Good morning y’all! Hope you are doing well today. Do you do a Word Of The Year? I’ve been doing it for many years now and I love looking back to my words and the years and seeing how they fit, it always blows my mind.
This year after much prayer I’ve decided that COURAGEOUS is my word. Why did I choose it? Well, I’ll be honest there were many reasons why I choose it but manly because of one 4 letter word…..FEAR.
Fear has gripped me since I was a little child. I didn’t have what I would call a stable home life. It was one of chaos. Don’t get me wrong, I know my mom did the best she could with what she knew. But in her own ways she taught me to be fearful of so many things. Still to this day she tries to put her fears on me, only today I know better and don’t receive it. Over the years I have walked through many things and learned to “Do it afraid” but 2020 showed me there was still some fear in me that needed to be dealt with.
I refuse to live my life in fear.
God kept speaking to my heart Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated), for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Fear is from the devil and the devil is a LIAR! It starts off as a little thought and before you know our emotions are all wrapped up i it and it becomes soooo strong and can actually overwhelm us. For some it cause panic attacks and others it can cause to shrink back. That’s why we have to be so careful with our emotions, they are fickle and ALWAYS CHANGING. We can’t be ruled by our emotions.
Proverbs 23:7 tells us that “as [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he“. I like what Joyce Meyer says: “Where the mind goes, the man follows.” That is so true. God wants us to walk by faith and the devil wants us to walk in paralyzing fear.
We have to meditate on the Word of God and renew our minds to be free from fear and be COURAGEOUS.
Ephesians 2:10 talks about how when we were born again we actually become recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do good works which God predestined…for us…[living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live] So let’s think about that for just a minute, if we are “recreated in Christ” whatever Jesus is…..we are too my friend. He is strong and IN HIMwe are strong.
1 John 4:17 says As He is so are we in this world.
You are all the things Jesus is.
So the why do we shrink back in fear? False. Evidence. Appearing. Real.
I think it’s because we look at ourselves and what we are not. We look at how far we have to go. We look at our circumstances and think NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE. And finally, I think listen to what others think or have said to us or about us. They try and put out our fire on the inside to make themselves feel better but COURAGE is acting against fear. Acting against the naysayers. Acting on what God says about YOU. Not letting fear control you.
Do It Afraid my friend.
Be Strong and Courageous.
How Can I Be Courageous?
1. Put a name to your fear. I learned in Alanon how to name my fear and do a Fear inventory. It’s actually an AA step but my Alanon sponsor used the AA Big Book with me as well. I may not have been an alcoholic or drink but I was raised in it and lived with it so of course you pick up the “ISMS”
2. Surrender. This may take doing over and over again. Nothing is wrong with that, often times we give it up and take it back. Give back to God again.
3. Speak God’s Promises over your life. His promises are YES! And AMEN!! And they are for YOU my friend.
4. Renew Your Mind. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:5
So this year when those fearful thoughts come to my mind I will put a name to my fear. I will surrender. I will speak Gods promises over my life and keep renewing my mind.
I WILL BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS AND KICK FEAR TO THE CURB! And I hope you will do.
What is your Word Of The Year and why? I’d love to hear from you.
The kind of fasting I want is this: Remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free. Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives. Then my favor will shine on you like the morning sun, and your wounds will be quickly healed. I will always be with you to save you; my presence will protect you on every side. Isaiah 58:6-8
I’ve learned so much as I walk out and get free from ED (eating disorder) 21 days of fasting and prayer have always been one of my favorite times of the year but also a time that caused me great pain and confusion. Over the last year though I’ve learned why.
Fasting can be very triggering for someone who suffers from an eating disorder.
This one word….Fasting….can cause my world to fall apart completely.
We study the life of Christ and his spiritual disciplines and we learn how important fasting and prayer are and how they can break the chains that bind us.
Prayer changes everything.
However, when one has an eating disorder fasting can destroy any and all progress you have made.
Restricting is NEVER GOOD under any circumstances.
Restricting TRIGGERS even done under the best of intentions.
Most people that do 21 days of prayer in January they might do the Daniel Fast, food altogether, sugar, 1- 2 meals a day, etc. But in my brain, that simple suggestion to skip or restrict a meal can flip a switch that cannot be easily turned off and send me spiraling.
I can remember over the years when I started realizing I was struggling in this area I just didn’t know why or how or what to do to help myself. 21 days of prayer and fasting would roll around and I decide to do Daniel fast and fail miserable. Enter shame and guilt.
