Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Testimony of the Power and Mercy of our Lord

After battling with severe anorexia for over half of my life that truly should have killed me, after being prescribed a combination of medications that placed me in a position psychologically to attempt suicide three times (each of which should have taken my life), God revealed that He preserved me for this time in history. He saved me so I could get to this point and receive the healing that I never thought possible. I started at age 14, being admitted to adolescent eating disorder units. Three hospitalizations later, I was sent to the Renfrew Center in FL. It was at Renfrew that I got a brief glimpse of God's amazing purpose for my life. He revealed (not through the program, but within my heart) that He wanted to heal me from the anorexia in order to make me a living testimony to His great power. The promise was established at that point, and I left Renfrew not quite healthy physically, but much more sound spiritually and emotionally. This glorious encounter with the Lord propelled me through the remainder of high school. Jesus became my passion and best friend, and I was truly a freak for Jesus even in a Christian high school. I couldn’t get enough of His word, His presence, and His service. I was always hungry for Him. This prolonged glimpse of light brought me to Asbury College, where God revealed that He would glorify Himself in my furthering of my education. In the transition to college, however, I lost sight of His face and refocused on the mirror. The mirror is a liar and a horrible god, and I slipped back into the grips of the eating disorder. Sadly, I battled it continuously throughout college, got kicked out due to medical instability, and ended up hospitalized two more times, once in New Orleans, and the second time at Remuda Ranch. I truly believed that Remuda Ranch would be my saving grace. While it saved my life, I did not allow God to transform my life there. It was more about bringing me to a place of physical stability and not a place of spiritual understanding and hope. The band aid of Remuda lasted about a month. 30,000 dollars later, i had little to show for it. Once again, though, God shone His light into my life and redirected me to His face. I had the opportunity to be healthy enough to go on an amazing mission trip to the phillippines, where I was able to see 4,000 people come to know Jesus as their personal Savior. That same year, I had the blessing of being able to travel to England to study at Oxford University. God reminded me of the love I have for His truth and for the study of His word, literature, theology, and culture and society. God fulfilled His promise when He called me to Asbury and graciously allowed me to graduate 5 years later with a miraculous GPA of 3.93 with a BA in Psychology and English. It was a painful process, in which because of osteoporosis and addiction to running, I broke two ribs, and my hip. During my last semester at college, I had to have hip surgery after fracturing my hip, and ended up in the Orthopedic ward with a bunch of 80-year-olds. My bones were so destroyed through starvation over time that they were the bones of an 80-year-old. God's faithfulness reigned, however, because He is indeed Rapha. I was able to walk across the stage at graduation to receive my College Diploma. What an undeserved blessing. After college, I faced the thought of life after school with sheer terror: I was an adult and at a place that I had promised myself, my God, and my family I would never be: Still controlled by my eating disorder and exercise addiction. This was a terrifying reality, but I stepped forward. (what else can you do?). The problem with experiencing the goodness of God is that you become discontent with anything less. I was terribly discontent. I started to take steps toward healing, eating more regularly, exercising more moderately. Life was getting better.
Then the enemy tried to throw the blow that he thought would take me out of the game forever. I met with a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who put me on a devastating combination of medications: One that would cause me to go deeper into depression and become much more impulsive and desperate (the equation for suicide). About a month later, after never being suicidal in my life, I made my first attempt. A month and a half after that, I made my second attempt. These attempts were not playing around, either. They should have been deadly if not for supernatural intervention. Finally, after my third and most dangerous attempt a month and a half later, my mom (not the doctor) called out the culprit. The medications I was put on tried to destroy my life. The enemy, seeing that his attempt to destroy me through the eating disorder was not working, orchestrated the medications and medical professionals in my life to set me up for destruction through suicide. He blinded the eyes of the doctors to see the lethal combination of drugs for five months. Unsprisingly, when I was taken off of the combination of medications, my suicide attempts ceased, and all of the urges became nonexistent. When I realized later that the suicide attempts were the result of the medications’ affects on my brain chemisty, the shame of the behaviors was replaced by a deep anger at Satan and a horror that the enemy has that kind of ability and influence. God responded to that horror in saying, “Megan, the enemy may have taken away your ability to choose life by manipulating your brain chemistry, but I have the upper hand. I know your heart, your hope, and your love for me, and I stepped in and supernaturally spared your life in each of those situations. He cannot take your life from you in that way.” I had begun my application process to Mercy in March, and I was accepted into Mercy and entered into the program in June.
God supernaturally spared my life time after time, not just because He loves me so much (He does), but because He has countless lives that He intends to touch through my life. I am honored and humbled at His grace, mercy, and miraculous hand in my life. Through the glorious process of transformation during the last 6 months, God has brought me to my knees in gratitude for His great grace. He has shown me how His hand has been woven throughout my entire life since my actual birth. He has showed me that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. The "painful process" of recovery that I feared turned out to be a beautiful, easy process of transformation as I sought His face. His burden is indeed lighter than the one that I have been striving to carry all these years. The new song that rises up in my spirit and out of my mouth and life is one that is fueled and inspired by God's deliverance through His Son's grace and His Spirit's renewal in my life. The newness of the song is not a matter of something that is "made better," but it is the newness of a complete change in substance and quality of character. This is a song of rejoicing, and it is a song that rises out of the "new Megan." I will continue to sing the new song as long as I live, and as long as my God sings over me. And He will continue to sing over me. My God is mighty to save. I know that He has given me a passion for His word and His truth. The key to my transformation has been TRUTH. When I meditate on the truth of His word and know the truth through experience and heart knowledge, then I am free. I must be aggressive and faithful in holding unswervingly to the truth every day, because the enemy is creeping around the corner. He is a little snake and makes nasty attempts daily, but my authority is in Jesus, and as long as I remind Satan of that and throw it in his face, he can't pretend to have any authority. God is calling me to be a voice of truth in the lives of those who are lost in the lies. He is faithful, has been faithful, and will always be faithful. WE praise His name. I join the chorus of lives that are lived as testimonies of His goodness. I am not the first and by no means will I be the last. I joyfully enter into the ranks of the great cloud of witnesses.

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