I have never considered myself a worrier. I mean, I get nervous about things. I wonder how something is going to turn out. I might voice concern over an issue. But to say I can’t get to sleep at night because I’m worried – doesn’t happen. In fact, at Melrose, one of the most common questions I was asked by the medical staff – do you have a history of anxiety or depression? Are you anxious or depressed? Are you feeling anxiety? And most often I could answer sincerely, “No, I have no history. No, I am not anxious.” When I moved to Nicaragua, I firmly believe that is when I truly understood the power of prayer, of laying worries down at the feet of Jesus. My worry will never change the course of events. My worry will never solve a problem or make it go away. I believe fully that God will work everything out for the good of those who love him. And I am one who loves him.
So can someone tell me why I have had two cold sores since being back, why my face seems to be breaking out in zits, and why laying down in bed at night does not automatically signal sleep like it used to? I look back on the past month and can pinpoint all of the ways God timed out my arrival to Melrose at exactly the right time. He has had this in his control the entire time. I trust him. I lean on him daily. I have surrendered my full heart to him so that he can take over the half I’ve saved for ED all these years. I do not lie when I write those words. But I will finally admit the truth to myself. I am scared.
What if my new therapist tells me tomorrow that I’ve gained more weight?
What if my new therapist tells me tomorrow that I’ve lost weight?
What if she tells me I can’t start exercising?
What if she tells me I can start exercising?
What if I start exercising and I can’t stop ED from telling me his compulsive lies?
What if one mile turns into two and then three and then four and then . .?
What if I skip a tally and don’t feel the need to make it up?
What if I convince myself I had enough for one day and it doesn’t matter?
What if I will never be able to turn the calorie counter off in my head?
What if I hurt Benj again?
What if someone tells me one more time that I’m looking good?
What if when I go shopping on Friday I have to go up a size in my jeans?
What if I try my favorite dress on that’s hanging in the back of my closet and it no longer fits?
What if I’ve given my boys the reason to constantly worry that when Mom leaves the house she might not come back?
What if someone sees me on the street and thinks to themselves how much weight I’ve gained?
What if two years from now I slide downhill just like I did last summer?
What if I start hiding from my friends again?
What if this is just the honeymoon stage and it’s all going to go away?
What if my friend can’t fight her ED off?
What if I say the wrong thing to her?
What if she doesn’t believe she’s worth more than ED’s lies?
What if I don’t believe I’m worth more than ED’s lies?
What if I fail?
What if I disappoint God? Again.
I’m scared. I sit here crying because all of a sudden I realize how scared I really am. I’m scared of ED because he has power, and he’s had his power over me for a very long time. I can ask what if questions until my fingers bleed on my keyboard. I think since being home I have been able to shut ED down. But the past couple of days, today the loudest, I hear whispers in my head. My what if questions have piled on top of one another, fighting to be the center of my attention. I did not have to stop and think to write those a moment ago. They were all right there, ready to be poured out of my fingers onto this screen. ED has power. At Melrose, the fight was real and God made sure I had the tools to do battle. I am equipped. I am no less equipped here. God didn’t stay at Melrose; He came home with me. But I see how ED worms his way in when I start getting comfortable, when the business of life creates a rhythm.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
“My God is mighty to save. He takes great delight in me. He quiets me with his love; he rejoices over me with singing.”
“May the God of all joy fill you with peace as you trust in him so that you may overflowing with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
“. . . your compassions are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness.”
I will not let ED lull me into submission or passivity. I am scared only when I take my eyes off the one who has saved me, and who will save me every morning that I wake up and ask him. The what ifs can ruin me. But today, this day, is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it because he has given me wings like eagles. I will sore and not be weary, I will run and not be weak. I will run this race marked out for me. I will not look down at that which entangles me, but I will fix my eyes on the one who has gone before. I will hear the crowd cheering me on, and I will finish this race knowing this lane I was given to run in was prepared by the One who knows. And he will carry me on to completion, by the power of his blood.
I am going to bed. I am going to close my eyes. And now I am going to sleep. Tomorrow is a new day.
What If Appendum: