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A Swift Kick in the...PART 2

Good Morning FOED Family. I have really been thinking over the last week about this next part to this blog series. Since I blogged last, I have found myself falling in and out of the exact mental and emotional spiral that I was talking about. It starts unassumingly with something simple and then starts down a very slippery slope of "My pants are too tight", "My muscles are too small", "I can't eat that for fear of...." and on, and on, and on. In a span of about 5 minutes I go from being fine to feeling like a grotesque monster who doesn't deserve to see the light of day. It can be crippling.

As these feelings started creeping in, I thought about last weeks blog. I have full accountability to our FOED Family, so hiding and just hoping the feelings would pass was not an option. Practice what you preach, right?

I mentioned last week that when I get into this downward spiral mode, I have a built-in trigger response. This didn't happen over night, but over time. This is the first, and most important, part of what I consider PERSPECTIVE. I pray. "Well geez Michael. Thanks. Is that the answer to EVERYTHING? Just pray and all of negative feelings and stress just melt away? Say a prayer, God snaps His fingers and I'm back to the land of unicorns." NO. Great thought, but no. If that were the case then I would have been rid of this disease years ago. I would have washed my hands of the whole thing and never looked back. I mean, why would I? Who wants to live with ED/BD? Who would choose to do that?

Well, guess what? I would. Through the last few years, I have prayed A LOT. My prayer life has grown and changed and matured into a beautiful relationship with God. It definitely didn't happen overnight, and it still isn't perfect, because I am not perfect. Preempting the PERSPECTIVE trigger, I read a devotion by Oswald Chambers a few years ago that really stuck with me. In a nutshell, he explains that prayer is the way that the life of God is nourished within us. This hit me like a ton of bricks, especially since it is a food reference. Just as our bodies NEED food to survive, we NEED to feed our relationship with God with prayer. THE PURPOSE OF PRAYER - OSWALD CHAMBERS

I know that I left you hanging on a few things. Circling back...

Why would I choose to live with BD? In a perfect world, no, of course I wouldn't choose it. But guess what? We don't live in a perfect world, we live in a broken world. We can choose to be swallowed by it, or we can choose to make it a better place for ourselves, and others. I am pretty sure that I am not going to wake up tomorrow and my BD will have miraculously just melted away. That being the case, I am choosing to make it better. It was through prayer that God spoke to me about this specifically. I was praying for myself and Monica that God would help us to deal with this disease, that He would take this burden from us, that He would give us courage and confidence to face another day. I was trying to wrap up that prayer and I heard the words "Start a blog" as clear as day. It startled me. It was eerie, yet strangely comforting. Then my rational self took over and said "What the....? That has no relevance to me. I'm not a blogger." I finished my prayer and turned the radio back on in my car. On the radio was a commercial for an eating disorder center. I kid you not. My body rushed with adrenaline, my heart began to race and it was at that very moment I knew...God had literally just spoken to me. My eyes welled up with tears and I feverishly text Monica to tell her about the experience. It was that moment that started us on this journey, God's journey for us, in starting the website and blog.

It was through that experience, and tons of prayer, that God shared with me that my struggles with ED/BD were not in vain. He has given me a voice, and with my voice I am to share my story with others who are suffering. I had never blogged before, but He has given my the knowledge to figure it out. I NEVER wanted to be so vulnerable as to share this part of my life with anyone, much less the world, but He has given me the strength and confidence to sit here and blog to you today. With it, He has blessed me with peace...and shown me purpose. I always here people say "If I can just help one person, then all of the pain and struggles will be worth it".

Well, that moment happened. Through all of the hard work, tons of frustration, and TRYING to give up and quit the website and blog many times, God kept showing me that there is purpose to all of this. He wouldn't let me quit. He brought one of our FOED Family members to us, Jennifer Lilley. I read her very first response to one of my blogs and it stopped me in my tracks. I read it and reread it over and over with tears streaming down my face. It was at that moment that I knew that ALL of this was worth it. There was a reason that God had been so persistent in not letting me give up. There was a greater PURPOSE. Thank you Jennifer for having a life-changing impact on my life. You were the answer to a prayer that I hadn't even prayed yet. God crossed our paths with such great intent and the fact that we can be a source of strength for each other...through our nothing short of a miracle in my eyes. #perspective

I know that was a long journey to take you on only to bring you back to the prayer PERSPECTIVE trigger, but it was important. I wanted everyone to know more about my journey and why I do what I do, and prayer was a huge part of that equation. That was also a bit of a preview of PART 3 of this blog series, but more about that next time.

For me, whenever I start to feel the darkness creeping in my mind, my first reaction is to pray against it. This step 1 in finding perspective. I personally find a lot of peace in prayer, so this is my trigger response for most things in my life, good and bad. Good, prayers of thanks and bad, prayers for that struggle. The more I started doing this, the more prayer started to become my first response to every situation. Not a triggered response like someone saying "How are you" and the canned response back "Good, how are you?, this is different. This is the Holy Spirit using me as a vessel to pray for other people. I prayed so many times over the years for God to use me in whatever ways He deems best, and I feel that this is one of those ways....and it all started with prayer.

Lastly on prayer, another practice that I TRY and remember to do is pray for others in the same situation. Admittedly, I do forget this step sometimes, but I think it is SO important. When I am sliding down that slippery slope toward the darkness, my trigger is to pray against it...BUT it isn't just about me. I guarantee you that in that moment, I am not the only one in this world who is suffering with that issues at that very moment. How amazing that we have the ability to speak to God on behalf of ourselves AND others who are suffering? For me, it is comforting to know that I am not alone, and that God is hearing my prayers, for me...and for you.

Don't miss PART 3 of a Swift Kick in the... coming in the next few weeks. It will bring this whole series full circle and give you a practical approach to finding #perspective.

Much love-


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