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Ballet and My Recovery from an Eating Disorder

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By Margie Achee | Guest Blogger 

Photo credit | Donna Irene Photography

I was 18 when I decided to count calories. Of course this wasn’t my first foray into dieting; as a child I constantly came up with new ways to slim down, creating reward schedules, and binge days if I had been ‘good’ all week. At the time though they were just ideas; fantasies that were eventually replaced with a new thought. My adolescent mind was not capable of the laser focus required to truly starve oneself, however I always knew I wanted to change my body. It felt too big; it took up too much space. I continued with my weight loss games, using my body for experimentation until one day something stuck.

I was home from my first year at college, and I decided I was not going to eat more than 1,000 calories a day. Unlike all the previously failed trials, this time it was working, I was losing weight. My clothes were loose, people made comments like, ‘hey you are looking thin, what’s your secret?’ or ‘Hey, you look amazing, I’m so jealous!’ or my personal favorite, ‘You’re supposed to gain 15 pounds at college not lose it!’ My weight loss was viewed as a positive, as a sign that I was a successful person, and I liked it. Being thin garners such an intoxicating feeling of success it’s hard to accept the boundaries of health.

I returned to college in August, where I was studying ballet and modern dance. Teachers and students alike took notice of my new body. At the end of my freshmen year I was an average dancer, in the average level classes, and never getting cast for any work. Now, 20 pounds lighter, I was bumped up to the advanced classes, cast in faculty, student and guest choreographer’s work. Everything I ever wanted was finally happening and it all hinged on 20 pounds of body mass; if I gained it back I would once again be average, if I kept it off, or even better, lost more weight, I would continue to be special. I thought if a little was good, more must be better; I chopped my daily calorie allowance in half and increased my exercise. I discovered purging and how to do it without making a sound. If I ate, it was in secret. I felt like eating was a sign of weakness, of being average, of needing things like everyone else needs things. Sometimes I binged. Binging felt the most shameful of all so it was always done in the middle of the night, in my car, or my dorm room with the door locked. I weighed myself every time I looked in the mirror, and counted the bones I could see to make sure a layer of fat hadn’t snuck up on me in the night. My ribs were my favorite thing to count, if I could see a new one it was exhilarating, if I saw one less it was devastating. I was spiraling out of control but I didn’t care, I was possessed by my drive to be great.

Somewhere along the line I had confused being extraordinary with being thin. I decided if I was thin then I had achieved something that set me apart from the rest. What I didn’t see was everything that I was losing in my quest for body perfection. I was failing in school, I pushed my friends away and my body began to break down. I was a shell of a person, I was not great, I was dying. This is where so many of us get stuck, in the confusion between what the reality is and what we think the reality is. We think our eating disorder is our ticket to success – however that may be defined, when in reality an untreated eating disorder will always only result in death.

Part of recovery for me meant leaving school and dance. I never performed any of the works for which I was cast, and it took years for me to be able to step back into a ballet studio again. My eating disorder robbed me of fulfilling my childhood dream; it took years from my life. It was an awful experience but it forced me to cultivate a healthy adult identity and for that I am grateful. 

P.S. You are enough.


Margie is 25 and currently resides in Connecticut. She hold a B.S. in General Psychology and is furthering her studies to become a psychologist and a nutritionist. In addition to dancing she enjoys yoga, hiking, cooking, and laughing.

A Woman’s Heart

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By Megan Maire | Guest Blogger

Ladies,

I know I am not the only one who has felt alone and misunderstood. Society tells us to be strong, not to show weakness, to suffocate our femininity, not to feel, that anything other than confidence is unacceptable, that we need to strive for physical perfection and the list goes on and on. 

What society wants us to do is possible. However, it isn’t healthy and it is not a road that will lead to true happiness; but rather a disconnection from the Lover and Creator of your heart. And that is a sure road to utter and complete misery.

