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

Your friendly neighborhood Christian

Ever watch The Simpsons growing up?

My favorite character was always Lisa (no shock there) there was just something about the pointy headed, academic girl with poor social stats that I related with.

I thought the program was so great that I would have it on every night in the weekdays and when I went round to my dads (who had SKY TV) I’d watch even more of it then. Looking back, I feel so sorry for my family who had to endure it whilst I hogged the TV watching it, making sure that they were all watching it as well. I’d got it in my head that because I loved something, everyone else had to too and had to be paying the utmost attention to it at all times.

serious

There wasn’t any strong reason I watched this program so obsessively, I think the only reason would be was that other than Top Gear, it was the only other program I enjoyed watching. I’ve always been told that I’m beyond my years and this was the case with children’s TV. As soon as I moved up into secondary school, CBBC and CITV were off our TV for good. I stopped watching them all an attempt to be an adult (I was 11 at the time). Yet despite my attempts, I still really wanted something fun to watch on TV, other programs were just so boring. This is where The Simpsons came it.

My love for this program died off when I had watched so many I could tell within the first 2 minuets what would happen in the episode, because I’d seen it all before (we only had Freeview in my house so the episodes were all repeats). But even now, I do find myself flicking on the Tv to watch a sneaky episode.  Continue reading “Your friendly neighborhood Christian”

Make me anew

I’ve spent the last week decorating at home with my mum. It’s been a tad overdue but it’s finally getting sorted.

Personally, I’ve never decorated before or painted a wall. Sure I can paint a canvas, so how hard could it be? We’ve been living at this house for a good 16 years so I can’t say I’ve ever had the pleasure of making a room our own. But last August the opportunity arose to make ‘The Barn’ our own.

‘The Barn’ is the lean-to at the side of the house. It’s this funny combination of a shed and a conservatory that links the house to the garage. It sounds fancy, but it’s called ‘The Barn’ for a reason. It leaks, it’s moldy as the garage and it’s cold, but it’s secure. It also looked like a barn when it was occupied by mums old partner.

The Barn is now ours and with free access for the first time in years, we’ve decided to turn it into a proper room.  Continue reading “Make me anew”

The best advice my parents have given me about evangelism

Having divorced parents means that it’s quite rare my mum and dad will see eye to eye on a subject. However, there are the occasions where their advice compliments one another’s. One of these times came in the form of me sharing my faith with my peers.

I really like telling people about God, especially my friends. If I care about you in the slightest, I’ll want you to know God and what Jesus did for you on the cross.

However, none of my friends have given their life to God and as a young, easily excitable Christian, I can find myself getting quite down about it. I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong. I’m not afraid to tell them about God, to offer to pray with them and attempt to live a life that reflects Jesus. Continue reading “The best advice my parents have given me about evangelism”

Not as I had expected

Hope you’ve all had a meaningful Easter.

I’m currently hiding behind a new laptop and am not home, so this post will be short and to the point… for once…

Last year I did a weeks work experience at the Christian Schools Worker Project (CSWP). I shadowed a lovely young woman who was passionate about God and I really enjoyed my time there.

Something that I spotted in her office was her prayer wall. I thought that the idea behind it was really cool. I don’t know about you, but my prayer life is a bit all over the place. I find it hard to remember what I’m meant to be praying for and I never really recognise when prayer has been answered (unless it’s something big and smacks me in the face). Continue reading “Not as I had expected”

How I’ve made it this far

This week I’ve been completing work experience as part of my college course. I’ve been at a fantastic place called ‘Designs in mind‘. They’re a designer and maker studio refered through mental health services.

I have another week left at the studio and I can say that I’m throughly looking forward to it. The project is just amazing and they’re making such a positive impact in people’s lives and the in the local community.

During this week I’ve had a lot of time for relection on my bus journey home. After talking with some of the people there I’ve looked back on my own path and my mental health and wondered how I’ve made it this far. Continue reading “How I’ve made it this far”