As I was driving into work today (Yes, work! Like a normal human being! I digress.), I caught sight of a storm in my rear view mirror. It was miles off, slowly making its way toward me and the guy riding my bumper was acting as if he was trying to race the storm. I thought briefly about speeding up and racing forward so the storm couldn’t catch me. Then I realized how silly that would be.
Why waste energy outrunning a storm that isn’t there yet? Why live your life in a highly anxious state where the next disaster is always just around the corner or just catching up to you?
I chose instead to enjoy the drive. To drive slowly and mindfully, noticing the color of the sky, the feel of the wind coming through the windows, the sound of the music on the radio. I arrived at my destination calm, much calmer than if I had raced a storm that never caught up with me.
That’s sort of where I am in my recovery. The storm is in the background, but I have been granted this rest, this period where things are not so imminently threatening and I can drive slowly. Perhaps even enjoy the drive. I can take time to praise God for this rest, knowing that the storm is still there, but for once it’s not right on top of me. I can breathe.
Later, the storm did come. I was driving in the car, wondering how I was going to get everything I’d just bought for the shop into the shop without getting drenched. I briefly wondered if I shouldn’t have tried to outrun the storm this time, knowing that it had been coming when I left the shop to run errands. Now I was stuck in the storm, with no way out but through.
I wondered if this is where my happy-recovery-metaphor fell apart. I wondered if eventually I wouldn’t find myself in the midst of torrential downpours all over again because I refused to run further away from the storm when I had the chance. I wondered if this storm wouldn’t leave me soaked to the bone like a drowned rat, desperately grasping on to the log that is my eating disorder.
I raced back to the shop, lunch for the guys in hand, ready to run through the storm. But when I arrived, one of the guys had opened the large garage door in the shop, allowing me to pull my car in. I emptied my car from errands and was never hit by a single raindrop.
Then I remembered: there is shelter in the storm. If the eating disorder storm eventually catches up to me, there is shelter.
I just have to know Who He is and enter through the door He has already opened.