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Friday, April 2, 2010

Changed Lives

With God's strength in recovery, we all have a story to tell of how God takes us from broken to redeemed.

Here is a story from a True Reflections participant, Jackie, about her changed life...

"Over the past year, God has used people from Daybreak to be his hands, feet, and voice in my life in ways that have made a huge impact on my life. Last Spring, I was falling quickly into a relapse of my eating disorder, which I have struggled with for seven years. I smiled constantly, but inwardly felt alone and terrified. When I did not even have the strength to ask God to rescue me, I received cards and emails from Daybreak prayer team members with prayers and song lyrics that encouraged me and reminded me that God was still with me and others were praying for me.

Though I was struggling, I had a sense that God was walking alongside me, showing me where to place each step as I fought against the monster in my head. I decided to enter a treatment program over the summer to help me beat the eating disorder, but was again terrified of the idea of giving up this huge part of myself. I remember driving to my intake appointment in Philadelphia and receiving a call from someone, who had called me several times before to pray for me. She prayed for me over the phone, and I felt so wrapped in God’s love which gave me the courage to proceed to the appointment and face my biggest fears. At a time when I did not feel like I deserved to bother anyone with my problems or that anyone should have to care about me, it meant more than I can put into words to have someone call and pray over me. I couldn’t believe that I had found a church that would actually care that much about people.

Coming back to school in the fall, I had made incredible progress, but knew I needed support to continue in recovery. I read Bible verses about being cherished by God, but had trouble believing that I could ever really be precious to Him. I could know it in my mind, but struggled to accept my value in Him.

God provided wonderful support in His perfect timing through the True Reflections group. The leaders helped us to discover and soak in our identities in Christ. The freedom and honesty was amazing. I could be completely real with these other women and with God. The most amazing thing is that, through seeking God’s truth about my identity and worth, I started slowly to discover it and very slowly to accept and claim it.

We talked about letting go of fear and control and instead trusting God with our bodies, our schedules, and our relationships. I participated in True Reflections in the Fall and the Spring, which allowed me to look back on my journal entries from the Fall and see how much I have grown. Many of those entries are prayers asking God to help me accept what he was telling me. I am so excited to see how he is answering my prayers. I used to believe I was bad, awkward, undeserving, andunbeautiful. Now I honestly believe that I might be a good creation who sometimes makes mistakes, but who has some unique gifts and special opportunities to touch others’ lives as our leaders touched mine. I am still undeserving of God’s love, but I can accept it anyway, and that is so cool! It amazes me that others are willing to listen to me, love me, and pray over me. The many cards and emails I received from the Daybreak care team remind me of this. I feel surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, and absolutely blessed. Thank you so much for letting God use you in a powerful way in my life."