Master Plans and Baby Steps in Recovery

I hate baby steps.  Similarly to how I hate that I’m not able to write posts twice per week like I had planned.  When I have an idea, I want to dive into it fully and accomplish as much as I can.  When I have a vision of how I want something to turn out, I can tell you all the steps I need to take to get from Point A to Point B…all the way to Point Z.  I’m a planner.  I have a feeling some of you can relate?

My Life Plan
16-year old Erin’s plan for life

Have any of you pictured what recovery from your eating problems might look like, and ended up somewhere completely different from what you expected?  Maybe you thought you just needed to attend a few therapy sessions, but found yourself in a residential treatment program?  Perhaps you were motivated and excited to receive a meal plan from your dietitian, but instead she chattered on about intuitive eating without giving you any concrete instructions.  “WHY?” you are thinking.  “Why isn’t this going the way I want it to?”

Why?  His ways are not our ways…he thinks totally different from us (Isaiah 55:8).  Even if he tries explaining his reasoning, I bet we wouldn’t begin to understand it.  I’m right there with you though.  Lately, he’s been telling me to take baby steps in areas of my life where I want to make leaps.  He’s been telling me to rest and do nothing when all I want is to accomplish something.  “Wait, Jesus, let me get this right…in order to minister to others, you want me to meditate by myself for 5 minutes a day?  Uhh, that’s it?  How is that related?”  Not my ways, your ways.  (Eventually he showed me how it is related and I never would have thought of it that way.  Because I’m not God…duh.)

My multi-step plan, although good, could never even make a tiny dent in the plans that the Creator of the Universe has for me.  My plan feels safe and seems logical.  However, God is the one who KNOWS ALL and SEES ALL and is ALL-POWERFUL.  Following his plan is easy (Matthew 11:30); it grows and matures me (Romans 5:3-4); it is designed specifically for my personality and strengths (1 Corinthians 12:15-20), and his plan prevails (Proverbs 19:21).

If you like to have control (…who doesn’t?), trusting in a plan that you can’t see is challenging.  The solution? Faith.  How do we have faith?  Baby steps.  Faith is belief in action.  We are directed on which actions to take one step at a time (Psalm 119:105).

Baby Steps
My daughter taking the trail one small step at a time.

 

So, if you’ve felt a nudge from God, do it!  Take a small step of faith to increase your trust in God’s plan for you, knowing it’s likely different (but way better) than your plan.  God’s nudges can take many different forms.  It can be something you read directly from the Bible.  It can be encouragement from a wise and trusted friend.  It’s a random quiet thought that pops into your head that feels loving and is consistent with God’s Word (John 14:26).  It can be a theme that keeps coming up again and again.  It may not seem related to what you’re asking for (like how I asked God how I can minister to others and he told me to meditate by myself), but his ways are mysterious, right?

A baby step leading you further down the path of recovery could look like…

  • Inviting a friend over for breakfast
  • Trying out a new hobby
  • Asking your mom to attend a family therapy session (Exodus 20:12)
  • Donating your treadmill
  • Deleting a calorie-counting app
  • Not worrying about what meals to plan this week (Matthew 6:25)
  • Making that phone call

These are just examples; God is the one to tell you what the next step is for you right now.  If it is a quiet, gentle nudge that is consistent with his Word, it’s probably him.  It might not be something you really want to do and it might be the opposite of what the world is telling you.  BUT it shouldn’t feel forced or burdensome…that’s probably not him.

Please share your experience with taking baby steps.  Did it lead to something you wouldn’t have expected?  Comment below 🙂

 

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