Exciting News!

Thank you so much for visiting Made in His Image’s blog, I am exceedingly grateful for your support! Thank you so much to those who have given financially, I am so incredibly thankful, as MIHI runs on donations. God has truly blessed Made in His Image and we are almost a year old. ‎And we are getting a new website!!!!! I’m very exciting! The new website is madeinHisimage.org and it will be launched soon! I will resume my regular blogging as soon as we launch the site. I can’t wait to show you!!

My mother always told me I should marry rich…

According to my mother, I’ve always been different from my siblingsnever doing anything normal in reference to a job, among other things. The Father has etched in my heart this ministry and I desire to serve Him and let others know His love. Well you still love J.crew, Williams Sonoma and other fine things, so you should marry rich. I’m not opposed, nor would I say no to marrying a man I loved, who was both rich in the Father’s love and well off financially :) But in the mean time…

So, this is humbling and I really need YOUR help! Since launching Made in His Image I have fundraised my salary and have barely gotten by paying my rent, car insurance, phone bill, food, gas for my car, etc. I have had an exceedingly large dentist bill over the past several months and I’ve really been struggling financially. I need to raise at least $800.00 to pay for 2 months of rent.

All of the money that MIHI has received has gone to help the women involved and now I really need some financially support. I would be so incredibly grateful if you would please consider donating to this cause. I might just make you a pie in exchange :) Or anything you might like :)

CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION AND CLICK ON THE MAKE A DONATION TAB

I am extremely grateful!
Feel free to ask any questions and please pass this along to anyone you think might be able to help.

Maura Byrne

Founder of MIHI

ps and my mom was partially kidding, partially being serious when she said that :) And I told her this was the kind of man I was going to marry :)

So I did what any entrepreneur would do…

In April 2011, the doctor I completed therapy with, recommended I see the movie There be Dragons. Set during the Spanish Civil War, it tells the story of St. Josemaria Escriva and his childhood friend, Manolo Torres. As the two lads mature, Josemaria answers God’s call and becomes a Catholic priest and founds the movement, Opus Dei (work of God). After leaving the seminary himself, Manolo becomes a spy for the fascists.

As hatred, betrayal and jealousy escalate throughout the movie for Manolo, he becomes a slave to his anger. As a Catholic priest fighting for his life, Josemaria chooses to spread seeds of hope and forgiveness. On one particular occasion while Josemaria and his priests were hiding for their lives in a psychiatric hospital, a beautiful red-headed woman approaches him and shows Josemaria the scars on her wrists, where she had cut herself. Petrified with fear, she says, I was raped and still sleep with the lights on. I lock my door at night and put a chair under the door handle. Gentle tears rolled down my face as she continued to say, I have accepted that God can be terrible. And now my prayers are deeper. I fight Him with love. 

My heart almost pounded out of my chest. Her courage was inspiring, and her innocence radiated true beauty, as she said gently, yet firmly, I fight Him with love. This woman had suffered immensely, but her response to suffering was saintly. She was one of the most minor characters in the movie, yet her reply, I fight Him with love, made her one of the most compelling.

After the movie, I did what any entrepreneur would do, I created a blog and planned for Made in His Image’s launch. The tagline for MIHI’s blog was taken from There be Dragons. What does I fight Him with love really mean you may ask? Great question! This woman knew that God allowed evil to happen because of man’s fallen nature. Therefore, the tagline means that instead of turning inward and focusing on her own resentment, anger and hate, she was going to focus outward and make the choice to love. She was going to fight her anger with love, mercy and forgiveness. When faced with suffering you have two choices: you can love or hate. You can combat the person or situation with the love and mercy of the Father, or you can hold a grudge and let anger deteriorate you. The choice is yours.

Today, June 26th, is the feast of Saint Josemaria, who is one of Made in His Image’s patron saints, a very beautiful day for MIHI.  So now I’m going to go for a run and then do what any ex-professional baker would do: drink a beer, make some pasta and bake some key lime tarts and chocolate tort.

