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 […]
If you know me in real life, you know that I absolutely adore nut butters. And if you’ve been in my kitchen in real life, you know that on a whole new level. I almost always have more than one type of nut or seed […]
Yup. I’m a 21 year old Canadian female and only just recently got my ears pierced.
And then… un-pierced. And the whole debacle is what led to some leaps in my physical recovery from eating disorders, and a greater understanding of my personal identity.
Excessive? Allow me to explain.
I grew up with two sisters, and remember each of them getting their ears pierced. In fact, I remember each of them begging my mom to allow them to get their ears pierced at quite young ages.
But when my mom asked me if I ever wanted to get mine pierced, my answer, a few times over, was no. I just didn’t see the point in getting a needle put in my ears so that I could put jewelry in them. It just seemed like unnecessary efforts.
I’ve never been extremely opposed to the idea of having ear piercings, and definitely not to that of having piercings in general– I do, after all, have my belly button pierced. So when my friend Brooke and I went to get pedicures a few weeks ago and I noticed that the place did ear piercings for just $15 with free earrings, I thought, Why not?
Now, in hindsight, and after talking to a few friends afterward, I realize the question I really should have been asking when I saw that the piercing AND earrings together cost 15$ was Why?
In any case, I really liked the piercings for about a week after having them. They were easy to get used to, and easy to clean. I cleaned them thoroughly with warm salt water three times per day.
After about a week, though, I noticed the infection starting, and it only worsened over the next several days.
My dear friend, also known as my “soulmate” Bethany zeroed in on the infection the moment she saw me, and insisted upon taking me to Shoppers Drug Mart to get the appropriate products to fix it. I was incredibly grateful; I had not known what to do, especially with my go-to ailment-healer away at the cottage (my mom, of course).
And so, I set out to use the solution three times per day as Bethany had instructed, but soon realized that the infection was already too advanced. It would definitely require more serious care.
I decided to go to a walk-in clinic, where I was prescribed both a topical cream, and an antibiotic, by a patient doctor with a kind smile. The antibiotic was to be taken 4 times per day, with a decent meal each time.
It was when I realized how difficult it was for me to eat four large meals per day that I turned to prayer, confused.
I’m a “six small meals a day” kind of person, and this antibiotic did NOT work with snacks. If I didn’t have enough food with it, I noticed instantly that I had a horrible stomachache afterwards.
The last full update I did about eating disorder recovery is here.
After writing this one, I told myself that I would not qualify myself to give advice on my own experiences with recovery until I had gotten at least three periods in a row. I’ve experienced in the past “feeling” so educated on the topic of the recovery– and, from a knowledge-perspective, I am– but without having the success displayed in my own life.
So when I realized that the prospect of eating enough food at a time to make four large meals per day was mentally a little bit daunting, my reaction that of was fear and doubt.
Had I slipped back into more old habits than I’d realized?
I’ve spent a lot of this past week and a half reflecting on and praying about the previous year that I spent working at a health-food cafe.
I’ve already spoken about it to myself, and to some friends and family, and I don’t like to say it but acknowledging it was step one: some circumstances of the past year have triggered some old thought patterns which *sometimes* lead to old disordered behaviours.
That, and the reality that I could still relate so much to this video made me realize that “diet culture” had probably had its way with me more than I had previously admitted.
And, of course, my God and His timing? Sooo paramount.
The LORD your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. DEUTERONOMY 7:22
I’ve had to take this antibiotic and learn to be okay with eating four big meals a day (and snacks, too, if I want them) during my couple weeks off after leaving my job in the health food industry, and before starting my new one as a writer.
There has been an INCREDIBLE amount of healing during this time that I didn’t even know I needed. I plan to share more about the key areas of healing that God has revealed to me through prayer, time in the Word, and those around me. Removing myself from lies that I’ve believed in the past that were my everyday environment for a while again, repenting of believing them, and getting up close with Truth and Life in Jesus has been the desire of my soul. And He’s already reminded me that He already had victory over this battle, and that if there’s more that needs to be nailed to the cross, would He show me, but otherwise I can walk confidently in that victory.
Today, I simply want to highlight that something as seemingly insignificant as an ear infection can be a paramount turning point when entrusted to God.
He uses everything for His glory. Even a silly decision to take a nail artist up on a $15 piercing.
“Paradise.” That’s what my sister’s friend called my family cottage after just a few hours of exploring the grounds. “I’ve never been to a cottage like this.” Krystal, Johnny, and I exchanged satisfied glances; Aly was not wrong. Papineau Lake was not like most lakes, […]
I had just told myself university would not be the time for a boy.
But God knew differently.
I noticed Johnny Fulford the moment I sat down in my Tuesday afternoon “Public Faith and Theology” class. He was smilely, shy-looking, and downright handsome. When the professor asked us students to share our names, and a little bit about ourselves, I knew his name, “Johnny,” would stick in my mind.
Every Tuesday afternoon that first semester of my freshman year in university, I was encouraged and excited by what Johnny had to say on the topic of Christianity, much of which related to God’s almighty power and sufficient grace. In a place fraught with haughty opinions and lacking semblance of truth, Johnny only spoke when absolutely necessary, and without drawing attention to himself… except for, perhaps, my attention.
I also caught him nodding along with some of the points I would bring up, while I tried not to care. After all, I didn’t want to get caught up in a boy.
But God had other plans.
I always hoped Johnny might talk to me after class. Instead, when we had a field trip to Queen’s Park in Toronto, and I asked a classmate who would be driving there if we could carpool, I saw Johnny approach the same classmate to ask for a ride a few minutes after I did.
And the car ride was the beginning I’ll never forget.
