I set a goal. Way back at the beginning of this recovery, I set a goal. After the first day, the day for tears and uncontrollable fear and overwhelming self pity, after that day when I let all of it go into God’s outstretched arms, I woke up on day 2 of Intensive Residential Treatment determined and strangely at peace. I woke up knowing I was exactly where I needed to be. So I set a goal.
And then I made the choice. To reach my goal. Period.
I made the choice that day, and the day after that and the one after that and after that and over and over again until that choice became a part of who I was. I was not defeated and indecisive and hopeless. I was driven and focused and full of hope for a new future. God created me to set goals, to believe they are attainable, to believe I had the fight in me, and to make the hard choices everyday to make the goal reality. God never said it would be easy, but he made sure I believed He could do it. He made sure I believed His strength was sufficient for me. He made sure I knew that my weakness was made perfect in Him.
I fiercely believe this is true for all our goals. A goal gives purpose and direction. A goal is a roadmap for the days ahead. It involves intentionally creating an action plan and steps to move forward toward that goal. Never in my life prior to that moment have I lived with such a clearly defined goal and action plan. My life had a direct path forward, and I became razor focused on making the choices each day to reach my goal of recovery. Joy lives in purpose and direction when that purpose and direction is God centered and God directed. Joy became my reality in the midst of the hardest daily choices I’ve ever had to make.
Here’s what I know. I had to decide every day not to skip a tally in my meal plan. I had to decide every day to exercise with the support of friends. I had to decide every day to be open and vulnerable so ED had no place left to hide. I had to decide every day to call Satan out when he tried to manipulate my thoughts. I had to decide every day to trust that recovery stood tangible and waiting for me. I had to decide to decide. Until all those choices equalled freedom.
No one said setting a goal, making a choice, creating a mindset, trusting in the face of opposition would always be easy. Even when you feel like you are hanging on by a thread, you are gripping the ledge with bloody fingertips, even then, no one said it’s okay to give up on your goal because it’s just too hard.
NO. A million times NO.
Sure, people would forgive you because it’s just so hard. Sure, people might feel sorry for you having to fight so hard. Sure, people might give you excuses why you shouldn’t have to go through this. But people are not YOU. People don’t have your goals. People don’t have to live with the fact that you gave up on yourself and let your goal slip out of your grasp.
Do. Not. Give. Up.
No excuses. Because when God is on your side, when he puts a goal in your heart, and his strength in your mind, and his love in your soul, you cannot fail. I’m so sure of this because what God did in my life shouldn’t have been. In a place where patients return time after time because ED holds on so tightly, where depression and fear can seem insurmountable, where joy and determination often stand out of place. It wasn’t me; it was all God. He directed; I followed, trusted Him, and acted on his lead. You may need to reassess your plan, make adjustments, realign the goal with circumstances, but those things are the reality of the journey. Flexible while maintaining true north. None of those steps involve giving up on your goal. They all mean fighting for every step.
I believe in you. I believe in everything you are capable of. I believe in your ability to achieve. Why do I believe? Because I believe in God. I believe Him. I believe he is stronger than any excuse or any negative mindset. I believe when we let go to him, he replaces our fear with purpose. Don’t give up. Please, don’t give up. Let go instead and set your goal. Then make a choice, again and again and again.
Set your compass to God and move.