Tag 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💗

 

Don’t Look Back & Don’t Get Stuck In The Middle

Good morning beautiful TOG readers!

Just a little reminder today to “Not look back.” Don’t camp where you were once hurt. It’s important to deal with our brokenness and pain but NOT to camp there. Don’t get stuck in the middle my friend. The middle has nothing for you.

“Don’t get stuck in the middle. We have to learn to go the full journey. Someone needs us on the other side of the shore line.” Charlotte Gambill

In Genesis, God reveals to Abraham that Sodom and Gomorrah are to be destroyed for their grave sins. Abraham pleads for the lives of any righteous people living there, especially the lives of his nephew, Lot, and his family. God said He would spare the cities if 10 righteous people can be found. So the LORD sent two angels to Lot in Sodom but are met with an angry, wicked mob who are then struck blind by the angels. Finding only Lot and his family as righteous among them, the angels warn Lot to quickly leave the city and they said “Run for your lives! Don’t look back and don’t stop in the valley. Run to the hills, so that you won’t be killed.”

But Lot’s wife did, and she became a pillar of salt.

Have you stopped in the valley?

Do you keep looking back?

I don’t know about you but I sure don’t want to be a pillar of salt, lol. Nope! Nope! Nope!

Don’t look back and don’t get stuck at the point of your pain. That my friend, I have done, and it’s not a fun place to be. I have been stuck from things of my past and present hurts.

Just a side note, the Bible has amazing accounts and stories in it from murder, hate, jealousy, and even sex. Yep! Sex is in the Bible. Get in the Word😊

Another cool story is the man at the Pool of Bethesda, John 5. “Soon another Feast came around and Jesus was back in Jerusalem. Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there was a pool, called Bethesda, with five alcoves. Hundreds of sick people; blind, crippled, paralyzed were in these alcoves. One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, “Do you want to get well?”

The sick man said, “Sir, when the water is stirred, I don’t have anybody to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in.”

Sounds like a pity party to me….I’ve had a few of those myself.

Jesus said, “Get up, take your bed, and start walking.” The man was healed on the spot. He picked up his bed and walked off.

That’s what I’m talking about…he was healed and he got about His Father’s business and he told of what Jesus has done for him.

That man sat there for 38 years!!! I’d like to think that in 38 years I could’ve wiggled myself to that pool and just fell into it, LOL. I mean that’s a really, really, long time! 38 years???

But isn’t that what we do sometimes, we get stuck somewhere at the point of our pain and we become paralyzed. I know I’ve been there. Truth is I’ve been there to long myself with some things. But you don’t want to be that man 38 years later and your still camped there.

So I’ll ask you, “Do you really want to be well?

Bethesda means “house of mercy,” or perhaps “place of flowing water.”

That’s where I’m headed….to Bethesda! The house of mercy, the place of flowing water.

How about you?

God says,

I know it hurts precious one. I know your wounds. I know your disappointments. I’ve seen the betrayals. I’ve seen your tears. I see your brokenness. But what you didn’t realize all along is that I was with you through the pain, and I am here to make it right. I will work it all out, all the pain, the hurt, the disappointment, the betrayals ALL for your good because your are precious in My sight and I love you. I will give you beauty for ashes. But you have to let go of those ashes, leave them behind so I can resurrect you with newness of life. All those things the enemy tried to steal, kill, and destroy, I got your back. I and the God of restoration. No weapon formed against you will prosper. Remember Lot’s wife, and Don’t look back and don’t get stuck in the middle at the point of your pain. Your destiny is ahead, and I am leading you toward your dreams. I have a hope and a future for you. I am able to do immeasurably more than all you can ask, hope for, or imagine.

~God

Hope y’all have a blessed and wonderful day! Remember, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE AWESOME, YOU ARE CHOSEN, AND YOU ARE AN OVERCOMER! YOU ARE A TROPHY OF GRACE!

