Monthly Archives: March 2013

A Reason to Sing

Recently, I learned some devastating news about a dear friend while Bethany Dillon’s song Hallelujah was playing in the background. As I listened to the lyrics, I found myself choking back tears. In the song, Bethany Dillon sings Whatever’s in front of me help me to sing to hallelujah. I don’t know about you, but when trials come along my first thought is not always to sing hallelujah. I could pretend to be a perfect Christian and say that when life knocks me in the teeth my immediate response is always to praise God. But let’s be honest, I’m not perfect and that is not always my first reaction. Sometimes my first reaction is to feel angry, scared, disappointed, sad…you name it.

Dictionary.com defines hallelujah as “a shout of joy, praise, or gratitude” and “an exclamation of praise to God.” If you think about it, most people associate this exclamation of praise and thanksgiving with a response to something good. But the idea of maintaining this attitude and posture of praise no matter the circumstance seems to go against our human nature and requires a great deal more of faith, maturity, and optimism on our part.

When you take something away from a toddler that they really want, how often do they look up at you and say, “Thank you so much. You are the shiz-nit!”? Unless you have an angel disguised as a child, the answer is probably never. Instead, they are much more likely to throw a tantrum and shed some tears. They don’t stop and think: My parent loves me more than anything in this world and they have a plan that is bigger and better than anything I can imagine; therefore, I’m going to respond with a heart of gratitude because I know they are all-loving, no matter how much I want this toy right now… (Side note: if your kid does respond this way, then I will gladly babysit any time you like!) The truth is that their little toddler mind only sees what they want in that moment. They have no thought of a wider perspective, a bigger picture, or a greater purpose.

How often are we like that toddler? How many times would we rather throw a pity party, complain and only see the negative in things? Judging by what I often see around me (be it on people’s Facebook statuses or in conversations), I think the answer is that people choose that route way too often. But what would happen if we chose to sing hallelujah instead? What if, like Bethany Dillon’s lyrics, we genuinely asked God to help us sing hallelujah no matter what we were facing?

Disclaimer: I do NOT think this type of response means suppressing our emotions or pretending to be fine. For years, I thought that’s what this meant and that’s a big part of how I ended up with an eating disorder. Instead, I think that we can be real with God about what are feeling and still make the choice to praise him, no matter the circumstance. This is one of the things that I love about Psalms. This book of the Bible is filled with writings by David in which he lays out the raw emotions of his suffering, wrestles with difficult life questions, and still chooses to praise God through it all.

So why would I still choose to praise God in the most difficult moments of life, during those times when it seems the absolute worst has happened, on the days when all I might feel like doing is collapsing into a ball of tears? The answer lies in what he has already done for me, what he has already done for you, and the promise that resides in his love. Christ suffered unbearable pain, went to the depths of the grave, and conquered death so that we could have a glorious ending to our painful stories. He promises that one day every tear will be wiped away and that death and sickness will be no more. In the meantime, he calls us to hold steadfast to his love while he vows to carry us through even the darkest storms.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared… I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, ‘Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.‘ And the one sitting on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making everything new!’…”– Revelation 21: 1-5

For this reason I will choose to sing hallelujah.

(Song & lyrics can be found at https://kims88.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/hallelujah-bethany-dillon/)

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Addicted to Accomplishment

A note for all my fellow perfectionists out there:

It can be so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of a busy life and forget the things that matter most. All too often we convince ourselves that we don’t have the time to genuinely connect with people, with God, or with ourselves. We manage to fill every minute with school, work, deadlines, and never-ending checklists.  We run ourselves into the ground trying to achieve a sense of perfection and accomplishment. We fail to set healthy boundaries and believe we can’t say “No” when we’re asked to make commitments. At the end of the day, many of us are often a worn out frazzled mess.

While hard work and diligence are important, I think many of us (myself included) need to be mindful of when enough is enough and when we need to take a step back, breathe, and get back in touch with what matters most in life. Maybe this means closing the project on our laptops to go meet a friend for coffee, accepting a less than perfect grade in order to spend quality time with our loved ones, or setting aside time in our hectic day to fill ourselves back up spiritually. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for working hard, setting goals and having the dedication and diligence to accomplish our dreams. But when our need for accomplishment comes at the sacrifice of relationships, self-care, and God perhaps it’s time we step back and take a little reality check. I don’t know about the rest of you but if there’s anything I’ve learned throughout recovery, it’s that I would much rather tell my perfectionistic side to chill out and use that energy to invest in my marriage, take care of my health, and fully live this life that God has given me.

So, for all of you who are wearing yourselves out by trying to be perfect, give it a rest. Life is too short. Go take care of yourselves, spend some time doing the healthy things that you really enjoy, take a moment to genuinely connect with the people in your life, and soak up the love and grace that God has for you. Those memories will mean so much more in the long run.

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What Messages Are Captivating Your Thoughts?

One of the lessons that I learned during recovery was the importance of filling myself up with positive, hopeful, uplifting messages…especially when the volume of the eating disorder was turned up to the max.  As many of you know all too well, when the disorder (or any other struggle) is desperately trying to control your life it can be extremely difficult to hear anything else. So in order to combat the constant disparaging messages of the illness, I made a conscious effort to continuously fill myself up with messages of hope, affirmation, faith, and the love of Christ.

I realize that, depending on where you are in your recovery, it might be easier to believe the voice of the eating disorder more than encouraging, hopeful words right now. My dietician used to always tell me that I was going to have to learn to rewire my thoughts. Well, this is part of that rewiring process. What you choose to expose yourself to will absolutely make a difference in how you think and what you believe. My hope is that this blog will provide you with a place to fill yourself up with positive healthy messages about your life so that you will have more to think about besides the lies of the eating disorder. But apart from this blog, what else are you exposing yourself to in your daily life? Take the time to think about it…it really can make a difference.

Now that midterms are over, I’ll try to add more to the different categories on here so you have a little extra to encourage your spirit this spring…stay tuned 🙂

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You Are More – Tenth Avenue North

great video, great lyrics, & a message we all need to remember

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March 13, 2013 · 12:34 pm

What Love Really Means – JJ Heller

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March 13, 2013 · 12:27 pm

The Great I Am – Phillips, Craig & Dean

one of my favorite worship songs

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March 13, 2013 · 12:22 pm

Hallelujah – Bethany Dillon

Love the lyrics to this song…a great reminder for how to face trials in life.

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March 13, 2013 · 12:15 pm