Happy feast day dear readers and always Fight Him with Love.

A Message from the Founder

Today was surreal. I was recorded for a live interview for Made in His Image on Teresa Tomeo/EWTN radio and it was awesome!! It was a moment I use to dream about, Made in His Image is real and it’s amazing! All the honor and glory to our Heavenly Father!

The visitors to our blog skyrocketed today. This is wonderful, thank you for reading and please feel free to browse all of the tabs above. Please also share this ministry with all you know, to help spread the message.

Made in His Image was launched in September 2011, when I left my job as a baker and pastry chef. Born out of an intense desire to help those who suffer, Made in His Image yearns to aid you in your journal of healing from victim to survivor.

The mission of Made in His Image: To begin a dialogue, a discussion, in a safe and compassionate setting, to foster hope and healing, and to empower women to turn from victim to survivor. Ultimately, to provide holistic medical treatment and healing for women suffering from eating disorders, physical, and or sexual abuse, which entails, educating all women on the nature and dignity of the human person, created in the image and likeness of God.

Made in His Image also seeks to empower women to live out their calling to be an authentic woman. Unfortunately, we live in a society where People magazine can put a half-naked woman on the cover of their magazines and claim she wins the most beautiful woman of the year award. Made in His Image says no, that’s not true beauty.

Modesty reveals a woman’s inner beauty for the world to see, while preserving her body for her husband in the holy sacrament of marriage. Our culture has lost this sense of sacredness for the human body and the martial embrace.

There is an exceeding amount of over sexualized behavior and immodesty in our culture. What this world needs is for women to stand up and embrace the beauty of the feminine genius, challenge men to be men of virtue, and call society to a higher standard.

Women, who are the crowning of God’s creation can play a unique role in reversing our overly sexualized society. How? By embracing the strengths, essence and authentic value of womanhood. In his letter to women, Pope John Paul II refers to these unique characteristics of women as the feminine genius. What an exceedingly beautiful task we have been given!

So you see my dear readers, there is an inner beauty about a woman who believes in her inherent dignity as a daughter of God. She is capable of anything she puts her mind to. There is a gentle beauty in her strength, courage and determination, for she perseveres despite pain, loss and suffering. There is beauty in a woman who falls and then rises, again and again. There is immense beauty in a woman who loves.

A woman who embraces the beauty of her feminine genius is a strong woman. She feels deeply, yet is sensitive and compassionate to those who suffer, she feels their pain. She loves passionately, has a gentle spirit and giving heart. A strong woman finds her peace and joy in the Father. A strong woman who embraces the beauty of her femininity is a gift to this world.

In closing, I fully fundraise my salary (to pay my rent, car insurance, cell phone bill, food, etc.) since launching Made in His Image. If you are financially able to help support my mission, please visit our DONATE page and make a donation. Thank you so very much.

Always in His Hope,

Maura Byrne

Founder & President, Made in His Image

I would close my eyes and picture their tiny hands and toes

VERY EXCITING NEWS: Thursday morning, I am going to be on the Teresa Tomeo Show on Ave Maria/EWTN radio. It is for a live interview (Thurs, 5/24) from 9:39-9:57am EST! Please tune in and listen!!

I can’t seem to get inside the doctor’s office for therapy, can you help me? This was a question that Made in His Image has been asked several times, so I wanted to write a few blog posts over the next several days about therapy.

Question: Where you anxious/nervous about going to therapy? And how did you actually get inside his/her office for therapy? I can’t seem to get inside for my sessions.

First of all, good for you for being brave and courageous and going to therapy. That’s awesome and really demonstrates that you want to get better. You should be proud of yourself, as this is a huge step in the right direction. WAY TO GO!

Just to put it in perspective for you – after several months had passed and I slowly became more comfortable with my doctor, he told me that the first time I came to see him, he thought I was going to faint from nervousness. Looking back now, I can laugh at that, which is a good thing because it’s good to laugh at yourself.

