Here’s what they don’t tell you about eating disorders: They’re usually pretty innocent at first. An endeavour to “be healthier.” When my restrictive illness first developed when I was fifteen, I never would have considered that I might still be terrified of white flour and […]
Food rules stopped ruling my life. If you are in a similar position to what I was for many years, you have stumbled upon this post in a desperate search for a “reason” to recover, and peace about your worries. In that case, be sure […]
Last night, I had dinner at Kathryn’s house with her family, Jess, and Maddie.
Kathryn’s dinner plate prepared for her by her mom, I was struck with remembrance of when this was me in my family-based recovery.
Sometimes I feel there is a lot of emphasis on the fact that I struggle.
But I want to talk about the victories.
I used to eat everything in tiny bits. I noticed Kathryn last night eating her chicken in the tiniest bits possible, scraping dressing and oil off the food. I ate a large chicken breast, potato, and peas in a normal amount of time. I remember that exact mindset, remember being in Kathryn’s position. It made me excited to see her grow.
I used to fear social outings and restaurants. I happily eat what is given to me at others’ homes. I pray over my food and thank the Lord for it and see it as blessing. I recognize when my thoughts are disordered. I eat at restaurants when need be, though I prefer to cook at home because I love cooking and for money’s sake.
I used to be clouded in all my conversations. I have giddy, happy, joyful conversations every day now. I have energy and never feel faint. I have callings, and an attention span, and so much happiness. I can LISTEN to others, and provide the care and attention they deserve.
I used to fear the majority of foods. I don’t know if this is all coming up super recently, but I really don’t fear any foods anymore. Again, there are times in which the disorder may feel more present, but for the most part I eat anything without anxiety.
I used to think anorexia was a happy place. I now know this disorder is the epitome of pain, loneliness, and self-service. It is not glorifying to the man above nor is it something He calls me to in any way, shape, or form. I know that food is simple necessity and blessing.
I used to hide food, and hyper-focus on it. Food, and lack-thereof, was what my day was made up of. Now, it is truly something I eat and give thanks for.
I used to struggle so much to eat around others. I still deal with this sometimes, but am growing every day. Last night, talking to Maddie, I spontaneously grabbed a snack and ate just over the counter in the kitchen.
I used to lie to my loved ones about my struggles. I am now very open and honest about what is plaguing me, for I know there is power in friends, family, and group prayer.
I used to feel as though my only form of control was in what I ate. Now I know that joy comes from placing my identity and surrendering to God. To learning about Him, to growing in my relationship with Him, to opening myself to the ways He wants to use me.
I used to have no interest in passions. I grew up loving the Lord, constantly reading the Bible and other books, spending time with friends, passionate about dance, cooking, singing, acting, and writing. I lost any motivation for these, or their place in my life whatsoever. I now am growing in and loving these things as I so see the Lord at work in these areas of my life.
for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. PHILIPPIANS 2:13
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 1 CORINTHIANS 13:1
As I alluded to on my Instagram, I have spent the past few days remarkably convicted, in two ways:
- I have not dove after His loud and clear call that, Hey Cass, you need some strong mentoring on my Word. I’m the strongest and most important you’ll ever get, but you need to listen to Me.
- I have not obeyed His loud and clear call to eat without restriction– for almost eight years I have ignored this voice.
In an hour-long stalk, I came across this fantastic post from MackMarie. Check out her blog– it’s beautiful.
Of course, I prayed. For forgiveness and wisdom and protection from more of the devil’s schemes. For courage and strength to obey and to trust. For faith in what is Scriptural fact.
And of course, the Lord answered in exceptional ways.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” MATTHEW 7:7
For a moment of a few hours, I had the urge to push the conviction away. God is good and He’ll provide no matter what path I choose. I can go the easy route. I can make this good. Ha!
Certainly, God will step into this the next chapter of my life as His servant no matter what. He has already walked through the rest of my life! But the mistake in my thoughts, the sneaky way of the enemy: I can make this good.
Nope. I can’t. I “tried” for the entirety of my high school career to make “good” my eating disorder. I’ve had thoughts about this year: I’m moving out so I’ll easily be able to just eat like a smoothie for breakfast and chicken for dinner every day and then go to the gym for an hour… I can still pursue Christ and love Him, I’ll just drink tons of tea and water to fill my empty stomach and I can still be who God needs me to be…
Anorexia whispers: If you use this year for healing, you’re so weak. You’re a coward. This is your chance to get so, so skinny. Everyone will be off your back.
If I continue to listen to those voices, I will actually end up in the hospital, maybe worse. I will lose the right to feed myself again. I need to utilize the tools that the Lord has given me to eat properly and show love to the body that needs to be healthy to serve Him.
