Monday, May 31, 2010

An Honor


I have to share with you something exciting that I got to participate in this past weekend. Before I left for Mercy back in October my dear friend of many years, Leslie Bell, asked me to be her maid of honor. I was beyond shocked and so flattered, but was hesitant to accept because I knew that I was going to be away for the next six months at least. Leslie didn’t care and she let me know that she was fully aware of my lack of availability for the next several months and that did not change her mind in having me as her maid of honor. Her and her mom both told me not to worry, just to go and take care of myself and they would be praying for me and waiting for my return.



What a blessing... see for many years now I feel that I have really missed out on a lot. I dont say this for people to feel sorry for me or to feel sorry for myself, its just the truth. Anorexia stole a lot from me, but because of my choices. I was definitely a participant, whether I realized it or not. I wanted anorexia, an illusion more than I wanted what really matters in life, God, family and friends. I thought I would never get the opportunity to be in any friend's weddings, much less be a bridesmaid, but Leslie chose ME as her Maid of Honor! I, of course, did worry that I wouldnt be home in time for the wedding, but I eventually placed it in God's hand's knowing that he knew what an honor and blessing this was for me so why wouldnt he work it out for me to be there? I know that this is one of the many things God is in the process of redeeming in my life while fulfilling the desires of my heart.


So, on May 25, 2010, 12 days after I got back to Texas from Nashville I got to see Leslie for the first time at her bachelorette party. That same evening I finally got to meet her husband to be, Joel Reeves.



Four days later, May 29, 2010, I spent the day out at Elmwood Gardens with the wedding party rehearsing, decorating and getting all dolled up for the wedding celebration. At 7pm I had the honor of witnessing the beautiful marriage of Leslie Faith Bell to Joel Reeves. What a great illustration of Christ's love for us. God made us male and female, so that we could understand, through experience, the intimate pleasures of a personal relationship. Virtually every difference of our bodies from the other primates was brought about for this end. But it is the spiritual relationship that God is most concerned with. The intimate marital relationship between husband and wife is 'right,' because it conforms to the spiritual relations. I love this explanation of Christ's bride.

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery -- but I am talking about Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:31-32

I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 2 Corinthians 11:2

Love your wife as Christ also loved the church. Ephesians 5:25

Congratulations Leslie and Joel! May your marriage be blessed beyond measure!




Tuesday, May 25, 2010

God's Butterfly

The morning after my graduation God spoke to me about the significance of two gifts I received one at the beginning of my Mercy journey and one at the end. I wanted to share this cool illustration of how cool God is to care about every last detail of our lives....

The day before I left for Mercy in October Connor and Brittany gave me a beautiful James Avery charm for no particular reason except to mark the beginning of this journey for me.

La Mariposa (butterfly) Charm

At the time I knew a couple different things about what butterflies represented:
*Recovery*
*New Life*
Little did I know the significance this charm would have at the end of my Mercy journey when I received a second James Avery Charm from my Godmother and her husband.


The Crosslet Butterfly Charm.
The solid butterfly with a tiny cross cut through reflects a symbol of faith. The butterfly is a symbol of the Resurrection. The beautiful form of the butterfly bursting forth from the seemingly lifeless chrysalis suggests Christ's victory over death.

The day after I graduated from Mercy I gazed in the mirror admiring my precious new piece of jewelry and pondering all that God had done in the last several months and this is what God laid on my heart...
The first charm, the cut out butterfly, represents what the beginning of this journey looked like for me, empty, but new life in the making. The second charm, the crosslet butterfly, represents the end of my time at Mercy after God got done with that chapter in my life, whole, complete, new and full of God (illustrated by the cross). After God blessed me with this I did a little research about butterflies and the meaning of James Avery's pieces I received and the message became even more powerful.....
The second charm I received represents Christ's victory over death, satan, in my own personal life. I am the butterfly, full and complete, with Him living on the inside of me and outwardly manifesting in my life.
Other things that I've learned butterflies symbolize:
*Freedom*
*Transformation*
*Soul*
*Delicacy*
I couldnt help but think of two different illustrations of the butterfly in a couple of things that I have read recently and want to share those.

