to proclaim freedom for the captives // NEDA week 2018


“May you learn to embrace the freedom that has long been your calling so you can liberate courage in others so they can do the same.”

Happy National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018!!! This is my favorite week of the year because it feels like Christmas for one of the things most near and dear to my heart. (PS, read all the way to the bottom to get a fun lil surprise!)

Really if you follow my social media, you’d think that every week is NEDA week because I never shut up about freedom. I am always so vocal about this. I live in a constant state of vulnerability and being seen for all that I am. And just YES to that. Yes to never being silent.

Early on in my walk with Jesus, he (and my mentor) proclaimed Isaiah 61 over my life.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,

because the Lord has anointed me

to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim freedom for the captives

and release from darkness for the prisoners,


to bestow on them a crown of beauty

instead of ashes,

the oil of joy

instead of mourning,

and a garment of praise

instead of a spirit of despair.”

Isaiah 61:1,3

Those verses light a fire under me like nothing else. YES. Let me proclaim FREEDOM for the captives and RELEASE FROM DARKNESS for the prisoners. Let bestow on them a CROWN OF BEAUTY instead of ashes and the OIL OF JOY instead of mourning.

If my purpose in this life is to proclaim good news and truth to those around me, then heck yeah, let me lean right into that. I am all about it. Let me be an instrument of freedom and healing for my God.

I’m pretty known around my school and really just life in general for being the girl in recovery or the girl with the blog or the girl who shares a lot of her personal life on social media. And honestly, I am so so okay with those titles. This is what Jesus has called me to, so hallelujah that this is what I am being known as. Hallelujah that I am not wasting my purpose.

I was talking to my friend the other day and I told her that I am apart of the “Glennon Doyle and Brene Brown world,” so I am 1000% about leaning into and living in vulnerability. Which I mean, that’s true, Glennon and Brene are both heading an awesome movement of living authentically and being vulnerable, but Jesus led this movement first. LITERALLY JUST LOOK AT THE VERSES ABOVE. Jesus is calling us to live in vulnerability.

We are called to speak truth into others. To break each other’s chains. To lead others into freedom!!!

“As soon as healing takes place, go out and heal someone else.”

This looks different for everyone for sure, but for me, Jesus has called me to be open and vulnerable through my blog and through Instagram. Through this, I have met so, so many amazing people that I have joined hands with and walked this journey with. I have mentored girls, helped people research/apply to/get admitted to treatment, and made friends all over the world (yes literally, the world–absolute craziness). Through my vulnerability and openness, I have helped walk people into freedom. And that is the most humbling, amazing feeling.

It is honestly the most humbling moment when I get a Facebook friend/message request or Instagram DM or email through my blog that starts with, “Hey so I know I don’t know you, but…” and then goes into how I inspired them, how I encouraged them to get treatment, how I helped them choose recovery. Literally WHAT. I am a mess of a human, and I fail this whole Christian and recovery thing daily, but Jesus uses my messy, rambling Instagram captions and creates them into megaphone for freedom for his glory. I don’t say this to toot my own horn (I really don’t know how my words mean so much to people I don’t even know), but I say this to show what Jesus does when you lean into your God-given purpose. It’s amazing.

It blows my mind and fills my heart with unexplainable JOY that this is the life that I am called to. My purpose in life is literally to help walk people into freedom. To say hey, me too. but it’s possible to get through this. let me walk with you. That is my calling as a Christian/friend/advocate, but it is also my calling as a future social worker. I CANNOT WAIT. 

Two years ago before treatment I would have never imagined that I would be where I am now. I would have never imagined that I would ever actually be in recovery and living life without my eating disorder, but I would have especially never imagined that I would be so vocal about such dark things.

The past year and a half has taught me that I’m not afraid of the dark. I’m ready to run straight into it. I’m ready to hand flashlights to those living in that darkness and say, “here’s a light. You can do this. I’ll be here to help and encourage and show you that you’re not alone in this, but you are capable of saving yourself.”

