I have balloons attached to my waste, so many that they’re lifting me us and my feet no longer touch the ground. With one gust of wind I can be sent up so high and so far that I no longer recognise where I am. God feels like a rope that anchored into the ground and that rope is in the palm of my hand. Just going to God in times of difficulty feels like I simply acknowledge the rope in my hand. But to GO to God is taking the rope in BOTH hands and pulling myself back to the ground, when I’m close enough His hand reaches out to me and pulls me the last gap and into a warm embrace.

Pulling yourself back to the ground and to God is exhausting. But that’s what recovery is, exhausting.

You see guys, for the last two years I’ve only been acknowledging the rope in my hand. That is neither a good or a bad thing.

God loves me just as I am, that knowledge allows me to hold onto the rope and Him to be my anchor.

But he loves me too much to leave me this way, that’s Him asking me to come back to the ground and to Him.

Recovery is not an easy task and now that I’ve seen what it entitles, I’m going to fess up and say I’ve only been half arsing it and forgive me but I never recognised just how truly a commitment it was to follow God. This isn’t a just turn up on a Sunday, pray and look like a christian, this is giving everything I am to Him. Everything!

After a year of writing on here, thinking I was sort of getting there with my walk with God, that I knew what it meant to give my life to him, I’ve come to realise just how little I knew.

My eyes and heart has been opened and I’m seeing this for the first time with fresh eyes.

Take up your cross.

That phrase has alway confused me. Take up my cross, what did that even mean? But lately I’ve been drawn to Mathew 10:38, where the phrase take up your cross is used. In my bible the notes that accompany that say be prepared to follow jesus all the way to martyrdom if necessary. Martyrdom is someone who is a martyr, a person who is killed because of their religious belief. This has captured my heart for a while.

I am privileged to live in a country where I am currently not in any danger because of my faith in Christ. There are many people around the world who the act of martyrdom is a very real thing. But for me sitting in my house safely, in my bedroom, the significance didn’t feel the same.

But this verse is just as relevant to me, but in a different way.

Take up your cross, be prepared to follow Jesus be prepared to die for your faith. What if for some if us, being prepared to die for our faith isn’t literal death? What if it’s being prepared to let something die to follow Christ?

What if for me I have to be prepared to let anorexia die for my faith in Jesus. Not ignore it, not let it go, anorexia has to die in me.

Taking up my cross daily is making the conscious decision to let anorexia die in me. I have to make that decision DAILY, probably even hourly.

Now that is big.

But God is big and all-powerful. So why would following him be anything but big.

Want to know something though? I want a big relationship with God. I’ve mentioned a lot in this post that following God is hard, but guys it’s so worth it. I’m going to need support and a church and a whole lot of faith and to humble myself right down. But that’s what I want.

Real recovery is doing more than just acknowledging God, turning up on a Sunday and a quite prayer before bed (all of which I’m guilty of). It’s daily taking up your cross and making the real hard effort to get yourself back to Him.

God loves you just as you are, but he loves you too much to leave you this way

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