Then I’d decided to fast sugar, same thing, I’d fail miserably. Enter more shame and guilt. I’d ask myself time and time again “Why can’t I do this?”
I know people mean well but there are some people that will shame you for not fasting what they’re fasting. That happened to me countless times. Let me just say I don’t need someone else heaping more shame and guilt on me I’ve done enough of that myself. You should NEVER shame anyone for doing something differently or not doing something you are doing because you have no idea what they are going through.
I read somewhere, “In many cases, asking a recovering eating disordered individual to fast for a single meal would be like inviting a recovering alcoholic to drink a beer: It is absolutely disastrous.” Let me just say it’s VERY TRUE!
I’m so thankful in so many ways for 2020. I believe I’ve grown more in my eating disorder which is mind blowing because during a pandemic eating disorders as well as other addictions and disorders were skyrocketing. Not to say, I didn’t have my challenges but I praise God He was moving and working in me and through me to gain more freedom instead of losing freedom.
So as we start this season of 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer, FOOD IS NOT AN OPTION FOR ME and even though it’s taken me a really long time to believe this….It’s ok!
I know we are called to Fast and Pray it’s all over the Bible. It was through 21 days of Fasting and Prayer when God finally said “Nicole, now is the time to deal with this secret problem you have.” He told me to throw out my diuretics and laxatives that I had been abusing for sooooo many years and I was set free right there! Haven’t touched another laxative or diuretic since. So I KNOW fasting and prayer work. It’s just mine and maybe yours needs to look differently and ITS OK.
We have to protect our own recovery. I have worked soooo incredibly hard to get to where I’m at and I have such a long way to go but you best believe I’m protective of myself.
Fasting is simply laying aside SELF. Who couldn’t benefit from that, right?
Fasting is clearing out the clutter that we’ve let in and allowing God in those places. I’m sure there are many areas we can come up with to give up or Fast from that don’t involve food.
Fasting is about growing closer to God.
More of Him and less of me.
Fasting is NOT a diet and some people use it to lose weight at the beginning of the year but don’t work on the drawing closer to Him part.
Ideas of things you can FAST:
Online Shopping 😱🙈 my hubby would prolly like me to do this one LOL😜
Negative Self Talk
Don’t Eat Out
There’s so many things you could Fast instead of food. It’s not about what your giving up it’s that you are dying to self so that Christ can be glorified through us.
Maybe, just maybe, me walking in my recovery, following my meal plan for someone with ED….maybe MY FAST. See now I’m learning self care and how to nourish myself….that’s a sacrifice and takes a lot of time and prayer.
So yes, I’m excited about 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer! But I WILL NOT be fasting food in any way. My ED recovery is to precious to me and I’ve come to far for that. I look forward to seeing what our Mighty God will do during this season.
I’m believing and expecting great things for you and for me. God bless you and I hope you have a wonderful week!
I still believe You’re moving. I still believe You’re speaking God, I believe You’re working All things for good. I fix my eyes on Heaven God, I receive Your vision God, I believe You’re working All things for good. We sing come alive in the name of Jesus. Come alive in the name of Jesus. This is a house of miracles. We bring everything to the feet of Jesus. Everything in the name of Jesus. This is a house of miracles💗🙏🙌💯⚓️
Anyone else as happy as me to say goodbye to 2020? LOL , what a year it’s been right? How many times have you said “It’s fine. I’m fine?” It’s become a joke at our house. I got my hubby a dumpster fire ornament for Christmas and he loved it, LOL🤣
But all joking aside we are headed into a new year.
A new season.
A fresh start!
I jokingly said before I agree to 2021 I need to see some terms and conditions. Ok, ok, ok that was the last one 🤣 I’m pretty sure that’s partly how I made it through this past year was all the funny memes.
Laughter is the best medicine.
What do you think of when I say New Years resolutions? Here are just a few. Number 1 and 2 are always neck and neck
Get a hobby
Save more money
Quit smoking/drink less
Spend more time with family
Let me preface this by saying there is nothing wrong with doing New Years resolutions at all but I think it often promotes an all or nothing mindset. Which then turns things into good and bad categories. Which can then turn things into guilt and shame. I don’t know about you but I don’t need anymore guilt and shame?
So I’m offering up a different way to look at New Years resolutions….a non diet resolutions…..especially for those who struggle with eating disorders or who have been on the yo-yo diet train for many years.
Most of you know I have struggled with ED (eating disorder) but this will be my first year that I haven’t had some sorta diet related New Years resolutions that I would make a pack and fail shortly later lol.
