Tag Archives: take the mask off

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

Perfect Love Cast Out Fear

Have you struggled with fear in some way in your life? I think we all do at times. I know for me I struggled with it for the better part of my life. Fear of failure, fear of rejection that’s was a HUGE one for me. Fear of not being good enough, low self esteem, yea I could go on. And you may find yourself there today. But I’m here to tell you that His perfect love kicks fear to the curb!!! Fear is a LIAR!

We all have a past, we all have deep seeded wounds, but Jesus came to heal you every where you hurt. I was thinking we get dressed every day, for the ladies we put our cute clothes on, we doll ourselves up with hair and makeup, smelly lotions and perfumes. You men y’all are so lucky, you take like a minute to get ready lol. Shower, shave, slap some gel in your hairs, and spray some cologne and your good to go lol. But once we are all done often there is one more thing we all put on before we leave….our mask. Our mask that says “Everything is fine.” “Everything is perfect in my life.” And honestly from the outside it could very well seem that way.

When someone says “Hey, how are you?” And your response is “I’m great! Couldn’t be better!” When really you’re dying and broken on the inside. We answer that way because we don’t want people to think less of us or what would they think if they knew what we were really going through???

First off let me just say YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I have been there myself. I put the mask on for many years not wanting people to know what my struggles were or what was going on in my life.

But if you can dig deep and find the courage to talk and share with someone I promise you, you will find out that you are not alone and that others are going through the same thing as you, or they have been there or they are going through something else equally as hard or harder.

Being vulnerable is hard but once you take that first step you open the door for healing to come in and new friendships to blossom and for the Lord to do a mighty work in your life.

You don’t have to get all fixed up to come to Jesus, church, or small group. Jesus loves you just they way you are, and just where your at!

The church is full of broken people.

People suffering from shame, guilt, drugs, alcoholism, pornography, rejection, infertility, abortions, divorce, rape, molestation, depression/other mental illnesses, and the list goes on and on. God uses the weak and the broken. His Word is full of stories of how He used broken and sinful people to do great and mighty things and He wants to do the same for you precious one.

God is in the restoration business. He will take your broken pieces and put you back together better than you can imagine. He will take your pain and suffering and use it for His glory and purposes and help others in the process. He will take your mess and give you a message.

I look back at 10-15 years ago I wore a mask often and that smile you saw back then was often a sad, fake smile. BUT GOD and I love that he gives us joy for mourning, beauty for our ashes! The smile you see today is real, it’s the joy of the Lord. (I like smiling, smiling my favorite…a little Elf humor LOL)

It’s not a perfect life but it’s a life not lead by fear any more. God is so good and He brings restoration and He will do it for you to my friend!💗

You are a Trophy of Grace!

Love and hugs,

Nicole💗

Click link below for the song Fear is a Liar:

https://g.co/kgs/oSKz9N

How are you…..REALLY? 


So Today was the first day of a new Bible study that we started. It’s about building friendships, being authentic and being real. It’s so easy to put a mask on and act as if everything is OK. But it’s been my experience we can dress it up, lose the weight, get the newest car, get the promotion you always wanted, buy the house of your dreams but it doesn’t change what’s going on under the surface. It’s just an illusion…..perfect plastic people.

We can have our hair perfect, make up on point, dressed to the nine and give the illusion that “We have it all together” but it couldn’t be further from the truth. All that doesn’t change what’s going on on the inside. So whether I’m on point so to speak or no make up, yoga pants and T-shirt doesn’t change the inside, it just gives us false illusions. And BTW I do enjoy both😊💁🏼 So today I on purpose wore yoga pants, T-shirt and no make up, I did brush my teeth and my hairs lol 😂 but that would not be my typical attire when leading a Bible study. But God has been really dealing with me about being the real me and being authentic. I am not perfect and yet I expect perfection from myself and then when I fail, and of course I do, I beat myself up. Why do we do that to ourselves? There was no perfect person but Jesus. It doesn’t matter how dressed up we get, we all have issues and problems we are dealing with, some may be more apparent than others but nonetheless we all have struggles and to go through life with our perfect little mask on is doing a disservice to ourselves and those around us. Now I’m not saying spill everything your going thru to everyone you come in contact with but what I am saying is JUST. BE. YOU. The REAL YOU! Folks we have to go deeper in life and in our relationships to be a who God made us to be and be a better YOU and ME.

