Category Archives: Hope

The Misguided SELF- Life With ED And Overcoming My Broken Past

Hey y’all! Hope you guys are having a great week so far. The weather is so pleasant, I think I will be able to pull out my boots pretty soon🙌🏻 Fall and Winter are my favorite months.

I love the holidays. I’ve had my Fall stuff out for at least a month but I’m ready to decorate for Christmas, LOL.

Anywho, last couple of weeks some great things have happened with my blog and ladies small group. As some of you know, I’ve struggled with ED….eating disorder. I stopped abusing diuretics and laxatives a year or so ago when God put his finger on it and said “Now is the time to deal with this Nicole!” So I sought out help and have been in counseling since. Even though I gave up the diuretics and laxatives I was still struggling with not eating or binging…..But I recently had an epiphany.

As I said, something great had happened and God was all in it and when it was over I had a “small binge.” For the life of me I couldn’t understand why. It was so good, there was no need too. I guess for so long I thought it was only in the stressful times or bad times I would deprive myself or binge. Not realizing, I was doing it in the good times as well. I love the misguided self who thinks she can control this ED.

As I talked about what had happened with someone, I realized it went back to my childhood.

There were happy memories associated with food, maybe you already get that but I sure didn’t. Christmas time when the family got together, there was amazing food….well except for my grandmothers oyster dressing 🤢 She always thought I loved it, LOL. It was nothing but a nasty blob of mush.

Family reunions with lots of food and fun.

Birthdays full of fun, presents, and sometimes I would have 3-4 cakes different cakes. I was an only child in a divorced family, so I got to celebrate with a lot of different family members.

I can remember sitting around the table, the yummy smells, eating chocolate peanut butter balls, laughing, telling stories. Those are just some precious memories with my family.

Then as I got older, there were the times my mom and I would go out on the weekends, her in her pink foam rollers and terry cloth jumpers 🙈 We would have lunch and shopped till we dropped. I’m pretty sure that’s where my love of shopping developed, LOL🤣

More memorable, were the times when I was young, scared and afraid, hiding under a table.

Watching my drunk grandfather cuss out and beat up my moms 2nd husband.

Or the time when my grandfather was drunk again and threatened to shoot us. I remember begging my grandmother to call the police and she wouldn’t do it. She didn’t want him to be put away. He needed to be put a away, he needed help. But instead I was locked in a room.

I still remember that bedroom upstairs on the right, it had twin beds. Moma had hand stitched pictures on the walls, so beautiful. But there I was huddled on the floor behind the bed, the smell of moth balls filled the air. Popa’s sister, Aunt Sarah was there with me, I can still feel her arms around me, comforting me, and praying for us. To me her prayers were so powerful. I loved her dearly.

Then there were all the different men my mom dated, loved or married, all having major brokenness in their own life and passing that onto me. I know now she was hurt and wanted to be loved and was willing to do or be anything to get it.

Being raised in alcoholism, is chaotic enough, then there’s all the instability. You never know what to expect. So you learn to not rock the boat.

One step dad was OCD, nothing was ever good enough and he had such an awful temper. I knew he loved me and would buy me whatever I wanted….because that means love right? He scared me. There were times I would seek refuge and hide under the kitchen table in a ball to try and feel safe, and yet it escaped me time and again.

Wondering why this was allowed to go on?

Why didn’t my mom do something about it?

Why did I have to go through this hell?

Then another stepdad was an severe alcoholic. I loved him very much and he was there during some important years of my life. But his pain and brokenness just oozed out on everyone in his life. He didn’t know how to love well. I remember him saying things like;

“I’m a piece of shit!”

“I’m a slut, a whore!”

“No one will ever want you!”

“You will never amount to anything?”

Not only was he verbally abusive but he hit me as well.

Back then I wondered, what did I do wrong? Did I do something to deserve this? Was he told these things as a child? Why did he do those things to me? Why wasn’t I good enough? Why didn’t God stop it? More importantly, why did my mom allow those things to go on? Why didn’t she protect me?

This is when my eating disorder began to show its ugly head. At the time it was my comfort, it was a shelter for me in my storm….until it wasn’t. Then I couldn’t stop it and it took over my life.

I was so hurt and broken at this time, dealing with the shame and guilt of the past. Having been being molested at a young age as well, all I wanted was a way out.

I wanted my pain to stop.

I took an overdose of pills. I wanted to be free.