Society’s definition is not true strength. Contrary to what the enemy wants us to believe, vulnerability is one of the strongest things we can choose. Saint Teresa of Calcutta said we should “love until it hurts.” Loving means to be vulnerable. When you are vulnerable you are going to feel, but not just the feel-good feelings. Loving is deeper than just good feelings. When you truly love (will the good of the other person), you are going to feel so many different things and that is okay and healthy. C.S. Lewis has a really beautiful quote that very beautifully explains love:

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it careful around with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.

I also believe that there is great strength in being who God created you to be. God created women to be feminine, and just because we aren’t like a man doesn’t mean we are less or more important. You are equally valuable, but purposefully different and you need to embrace who you are. You will never be truly happy if you are trying to be someone other than who God created you to be. Saint Catherine of Siena said:

Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.

God created women with such a beautiful femininity. We feel differently. We think differently. Physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually we are different from men. That is okay. In fact, that is good. Femininity offers the world something unique and vital; and the entire world suffers when we suffocate our femininity.

In all things always look to God, because in Him is the truth.

P.S. You are enough.

This Girl

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By Erin McNew | Staff Writer

Today, this video made me cry.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/dayshavedewi/this-video-is-for-every-woman-who-has-never-felt-like-that-g#.vt67WrKP8X

Because I know what it’s like to look at that girl and compare yourself to her. As if you can be compared to any other person on this planet. As if you are not uniquely made. As if your thighs being larger than that girl’s make your chances of being loved smaller. As if your hips being wider than that girl’s make your chances of looking beautiful when you going out slimmer. As if your hair being shorter than that girl’smake your journey toward acceptance longer. As if your stomach not being lean makes your chances of being noticed as much as that girl’s pretty fat.

Some days I still wish I could somehow be that girl. I could eat less with that girl in mind. I could work out twice a day and look at that girl as my goal. I could grow out my hair and be feminine like that girl. Some days I look at magazines or listen to music or talk to family and friends and it feels as if everyone is hinting at that girl. And, some days I get so caught up in that girl that I lose sight of this girl. The girl that I am. The girl that God created me to be. The girl that is beautiful. The girl that is enough.

I lose sight of the girl I am. I lose sight of my own likeness to God. I lose sight of my own beauty. I lose sight of my own potential. I love sight of my own reality. Because I become caught up in the lie that by looking like someone else I become better. More loved. More accepted. More attractive.

Some days the pressures I entertain within my own mind and heart are so heavy that when I look in the mirror I don’t see any of the things I have the potential to be. I don’t see that girl, but, more heartbreakingly, I don’t see this girl. I see a project. I see something to be altered. Tightened. Reduced. Expanded. I see nothing but things to be improved upon. When, in truth, this girl is perfect. Because this girl is healthy. This girl is loved. This girl is smart. This girl is successful. This girl is driven. And this girl has the will power and the faith to keep that girl from distracting her from how beautiful she is.

People exercise and diet to transform themselves. But sometimes, we need a transformation much deeper than one that can be measured by a scale. Sometimes, we need a transformation that can only be achieved through prayer and self-love. And sometimes, being able to look into a mirror and see yourself as God sees you is all the measurement you need.

Do not let your adorning be external, the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear. But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. | 1 Peter 3:3-4

P.S. You are enough.

Healing Doesn’t Happen Overnight

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By Megan Marie | Guest Writer

I was so confused. According to multiple Christian songs, movies, books etc. all you have to do is kneel down and pray and all of your problems will be solved. Your life will effortlessly transform into the unrealistic standard you hold yourself up to.

Wrong.

Healing rarely happens overnight. Especially when we’ve been deeply wounded and we are stuck in a pattern of wrong thinking.

I constantly have little revelations and more understanding of situations that leave me deep in thought for days.

If we had one big revelation regarding all of our wrong thinking, wounds and denial, we would be overwhelmed.