You can live in the best of neighborhoods, have the best job, best schools, clothes, best whatever but when there is so much anxiety, sadness, depression, addictions, sickness, and grief in your 4 little walls you are only fooling yourself by putting that mask on every day and acting like “I’m fine.”
We were built for relationships and not act as if everything is perfect in our life. The struggles are real. The trials are real. The pain is real. I’ve seen it firsthand myself the beauty that takes place when we are real with one another. When I make a decision to be open with my pain and struggles, being vulnerable with another friend often I find out they to have struggles, maybe even the same ones. But had I not been real or taken a risk I wouldn’t have discovered the beauty and healing that could come from being so vulnerable.

When we dress up every day and go out we interact with people, we have a choice, who will you really be? God instilled in you and me certain gifts and traits to help other people, and the same is true for someone else, they have something you need.
This one question just spoke volumes to me and we say it every day “How are you? Or how are you doing today?” You hear it alllll the time and 9 times out of 10 we respond “I’m fine.” We’ll there ya go, that’s it, end of discussion and we move on, “You have a good day!” I’m guilty of it too. My husbands favorite phrase is “I’m living the dream!” With his best sarcasm😂

But I propose the question to you “How are you REALLY?” What’s going on in your life? Haven’t seen you at church or work, every thing ok? Or “I saw or heard you had been sick.” “I heard what happened, that’s terrible.” It could be a number of different things. But I think we find ourselves so busy in life we barely stop to breathe much less take the time build a true friendship. And even if we do, it’s with only “certain” people and we don’t allow others into our circle. But I’m hear to say we all have something someone else needs, if you know you me very well you’ve heard me say that many times before but it’s true. Open the circle my friends.

My challenge to you (and me) is to open your circle. Talk to someone you might not normally talk to, encourage them. You don’t know what other people are going through by just looking at them. Smile at someone. Give someone a hug. Buy the car behind you at Starbucks a coffee. Write a note, send a text someone who you know is struggling. Just try and brighten someone’s day. Share from your heart. Think about “Do I look approachable? Do I appear available, or always busy?

My friends I say take the mask off and open your circle and just see what God does in your life and the lives of others around you.
Hugs,
Nicole💗

Brokenness-We Are Better Together

Brokenness- We are Better together

Lately, I’ve been thinking, ya know things aren’t always as they seem. We look at people and think just by what they look like or what they have determines the life they have. Rich or poor or somewhere in the middle we all have issues and broken places in our lives….you’re not exempt to brokenness and the trials of life. You can try and fix it up and disguise it but it’s still there and yet we look at Sally and think man she’s got it going on. She dresses so cute, perfect skin, perfect weight, perfect hair, great family, car, job, etc. but you have no idea what’s she’s struggling with. Maybe she’s dealing with a loss, financial need, health issues, an eating disorder, some sort of addiction in her family or loved one. Maybe she’s waiting and longing for God to give her the baby they’ve fervently prayed for for so long. Maybe just maybe she’s carrying around guilt and shame from something that happened to her in her childhood, and she’s doing everything she can to just get up every day and keep going. But we think just because she looks good on the outside and looks so put together it must be nice to be her. Perfect life, no problems but that couldn’t be further from the truth. You never know what someone’s going through.

On the other hand, you have Lucy over here and she’s struggling but to the point that it’s visible to those around her. She looks worn down and broken. She looks depressed and defeated. The struggle of yet another day is here. How am I going to make it through? We can overlook her too because we don’t know what to say or do, or maybe we can’t relate. Or maybe we just don’t want to take the time because we’re to busy. We can even be deceived in thinking she needs more prayer and love than the one who smiles and looks all put together. I think both of these are incorrect, we all have a story, we all have things we are dealing with, it just may look different on the outside.

We all have problems and we all have a need for a Savior and we ALL have needs that ONLY JESUS CAN MEET, it doesn’t matter how you dress it up.