All I wanted was to feel safe, loved, accepted, treasured….ENOUGH.

Can anyone relate these feelings?

(That Girl Was Me…. Click below)

https://nikhop320.wordpress.com/2018/06/26/that-girl-was-me/

What happened after that was life altering. There I was revived, broken, and a sassy hotmess! My mom had made the decision to have me put in the hospital in hopes it would save me. Because of that one decision, my life was changed forever. I got the help I so desperately needed and for the first time in my life I felt hope….not freedom but hope that my life can change and be better.

I needed hope but I needed freedom more, but it would come later for me.

Not long after that I met my husband and we got married and my mom divorced and married again.

As a young mom and wife, full of fear, stress, and still looking for that love and acceptance I so desperately wanted….I had to keep up that appearance of having it all together. See you gotta look the part and play the part. Perfection! Plastic People. People will love you IF you’re perfect enough and IF you don’t rock the boat.

How misguided I was.

In the early years of my ED, it was just fun binging here and there with friends, but after I got married and started having kids, all the stress that surrounded that and not having family near to help or a healthy support system, I needed to control more. So, I had to kick up up a notch. One night in my shame and guilt I drank a hefty dose of ipecac syrup after my binge…..y’all! It. Was. The. Worst. Night. Ever!! I don’t know if I’ve ever thrown up so much. I quickly realized I didn’t like that experience lol and set out to find a better way.

Little did I know that my sin would take me further than I wanted to go, keep me longer than I wanted to stay, and cost me more than I wanted to pay. Unknown

I learned that laxatives and diuretics were easier than throwing up. My power was temporarily restored and I felt I had more control, at least in my distorted mind and that went on for 20 more plus years.

I could dress it up like the best of them. I had perfected my mask, so much that I didn’t know how to take it off. I knew I needed help but I didn’t know how.

During a “21 Days Of Prayer” God stuck His finger on it and said “It’s time, Nicole!” That was where my journey to freedom began. As I said before, I threw out all my laxatives and diuretics and haven’t taken them again!

Praise God for opening my heart and eyes. He sets us free sometimes little by little, from glory to glory. I’m not where I want to be but I’m not where I use to be either. Hallelujah!

So I kinda felt a little stuck until I had this epiphany. But I see it so clearly now.

I couldn’t get free because I was holding onto things I needed to let go of. I don’t believe it was ever simply the eating disorder, it was about all the things that happened before that I was holding onto. Things I was shoving down, so far down to the point I couldn’t feel it. I was numb. But once I made that decision to let the Lord in those dark places of my heart I can actually say I’m getting FREE! Freedom is up ahead!

I’m walking it out now, I’m not free from the eating disorder YET, but I will be!!!

All those painful things from my past, the hurts, the brokenness, the trauma, the things the devil meant to harm and destroy me, MY GOD is working for my good!!

I won’t waste my pain, what I’ve been through has created the woman I am today, it doesn’t define me but I have experience, strength and hope now that I can share with whoever the Lord puts in my path.

I’m dealing with a lot of difficult things right now, feeling the pain, the brokenness, but now I know it’s ok to not be ok. I’m on my way. I don’t have to be perfect. All I need to be is who God created me to be. I’m learning to set boundaries with people in my life that once controlled me and healthy ways to handle situations.

I’m learning I have a voice and my feelings matter. They don’t have to be shoved down because someone might get angry, they need to be felt and dealt with and NOT shoved deep.

Now the pain draws me closer to God instead of driving me further away. See the enemy wanted me to be alone and isolated but God created us for relationship. I’m so blessed with family and friends that will hold my arms up when I’m to weak. They will be there for me as soon as I say the word….it may take me a while to say I need help, LOL but I’m getting better at it.

We all need a Titus.

Titus, was one of Paul’s converts and huge help to him in his ministry. Titus was the encourager in his life. When conflict came Paul’s way, Titus would be there in those difficult times or situations.

Life is painful!

Life is hard!

Unfortunately, crappy and unfair things can happen to us but with God on your side and a Titus in your corner, my friend you can’t fail!

That’s why church, small groups, support groups, and counseling are so vital to our lives. We weren’t meant to carry all these heavy burdens alone. We were built for relationships, we were meant to come along side one another in our pain and brokenness so it could bring healing and restoration to our hearts and souls. Who is your Titus?

I’m a Trophy Of Grace and you are too sweet friend!

