When I started to make the challenging transition from childhood to adulthood, I also started feeling angsty at Christmastime. I wanted Christmas to be a happy holiday, but that didn’t feel possible anymore. Nothing felt the same as it had felt when I was a little kid—giddy to buy gifts, make gifts, and (without a doubt) get gifts. What happened to all those Christmas feels that I had when I was a kid?
If you’re in college, you probably have a few long-term concerns that are constantly weighing you down, including the ever-present “Where am I going to meet my future husband?” and “Where am I going to live after college?” and “What job am I going to get once I graduate?” I genuinely feel like every Christian girl in college asks these questions. And honestly, we often base our answer to the second question and third question on our answer to the first question.
Dear Ed, let’s rewind a few years, shall we? I know you can remember it. I was 16 years old—a junior in high school trying to figure out her college plans, wanting to grow in her writing craft, and internally panicking about what was ahead. And even though I wasn’t exactly sure how I would get there, I knew that I wanted to be a published author. It had really been my only dream since I was a little girl. But you were willing to do anything and everything to make sure that that dream didn’t become a reality.
My pride says, "Grace, your book could encourage so many young women as they recover from their eating disorders," My pride says, "There is so much potential for your book; you would be famous if people knew about it." My pride says, "Your book could be a bestseller if only people would let you promote it." But as I focus on my book and my platform and my lack of success, I quickly drown in discouragement. Perhaps I need to focus less on my efforts and focus more on God’s will.
Everyone has a unique eating disorder recovery journey, which is something that I had to come to terms with earlier in my own recovery journey. I wanted my recovery—particularly my mental, emotional, and spiritual recovery—to be fast. But it wasn’t. My physical recovery was fairly quick, but it has taken (not took, but has taken) years for me to recover mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Because my eating disorder took a much bigger toll on my mind, heart, and soul than on my body, honestly.
You can spot her a mile away—you know, the settler (= the girl who’s settling for a guy who’s very eh). Why does this girl settle for such a loser? He doesn’t love her, let alone care about her. He’s only half-invested in their relationship (if that much). What’s the point of it?
One of my goals at TTT is to share encouraging content with you, and that is certainly my goal for today's post. This wasn't an easy post for me to prepare because it involves the death of a young woman due to a severe eating disorder. However, her mom, Dr. Lisa L. Billings, demonstrates great courage in transparently discussing her daughter's eating disorder and the sadness that she has experienced as a result of it. Not only do I want this post to be an encouraging reminder to unconditionally love those in your life who are battling an eating disorder, but I also want this post to be an encouraging reminder that because of Jesus' suffering and death, we can find purpose in our deepest sadness. He wants to draw us near, friends.
You did it. You finally lost that weight. You finally ran that marathon. You finally gave up sugar for a month. You finally fit into your dream size. You finally mastered that workout. And yet something doesn't feel right. You still don't love your body. "So," you ask yourself, "since I don't love my body after I've done all this, when will I love my body?" The answer to that question may initially disappoint you, but I hope you'll find freedom in it.
Until I went to college (hundreds of miles from home), I didn’t truly understand the reality of having friends for a season. But when I left my hometown and started meeting new people at college, I realized how difficult it was to maintain long-distance friendships with my friends back at home. My friends from home and I sometimes stayed in touch, but other friendships fell by the wayside. There were no “friend breakups” or anything dramatic like that. But I definitely had to come to terms with the idea that God sometimes brings people into our lives for a season—and when they leave (or we leave), that’s an opportunity to form friendships with new people instead of a reason to throw a pity party for every single friendship that ends.