Brokenness is brokenness!

A new car, new house, another pill, another drink, a new Lilly Pulitzer dress, Coach purse, etc it doesn’t make the pain or brokenness go away. Don’t get me wrong I myself am a purse junkie and I love to shop. But it won’t fix the empty void that’s on the inside us. We can dress it up or down all you want. It’s. Still. There. The way I see it, we need to take the mask off and just be you and I’ll be me. Be who God created you to be. Allow Him into those broken places to bring healing in your life, in turn you can help someone else. We need each other. We were built for relationships. The struggles I have had or have, I can more easily see in someone else who might be going through the same thing. We are better together.

When we bring our brokenness to Jesus He’s able to do something with it. He gives Beauty for ashes. It seems that the pain or the breaking is what we fear and try to avoid at all cost. But there’s blessings in the brokenness. There’s wholeness and healing in the broken parts of our life when we give them to Jesus. “He heals the broken hearted and bandages their wounds.”

My prayer for you today that in your brokenness you realize you are not struggling alone. There’s a Savior waiting for you, waiting for you to give him your pain and brokenness. He’s longing to give you beauty for ashes. We all have struggles, mine may be different than yours but nonetheless it’s brokenness and when we can be real and take the mask off, we realize we are not alone.

We are better together.

May you feel his presence and love in a way you’ve never felt before. May He strengthen your inner man and give you peace and joy and heal you every where you hurt precious one. Amen 🙏🏻

Much love and big hugs,

Nicole💗

Living A Life With (HOPE) & Chronic Pain, Autoimmune Disease Or Any Other Invisible Disease…

imageLiving a life with (HOPE) and chronic pain, autoimmune disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, or any other invisible disease means you have to learn to make adjustments because things change. It’s not as obvious to others because you can’t see the illness physically but boy do YOU feel it and eventually people will notice the change as it begins to wreck havoc in your world and then they will tell you “You don’t look sick” which adds more to your frustrations. See in the beginning you don’t realize you’ve got to do this whole “adjustment” thing in you life, you think “I’ve got this.” A little Tylenol, quick power nap, keep truckin…..HAA! D-E-N-I-A-L, we can be good at that, can’t we?

It’s only natural because we don’t want to accept what happening and make any changes and so you try and keep doing what you’ve always done, sometimes even to the point that it’s harmful to youself. Its hard facing you are not able to do what you were able to do before the pain came or the disease set in. So you say “yes” to things and sometimes you are not able to follow through with them and sometimes you are, it really just depends on the day which can be confusing to those around you.

Then other times you say yes out of guilt and do it anyways knowing you will pay for it later but it’s something you really want to do because now you’re learning to live with chronic pain/autoimmune disease and with that you’ve also learned there’s a cost. I’ve figured it out now, years later I have to make choices. I can do this, this or this but I can’t do it all. I don’t like that! Actually I HATE IT! Making those choices makes me angry and often it comes with guilt because I want to do it all but I’m learning I just can’t! Maybe you’re learning that too. Learning to listen my body is a must but hasn’t always been my strong suit.

THE WORD:
3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.
1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have [received as a gift] from God, and that you are not your own [property]?

At this point ours bodies have had enough and that realization kicks in and it says NOW will you listen???? Some people take the hint, still others are bullheaded. Some have falling into the people pleasing category which is a dangerous place especially for someone who has chronic health issues. The last thing you want to do is disappoint your family, your friends, your church, or your work place. You’ve tried to keep up the same pace, you keep trying to do the same thing as usual, mom, wife, the house, the kids, homework, your job, your spouse, let’s be honest just get out of bed.

You try to keep family and friends thinking everything is still the same but on the inside you know you can’t keep doing it but you’ve done it for so long. How does it stop? It MUST stop! You’ve had to be so strong…..for everyone but now you’re physically exhausted and the disease, the pain, well it has overtaken but you’ve continued with your smile and hiding your physical and/or emotional pain. Because emotional pain also comes along for the ride.