Praying for you!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

You Are Chosen And Loved

Sweet friend, I just want to remind you that YOU are chosen and loved by God. Let that truth sink deep into your heart.

Jesus is your strength In time of need. His word says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

No matter what you do, where you go, His love for you does not change. 

“For I am the Lord and I do not change.” That means my love doesn’t change, My love for you is everlasting. I am love, it’s who I am. I chose YOU on purpose, for a purpose. I want to love you.

2 Thessalonians 2:13 says you are not only loved but chosen by God. He chose to to be with you and love you. The Word says, He is your strength in your weakness. You can always count on Me. No matter what you do….I love YOU beautiful one.

Don’t worry if you have doubts, I deal in the impossible things. Nothing is to big for Me. I will help your unbelief. Lord I believe. Help my unbelief! So do not despair precious one. I am here for you always, I will never leave you. Cling to HOPE in Me.

HOPE believes God isn’t done yet!

HOPE believes God can do anything!

HOPE is the anchor for your soul!

HOPE and FAITH as small as a mustard seed….NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD.

YOU are chosen and loved for a purpose. Before the foundations of the earth were put in place, sweet friend God knew you, loved you and chose you.

God chose you for such a time as this.

God chose you for the battles you are in.

God chose you to be the answer to someone’s problem.

So stand firm on My word and promises, you were no accident. You are my beautiful masterpiece.

Let go of the things of the world.

Let go of the negative words spoken over you.

Let go of the past.

Let go of the heartache and suffering.

Grab hold of the truth that I love you and chose you, for this difficult season you are in…to show others that this mountain can be moved. That this situation can be overcome. I chose you for such a time as this! You are My Trophy Of Grace!

Have a blessed day!

Big hugs,

Nicole 💗

Come To The Altar

Hey y’all! Hope everyone is doing great. I’m enjoying a day at home with my oldest daughter, it’s a NO SNOW😭 snow day. We’ve been watching When Calls The Heart and enjoyed some hot chocolate. Sure wish we were out playing in the snow but in Alabama this is what you get, LOL. Unplanned time together is the best even when you just chill! 💗

So how are you my friend? Is there anything you are you holding onto? Is there something weighing on your heart that you need to let go of?

Have you come to the altar today?

Journaling is a very healthy way to bring things out of the darkness and into the light. You may not be ready to share it with others and that’s ok but just writing it down and getting it out is so healthy. Even if you write it out, confess it to God and throw it away its just a healthy healing process. Remember Psalm 32:3 “When I keep silent about my sin, my bones began to weaken because of my groaning all day long.”

Are you feeling any of these?

Tired, broken, hurting, hopeless, happy, anxious, empty, lost, full of fear, full of love, joyful, sick, shame, hope, rejection, worried, searching to fill a void, blessed, happy, confused, etc

Today’s Challenge:

Are you ready to really dig in and get FREE?

To walk in the freedom God has planned for you? It’s time to lay it ALL on the altar, all your feelings, everything you’re holding onto, secret sin, bring who you are, what you’re not and what you want to be….bring it ALL precious one. It’s time to take off the mask. Come to the altar and lay it all at the foot of the Cross.

Living in the Word:

Romans 4:17 “…Call those things that be not as though they are.”

Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.”

Isaiah 61:3 To grant consolation and joy to those who mourn in Zion—to give YOU an ornament of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garmet of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit—that YOU may be called Oaks of Righteousness…..

Renewing the Mind:

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

Psalm 39:7 And now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation is in You.

What God says about you:

I love YOU just the way you are! YOU don’t have to get all fixed up to come to Me. YOU are My priceless treasure, My special masterpiece. YOU are NOT a mistake, no I created YOU on purpose. Bring your burdens to Me, there is NOTHING to big and NOTHING I can’t handle. Trust Me precious one, expect and believe and you will see just what I can do in your life. I have great and mighty plans for YOU! Ephesians 3:20

Song of the Week:

“O Come To The Altar” Elevation Worship

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💗