i am ready, God. 

2012 was when it all started.

i had gone to the outspoken conference at Hope Chapel. Robby Dawkins was the speaker and through him, the Holy Spirit opened up my eyes to a reality that i didn’t think was possible.

during the Saturday night session, the Holy Spirit showed up and revealed his presence to me in a tangible way. it was something i didn’t even know was possible but it was something that would be a constant reminder for me the next (almost) five years as i struggled with a whole lot of stuff.

during some of the darkest nights when i thought i had lost all hope, i would be reminded that He sees me and He was with me. when i felt so far from God laying in a hospital bed, He revealed to me that He hadn’t left and was right there beside me. in that dark, dark moment, God pursued me. when i thought i had lost everything, He showed me that He was still there and i hadn’t lost him. He hadn’t lost ME either. i wasn’t lost in the crowd. i was seen and heard by Him. every time the Holy Spirit revealed himself to me in this way, i was able to direct myself back to Him and remind myself of Truth.

it was after that conference in 2012, i was so interested in learning more about this life that is possible with the Holy Spirit!

i began attending a class at Hope called Spirit Filled Living. it was my favorite night of the week! so much Truth. so many “wow!” moments. the enemy would creep in sometimes whispering lies and doubts and confusion but God still patiently yet persistently showed me and revealed to me just how much He saw me. yes, He saw my pains, doubts, confusion but He also saw my dreams, hopes and future. when the Holy Spirit spoke to me, there was no confusion. only clarity and moments of being in awe of him.

just the other day i was going through one of my journals from 2014. it was one of my journals that i used when i would go to that SFL class. there was a piece of paper that i had tucked in there. it wasn’t my handwriting. i continued to read the words that someone had written down. they had written these words down for me as the Holy Spirit spoke to me through this guy who was leading the class that evening. after that, the person who wrote it all down handed me the piece of paper and i tucked it in my journal.

a lot of what he said still burns in my memory. i mentioned this in my last post but the guy saw me walking down a road and God would show me the road signs to where i needed to go next but i wouldn’t be able to see those road signs though until i stepped out in faith and obedience. it was through that that the Father would guide me and lead me. it has been something that i have constantly reminded myself the past few years.

something that was written down on the paper that i don’t remember him saying was the following…

don’t calculate. just have confidence in Him. He will replace fear with faith

i probably could have been encouraged by those words the past few years if i had actually remembered that he said that… but in all honesty, i think those words are needed more today than ever before. i am more encouraged by those words today than the day that he said that back in 2014!

you might be thinking, “well aren’t you doing well right now? haven’t you been experiencing healing and freedom? don’t you think you would’ve been more encouraged by those words in the midst of your struggles?”

my answer would be this…

yes. i am doing well. really, really well actually! i have been experiencing so much freedom and healing. so much so, that my mind is blown away and the people who have been a part of my treatment team don’t have any medical explanation for it.

i have always thought that i trusted God and had faith but not until now am i really understanding what that looks like…

it is BECAUSE of that freedom and healing, that i am beginning to transition out of those things that i once needed.

medication was the first to go. from that, i have been able to experience more joy and peace than what i knew when on medication for that depression and anxiety.

five weeks ago, it was dietician appointments. i have been doing better in the past five weeks without those weekly appointments than ever before.

now, therapy?

“God, you’re talking to the wrong person about this! i can’t stop therapy. this is all i know”

“Annie, i am showing you that i am all you need. press into me. have confidence in me. don’t try to figure it all out. just trust me!”

fear of man and judgment crept in.

fear of my future without therapy crept in.

fear and doubts of my ability to do life without therapy crept in.

i look at that fear as i am writing this and laugh. i am laughing at the enemy. the fear felt very real but it wasn’t from God. it was a lie from the enemy.

fear doesn’t have to be reality for me.

freedom from that fear CAN be a reality for me though and i have been pressing into that.

as i am making transitions and letting go of the things that i once needed, i am truly seeing that God knows how difficult it is for me. He knew that a few days ago and He allowed me to run across that paper from Spirit Filled Living class in 2014… the same day i sent the email to my therapist telling her that therapy isn’t needed in this moment. i was reminded of the words spoken to me that are more encouraging now than ever before.

“don’t calculate. just have confidence in Him. He will replace fear with faith”

the enemy has nothing on the King of kings. the enemy can’t hold me down anymore with the fear that once felt paralyzing.

my pastor mentioned this last week to me and i felt like he was putting all of my thoughts into words. it was all so clear to me. therapy is like training wheels and the goal is to eventually ride on your own.

for a while, i needed those training wheels. i needed the help of therapy and professionals to help me renew my mind etc. that’s okay. what is not okay is staying in that place if it’s no longer needed.

