I chose God and I chose Him with everything inside of me, and now nothing is the same.
These last two weeks have held more breakthroughs and change than any weeks prior. In the first week God taught me about what it means to be loved at the highest price. He showed me that His love was the only love that would ever fulfil and satisfy my hearts deepest desires. The process of learning these lessons has been brutal, God’s been honest with me and in His honesty He showed me that I’d once again fallen into the cycle of searching for a deep love, from everywhere that was not Himself. I had to learn the hard way that if God wasn’t first in my heart, if His love wasn’t the love I was pursuing, then I would never find myself loved at the highest price.
If I’m honest now, I would admit that it’s been a few months in the works but it’s only been over these last two weeks that I’ve made the decision to go ‘all in’ for God. I spent time sitting riverside with Him, dwelling on His what He’d been revealing to me and asking Him what He wanted from me. Do you remember how in my last post I stated that I’d spent my whole life yearning for a kind of love that engulfs your every being, that captivates you and holds you, that meets you where you are and unconditionally washes over you? That kind of love that comes at the highest price? During the time that I’d written that post, God had been preparing me, He showed me that He paid that highest price when He allowed His one and only Son to be sacrificed for the sins of this world; so that we may have access to His love and a life eternal with Him. But God also showed me that I couldn’t access the freedom of His love, until such a time that He was first and that He was the only one I pursued for that love. My question to Him was ‘how’.. His answer to me was ‘sacrifice’. As I sat on the banks of the river, it became apparent to me that it wasn’t so much a question of ‘how’ or ‘what’, but rather a question of ‘when’. I knew what I needed to give up in order to find my way back to God but in the most bittersweet way, I knew that it would mean giving up what I loved most so that I could learn to love God most.
So I let go.
I let go of my stubbornness and my pride, I humbled myself and I let myself go to the plans that God had for me. I let go of my search for love, for approval, for comfort and the things I lacked as a child. I let go of the ‘need’ for safety and security because I had been searching for it in the wrong places. I let go of my preconceived ideas of who God was and how He felt toward me, I let go of all the things I had held against Him during all the times I felt He’d let me down. I let go of the fear that kept me trapped, and then came the sacrifice: I had to sacrifice my deepest tangible desire for connection and love, I had to let go of the person who had embodied all I had spent my life searching for and I had to risk the loss of that relationship (amidst the already current losses), all so that I could put God first. I had to as T to let me, let her go and I did. Bless her heart, she handled everything so lovingly and God was so present through the entire process. There is so much I could write to justify all the questions for ‘why’, but none of them are as important as the decision to choose God.
Upon arriving home on the 2nd of December, I stood beneath the blanket of night. I remember the sky above me was crystal clear, the stars aligned, and the glory of God was written across the heavens. I fixed my gaze upon a star as it travelled through the nights sky, I couldn’t recall the last time I’d seen a shooting star so rare and as it disappeared into blackness; the heaviness of the preceding week hit me and I buckled over in despair. A week of arguing with God, pleading for alternatives and then following through on His plan for me, had led me to that moment in time: bent over in the black of night, sobbing convulsively, with my broken voice whispering out a cry to be held by my Father. Would you believe me if I told you that, yes, He met me there and this time He wrapped me in a love so unconditional and so tangible, that nothing else seemed to measure up.
How could I have ever been so afraid? I was afraid of being alone, of losing everything I’d fought so hard to gain, of being vulnerable and allowing myself to truly and wholly be loved by the One who loved me first. I know that people say there is freedom in love, but can you hear me when I tell you that there is freedom in Love because God is Love? I anticipated months before the word ‘okay’ would leave my lips again, I didn’t think I’d be okay until maybe March or May next year.. but by God’s grace I woke up on Friday, completely and utterly okay. I still allowed myself to grieve but I was still okay and over the days that followed, God revealed secrets of Himself to me. As I grieved for the tangibility of closeness, God drew nearer to me. As I grieved the loss of presence, God flooded my atmosphere with His presence. Within three days it had become apparent to me that there was no need for grief because there was no loss.. can you grasp the truth of that? There was no loss because when you sacrifice the loss of your own human desires, you gain God and when you gain God, you gain everything your human heart desired, and so much more.
The decision to let go of my human heart’s desires and to wholly pursue God and Him alone, was a decision I knew would cause pain.. but what I didn’t know, was that it would also cause a peace like no other. I spent so much time preparing myself but nothing could prepare me for the rawness that coupled with the nakedness of vulnerability, the removal of safety and the exposure of my weakness. As I sought out the One who sacrificed everything for me, He met me there and I found myself held. I found the cracks of my brokenness as they began to connect like constellations, each of them telling stories of God’s grace, His provision, His faithfulness and His unconditional love. I was undone but in Him I was made whole.