We heal at different paces because God knows exactly how much we can handle and exactly when we can handle it. When we have a lot of healing to do, we get one piece at a time to chew and digest, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly. Some things are easier to forgive, heal and learn from and some things aren’t. Sometimes it can take years to heal from something traumatic. We just need to patient with ourselves. Each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses.

Be persistent in your prayer. Even when it is hard and you feel like giving up. When you’re in the middle of something, we often can’t see how the Lord could possibly be moving and working in the situation. But He will show us how and why. Probably not right away, but in His perfect time, He will.

I know life can be excruciatingly painful, but it is in the difficult times that we often come closest to God and our endurance will grow.

I went through a few really painful years. Looking back, I can see that those years were crucial for my emotional and spiritual development. It was a long, slow, painful journey of healing. In fact I’m still healing. I don’t know if I will ever be 100% healed. I will probably carry this cross my entire life. The difference is, I’m stronger now and have more spiritual tools when my cross is heavy and I become weary.

I look back with a thankful heart. I wouldn’t be who I am if not for those years. I pray that I never have to go back to that emotional and spiritual state, but I see a little piece of the outcome and know it was all completely worth it.

I remember feeling so hopeless, crying myself to sleep every night. For everyone who is there, I want you to know that I’m praying for you. Don’t give up, because all of this will be worth it in the end. Just don’t give up.

Quick disclaimer: I’m not saying you shouldn’t listen to christian music or read christian novels. Music and books can be wonderful healing tools. In my particular case, however, there were numerous songs, books and movies portraying that healing is instant and you’ll never struggle with your problems again. Which is far from true and was very confusing to me.

P.S. You are enough.

My Beautiful Mess of a Story

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By Megan Marie | Guest Writer

I have been deeply wounded. I am a very sensitive person. I was physically very sick with autoimmune diseases and due to emotional abuse, past trauma and some family problems, I coped by finding something to control. Anorexia took over my life and it quickly destroyed me.

The more I tried to control food, people around me and my environment the more out of control I felt. I cried myself to sleep every night. I was so unhappy, broken-hearted and confused. I was afraid and felt abandoned, very often hopeless.

I was disgusted with myself and couldn’t think of a reason in the world why God would love me. I just wasn’t enough.

Through it all I still prayed daily and went to Mass, but the joy was missing. This went on for about two and a half years.

One day I came across Maura’s blog from Made in His Image. The eating disorder and abuse testimonies were so hard for me to read because I related so deeply to many of those young women’s pain. I was still in denial regarding my eating disorder, though.

One day I was in the kitchen and my mom was in the living room and I just started crying, my heart was so wounded and hurting so deeply. I said to my mom, “Mom, I think I might be anorexic.” I had no idea where those words came from. I was in shock. It had never even occurred to me that I was anorexic. I believe now that the Holy Spirit spoke through me to myself and my mom that day.

Even though I did not like the idea of having anorexia, it made sense. I thought food was how I was “fixing” the problem, not a way of coping for a bigger and deeper hurting in my heart. I was not excited about going to therapy and having to gain weight, but I honestly came to the point where I was so sad and depressed I was willing to try.

I started going to counseling when I was sixteen years old. One of the scariest things I have ever experienced, but also one of the most beautiful.

My counselor has been such a beautiful blessing in my life. With time God helped me heal and gain weight through her.

I have an analogy to help describe what happened in my heart:

Picture a conflagration. Everything is burned to the ground, you are left with nothing. Flowers, trees, house, everything… gone.

In total devastation, a rain shower comes. Slowly one little flower pops up and starts to grow. Brighter, stronger and prettier than before the fire; bringing hope. Soon many more flowers follow and before you know if the field is covered with flowers!

Well, that is what happened in my heart. There was a fire which stripped me of everything, left me devastated and with nothing. Then, in total brokenness, the Lord said to me, “You are enough.” Slowly flowers started to grow and bring hope and joy back to my life.

