Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Jesus Take the Wheel

She threw her hands up in the air
Jesus take the wheel,
take it from my hands,
cause I can't do this on my own
I'm letting go, so give me one more chance.
Save me from this road I'm on.
Jesus take the wheel.

The above chorus lyrics from the Carrie Underwood song, Jesus Take the Wheel, are the words Meagan said came to her mind one day recently that was especially challenging for her. After thinking back over our phone conversations from the the last couple of weekends and reading back over a couple of letters we've received, I'd have to say this chorus from Jesus Take the Wheel says it all. And Jesus is taking the wheel on this journey. How amazing is that? Wasn't that our prayer I mentioned in the last posting.... (Oct. 15 Our prayer is that she will allow her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to be the driver on this journey, surrendering ALL to Him!).

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

I truly believe we are all on a journey that is preplanned by God. God is the driver and we are suppose to sit back, completely rely on Him, and enjoy the ride. But as we are traveling along, life happens and so often we try to "take the wheel", be the driver, be in control. Or we let other people or things be the driver. Or we try to be the driver for someone else. Our Heavenly Father knows far better than we can ever know, what is best for us and others. What I've come to learn from my experiences is that the pain is in the resistance. The more I resist allowing God to be the driver the more "pain" (turmoil, discontent, unhappiness, fear, etc) I experience. Peace, serenity, and freedom are the gifts I recieve when I, relax, let go and let God be the driver, and enjoy the ride.

And now for an update as the journey of healing at Mercy continues.... Although Meagan misses everyone tremendously, she is adjusting well to the program. The program is so different from anything she has ever experienced. But different in a good way. The focus is healing of body, mind, and spirit. She is amazed everyday by how God is working in her life through Mercy. As you all know Meagan had a hard time understanding during the waiting period, why it was taking so long. She was often reminded that "God's timing is perfect". Well, she's had the opportunity to have a better understanding of that "perfect timing". The week that Meagan arrived was also the first week for a new nutrionist there at the Nashville home. She says that she could not have asked for a more perfect fit - she loves her and has really developed a great relationship with her. Then on top of that she has an incredible counselor, fitness director, and roommate. A true testiment of God's perfect timing. In a recent letter she said, "I am so grateful for God's timing!" Amazing!

The first couple of weeks there were very busy and quite challenging. She's especially been challenged with her meals and snacks. She has requested prayer in this area. Pray that the Lord will fulfill her heart's desire to be free from the unhealthy, controlling thoughts and behaviors about food. She desires freedom from thoughts about calories, portions, measuring, and weight. Her nutritionist has been so supportive and prays with her often. She is being taught how to challenge the negative thinking patterns with God's truth through His Word.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalms 37:4

Due to all the extra activities that have been taking place, she said this past week was the first that was more "on schedule". Since the Mercy Headquarters is there in Nashville they have quite a few visitors and extra activities going on. On Sat. of her first weekend there they all spent the day at a farm that is owned by a Mercy supporter. The girls got to fish, skeet shoot, ride mules (four-wheelers), shoot bowes and arrows, carve pumpkins, and more. Although she was not looking forward to the trip at first, she said that she had made up her mind to have a good time, and she did! Then the following Sat. was the first annual Run for Mercy 5K run there in Nashville. Apparently there has been a run in Monroe, La and St. Louis, MO. for several years now. Meagan said it was a great experience. She feels blessed to have been there to experience the outpouring of support and love through the community. It was reported that they raised $30,000 for Mercy. Praise the Lord!