I hope you have a wonderful week. God bless you!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

 

Fan the Flame

God’s love for you is everlasting and unconditional my friend. I love that in God’s word he tells us to stir ourselves up, to fan the flame.

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 2 Timothy 1:6

So what does that mean exactly and how do we go about doing it?

Ways to stir yourself up:

1. Remembering past victories helps increase our faith and gives hope that you WILL come out victorious!! Journaling is a great way to do this. So when your down and feeling hopeless you can look back on all the great things God has done for you in the past and prayers he’s answered.

2. Speak God’s word/Affirmations

Call those things that be not as tho there are!! It’s time to do spiritual warfare with the words that come out of your mouth!! Is what your saying in agreement with God’s word or are you complaining about your problems and situation instead going to THE ONE who can solve it? Complaining only makes our problems seem bigger, never ending and hopeless. Use your faith and words and SPEAK LIFE. Our words our soooo powerful!! The are like containers, they either contain life, faith and blessings or they contain death, doubt, unbelief and cursing.

Remind yourself

“He will work ALL things out for my good”

“God loves ME and has a great plan for MY life” “

“NO weapon formed against me shall prosper on any way”

“YOU are an overcomer.”

This is stirring ourselves up and this brings HOPE, JOY and PEACE to our lives.

3. Listen to sound bible believing teachers and preachers daily. There are so many ways to do this, your church every week, thru television, podcasts (one of my favorites) and YouTube just to name a few. You can literally do this anytime, any where, while your at work, cooking, cleaning, just doing your every day life and still get the Word in you.

4. Be in the Word daily.

Being in the Word daily has many benefits.

Helps you grow in your relationship with God.

– When temptation comes and it always does, knowing the word will help you fight temptation.

– Helps to nourish and revive your soul and body.

– Provides comfort in dark times.

– It’s transforming, changing us into his likeness more and more every day.

My friend the mind in a battlefield…Memorizing scripture and it will come back to when you need it most.

The law of the LORD is perfect,

reviving the soul;

the testimony of the LORD is sure,

making wise the simple;

the precepts of the LORD are right,

rejoicing the heart;

the commandment of the LORD is pure,

enlightening the eyes;

Psalm 19:7-11

5. Just being thankful, showing gratitude daily.

If you look around and think about it even just a little bit you have so much to be thankful for.

If you woke up…you’re breathing today.

If you can walk, that’s something to be thankful for.

If you have clean running water, that’s a huge blessing. It’s estimated that 844 million people don’t have clean water, that’s unbelievable and so sad to me.

If you have a toilet, which we probably take for granted then that is a blessing as well. It’s estimated that 2.3 billion people don’t have a decent toilet. Isn’t that just hard to imagine???

If you have food to eat, a home for shelter, if you have loved ones in your life….you have MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR.

Look I know some days it’s hard to be thankful but if you have to start small that’s fine but just start being thankful for something. The cup of coffee you drink every morning or for me it’s Spark and oh man am I thankful for Spark every morning lol. A picture of a loved one, a memory, hot water, gluten free food, your bed, whatever just be thankful for something everyday!!

6. Put on the Armor of God every day.

Ephesians 6:10-18

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

7. Find a small group to do life with. Fellowshipping with other believers is life changing. It helps build healthy friendships and can be good accountability. Being able to find friends and being vulnerable is hard I know but in my experience it’s being vulnerable is what tears down the walls around us and more often than not you find you are not alone in your pain and struggles. I’ve also discovered me being real not only helps me but it also helps others to feel safe and secure and they open up with what they are struggling with. Then you are able to help one another. That is what I think small groups are about.

Proverbs 27:17

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

Get connected my friend!

8. Pray daily

The Word tells us to pray on all occasions, making our requests known to God. Ephesians 6:18

It tells us to pray without ceasing. 1Thessalonians 5:17

It tells us never to worry about anything, and to thank God for what He has already provided. Philippians 4:6

Jesus showed us examples of different times to pray.

-He prayed at the cross.

-He prayed during sad times.

-He prayed before he ate.

-He prayed while he was in despair and agony.

Jesus made prayer a priority. I wonder what life would be like if we made prayer a priority the way Jesus did? I can only speak for myself but I haven’t always gone to God when I had problems, sometimes we go to others to tell them what’s going on and seek their help or wisdom. But WHAT IF instead our first response was to go to Jesus with our problems instead of others, I mean he truly is the only one who can fix it. Seems like it would be logical for us to do it but it’s not always the case.