Hallelujah for vulnerability. Hallelujah that Jesus broke my fear of being seen. Hallelujah that he is using me as an instrument of freedom. Hallelujah for the freedom that he gave me. Hallelujah that he gives it freely to everyone who asks for it. Hallelujah for it all. 

I’ll never be quiet about recovery. This thing is too good. 

“I love when people that have been through hell walk out of the flames carrying buckets of water for those still consumed by the fire.”

To celebrate NEDA week, I created a recovery-focused, empowering-as-heck playlist!! I’ve been hardcore jamming to it, so I hope that y’all do the same. 🙂 


The Valley of Achor // A Door of Hope


What. A. Life.

Flashback to January 10, the third day of classes of the semester.

I spent all day on phone call after phone call, first to my therapist, then to my parents, then to multiple treatment centers all over the country, then to professors in my department at school, then repeat the cycle all over again.

I was set + ready + prepared to medically withdraw from school and head to treatment by the end of the week.

Things were hard. Not as hard as last semester (thank God), but the challenges of last semester left lasting repercussions that just made life hurt. There were a lot of changes to my life at school, and I was still slowly adjusting to my new medication and coming out of the funk that I had found myself in. Sleeping was hard, eating was even harder, and I was low-key crying at least once every hour. I was a mess.

After planning literally everything out–when my parents would come to move me out of my dorm, treatment admit dates, and bookmarking potential one-way flights to whichever city I ended up in–we decided to put all those plans on pause.

A lot of things contributed to that decision, but looking back, I can see God using that as a way to say Wait. I have something great plan. Restoration you didn’t believe possible. Restoration you didn’t know was needed. Wait. You’re going to want to be here for this.

So I waited. And things were still sad. I still cried. The adjustment period back to my new school normal was weird. But I put in effort in areas that I believed would help (blog post about there here). And boy, has that intentionality CHANGED MY LIFE in literally the past three weeks.

God has closed doors that were painful, but he has opened so many and done so many new things in this season that I can’t help but scream to everyone that will listen JESUS IS HERE AND HE IS MOVING SO MIGHTILY. 

Literally. Anyone that will give me a second to talk will definitely hear me ramble about the goodness of the Lord and his sovereignty over every situation, especially in this specific season of my life. #BLESSED

Just to give you an idea of how he’s moving, here’s a short rundown of some of the ways he is moving SO big.

  • Restoration. God is restoring things that I thought were broken. “He’s not just reviving, not simply restoring, greater things have yet to come.” YES. Our God is a redemptive God. And wow, he is pouring out the redemption and grace on me right now. Hallelujah.
  • Community. Oh man. THIS is where it’s really big. He has blossomed SO many new relationships in my life. Seriously. And these relationships are literally just falling in my lap in the most God ordained ways possible. Ways I never even imagined. God is answering prayers that I’ve literally prayed for since before freshman year in SUCH a tangible way. I’ve been crazy busy this semester because literally all of my time is spent getting coffee with this person or going to that club meeting or going over for dinner at someone’s house. So many friend crushes are becoming real life relationships, and so many people that I have never even met before are becoming so special and dear to me. My community has EXPLODED. I’ve never felt this surrounded. I am amazed.
  • Bethel Church. Jesus is wild. Living with Jesus is crazy. But it is SO GOOD. The trip is still in the works, but it looks like I’ll be hopping on a plane to California the first weekend of March with some of my ministry besties to go spend the weekend at Bethel Church. What!! It’s always been a dream of mine to go there. What started as a conversation about true healing in the Lord with a close friend turned to a hypothetical conversation about flying out to Bethel which turned to actual real plans. I’m still amazed by it. I’ve never been to California, but God has opened so many doors and I will literally be going to California twice in ONE week (this trip and then a few days later for spring break). Wow.
  • Apartment. When I went to Carolina House, I didn’t expect to meet my best friends. And I really didn’t expect for one of my CH best friends to move to Nashville a few months later. And I definitely didn’t expect to become roommates with that best friend. BUT JESUS KNEW. And in just a few short months, that will all become a reality!! Watch out world, Queen K and I are moving into an apartment together. We’re getting a sign that says “Eat or Die” to put in our kitchen. I can’t wait to live with my bff and lay on the couch with her and watch Gilmore Girls every night. This journey of recovery has blessed me in more ways than I can even count.
  • Freedom. Chalk it up to my last blog post, but I have never felt this free in my life. I’ve experienced SO much freedom since I met Jesus, but a part of my soul has always been tied and bound to the shame connected to my trauma. But no longer. Now I’m refusing to let it have a hold on me. It has no more power. I have never felt this light in my life. I can’t wait to keep stepping into this abundant freedom!
  • Conversations. This one definitely relates back to community, but WOW, have I been able to have some really awesome conversations! About Jesus, about mental health, about life. With strangers (now friends!), with old acquaintances, with some of my bffs. My heart has never been so full of joy and hope. 

