Baby steps. Absolutely nothing wrong with baby steps. I remember at treatment I could not even imagine what recovered would be like. It seemed unattainable. Too many insurmountable objects blocking my view. I would have given my left arm to have someone pick me up out of treatment and set me down on the other side of recovered. That would have been easy.
And fake. That kind of recovery would have been fake and temporary. If someone else had been able to do the work for me, I would never have had to struggle to learn how to fight on my own. I would never have learned complete dependence on God for the strength to fight through each day. If I had been able to see over all those obstacles to the other side of my eating disorder, there would have been no reason at all for trust in my all knowing, gracious God. And I would never have experienced the baby steps that led me miles from where I started. Light years actually. I only arrived on the other side of recovered because I took baby steps each day, each moment, each second of those days. And many of those steps sucked. They were hard. They hurt. They caused discomfort to the nth degree. They were not fun. But the memories of those baby steps, those memories, are the key to lasting recovery. Because a journey that long and hard, remembering all those hard-fought steps, means there is no way I will ever, ever, make that trip again. The freedom at the end of the road is so vividly opposite from my starting line, that going back is laughable. It is unacceptable to me.
I remember the steps I took. I remember them clearly because each one was a battle I had to fight in the arms of Christ. Those are not moments anyone can forget. Those are victories and defeats that led to hard lessons that led to more victories. Baby steps are the key to life changing journeys.
My baby steps:
- eating a cheeseburger for the first time
- texting my prayer partners when I couldn’t shut ED out of my head
- going to support group when I didn’t know anyone
- eating French fries and cheeseballs at Bob’s Bar
- stepping off the treadmill at 27 minutes, not 30
- screaming at Satan out loud because I wanted to make sure he heard me
- calling out to God because I knew he always heard me
- banging my head against the shower wall to kill the voices in my head
- giving a chapel to all my students at Unity
- every meal plan I wrote and stuck to, even when I didn’t want to
- wearing pants for the first time
- every time I said, “I look good” until I could say it and mean it
Every baby step led forward, no matter how small the forward motion was. God didn’t call any of us to give up when the road gets tough. God called us to a life glorifying him. And for me, glorifying him meant fighting ED. Glorifying him meant asking for help along the way. Glorifying him meant taking baby steps. For each person, glorifying him means something different because we all have our own roads and our own baby steps. God doesn’t leave us to travel alone, and together those baby steps lead home. And in glorifying him on our journey, we live as children of the King created to thrive.