Fulton Sheen said, Broken things are precious. We eat broken bread because we share in the depth of our Lord and His broken life. Broken flowers give perfume. Broken incense is used in adoration. A broken ship saved Paul and many other passengers on their way to Rome. Sometimes the only way the good Lord can get into some hearts is to break them.

This quote has helped me to see my story as beautiful and purposeful. I realize now that God has loved me through it all.

P.S. You are enough.


Tuesday November 29, 2016 was #GivingTuesday and I had a goal to raise $4000.00 for Made in His Image. We raised $750.00 of that goal and need to raise the rest as soon as possible. I want to invite you to be apart of our mission through your financial support. If you believe in the mission, or if MIHI has touched you or a loved one, please consider giving. As a non-profit we are sustained by your financial support. This money will go towards furthering our mission, helping women see their worth, heal from abuse and mental illnesses, some legal and accountant fees and other updates we need. I know that all doesn’t seem glamours but as a non-profit I have a lot of behind the scenes work that needs funding. You truly are saving lives by supporting us. www.madeinhisimage.org/donate

You Are Captivating

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By Megan Marie | Guest Writer

Underneath all that makeup, forced smile and personality that isn’t truly your own, is something beautiful, treasured, captivating and desired.

When you are hurt, you have a choice, you can lay the pain before God and let Him help you, heal you, hold you, comfort you and treasure you. Or you can believe the lie that you just aren’t enough and it is all your fault. You can cover up who God made you with an insincere smile, dyed hair, layers of makeup, just hoping people will see past your “flaws,” worrying that if they knew who you really are, you’d be disdained.

Covering up the pain and hiding who you are is only going to bring devastation to your heart.

Turning to God in vulnerability is scary, I know! How many times have you trusted someone and they let you down? Too many. But God won’t let you down. He weeps when you bury yourself, hiding and ashamed of who He made you. He knows you better than anyone. He loves you like no other and He has already showed you a deeper love than you could ever dream of.

All you have to do is bring your broken heart before God. Despite what the world tells us, it is the most beautiful and brave thing you can do. Exposing your wounds and uncovering your unique beauty that you have spent so long trying to hide and destroy takes a great amount of courage, but you are strong enough.

You know when you see a woman who has the ideal figure with perfect skin, long blonde hair and the sexiest clothes? You might feeling jealous of her outward beauty, feeling insecure and comparing yourself to her. But when she opens her mouth and you hear the cold, lifeless and cruel words coming from her lips. All of the sudden she doesn’t look very pretty anymore.

When you see a woman who doesn’t have flawless skin or the cutest clothes or perfect figure, but speaks words of life and love. Her smile is infectious, her joy is contagious and she sincerely cares, her heart is beautiful and suddenly you don’t even see her “flaws”.

Which woman would you rather be?

We are much too critical of ourselves. We have to remember, we will never look into a persons eyes which God does not love and that includes you.

I was challenged to look in the mirror for two minutes every day and look at myself the way God sees me. This was so painful and was almost unbearable. So I put my own twist on it. When I would lay down at night, I would ask God to help me prepare my heart for what He is going to teach me next. Slowly God began showing me how much He loves me. Now I’m able to look at myself in the mirror without being completely disappointed and repulsed by what my reflection shows. I know now that my reflection only shows my physical appearance. My reflection doesn’t show the condition of my heart and that is what matters. When I look to God and delight in Him, suddenly my reflection isn’t so important.

Ladies, God made each and every one of you beautiful and I pray that you can see that.

P.S. You are enough.

Blog Submissions | Made in His Image

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I would love to have you submit a post. Below are the guidelines for submitting an article to MIHI.

1. When you submit it, please indicate if you would like your name on the article or if you want it published anonymously.

2. Please make the article no longer than 1000 words.

3. Please edit the article yourself, and then have someone else, besides yourself edit it before submitting it to me. Every writer needs space from their work and it always helps to have another pair of eyes review one’s work. 