9. Our attitudes and thoughts toward things in life. Sometimes it’s just a small shift in out perspective. Ya know is my glass half empty or half full? Or one thing I’ve noticed is we tend to say “I have to do this or that.” But what if just changed one word in there, it could potentially change your whole perception….”I GET to do this or that.” Man that’s totally different and if you think about it takes off some stress.

We don’t have to think every thought that comes into our mind. A lot of the time we are thinking about our problems/situation and when we focus on that it brings us down, makes us feel hopeless and depressed. But when we think and speak His promises over them it can literally change everything. Choose on purpose to renew your mind and speak God’s word and positive things from your mouth. You’ll be surprised at how quickly a hopeless situation turns around when we allow God in and change our perspective. God IS BIGGER than any problem we have and the battle belongs to Him so Let go and Let God!

10. Fasting

Fasting is basically giving up certain foods, like doing the Daniel Fast or giving up soda, sugar, social media, tv, or other things that have gotten a hold of you for a certain period of time in order to turn your thoughts to God. Fasting is found all throughout the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. I encourage you to study up on fasting. There are many great books on this subject. Our church does 21 Days of fasting and prayer every January and then 21 days of prayer in August. It’s always an amazing experience and God has showed me many things and have had breakthroughs because of fasting.

Sweet friends we have to keep ourselves stirred up because the world is always coming at us trying to tear us down. Don’t believe the lies of the enemy. Don’t believe what the enemy tells you about your doctors report, bank account, economy, the shape your family/marriage is in and that nothing will ever change. NOOOO, Believe God, trust GOD, He’s behind the scenes working it all out. You do your part, stir yourselves up, trust, believe and you praise Him until your breakthrough comes, because it’s coming precious one!!!! I believe it with everything in me, God is working and moving sweet friends, don’t doubt it!! He is bringing us to a new level this year, He’s opening doors that NO man can shut, so get ready!!!!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

The Liebster Award

I would like to thank Ryan for nominating me for the Libster Award! Such an honor. I enjoy Ryan’s blog, it is so inspiring and uplifting so if you need a jumpstart on your day head on over to to his blog and check him out.

authorryanc.com

The rules:

-Acknowledge the blogger that gave it to you and display the award

-Answer 11 questions that the blogger gave you

-Give 11 random thoughts about yourself

-Nominate 11 other bloggers and notify them of their nomination

Ask your nominees 11 questions

Here are my answers to the questions:

What made you start blogging?

I love blogging. It helps me to get things out so I don’t bottle things up but it also gives me an avenue to share my pain, my experience, strength and hope. I never want my pain to be wasted, if I can help just one person then it’s all worth it.

When did you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

When I was 5 years old.

What is your favorite movie and/or book?

Well that’s easy, it’s Elf! I love that movie. I’m pretty sure I know every word. I watch it throughout the year as well lol. My other favorites are How the Grinch stole Christmas with Jim Carey, Fun with Dick and Jane and Mr. Poppers Penguin. You might notice a theme, I like laughing and “I like smiling, smiling is my favorite.” 😂

Where are you from?

I was born in Charlotte, N.C.

What is your favorite food?

Ribeye steak, especially from Outback Steakhouse. I could eat it every day!

What type of music do you like the most?

I love Christian rap, worship and some good ole classic country.

Where have you traveled?

I have been to Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Las Vegas, Metropolis, Il, Chicago, Virginia, Tennessee, Branson, St. Thomas, eastern Caribbean, Michigan, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.

Are you married?  Do you have kids?  If not, do you want to have kids?

Yes I am married, we have been married for 28 years and have 3 beautiful daughters and a wonderful son in law, and our youngest just got engaged. So our family is growing. We also have 2 dogs and 2 grand pups.

What was the biggest challenge you have overcome in life and how?

Dealing with family members who have a drinking problems or emotional issues. I’ve had to learn not to enable people and learn to respond rather than react. Learning that I’m responsible for my own happiness and not someone else. The journey I’ve been on has been extremely hard but I wouldn’t trade it because it’s helped me to become who I am today. Yes it’s painful but it has been life changing for me.

Have you ever had any supernatural experiences?

Being filled with the Spirit.

What was the best thing that ever happened to you?

I would have to say meeting my husband and having our 3 precious daughters.

****I’m just throwing this Question and Answer in just as a Bonus for your entertainment and because I really liked Ryan’s Question he had to answer.