This year I’m doing life differently.
1. Practicing Self Care
That can look differently for everyone. This one is challenging for me and I’m still learning this one. But managing your everyday stress is vital. My physical therapist has been teaching me breathing exercises and it’s been very helpful. Prayer time and worship music are also vital. You may only be able to carve out 15-30 mins a day to relax and care for yourself but do something that you enjoy.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
2. Stop Comparing Yourself
I could stay here FOREVER simply because this is something I’ve done for soooo many years. I just want you to know YOU are beautiful. YOU are unique and YOU are NOT meant to be someone else. Here’s the thing while I love Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you are only seeing someone’s highlights. You don’t see that they took 20 pictures to post that one and they filtered it, etc. So we look at their life and think everything is all perfect when in reality it’s not. Get comfortable with who you are and where you’re at. Easier said than done I know. But God created you and doesn’t want a clone of you. You have unique gifts and talents that ONLY YOU HAVE.
Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others. Assume your own responsibility. Galatians 6:4-5
3. Cultivating A Grateful Heart
Take a few minutes every day and just be thankful for what you have. You may not have everything you want but looking for things to be thankful for can totally change your perspective. Start small if you have too. “Today I’m thankful for hot water.” There are people all over the world that don’t have hot water and even water at all. Perspective my friend.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col 3:15-17
4. The Should’s and Shouldn’t
Are you familiar with the Should’s and Shouldn’t? Ohhhh man, I sure am. Condemnation has hung around for far to long.
I must be perfect.
I have been here for far to long. Instead use words like “I may” “I can” and “it’s ok.”
These words bring freedom instead of legalism and condemnation.
“I’m free to eat this or that.”
“This category of food isn’t all bad, I can eat all food.”
“I can live a balanced life.”
“It’s OK if I feel this way.”
This brings freedom my friend!! It has taken me a long time to get to this place and I’m not “perfect” at it but I’m so thankful to be on a road to recovery and for God leading me and growing more every day.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
5. Setting Healthy Boundaries
This one is tough right? Why you ask? Because it’s hard to say “NO” for most of us, we don’t want to disappoint people or let them down. So that makes it easy to get caught up in people pleasing. We say yes to things we really don’t want to do and then resent people and start harboring unforgiveness and we get caught in a vicious cycle. I’m waaaaaaay to familiar with this one. See because of the emotions wrapped up into people pleasing it’s also relates back to food very easily.
People pleasing has been my middle name, praise God I’ve gotten better! Be true to yourself my friend. Yes, helping others is good but not to the determent of your health and the growth of the other person. Often times we hinder others the benefit and pain of growing. Learn NO! It’s a beautiful word and something great to work on this year.
“Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where i end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership. Knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for gives me freedom. Taking responsibility for my life opens up many different options. Boundaries help us keep the good in and the bad out. Setting boundaries inevitably involves taking responsibility for your choices. You are the one who makes them. You are the one who must live with their consequences. And you are the one who may be keeping yourself from making the choices you could be happy with. We must own our own thoughts and clarify distorted thinking.” Henry Cloud
6. Negative Self Talk
Mmmm, this one right here!! I am my own worst critic. Can you relate? This is one I’ve had to work at sooooo much. I still battle with this.
Renewing your mind is CRUCIAL! Speaking LIFE! Getting in agreement with what God’s word says about you instead of what that negative committee is saying about you and your situation.
Change your focus. Set your mind on things above and keep it set….Col 3:2
This will be hard work but thoughts will come and go but His word gives us instructions on what to do when those negative thoughts come….and they will. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Stay on your guard my friend. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
In closing, I hope I have made you think beyond the typical weigh loss goal of a New Years resolutions. My prayer for you is that you will have a good relationship with Lord first and foremost and then yourself. You can’t get away from yourself lol. You are with you every where you go.
Being able to get off that Yo-Yo diet train is so important. Having a healthy relationship with food and yourself is so important. Loving yourself, embracing who you are, flaws and all is freeing. I’m not totally there yet but praise God I’m not where I use to be!
What a year 2020 has been in my ED recovery, I’m SOOOO beyond thankful and truly blown away by the progress but more importantly I’m not focusing on where I’m not and how much further I have to go.
2021 I WELCOME YOU! I look forward to seeing what God will do and how He will us me and how I will grow and change more.
I’m excited to have my first year with NO DIET RESOLUTIONS!
GO GOD!! Do it!! You are gonna do AMAZING THINGS THIS YEAR I KNOW IT!!