6 weeks ago, the Holy Spirit began an acceleration of renewing and transforming my mind. it has been happening quicker and has been more thorough than any sort of therapy could ever renew and transform my mind.

i am realizing that not only are those training wheels not needed right now but in a way, they are holding me back from what i am supposed to go do. when i think of training wheels, they will help you until you know how to ride on your own. you won’t know until you try. you might fall a few times but once you know how to ride without those training wheels, why hold onto them? it will slow you down from your ability to go faster. it will keep you from seeing your full potential.

as of right now, the therapy is holding me back from trusting God and believing fully that what i can do with Him and only Him is far better than what any therapist has been able to help me with. it might look crazy to the world from the outside looking in… but that’s okay. my Father doesn’t lie to me and doesn’t trick me into something that will harm me. i am confident that what i have experienced is the Truth and the freedom i have been experiencing is reality and just the beginning. if God is for us, who can be against us? (romans 8:31)

going back to what i read on that paper from SFL class…

i don’t need to have it all figured out to say “yes God. you can have it all. i trust you fully to do whatever you want with me”

it can be scary if i look at it through a human lens and think about what i am only capable of doing on my own.. but God… but faith…

i know that He will show up for me, guide me, lead me, speak to me, love me and show me grace when i mess up. He will give me the strength. i know these things because my God is faithful and He is who He says He is!

as i transition out of what i have known for so long, God is truly replacing my fear with faith. i am learning to not calculate how it’s all going to work out and instead, trust and have confidence that the Father is leading me into something so much greater than anything i could ever dream of on my own.

He is replacing fear with courage and excitement. i am truly so excited to see how He is going to launch me into my fullest potential now that i am no longer holding onto the things that are not needed right now.

wow.

He see’s us.

He knows us.

i am thankful that we don’t have to calculate and figure out how it is going to be done.

we just have to have confidence knowing that He will never ever let us down.

what a good, loving, faithful Father we have!

“…the old has passed away; behold, the new has come” 2 Corinthians 5:17

i am ready, God.

i am so ready to fully trust You.

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He is redeeming a voice that was lost

it was a little after 6:00am on Sunday morning. i woke up, glanced out the window and remembered i was at the lake house. my heart skipped a beat, i ran upstairs to get the dog and a blanket and ran down to the dock. i didn’t want to miss a second of the sunrise. (the blanket and the dog were clearly important in that moment)

that sunrise was incredible. the next 30 minutes or so i sat there thanking Jesus. the worship music was on as i began worshiping and praying. lately i have been praying that the Holy Spirit will overwhelm me with His presence, peace and glory. i welcome Him asking Him to invade my mind with Truth. He shows up every time and every time i am in awe.

lately He has been giving me two images as i pray… He shows me a small glimpse of the future and two of the ways that He is going to use me and my story to make His name known. they are ways that He is going to use me to speak of the freedom that i have found. they are ways that He is going to use me to speak (and write) about the Truth that will set captives free.

a year ago, i would’ve had a panic attack just thinking about this…  but oh my goodness, my Father heals, restores and redeems. i feel like a whole new person as i write this today. He has given me new eyes to see myself, my story and others the way that He sees those things. i sat on the dock early Sunday morning thinking about two of the ways He will be using me… i sat there and was filled with so much peace. no panic attack in sight. i sat there and had the thought of “how the heck is God going to use me to do THAT??!” but i also had the thought “He is going to use ME to do that!!! wow! our God is faithful. that’s awesome”.

in the past, i would fear the unknown. whenever someone asked me what i feared i would respond without hesitation.

spiders and the unknown.

but really, the fear of the unknown was crippling. it wasn’t just being scared about the future but still following through and going on with life… no, this fear was so crippling that it controlled everything. every thought and action was controlled by this fear. some people know this but it got to the point where i didn’t want to live because that fear consumed every part of me… taking my life felt like the only escape. fear can feel so very real. the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. he will deceive us, speak lies and twist Truth. the fear of the unknown seemed unbearable. i didn’t know how to deal with it.

but again, our Father heals, restores and redeems. He can renew our minds. not only do i live without that fear now but i now think about the unknown and i am EXCITED! what?! i mean if anything i would’ve been satisfied with God just taking away that anxiety and fear. but He wanted to replace it with excitement and courage… i now look forward to seeing how He will show up and reveal himself to me. i look forward to the ways that He is going to use me to make HIS name known on this side of heaven.

it’s still difficult to step out in faith but i don’t think it’s supposed to be easy. when Holy Spirit shows me those images, i wonder how it will all happen. i wonder how i am going to get to that place. for a while, i thought He was showing me those things for me to figure out how to get there on my own… i thought that because i knew a glimpse of how He was going to use me, i would also have to know all of the steps NOW in order to get to that place… He hasn’t told me these things to then leave me and let me do this on my own.

