After my last session with my therapist, and after giving in to the demands of ED for the past three days, I used my 40 minute drive home to do some major thinking about what I want out of recovery. I wrestled with the idea of what recovery looks like, what I need to do to get there, how I can get started getting there and what it means to me to get there. You’ll have to know a little about my history to understand why what happened next meant so much to me…my step-grandfather is a pastor and I spent my youth following him to each of the churches for which he became the pastor. I think it made my faith stronger, but I had never felt that I had ever been given a clear, “and the heavens opened” sign by God…that is, until last night. As I was driving and thinking, as I said earlier, I noticed the biggest rainbow I had ever seen stretching over the bridge I take home. Usually my first thought would have been “cool, a rainbow”…but for some reason, my thoughts brought me to the story of Noah. For anyone unfamiliar with the story, after God sent a flood to destroy the wickedness in the world, he sent Noah a rainbow as a promise that he would never again flood the earth. I felt that the rainbow that night, although visible to all commuters, was a sign for me; a promise that as long as I stayed committed to recovery that He would never leave me and would guide me where I needed to be.
About ten miles down the road, I saw a white bird (which, with my limited knowledge of bird species, I assumed to be a dove…could’ve probably been anything) fly out of a creek by the side of the road. Again, any other day, I would say something to the effect of “oh, pretty bird, that’s nice”, but last night I thought again about the story of Noah. Noah, after the rains had ceased, sent out a dove to search for dry land. After finding no land, the dove returned. Later, Noah again sent out the dove in search of dry land. This time, the dove returned with an olive branch, indicating that land had been found–an enticing glimpse at what would be once the waters fully receded. Once again Noah sent out the dove and it did not return, indicating to Noah that the waters had receded and the world was, once again, safe. I feel like my recovery is often like the dove Noah sent out. At first, I was scared of recovery and flew back to the perceived safety of the ship. Then, knowing I had to give it another try. I came back with a fleeting glimpse of what recovery could be, but still, I had come back to the ship (and ED). Now, as I prepare to send the dove out again, I hope that it does not return. Not that I don’t like doves, they’re very cute animals, I just hope that ED can be released with the dove never to return to my ship. Ok, so maybe the metaphor is a bit stretched…but I still feel like God was telling me not to give up on recovery. Even though I’ve slipped a little and let ED back into my life, it does not mean he gets to stay there. As I work towards recovery, I know that God will never leave me and will continue to give me strength to press on. No matter what you are going through, ED or otherwise, please know that He will never leave you either.