What a perfect day to both end my 31 Days to Food Addiction Recovery series and discuss moving forward! Today is my 14-year sobriety birthday. I am shocked and amazed with each passing year how much time has lapsed since those horrific days I was held hostage by drugs and alcohol. Even with all of this time away from those demons, I still struggle with forgiving myself. The book A Confident Heart could not have entered my life at a better moment. I am ready. Ready to forgive myself and move forward…
I was so relieved to read Renee Swope’s words about God’s promises:
“God works all things together for good.
You were created for a purpose.
God has a plan for your life.”
I didn’t always believe these promises. I spent so much time lost and hurt, not believing I was worthy of forgiveness. Not believing there was a Father who loved me.
Like Renee, I felt abandoned by my father when he left us in my childhood. I was certain there was something damaged in me that made him want to leave. This experience, as a child, can make it hard to ever trust someone called the Father.
As I have grown older, I’ve come to realize God, the Father, is not the man that walked out of my life all those years ago. He was always there working on me, developing me into a woman who would one day be able to help others with her story.
“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.”
He always had a plan for my life. I had to suffer through the pain of addiction and abandonment in order to not only sympathize with other hurting women, but to empathize with them. To be able to say, “I have been there. I understand. I feel your pain…”
It can be really hard to share such personal struggles with the incredibly large audience that is the Internet. I never know who will come across my words and how harshly they will judge me. That cannot be my concern. I feel called to be open and honest, to let go of any preconceived notions of who I am supposed to be and how my life was supposed to play out.
My goals for Moving Forward:
- Stay transparent. Keep sharing my story, trying to reach as many lost souls as possible.
- Continue to limit sugar, flour, and wheat. I have not been perfect the last 31 days, as I have openly shared. Overall, I am happy with what I have learned even when my addiction got the best of me. Full disclosure: I had 2 pieces of Halloween candy last night but I was able to stop at that. I will take it as a win…
- Find balance in my life. I want to make sure I’m giving all I can to God, my family, this blog, my health and so many other important areas.
- Learn how to forgive… It is time for me to let go of the past. I must find a way to forgive not only myself, but also all those, like my dad, who have hurt me along the way.
I don’t even know how to begin to thank those of you who have journeyed with me the past 31 days. You are the reason I have come this far and I hope you will all stick around.
If you are new here, welcome and please get to know me better at Meet Candace.
Thank you for sharing your story Candace <3
Thank you for visiting, Meg :)!
It is great to see that you have such a positive note about moving forward. I really like how you even put up a goal list. I think I might have to steal that idea to keep myself moving forward! God Bless!
Thanks Ashley! Please feel free to steal it! I love goal setting. I’m working on having more flexibility in the outcome, but I still like to set them.
Candace, this is such a GREAT post…it truly, truly moved me. I’m here reading it at my office and I had to fight back my tears because I don’t want my students to come in and see me bawling…at any rate, even though I had never struggled with substance addiction and I don’t know the horror of being abandoned by one’s father, your words touched my soul for both those struggles have to do with loss, and unfortunately, who in this world doesn’t have to deal with that? So, although the way you had to experience loss through your own particular struggles and trials may not be personally known to me, the pain is all too familiar. Therefore, I can tell you that you have accomplished your first goal of moving forward, for you have touched my soul : ) and I’m sure many, many others as well, some of which you may never hear from, but you know your reached me. You are a brave woman of God and He is using you in mighty ways, and the exciting thing is that He will continue to use you for the furthering of His kingdom as you exhibit such willingness of heart. It will be really thrilling to see where He takes you, my friend! I’m honored to be here to witness it. Big hugs!
As always Gisela, you have made my day with your comment! Honestly, before I posted this, I was worried it was a little scattered. I so appreciate you and your incredible encouragement. God is really working on me to share more of my past. Some days I really fight it, but I’m following His lead :).
Candace, thank you for sharing from your heart. You certainly have a story to share with so many others who have dealt with loss in their life, as well as addiction. Each of us has our own scars, and each of our scars tell a story. I am thankful for your story and that God’s plan to give you a hope and a future brought you to this OBS to share. Jer. 29:11 was also my verse that God gave to me as I went through a time of brokenness – but His plans are oh so much bigger and better than ours, and yes, He can make Beauty from Ashes, as is evidenced from your life story. Blessings to you dear sister, as you continue to minister to those God places in your path <3
Thank you for your sweet comment, Dianna! Jer. 29:11 is one of my favorite verses. I have it hanging in my house to look at often. Blessings to you as well!
Kris Danko (OBS Small Group Leader)
Thank you for sharing your story!! I love how you have goals and steps for how to move forward!
Creating a plan is so important. I love to make lists :). Thanks so much for taking the time to visit and comment, Kris!
