It’s been nearly one year since I made a declaration of my new found freedom while completing a nine month (and one day) Christian residential treatment program.
I never thought I would end up in a treatment center for an eating disorder, depression and anxiety feeling suffocated by life, let alone in a treatment center at all. Yet here I am, having experienced more of the Lord, more joy, more freedom, and more heartache and pain than I imagined.
Even though this last year of freedom didn’t look remotely like I imagined it to, I can confidently say that I am not who I was; I have grown, I have changed.
Sunday I came home after church and lunch with a friend and felt an overwhelming presence that had me ugly crying at the goodness of God and it was the most beautiful thing. I sat in complete awe of the amazing work that he has done in my life.
Right before getting out of the car, my friend and I began sharing parts of our stories with each other and a simple “see ya later” turned into a twenty five minute conversation. My heart began to break as I recanted a time in high school where I was so broken and hopeless that I sat on my bed with a bottle of pills ready to end my life. The intervention of a friend that day and the grace of God is the only reason I am able to still draw breath on this day, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
As I spent that afternoon reflecting on what the Lord has done in my life I decided to take a peek at my old journals: my pre treatment college days, during treatment and now. There was an astonishment that came over me as I realized how the Lord has answered so many of my prayers. Let me tell you, it took work, and grit, steadfastness and faithfulness in the process. But what I asked of him, he guided me to.
I started off praying in 2017 for breakthrough, for freedom from sin, for a realization of his love for me, resting in him, THE LIST GOES ON. I didn’t imagine that those prayers would be answered in the way they were. It took me stepping completely outside of my comfort zone, moving to yet another state thousands of miles away from my friends and family to look at my life and choose healing, freedom, and Jesus over the ways I had found to cope.
In these past two years I see the way the Lord has continually be faithful to answer the prayers, desires and hopes that I have brought before him. As I reflect, I realize I understand his love in a completely new and beautiful way now. I am able to find rest in him and know I don’t have to prove myself to him. It didn’t happen overnight, it didn’t even happen in nine months honestly. It is this constant growing and learning.
I am not sure where we began to believe this but the process isn’t “one and done.” It is not a microwave, and there is no quick fix for learning and believe truth. For most of my life I had this thought that there was something wrong with me and that I should have had this figured out already, I should be “fixed” and I was completely missing the point. As I surrendered and gave way to the process I found more growth, more freedom, more joy than I had in my life. Did this mean that every issue I dealt with, every lie and every sin feel away? Uhm absolutely not, but there was something different.
I’ve walked as a different person these last two years. I will not fully understand or know the Lord until eternity but I’m content with surrendering my life to run after the Lord and his heart.
When you pray dear friends, do not be discouraged if you don’t see the fruit, sometimes it comes in the most unexpected ways and sometimes it takes time. But be faithful, be obedient, and be expectant. He hears you.
Challenge: There is something so beautiful about looking back and seeing the Lord move and show up. Find a notebook or journal and begin to write down some of your prayers or at least the things you are praying. Next month, 6 months from now, and next year look back and check in on how you have seen the Lord move in those areas. Watch him show up, he is MORE than enough for everything you are facing.
All my love,
// About Elizabeth @etothegreeno
22. Artist. Writer. World Traveler. Light Giver.
May my life be a constant reflection of the goodness and faithfulness of Jesus. May the work he has done in me be a testimony of provision and favor.