During a recent time of discipleship with a friend named Jaime we shared a conversation that created an “Aha” moment for us both.
For years, Jaime has struggled with low self esteem that has resulted in coping behaviors such as cutting and eating disorders. Recently Jaime’s health spiraled out of control. Several medications and a feeding tube later, her health started to regain stability.
One night while struggling with weariness, Jaime contacted me for prayer.
She said, “I want to vent by pulling out my tube and eating. But, I know that’s what is killing me so I am not going to do that. I am discouraged about whether I will really receive complete healing from all of this.”
As we conversed, I inwardly asked God to show me how to reach out to her. With no formal training in counseling, I felt unsure how to proceed. But, I knew she was doing the right thing by reaching out for accountability.
A week or so before this, a family member and I had talked about going into what she called “default mode”. (much like a printer being set up as a default) She said when someone would say something hurtful, she would often get offended. When she became aware of this, she changed her “default mode” of offense to something more positive.
That evening, I remembered this conversation and said to Jaime, “I understand why you do this. You want to fall back on your default mode of eating, smoking and cutting as a way to vent because this is what you have always done in the past. So, the question is how can you rewrite that today?”
We agreed that taking the tube out was a step backwards. Leaving it in and getting accountability were steps forward, in essence rewriting her default.
I shared with her that each time this struggle occurs; there is a battle within and a choice to be made. Even if you have just heard a great message or read an inspiring verse, none of us are immune to challenges and we all have a choice. But we can all overcome if we lean on the one who lives inside of us. And we can draw strength from those people that God puts in our lives to help us.
In reminding her of these things, I too saw the areas that I regularly “default” to and renewed my commitment to myself to make positive change that lasts.