Wow, it has been almost two months since I last sat down to write. I feel like a rusty machine grinding back into motion. If you’re reading this, bear with me.
I wore crocs for 5 weeks straight and I now feel the most freedom I have ever felt in my entire life.
Correlation does not equal causation. I do not feel free because I wore crocs for 5 weeks.
After three weeks back the Lord made it very clear that being in classes this semester was not right for me. Now, if you’ll recall I had decided to go back to school after a rough fall semester and a very hard winter break. I wanted to feel really good about it, but deep down I just knew it wasn’t right. The Lord worked miracles and I was able to withdraw from classes and will still study abroad this summer.
So then, what I have I been up to for two months that has kept me away?
Well, the first week I went to the National Prayer Breakfast and had a life-changing experience (really, I don’t throw that phrase around, I was amazing).
For the next 5 weeks I decided to go to an intensive eating disorder treatment program. To say the program was intense is an understatement. Let’s just say crocs were about the only shoes that were allowed, and if my footwear was that heavily monitored imagine what everything else was like. It was jail. I’m not exaggerating. Actually, a woman who had been in both jail and this program preferred jail. I should have felt like I was in chains the whole time.
The exact opposite happened. I experienced the sweetest freedom I have ever tasted.
On the second day I was there, I was supposed to be eating a ham sandwich, but I was waiting for mustard because the mayo I was offered had too many calories. As I sat there waiting, the Lord changed my heart (this sounds crazy, but its true). I realized that I was stuck there. I had a choice in that moment, I could drag my feet and continue this crazy nonsense of refusing mayo or I could try, just for the short amount of time I was there, to truly trust the Lord and his promises. That changed everything.
I had tried for months to get better. Well, I was going through the motions. My heart though, wanted to keep running and hiding. I had dug myself into this hole and instead of reaching up to the hand trying to pull me to safety I thought it would be better to keep digging. For the first time, I decided to take the hand.
This is not to say that after day 2 everything was a walk in the park. There were hard days. I had starved my body to the point that it had turned off some vital functions, so turning all of that on again hurt. Both physically and mentally. It was so worth it though. And, honestly, once I decided to stop digging a deeper hole and just be lifted out, it was all about experiencing the Lord’s work in my life and not actually doing it (which is much easier).
The ride even became fun at points. As I progressed in the program, I had time off. I remember on one of my very first days off, I was driving back home (my temporary home there) and just happy crying because I was so free. I realized that I got this gift that not many other people get. Most people don’t get to just leave their life and their problems and have time to allow themselves to choose Jesus and watch what happens. I had 5 whole weeks. Not only that, but I was in a place where everyone was basically the same. We all had eating disorders, the playing field was even. The only difference between me and everyone else was Jesus, and it made all the difference (sorry, cheesy but true).
It is crazy how much freedom, joy and life is found in the Lord. We talk about all the time. We read about it all the time. It is promised in at least 20 different places in the Bible. To truly live it though, is a special gift. When I was in the program, nothing else was promising me life. Everything that the world tells us should have given me life was stripped away. Even my personal freedom, what the American dream is built off of, was gone. It was just me and God. It was almost like the ultimate test to see if following the Lord is worth it. IT IS. If I could scream it through this screen I would. I have never felt so alive in my whole life. I am free. I am full of joy.
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage that I may gain Christ. -Philippians 3:8
This verse has never felt more true. Being free in Christ is worth it. More than anything else. I tried for so long to hold onto other things that I thought would be better and they just aren’t. Everything is garbage compared to gaining Christ.
See, the crocs did not cause the freedom. It was all Jesus, I just happened to be wearing bright yellow crocs.
*I would love to talk more about any of this, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me (I even have that handy contact page). I’m a big fan of coffee dates.*