Several pastors and other guests have been coming to speak and teach during the week. Meagan shared with me during our phone conversation yesterday that a local pastor who came there one day last week had a message that was just what she needed to hear that day. When he opened the floor for questions she said that she asked him a question and when he answered her she felt that God was speaking directly to her through Him. She also told us that there have been a couple of Mercy graduates that have connected with her and have been very encouraging and inspiring. One came with her pastor one day when he spoke there. She introduced herself to Meagan and told her that she came to Mercy with a severe ED and she has been right in the same place that she is now. She gave her a lot of hope. Then another girl that had recently graduated came across her blog and wrote Meagan to tell her that she can totally relate to all Meagan shared on her blog. There was a time that she didn't know if it would be possible to be free from the ed thinking and behaviors, but through Mercy she found that freedom. Meagan also continues to be in contact with the Mercy graduate that she had connected with during the whole application and waiting process. Each of these people plus so many others have made her more mindful and appreciative of how God is working in her life through others. Just the right person has been there for her at just the right time, time and time again. God is so good, always!

Most events and activities there at Mercy in Nashville are posted on the Mercy website, mercyministries.org It has been such a blessing for us to have that available. We've been able to see Meagan in a couple of pictures from the Run for Mercy slide show and then one from the farm trip. She has also had a couple of her comments published. One comment was about the farm trip and then another was about the Austin Bridge private concert. It brings tears to my eyes and I stand completely and utterly amazed by this incredible ministry. I am humbled and in awe knowing that our family is now a real part of this ministry. It is my prayer that we are each able to give back in some way. We are open and willing to serve God in any way possible through Mercy. Anthony and I will be attending a Mercy Awareness Benefit in Dallas on Nov. 14. We are looking forward to meeting Nancy Alcorn, the Mercy founder, and hopefully finding out more about how we can help. We are also hopeful that there are possibly plans for a Mercy home in Texas sometime in the future. Oh how we'd love to be a part of that happening!

Once again Meagan and our family want to thank each of you for you continued prayers and support. Each of you contribute to this journey in a very special way. May God richly bless each of you. There will be more to come later as the journey continues.......

(Written and posted by Angela Vrba - Nov. 1, 2009)


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Great Is His Faithfulness

Great is HIS faithfulness ~ the long awaited date DID finally come. Yes, I always knew it would, but I had finally given up several months ago trying to predict just when it would be. But before I gave up, I sure thought I had it all figured out -- I was planning for it to be June. Perfect timing for me - out of school for the summer - I'd be able to make the trip to take Meagan to Mercy without having to take off from work - we'd make it a little mini family vacation - she would finish up her six month stay around Christmas - perfect plan (for me). We make plans and He laughs. So true! So once again I had to LET GO and trust that God's timing, whenever it was, would be perfect.

Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on
your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
HIS timing is perfect, because it is HIS timing! By the infinite grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, Meagan walked through the doors of Mercy Ministries in Nashville, TN on Tues. Oct. 13 at approx. 1:20 pm accompanied by her dad and me. Of course we were all a little anxious and nervous, but all those feelings were soon eased as we were warmly welcomed by a staff member. We were told that we would be meeting with the Nashville home program director, who would give us an overview of the program, and then we'd tour the cooperate office (which is on the same grounds as the home), and the home. The meeting went very well. The overview of the program was very informative. There's no doubt that it will be tough, but with Jesus as the driver on this journey, we know and believe ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! The tour was great! It was nice to finally get to meet some of the staff that Meagan has been talking to over the last several months and those that we've read about and seen on the Mercy Ministries website. Everything is so beautifully decorated, colorful, and inspiring. There is a true sense of God's presence and peace throughout.

And so this journey that began several months ago when Meagan started the Mercy application process, now continues..... I love the picture that Meagan has posted on here. It looks like she is on a journey, looking out the window, and enjoying the ride. Our prayer is that she will allow her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to be the driver on this journey, surrendering ALL to Him. And that the freedom that comes through surrender will give her the strength and willingness to surrender to Him daily.

(From a recent newsletter we receive - Spiritual Moments)
The dynamic and the moving force, the mainspring and core of the life of Jesus was one of continuous self-surrender.

