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An Enlightened Perspective

As you all know by now, my faith, my love of God...and acceptance of how unconditionally He loves me DESPITE all of my what wakes me up every morning. Bobby and I try to read a lot, so we are constantly downloading new books to out Kindles. We typically read faith-based books of all varieties, which lead to many great in-depth conversations. There are a handful of them that have resonated enough that we have given copies of them to friends and family in hopes that they find similar insight or inspiration.

We have both read an amazing book on Near Death Experiences (NDE's) called "Imagine Heaven" by John Burke. This was truly an eye-opening and inspirational account of non-fiction NDE stories from hundreds of people recounting their journeys from death to heaven and back to life. The amazing part of this compilation is that these were not just stories from Christians in the US, they are stories from all of the world from people of all different religions, faith backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, etc. Why this resonated so much for me was that, especially from the non-Christian NDE's, the overlaps and parallels with the Christian NDE stories referencing their experiences traveling to and being in Heaven and in the presence of God. It was absolutely awe-inspiring and enlightening. To take it one step further and, in my mind, provide more credibility, the common treads in their stories are all tied back to Bible scriptures. Just incredible. This book took my fears of dying and leaving this world and replaced them a renewed sense of peace, and longing to meet my Heavenly Father.

So that brings me to this morning. We both finished that book month ago and have moved on to reading other various things. Bobby mentioned to me last night that he started another NDE book by one of the women who's story we read in Imagine Heaven. He told me that it was so intriguing that I should consider stopping what I was reading and start this book. It is called "7 Lessons From Heaven: How Dying Taught Me To Live a Joy-Filled Life" by Mary C. Neal, M.D. So I did. I woke up bright and early at 6:30 before the sun had risen and went down into our sunroom to read. I started the book and the next thing I knew the sun was up and I was finishing up chapter Two. I didn't want to stop reading. All of the feelings and emotions that were stirred up in reading "Imagine Heaven" were rekindled in starting this new book.

I would imagine that you are asking yourself, "So what does this have to do with ED & BDD? Is this a book review blog?" No, it's not, but this resonated so much this morning that I made myself stop after Chapter Two so that I could blog to you guys about it. As someone who battles daily with BDD, everything in life seems to be a trigger....and I never know what will be a new trigger. Seeing myself in a weird angle in the mirror, my pants not fitting as loosely as they had before, finding an old picture of myself when I felt like I looked "my best" and then starting into the downward spiral of the comparison trap...etc. As I read more about her story and how she describes her out-of-body experience, hovering over her lifeless body, and her journey to meeting God for what she calls her "Life Review" (scriptural reference would be our "Judgement", 1 Corinthians 4:5, et al). It just left me speechless. Her account was beautiful and painted such a vivid picture of God's grace and mercy. I have always had such a negative connotation, and if am being honest - fear, of what that day will be like. He words pierced my heart and gave me a completely different perspective. God gave her the ability to view all of the experiences of her past, bad and good, through the lens' of all that were involved and simultaneously view their life story and experiences, motivations, back-grounds and feelings. How their personal experiences influenced their behaviors and reactions in each situation and how she, at that moment, had a true understanding of the word Grace. God's incredible grace for us, and the grace that we should have for others. I cannot completely articulate how this made me feel, but my main take-away was this...perspective. I so easily fall into what seems like a daily BDD trap and then the emotional spiral that it brings. My perspective today is that BDD does not define me. My body does not define me. For whom I live my life, how I treat others...that is what is truly important. I live my life to glorify God and strive to treat others with the same grace and mercy that God continually shows me. Today, my focus is His amazing grace and unending love for me...not how my pants fit.

Click on the book covers for a link to

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