So, to answer your question, you bet I was nervous! For several weeks my hand use to shake as I opened his office door going into a session. While my nervousness and anxiety definitely lessened over time, I think it’s completely normal for you to be nervous going to counseling during the first few weeks, or even months.

Something that helped me greatly, that you might try is the following: I decided to offer my therapy sessions up for a special intention, which helped tremendously. My third session was exceedingly challenging and when I left that afternoon I couldn’t stop crying. This is so hard, I don’t know how I’m going to make it through. I’m just not that strong, how am I going to do this? Later that day I went to adoration and decided that I was going to offer up each session and homework activity for my future children. I desperately yearn for my future children to not have to suffer from the ramifications of abuse. So, when the anxiety seemed unbearable, or I had to draw or describe events and bodies that I thought I would never be able to do, I would close my eyes and picture what my future children might look like. I imagined their tiny hands and toes and how I would desire to surround them with love and tenderness. I thought about all that I would want to teach them about God the Father, Jesus, Mary and the Saints. Then I thought about how strong I would need to be for them and how much I needed to grow and heal before I could get married and have children. Then I closed my eyes gently, as I opened my doctor’s office door and proceed to another therapy session.

Perhaps you could try something similar? Think of something or someone who you would like to offer your therapy sessions up for and proceed courageously from there. You can do it and Made in His Image is here to support you along your journey of healing.

Tomorrow Made in His Image will answer another therapy related question, so check back then and thanks for reading!

I can’t seem to get inside the doctor’s office for therapy…

Can you help me? This was a question that Made in His Image has been asked several times, so I wanted to write a few blog posts over the next several days about therapy.

Question: Where you anxious/nervous about going to therapy? And how did you actually get inside his/her office for therapy? I can’t seem to get inside for my sessions.

First of all, good for you for being brave and courageous and going to therapy. That’s awesome and really demonstrates that you want to get better. You should be proud of yourself, as this is a huge step in the right direction. WAY TO GO!

Just to put it in perspective for you – after several months had passed and I slowly became more comfortable with my doctor, he told me that the first time I came to see him, he thought I was going to faint from nervousness. Looking back now, I can laugh at that, which is a good thing because it’s good to laugh at yourself.

So, to answer your question, you bet I was nervous! For several weeks my hand use to shake as I opened his office door going into a session. While my nervousness and anxiety definitely lessened over time, I think it’s completely normal for you to be nervous going to counseling during the first few weeks, or even months.

Something that helped me greatly, that you might try is the following: I decided to offer my therapy sessions up for a special intention, which helped tremendously. My third session was exceedingly challenging and when I left that afternoon I couldn’t stop crying. This is so hard, I don’t know how I’m going to make it through. I’m just not that strong, how am I going to do this? Later that day I went to adoration and decided that I was going to offer up each session and homework activity for my future children. I desperately yearn for my future children to not have to suffer from the ramifications of abuse. So, when the anxiety seemed unbearable, or I had to draw or describe events and bodies that I thought I would never be able to do, I would close my eyes and picture what my future children might look like. I imagined their tiny hands and toes and how I would desire to surround them with love and tenderness. I thought about all that I would want to teach them about God the Father, Jesus, Mary and the Saints. Then I thought about how strong I would need to be for them and how much I needed to grow and heal before I could get married and have children. Then I closed my eyes gently, as I opened my doctor’s office door and proceed to another therapy session.

Perhaps you could try something similar? Think of something or someone who you would like to offer your therapy sessions up for and proceed courageously from there. You can do it and Made in His Image is here to support you along your journey of healing.

Tomorrow Made in His Image will answer another therapy related question, so check back then and thanks for reading!

Break the Silence: Domestic Abuse Survivors Speak Out

The black colors remind me of all of the evil my abuser did to me. The black lips represent my silence. The black eyes represent all the wounds I received and how dead I felt inside. The butterflies are peace. One day I know I will be free. Purple is for the passion I knew I still had inside me. I want to forget about all of the evil, but doubt that I ever will. I am relieved that my scars are only in my mind. The head is my journey from darkness into light. – Domestic abuse survivor

Silent Beauty- My dear friend was abused. The choker on this head symbolizes the incident that finally convinced her to seek help. The mouth is retrained because of her forced silence, but the head wears a crown of jewels and feathers to signify her regal uprising.