So my most embarrassing moment happened when my husband and I were traveling with our girls. We decided to stop and grab a bite to eat at McDonald’s and let the girls play. Well they kept pestering me about going up in the McDonald’s PlayPlace with them, of course I said “No” I have a small fear of heights, lol. You know how relentless kids can be, I finally gave in and agreed to go up. I did fine until I got to the middle of the net tunnel. Yep you guessed it, I froze right in the middle, couldn’t move, I was laughing and crying all at the same time. Sean and the girls were laughing, heck everyone around was laughing. I was the laughing stock especially when my husband had to come up and get me down😂 Bless! Not my most shining moment but definitely a memory that gets shared often.

Here are my questions:

How many times have you moved?

What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

If you could meet any person dead or alive, who would it be?

What was your first pet?

What was your Word for this year?

If you are a Christian, who led you to the Lord? OR what circumstances helped get you there?

What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Are you an only child or do you have siblings? How many?

What are some things God has taught you to do or use to help you walk in victory?

What’s your worst cooking disaster?

Here are my nominees:

The Bottom of a Bottle thebottomofabottle.wordpress.com

Walking Together in God’s Promises possesshispromises.com

Riverside Peace riversidepeace.com

From the Darkness Into The Light godandi.blog

Amazing Graces amazinggrace.wordpress.com

The Lions Crest Farm thelionsecho.wordpress.com

Work in Progress workinprogressblog.co

mysimplejoylife mysimplejoylife.wordpress.com

Faith & Turtles faithnturtles.com

The Low Carb Diabetic thelowcarbdiabetic.blogspot.com/

Blessings by Me blessingsbyme.wordpress.com

Thank you again Ryan, you are such an inspiration to me! God bless you my friend!

You are ALL Trophies of Grace and God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life!

Big hugs,

Nicole 💗

Hope I did all this right, lol. So exciting thanks you so much for the opportunity, I feel so honored amongst so many amazing writers/bloggers @ theglobalaussie.com

Hope against Hope

HOPE!! What is hope? It’s a confident expectation; it’s an attitude that something good is going to happen.

Have you ever felt hopeless?

Like you’ve believed, prayed, been on your knees, cried out to God for something and it still hasn’t come to pass and you just wonder, “God do you hear me?” “Can you see me?”

I think if we’re honest we’ve all been there. I know I have, maybe I am still in some areas “Hoping against hope.”

I think it kinda hit me today in my prayer time I’ve heard the story a million times. Abraham and Sarah were believing God for the impossible. God promised to “bless them with descendants to numerous to count.”

Abraham was a 100….A HUNDRED YEARS OLD Y’ALL!! Sarah was 90….Can you image that??? Giving birth at 90 YEARS OF AGE! Nope, I can’t imagine it in my my 40’s or 50’s lol, not that there is anything wrong with it I was just a young chickadee when I started having babies. But God honored His promise to them, IN HIS TIME and gave them a child in their old age.

“Even when there was NO reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping.” Hoping against hope, he believed God. That’s for YOU today!

God is no respecter of persons, if He did it for Abraham and Sarah, He can surely do it for you and me.

So what are you believing for or hoping against hope for?

It doesn’t matter what it is or even what your situation looks like….hope, believe, and trust in God like Abraham and Sarah. He is Almighty God, nothing impossible to Him. He is more than able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above and way beyond what you can imagine. He is the Waymaker and the Promise Keeper, and He will keep His promise to you. He loves YOU precious one and He sees your pain and although at times it may not seem like it….but He has a great plans for your life! Plans to prosper you and not harm you, to give you hope and future.

Whatever it is your going through Gods got you in the palm of His hand and He will work all things out for your good. Keep hanging in there my friend and hoping against hope! You are His treasure and Trophy of Grace!

Love and hugs,

Nicole💗

Lord I believe. Help my unbelief!

If I’m being real some days this is where I find myself “I do believe but help my unbelief.” Does that make me a bad person? No, it makes me human. You might find yourself here today.

When those situations we pray for haven’t changed, sometimes we grow tired and weary but it doesn’t mean God isn’t listening or that He isn’t working. It doesn’t mean He doesn’t love us either. It simply means He knows more than we do and He knows what’s best for us.

He sees the beginning from the end and NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE TO GOD!

But what if it never changes?

Does that mean God isn’t good? Of course not, He’s a good good Father regardless of whether our problems or circumstances change.