The Butterfly and the Cocoon
One day a small opening appeared on a cocoon. And a man sat and waited by the butterfly as it struggled to get out of the cocoon, as it forced it's body through the newly formed little hole. Then it seemed to stop making progress.

To the man it appeared to have gotten as far as it could. So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pear of scissors and snipped through the remaining cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. Thou it had a swollen body and small shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly, because he expected that in any moment the wings would enlarge and expand and would be able to support the body that would contract in time. But to his surprise neither happened. In fact the butterfly spent the rest of it's life crawling around with the swollen body and shriveled wings. Never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and hast did not understand, is that the restricting cocoon and the struggle was required for that butterfly to get through the tinny opening. It was natures way for forcing the fluid from the body into it's wings, so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved it's freedom from the cocoon.

The moral of the story...

Life's struggles help build character. While there is great wisdom in this idea, when you're in the middle of a struggle, knowing that you're building character doesn't bring much relief. It's usually only after the situation has been resolved that we can reflect on our experience and assess the impact it had on our life. I have found this to be true in my life. Being in the in a place where I felt so hopeless and stuck it was hard to think this was making me a better person.

At the end of the day, we can either allow our challenges to pummel us and leave us feeling beaten down by life, or we can choose to consciously walk through each challenge with God and learn from the experience. The latter can truly build strength and wisdom when we allow it to and not become bitter because of what we face.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Romans 5:1-5

An excerpt from the book: TrueFaced
(Subject: Living out of who God says I am)
If my motive is trusting God, then my value will be living out who God says I am and my action will be standing with God, with my sin in front of us to work on together. Let's look at the value that flows from trusting God- living out of who God says I am. Have we already been changed? Yes. As day is from night, we have changed. We have received a new heart, for crying out loud! We have a brand-new core identity. We have already been changed, and now we get to mature into who we already are.
Consider the caterpillar. If we brought a caterpillar to a biologist and asked him to analyze it and describe its DNA, he would tell us, "I know this looks like a caterpillar to you, but scientifically, in every testable result, including DNA, this is fully and completely a butterfly." Wow! God has wired into a creature that looks nothing like a butterfly, a perfectly complete butterfly "identity." And because the caterpillar is a butterfly in essence, it will one day display attributes of a butterfly. The caterpillar matures into what is already true about it. In the meantime, berating the caterpillar for not being more like a butterfly is not only futile, it might actually harm its hearing!
So it is with us. God has given us the DNA of godliness. We are saints. Righteous. Nothing we do will make us more godly or saintly than we already are.
Nothing we do will alter this reality. God knows our DNA. He knows that we are "Christ in me." And now he is asking us to join Him in what He knows is true!

"For here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to take you out of these countries, gather you from all over, and bring you back to your own land. I'll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. I'll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I'll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that's God-willed, not self-willed. I'll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands. You'll once again live in the land I gave your ancestors. You'll be my people! I'll be your God!
"
Ez. 36:24

So much truth in two small gifts...
Thank you Connor, Brittany, Robbyn and Keith for being a vessel for God to touch my heart and Im sure the hearts of many others.

I loved these pictures and thought they depicted this blog post well.

to the light by rosiehardy.
A broken, empty beautiful butterfly
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosie_hardy/2867746111/in/photostream/

freedom by rosiehardy.A free, transformed, gorgeous butterfly living for her Godhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/rosie_hardy/2865249809/in/photostream/

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Revelations

I dont even know where to begin as far as sharing what the Lord has done in my life over the last few month so I thought that I would start out by sharing several revelations the Lord has given to me that I will hold close to my heart forever...