This head is a warning, but also full of flowers and sunshine. I am sad my friend has suffered as she has, but glad to see her empowered now, like the lotus flower whose beauty rises through the mud to bloom. – Friend of a domestic abuse survivor

My children and I feared for our lives on a daily basis. My life was destroyed by one man; I was in a war zone with just one enemy. He said he would kill us if we ever left him. He killed all three of my beautiful dogs to prove to me that he was serious. I am going through the aftermath now. Because of this experience, I believe in the good Lord and praise Him every day. God saved my life, and I am a survivor! – Domestic abuse survivor

The first thing I did for myself was trust in the Lord. The abuse that my mind and body put up with for so long was more than my mind and body could bear. I chose the path of spiritual healing. The straw hair represents the loss of my own hair when it was pulled out. The chocker represents my strangulation. The wire on my mouth represents my forced silence. The words on the back of my head are what I am leaving behind, and the words on the front of my head are where I am headed in my journey through life. – Domestic abuse survivor

The above statements are descriptions of art projects that these survivors created. Art therapy is exceedingly healing and we would like to encourage you to try it. MIHI wants to empower you to turn from victim to survivor.

The mission of MIHI: To begin a dialogue, a discussion, in a safe and compassionate setting, to foster hope and healing, and to empower women to turn from victim to survivor. Ultimately, to provide holistic medical treatment and healing for women suffering from eating disorders, physical, and or sexual abuse, which entails, educating all women on the nature and dignity of the human person, created in the image and likeness of God.

BREAK THE SILENCE!! MIHI wants to encourage you to take a stand against abuse. The shame and guilt associated with abuse is NOT your fault. Let MIHI help you take back your life. Speak to our counselor on staff today by clicking HERE.

 

Eating Disorders: And the Questions Everyone Wants Answered

Made in His Image was going to talk about forgiveness on our blog today, but a meeting I had changed that. Tomorrow, we will post on forgiveness, so please check back for that. We will be discussing forgiving the inexcusable. 

Today I spoke with a beautiful young woman who asked questions that mirrored many I have received, so I wanted to post this today. I hope the following is of help to you. Please contact MIHI with any questions.

Much of what is written below is taken from my book, so please do not repost or copy without noting this blog. Thank you!

It was April and I was in 8th grade. We were going to field hockey practice when I overheard two upperclassmen talking about a girl in our school who was overweight. Why are they speaking about her like that? That is so mean! I wonder if they talk about me like that? What if they think I’m fat? What if they laugh about me? I glanced down and saw my scuffed up black shoes. Then noticed my skirt which was two inches to short for this Catholic school. Every morning at prayer one of the teachers reminded me of that fact, Maura, your skirt is supposed to touch the floor when you kneel. Please tell your mom to fix the hem or you will need to get a new one. 

Then I panicked. Okay, great now I’m sure people are talking about me because I’m fat and my skirt is too short. Why can’t my mom just fix the skirt? I don’t want anyone talking about me and I don’t want to get in trouble. I was an exceedingly anxious child. My exterior proved to be as fragile as egg shells at times, and if I was corrected or talked to harshly, I shattered.

I remember going home from school that day and telling my mother that I was never eating ice cream again. She thought I was kidding, because what normal child says that? Well I’m going to show them all that I’m not kidding. I’m going to start running and swimming more and eating less. No one is going to talk about me behind my back.

My mom, an exceptional cook and baker has always provided the very best of food for us. Always making sure we ate healthy foods, with ample amounts of protein, calcium, and other nutrients. She often cooked organically and to this day, I prefer her cooking over countless restaurants. Yeah, Mom can make that better, I always say to myself whenever I am out to dinner and order something that doesn’t measure up to hers. To put is bluntly, I’m a snob when it comes to food.