As you can see, Jesus is blessing me SO big. He is moving so much that WOW my mind cannot even keep up. Literally I have two group messages with two of my closest bff groups and I feel like everyday I’m texting them and being like “listen to this crazy thing that God did in my life just now!!!!” 

And that is such a change from just a few weeks ago. Literally two weeks ago today was when I was about to withdraw from school. That is crazy for me to think about because I am literally WORLDS away from where I was then.

And that’s not to say that everything is perfect. It’s not.

Some things are still different and weird, and though I’m adjusting to this new normal and honestly thriving in it, it’s sometimes still sad.

Trauma is still hard sometime and I definitely had to walk out of my human sexuality class yesterday because it got slightly too real, but it does NOT have a hold on me anymore. I’m no longer bound to it. But it is still there and I do still have to deal with it.

And I really could list out other things that aren’t “perfect,” but why? There is so much good.

All I can say is that I’m glad I stayed at school.

I’m thankful for the uncomfortable changes that this semester brought.

Because I can say with 100% certainty and conviction that none of the things that I listed above would have EVER happened if things were still the same as last semester.

The changes that this semester brought has majorly pushed me out of my comfort zone, but God met me there. With so many gifts. He’s such a good father to me. He was like, “this is going to hurt, and it’s really going to stretch you, but here. Look what I have for you. Here’s the friend you met at church. Here’s the girls that reached out to you on Instagram. Here’s the trip to California. Here, here, here.” So many gifts that I never expected. So many things that would have never happened if it weren’t for the changes. Wow.

Jesus really took me through the valleys the past few months. But now he’s slowly but surely leading me up to a mountaintop. Halle-freaking-lujah. 

This has been one of the hardest seasons of life. I remember sobbing to my bff Mere on the phone on the first day of classes, “I don’t think that anything has ever hurt this bad.” And just two days ago on the phone with her again I said, “I have never felt joy or peace this deeply.” Yes, Jesus.

God broke me to rebuild me. And it’s been the most glorious process.

I have never felt joy like this because I have never been so out of control of what’s happening in my life, but still able to see Jesus in the midst of it all. I have no hand in what is happening anymore. I’m just watching it all unfold. I have given up all control to him, and wow. FREEDOM. 

I’m glad I didn’t withdraw from school this semester. I would have missed out on so many blessings that I didn’t even think were possible. But God knew. He knew what he was going to do.

I’m so thankful to have a Father that loves me so well. That pursues me like he does. He wants to woo his children.

Hosea 2:14-15 has been ringing in my heart all week and I feel like it really sums up my life right now.

“Therefore I am now going to allure her;
    I will lead her into the wilderness
    and speak tenderly to her.
There I will give her back her vineyards,
    and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will respond as in the days of her youth,
    as in the day she came up out of Egypt.”

The word “Achor” means “trouble.” LITERALLY GOD WILL MAKE THE VALLEY OF TROUBLE A DOOR OF HOPE. Amen. Yes. Hallelujah. God took me out into the wilderness. He pursued me. He wooed me. And he made the mess of my life into so much pure hope and joy. 

Yes, Jesus.

I can’t stop dancing. I can’t stop talking about Jesus to everyone. I can’t stop asking the Holy Spirit to come and move. I. Just. Can’t. Stop. 

Peace be still,

say the word and I will

set my feet upon the sea,

till I’m dancing in the deep.

