Vulnerability hurts a lot; in fact it really stings. It is really hard for me to be truthful with you all with who I really am, with every little weakness, sin, insufficiency, and failure. Yet, it was also the GREATEST freedom of recovery, the GREATEST lesson I learned.
That’s why I’m talking about this for Julia’s Mental Health Monday, because I need to keep being real with you, no matter how much it does hurt. I really didn’t edit this this much, so please forgive me for the lengthiness of the post. I kind of felt like it had to be this long.
You see. Recovery revealed who I was. It revealed my need. It daily reveals my need. And the freedom to be real? Well, it healed me in so many ways.
The freedom I have by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has freed me to be vulnerable, to share captions like this one:
‘Having an eating disorder brought me to face myself. It brought me to the most terrifying place I had ever been in my life. It brought me to facing God; it showed me that whatever good things I did they were all filthy rags because I was separated from God. And I don’t want to be dark but it brought me to even face hell. Could I stand before God in that final judgment with so much idolatry in my heart, envy of other people’s bodies, and the list could be endless. But my problem was that there was not peace in my heart with God. That was the war inside of me. The devil wants souls, but that’s when I began to realize that I couldn’t bring any excuse to God’s perfect law and holiness that He revealed throughout the Old Testament. And the Old Testament was an evidence that God is perfect and holy and just and His commands are perfect. God would not be God without the perfection of His character.
And in Genesis even God made a promise. He made a promise that He would make a way for reconciliation, a way for peace.
Jesus came. The mighty Son of God and Son of man came to seek and to save the lost. He came to rescue sinners like me from the fires of hell I deserved from my sins.
And I’m no longer afraid of the final judgment, not because I have anything in myself, but because Jesus Christ came. He won. He conquered, and there is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus. My only plea is Christ when I stand before God. When I fall into sin my only hope is the Cross and the resurrection.
These verses just so encapsulate my feelings and thoughts as I meditate and stand in the truth of Jesus victory over sin, death, hell, the devil and the condemnation of God’s holy precious law.
“Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”
Isaiah 63:1 KJV
That caption was hard to write. But because of what I learned in recovery, by God’s grace, I could write that.
Years ago, I don’t know if I would have thought of my sin like that, of myself like that. I would have compared myself to some other person and thought, ‘Well thank God that I’m not as bad as them,’ just like the Pharisee and the publican.
You see. I didn’t see myself as God does. God is perfectly holy and just. I’m not. I fail. I sin often. I have fallen short of the glory of God.
I’m a weak human being, and no one can dissuade me from that because recovery showed me that it was true.
All of this showed me my need for Jesus Christ. It showed me that there was no power on earth that could deliver me from bondage, the bondage of food, exercise, idolatry, and ultimately: sin, a separation from God.
Recovery showed me that I wasn’t enough, that the guilt, the fear of not being enough was real. It showed me that I was guilty before God. I couldn’t mask them. I couldn’t run from them.
They weren’t just feelings. I was seeing myself and my sinfulness, my separation from God in a way that I had never seen it before.
What Ephesians 2 says is what happened to me, not in theory, but in reality.
Ephesians 2:14-16, ‘That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:’
I had been raised with the name of Jesus Christ, but the person of Jesus Christ was never so real to me as then. I realized that Jesus Christ was my only hope, that Jesus Christ came to save me, to seek and to save the lost.
I am one of those lost people without Jesus.
I was in such darkness that I couldn’t see any light, but when God saved me, when God pulled me out of darkness into His marvellous light, I never wanted to go back to an eating disorder.
I realized that Jesus Christ had already gone through the suffering I deserved for my sins.
Isaiah 53:5-6, ‘But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.’
Recovery brought me to the very foot of the cross. It brought me to the end of myself and the beginning of desperation, a desperate cry for help.
Recovery opened up all my dark secrets, all the sins I had tried to hide, all the ways I had tried to please God in my own ‘goodness’, and I finally realized I couldn’t.
