One year ago today, I walked into the doors of the Orlando Recovery Center, beaten, battered and bruised. By my own hand. By my own fears. It may come as a surprise to some, not so much to others, but I had suffered with anorexia and bulimia since I was 19. I was also suffering from alcoholism and had been so very unwilling to admit or accept that.
Prior to the day I entered treatment, life had been one pain, one heartache, one struggle after another. Instead of facing these things, I’d slipped further and further into despair and darkness until I reached the point where I had no where else to go, but to my knees. That day, that moment, changed my life in ways, at the time, I could not have imagined.
The road ahead was hard. Facing my demons frightening. Letting go of the past, painful. I surrendered. If I wanted to survive, if I wanted to experience peace, I knew I had no other choice. That day, that surrendering, was the greatest gift I’d ever given myself. It was an end. But also a beginning.
For the first time in my life, I was seeing things with clarity. The muddied fog that had surrounded me was lifting. As my vision became clearer, my resolve became firmer. I shed layer after layer of the skin that had covered me until I saw the essence of who I was; who I’d always been underneath. In the shedding, I found indescribable beauty and strength.
Indescribable because it came from my spirit and not from my skin. I felt God’s presence firmly take hold. I felt His grace wash away my stains. I felt His overwhelming strength infuse me with everything I’d need to move forward—out of the darkness and into the brilliant light of a new and exquisite day.
March 22 is a day I will forever celebrate. In many ways, it’s my birthday. The day I became the person God had meant for me to be all along. The day I gave my past, my present, my future to His keeping. The day His love and grace covered me. The day I surrendered and in doing so gained life in abundance and peace overflowing. This is my testament. This is my story.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9