Surrender to God is a choice we must make with every breath. You may not be happy about it right now, but in the bigger picture of life, you'll be glad you chose to surrender to God. (Fr. Gus)

God is perfect and perfect wisdom.
We do not pray in order to change His will,
But to bring our wills in to harmony with His.
(William Temple)

Many thanks and blessings to all you faithful supporters and prayer warriors out there! We appreciate your continuous support and prayers. WE are not sure exactly how this whole blogging thing is going to go from this point forward. Meagan and I have discussed it some and feel a prompting that this too must be put in the hands of God. He knows if and when a posting should be published. We will leave it at that and allow Him to be the driver on this blogging journey, too. (written and posted by Angela Vrba Oct. 15)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Enjoying the Ride to Tennessee

Well, we made it safe & sound to Memphis around 9:30pm. We will be spending the night here tonight. The trip so far has gone well! We thought that we were going to be driving in rain the entire time, but it just misted here & there... thank the Lord! And for someone who has to use the bathroom fairly frequently, we only stopped three times total, which included the our dinner break.

During the car ride I kept busy reading, listening to a CD mom had from a workshop called 'Enjoy the Ride,' writing a few cards, doing a word search, texting & talking on the phone to friends. I also took a lil nap :)

Definitely the most interesting part of the trip was when mom chose for us to eat at a Waffle House in Brinkley since that was just about all there had been to choose from for miles as far as places to eat. That was my first experience at a Waffle House & although I love waffles, I passed up the opportunity to have one. Im not quite to a point that I am comfortable having something like that yet... still something Im working on. This stop was interesting because we were definitely not this particular Waffle House's regular customers! We were picky customers as far as how we wanted our food (mainly me) & we were the quietest, thats for sure! You should heard the employees & a couple of the customers hootin' & hollerin'! That was something I'll remember for sure.

From there we drove the rest of the way to Memphis where we are spending the night at a Comfort Inn. And yes, for all of you who have told me to make sure we are careful here, we are in a safe part of town... no need to worry :) Im laying in bed, with some pretty comfy pillows putting to good use the wireless internet while momma is reading & dad is yelling at the football game on TV, go figure! Gotta enjoy the last few hours I have with them while I can... enjoying the ride!

In Arkansas... Go Razorbacks!

Crossing the Missouri River

Mom & Dad relaxing at the hotel

Im really excited about tomorrow, but also very nervous. I know this is going to be such an incredible experience, but there is still a lot of fear of the unknown & being away from all you are familiar with, especially family in friends. Luckily I have some great cheerleaders back in Texas who I hope to stay in touch with during my time at Mercy. The things Im most anxious about are: my roommate, counselor & dietician, I pray the Lord gives me exactly what I need for my journey...

"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and
thank him for all he has done."

Thank you all again for all your support, encouragement & prayers. This will most likely be my last post before I arrive at Mercy tomorrow at 1:30. Love you all & may the Lord bless each of you!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Last FULL weekend in TX for a while

Well, today was my last FULL day in Texas before I leave for Mercy until mid December when I come home to visit for Christmas for two weeks. Slowly but surely it has become more & more real. Saturday night I didnt sleep too good, I think because of the feelings I started experiencing as I began to really, finally pack last night. I figured out I have been avoiding putting my things in the suitcases since, as I began to pack I started to feel a bit anxious, some fear, homesick (already, yes), but also excited... I cant believe this is finally really happening! Here are some pictures of my weekend of preparation starting with Oct. 10th...

My whole family, mom, dad, Connor, Brittany & I all went to go get pedicures &/or manicures together. Yep, the guys even joined us! I know I always enjoy getting pampered a little & even tho the guys might not admit it I think they enjoyed it too. After that we went to see Couple's Retreat followed by dinner at Fat Katz.

Out to eat with my incredibly supportive family

Sunday, Oct. 11, I started out the morning early packing some, then went to church with mom & dad. After church we quickly arrived home so dad didnt miss too much of the Cowboy game, ate lunch, then headed to town to pick up a few more things I needed & did a little shopping at the mall of course!

