Waiting

In just 30 short minutes, you’ll have the letters you’ve been waiting weeks for: Fall 2018 grades. You’ve calculated and hoped and prayed that things will turn out how you want (and feel need). You have all sorts of thoughts on the “what ifs” surrounding these final marks. There are plans if you don’t make a certain GPA and what punishment you then deserve.

Please, take a deep breath. I know this seems like the bet way possible to measure your self worth, but I promise you it isn’t. This time next year, when you’ve graduated and found your first nursing job, not a single soul will look back on these numbers. They’ll be far more interested in the fact that you graduated, passed the NCLEX, and have stellar recommendations. Who you are and the amazing nurse you’ll be isn’t based on how well you studied for med-surg.

Instead of clinging to these letters and GPA, I want you to focus on what truly matters: you made it. You fought hard to get through this semester, and that work shows. Look at the evaluation from clinicals. If one class or number has any meaning, it’s that one. Your professor sees something in you, and told you herself you’re making progress every single day. Think about all the patients who said you made a difference for them with your compassion and care.

No matter what you learn at 5 pm, be sure to show yourself grace tonight. That you do deserve.

Love,

Emily

Giving Thanks – Nov 1

I am so focused on all that happens in my life, good and bad, that I never sit down to realize what blessings I already have. Even in the darkest of night and the deepest valleys, the Lord has provided for me again and again. I take for granted what I have and long for what I do not. If I only step back and open my eyes His gifts will be known abundantly. November is the month of Thanksgiving and gratitude.  Each day this month I will share something I am grateful for. “Come, Let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.” – Psalm 95:1-2

Today I am thankful for: GRACE

“Grace that is greater than all our sin

How AMAZING is that? God extends us grace for every sin we have made and will make for our entire lives. There is nothing too big for Him to forgive. We fail Him time and time and time again, but are always welcomed back into His loving arms.

I felt absolutely terrible waking up this morning. It was proof that I had screwed up once again. Eating breakfast would be the first meal in almost 18 hours and I wondered how I could work myself back to a recovery mindset. Before even eating said breakfast, I had already worked out countless ways I should/would/could have done instead of ending up where I was. I sat, trying to right yesterday’s wrongs and not re-wrong today’s rights. I began feeling guilty, disappointed, down, anxious, and hopeless. My hope for the day only existed with prerequisites: do everything right and maybe you’ll be okay.

My eating disorder works like this in many ways. If I am recovery-minded, I will not accept any actions that come from anorexia. Just the opposite is true if I am in my disorder. Either way, I am never okay with what I am doing. I feel like a giant failure. I cannot forgive myself, but instead I  am so hard on myself. I put things into black and white and never offer myself grace. What would happen if I did?

Grace would say: you had a bad day but you are free, forgiven, and today is a new day. Wow. This isn’t something I can truly comprehend. How could everything be wiped clean, just like that?

God give us this grace every day, every minute, every second into eternity. I am so very thankful that He has promised us this by the sacrifice of the Son. He calls us to extend that same grace to ourselves and each other. We are forgivable. We can be free. We deserve a second chance. 

I forget or choose not to show myself even a portion of grace that God gives me. Today, I will believe that I am not a lost cause. I will not beat myself up and play the “should/could/would” game. I will accept my imperfection in recovery. Today, grace will win because it wasn’t mine to take away in the first place.

I am alive.

I shouldn’t be alive right now. These past few years, they should have killed me one way or another. I don’t really want to focus on all of the things that easily would have ended my life, but instead on why they didn’t.

How am I still alive? I went to therapy once a week or more. I was in PHP and IP at Forest View. So many people have supported me through this all. I was monitored and nearly force-fed. My loving Father and Savior has been merciful on my life and kept me going. Regardless of how many outside forces were trying their best to keep me alive, there’s really just one that did it: me.

I am alive right now because I choose to be. I am working hard to live each day, and even learning to thrive. I fight like hell against all of the thoughts that weigh me down. I feed myself and try to somehow make love in my heart for myself. I am growing each and every day because I am resilient. Even on the bad days I am not losing because I am still here at the end of it.

I am so thankful to be alive. I was put here for a purpose. God doesn’t make mistakes, not even me. I want to treat each new day as a gift from Him. I am pushing myself to enjoy every second and learn and move more toward who He desires me to be. Not everyone wakes up. We are never promised tomorrow and recent events have let me see that. Knowing this, how could I rationalize any other way of living?

I am overcome that so much of my life has been spent not wanting to wake up the next morning. I wanted a way out. I didn’t see any worth whatsoever in myself. I couldn’t justify living another second. I didn’t think life would ever get better. I honestly didn’t want it to get better.

Here’s the thing: it does get better. I don’t care what you’re facing or how bad it is. I was there too, but I’m not now. I want to live, and I want to help others decide to live too. When I say “it gets better,” I don’t mean that it gets easy, or that it won’t get worst. In fact, it probably will be worse for a while. You will feel like you can’t even manage another breath, that you would rather choose the easy way out. You have to push beyond it because beyond the depression, suicidal thoughts, tragedies, hurt, years of pain, miserable living situations, self-doubt or even self-hatred, eating disorder, or whatever you may face is hope. Hope that says tomorrow is worth it. Hope that says your life is worth it. Hope that says you are worth it. Hope is right.

Keep living. Keep being alive. I’m here with you.