as i sat on the dock still in awe of my Father i remembered something from a few years ago. Holy Spirit spoke to me through someone else at my church during a class. they saw an image of a road. as i walked down that road, God would direct me. He would show me one road sign and that would lead me to where i needed to go next. it wasn’t until i took a step out in faith and walked down the road that the Father would show me another road sign. they didn’t come all at once… but every time i stepped out in faith and obedience, He would reveal another step and road sign. He doesn’t leave us to figure it out on our own. He will be with us when we pass through the waters. He tells us “fear not, for i am with you”. God never let go of us telling us to figure it all out on our own. He is WITH us and fighting FOR us. He hasn’t abandoned us. He is constantly revealing himself to us.

after the sunrise, i left the lake house and drove two hours home. i made it to church just before the service started. filled with so much hope and peace. i didn’t think that i could be filled with any more hope or peace than what i was already experiencing as i walked into the building that morning.

but God.. i should’ve known that He was going to reveal himself even more to me…

i am telling you guys… when you come expectant, He WILL show up.

during one of the songs, someone came up to me to share something that they saw as i was worshipping. it was a glimpse of my future. no matter how many times the Father shows me something or confirms something, i am still left in AWE that He would use me to make His name known, speaking Truth and freedom to set captives free. as she told me what she saw, tears were streaming down my face. so overwhelmed with the LOVE and peace and clarity that He continues to give me… Holy Spirit was tangibly present. the weight of His glory came on me leaving me in awe.

in that moment He was showing me that He sees. He was reminding me of how He is going to use my story for GOOD. He was reminding me that He has never left. He was telling me that He loved me and He was by my side the whole way. He was showing me a glimpse of how He was going to use me in the future. that vision she had overwhelmed me with more hope, peace, joy and clarity than ever before.

He can do the impossible. He has turned my fear into courage. He has turned death into LIFE. He has set me free so that i can share that freedom with others. i am no longer controlled by fear, toxic thoughts, or feelings of hopelessness. heck, i have authority over all of it and am truly beginning to dance in freedom. i used to feel helpless and without a voice. i used to feel as if i couldn’t speak or have a say in anything. i felt like the enemy stole my voice. i used to feel voiceless but again, the Father is redeeming that and restoring all that was lost. i am now realizing that i am a voice for the voiceless. this past month Holy Spirit has spoken through others telling me that i have a voice that needs to be heard. He has told me that He is elevating my voice. He is telling me that i have so much to say. He is using all of what the enemy meant for evil and truly using it for GOOD. it’s so cool to see and experience.

y’all, i am excited about the unknown. i am excited because i know that the Father will guide me and lead me to where i need to go. i can’t help but smile when i think about the enemy being defeated as i stand victorious over the struggles that i dealt with in the past. the enemy is going to be so sorry that he messed with me. there is a comeback in the making and i am so so ready to speak and write about it!!!

be encouraged knowing that the Father hasn’t left you. He sees you and your situation. He knows your struggles and WILL use them for good. He will show you where you need to go. He will lead you and guide you once you start walking. once you step out in faith and obedience, He will show up. what a loving and faithful Father we have!!!

He is redeeming a voice that was lost.

He is redeeming my voice that was lost.

Champion – Bryan and Katie Torwalt

 

reminders from the “Master Treatment Plan”

the other day i was going through a box of papers in my room. i don’t think i had ever actually read those papers in my life until that afternoon. as i was going through them, i found one that really stuck out to me. it was from the residential treatment center i was at in FL.

at the top, it said “Master Treatment Plan” in the biggest, boldest letters i have ever seen (or so it felt like it). it was from April of last year.


the first thing my therapist had written on that paper were my strengths and weaknesses.

the first thing…my strengths and WEAKNESSES?!! 

i will not deny it… those were weaknesses of mine in the midst of that eating disorder. i want to share these with you. not because i am proud of them… that’s far from it… but who i am proud of is my Father who is able to redeem me from that place i was in LESS than a year ago! those weaknesses aren’t who i am. the words she used to describe me were not ME, Annie Elizabeth Snyder. that eating disorder was NOT me but the following words described how i responded to things in the midst of the those struggles.

“distrustful”

“indecisive”

“not open/articulate”

it makes me sad. these were weaknesses of mine less than a year ago. in the midst of that eating disorder, i was not good at communicating and i was anything but open and able to trust her. i was so full of shame that many of my therapy sessions were spent in silence as i intentionally made no eye contact with my therapist. i would sit there ashamed, feeling inadequate and wanting to hide. that eating disorder led to shame, guilt, fear and confusion. which led to another weakness listed… being indecisive. i know exactly what she was referring to as she wrote that word down. i wasn’t able to make up my mind. did i want to stay in that eating disorder or did i want out? did i really want to recover? the lies from the enemy were so blinding that i had no idea if freedom was what i wanted… or if it was possible…

those were weaknesses of mine not even a year ago…

and it was a vicious cycle.

the ED led to anxiety which led to panic attacks which led to shame which led to silence and hiding which led to more shame which led to more anxiety therefore pushing me further into that eating disorder. you get the point… that cycle is vicious and toxic and went on for too many years.

why am i sharing this with you…

because God.