Realizing the mask isn’t so great or so pretty any more and it seems much heavier and it gets much harder and harder to put on. See I think one of the things that happens is we get caught up in other people’s expectations of how we “should be”, or maybe how “we use to be” or how “they want you to be” or even things “they” want to do or not to do. This is misplaced expectation and causes us more stress, frustration and added pain and suffering.

Over the last few years one of the greatest and most freeing things I think I’ve learned is that despite what I thought “I’m NOT a mind reader!!” So if you don’t tell me how you feel or what you’re thinking I don’t know and vice versa. I use to think because I had these problems my husband should KNOW I was struggling and he should know how to take care of me and what to do.

The truth is I had gotten so good at hiding that I’m hurting, that if I really do show it or if I ever cried then ITS REALLY BAD, so how is anyone to know what to do to help unless you tell them??? God is the only mind reader I know. I don’t always get this right but I’m better than I use to be.

Recently we went down to an Auburn football game, which of course is a big deal in our family because we go early so we can see our daughter, she’s a majorette there. We love to do all tailgating, pep rally, Tiger walk, Spirit March, Four corners, march in, before the game, add in the drive down and that makes for a really really long day. Its so much fun don’t get me wrong and I love it but it’s also really tough on me. I don’t say this to get pity so please don’t think that.

Anyways back to my story Auburn football and all the pre fun stuff involves quite a bit of walking/driving and it can be a bit much when you have back trouble, pudendal nerve probs, bursitis in both hips, and a torn hip labrum BUT to “watch me” (watch me whip, watch me name nae😂) most of the time you’d never know, on the inside I might be crying but on the outside… I’m rock solid baby!! I always try my hardest to keep up with the fam lol🏃🏼🏃🏼 but sometimes the hubs can be a little impatient and he was the other day. SOOO that’s when he got “The Look” 👀 See it’s times like these unless you’ve been there you have no idea what it’s like, and it was a really high pain day. If you have never had back pack, knee pain, neck or hip pain, or been sick with flu or anything else then you are blessed!! But if you have, now think abt that hip pain, back pain, myofacial pain, Fibro, whatever it is imagine it NEVER LEAVING! That’s chronic pain, that’s autoimmune disease. So yea, being just a little more thoughtful, caring and considerate, or in this case PATIENT would have gone a long way with me.

Another example, I was going some where with someone but quite honestly I was dreading it because I was in pain already and I knew it was going to cause a great deal more pain and this person snapped at me and said “Well I’m sorry you have to do such and such!!” Insert “The Look” 👀 again!! Lol😂 Yea see again that’s not the right response here. Unless you’ve been there you don’t know what it’s like, I’m trying to do the best I can but your words are heaping judgement on me now. Now we are back to me not meeting your expectations again. See how it all intertwines? We gotta break free from some stuff!!

APPLICATION:
Breaking free from people pleasing and overcoming unreasonable expectations people place on you or even your own. This is where a lot of self care comes in. We have to learn to express our feelings in a healthy way, journaling is great way to get started. Setting boundaries is very good, if you are not good at this there is an excellent book by Dr Henry Cloud called “Boundaries”….GET IT!

image

To enjoy a healthy you and healthy relationships we have to remove the mask. The mask hinders our intimacy with God and others. Being vulnerable is something I’m really trying to work on. I think it’s natural to try and hide our weaknesses or pretend they are not there. “Most of the time I’m rock solid!” As we admit our limitations and where our capabilities end we can trust God.

His word says is 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Next is to learn the “The Look” 👀 just kidding, we all need some humor. If you’re a woman you already know it. If your a man…..You’ve seen, lol.

As if someone’s expectations, and our guilt wasn’t enough now our thoughts have come crashing in and now we wonder will our lives ever be normal again?

Will I ever be able to just get up and go?

Will I have to take medicine forever?

Will I have to have surgery again?

Will I have to ice, use INF unit, use foam roller, heat, oils, therapy exercises just to move every day?

Will I be able to sit in the floor and play with my grandchildren?

How will I feel 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now?

Am I disappointing my husband?

Does he still find me attractive?

Did I disappoint the kids?

Or disappoint my family because I haven’t been to visit?

