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Just a few encouraging scriptures from my study tonight: And a mom’s prayer

Psalm 27:13-14

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

Psalm 34:18

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  – That means He is close to you and saves you!!

 
Psalm 119:76
May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.

Job 5: 11, 18

11 The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety

18 For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.

Dear God,

Set me on high tonight for I am lowly; and lift me to safety as I mourn.  Bind up my wounds and may Your hands heal my injuries.  Thank you God that You are good.  Though sometimes it seems like my mind is filled with thoughts and fears about death because my child has this horrible eating disorder; thank You that there is a “land of the living” and You are it. You are my living God!  Help me keep living and hoping.  Thank you for being my comfort; for being close to me even during the times when it feels like You are far away.  And thank You for saving me!  Thank You for Your Word and the life it gives me.  Breathe life into my child and my family oh God.  Breathe life God into me!

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Truth or Lies Part 2

Yesterday I laid the foundation that it is very important to God that we know the difference between the truth and a lie.  If we don’t the devil will attempt to deceive us…in any area of our life. 

If you are a parent of a child with an eating disorder; knowing the truth will indeed set you free to be the parent your ill child needs you to be.  Why?  Because your child IS being deceived and you have to be the keeper of truth for him or her. And then you act upon that truth for the benefit and health of your child.

The ED wants your child to believe that she is not sick; that she is just fine.  ED also wants you to believe that your child is fine, or this not eating stuff is just a phase or will get better on its own.  When you see changes in your child that concern you…it is not an over-reaction to take her to the doctor or to another professional for an assessment. 

If your child has a fever you go to the doctor.  If all of a sudden he starts to struggle with reading; you might take him to the eye doctor or to an educational specialist to rule out learning issues. 

The bottom line is you know when there are changes in your child’s attitude, behavior, emotion and body.  You may not know it overnight, but you will at some point. 

Your son or daughter may complain, get an attitude, say they hate you or threaten to not go to an appointment.  She may even say she won’t eat  or she’ll run away if you force her to go, etc. 

This is not your child talking; it is the ED and even though ED wants you to believe you have no power and are helpless to get your child to an appointment or whatever; you are not.  These are the lies ED wants parents to believe.  He doesn’t just lie to your son or daughter.  He lies to you too.

Hang onto what you know to be true.  You know your child.  You know the changes you have seen are real and not to be ignored.  You know your child does not want to be ill or have an eating disorder.  She wants to eat or she does not want to binge and purge.  ED wants her to do those things. 

This is only one way that the eating disorder lies to you and your child.  We’ll talk about more tomorrow.  Trust God that as you ask for wisdom about what to do, that He will show you.  Then trust yourself that you can listen to God and you hear His voice and will act in the best interest of your child and your family.

James 1:5-8

5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”

John 4:10

“…and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”

Dear God,

I need wisdom and Your Word says that when I ask for wisdom you will give it to me.  Once I ask; give me the faith to believe the direction is from You and the courage to act on the direction You have given me.  Show me the truth in every situation with my child and help us as a family defeat this enemy. 

Truth or Lies?

As I read Matthew 24:1-34 tonight I was reminded of one of the tools of Bible study which is to look for repetition.  If God repeats it multiple times; it must be something He wants us to understand.

Jesus is telling His disciples to pay attention because there will be many who will try to deceive them about His return.  It seems very important to Jesus that His disciples know the truth so they will not be led astray in the future.

It also seems important to the disciples or they wouldn’t have raised the issue.  “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (v-3b)

So one of the things we are to take away from Matthew 24 is God cares very deeply that we know the truth and that we not allow anyone or anything to deceive or lead us astray.  I think this applies to any area of life; not just knowing the truth about the signs of Jesus’ return.

Let’s look at the examples of Jesus exonerating His disciples regarding this theme of truth versus lie in Matthew 24.

“I tell you the truth…” (v-2)

“Watch out that no one deceives you.” (v-4)

“…and will deceive many.” (v-5)

“…and will deceive many people.” (v-11)

“…do not believe it.” (v-23)

“…do not believe it.” (v-26)

“I tell you the truth…” (v-34)

Doesn’t that seem pretty repetitious to you?  God wants us to know the difference between the truth and a lie.  And where do lies come from?  “The father of lies…the devil.” (John 8:44) NIV

What does all this have to do with being a parent of a child with an eating disorder?  Check back tomorrow and we’ll talk some more about it.

Here is Matthew 24:1-35:

1 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” 3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ, ‘ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. 15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel–let the reader understand– 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now–and never to be equaled again. 22 If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect–if that were possible. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. 26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. 29 “Immediately after the distress of those days ” ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ 30 “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. 32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34 I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

Do you ever feel like your light is going dim?

Do you ever feel like your light is going dim?  I know I have.  I would say for the last 2 years I have struggled to keep my lamp lit at all; let alone allow it to burn brightly.  Stress, grief, overwhelming emotional pain can cause our spiritual lamps to dim in ways we don’t even realize sometimes.

I can’t believe it has been 8 years since my dad’s suicide and yet I am still impacted deeply and probably in ways I don’t even see.  Like the depression it is has caused, and the dimming of my light and life.

It not only affected me emotionally and spiritually; but also physically.  I ended up having to take a sabbatical from work because I was having so many physical symptoms and issues.  My relationships have also suffered as I turned inward and distanced myself from people I care about.