God can redeem, restore, heal and free anyone held captive and hurting. whether it’s a sickness (mental or physical), any sort of oppression, shame, anger, jealousy etc… whether you have struggled with it for ten days or ten years…our God can take that away.

not even a year after those words were written on that “Master Treatment Plan”, i have found freedom from that ED. freedom from those disorders i was diagnosed with…freedom from it all.

through experiencing freedom, i have started to learn who i am to my Father. maybe in the world’s eyes, those weaknesses were important to put in my medical records and treatment plans… i don’t really know… but i do know one thing…

those weaknesses, diagnoses, medication prescriptions and hospitalizations were NOT me. that’s not what the Father sees when He looks at His daughter. He longed for me to see myself the way that HE saw me… not as the world saw me.

a couple days ago as i sat on my bedroom floor reading this “Master Treatment Plan” i was reminded of something…

these will always be things that people see when they see my medical records. it’s reality… and that can hurt…

but it will only hurt and effect me IF i look at it through the eyes of this world.

when i look at any situation or circumstance the way that the Father and heaven see it, things will be radically different.

i look at these papers and no longer feel shame or anxiety. i don’t feel hopeless or incapable. i am filled with hope, peace, joy and love from the Father. i am smiling knowing that freedom is possible. freedom from sickness and shame are so possible and available. God sees me and He sees His daughter as WHOLE. He can restore. He can heal. redemption is a beautiful thing.

long story short, i was reminded of this Truth when looking at that “master treatment plan” and wanted to share.

my identity is in who God says i am… not those papers or that treatment center that i was admitted to last year.

today i am thankful that the “master treatment plan” is helping me see my true identity in Christ.

THANK YOU, JESUS.

FREEDOM from ED. 

march 16th 2016. a year ago today was one of the hardest, darkest days of my life.

i had struggled with an eating disorder for three years at that point but nobody really knew about it. maybe one or two friends and a therapist knew. but they didn’t stop it. in fact, to some extent, these friendships/relationships fueled my eating disorder. i didn’t think that what i was doing was wrong or unhealthy because those that knew about it didn’t tell me to stop. it was my way of getting through tough circumstances and situations. it was my way of finding control in a world that seemed way too out of control for me. it was my way of being satisfied with something because i couldn’t find satisfaction in anything else. i started to believe that having an eating disorder was something that i was good at. this was where i found my identity and i thought that i was content.

it was on march 16th of last year that i was sitting in my therapists office in Atlanta. i sat there in silence. ashamed. knowing that i had an eating disorder yet at the same time nobody had ever told me that. i was never diagnosed with one by a professional therefore was it real? i didn’t know.

sitting there in silence, making no eye contact with her, she said the few words that i dreaded to hear for years. i had dreaded hearing those words yet at the same i felt so much reassurance. what i was struggling with was REAL. i wasn’t crazy. i was just lost. i was trapped. i didn’t think i could get out.

she said that i had an eating disorder.

my therapist continued to tell me that i would need to have an assessment with another treatment center in florida. they needed to know what kind of treatment i would need. would it be PHP (partial hospitalization program), IOP (intensive outpatient), or inpatient… i was scared.

my therapist also told me that i would have to call my parents and tell them about this.

i had never experienced so much fear and shame in my entire life. my parents didn’t know about this. i was good at keeping this a secret from pretty much everyone. how would they take this? would they be supportive or in denial? would they be disappointed or mad? would they be proud of me for sharing this with them? i would find out the next day.

the next day i sat in my therapist’s office as she helped me make that call to my parents. i was engulfed in so much fear and shame. so much so that i couldn’t speak.

i sat there shaking my head, crying, curled up. i was mad. mad at myself for letting it get to this point. mad at this God who said he loved me. if he loved me why would i be dealing with this right now? why has this gone on for so long and yet i had found no freedom…? i wanted this eating disorder to kill me.

after that call, my therapist drove me over to the starbucks down the street.

the hardest phone call i had ever had was over. that secret that nobody knew about was no longer a secret. i had been vulnerable and now i felt seen. it was uncomfortable but i knew it had to happen.

the assessment that lasted 1 hour 20 minutes decided that i was in need of inpatient treatment.  three weeks later, i was admitted to a treatment center for eating disorders in florida.

i learned a lot about myself and about eating disorders during that time. i learned what things triggered me and how to cope with difficult emotions.

 the next eleven months would consist of a ton of therapy, dietician appointments, medication changes, and lapses.

there would be days that i felt okay and there would be days when i felt completely hopeless. helpless. trapped.

this outlet (the eating disorder) that made me feel in control ended up getting out of control. it was now controlling me and i didn’t think i would ever recover.