So firstly in this conviction, yes, I was scared and ready to put it all aside.
But as my day went on, I grew to understand that God had convicted me and wasn’t leaving me that way. I prayed and prayed, for forgiveness and counsel. He gave me clarity and focus at work, and then teaching in His Word and prayer after work.
And He came to teach me a few things. This is what He’s shown me about the coming year.
I need a license. Eating disorders are capable of setting the mind back a bit– but the Lord is more than capable of freeing that bond. I’m late getting my driver’s license and I have guilt in that, but that guilt isn’t of Christ, I know that now. He says, IN TIME, and I have the opportunity to work this year close to home to get it, and hopefully a car.
I’ve never lived on my own. He needs to use me in focus on these life skills this year. A whole year of opportunity to learn to cook the way I’ve always felt called to; grocery shop and clean and take care of a house. Important responsibilities and ones I’m excited about.
I need time with JUST HIM. He’s painted me a picture of long days in the Word, soaking up His goodness and learning as much as I can. Praying and growing closer to Him. Last night He gave me more peace than ever in this: He’s already provided me with a man that I love so much because of his love for the Lord, and Johnny has only and will only continue to be the support and partner I need that leads me back to Him, points me to Christ and desires to see my relationship with Him blooming. This is not a settling form of comfort but a BEAUTIFUL form of comfort and peace that is overwhelming at times.
I get to study lit. I haven’t really delved into English lit yet, and Laurier’s program is good. I am excited to thrive in writing and reading and know this program will provide new opportunities. In addition, my opa, Pastor Brandon, Pastor Mark, and Pastor Wendell all completed their undergrad degrees in majors other than theology– and RECOMMEND doing so. My Masters of Divinity is so important to me, and something I know I’ll pray about with my family and Johnny in attending the school I really feel called to.
I get to build my entrepreneurship. I am SO excited to be writing recipes, delving into the world of food photography and possibly WIAW YouTubing, Vlogging, growing this ever-changing blog and doing so all with the Lord’s leadership. He has provided so much growth in this little corner and I often wonder if it’s something He might call me to pursue in making a living from. While, like I said, He’s certainly called me out and said, You need to eat, He’s also called me out and said, I’ve given you this food passion for a reason. Teach people the beauty of MY Creation of food. Help others to see the importance in physical nourishment in MY name, and not in the name of this WORLD (ie. factory farmed meat, genetically modified and processed “food,” chemical-laden produce). Cook. THRIVE.
I get to thrive in some unfinished business at both of my jobs. My dance teaching career is certainly one that I have not put all of me into yet. The community centre I teach for, the kids there, deserve better than they have received from the leadership in the program, and I feel called to bring all of His love to the program, my teaching, and the children. Also, I’m still freshly a Starbucks barista and working with INCREDIBLE people. Starbucks is a place I feel called to working for perhaps the rest of my university career, but this location too, and my co-workers, I feel God has more for me and to exude through me.
I get to shine His light to those I’ve loved for years. He has done incredible things in my Spirit, much of which is a BECOMING rather than a “Here I am, this is it.” As that grows, I’m excited to see what He has for so many of my relationships– because I know there’s more.
My parents want me to go through with one more year– and I know they’ll have much more respect for me once I’ve done so. Moving out and growing as an independent woman also means respecting and honouring my parents in that they often know better than I do– while of course, Jesus knows BEST. I want to honour them in all that I do and pursuing what I’ve already committed to rather than dropping out is right for this moment.
He may need to use me. While He has shown me that none of this is my responsibility, I am reckoning what may be a desire in His heart to use me for His glory moreso than He has at Laurier. Of course, He through others will always be teaching me, too, and I am excited to see what that looks like.
I know what needs to happen next. I know that this move needs to happen– and I’m so excited for it. I know that Laurier needs to happen– and I don’t know how I feel, but I know I’ll be growing in only Him and He’ll be good. And I know that down the road, I need to JUMP whenever He tells me to. I don’t know what any of this will look like, but He does. And that’s all that matters.
Good morning, friends! Today I want to share some segments of my novel as I’ve spent the larger part of the morning writing before I head out with some friends. Brother and Sister. THEY ARRIVED AT THE apartment, and Jeremy knew neither he nor Cheryl […]
Gooooooood evening! Let’s see if I can finish up this blog before midnight 😜 How has everyone’s day been? I’ve had a wonderful one. Did a study in Hosea, went shopping with my beautiful friend Laura, a wonderful five hour evening shift at Starbucks, and […]
“But can one ‘trust more?’ I think it’s either you trust or you don’t.” –Josee
Yesterday, Johnny and I followed our spirits to Josee Foster, a beautiful woman of God, to her home in Scugog, Ontario. I found Josee’s blog months ago on my own surfing WordPress and recognized her name. Johnny had told me about her before, and I asked him if this writer was the Christ-loving figure skater he’d told me about that he’d met at camp, and he confirmed. I’d already written to Josee, telling her that her blog touched my spirit and I’d related to her. In her very first reply, I felt like I’d known her for years.