I am yet to tell anyone of my decision to choose God but as my treating team transitions into a period of change, I have spent the last 10 days meeting with each member and we’ve all taken the time to discuss what T and I had decided to do: thus being the decision to take a period of distance, where I would be free to pursue God and seek healing before her and I enter into the friendship we’ve always spoken of. Between all of us, we’ve spent literally hours speaking about the ins and outs, and you wouldn’t believe me, but not one tear was shed. There are no words that have the capacity to describe the intensity of peace that I have felt throughout this last week, in the absence of devastation and sorrow, God’s peace flooded every inch of my atmosphere. For a flicker in time I felt guilty for not grieving for ‘long enough’, but if anything was reflected through its absence, it was the glory of God and it was confirmation that my decisions were aligning with His will for my life. I have felt so held and so blessed, blessed by T’s receptiveness and her grace through the process, blessed by my teams support and understanding, but primarily just blessed by the ways in which God has held me.
Can we just take a moment to acknowledge and honor God for all the blessings that have flowed from my decision to pursue Him? I’ve been abundantly blessed by T’s receptiveness, her grace and love, her willingness to wait for me and to continue praying for me (and our kept church bubble of course). I’ve been blessed by my teams support and understanding throughout this process. But wait, there’s more! As I have learned to place God first, He has brought restoration to what was lost.. my mother started to go to therapy (yes, I’m not lying), and from that God has brought such a healing over her and my relationship with her. My brother has been out on harvest but he opened up to me one night and has he cried (which he never does), he asked me to forgive him and he said that he forgave me (three years later). I’ve still been so cautious because I don’t want to be hurt again, however God challenged me on that because who am I to be cautious of something He has blessed me with? His peace has been over my relationships in ways it never has before, and I have no doubt that regardless of what continues to happen, I know I will remain held by God because He is who my safety and security is attached to. Because of this, I have allowed myself to enjoy the unfamiliar newness of relationship with my family, my father included. What a blessing?
It’s become increasingly apparent to me that I will never reach a point where I ever fully understand what God’s plan for me is, every time I think I have it sorted out, He calls me out further into deeper waters. Oh I just can not even begin to tell you how profound the ways in which God works, truly is!
The ways in which I see myself has been restored. I was telling S and E in our appointments, that perhaps it sounds silly to them, but I happened to catch my reflection in a window quite unexpectedly in town on that first Thursday afternoon and the only thing I thought was that I wasn’t fat anymore and maybe I didn’t need to starve myself or throw up. The difference between when I first had that mindset back in April during my week alone with God in hospital, and when I had that mindset the other day, is a good 8kgs and the fact that now God is fully and wholly first in my life. Only one of those two differences actually matters, and that’s God’s position in my life. Even though according to medical standards, I am still overweight.. for the first time I am so completely and totally okay with the weight gain that has paired with recovery. Not to sound vain, but I actually think that I still look beautiful and I truly believe that my weight doesn’t in any way, shape or form, hinder the ability for me to be loved. When I see me, I see Jesus and I think that’s so special. The photo above was taken on the Sunday of the week I decided to choose God, it was four days before I was going to let go of T but by then I had already let go and had chosen God. Maybe it’s just me, but I think that the smile on my face and everything about the photo just screams the goodness of God and the freedom that is gained in His love. Upon chatting to T, she even agreed that that first Sunday felt more natural and perfect than any of the ones prior. The next Sunday was just as natural and perfect, T wasn’t there but her husband came to sit next to me where we had quite the laugh and just chill chats, my heart was fixed on God and there was no anxiety or fear.
God has brought so many testimonies our of my brokenness, from day one. I share so many of them on this blog and I’ve often been told by many people that I’ve been blessed with the gift of writing. I’ve always felt the calling on my life to be God’s hands and His feet, to allow Him to use me and my brokenness, to help others. I often thought that this would happen when I’ve qualified as a psych and I’m passionately working in that industry. However God has recently been challenging me on that. In August last year I started a platform for my recovery, it grew to round 500 followers and I connected with many people.. I actually still chat regularly to two girls over east and God’s blessed those relationships. Back in March this year, I started a platform that partnered with this blog and God has just been so faithful. The more I share of Him, the more I am able to see the fruits of His spirit in all aspects of my life. God has used these platforms to prepare me for the season He is calling me into.