Tonya McCoy ~ OBS Group Leader
Candace, this blog is GREAT! I am so excited to hear you say you are ready to forgive herself & move forward. You keep sharing & doing what God has called you to do. He will lead who he wants to hear your words right where they need to be. I love your moving forward goals! Very proud of you!
Your support means so much to me Tonya! Thank you! I was thrilled when I saw the topic for this week. It was so perfect for my sobriety birthday. It is awesome how God works those things out for us!
Thank you for sharing your story and sharing Isaiah 43:18 I definitely needed that today!
I’m so glad it could bring you some peace today, Mel. I was happy to be led to it when I was writing this. Thanks for visiting!
Jill (Group 19)
Candice, thanks for sharing your story. I was touched by how you were able to move past your addiction.
It took me a long time to finally get past it. I feel incredibly blessed today. Thanks so much for stopping by, Jill!
What a powerful post! Self-forgiveness is sooooo hard yet soooooo freeing! Praying for you on your forward-moving journey.
Thank you for your prayers Jennifer! You are so right about self-forgiveness. I believe it is the hardest kind.
Mary Eidson Rose
Candace, loved this one, too. I’m always looking for balance in my life along with a food addiction. I lost 140 lbs.several years ago but started gaining again & finally am back on WW. I have lost 20.2 lbs as of this week. It seems we all have our trials/tribulations in life but with God’s help we can overcome them all! Be blessed today!
Wow- 140 pounds! That is amazing Mary. I have been so up and down with my weight over the years. I have gained and lost the same 80 pounds at least 5 times over the past 10 years. It is so frustrating. Congrats on losing 20 with WW. I think it is a great program. Thank you so much for visiting me! I hope you had a very special day yesterday :)!
Thank you Candace, once again a beautiful blog. Thank you for your honesty, your openness, for being courageous to reach out to help other women with our struggles, whether it is food addiction, alcohol or drug addictions, etc.
Thanks Char for your sweet comment! It is always a pleasure to see you :).
Candy Cane, like the other ladies corrected noted your post was the bomb! It hit on all the areas we need to focus on as an individual no matter what struggle we are going through. God Bless and that Jeremiah scripture is one of my favorites when I feel I’m lost. Amen!
Thank you so much Camii! That is a great scripture, so full of hope for our dark days. Blessings to you too, my friend!
Thank you for this post and congrats on 14 years sobriety birthday 🙂
Thanks Michelle! I had a great day :).
I admire your transparency in this post. My pastor once said to be careful when talking to someone about God because when you call him Father, so many will shut you out because unfortunately, so many have been abandoned or abused by a father figure. So glad you have made it past that and are celebrating your recovery. I have struggled with my weight off and on for years and just ordered that Made to Crave book. I think my main problem is laziness or for some reason (maybe I will discover it while reading this book) I don’t think I deserve to have it. Thanks again for your honesty.
That is great advice from your pastor! I don’t know if you are familiar with Proverbs 31 ministries online studies, but I think the book starting in January is Made to Crave. I love that book. I used to always think my issue was laziness. It goes much deeper than that. I so agree with you- I really don’t think I deserve it is more likely the real issue. Thanks for visiting and connecting with me!
I thank you for yours words, I too held on to Jeremiah 29:11 to get keep, to get past quite a few things. My life was filled with sexual abuse. So the father figure was not what I wanted to relate God too. Struggled a lot with this. My addiction and protection in the end was food. If I had the weight behind me. (laugh out Loud) I would not receive the unwanted advances. The problem was I still wanted to be loved. I have come along way but I still have further to go and the Lord willing I will cling to him and overcome.
Thank you so much, Merry, for sharing your story with me. I think so many people with sexual abuse in their past have weight issues for the same reason you shared. Food addiction is so powerful. It is a daily struggle for me. Praying for you to continue to overcome!
You write with such sincerity! I love reading your posts. And never worry about those who would judge you harshly. You are reaching out and connecting with so many women who need that. Thank you again for sharing!
Thanks so much for your sweet encouragement, Kim! It is hard not to worry about what others think, but this book is already helping me with that :). I hope your week is getting better!
Your words: “It can be really hard to share such personal struggles with the incredibly large audience that is the Internet. I never know who will come across my words and how harshly they will judge me. That cannot be my concern. I feel called to be open and honest, to let go of any preconceived notions of who I am supposed to be and how my life was supposed to play out,” are encouragement for me. I’ve not blogged for more than a month, partly due to the possible judgements of others who would read my blog. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Do not quit telling your story, Jennifer! I just went to check out your blog and couldn’t stop reading. You are in a position to help so many others still caught in bad relationships. We can’t worry about what some will think when there are people who need to hear our stories. So glad to have connected with you this morning on OBS. I know you have been here before but I didn’t know you had a blog. You should enter your blog name when you comment so people can find you :). You are a survivor and should be proud! Keep in touch!