Sometimes the things we are praying for are also dependent on other people which brings in free will. Which I know can also be hard because sometimes we know what’s best for someone but they have to want it, we can’t force it on then. We have to trust God with them or our situation.

We live in a fallen world BUT my friend if we keep pressing into God, going to Him with our requests, trusting Him, He can change those things and change us. He will perfect that which concerns you and He WILL make all things turn around for our good.

HOPE believes God isn’t done yet!

HOPE believes God can do anything!

Hope is the anchor for our soul.

HOPE and…..FAITH as small as a mustard seed! Nothing is IMPOSSIBLE TO GOD!

So today I recognize that my faith is not always where it should be, we all find ourselves there at some point my friend and that’s ok. Just tell God, He knows already and He loves you anyways.

As I come to You today and say “I believe Lord. Help my unbelief” I recognize that often I look at my circumstances instead of looking at You. Help me keep my eyes focused on You instead of what’s going on all around me. Thank You for all that you’ve done for me and my family. Thank you for loving this hotmess of a woman. Where would I be without You? Thank you for Your goodness, kindness and your graciousness. You have blessed me far beyond what I deserve. I love You and praise You Lord! In Jesus name, Amen!

My heart cries out, “I do believe, help my unbelief.”

Love,

Nicole💗

Overcoming Deep Dark Secrets….Life With An Eating Disorder

Hey y’all! Hope you guys have had a great week. I haven’t talked about this in a minute but I feel like it’s so important, not only for myself but for those suffering in silence. Some of you know I have struggled with an eating disorder for a good portion of my life, that maybe where you find yourself at today. But I want to offer hope to you, hope that you don’t have to stay in the same place as you are today. You don’t have to have the same struggles or battles, if your willing to allow God in and put the work in…..YOU CAN HAVE FREEDOM. It’s there for the taken!! While I’m still on the road to recovery, I’m getting stronger and more free every day, and you can to my friend.

So I want talk about what helped lead up to me even being willing to get help. I’m using the word willing for an important reason because if I said I was waiting on WHEN I FELT LIKE MAKING CHANGES I’d be waiting for an awfully long time. Because we can feel like every Monday we want to start over and TRY to get things right. But in my experience “WE TRY” “WE FEEL” and it hasn’t served me well.

Feelings are so fickle, they are one way one day and different the next. So waiting on your feeling to be what you want….well that day may never come. But if I make a conscious choice to say Lord I’M WILLING that’s different. I’m not giving my feelings a vote.

Our church has a small group/conference called Freedom and WOW it’s incredible! Well I went through it and right when it was time for conference in last December, I got so sick and I couldn’t go. I was so so upset, discouraged and didn’t understand at all. At the time I couldn’t see what God was doing behind the scenes and let me just say He is such a behind scenes kinda Guy.

So the 1st of January rolls around and 21 Days of Fasting And Prayer starts and prolly half way through God stuck His finger right on IT and said “Nicole now is the time, it’s time to deal with your eating disorder.”

“Excuse me Lord but I don’t have a problem.”

Now mind you I was weighing myself everyday sometimes 2-3 times a day. BUT I DON’T HAVE A PROBLEM. Denial!

I had been abusing diuretics and laxatives for years. I would fast and I could fast like nobody’s business but then I’d binge…..I was struggling with something, I didn’t know it had a name. It’s name was bulimia.

So it was at the moment I realized why I wasn’t able to go to the Freedom conference. God had something more He needed to deal with me on and bring healing to my soul.

Right then and there I went to my medicine cabinet and threw out all my diuretics and laxatives. Now I’d like to say it was easy from that point on and that I didn’t struggle but because my body was use to them and needed them to go to the bathroom. It was like crucifying the flesh…Ugghhh! There’s a healing period which I’m pretty sure I’m still in, I think it will take a while to heal my intestines, body, spirit, and emotions from all that trauma I put myself through.

It’s funny how we always think no one knows our deep dark secrets because we put on our mask every day and act like we gucci. But ya know what….I know…..God knows. And the pain of holding all of it in or keeping up the image will destroy you.

So after much prayer and seeking the Lord on what to do, the first thing I needed to do was to tell my husband. Oh how I dreaded that conversation, to the point it made me physically ill, like wanting to throw up.

So finally I went downstairs and said “Honey I need to talk to you about something and it’s going to be really hard for me to talk about. Of course I’m already crying and can hardly speak. I know the poor man is prolly thinking “Ohhhh I’m in the doghouse, she about to leave me! Or she’s having a affair!”

