This week is our family’s annual trip to Fairmont, a time that is looked forward to by all members of the Wind family. Granted, it’s a bit of a smaller group this year, but it’s still wonderful to get away. Unfortunately, one of the highlights – the swimming pool – isn’t happening because of pool renovations this year. So, we headed out to the hot springs this afternoon for a swim, and were able to use the diving boards. This is a big deal, since they are usually closed at night which is when we generally go to the hot springs (it’s cheaper then).
What’s my point, right? Well, we sat in the hot pool, watching people climb the stairs up to the high diving board. Some jumped right off with confidence, others were a little more tentative, some were downright scared. I watched one lady stand there and hem and haw about jumping, and I thought “seriously, you’re a grown up. Just jump already.”
It was this thought that came back to me when I came across this blog tonight, Fighting Octopus. This blog is written by a mom whose daughter is fighting anorexia and is now battling through recovery – a story somewhat similar to ours. In one of her posts, she compared an eating disorder to jumping off the high diving board:
“A woman I work with shared a analogy she heard when her daughter was battling anorexia last year – imagine you are terrified of heights and someone puts you on the highest diving board and then shouts – what is wrong – just jump off. That is how Becca feels when she is in front of food – the fear and anxiety is huge and saying well just eat it – doesn’t work. So because of that fear the treatment is hard.” (https://wordpress.com/read/post/id/96644597/8)
I don’t understand being afraid of food. I just don’t get it. So my natural reaction is to look at Katie and say “just eat it.” Simple, right? It’s just not.
Recovery is a long journey – we’re nowhere near done. It’s a struggle, every single day. For Katie, for me, for our entire family. We’re here as extended family, and I see my parents watch helplessly as Katie says “no thanks” to dessert, when all we want to do is scoop her some extra ice cream.
It’s just such a helpless feeling. I can encourage, support, empathize – the whole thing. But I can’t make her eat. I can’t make Katie be as determined as I am in her recovery. It’s so frustrating – I can see the answer to her problems. It’s very simple. But I can’t do it for her – she has to choose it for herself.
I think maybe that’s a little bit how it is for God – He watches us, and He knows the answers to our problems, He can see the solutions. But He’s given us free will, so He watches – watches us make the wrong choice again and again and again. I’m sure it hurts Him, just as it hurts us when our children make wrong choices, making their lives more difficult.
But, just as our Heavenly Father continues to love, I need to continue to love. To stay the course, to keep supporting, keep encouraging, keep being there to pick up the pieces. ‘Cuz she’s my baby, and this is what parents do.