while in treatment, i was told that i would always deal with this to some extent. i was told that recovery was possible and that it was possible to stop using ED behaviors. yet i was also told that i would always have to deal with the effects the ED had on my body. i was told that i would probably always deal with body image issues but that i could learn to accept my body for what it was. i was told that i might always have the desire to use behaviors but that the coping skills could help me with those desires and thoughts.

it’s now march 17th, 2017 and i can tell you confidently with a smile on my face that i have been restored. i have been redeemed from that pit that i was in. that eating disorder that i was once controlled by no longer controls me. in fact, not only do i feel like i have recovered from it but i believe i have found freedom through Christ.

it’s crazy that i can say that right now… a year ago, i thought i would always struggle with this. i thought there would never be a week that i didn’t have to go to a dietician appointment. i thought that therapy sessions would always be centered around my ED behaviors and how to cope. i thought i would always hate my body.

i have some good news though..freedom and healing is possible.

that was something that i didn’t learn while inpatient for my eating disorder.

i probably sound like a broken record but because of what happened on the cross, freedom and healing is available. and MY GOODNESS… IT’S AMAZING.

i want to share what that freedom and healing looks like for me…

over the course of the past month i haven’t had to take any medication for anxiety or depression yet i am somehow filled with more joy and peace than ever before. (note that i have been on medication for four years)

there were definitely times this past year that i wasn’t actively using behaviors yet still had those thoughts consume me… but now i don’t even have those thoughts. i haven’t used any ED behaviors in weeks and have no desire to either.

i used to obsessively weigh myself. i always felt like it was something i had to do… but this past month i haven’t weighed myself at all. that desire has been taken away from me and i have no anxiety when i think about the fact that i have no clue what i currently weigh!!!

i haven’t had to see my dietician the past two weeks. it wasn’t needed. there was nothing that she has had to help me with. she has been incredibly supportive and thrilled that i have found freedom. she said that her door is open if i ever need it.

those therapy appointments that i go to…? they are no longer centered around my ED behaviors. in fact, our conversations the past three weeks have been about God’s faithfulness and how freedom is possible.

i no longer find my identity in an eating disorder. my identity is found in Christ. i am a daughter of the King. i am chosen, redeemed, restored, and healed. i am FREE.

one last thing… that shame that consumed me a year ago today as i sat in my therapists office…? it’s gone. no longer there. it was defeated on the cross and i no longer partner with it.

i say ALL of that to say… a year ago, i would’ve never thought that i could recover from an eating disorder…

but this past year i have found that not only is is it possible to stop using ED behaviors but it’s also possible to be COMPLETELY free from ED. 

i am thankful for march 16th 2016. although i try not to live in the past and that eating disorder is not who i am… it IS a part of my story and by sharing this, i pray that others can realize that complete freedom is available for them too! what the enemy meant for evil, God is using for GOOD.

goodness, our God is GOOD.

it is FINISHED.

He is Faithful by Bryan and Katie Torwalt


 

You are the God who sees me 

okay… i am going to attempt to explain the last 12 hours or so because jesus is cool. 

yesterday was terrible. i was exhausted and worn out emotionally. i had to babysit that evening at 6pm and had no idea how i would get through the night.

what i thought was going to be 4 hours of babysitting ended up being close to 9 hours.

but oh my goodness, jesus is good. 

right after the kids went to bed, i began to pray. 

i was praying for strength and peace. i didn’t think i could get through another hour of the day without a panic attack. 

the fear felt unbearable and i was overwhelmed. 

as i began praying and listening to Bryan and Katie Torwalt (they’re the best. go listen to them) i started welcoming the Holy Spirit. 

the next four hours went by SO FAST as i was focusing on the Father and the Holy Spirit who was tangibly revealing His presence and glory to me. (it was out of this world. but really…) 

i began having revelations about who my God is and what i thought i believed for so long. i began to experience the Holy Spirit in a way i have never experienced before. 

i sat at that kitchen counter for four hours IN AWE of my God. the fear began to leave. i began to have strength to get through the rest of the night. i was declaring and believing the Truth that my God saw me. my God knew what i was feeling. he knew my thoughts, fears, doubts. he knew it all. 