But that year, I threw it all away with my defiance and lack of self-esteem.  My mom always insisted that I eat breakfast before school, so I started telling her that I would eat my toasted waffles on the way to the bus stop. I lied to her and that hurt me. But I have to because I know no one believes that I need to lose weight. What are they thinking? Why don’t they see it like me? It’s time for me to take matters into my own hands. I threw my waffles down the sewer drain every morning on the way to the bus stop. In the beginning, the guilt of what I was doing almost crushed me, but I couldn’t stop. As time passed, the lies started darting out of my mouth and the person I was becoming frightened me. Oh, I already ate breakfast Mom. Yes, lunch was delicious, thanks Mom. I had a snack on the bus, I’m not hungry. No, I only ran 5 miles (when I had actually run 7 or 8). I’m actually babysitting tonight, so I’ll eat there. And once I got there, Oh I already ate dinner at home because I was so hungry. 

I allowed myself a few hundred calories a day and went to bed starving. And there were countless nights that I couldn’t sleep because my hunger pains kept me awake. If I survived the day with only a few hundred calories I considered it to be a good day. If I had slipped, I was sure to punish myself the next day with an extra mile or two of running and even less meager portions .

I was severely anorexic for years. Then one day, I lost it. And ate everything in sight because I couldn’t take the hunger anymore. Afterwards, I felt disgusting and guilty. So I exercised  excessively to purge my body of all that I had just consumed. Why couldn’t I just eat in moderation? Why aren’t I worthy of three meals a day? People tell me I’ve always been thin, why can’t I see that too?

Anyone who has had or presently has an eating disorder knows the trap of what I have described. I share this with you today, because the emails I am receiving really touch my heart. It is my desire to be vulnerable with you women in hopes that it offers you hope. I boast in the Lord for what He has done in my life and I desire for you to be able to do the same.

I know that despite what I have done the Father forgives me. And He forgives you too. His forgiveness is ours for the asking. But we need to do just that, we need to ask for it. We need to beg Him for it. Several readers have asked what I did to overcome an eating disorder. I am humbled to share the following with you today.

Below are several of the questions I have been asked.

1. What will I look and feel like after my recovery from an eating disorder? 

That is an incredibly multi faceted question, but I will share with you what I know. First off, I would focus on recovery, which in it of itself will be uncomfortable because you are stretching yourself. You are growing in virtue and character and God is molding you into the daughter He destined you to be. Always remember that nothing worth while is easily attended, you may take two steps forward one day, and a step back the next and this is okay. Don’t allow yourself to get discouraged, hope is essential. You fall down and you get right back up, you fall down again the next day after promising yourself you wouldn’t and then you get back up again and again and again. You must fight for freedom. God’s grace will be with you.

In terms of how you “will look and feel after recovery” – that is different for everyone. I am aware that this is a difficult thing to think about, so I commend you for your positivity. I am going to use myself as an example so as not to cause undue worry upon anyone. I began restricting food from myself in 8th grade. Negative self-image thoughts blew out of control that year. One day I overheard some girls criticizing a girl who was overweight. Uncontrollable thoughts raced through my head, Oh my goodness! What if they think that about me? What if I’m fat? I didn’t want anyone talking about me negatively, so I began to take matters into my own hands.

Now let’s back up for a moment, in 8th grade when this began, I was one of the skinniest and tallest girls in the class. I was very athletic and ate whatever I wanted without thinking about it. I mention that because when asking what it will look and feel like after an eating disorder one should take a look at themselves before their eating disorder began.

  1. I was not even close to being fat.
  2. I was a very competitive runner
  3. I had a very high metabolism
  4. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, without even thinking about it.

I mention these facts because everyone’s body is different. And that is something you need to pray for the grace to accept. But don’t just accept that your body is different, embrace it and claim it as your own. When you do that, you will find freedom.

How does one do that?

By prayer, frequenting the sacraments and working with a doctor or counsellor who specializes in eating disorders.

