The Meadows Ranch proved to be just the right place for me, and by the second day God began to change my heart and fill me with hope as I put my trust in HIM. There were challenges while I was there, but the caring staff and especially the music and messages I experienced in Chapel continued to fill me with strength and hope.

When I returned home on Nov. 25th, 2007, I felt great and believed everything was going to be okay. However, even though I was using the skills I learned at The Meadows Ranch and following my treatment plan, I took my focus off of God and started looking to those around me to provide my strength and hope. I made them my foundation, and I began to sink again.

Fortunately, I had a strong support person that asked me one evening if I had ever asked God to be healed. After thinking for a moment, I realized that I had prayed for years but had never asked God to heal me. That night, I wrote the following in my journal:

“Lord, it is time. I want to be healed. I want to be well enough to let your light shine through me and touch others. Please Lord, send the Holy Spirit to fill me. Empower me to rise above this. If there is something deep inside me holding me back from fully accepting recovery, from embracing the new life you have for me, from letting go of the past, please open my eyes to it and help me to move beyond it. Help me to move beyond this, Lord. You said ask and ye shall receive, knock and the door shall be opened. I’ve been afraid to ask because I didn’t feel I deserved it. It is your will, Lord, but I don’t believe your will is for me to continue suffering with no gain. Lift this burden, Lord. I’m willing to take the steps I need, but I need your help to guide me, Lord. I’m willing to take the step, but I need your guidance. I trust you. Open my eyes. Open my ears. Open my mind. Open my heart—to you, Lord. Fill me with your Holy Spirit, that I may grow strong and serve You.” – April 28, 2008

The next morning I awoke with a sense of peace I can never describe, and I have not been the same since. I have continued on my path of recovery and each year gets a little easier. I may not love every part of my body, but I can finally say I like my body, for the first time in my life. I can enjoy food – ALL food – when and where I want, without guilt. The scale has no place in my life, because I refuse to let three digits consume my mind and define my life.

In August, I returned to graduate school to pursue my Masters in Social Work degree, and I hope to specialize in trauma and substance abuse. I will forever by grateful to The Meadows Ranch for bringing me back to life and giving me hope for healing.