It brought me to repentance and that’s what prepares the ground for the cleansing power of Jesus Christ. John the Baptist himself said that this was why he was preaching in the wilderness. He was preaching repentance to prepare people’s hearts to see their need for Jesus.
Matthew 3:1-3, ‘In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’
It’s hard to gulp down my pride and say all these things, because repentance is not an easy word. It means saying that all I have is nothing and all I need is Christ.
It means falling helplessly down at the cross and crying, ‘God have mercy on me a sinner.’
But when that happened to me. That was when I healed. That was when, though my sins were as scarlet, they were washed as white as snow. Though they were red like crimson, by Jesus’ blood they were made as snow.
JESUS CHRIST rose again which gave me hope, hope of peace with God here and in the life to come. It took away my terror, my fear, my guilt, and it caused me to rejoice in who God made me to be, in who God is making to be, and in who God will make me to be.
Now I can say and echo the words of Psalm 73:25-26, ‘Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.’
Vulnerability does hurt, and it also heals.
Recovery freed me to be able to show every part of myself to you. I don’t always look well put together, and I don’t always have the right words to write. I do know one thing, that I need Jesus Christ, cause without Him I would be nothing.
In Jesus Christ my life is everything. I have purpose and joy to live each day, and I’m no longer guilty.
Recovery is worth every step, no matter the pain, because life is worth living.
Blogging is really vulnerable too. I’ve had so many friends really put themselves out there on their blog, not knowing what sort of a response they would get.
They did it and took the leap to share a part of themselves that was not easy to share.
I went on a search for these gal’s hardest blog posts to write. These girls in the Bloggers Gonna Blog Community blew my socks off with their response.
Each one of the posts you see below these girls pouring out the vulnerability of their hearts into a blog post. Each one is about a different struggle, a different journey.
I hope that you will be encouraged, strengthened, and uplifted by each beautiful girl that shares their story.
Julia shares her studies of Christianity and why she’s unsure right now. This is something that I’m sure was hard for her to post, and I was grateful to read her honest thoughts.
Megan asks, ‘What is the secret to being happily single?’ – This is a question I had to deal with especially as all my friends were/are getting married.
A Letter from Sarah to her little baby girl self… – This one made me want to cry…
Jesse goes into what it really took for her to gain a healthy relationship with food. – So much of what she said was so relatable to my struggles too.
Kayla writes her ‘true fitness story’ – It’s okay to not have ‘fitness goals.’ What if the only goal is being healthy and happy? That’s okay.
Claire opened up about her years of struggle and victory with an ED – Claire is such a precious precious light in the blogging world.
Then there are the mommy posts… – Do you see my mommy up there? She’s a beautiful woman like these women.
These ones really really impact me too, because each one of these mommies has made me realize just how big of a job these mommies have. And they choose to share their mommy struggles with me, with you.
Catherine was afraid to publish this post about breastfeeding and weaning, but I am so thankful she did. – It was encouraging to me even though I’ve never had a baby.
Emilia shares about life in the trenches. – Mommy life is not all glitz and glamour, but she made me SO much more thankful for every mommy in the trenches.
And there are more from other friends about dealing with hard health problems.
I was so amazed by each one of these stories. No words can really express how grateful I am for their vulnerability.
Rachael, one of my heroines, shared her ups and downs with lupus. – Wow, I had no idea. This girl suffers so much with yet, so much joy.
Brie wrote a long post about her decision to go on Accutane, and I am really applauding this girl for her strength and truth in sharing this. <3 Her running posts are wonderful too.
Em talks about her digestive struggles even when you do everything right. – This is something I’m still working up the courage to do especially as it relates to recovery.
And last but NOT least at all, Sarah Grace, one of my ED recovery examples wrote a book, a book all about her own struggles with an ED and recovery. Her Youtube channel is AMAZING, (BTW).
It’s here, and I hope that you can look into her book. I still need to buy a copy!
Have you had an instance when vulnerability hurt at first and then it healed?
What has been one of the darkest times in your life?
When did the ‘dawn’ come after that dark time?
Do you think vulnerability is something that is easy for you or hard?
Linking up with Katie too for today’s Marvelous Monday!