I want to share some examples with you of how I tangibly saw God in my recovery. Maybe they will help you in your own recovery or simply in a situation you are struggling with today. The beauty of God’s tangible presence is that his peace overlaps our lives into a tapestry of his power.
While I was in treatment, it was revolutionary to me to discover that I was not alone in the twisted beliefs I had gathered in my years under ED’s rules. It’s a powerful emotion to realize that you are not alone, that others understand and have experienced the same thoughts and feelings.
Even more powerful is realizing that God had not left me alone either. I tangibly saw God in my recovery on a daily basis. He placed people, experiences, and words directly in my path right when I needed each one. He knew better than me what I needed. God was tangible in treatment, and that tingle of his closeness has never really left me.
Every time I reread devotionals he gave me, or see the quotes and songs he used to speak to me, or the books he led me to, or the words he allowed my hands to write, that tingle of his closeness re-zings through my heart. How I tangibly saw God in my recovery fundamentally changed my faith and the trajectory of my life.
God filled my toolbox with tools that he knew could make me stronger. I became stronger because of the people, experiences, and words God placed in my path.
This is a list of how I tangibly saw God in my recovery – tangible evidence that he knew what I needed when I needed it. Maybe my toolbox can help to fill yours as well.
That is the most fundamentally significant reason we share with each other and connect through our journeys: to allow God to use each of us as a tool in someone else’s toolbox.
We have purpose because of how God can use us in his ultimate story.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)
17 The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
And so many more . . .
Devotionals and Quotes
“If you choose to walk boldly into your future with a mindset that says, ‘Everything is possible for him/her who believes’ (Mark 9:23), then the chains that have held you back will fall to the floor and you will find yourself free to fulfill your destiny, live your dreams, and experience the greatness for which you were created.” (from The i Factor devotional by Van Moody on the YouVersion Bible app)
“Life is too short. Joy is too precious. God is too good. Our soul is too valuable. We matter too much to throw away a single moment of our one and only life on anxious striving. For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid.” (from The Me I Want to Be by John Ortberg)
“Whatever this giant is in your life, day after day it has been robbing you of power. You’ve tried to stop the taunts, but you feel immobilized. Held back. Paralyzed from moving forward. Ultimately, you know you’re not living the fullness and freedom of life that God intends for you. The good news is that God has made a way for these giants to fall. It starts with believing that even though the giant you’re battling might be big, it’s not bigger than Jesus. In fact, He has already defeated the giants in your life. When He came to this earth, He endured hell for you on the cross and rose from the grave so you could shake off the prospect of a doomed life. He came to set you free from the giants who rise up against you and hold you paralyzed in fear.” (from Goliath Must Fall by Louie Gigglio on the YouVersion Bible app)
One Step Away by Casting Crowns
Live Like Your Loved by Hawk Nelson
Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
Life Without ED by Jenni Schaefer
Good-bye ED, Hello Me: Recover from Your Eating Disorder and Fall in Love with Life by Jenni Schaefer
The Rules of “Normal” Eating: A Commonsense Approach for Dieters, Overeaters, Undereaters, Emotional Eaters, and Everyone In-between by Karen R. Koenig
Communicating with Family and Friends
I wrote an email home every night while I was in treatment to a group of family and friends. I shared everyday what I had learned, what I had struggled with, what victories I had had, what revelations I had experienced, the ways God had spoken to me . . . I wanted to make sure those closest to me understood to the best of my ability what this eating disorder actually was so that when I got home, I already had an army in place to stand beside me in the fight.
Until I can compile these emails into a book, this is the link on my blog where you can find all of these emails I wrote each night before I went to bed: Letters from Treatment.
Be Tangible for God
Wherever you are in your own journey – whether with anorexia or bulimia or disordered eating or over-exercising or any other addictive behavior, be intentionally open to God. He’s right here. Always. He wants to speak to you and to me. And maybe he wants to use you to speak to someone else.
You may be how someone else tangibly sees God in their own recovery journey. That is powerful. Don’t take your purpose for granted, no matter what.