4. If it is your story, please make sure that you are 100% certain you want to share it on my blog before submitting it to me. I say this because I have had numerous submissions which I have posted and then receive emails from the author saying they have changed their mind. As a busy working mom it is impossible for me to always be able to change a blog post once it is posted. I would love to have your story but just want you to be comfortable in sharing it. 

5. You can email me your submission – [email protected]

I look forward to hearing from many of you and thank you so much for your interest in writing for Made in His Image. Your stories provide so much hope for our readers. I’m grateful to you!

Healing lessons of the heart

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By Erin McNew | Staff Writer

Lately I’ve been learning a lot of lessons. But they’ve been a little different from the ones I normally learn.

I’m learning that a single decision can change absolutely everything, your attitude, your focus and you heart. Sometimes decisions that we see as being less than game changing turn out to be just that. They end up changing absolutely everything.

Lessons of the heart are strange. They’re really fragile and hard to explain. But lately I’ve learned something important about the heart. I’ve learned that there’s a balance between guarding your heart and making yourself vulnerable. I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, there is true beauty in vulnerability. There’s beauty of remaining courageous in the face of possible pain and opening yourself up to love and affection.

I’m kind of a mess. I change my mind constantly. I’m weird, and I’m typically completely unfocused. But one part of my little mess that I’m slowly cleaning up is the part that’s afraid to forgive and quick to judge. That’s a part of my mess that I’m never particularly proud of. It’s a part of my mess that prevents me from accepting others completely like God calls me to. I think sometimes we forget that we’re called to things like that. I think we forget that we are called to pursue divine qualities such as a forgiving heart and non-judgmental eyes. Those are the characteristics that grant us a heart capable of Godly love. And, I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of love I want to pursue in my everyday relationships.

I know it’s hard to forgive. But the wholeness you experience when you do is uncanny. Because as much as we would like to believe that holding grudges cracks our relationships with others, it doesn’t. It cracks our relationship with our soul. It allows us to harbor guilt and anger that are poisonous to the pure Spirit that Christ wishes to instill in us. And the freedom that you experience upon emancipating yourself from those things is the type of freedom that love and compassion thrive in. And that love and compassion can cover up just about any wound that was caused by the original infraction or assault.

As weird as it is, sometimes it’s those people who break your heart that are most capable of granting it a proper situation in which to heal. And sometimes it takes the breaking of a heart to remind a person what it should have valued originally and how it should have expressed that value to others.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

P.S. You are enough.

To the Girl Without a father

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By Maura Preszler | Founder of Made in His Image

The most pandemic wound in our world is fatherlessness. Every little girl yearns to be pursued by her father. She desires to be wanted. She asks the questions, Do you delight in me? Am I worth fighting for? Do you want me? Do you see me? Do you value me? Am I beautiful? Am I enough? When these questions are answered through a father appropriately loving, touching, kissing and affirming his daughter she doesn’t need to run off with the first boy who finds her attractive.

But when these questions aren’t answered in an appropriate way, she seeks to find these answers on her own. When a father doesn’t give his daughter the attention and love she craves, her need for male acceptance is bottomless. Often times these unanswered questions lead to eating disorders, depression and promiscuity to name a few. (Please note these struggles can still be present with a loving father, the majority is simply higher without one). 

All my life I’ve yearned for love. Craved physical touch so deeply at times I thought I’d explode without it. Ached for it, yet feared it with every fiber of my being. I was abused so much I didn’t even know what good physical touch should feel like. As a little girl and teenager I was never told I was beautiful or enough. These unanswered questions left my curiosity with a hunger that couldn’t satisfied my heart.

I searched for these answers on my own. I thought if I achieved a certain weight I would feel beautiful and enough. But the truth is, the more weight I lost the more empty I felt. My quest to find beauty could have killed me. I got so sick that I could literally hear my heart struggling to beat. I was petrified. One night I took my pulse and it was in the high twenties. I fought back tears because I was afraid my heart wouldn’t be capable of handling the energy my tears would produce. My bones were protruding, I was freezing, my hair was falling out in clumps, my finger nails were purple and I had fine hair growing all over my body. I was killing myself. I thought if I could reach a certain number on a scale I would be happy and fulfilled. Yet all my heart ached for was to be held and told that I was beautiful.