Upon returning home, we grabbed the food that we made to take the Bilberry's then had the honor to take it to their sweet new family & meet Miss Maddie in person before I leave. What a gorgeous girl... & so content!! I could just eat her up!!!

My mom asked me if I wanted a picture with Madelyn...
what was she thinking??? DUH!!!!

Gushing over this precious miracle from the Lord

Mom is very much looking forward to having a lil grandbaby of her own someday!

Kathryn, Maddie, Luke & Me. This couple is truly reflect the light of Christ

Yes, I gave her back to her sweet momma!
God bless this sweet family.

When we got back home from the Bilberry's the Lackey's came by to say bye & gave me a little something.. books & bath & body works. Two of my favorite things! I finished most of my packing... here is the progression of filling up my suitcase.

This is how the packing looked at first...
One large suitcase (empty still) & a duffle bag

So then I filled the first large suitcase & mom thought that I could go with a medium second suitcase rather than two large. I told her if I wasnt able to
fill the other large one completely I could always transfer
to the medium one. She must have forgotten that her daughter has lots
of clothes & other must have items, plus I need plenty of items to keep me warm!

I was definitely able to pull off filling two large suitcases & a duffle bag with some overflow, go figure :)

Connor, Brittany & Rootbeer came over for our weekly family home cooked meal. This is the last time I'll see them till Christmas... It was really hard to say goodbye.

Look at Rootbeer... so photogenic!

There are two lasting bequests we can give our
children. One is roots. The other is wings.
~Hodding Carter, Jr.

Despite all the busyness of the weekend, it was full of lots of sweet time with
my family, something I cherish the most.

Thank you all for all your encouraging emails, facebook posts & messages,
phone call, texts & prayers. Your prayers have been felt & very much appreciated as I haveprepared for this chapter of my journey.
May God bless each of you- Meagan

My mom is going to be keeping you all updated as best she can (she might need a little extra tutoring with the blogging). If you would like to get in touch with her she is on facebook as Angela Foshee Vrba. Her phone & email is: 903.360.5547 avrba58@suddenlink.net.

Just in case you enjoy participating in snail mail:

Meagan Vrba
c/o Mercy Ministries
15328 Old Hickory Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37211

Depending on Him

While I was on the waiting list for Mercy I was given various books to read & write responses over. One of the books was about Emotional Dependency & how many of us depend on the wrong person, place or thing to find fulfillment & ultimately run into the same feeling of emptiness every time. I know I've sought dependence & fulfillment in the wrong things all throughout my life & that's been a huge part of why I have continuously struggled with ED....

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mercy Ministries

Drugs. Cutting. Abuse. Eating Disorders.Unplanned Pregnancy. Alcohol.

Choose death....
or choose healing through the Lord.
Choose LIFE!

At the bottom of my blog there is another video I posted about Mercy & their philosophy that is very powerful & moving. Make sure you check it out...
A Pathway of Hope in Him.

If God had Voicemail

I receive daily devotionals designed to help me begin my day with God's Word & give me a Spiritual Boost from Godsminute.com . One devotion that I recently got reminded me that God doesnt possess human qualities. I forget this a lot because Im surrounded by human's all the time, so its easy to project human qualities on God. To remember who God truly is its important that I spend time in the Word & in remain in constant contact with Him.

Now what if God changed like we do, and was to busy
to hear our prayers? Thank goodness God said:
"I am the Lord, I do not change." (Malachi 3:6)
So sit back and enjoy a humorous look at what prayer might
be like today if He did!
We have all learned to live with "voice mail" as a necessary part of modern life. But, have you wondered, what if God decided to
install voice mail?

Imagine praying and hearing this:
Thank you for calling My Father's House.
Please select one of the following options:
Press 1 for Requests
Press 2 for Thanksgiving
Press 3 for Complaints
Press 4 for All Other Inquiries.

