As I was recovering from anorexia early on, I essentially had one mentality: “God, I hate this, so fix it.”
That entitled (and shortsighted) mentality seeped into everything I thought, said, and did for years as I gradually recovered. All I wanted was be healed—especially emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. My physical recovery was fairly fast and straightforward, but my heart, mind, and soul were a complete mess.
I expected God to clean up the mess with a snap of His fingers. But He didn’t.
A few years ago, I was especially resentful about that. Today, I know that I’m better for it. Because if my messy heart, mind, and soul had been cleaned up with a snap of His fingers, who knows if I would’ve written a book about eating disorder recovery? Who knows if I would’ve had such a strong desire to speak to young adults about eating disorders? Who knows if I would’ve shared my struggles so rawly on my blog?
I’ll admit that I didn’t handle the trial of eating disorder recovery very well. Instead of enduring the trial with a mindset of grace, patience, and perseverance, I endured with a mindset of selfishness, resentment, and shortsightedness. Looking back, I wish I had had more realistic expectations about my recovery—especially my emotional, mental, and spiritual recovery.
When trials enter our lives, many of us end up enduring them with impatience and bitterness. And, unfortunately, impatience and bitterness don’t just affect how we view trials. They also affect how we view God and our relationship with Him, which ends up affecting our quiet times.
For example, while I was in the depths of eating disorder recovery, I wanted God to remove the negative emotions from my heart, the lies of Satan from my mind, and the heavy guilt from my soul. I honestly had no desire to grow in the Lord, learn from my struggle, or strengthen my relationship with Him and others. I just wanted out.
What if I had had a different mindset about the trial of eating disorder recovery? What if, instead of only desiring to escape from it as quickly as possible, I had slowed down and found contentment in the mess? What if I had devoted more energy to seeking the Lord instead of wasting my energy on worrying about the length and intensity of my suffering? What if I had prioritized the unchanging truths of Scripture above my deceptive feelings about my body?
Then everything—including my quiet time—would’ve been different.
Thankfully, God redeemed my story of impatience and bitterness so that I can share my struggles with you in blog posts like this and in my book. But my hope is that you’ll choose to respond to your trials differently than I responded to mine. When God tests you, I encourage you to endure with patience, choose contentment, and lean into God’s perfect love. Because through trials, your quiet time can become shallower and weaker, or it can become deeper and stronger.
Blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which perishes though tested by fire, may be found to result in raise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3-9 NASB)
- Spend some time thinking about trials, even if you’re not currently experiencing any. Consider various types of trials that you are experiencing or could experience.
- Write down what a positive mentality during trials looks like and what a negative mentality during trials looks like.
- Make a list about how these each of these mentalities can, over time, make your quiet time better—or worse.
|About Grace: Enjoys spending time with her family, hanging out with friends, and watching her favorite TV shows. She is the author of Real Recovery: What Eating Disorder Recovery Actually Looks Like (2022). She shares her struggles at her blog, Tizzie's Tidbits of Truth.