To sum up the answer, everyone’s body is different and there is no generic response to life post eating disorder. I think it is very important to examine your body type prior to your eating disorder. More often than not, that is how God designed you and that is something you should be proud of, not ashamed of. And naturally as you began to eat more, or less if that be your case, your body will get use to you fueling it appropriately. But this takes time, so try not to get discouraged, take it a bit at a time. If you are an athlete, think of your recovery as training. When you first learned to run you didn’t go out and run ten miles, did you? No, you ran a mile. If you are a musician, the first time you sat down to play the piano you didn’t play Fur Elise did you? No, you probably played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Hot Cross Buns or something similar.

You must take it a step at a time.

2. Is a full recovery possible? 

Another great question!

I think it depends on what you mean by recovery. Here is my thought process.

The word recovery means restoration or return to health from sickness. What if you were in a car accident in which you broke your left leg? Your leg would be put in a cast and you would walk with crutches. When your leg healed, the doctor would remove the cast and you would proceed with various physical therapy exercises. At first, it would be painfully to apply pressure to your left leg and you would unconsciously use your right leg to support a majority of your body weight when walking. As you process in physically therapy and your bones heal, it will become easier to apply equal weight to both legs. Eventually, it will feel normal again. So does this mean you are fully recovered? In my opinion, no, and here is my logic behind it.

As your left leg heals, scar tissue will also form, which can easily prevent range of motion, among other variables. Even if you were to get the scar tissue surgically removed, it will still be different from your right leg. So what does that all mean? It means that your leg is in remission, it is as normal as it can be. You might not be able to turn it a certain way or bend it as usual.

Life after an eating disorder is a life in remission. Yes, you can be recovered, but you could always slip again. Just the same way a patient with cancer can always get cancer again. No doctor can tell a cancer patient that they are not going to have cancer again. Now I don’t want this to discourage you, so please read on. I can tell you from experience that I have gone weeks and months without thinking about my past habits in regards to food. But, I still have my memory and sometimes I do think about where I have been and where I am today, which is only natural.

I want to clarify what I mean about being in remission in regards to eating disorders. Everyone has certain tendencies and ways in which they cope when stress, sadness, loneliness, grief and change. In relation to eating disorders, some people over eat and some under eat when these emotions arise, both are disordered. As you go through recovery you learn how to deal with stress in a proper manner, a manner that will not incapacitate you from carrying out everyday tasks. Also, unlike cancer, you make the choice if you are going to relapse again or not. As you go through recovery, you will learn the correct way to act when stress occurs and you are left with the choice to either act upon what you learned or your impulses. To live in recovery requires on act of the will, but the more you make the right choice the less you will think about it. For example, I don’t give it a second thought to have dinner and then a bowl of ice cream. In the past, I would make a conscious effort to sit down and eat a bowl of ice cream after dinner, it was more like a chore than a treat. Of course if you are just starting out on your recovery process, focus just on eating dinner.

If you want to be free, if you want to be normal again, eat out with your friends without worrying or wondering if you will go home to over eat, than turn to God. He is the One who can help you control your tendencies and habits. Surrender to Him and I guarantee you it will be okay. It takes courage and strength to do this and if you don’t feel as if you have the courage, then ask for it, because it’s yours for the asking.

To live is to change, to be perfect is to have changed often. – John Henry Newman

MIHI exists to help you recovery, please email or call us today. We want to help YOU!

“We aim to reach those victims who feel that they have nowhere else to turn,” said Byrne.

AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!!! And so exciting!! New Press release for MIHI! Share with all you know, so MIHI can explode!!! Let’s blow the world up for God!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        CONTACT: Amber Dolle April 30, 2012                                                                                          325-513-5857 / adolle@gmail.com

Catholic organization to focus on healing of the body, mind, and spirit for victims of abuse and eating disorders

NASHVILLE, TN – Born out of a desire to reach those scarred by eating disorders, physical abuse and sexual abuse, Made in His Image takes a truly holistic approach in helping women turn from victim to survivor. What sets this ministry apart from other treatment options is the focus on the total health of the individual: physical, emotional and spiritual. “We have a passion to educate others about the nature and dignity of the human person,” said Maura Byrne, president and founder of Made in His Image. “When a victim can start to understand that she is made in the image and likeness of God, authentic healing can begin.”