What if God used the familiar excuse..."I'm sorry, all of our angels are busy helping other sinners right now. However, your prayer is important to us and will be answered in the order it was received,so please stay on the line. "Can you imagine getting these responses as you call God in
Prayer? If you would like to speak to:

Gabriel, Press 1
Michael, Press 2
For a directory of other angels, Press 3
If you'd like to hear King David sing a psalm while you are holding,
please press 4.
To find out if a loved one has been assigned to Heaven,
Press 5, enter his or her social security number, then
press the pound key. (If you get a negative response, try
area code 666.)
For reservations at "My Father's House" please enter J-O-H-N,
followed by 3-1-6.

What if you heard, our computers show that you have already
prayed once today. Please hang up and try again tomorrow.
( or )
This office is closed for the weekend to observe a religious
holiday. Please pray again Monday after 9:30 AM. If you need
emergency assistance when this office is closed, contact your
local Pastor.
Thank GOD, He Doesn't Have Voice Mail And
He Always Listens When We Pray!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Childlike Faith

A couple of my favorite pictures
from when I was a little girl,
living in childlike faith...
how freeing it is to live carefree,
vulnerable, trusting & to the fullest.
I will embrace this childlike faith as a way of life
no matter what age I am.

"Truly, I say to you, whoever
does not receive the kingdom of
God like a child shall not enter it."
Mark 10:15

What I get out of my Eating Disorder (ED)...

There is a reason we do the things we do... exercise, studying, drinking, dieting, getting into unhealthy relationships, lying, sleeping, smoking, shopping, ect. We continue acting on a particular thing because we get something out of it, some sort of payoff or reward. To recognize why you participate in these actions, or what your motivation is for continuing to hang on to a certain habit (whether positive/negative) in your life its important to evaluate what you get out of the behavior you're participating in. For example: I study because I make better grades.

So the question is, what do I get out of my ED???
(Please read in a non-judgemental way, this is extremely honest)
  • security
  • control
  • keeps me at arms length in friendships/relationship so I dont get hurt emotionally or sexually
  • people dont expect as much from me when I'm struggling
  • keeps me small so guys arent sexually attracted to me
  • occupies my mind when I dont want to deal with my emotions
  • I use it as an excuse to get out of uncomfortable situations that Im too scared to face honestly
  • I feel like I dont know what I am without it (its all I have known for a long time)
  • self-sabatoge
  • self punishment for past sins
  • its my voice
  • feel anxious/out of control without it
  • keeps me somewhat needy/dependent on my parents
  • keeps me from having to completely grow up
From my list I can obviously conclude that continuing to participate in my ED is not a healthy thing, but self destructive in many ways. My motivation for my ED is based on past fears, hurts or lies that I must face & deal with appropriately.

Besides the obvious physical toll ED takes on my body, its self destructive in many other ways as well. It steals:
  • God
  • time
  • friends
  • money
  • feelings
  • maturity
  • peace of mind
  • family
  • opportunities
  • jobs
  • boyfriends
  • enjoyment/fulfillment
  • assertiveness
  • self esteem
  • hope
  • hobbies
"The thief comes only to
steal, kill & destroy;
I came that they may have life &
have it abundantly."
John 10:10

Evaluate the things that you do... what you are getting out of them & whether or not these pieces of you life are stealing from you or adding something positive in shaping you in becoming more fully who Christ made you to be!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Things Im going to Miss

Being away for 6 months I know that there will be tons of people & things that Im going to miss. Here are a few of those things that I care about, love & at times feel like I cant live without that wont be available to me while Im away.
some things are a bit ridiculous & perhaps even unhealthy habits that I seek comfort in at times... no laughing!

My family, of course!

Home & MILD Texas winters

My animals

my beverages

all my incredible friends
(if your not pictured it doesnt mean youre not a part of my circle of friends...
I just need a picture with you!)

My cell phone

My Bed

My MacBook

shopping & meals w/ mom

My church

my dad telling jokes & talking politics



Its sinking in...

