“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 hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. This was the verse that I clung to all throughout my eating disorder treatment (and thereafter!). I think that one reason it yelled out at me was because at that particular time in my life everything felt so completely uncertain. I had worked a steady job for many years and managed to keep up the facade that I had it all together. Things had been slowly unraveling for several months, but the month preceding treatment my life spiraled at a frantic pace. There I was alone, with no job, facing a harsh reality that I was going to have to give up my favorite secret to the world. A secret that I had kept just for me since I was a teenager. It was my true companion, always there when nothing else was. I was terrified to think that I would have to learn to live without my dark friend. Anyone that has struggled or knows someone that has an eating disorder probably knows that a lack of control is fuel for the fire. It only made me want to cling to my sickness even more. The first week of treatment, I realized that I needed something outside of myself to focus on to pull me to the other side. A girl in group was reading a devotional one morning, and she shared that day’s passage with all of us. It spoke to me so profoundly. I could not get past how perfect that verse was for me and how I was feeling. If I could not be in control of everything around me and inside me, at least I could feel at ease knowing that God was in total control of EVERYTHING. He had a plan, and He was not going to let harm come my way. I just had to trust Him. So, when my dietician asked me to add pasta to my weekly plan, I had to simply breathe and say, “Okay, I can do this. I may not trust you. I may not trust myself or my body or that damn pasta, but, I will trust that God has a plan for me, and he will get me through this. I am not going to sugar-coat anything. I battle everyday. Some days are really easy, and some days are complete losses. However, I still keep trying and moving forward with my hope for the future. I love this picture of my daughter and her best friend. It makes my heart smile every time I look at it. I am so proud of both of them. They are confident, smart, independent girls. In fact, they are at church camp together this week. My hope for both of them is that they trust that God has a plan for them, and always remember that the kind of friendship they have is real friendship. I pray they never have to miss out on real life being consumed with a secret dark companion.
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