My dad’s suicide was like this hurricane that blasted its way through my life and left chaos and wreckage in its wake.  I was so devastated I didn’t take down the wood I used to cover the windows of my heart and soul.  I stayed locked up in the dark with my lamp barely burning long after the storm past.  Though honestly I think I am still in the storm when I don’t even know it.

You might feel that way too as your family battles it’s way through your child’s eating disorder.  You might wonder will this ever end…will my child ever recover…will my light ever shine again?  Or is my family destined to live in this dark place forever?

Most of you have probably done better than I have in staying in the Word of God through your own personal hurricane.  For the last 2 years I have not done a good job of that…but I am trying again to not only rejoin the world; but God and His Word as well.

I was reading today…

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

 1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.‘  NIV

…and I got to verse 8…especially the part about…”our lamps are going out…” and the Bible does what it does so well.  God used it to speak to my heart and told me my lamp has been going out…has been very dim…for a while…for too long.  And I need to do something about it.  And all He wants me to do is be in His Word more…that’s it.  For right now.

No big commitments, changes, promises…just a quiet whisper from Him…”Lynn, be in my Word more.  I love you.”  And I said, “Okay God, I can do that.  One small step at a time.”

And my lamp seems a bit brighter tonight.  And I am grateful God is patient, loving and kind.  And that He waits for me.

How is your lamp burning right now?  What does God want you to do to burn a little brighter?  Even in the midst of the hurricane of the ED; God has some light to bring into your life.  Let Him.  I know I am trying to. 

It may also be that God doesn’t want you to do anything except allow Him to hold and comfort you.  That alone is at times a huge step for me…allowing myself to be comforted by God the way He longs to comfort me.

Your will be done God.  Whatever You want for me in this moment; help me invite and embrace it.

A Simple but Powerful Plea

This is going to be just a quick post; but a powerful one I believe.  I hope it helps you as much as it helps me.

In one of her books, Madeline L’Engle tells of her experience after being in a car accident.  She was away from home and in the hospital for months before she could go home.

Her injuries were so serious she could not do anything but lie there.  Her pain was so great she said she could not even begin to pray.  Which is why we need others praying for us in times of crisis.  And other times too of course.

What stuck with me from her story is what she did end up praying.  All she said over and over was, “Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me.  Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me.  Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me.”  

Sometimes we are in too much pain to pray like we normally would.  And that’s okay.  God knows and the number of words we use is not the measuring stick for a good prayer anyway.  It is our hearts that matter.

I memorized this little phrase which is obviously not difficult to do.  I used it even today and it made me think I needed to share it with you.

“Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me”  A-men.

God Wants to Help You Fight for Your Child

27 The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemy before you, saying, ‘Destroy him!’ (Deut.1:27)

“…He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword. Your enemies will cower before you, and you will trample down their high places.” (Deut. 1:29)

In my reading today I came across these scriptures and immediately thought of all the different enemies we face today.  During the time of Moses their enemies were those who were living in the land God promised to the Israelites.

God expected the Israelites to trust Him to go before them and wipe out their enemies.  There were times when they did not have to lift a finger to pillage their enemies. 

I believe we forget we have that same promise.  God wants to go before us and destroy our enemies.  For you, your enemy might be your daughter or son’s eating disorder (ED).

Now I’m not a “name it and claim it” kind of person; though I believe there are times when you have to stake your claim, so to speak, to take back ground you may have allowed the enemy to claim.

And that may be your child’s illness or your ability to re-feed her because you are too intimidated or afraid of her emotions when you sit with her and encourage her to eat more than she wants to.

I am not saying if you just proclaim your child healthy that will be the immediate result.  God doesn’t always work as quickly as we would like Him to.

But I am saying we have power and strength that comes from the Lord and we need to stand on that truth when we’re having tough times.  Your child’s ED may be pushing you around.

I’m saying God can give you the wisdom to know when to be strong and when to be tender and even when to be both at the same time.  God wants to fight our battles for us and we so often try to go it alone.  I know I do. 

These scriptures remind me without Him I can do nothing.  I need to ask Him to fight and to help me stand strong with whatever my part is in overcoming struggles.

Jesus’ death on the cross means the battle is over.  It is won!  We can live out that victory one step at a time.  For you, helping your child eat one more bite than she wants to and taking one meal at a time.  You can stand strong with God’s help and slowly re-feed your child.

“Greater is He that is in me than He who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

Jesus Get’s Your Suffering

‘He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”‘
Jesus felt alone with His sorrow and trouble.  We know from the larger context of this scripture that His disciples could not stay awake to pray for Him.  You may feel alone too, like no one understands how much you need support and prayer.
It may feel like your friends and those closest to you are like the disciples…they just don’t get it.  The disciples didn’t get it and probably your friends don’t fully get how terrifying it is that your child is ill.  Also how difficult it is to re-feed your child and how much pain it is causing your whole family.

Remember Jesus does get it.  He went through suffering unto death and He turned to His Father even though He didn’t get the answer He hoped for…to not have to drink the cup of suffering unto death.  And He submitted His will to His Father’s.

So must we all; no matter our circumstances.  It’s okay to ask God to remove your child’s suffering and then whatever His answer, give your child and your family totally into the hands of your Father.

He is trustworthy and good.  He will be there when everyone else is going on with their lives.  His Word says He will never leave you or forsake you.