It's starting to sink in that I will be leaving very soon. I dont know that I will truly feel as though Im actually finally going to Mercy till I walk through the front doors. I have been waiting for this, as patiently as possible, for so long now that I cant believe its finally about to happen! My emotions are mixed & very bittersweet... Im hopeful, fearful, excited, uncertain, anxious, sad & most of all grateful.

This is completely different from anything that I have ever done before in so many ways, which is not a bad thing at all. When I have sought treatment for my ED in the past I never experienced having to wait. Before I was able to pick up the phone, tell the facility I needed/wanted help, get the insurance approval & within a few days I was there. With Mercy I had to apply, have an interview, be accepted, & wait for anundetermined amount of time. And treatment at Mercy doesnt begin when I walk through the doors, even though I tried to pull that off. It has been going on theentiretime I've been on the waiting list. I've done assignments & was given a meal plan to follow & many other things to prepare me for my time there. For a while I attempted to 'please' Mercy by doing all that was asked of me, BUT follow the meal plan & not continue to lose weight. This got me nowhere closer to admittance to Mercy only further away & at risk of losing the opportunity to go because of my lack of willingness, motivation & positive progress.

In all honesty, its strange going into treatment not completely suffocated by my ED.Its been important for me to remember that just because I've made some progress physically, mentally & spiritually doesnt mean I dont still need help. Trust me, I have thought numerous times after getting out of the hospital in August that Mercy was not needed. Luckily I have an awesome support system to hold me accountable in following through with going to Mercy (thanks yall)!

Mercy is a piece of my recovery journey & a vital one at that. I've gotten some good physical stability under my belt from being in the hospital, now its time to get to the real healing spiritually! Just because this is a incomparable path of receiving help & I'm in a different place than I usually am doesnt mean that is not needed. Different is good, especially since what Im 'used to' hasnt worked. Im sure the mixed emotions about all this have to do with the unknown of this whole journey ahead of me... a sense of being out of control, which I despise! I believe Im holding on to something that I need to give to God...

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans
to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

My life-long affirmation:

I'm worth my weight in LOVE!!

(this is a card my bff Beth sent me as a reminder
of what really matters. Thanks B!)

Misconceptions about Eating Disorders

Over the years I have shared with many people about my eating disorder (ED), but I havent always been able to explain in the myths & misconceptions about EDs. Anorexia, Bulimia & Compulisive Overeating each carry their own 'stigmas,' making it difficult for objective people to truly grasp what an ED is all about.

Misconceptions include, but aren't limited to:
  • People with EDs just want attention
  • EDs are about the food
  • Normal-weight or overweight people cant have EDs
  • People with EDs dont want help
  • EDs only affect white adolescent girls
  • EDs are not cureable
  • People w/ EDs dont like food or have no appetite

I know for me this has been tough at times & in other girls I've talked to, they have had similar experiences. We've dealt with: broken friendships, people giving up on you, divorce, people holding on to the expectation that eating will cure ED, ED not being diagnosed or misdiagnosed, submission to the lie that nothing can be done about the ED, treating the symptoms of EDs & not getting to the ROOT, lack of knowledge over seriousness & many other negative consquences of this misconceptions.

Re-Evaluating Our Beliefs

EDs are medical & psychological diseases – they are the most fatal mental health disorders in existence. If left untreated, these curable disorders can become a life sentence. If you are guilty of any of these misconceptions, please remember to have compassion for those suffering from EDs & other conditions, & work to serve as a positive influence in their lives. You never know how your words & actions, whether they are positive or negative will affect the person.

Many people suffer in silence & avoid seeking ED treatment for fear of being judged. ED sufferers are not callous, self-absorbed individuals to be judged & rejected. They are “high-functioning, charming, intelligent, wonderful individuals whose best traits have been covered up by their disorder,” says Dr. Cole, & they are worthy of your attention and support.

(paraphrased from outside source)