We went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance – Psalm 66:12

My daughter, Francesca, developed an eating disorder.  The need to control coupled with her need to be “perfect” eventually threatened to destroy her life.  I did what any caring mother would do – I yelled, cried, pleaded, reasoned, threatened, negotiated, bribed, and generally created what my daughter called “The Food Wars”!  Nothing worked, not even eight weeks at a rehabilitation center.

One day, Francesca came into my office, smiling and joyful, full of life.  The dichotomy of her spirit with her appearance was so apparent that I began to cry.  She was so incredibly thin; she looked old and sickly.

“Francesca,” I told her, “you are killing yourself, and I can do nothing to stop it.  If you continue this way, you will die.”

She replied, “I don’t want to die, Mom.”

I told her, “I believe you, honey, but that is what is going to happen.  But after five years, I’ve realized that I can’t stop you.  No more fighting, and no more nagging.  I will just love you and pray for you.  I cannot control this, I never could, and I know this now.  The only one who can make the change is you with God’s help.”

Francesca began to cry, and we held each other in love and surrender.

My daughter’s eating disorder wasn’t instantly eliminated in that moment of surrender, but it was a catalyst for change.  Our relinquishing control and accepting God as the ultimate healer allowed her to change her behavior and seek medical attention.  And it allowed me to accept and have faith in God the Father.

Today, Francesca is healthy and has a beautiful baby boy.  In giving control to God, she regained a healthy life and has given life!  She is full of grace and thanksgiving, and cannot wait to teach her son about God, the great healer!

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