After months of communicating via Facebook messenger and reading Josee’s blogs, we found a day suitable for all three of us to get together. Johnny and I drove the 2 hours to Scugog (well, Johnny drove, I semi-DJed and unwrapped his Junior Chickens), and were greeted by a naturally glowing Josee Foster at her front door who proclaimed, “Sorry I’m a mess, just doing my meal prep for the week,” and whose hug felt like one I’d known before.
Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. Greet one another with an holy kiss. 2 CORINTHIANS 13:12
In talking to Josee, there was no rush. There was only the present moment in Christ’s grace, and I struggle with finding the words to explain just how He worked through her in that way. There was no urgency because Josee’s spirit needn’t it. When she spoke, she spoke with authenticity of spirit that, as Johnny said, made it clear that she valued what she said. She carefully deliberates with holiness when she speaks, and maintains a presence of calm all the way through. The few moments of pause in our conversation were filled with sighs of the Holy Spirit that cannot ever be sugar-coated. The three of us together, one body in Christ and only seeking His will led to conversation that was so glorifying and aligned and refreshing.
The way Josee talks about and acts around food is something I relate to so vehemently. Her passion for healthy, wholesome, Godly nourishment is similar to the relationship with food I imagine for myself, while we both still relate over certain obsessive tendencies and heightened focus that has been utilized as distraction. Overall, talking to Josee about food was an immense blessing, the Lord overwhelming my soul with intense awe of Him, His grace, and the way He works. His love for us so intentional and good and prosperous and to access His Spirit we need only knock.
After sitting on the roof of her gorgeous cottage-turned-home and chatting about a slue of things to do with life and our hearts and the Lord’s grace, again, with no hint of rush but only basking in the present moment that is, always is, Jesus Christ’s, we wandered down to a pond near the house, sat on a dock, and soaked in more of his goodness. A frog jumped over and seemed to perch with contentment, mimicking the stillness in Spirit of the beautiful Josee and reminding me more of the importance of pause that His Spirit was putting on my heart. Johnny peeled open some sort of leaf to find what looked like a blood worm, miniscule, which invited,
“I wonder if it’s ever seen daylight”
“God made him. God fashioned this creature and for what purpose, who knows but Him.”
“He is so big and so beautiful and human brains can’t stretch enough to comprehend His vastness.”
We headed back up to the house and made our own bowls of a variety of ingredients Josee had similar to what I often eat. Johnny exclaimed, “I don’t even know what half this stuff is!” And it occured to me that, had Josee and I never had negative or obsessive tendencies surrounding food, it would be incredible for the two of us to prepare our dinner for the first time just the two of us because of our shared passion. But Johnny’s presence in that aspect (and others, of course) was so important, because he served as the reminder that what and how much food was not nearly as important as the fact that it was a blessing. One of the main reasons I am so passionate about food is that it is the perfect occasion to gather in communion with others and in the fellowship with Christ.
Witnessing His manifestation in Josee yesterday is something I will never forget, and I already feel so blessed to call her a sister in Christ whom I love and cherish. We have plans already to visit various Torontoian cafes and restaurants, striving for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ to be glorified and man, I am excited for what He is going to continue to do.
She didn’t let Johnny and I leave without a pile of snacks, and had also burned three CDs: one labelled “The Drive” for the drive home, one labelled “Cassie,” and one labelled “Johnny.” Our ride home was beautiful, Johnny and I talking about so much, past, present, and future, reminiscing on the short six months we’ve had, but mostly just embracing the Spirit’s presence in that very moment. Listening to the music Josee had put together specifically for us, touched and in awe of her kindness and caring. Blessed.
Be sure to check out the incredible line of products Josee has put together for her self-run business, ENCORE, here.
And continue to tap into the will of the Lord and the Holy Spirit. I learned so much from Him in Josee: embracing the moment He has, in worship, in stillness, in awe, in His character and all by and through His Spirit, so tangible– get this, MORE tangible than anything visible.
Hi All! This morning, similar to yesterday morning, I slept through my alarm and learned that I’ll be setting two or three from now on, and LOUDER ones😪😛 I wasn’t late for my 9am shift at Cora’s but was rushed, so breakfast was just a […]