My talk at James Madison University last Thursday was a tremendous success!! All the glory to the Father!! Thank you so much for all of the prayers, really appreciated it! The Holy Spirit really blew up the room. My favorite part was the 2 1/2 hours worth of questions after. I know God is going to use it in powerful ways to foster His healing and hope.
A very special thank you to all the women who have written since the talk at JMU, please keep writing. I love hearing your thoughts, feelings and stories and all the ways God is working in your lives.
You are one of the first people I’ve heard to come out and say that getting professional help is okay and, above all else, normal. I REALLY needed to hear this. Thank you for sharing your story with us at JMU. – a student who came to “From Victim to Survivor: Courage and the True Value of Beauty.”
Today, Made in His Image would like to honor and congratulate a very special young woman, who is Made in His Image’s first graduate of our accountability program, which is a 60 day course, which requires tremendous discipline, perseverance and courage to complete. I am so exceedingly proud of her, I wish I could bake her a cake, so we could celebrate together.
Chiara, a beautiful young woman, who heard about MIHI through FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students), emailed me in October 2011. Chiara’s courage, determination, diligence, faith, hope and strength are remarkable and MIHI is honored to have walked alongside this incredible woman during the past 60 days.
I know that God has tremendous plans for her! She has even shared with me about possibly coming to work for MIHI once she graduates. She is amazing!!
Below is her story.
For the past 6.5 years I have been suffering from eating disorders, depression and anxiety and struggled with self-harm and drinking. When I was in the midst of my worst relapse, God blessed me with one of the most beautiful and inspiring people I’ve ever encountered: Maura. After God, she’s the reason why I am alive today. If it wasn’t for her, I would never have known that full recovery was possible – through Jesus Christ. I couldn’t feel more blessed and thankful to her. She encouraged me to join MIHI’s accountability program and has been supporting and praying for me every single day. Through studying the Bible, going regularly to Confession, Mass and Adoration and through gradually surrendering myself to God, I’ve been completely healed! All the glory to the Father! I’ve learned how to feed on Jesus, on His Word and Body, instead of turning to my destructive habits to try to deal with emotions and satisfy my soul. I know now, not only in my mind but in my heart, that I’m God’s beloved and most precious daughter, perfectly created and made in His image, that my body is indeed a ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’ and has been ‘bought at a price’, that I am to treasure it as I would do with any gift and that I am to glorify God with my life, including with my body and eating habits.
This has been the most amazing, unexpected, scary, challenging and beautiful journey of my entire life. Sometimes I look back at where I was at my sickest point: Starving up to 2 weeks, weighing myself 6 times a day, drinking the first thing in the morning, doing 500 sit-ups all at once, spending the school breaks self-harming in the restroom. I remember times when I wasn’t even able to drink and would close my mouth while showering because I was so afraid of getting anything inside of me, even a drop of water. Times when my anxiety was so bad I couldn’t take the main stairs in school but had to take those of the fire exit. Times when my anxiety would cause me involuntary muscle spasms and panic attacks and times when I considered committing suicide. I couldn’t feel more blessed to be alive today! I feel I’ve got absolutely everything I need and want in my life because I’ve restored my relationship with Christ. Jesus has not only given me my life back but He’s given me the 100fold! I have never felt so much love, peace and joy in my whole life! It’s amazing!
I was scared to death to let go of my past and recover. But by the grace of God and with the support of my friends’ prayers, I made it. I pray that God will now use me to encourage others to turn to Jesus, surrender to Him and let Him take over their lives. There’s nothing I’d rather do in my life than to give glory to the Father for what He’s done for me. I’m alive and completely recovered today because of His love and mercy. He’s captured my heart and now I’m ready to go and set the world on fire for Him!
Please email Maura at http://www.ifightHimwithlove@gmail.com to sign up for one of Made in His Image’s accountability programs.