YES. I’m dancing in the deep with you, Jesus. 




This song is my life song right now. All of it. The lyrics. Wow. Yes. “I’ve lost control but I’m free.” All the yes.

Hold out for Jesus, y’all. This season might hurt. It might be the worst season of life that you’ve ever had to walk through. You might feel so extremely alone. But Jesus is there. He’s waiting. He’s got you. Hold out for the promise. It is so unbelievably worth it.

(Also, just for completely transparency here, I’m sitting in the student center absolutely SOBBING as I write this. I am so overwhelmed by Jesus. And I’m listening to the above song. I am SO beautifully in over my head!!!!)


Jesus Says,

ba00ba304c68951e2eda78201df2b7a7“Jesus, I’m really scared of what the things that are happening in my life right now say about me as a person.”

Beloved, it says nothing about you. Nothing in this world says anything about you–it may try, but the words fall right off of you. This world cannot define you because I define you. I created you and formed you, and I have loved you from the very beginning. This love covers all that you are and spills into everything that you do. Life is messy right now. Some seasons of life are, that is simply fact. But you are not the mess. And the mess does not make you messy. The situations that you are in do not define you. When are you going to stop making what other people say about you more than what I did for you? Stop putting more power into your shame and guilt instead of allowing me to hold that power in your life. Who are you to say that your words about yourself are more true than the words that I say about you? I made you! I know you more deeply and intricately than you even know yourself. I know you fully, yet I still love you deeply. I know every part of you, yet I still want you. I have always wanted you, even in your darkest and messiest moments. Why would I stop wanting you now? You are allowing your shame and insecurity play god in your life, when I am the only one who can hold that role. I am the only one who can define you, beloved. The lies that you hear–from the world and from your own lips–cannot stand before the truths that I proclaim. My whispers roar stronger than the world’s loudest screams. They hold no truths. Only I do. I am the truth-keeper, so anything that does not come from me is not true. Listen to me. Let the labels that you have placed on yourself fall off. Come sit in my lap. Put your head against my chest. You are safe here. You are loved here. You matter here. There is no place more important than being here with me. You are more than the pain and shame. You have hope and healing inside of you because of who I am in you. I love you. Listen to me. Ignore the world. Just listen to me.


God’s Gonna Heal That

0dae0248249bb6069d07035bbe25c90a12 days into it, and 2018 has already been a year of hurt. But I decided on December 31 that 2018 was going to be a year of healing, and here I am on January 12 still proclaiming that.

My motto for this year is “God’s gonna heal that.”

I feel it in my bones/soul/very core that this year is the year of healing from trauma.

Maybe chalk that up to the vulnerability and beauty that is the #MeToo campaign, or inspiring friends who have walked the path before you and are willing to walk it with you, or the wake-up call of broken relationships due to your denial/fear of healing, but whatever the reason, healing is coming.

It’s going to be messy and hard and there’s no perfect way to do it.

I’m going to want to quit, but I luckily have a killer support system of strong women who will push me and challenge me when needed, but also be gentle and patient in other moments.

Despite how it feels, I’m not alone in this.

Millions of people have walked this path before me (as sad as that is).

I am not alone.

Healing is coming.

It’ll hurt, it’ll be hard, it’ll suck so bad.

But it’s coming.

And it’s going to be beautiful and glorious.

Last night I decided to sit down and make a game plan for myself. It’s been quite a week with lots of big decisions being made regarding this healing process, so I decided to set goals for myself and made plans for how I’m going to make this happen, because gosh darn it, I’m going to heal from this in 2018 no matter what it takes!!

My list is pretty simple. Obviously there are bigger action plans, but I wanted to make a list of small, tangible things I can do each day in order to make a difference.