In college I pursued men because I wanted to be noticed. This left me feeling even more empty and alone. Every guy I dated was addicted to pornography. What the heck was wrong with me? Was this my fault?

Then a guy wanted me to get plastic surgery. When he mentioned those words my heart froze. I felt gross. So does this mean I’m not beautiful? You don’t like me just the way I am? You don’t think I’m attractive? You think I’m ugly? Even though I never considered plastic surgery, those were painful words to hear.

Then I was violated again by a man. I wanted to kill myself.

Then, I went to India and it was there that I found the answers I was so desperately searching for in all the wrong places. 

I never knew that God the Father loved me and didn’t even really know He existed. In India, Eric Clark, a FOCUS missionary at the time, gave a talk about God the Father’s love. I broke down and wept. I had never heard about a love like that before. I couldn’t fathom someone loving me the way in which Eric described how God loves us. He used adjectives to describe God the Father that were foreign to me. He said God was gentle, loving, merciful, understanding, compassionate, and that He adored us (His creation). It was exceedingly challenging for me to digest what Eric was saying. But there was something about God the Father that captivated me. Even though I didn’t know Him or understand how He could love me, I yearned to with all my heart. I desperately craved love. And not the counterfeit love that the world offers, but genuine authentic love – the love of the Father.

After Eric’s talk I went up to him, Eric I want to know God like that. Can you teach me? One of the things Eric told me was that in order to know God, I must frequent the sacraments. So I made a commitment that I would attend daily Mass, go to adoration and confession more.

It certainly wasn’t overnight but my relationship with God the Father changed my life.

As I healed I learned that my validation of beauty and sense of acceptance isn’t the width of my waist, my BMI, how fast I can run a mile, the fact that I don’t have a boyfriend or the fact that I do. I can never quench my yearning to be loved through the number that flashes back at me on the scale. My worth comes from my intrinsic dignity as a human being.

I want to lovingly encourage you that no matter where you are with your relationship with God to make a commitment to get to know Him more. If you don’t pray at all, then pray for 5 mins. If you don’t go to Sunday Mass, then go this Sunday. If you already go to Sunday Mass, then pick an extra day to go during the week too. Pray the Rosary and if you’ve never prayed it, that’s okay, just start. Take little steps each day at furthering your relationship with God the Father. And sit in silence too and ask Him to show you who you are as His daughter. He sees beauty in you. Tell Him you long to see it too.

God adores you. You are precious to Him. You are His daughter. He loves you so. And He desires to lavish His love on you. You are beautiful, wanted and loved. You are enough.

I would go to Adoration and just sit there in silence. Daily I would ask Him, oftentimes in tears, to show me the beauty He sees in me. I would beg Him to show me His love. Then I would just be still. He showed me His love and how beautiful I am because I’m His daughter.

I’m far from perfect and I definitely don’t have it all together, but I still do these things daily and will for the rest of my life. A lot of women have told me that they think if they had a boyfriend or husband everything in their lives would be better. This is not true ladies. The truth is, if I didn’t first and foremost find my identity and beauty in our Heavenly Father I would never believe my husband when he tells me I’m beautiful. Never. No exceptions. You must find your beauty and worth in God first.

Read the book The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen. It changed my life and I know it will change yours too.

And don’t forget, no matter what you have done, the Father adores you. He died to take your sin. You are His creation. He created you out of love, to be loved. He has a plan for you! You have a purpose. Go to Him. He is waiting with His loving, compassionate and gentle Arms to forgive, heal and restore you.

Worry about finding a man to love you?