I’m sure you see where this is going and if you’re not careful it can lead to depression and it does often. I think it’s good to grieve the loss of what you were as long as you don’t get stuck there. Don’t pitch your tent there! This maybe where you are today BUT we serve a God of SUDDENLIES and things can change in an instant. We have to be renewing our mind always because with daily pain and sickness that is extremely hard on a person in every way. While we may “feel” at the time “things have been this way 2 months or 5 yrs, 10 yrs” or ” I’ve had this pain and sickness now for 20 yrs, it’s never gonna get better.” The mind is the battlefield!! All these feelings I’ve just shared, I’ve felt at some point or feel but if all we do is go by how we “feel” that will be a crazzzzy roller coaster of life.

So why not try something different….. BE EXPECTANT for God to move and bring healing and restoration to your life! Be actively, expectantly pressing into God waiting for him to answer you. Have FAITH and HOPE that Breakthrough is coming, healing is coming!!!

We all have those days, those moments things look dark, they look like they aren’t going to change, I totally understand that. So you can put your little tent up for a little bit but you sure don’t want to pitch in the “PIT” and camp there forever and live in a constant negative state always saying “things will never change” “I’m never going to get any better”. NO!!! You were made for more precious one!

At some point we have to learn to be kind to ourselves, cut ourselves some slack. You would do it for someone else if they were sick but we expect so much from ourselves. Constant pain and sickness can be overwhelming, it can make you sad, angry, feel hopeless, and stuck. But you are not your pain and your pain does not define you. We have to learn to separate the two. The flares or storms of life come and go but we need to remember “Weeping my endure for the night but joy comes in the morning.” You are an OVERCOMER!

Now it’s crucial for you to begin taking care of yourselves, there is only one YOU!! You may not know it but you do have purpose and God has a plan for your life. Beside having a positive attitude there are many things we can do to make our situation better. Some of these diseases are aggravated by the foods you eat so if your eating a lot of processed junk, try eating a healthier. More lean proteins, fruits and veggies. Some people have food allergies or sensitivities, if you think that might be you get yourself tested and find out, it makes an incredible difference. I have Celiacs and going gluten free made an amazing difference in my life.

Most people in the US are not eating a balanced diet which can lead to vitamin deficiencies of some kind, so supplementing is a great idea. Interesting tidbit…..For every molecule of sugar we eat our bodies use 54 molecules of magnesium to be able to process it. Therefore consuming sugar-laden soda depletes our body of this necessary nutrient. There are approximately 39 grams of sugar in one 12 ounce can of sweetened cola. I love Dr. Pepper too but I bring up this point because if you already have healthy issues, supplementing might be of more importance to you. Fibro patients tend to benefit from magnesium.

Sleep is so important because it helps in the restoration and repair process of our bodies. A large number of chronic pain/autoimmune patients suffer from insomnia which plays a role in your emotional state, immune system, can raise your blood pressure, and worsen chronic pain. So yea we’ve gotta really work to figure that one out too.

EXERCISE!!!! Yep the dreaded word!! You gotta keep moving as much as you can. Find something you like, I know it’s hard but explore there is a lot of new fun things you could try. I love water areobics, it’s really does help with pain. You should give it a try, added benefit is you will burn twice as many calories in the water than on land becus of resistance. Score!🙌🏻

In closing I believe in God and His healing power, sometimes I think he allows us to go through difficult things to show us our need for Him, to draw us closer to Him or even to help bring a refining to us or in us. Whatever the reason His Word assures me that what the devil meant for harm He will work for my good, ALL THINGS NOT some but ALL work for my good and that He loves me and He is with me and will never leave me. That’s for you to my friend, wherever you find yourself as your reading this. Maybe your dealing with the same thing as me, or maybe a family member, or maybe something totally different all together but the good news is that NO MATTER WHAT God is still with you and HE LOVES YOU!! So I guess by sharing all this my hope is that you will maybe grow in understanding and awareness and if this is your struggle, accept where your at, accept yourself along this journey, even accept the limitations but don’t let it define you. Remember don’t pitch your tent there. You were made for more, so don’t give up and don’t stop believing! Breakthrough and healing is coming.

Jeremiah 31:3 I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love❤️image

Much love and blessings,
Nicole💗