3am came. 

i knew i would be losing an hour of sleep to daylight savings and i knew i was getting up in the morning for church and heading straight over to babysit the rest of Sunday. i knew this. but God also knew this. 

i finally went home to sleep for a couple of hours. my heart was overflowing with JOY and PEACE because of what i had just experienced. it was the last thing i thought would happen in the middle of this kitchen while babysitting at 2am but at the same time, i was so expectant and my goodness He showed up! 

seconds before i woke up this morning, i had a dream. well, i am not sure if it was a dream or what but something was happening and it wasn’t clear to me what that was… but what WAS clear were the two words that i saw. it was a banner than unfolded before my eyes and on that banner were the words “El Roi” 

my eyes opened. i didn’t have a clue what that meant or what i just saw but i had a peace about it knowing that it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me. 

i was so hesitant to look up the meaning of this. 

a few thoughts came to mind as i was still laying in bed. 

what if it wasn’t a word from God? 
what if that didn’t mean anything at all? maybe i was just really tired and i don’t know, i made up some random word? after all i’m running on four hours of sleep and no coffee. 
i am going to feel really crazy if i look this up and it has no meaning…

those were all thoughts i had but i am now realizing all of those were doubts and fears that weren’t from God!

the enemy was trying to stop me from listening to the Holy Spirit. 

long story short, i looked up the words “El Roi”. 

again, i was in awe of my Father and the grace and love He constantly shows me. 

El Roi is the Hebrew word for “the God who sees me” 
WHAT?! 

i had never heard of this in my life. why was i thinking of a word that i didn’t even know how to pronounce?! (still not sure how to pronounce it. help) 

i was sure of one thing though… my God wanted me to know that he SEE’S me. 

he knows my fears. 
he knows my circumstances.
he knows my doubts.
he sees it it all and wanted me to know that. 

friends, that wasn’t it. God likes to reassure me of things.. and apparently more than once. (not complaining. i just feel so undeserving of His love) 

as i was headed to church, the fear began to build again. i started agreeing with this fear. i started agreeing with the doubts that were coming to me. 

i walked into church and sat down. i kept hearing the Father say “i see you” but fear kept coming. all of those fears i agreed with this week started coming back. 

but i wasn’t about to agree with them this time. 

as we started worshipping, i was welcoming the Holy Spirit to reveal himself to me and the others in the room. i was asking Him to open my eyes. to reveal His glory, love and peace. 

the worship team started playing a new song… 

YALL. THIS SONG that they sang has literally been on repeat for me all of this week! 

it’s been a song that has reassured me that the Father has already won. He is fighting for me! 

again, it was in that moment, i remembered that my God sees me. 

but that wasn’t all.

during the message, those fears and doubts and worries came back once again. as pastor Bryan was speaking he mentioned Matthew 6:34. i have always known that this verse existed but it wasn’t until this past Monday that i began to believe it as truth. THIS VERSE that my pastor was talking about is THE VERSE that i have kept declaring and believing this past week. 

crazy. but again, i was certain that my God wanted me to believe the Truth that He sees me. he sees my circumstances and IT’S ALL GOING TO BE OKAY! 

one last thing happened… 

pastor Bryan had the church speak to the spirit of worry. as i told it to leave, all of the doubt, fear, and worry that i was feeling that whole morning broke off. 

that fear and worry and anxiety that was consuming my mind left me. 

one of the things i commanded was “spirit of worry get out of my finances” 

BOOM. when heaven invades earth, fear has to leave. doubt and worry and disease have to leave. 

this all happened before 12pm…running on four hours of sleep, some coffee, and the Holy Spirit. ah man, GOD IS GOOD. 

our Father sees us, yall! 

He cares about the little things. He WANTS to reveal himself to us. 

i am learning that the more i seek after Him, the more i am able to see. He’s there. He’s been there all along. but now i am able to notice it and know that it is Him. when i seek after Him and declare the Truth, everything holding me captive has to leave!!! it doesn’t have a choice. i am starting to discern what is a lie from the enemy and what’s Truth. 

i am still learning about all of this. there is a lot that i don’t understand but i AM certain that although we already have victory through the cross, the enemy wants us to believe that it’s not true. the battle is constant (at least it feels like that). 

even after all of the reassurance from my Father this morning, i left church and immediately felt worry and anxiety come back. that fear and anxiety that i have battled for years…the anxiety that i have taken medication for and been in therapy for… i felt it coming back. as i was in the car on the way to babysit, i started to feel sick. physically. my anxiety has always done that. i will get nauseous, my stomach starts to hurt really bad. i usually have a heavy pressure on my chest too. it seems unbearable. 

knowing the Truth, i began commanding the worry and anxiety to leave. i was asking the Holy Spirit to come and invade. i turned up the music that was on (Bryan and Katie Torwalt) and started thanking Jesus for all that He defeated on the cross. 

that anxiety began to leave.

so yes, this is a constant battle but we don’t have to fear because the enemy has been defeated! we don’t have to fear because God is going to provide for us. we don’t have to fear because our God SEES us. he knows our circumstances. he knows all of it. 

long story short, i am learning that the Father truly is who He says He is and what happened on the cross STILL applies to today. 
thank you jesus!!! 

ps this picture was taken this morning running on 4 hours of sleep, some coffee and jesus.

let the redeemed of the Lord say so 

oh man. i am trying to find words that will perfectly describe what i experienced last night.

but i don’t think any words will ever do it justice.

it was a glimpse of heaven and i really just don’t have words for it.

but i am going to do my best to desribe some of it because someone else needs to be reminded that they are not too far gone and they can find freedom too.