I could hardly get it out I was crying so hard but once I did you could see the relief on his face that it wasn’t one of the before mentioned items lol. I’m being so vulnerable baring my soul, and he’s relieved I’m not having an affair. Lol😂 We can look for humor in everything.

I told him how I had been struggling and abusing laxatives and diuretics, fasting and binging. He listened and said “Thank you honey for sharing that with me I know that was extremely hard for you. How can I help or what do you want to do?” Well I had already been looking for a counselors, I thought a nutritionist was a good idea as well. So I started there. I also shared with our 3 daughters, what was hidden in the dark had to come out, so it could hold no more power over me. It was a step toward freedom.

I reached out to a nutritionist who I really like but for me I have to say this is such a tricky part of having a eating disorder. They go over all your healthy issues, keeping in mind your eating disorder and then put you on a meal plan. Well for me what I had found is that I already had such a unhealthy relationship with food you telling me I can’t have a Dr. Pepper and I can only eat these things it wasn’t good for me. Because not realizing but all my life I had been putting certain foods in good categories and bad categories and if I ate from the good category I was good but if I ate or drank from the bad category “I was bad” I would heap so much shame and guilt onto myself which kept me spiraling. Not sure if that makes sense or not, so for a while I’ve been working on just my relationship WITH food. I know there are good and bad foods and our bodies NEED the good foods but your mind and heart still need to make that connection without condemnation and shame being in the picture. So if I ate a brownie or drank a Dr. Pepper I wasn’t a bad person like I fell like I was. It’s crazy what our mind can make us think about ourselves.

Having a eating disorder for me while it is obsessing over weight and food, I’ve also learned it goes sooooo much deeper than that. It went back to things from my childhood that led up to that.

I was raised in alcoholism, with that comes so much baggage. Enabling, people pleasing, codependency, fear, manipulation, people trying to control you, you feeling out of control, and not knowing what the day would hold. I think I learned to try not to rock the boat fairly early in life, that was a safe place….so I thought.

I love my mother and father dearly but they divorced before I was 2 and my father remarried and had 3 other daughters. He wasn’t there for me as much as I would have liked him to be or at the time needed him to be. Our relationship then wasn’t as strong as it is today. Thankful God brings restoration.

I lived with my mother who also remarried 4 times and that was very difficult for me in that I didn’t have a stable father figure. Let me say upfront I do not in any way blame her. She worked hard to raise me the best way she knew how and all she wanted was to be loved. She loved the way she knew how and so did my Dad. And can’t we all relate to that? We all want to be loved and accepted, we do what we know….right or wrong. It definitely hindered me in many ways but it also helped shape me into the woman I am today.

I was molested at a young age and back then that wasn’t something you talked about and they also threatened me about telling anyone. So that was yet another deep dark secret that got stuffed deep down.

Your life shapes you for the good or for the bad and at the moment for me it wasn’t good. Things were quickly building for the perfect storm in my life.

At a young age I quickly learned that when I expressed my feelings I got in trouble, or I was told I was wrong for feeling that way. I was also told on several occasions “If you do that you can’t come back home”. I felt rejected and like what I had to say or what I felt wasn’t important. So what did I do, I stuffed my emotions down further and further. That’s what we are doing with our eating disorders or any addiction for that matter.

By the time I had meet my husband and we married I had such low self esteem. I was constantly comparing myself to other women, and of course never measuring up. I literally hated myself. I would tear myself apart. It’s so sad to say these things but even watching TV was a struggle for me. If a beautiful woman came on tv I began comparing myself to her, telling myself how ugly I was. How my husband prolly would rather have her than me. It was AWFUL!!

The devil knows your weaknesses and he will use them against you. He will whisper lies in your ears and if you’re not careful you’ll believe them and they will hold you captive.

It wasn’t until I went to Al-Anon where I started getting help to deal with others in my life who had drinking problems that I was able to get free from some of that and I began loving myself.

I can remember one day texting my sponsor with tears in my eyes from a baton competition and telling her how much fun I was having and how in the past they were so difficult for me because of all the cute young girl running around in their little costumes. I was getting FREE little by little and it felt so good!!

All the things I’ve talked about cause frustration, confusion, distrust, guilt, rejection, fear of failure, shame, people pleasing and so much more. That’s what you begin to think, act, and do.

So fast forward to going to counseling, I felt like God lead me to this specific person. I mean for goodness sakes her name was Hope!

