Be strong. Protect the Weak. Love Everyone. ™

Be STRONG SERIES guest post (Mollie Ryan)

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Everyone has a moment, or rather a collection of moments, where everything changes. For better or for worse, no life is stagnant. My first moment came when I was just thirteen, and it sent me down a path of self-destruction. Without going into too much detail, I began to feel mounting pressure about my size, and after watching a movie in my home economics class about a girl with anorexia nervosa, I decided that was the route I would take to get those I craved love and acceptance from to do just that. In my mind, their approval of me as a person laid solely in the number on the scale. 

Fast forward 18 months. Now fifteen years old, I was hooked up to IVs and heart monitors in a hospital after experiencing heart palpitations and an electrolyte imbalance from severe dehydration and self-starvation. Another moment. A moment that brought me low enough to admit that I wasn't strong. I was weak. And I needed help. 

In college, they cycle would reprise itself in my first semester, sending me home from a lifelong dream to begin seeking recovery and restoration. Another moment. 

Through solid, aggressive, Biblical counseling and with the support of my then boyfriend, now husband, and family I was able to regain what was lost to me through depression and my eating disorder. 

In motherhood, I have found myself faced with these demons yet again. Depression. Destructive eating habits. And now anxiety. The cycle of relapse, recovery and restoration continues to play out in my life at various, often times monumental transitional stages. Every time it looks a little different. Every time it changes just enough that my game plan for tackling the mountain has to adjust. The devil is sneaky, huh? 

When I was asked to contribute my story for this Be Strong series, I was terrified. How am I going to convey the message of being strong when I am so clearly weak? Weak enough that this same "thing" this same "thorn" keeps pushing me deeper and deeper into despair. Keeps rearing it's ugly head. Keeps stealing my joy. 

I determined that in my own struggle, there is always strength in Him. In Jesus I have victory! That admitting weakness, seeking help, pursuing the light is just as much an indicator of strength as being able to tackle something "on your own." Perhaps even more so!

Struggle, pain, fear, despair. These things do not mean you are weak. They mean there is a great Strength inside of you! And the first step in becoming strong is acknowledging and confessing these burdens, and committing to the fight! Because it's worth it. Because you're worth it. 

Fight. Don't give up. Be strong. Abundant life awaits, I promise. 

Mollie Ryan is a native Oklahoman, a wife to her wonderful husband of nearly five years Dustin, and a mother to three wonderful children: Pierce (4 y), Iris (2 yr), and Everett (1 yr). She loves to decorate, dance around with her littles, drink wine, and discuss real life struggles and triumphs over almond milk lattes. And in case you haven’t noticed, she has an affinity for alliteration. She was an elementary school teacher in a former life. Join Mollie, Mom of Three as she shares ideas, DIY projects, recipes, and her journey in faith and family.

To read more from Mollie check out her blog