WARNING: this might be a long post so read as much or as little as you want!

 
i have been thinking about last night for a few weeks now. a friend had invited me to an event through facebook a couple weeks ago called “Sacred Reign: a night of Healing and Freedom” it was scheduled for 2/26/17.

i wasn’t planning on going.
in fact i was planning on NOT going.

why?

i felt like i was too far gone.

i felt like i had tried too many times to find this freedom that everyone was always telling me about.

i felt like i had maybe done something and he was now punishing me by making me suffer with all of these things.

i thought to myself “well i haven’t been to church in months. i can’t just show up on that Sunday and think that i will experience His glory and freedom.”

i thought all of those things… but it wasn’t Truth. those thoughts were lies from the enemy.

i was never too far gone.

sunday the 26th came. Sacred Reign was that night. i found myself praying and reading the Word an hour before it started. i found myself praying for this “Sacred Reign” night.

i found myself in my bible reading Psalm 107. a chapter i had never read before.

verses 19-21 say “then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. he sent out his word and healed them and delivered them from their distruction. let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderous works to the children of man!”

i declared those verses over my life an hour before i went over to Hope Chapel.

remember this was the night that i was planning on NOT going to.

 
but Jesus. Jesus had other plans. he had a different story written for my life than the story that i was currently living and believing. he wanted me to have freedom and i now desired that freedom as well.

 
the night started and ended so quickly.

 
i could’ve sat in that room forever. but i knew that because i had found freedom, it was now time to tell others that it was possible for them too!

 
during Sacred Reign, there was a moment when Pastor Bryan had said something along the lines of “if you came to get healed, come to the front.”

 
next thing i know, i am in the line that reached the back of the room.
how i ended up there… i don’t know. Jesus probably.
i was standing in line as the worship team was playing. people were being prayed for. i began to just worship Jesus right there in line.
surrendering EVERYTHING to him.
i had never been so ready to experience this FREEDOM. i was ready to never go back to the prison where the enemy was holding me captive.

 

i was truly READY to start speaking Truth and LIFE rather than lies and death over myself.
i was ready to be free and go out to share that freedom with others.
i knew that by saying i wanted this freedom, the enemy would most likely be throwing these fiery darts at me more and more.
but i knew the Truth and i was ready.

 

i was ready because i wanted to live the life that God had for me. i was ready to tell the story that the Father wanted me to tell. not the story that the enemy was trying to have me live.
i was still in the back of the room and two people came up to me asking if i was in line for prayer. they hadn’t made it up to the front of the room yet but they were on the prayer team and were ready to set prisoners free.

i am not sure how long they prayed for me and i won’t share all of it here. but gosh. the Father is just so faithful.

 
i have ALWAYS hated the thought of being prayed for in a room full of people. but God knew that. he knew my fear and he revealed that to these two people who told me to not worry about anyone else in the room. that fear was no longer there.
a lot of things were said. a lot of things were spoken to directly. God freed me from a lot of things.
the cool part was that i wasn’t too far gone for God like i had thought and believed for so long.

 
there were quite a few things that i didn’t tell these two people praying for me. but God knew that. he revealed those things and these people who were praying for me started speaking Truth over those lies that i believed for so long.

 
i went into the night wanting clarity. i didn’t tell them that. but they prayed for that. and i received so much clarity. after the night was over i wrote in my journal that i felt like a cloud of confusion had been lifted off of me and was no longer there. i felt lighter. the spirit of confusion that they told to leave… left me.
i didn’t tell them that i felt like God couldn’t see me or hear me. but God told them to tell me that he could see me and he could hear me.
i didn’t tell them that i couldn’t feel God’s love. i didn’t tell them that i felt like i couldn’t show myself love which has always thrown me deeper into an eating disorder. but God knew those thoughts and he knew what i was feeling. he sent those people to me last night and overwhelmed THEM with the love that he had for me so they could then tell me just how much i was loved. i was then overwhelmed with that love.

 
as i was sitting in that room, i wrote some things down in my journal.

again, i am sharing these things because i never thought this was possible. i never thought i could experience this much freedom. you are never too far gone for God to heal you, deliver you and use you.

i wrote the following words in my journal-

“THIS is the beginning, Annie. this is the beginning of freedom” 
something else that i wrote was just a short prayer. i was praying that this peace i was experiencing would never leave. i was praying that it would last. that it wouldn’t leave, disappear or go away.
right below that i wrote this in my journal-

 
“Annie, i am your Prince of Peace and i will not leave you. i live IN you.” (!!!!!!)

 
the last thing that i wrote in my journal during Sacred Reign was this-
“Hosea 2. no matter how far you have run from God. no matter how far you feel like you have gone… you are not too far gone. God is pursuing you still.” 