God created the universe, surely He didn’t forget about your future. And remember, you are worth waiting for. You are worth a man who will fight for you. A man who will protect and cherish you, a man who will truly keep you safe in ever sense of the word. Of course it’s important to keep in mind that no man is perfect and we shouldn’t put fairytale expectations on them, but they should strive to show you God the Father’s love through their attributes. Wait for a man to honor you for the beautiful gift that you are. The man God has for you won’t pressure you to have sex, he will wait patiently until your wedding night, so you can both give yourselves to each other as a sincere gift of self. Don’t ever conform to immorality to attract a man. And if you have sinned in the past, then go to confession and begin again. You are worth more than that. In fact, your worth is beyond human comprehension.

Also if someone is pressuring you to change your body, remember that plastic surgery is like saying, sorry God, but you didn’t make me good enough. I think I should help you out there and make a few changes. Satan throws lies at our insecurities all the time saying we aren’t good enough. But confidence in God, can and will, combat those lies. In order to do that, you need to be firmly rooted in who you are. Ladies, don’t let society mold your confidence.

Today I’m married to a man who pursues the Lord, a man who is a servant leader, a man who pursues me by first and foremost loving the Lord. He was worth the wait. At times I never thought I’d find him, but it was Jesus who brought us together. We have a seven month old son named Pio Matthew who bring us so much joy! Sometimes I wish I could go back and tell my college age self to be patient and that God had it all worked out. I can’t do that. So I’m telling you.

My last nugget of advice to you and something I have learned over the years, don’t search for your father’s love everywhere, find it in the Father.

P.S. You are enough.

Waiting is Hard

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By Erin McNew | Staff Writer

Today in class you talked to us about waiting. Sometimes I think that maybe you don’t think anyone listens to your stories while we ride. But I do. You’re actually my favorite instructor. I think you’re goofy and funny and when you get down to it, you’re honestly pretty relatable. You take a class that I dread going to at 8AM and make it my favorite class of the week.
Anyways, today you spoke to us about waiting and said something along the lines of, “The wait is long and the hard work is difficult but the results are perfect.” That really stuck in my head today. You’re whole story stuck in my head today. When you talked about getting discouraged by your dating life sometimes I actually started to feel a little teary.

When I was in 8th grade I decided to save sex for when I was married. And it was really easy until the end of my freshman year at A&M. I met this boy and he did everything right. He drove three hours to my house that summer just to take me to a movie. I’d never had a boyfriend or anything like that before, and he made falling in love the easiest thing. Over the next year though it began to get really challenging. He was always angry with me over nothing and I found this boy who used to be so sweet to me hurting me a lot. We’d go out and he would pay attention to other girls and ignore me, but when we left he wanted to drunkenly tell me he loved me. And of course I believed him. And I found myself constantly trying to win the affection of someone who didn’t deserve me. Our relationship grew to be really volatile and abusive for me, and a year after he’d first told me he was interested in me he told me he wanted to marry me then broke up with me.

I was broken. It was the first day of summer and I honestly felt like a shadow of myself. I didn’t know how to cope with the things I was feeling, so I’d ride my bike. Everyday I’d ride a minimum of ten miles. I started losing weight, but the one laying on my heart just grew heavier.

I had this really special friend that started reaching out to me. He made the healing of my heart a top priority and kind of captured it along the way. A year and a half later, we just celebrated a year of dating. He told me he was going to marry me on our first date and I’ve never been so confident in the words of another person. We plan on getting engaged in the spring, and every day I go to cycling I tell him how thankful I am that biking is more than just numbing for me now, it’s exhilarating.

You’re right in the fact that waiting is long. I made a commitment to myself in the 8th grade, and it took me almost six years to find it. My boyfriend doesn’t know, but I’ve been writing letters to the man I was going to marry since I was 16 telling him that he was worth every minute of waiting. I’ve written 88 letters now, and seeing his face everyday just makes each one increasingly true.

It’s easy to get discouraged, but I thought you should know that someone as special as you is going to find the love they’ve been working hard and waiting for.

The result is always worth it.

P.S. You are enough.