For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
In my work with women recovering from eating disorders, I occupy a role which I have come to believe is nothing less than sacred. I am a hope-holder for others.
By the time most women have arrived in residential treatment for their eating disorder (or substance abuse, PTSD, mood disorder, etc), they have very little hope remaining, and they have likely lost their ability to envision a life of freedom for themselves.
Enter the Treatment Team, a unity of individual clinicians working together alongside the individual, to help her find the path to freedom. She needs us to guide her, to support her, to encourage her, to challenge her, but perhaps the most important thing we do for any woman walking through our doors is to hold the hope when hers is lost, until she finds it once again.
Hope is a must in recovery. Without hope, why bother? Hope is the unwavering belief that something better lies ahead. What is your “something better?” A life free of the fear, compulsions, and entrapment of your eating disorder? A life in which you can enjoy an outing to the beach, an ice cream with friends on a summer night, or moving your body for the sheer pleasure of it?
Maybe for you in this moment, you simply hope for a life in which you will wake up in the morning and be grateful to be alive, because maybe, just maybe, you’ve forgotten what it really means to be alive. Hope is essential. You simply have to have it or surround yourself with those who have it for you, for the time being, but it must be built upon something real.
Today’s scripture passage reveals the heart of God toward His chosen ones. (Yes, Beautiful, that’s you!) He has plans for us. For me. For you. Good plans. Exciting plans. Secret plans that He longs to reveal to us as time unfolds and we walk with Him in faith. Do you believe that? Is it possible that God isn’t finished with you yet? Is it possible (can you dare to allow yourself to believe, even for a moment) that perhaps the best is yet to come?
Precious woman, you were made for more than this. You were not created for defeat, but for victory—a victory that God made possible for you through Jesus; a victory that has already been purchased and paid in full. The best is yet to come for you if you are willing to trust in God and follow as He leads. I believe that with everything inside me. I wouldn’t dare put it in print if I didn’t believe it with all my heart . . . for you.
Hope is not an option on this journey. You are going to need it. If you are without hope, I pray you borrow some from the pages of this book and from others around you as you accept their support and love. Better days, better years, a better life are ahead, dear one. Hold on.
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To what or to whom do you look for hope?
by: Jena Morrow
Amazon Price $7.95
Jena Morrow’s debut book, “Hope,” chronicles her nearly three-decade-long battle with eating and body image issues. In her second book, “Hope for the Hollow,” Jena takes readers on a thirty-day devotional journey to challenge eating disordered thoughts and beliefs in light of God’s Word. In addition to being a writer, speaker, and activist for eating disorder awareness and prevention, Jena works as the Alumnae Coordinator at Timberline Knolls in Lemont, IL, a premiere residential treatment center for women and girls battling eating disorders, substance abuse, mood disorders, self-injury, and PTSD. Jena makes her home in a suburb of Chicago with her son, Jaden, his pet snake Stephanie, and a mischievous cat named Prim.