A former Catholic missionary on college campuses, Maura Byrne felt a strong desire to form a ministry that would provide a safe and compassionate setting for victims, and foster hope and healing for the future. After much prayer, she left her job as a baker and pastry chef in 2011 and officially launched Made in His Image (MIHI).

“The statistics on abuse and eating disorders are staggering,” said Byrne. “One in three women will report being physically or sexually abused by a boyfriend or husband at some point during her life, and over seven million American females suffer from eating disorders. These women need to be empowered to regain their lives, and to accept the healing that our Lord offers.”

While the organization is still in its infancy, the overall goal of MIHI is to build the first Catholic, inpatient medical center focused on helping females recover from abuse and eating disorders. Through the work of medical professionals and Catholic therapists, patients will be treated in a holistic method, focusing on body, mind and spirit. They will be educated on their dignity and worth as daughters of God, and will be led to one of the most essential components of healing – forgiveness. While actively spreading the word and raising funds to build the MIHI center, Byrne currently reaches those interested through an informative, yet personal blog in which she covers topics ranging from eating disorders and abuse, to the negative effects of pornography, to modesty and the feminine genius. She also has a Catholic counselor on staff available to assist those in need of immediate assistance.

“We aim to reach those victims who feel that they have nowhere else to turn,” said Byrne. “Women who have been hurt need to know that they are not to blame. Once they grasp this truth they can begin to rest in God’s healing hands.”

For more information on Made in His Image, visit: https://ifighthimwithlove.wordpress.com/

HOPE: That’s why I’m alive today!

A fairly evident theme in many of the emails I receive is that people have a very limited and or no conception of the Father’s love. Another common one is, How did you keep getting up when you were recovering from your eating disorder? That is an excellent question and my answer can really be applied to any struggle you are faced with. When you fall down in any type of struggle you must make the resolve to get back up. And when you fall again, as you will, you get up again. Then when you think you’re doing fine and suddenly fall again and are tempted to stay fallen, you must get up again. No matter what you have done or what you are struggling with you must reach out your trembling hand to the Father and let His gentleness guide you to freedom.

I am alive today because of Him. Without His love and hope I would have despaired and  taken my own life.

One time I asked my Spiritual Director, Why didn’t God stop the abuse? He looked at me and said, The same reason He didn’t stop the Romans from killing His Son.

God gives us free will and while He doesn’t will evil to happen, He allows it because He will not take away our free will. It it up to us to decide how we will use this gift He has given to us. I challenge you to use your free will to fight for freedom, whether that be an eating disorder/abuse and or any type of struggle. Be a solider for Christ, walk with Him to Calvary and as you fall along the way, ask for the grace for the cross to be placed squarely on your shoulders as you rise again.

The last fall is the worst fall. In it Christ identified Himself with those who fall again and again, and who get up again and again and go on- those who even after the struggle of a lifetime fall when the end is in sight; those who in the last fall lose the respect of many of their fellow human beings, but who overcome their humiliation and shame; who, ridiculous in the eyes of others, are beautiful in the eyes of God, because in Christ, with Christ’s courage, in His heroism, they get up and go on, climbing the hill of Calvary.

In the third fall, the showing of Christ’s love is this: He does not indwell only the virtuous, only those who are successful in overcoming temptation, only those who are strong and in whom His power is made manifest to the world; He chooses to indwell those who seem to fail, those who fall again and again, those who seem to be overcome even when the end is in sight. In them, if they will it, He abides; in them He overcomes weakness and failure, in them He triumphs; and in His power they can persevere to the end, abject before men but glorious with Christ’s glory before God. - Caryll Houslander