One of the most powerful moments in recovery is realizing that all the people you put on pedestals are just like you.
I’ll never forget what happened a year ago when I started sharing my story of 20-hellish years with an eating disorder, severe PTSD, and major depression.
Even though I’d experienced a miraculous healing, I wrestled with God about writing such personal matters. But I knew he’d called me to share it, so I sat down and poured out my story and secrets.
Like most things God calls us to do, there’s a scary feeling of oh-my-gosh-I’m-so-out-of-my-comfort-zone-what-the-heck-am-I-doing.
I’ve come to believe this discomfort is part of his plan. It’s there to remind us that we can’t do his work without relying on him. If we could do it without him, then it wouldn’t be his work; it would be ours. And we have no business trying to heal people in our own power.
I felt sick to my stomach when I pushed the Publish button on my first post. I had bared my soul and I was compelled to run away from the vulnerability, like I’d done my entire life. I wanted to delete it and just go about my personal recovery. But something stopped me from erasing the post. I imagined a woman at the end of her rope. Maybe she had an eating disorder or some other kind of addiction or chronic ailment that was sucking the life out of her. I saw her reeling from the lies that she was too far gone to get better, too damaged from her mistakes, too scarred from things that happened to her, and too shamefully weak to be redeemed. I saw her comparing herself to others and feeling unworthy of a good life.
And then I saw her reading what God had done for me and starting to wonder if he’d do it for her.
I prayed for that woman and walked away from the computer.
What happened next shocked me. People started writing to me and sharing their own destructive secrets they’d kept their entire lives. They wanted healing. They wanted to stop their addictions and compulsions, but they didn’t know how to heal. Like me, they tried over and over to stop on their own, never reaching the fuel tank that was driving their behavior. I felt their weariness, their facade-cracking anxiety, and my heart filled compassion and joy as they committed to begin their own journey of recovery.
Surprisingly, some of the women who reached out to me were the very ones I was most sure couldn’t relate to my brokenness. The sad thing is that’s exactly what they thought about me. Before reading my story, they thought I had it all together.
Wow. Me? Have it all together? It’s such a tragic joke you’d think it was part of a diabolical plan. (Which, in fact, I believe is the exact truth.)
Take a moment and picture all the people you’ve put on a pedestal. Now imagine they’re just like you.
There’s only one person who belongs on a pedestal….and his was a cross.
His name is Jesus. And he’s the only reason I’m alive today.