How I’m Going to Heal in 2018:

  1. Journaling, everyday
  2. 3 meals + 3 snacks
  3. Set up regular appointments with your entire treatment team and actually go to them
  4. Slow mornings & evenings
  5. Stay out of the dorm for at least two hours everyday (class time not included)
  6. Intentional friendships
  7. Have intentional plans to see at least one person everyday
  8. At least eight hours of sleep
  9. Cry & feel
  10. Do art–make things, be creative
  11. Set boundaries FOR YOURSELF regarding your friendships
  12. No dating
  13. Read more
  14. Write in my planner/cross things off when done/stay on top of things
  15. Look into different group and other outpatient opportunities
  16. Get plugged in at college group
  17. Give yourself grace & time to rest/be alone
  18. Trust the process
  19. Stay busy, but not so busy that you’re avoiding
  20. Focus on yourself & put healing FIRST
  21. Listen to good music
  22. Only allow things/people into your life that add to it

And that’s it! Those are my big healing plans for 2018.

So ready +scared + excited + nervous + expectant for this.

Let’s go.

God’s gonna heal this!!


This Hurts.


Sometimes you can only utter a one or two word prayer to God. That’s okay. He hears them and sees them and acknowledges them just the same. My prayer this week has been this hurts. It hurts it hurts it hurts. I’ve whispered it over and over and over again until the tears stop flowing and I fall asleep. I’ve screamed it over and over and over again while making the drive home from Nashville to Knoxville. I’ve cried it out time and time again over the past week. God doesn’t hear my prayer any different than he did last Tuesday. He still hears it with the same urgency and love and gentleness that he did the first time I cried that it hurts. He still cares the same as he did then. My tears are prayers to him too. Sometimes the words don’t come, but the tears do. And he knows. He knows what they mean. He knows what my heart is crying for. He knows. I don’t have to pray long, eloquent prayers for God to understand my pain. I couldn’t even do that if I wanted to. But God is in the pain with me. All he wants me to do is talk to him. And if all I can muster up is this hurts, then so be it. That is enough. He hears me. He sees me. He cries with me. My two little words are enough for the God of the universe. They are enough. I am enough. I. Am. Enough.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 

Romans 8:26-27

Honestly not sure why I’m sharing this blog post. It’s short and quick and doesn’t have much of a point, but I guess I feel like someone else out there needs to hear that you don’t have to have big fancy prayers to God. Sometimes life really hurts. And sometimes we can barely muster the words to explain what is happening. God doesn’t care what our words are. He cares about us. He wants to hear us. Whether your prayer be please or this hurts or help me or even I’m angry at you, he loves it just the same. Talk to him. Even if it’s one word. Just talk.


He’s Already Coming To Get Me [a follow up post]


It’s only been a little over 48 hours since I sat crying in my bed and published my last blog post, but wow, God is already showing up.

When I wrote that blog, it really wasn’t for my readers. It was for me. It was for me to be able to vocalize that God is good in the midst of it all. In the midst of my sadness and uncertainty, I needed to proclaim that God is good so that my heart could believe it. It was a reminder for me, no one else.

Oh, heart, believe.

I let that blog post become my faith declaration; my heart cry. My white flag to Jesus. Me screaming, “I TRUST YOU. I KNOW THAT YOU ARE GOOD. I BELIEVE THAT THERE WILL BE AN END TO THIS SUFFERING. BUT UNTIL THEN, I WILL PRAISE.”

I didn’t expect the darkness to lift any time soon. And if I’m being honest, it got a whole lot darker on Monday morning.

But God.

God hear my heart cry. He knew that I believed and that I trusted, but when I wrote that out for the world to see on this blog, he used that as my declaration of faith.

It’s as if God read my blog post and said, “Okay, she trusts me. She knows that I’m good and that I’ll save her from this eventually. She has that faith. And she is still choosing to praise me, no matter the timeline or outcome.”

And then God moved. 

By Monday evening, I couldn’t stop crying because of JOY. Pure, unexplainable-except-for-Jesus joy.

God moved mountains and opened doors that I had not even imagined or knew existed. He is just THAT good!!!

He knew my deep heartache, but he also knew my deep faith. And once I proclaimed his goodness over my situation, he moved.

That is just who our God is. Time and time and time again, he has proven that throughout all of history.

