CORErecovery: Out of the Valley–Reality Check

CORErecovery: Out of the Valley—Reality Check!

Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new. God has done it all!

2Corinthians 5:17-18a (MSG)

Many times in the early stages of my recovery, I often would imagine what my life would be like once I was “finally recovered.”

When I finally recover…

I will like what I see in the mirror

I will always feel comfortable in my clothes

Guess what?  That is NOT the reality of my recovery.  Yes, the mirror has ceased to be my enemy, but I don’t always like how I look or feel in my clothes.  While I was still struggling with my eating disorder, this experience would tailspin me into negative thoughts, moods and behaviors.  When I liked what I saw, I “felt” better about myself.  When I didn’t (which was most of the time), I would have to punish myself in order to “fix” it.  Now, the mirror is a minor part of some of my days.  Whether or not a dress hangs just right or my jeans fit the way I thought they should, doesn’t impact my thoughts, mood, or behaviors.  I still have things to do, people to love, and life to live.  I CHOOSE to focus on God’s word which tells me that my worth has nothing to do with my body and my beauty doesn’t come from my outward appearance.

 

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment… Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

1 Peter 3:3-4

Notice here that God values our inner self…that beauty doesn’t change based on the day, or what we eat, or how well our clothes fit…it is UNFADING!

The reality is that we live in a world that focuses on the “outer” things of life.  What we look like, what we wear, our home, our cars, our kids are all used to evaluate us in some form or another.  In order for me to break away from my eating disorder behaviors, I had to make a choice.  Am I going to evaluate myself as the world does or am I going to place my value in the hands of the One who made me?

Initially, this was a great struggle for me.  I felt the constant pull of wanting to be thin and beautiful to the world’s standard believing this would either solve my problems or keep others away (more on that in a future post.)  I wanted to see myself as God saw me, love myself as He loved me, value myself as He valued me, but I would look in the mirror and still see the “ugly”.  Despite my desire to see beauty there, I would hear the constant voice inside my head…in recovery, we call this the eating disorder voice, or “ED”.  I knew this voice was wrong, but having to daily talk myself out of the pit of despair that the voice drove me to was exhausting.  I was tired.  Would it get any better?  Would I always have to struggle so hard just to get out of the house?  Eat my meals?  Function normally?

Can you relate?  Do you want recovery, but feel like the struggle is just too much?  For me, I had to make that choice to listen to God, to follow Him…even in the midst of another voice beckoning.  I also had to rename that “voice.”  I stopped thinking of the negativity as “Ed” and started naming it for what it really was…Satan’s lies.  You see, as a Christian, I am LOVED and valued by God, but HATED by Satan.  I came to realize that he would stop at nothing to draw me away from my Creator, my Redeemer, my Savior.  Consider these verses from Scripture:

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 6:12

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Each and every day, I made a choice.  I chose to believe God’s Word.  The enemy may be prowling around me, but I have protection:

 But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. 1 Thessalonians 3:3

  In Christ, I am guarded AND established:

Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new. God has done it all!

2Corinthians 5:17-18a (MSG)

 The REALITY is that I don’t have to wait for some future state of being (recovery) to start to live my life.  As a Christian, I am a NEW creation.  The past ways of thinking, believing, and acting are behind me.  In Christ, all of my past bad choices are gone…everything is new—including how I choose to “see” myself.  We don’t have to keep battling the enemy because God has done it all through His Son, Jesus!

Breathing In (Bible Study)

  1.  Read James 4:7
    1. What does this verse say about our enemy?
    2. What do you think submitting to God has to do with resisting the devil?
    3. What would this look like in your life
    4. Read Galatians 6:9
      1. How does this verse speak to your struggle?
      2. What do you think you will “reap” by not giving up?
      3. Read Psalm 25:15
        1. What is the benefit of “looking” toward the Lord?
        2. From what net do you need to be freed?
        3. Think about today’s focus verse.
          1. Do you feel like a new creation in Christ?  Why or why not?
          2. How would your recovery change if you woke up each morning at prayed that verse for yourself, if you asked God to make you a new creation and reveal this to you?

Breathing Out (Prayer)

Father, thank you that we are a NEW creation through your Son Jesus.  We know that You have already defeated all of our enemies and that we can boldy proclaim this victory to stand up to the evil schemes of our eating disorders.  We pray for strength to keep our eyes focused on YOU instead of focusing on what is in our mirrors.  We ask that you remind us that we are not reflections of what is in the mirror, but reflections of your great love for us.  Let us stand in this truth and mirror your love to the world.  Amen.

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