I recently received a message from a man who was having marital issues, He lives locally in Katanning and I found myself in a vulnerable position where he was seeking advice. I would usually ignore messages as such but there was something about his message that I couldn’t quite shake, so I took it to God. I dwelled on it in prayer for a while, asking God why I received the message when I have no qualifications to my name, asking Him what He wanted me to do and for His clear guidance. I decided to chat to this man, being careful as to not involve my emotions or offer advice because I didn’t feel comfortable in that area. Over a couple of weeks I saw this man go from someone who was broken, who had walked away from God and lived a life by his own governance.. to now having returned his heard to God, repented and who is now consciously more involved and invested as a husband and a father. I cried when I received a message to say that He had decided to choose God and that the relationship between himself and his family is already showing breakthroughs.. how good is God? I only ever shared the gospel with him, I told him about who God was and I allowed God to speak into this mans life, through me. It was honestly one of the most terrifying but precious experiences and I can see now, how God used this too, to prepare me for His greater plan.
God’s been asking me why I have felt like I needed to wait for qualifications and the ‘right time’ before I could begin to be His hands and His feet. He said that it’s all well and fine for me to give Him the glory through my said platforms, but they’re both anonymous and there’s only so much I can do for God while I’m still hiding in fear of what people will say of me, and in shame for what I’ve been through. Heck, isn’t there no fear or shame when my safety and security is in God? For the first time, I really don’t mind if people find out about my secrets. I know that regardless of what happens, God will give me what I need to get through. I have no doubt that the people who love me, will stand by me: unashamed of knowing me. A couple of weeks ago now, I wrote a blog about God wanting to undo everything within me that was not of Him, the shame and guilt, the fear that has held me captive and to do so, God needed access to all of me. I titled that post, ‘the undoing’, I didn’t know it at the time but that would become one of the first preparations God made. I wrote a journal entry the other week and in it I stated that I felt ‘undone but whole’, this became another preparation.
In a gentle but pressing way, God has been calling me out. From the moment I saw that photo of me laughing in His peace at church on that first Sunday, I knew that I finally had Him, wholly and completely at the centre of my life. Since then, my heart has only wanted Him and I have known without a doubt that I can trust whatever comes next. As God has continued to open and close seasons in my life, He has stirred within me a greater desire to step vulnerably into the plan He has for me. With my manuscript well underway, God made it quite clear that sooner or later people would find out and if I were to wait until I ‘felt ready’, then how many blessings would I prevent from taking place during that waiting period? A friend of mine is in hospital again, she isn’t a Christian and she is struggling more than she has in the past.. for the first time in little over a year, she recently began asking me about who God is and why I have so much faith in Him. God wants to use me, I just need to allow Him to. As I’ve brainstormed and prayed about what this would look like, God keeps gently telling me to just trust Him, to not overthink it or set expectations, but rather to just do what He asks and to let Him handle the rest. With this in mind, I began looking at the possibility of combining my recovery and faith platform, to create and rebrand one platform that God could use to reach others. There have been many questions of how topics of rape, eating disorders, false stigmas and society prejudices, disorders, faith, the things I learn in my own recovery and study, the testimonies and breakthroughs God blesses me with, my books and my career and everything in between, how topics as such can all intertwine onto one platform where God gets the glory. I went for a trip to Denmark with my mother and as I bravely told her about all of this and about what God was calling me into, she said that while I spoke, the only word that came to mind was the word ‘undone’. I remember being so taken back because my mother doesn’t know about my blog or what God has been doing, and she didn’t know that the concept of coming undone, was something God had so prominently been bringing to the table. I feel like the concept of becoming undone is something that anyone can relate to, whether they believe in God or not. To become undone, is always the first step before rebuilding; whether that pertains to our mindset, or belief systems, or recovery from mental health, or our identities, or just about anything in our lives that require restructuring. You can’t rebuild unless you have a strong and new foundation. I have no expectations of this new season, only that God is given the glory and that His plans are carried out. So whether the people around me accept me for who I am or not, whether I lose people due to what I’ve gone through or not, whether anyone cares or not.. none of it changes who I am in God or what His plan is for me. Heck, if even God can change just one life through me in the next 5 years, then it would still be worth it. I am not ashamed anymore because I know where my identity lies, I am eating my food and I find so much freedom and joy in the life God has given me. I have healthy relationships and I am healing, there is a long way to go but if I’m honest, I don’t think I’ll ever reach the end because God will never be done with my story. I’m not scared or who I will lose or gain, I spoke to H and we are doing a photoshoot before the end of the year and bless her heart, she’s so supportive and excited for what God is doing within me. There is so much still to come!