Abraham. God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Without question, Abraham went. When Isaac asked his father where the lamb was for the offering, Abraham said, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” (Genesis 22:8). He didn’t know for sure, but he decided to believe that God would provide. FAITH DECLARATION. When Abraham goes to slay his only soon, God stops him. “Do not lay a hand on the boy. Do not do anything to him. Now I know you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son” (Genesis 22:12). And then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught in the bushes. GOD MOVED.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. King Nebuchadnezzar created a statue of himself and commanded all the Babylonians to bow down at the assigned time and worship him. They were all told that if they did not bow down, they would immediately be thrown into the blazing furnace. Yet Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, stood their ground and refused to worship any god except for God. Right before they are to be thrown in the fire, the king asks them if they believe that God will save them. They reply, “if we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18). Even though they knew God might not save them, they still declared him good. FAITH DECLARATION. They were thrown into the fire, and once the king and his advisers looked in, they saw that they were not burning, and that there were four people in the fire. Jesus showed up. Shadrach, Mesach, and Abednego were taken out of the fire unharmed–“they saw that they fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them” (Daniel 3:27). GOD MOVED. 

Boy Possessed by an Impure Spirit. This is one of my favorites. A man brings his demon possessed son to Jesus, begging him to heal him. After the man expresses doubt of his ability to heal, Jesus sasses him and says that all things are possible for one who believes. The man then proclaims, “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) FAITH DECLARATION. After the main’s proclamation, Jesus rebuked the impure spirit and it fled from the boy’s body immediately. GOD MOVED. 

These are just three examples of countless times over all of eternity that God has worked and opened doors after his people have declared faith. Sometimes faith is all we need.

I stand amazed at my God this week. Things have been SO hard and I saw no end in sight, but I trusted. I had faith. I proclaimed. And God moved in ways that I had no idea were possible. WHAT?! 

It isn’t over, but joy is there. There is sun again. I can’t stop dancing and twirling.

God is good.

He is faithful.

Time and time and time again.

Always good.

Always, always, always faithful.


He Won’t Leave Me Here

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

It’s been quite a week. Quite a month. And if I’m being honest, it’s been quite a semester.

I am so incredibly happy with where I am right now–I have the best roomie, my boyfriend is great, I’ve been traveling and seeing all my people which has been SO good, and I absolutely adore my major and the path that my life is on–but the darkness is heavy.

So heavy.

It’s been a heck of a long time since I have felt such unshakable sadness. The kind of sadness that’s almost debilitating. The kind of sadness that has left me in bed for 75% of this past week. And it is so hard to feel like this again.

I don’t think I have felt this kind of sadness that has lasted this long + affected so much of my life since before Carolina House. Ouch.

No no no no no, I am not that girl again. I’m not. This sadness is dark and heavy and it honestly feels like it’s never going to end, but I am not that girl still. I’m never going to be her again.

There’s really no point to this post except to say that sometimes life is hard. And sometimes you cry upwards of 10 times a day. That’s okay. It isn’t for forever.

I think in this past week I have journaled/vocalized to my roommate/texted my support system this very question about a gazillion times: “When is it just going to end?”

I don’t know when it’ll end. I don’t know when the tears will stop or when life will feel yellow again or when the sadness will finally go away, but here’s what I do know:

Jesus is good.

Jesus is good and he is faithful and he will not leave me here.

He’s never left me here before, and he’s not going to start now. That isn’t who my Jesus is.

Last night I journaled, through a heck of a lot of tears, “My Jesus, you are good. So good. Let me see that and say that in the midst of it all.”


Let me see your goodness and let me proclaim it EVEN IN THIS SADNESS.

Currently I want to go get Psalm 27:13 tattooed over every inch of my body because it is my heart cry right now.

I will remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13


My confidence and my only hope right now is that there is an end to this sadness. But even until then, I will praise Jesus because he sees me in this valley. He sees me and he knows me and he calls me his.

This season might not feel good, but he is good. And that is enough.

My Jesus won’t leave me here.

I don’t know when this sadness will end, I don’t know how many more tears will come, I don’t know how many more times I’ll beg for it to just be over already.

But he is here, so it is well.

This song is my anthem right now. Give it a listen, let it sink into your heart, and believe it. Peace be still.