Johnny and I must have spent more time getting to know each other than I realized, because, when we got to Queen’s Park, a fellow classmate who had also been in the car asked me, “So, are you and Johnny a thing?”
At Queen’s Park, we watched a political debate, and then had the opportunity to ask the politicians questions about their faith. I remember Johnny asking questions that didn’t spark my curiousity about Johnny, but drew me to prayer and to seek God’s will. I wasn’t distracted by him, but pressed forward to focus on God’s heart for these politicians, and our classmates.
It is for that reason that, when Johnny asked me if he could take me for coffee after the field trip, I didn’t say, “I’m actually not dating right now,” I said, “Yes.”
I would later learn that Johnny had also recently wondered if he was called to be single all his life. He had also recently turned down a few other potential relationships. And he had also felt drawn to the way Jesus was working in me.
The coffee date led to more dates. The couple months before Johnny asked me to be his girlfriend were spent awing in Jesus Christ and not in each other. And that is why I love Johnny second. Jesus Himself has called us to, and built up, the foundation on which our relationship stands.
Flash forward three years. Johnny and I are both almost done university… but in different provinces.
When Johnny and I met, he already knew that the school we both attended in Waterloo, ON was not his forever school. Ten months into our relationship, he transferred to Providence University in Otterburne, MB, as it is a Christian university where he could play varsity soccer in the States.
So, much of our relationship has been long distance, though we see each other four months of the summer, over Christmas, and have surprise visited each other, too.
This December 14th, 2018, Johnny returned home from Winnipeg for Christmas, and we reunited emotionally and excitably as always. Johnny’s birthday was the following day, and his sister-in-law had texted me a few days before, having bought us tickets to the Toronto Symphony, and recommending a dinner spot as a birthday gift to Johnny for both of us.
That next day, I was so focused on making Johnny’s 23rd birthday special. After giving him his birthday gift, which included 23 photos of us with 23 things I love about him, Johnny suggested we dress up fancy for the symphony.
We drove to Toronto, talking endlessly, and were so pleasantly surprised by the beautiful atmosphere of the dinner spot that Johnny’s sister-in-law recommended, Bar Reyna. We enjoyed delicious food in one of my favourite settings of all times, and each other’s company, before deciding to walk half an hour to the symphony rather than drive over.
Being pretty clueless with directions, I didn’t realize we were passing Queen’s Park until we were standing right outside it. “Wow, is this Parliament?” I asked. There wasn’t a soul around, and it was dark outside, lit only by tinselly Christmas lights adorning the trees. “Yeah,” Johnny smiled. “I’m surprised you only just noticed.”
I immediately started reminiscing on that field trip three years ago. “I knew I was drawn to you, not because of who you were, but because of who Jesus was in you,” I said. “I knew I believed in Him the same way you did. I just had never before had the vocabulary for it.”
Johnny and I were both tearing up. I was silently praising and thanking God.
And it wasn’t until he stopped me, right out front of Queen’s Park, that I had a single CLUE that he was about to ask me a very important question. “I have a confession,” he said.
My heart went into my throat in excitement, emotion, and joy.
“Sarah didn’t plan this day, I did. All to bring you here, where we first met. To have the hopes of having the best birthday gift in the world.”
The rest of what he said was a blur. I was in the midst of the greatest surprise of my life.
When he got down on one knee and said, “Cassandra Andrea Wolfe, will you be my wife?” I nodded vehemently before pulling him up and kissing him.
Finally, Johnny pointed to the bushes far off, where my sister, Krystal, was taking photos. Johnny had paid for her trip down to capture the moment.
This semester, I have been fortunate enough to take Biblical Greek with one of the greatest professors I have ever had. The following is part of my final assignment for this class, and I wanted to share it here, because I am truly blown away […]
Dear Maddie, You’ve heard it before. But when I met you, literally from the moment I saw you, I remember thinking, consciously, “I want to be that girl’s friend.” Little did I know, less than a week later, I would share more of my soul […]
Does winter get anyone else down in the dumps?
I’m not trying to blame my attitude on the cold, because I know that owning my attitude is always my responsibility. But man… I really, really hate the cold.
It is one sensation I can think of that makes me truly ANGRY.
It makes every activity more difficult. Like today, thinking about leaving the house for the different things on my agenda, from a meeting at my pastors’ house with their kids, which is one my favourite parts of my week, to a coffee and study date with beautiful Mary, to shopping, all things I love and have a generally positive attitude about– the cold weather can literally be enough to almost keep me inside.
Always “almost”… it’s never actually kept me inside, that I can recall.
But the severity of my disliking toward cold weather makes me wonder why we have it in the first place.
And then it makes me reflect why we have much bigger, truly problematic situations present in the world, hardships and fighting and poverty and greed.
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5
Now, I am a baby and out of line to liken dealing with the cold as a very privileged Western person as “suffering.” But my internal and external struggles with it reminded me of the promise of this verse in Romans. Suffering, hardships, difficult times, and struggles… they are part of the Gospel. They themselves produce endurance, which produces character, which produces hope in God’s love, NO MATTER WHAT.
So, to my friend struggling… with ANYTHING…
God knows you. Inside and out. And He hears your silent prayer. Bring it to Him, for real, and entrust it to Him. Know that He has deeper plans for every trial, and that an attitude that says, “This hardship will produce endurance, which will produce character, which will produce hope in the ONE THING that will never fail” is one God calls you to.
Don’t judge me, but I’m still gonna go into the cold with an attitude that says that God is gonna use the chill in my bones to produce endurance, character, and hope… and honestly, He does. He uses everything.
Today’s post is all about double majoring. Why did I decide to complete my undergrad as a double Major? What are the pros and cons of this? Who I recommend it to? My application story: I cannot recall ever being stressed about post-secondary, having doubts, […]