  • Christ in Me:
"For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." Col. 3:3

"God doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; he's near. We live and move in him, can't get away from him! One of your poets said it well: 'We're the God-created.' " Acts. 17:24-29

"You realize, don't you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God's temple, you can be sure of that. God's temple is sacred—and you, remember, are the temple." 1Cor. 3:16-17
*I have always struggled with loving myself, all of me, body, mind, heart, soul and spirit. The Lord has shown me how to love and accept myself the way he made all of me by the words of these verses. Because he is a part of me and I love him, then I automatically am loving and accepting myself. He is part of me. When I think degrading thoughts about myself I am not only hurting myself, but I am hurting God. Its saying that the way he made me is not good enough and he is not good enough (since he is a part of me). How can I not love, accept and respect myself when Christ himself is in me!?!
  • Beautiful:
    " You're beautiful from head to toe, my dear love,
    beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless." Songs 4:7
*Comparison of others whether it be physical looks, personality traits, spiritual maturity, or tangible belongings can bring about quite a bit of discontentment. I have found myself doing this a lot in the past (and sometimes still battle), but God has given me some insight into this verse and how to apply it to my life. God only created one Meagan Nicole Vrba, therefore I cant compare myself and my life to others because there is no other Meagan with my DNA, personality and spirituality to compare myself to. I was created by God to fit into the mold that he made for me, not someone else's mold. When I lust after what others have and try to 'be like them,' its never enough to satisfy. Why? because wasnt created to fit in your mold and you were not created to fit in mine. God loves me so much that he made me unique. The more I am able to accept and love all of me exactly the way God made me and yield to his desires for me, the more I fit into my God-created, Meagan Nicole Vrba, mold. And within that mold beauty and flawlessness is found in the eyes of the Lord.

  • Demonic Illusions:
"The Spirit makes it clear that as time goes on, some are going to give up on the faith and chase after demonic illusions put forth by professional liars. These liars have lied so well and for so long that they've lost their capacity for truth. They will tell you not to get married. They'll tell you not to eat this or that food—perfectly good food God created to be eaten heartily and with thanksgiving by believers who know better! Everything God created is good, and to be received with thanks." 1 Tim. 4:1-5
*For so long I was told and believed that anorexia was a disease that I would have 'manage' for the rest of my life. The world has tried to explain away why people struggle with different things only to find often that their 'fixes' never truly bring freedom The Lord has given me the realization of how untrue it is that anorexia is a disease- the truth will set you free. Anorexia is a spiritual battle, a demonic illusion that I sought after blindly for over 12 years. Its not something I have to 'manage' for the rest of my life Christ has set me free, so indeed I am free. There is so much freedom in this truth and the fact that I have authority over anorexia, the enemy, through Christ in me.

  • Freedom:
"Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you." Gal. 5:1
*About a month ago someone asked me if I had received complete healing and freedom from anorexia and I hesitated in my response. I thought 'Im not free, the thoughts and temptations are still present.' But the more I wrestled with and prayed about this I discovered ... I AM FREE, ever since I accepted Christ he made me free. There will still be thoughts and temptations because 1) satan is alive and well, ready to devour and 2) we live in a fallen world, things happen because of our sin nature. It's what I do in those moments when the thoughts and temptations come in that I am able to choose Christ, my path of freedom. Obedience to God time after time will determine the level or freedom I experience. So the question is: How free do I want to be?

Free to be ME!
(no matter what I am doing and how
silly I look I know that I am loved)

video

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Four Awesome Young Women Graduate from Mercy!

(This is straight from the blog of Nancy Alcorn)


Yesterday, I had the joy of graduating four of our Nashville residents from Mercy – Meagan, Alexa, Christin, and Lauren (pictured left/right). Hearing the testimonies of how God totally changes and transforms lives never gets old, so I wanted to share part of their testimonies with you…

Meagan, Alexa, Nancy, Christin, and Lauren

Meagan grew up in a Christian home, but did not have a personal relationship with God. She came to Mercy after struggling with an eating disorder for 12 years. During her time at Mercy, God showed Meagan that she is worthy and accepted. Meagan now knows that she is beautiful and loves what she sees when she looks in the mirror! After graduating, Meagan is moving home and plans to finish her last year of school, get involved in her local church, and continue pursuing all that God has in store for her. Way to go, Meagan!


Please join me in celebrating Christin, Alexa, Meagan, and Lauren as they graduate from Mercy! I am so proud of all of you!!