Hope means a confidant expectation of something good.

Hope was exactly what I had been looking for, for my whole life. Not the person although she’s has been such a blessing in my life but the HOPE God gives us in our time of need.

Hope was what I needed to overcome this disorder and other things in my life that have so enslaved me.

Hope for my future.

Hope for freedom.

Hope to have a voice.

Hope to share my feelings and not feel like I’m wrong for having them.

Just HOPE!

So while I’m still on the road to recovery, I’ll be honest I don’t do the laxatives or diuretics, but on a really bad day or week in my weakness I have turned to fasting and binging sometimes, but not as often as I use too PRAISE GOD!! That’s progress. God is so good and faithful and He will do it for you to precious one.

Today I can say I have HOPE for a better life. A life of freedom. I have good days and bad days but the thing I’m finding so valuable is my VOICE AND MY FEELINGS, whether their good or bad they are mine and it’s ok to have them and express them in a appropriate way. They no longer have to be stuffed!

Learning to not be lead by my feelings but to feel them and know they are real and they are mine and it’s not wrong to have them or express them.

My job is to allow God to bring healing to me, set healthy boundaries, and use my voice when needed and NOT STUFF IT! Stop stuffing things down just because someone may not like it or not want to hear something uncomfortable.

And my goodness stop taken ownership and fixing things that are others responsibilities. I have to stay on my side of the street in order to keep myself in a healthy place.

Precious one you gotta get the Word on inside of you if want to get to the other side of your problem where FREEDOM is. Meditate on it day and night. Pick one, stay on it till it’s deep in you and them move onto the next one.

Psalm 139:14 I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well.

Song of Solomon 4:7 My darling, everything about you is beautiful, and there is nothing at all wrong with you.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Don’t you know that your body is a temple that belongs to the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit, whom you received from God, lives in you. You don’t belong to yourselves. You were bought for a price. So bring glory to God in the way you use your body.

Zephaniah 3:17 For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

You are loved my friend! We all have our issues whether it’s an eating disorder or some other kind of addiction God wants you to turn to Him and let Him help you. He will take what the enemy meant to harm and destroy and use for your good. But it’s up to you to let Him. He calls you holy, righteous, beautiful, and His Trophy of Grace

Love and hugs,

Nicole 💗

Please click the link below and enjoy the song You’ll Come by Hillsong

https://youtu.be/2RmZFaruXhs

Won’t He do it…..

Always pray and never give up! Pray until the answers come my friend.

We are right in the middle of 21 days of prayer and I love how God gives us exactly what we need when we need it. A day sooner or a day later wouldn’t mean the same ya know. Today’s prayer service was so on point, it was as if God stood there and spoke directly to me. I had to listen to it twice.

Day before yesterday I was reading a blog from The Godly Chic Diaries (Shout Out! Go check her out😊) called NEVER GIVE UP and it was so good and a onetime word for me and then today’s prayer service message was exactly the same. Let me tell you God is speaking. I have been going through what seems like a never ending battle and have at times been fearful, discouraged and felt like giving up so thankful for sweet friends and family who speak life and encourage me. And because God is such a cool dude He gave me a 2nd reminder in 3 days of how awesome He is. That’s how much He loves you and me.

Won’t He do it?

Won’t God bring healing to you? Me? Won’t God open the right door for you at the exact time you need it? Won’t He bring victory to our lives at the right time? That thing you’ve prayed for in secret for so long that no one knows about, won’t He bring it to pass? That miracle, that baby you’ve believed God for for so long, that financial need, whatever it is I say let’s continue to stand firm, always praying and never give up. Pray until we see our answers, our victory, our breakthrough come.

Giving up is NOT an option. Stand firm precious one!! He’s working on your behalf and mine. Keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking. God never grows weary or tired of hearing from you or me.

Lord we come boldly to Your throne with praise and thanksgiving, and we worship You. We thank you for loving us and not giving up on us. I know so many struggling right now who need healing in their bodies, they need strength and peace for the pain and brokenness in their lives. Lord we ask that You move in a mighty mighty way, show yourself strong in my life and those around me. Show your glory Lord, let us walk in Your favor and blessings. We ask, we seek, we knock and we will keep on praying until our answers come and we will NEVER GIVE UP LORD! Our hope and trust is in You, the Way Maker, the Miracle Worker, and the Promise Keeper! In Jesus name, Amen🙏🏻

Love and hugs,

Nicole💗