 
and thank you jesus for that Truth. thank you that you have never left me. you were there during my darkest nights. you stayed by my side. i see now just how much you protected me as you sent your angels concerning me to guard me. thank you for removing the lies that were blinding me from seeing your Truth. the lies that were holding me back from the potential that you want me to live out. thank you for freeing me from the torment that the enemy was putting me through. thank you for freeing me from the desire to punish myself and treat myself with hate because i thought i deserved it. that is not of you, Father. you are Love. you have set the captives free. you have set me free. i am here to share Truth with others so that they can be free too! i am in awe and ready to share this freedom with others, Jesus!

 
the freedom that i experienced last night is possible for everyone. even if you feel like you are too far gone. you just have to believe. he wants you to experience freedom from fear, anxiety, depression, all addiction. he defeated all of that and SO much more on the cross! he wants to overwhelm you with PEACE that surpasses all understanding, LOVE and GRACE. it’s available to you. he wants to deliver you. he wants to heal you. THIS is His kingdom. THIS is what “on earth as it is in heaven” is all about.

 
ahhhhh, JESUS!

 

“let the redeemed of the Lord say so…” Psalm 107:2

yes, i ate the bagel but…

i sit here in a coffee shop in Raleigh. (because when am i not in a coffee shop). writing, thinking, reading. listening to worship music. there were a lot of things i wrote about this morning and a lot of things i was thinking. but one thing came to mind that i wanted to share.

i haven’t blogged lately because of shame. because of lies that i have believed and the feelings of not being “recovered enough” to share my story. the times that i do share, i am sharing the victories that i celebrate. i barely share the times when i lapse, give in or completely fall back and relapse. but i am making a point from here on out to share my story. completely. fully. without shame. without guilt. not waiting until i feel “good enough” or “recovered enough”. if the point in sharing my story is to let people know they are not alone, why am i only sharing the little victories that i share once/week? why am i not sharing the times when i feel defeated? why am i not sharing the fears i have? those things are just as important if my goal is to help people feel less alone.

so here i go…letting you in and sharing with you what really goes on along with “little victory” that i share on social media.

a thought crossed my mind to share the victory i had this morning. the victory of not only ordering a coffee this morning but also a bagel with cream cheese. (this is a big deal to me). what i normally would’ve shared is that i ordered a bagel at the coffee shop and didn’t feel guilty. plain and simple. nothing else to it. but i would be lying if i said that i didn’t have other thoughts that went along with that…and if i did say i struggled, i wouldn’t usually share those specific thoughts.

but here i am, sharing some of those other thoughts and hoping that maybe just maybe one person feels less alone in their fight by reading this.

  1. yes i ate the bagel but the only reason i didn’t feel guilty was because i restricted during the first meal of the day.
  2. yes i ate the bagel but i only did it because i felt like if i went another hour without food, i would pass out and didn’t want to do so in public because that would be embarrassing.
  3. yes i ate the bagel but i only got through the moment by listening to worship music on my phone. i had to have worship music reassuring me of my worth and who i was in Christ. i had to listen to this music to block out the lies that my eating disorder and the enemy were feeding me.
  4. yes i ate the bagel but i had to set an alarm on my phone for 45 minutes after eating to keep me accountable to not go to the restroom before the timer ended. if i went to the restroom before then i would’ve been tempted to get rid of the food i just ate.
  5. yes i ate the bagel but it took 15 minutes to talk myself into taking the first bite.
  6. yes i ate the bagel but as i was doing so, i was looking around the coffee shop with fear that one of the 32 others in the room would judge me and think that i shouldn’t be eating that because _______.
  7. lastly, yes i ate the bagel but it took everything in me not to label myself as “fat”, “unworthy”, and “disgusting”.

so yes if you read the last seven bullet points you will know that i did indeed eat that bagel today! but there is a story behind it. there has always been a story behind it for me. there were feelings and thoughts behind it. there were things that i had to do to get through the moment and things i thought that i typically don’t share.

there is always more to the little victory that i share with my followers on social media.

my point in sharing my story is to help others who are struggling feel less alone. so from here on out i will be sharing everything that goes along with those “little victories that i celebrate”.

i got a message after one of my most recent posts. this girl shared with me that she was thankful that someone shared not just a victory with the world but a defeat as well and got through it.

i always thought that i needed to be recovered completely in order to share my story..so instead of sharing my struggles, i would only share the victories that i had. but now that it was brought to my attention that somebody was thankful (?!!) and felt less alone (?!!) that i shared that i still struggle… my goal is to show that recovery (for me) is not just victories. there are definitely victories to celebrate, yes! but there ARE times when i feel defeated and times when it takes EVERYTHING in me to get through the moment…

so, anyway, this is just something i was thinking about while at the coffee shop today. like i mentioned earlier, i hope that one person feels less alone while reading this and if you are that person, please know that i am praying for you today.

YOU, my friend, are not alone.