I moved out of my very first college house yesterday. To be honest, I don’t quite know how to feel. Our landlord was the worst. I spent the majority of my time in that house seriously struggling with my eating disorder and resenting my time there.
And yet, I love it. Our house, the hive, is probably one of my favorite spots in Athens. My favorite spot in my house is our kitchen. It’s not very nice. It’s tiny. There is hardly any counter space. The oven never got hot enough.
For over half of my time in that house I avoided the kitchen at all costs. I don’t want to share any details that could be triggering to anyone – my sole purpose of writing this is to be encouraging and uplifting to others. I am simply sharing my experience in the hopes of others not feeling so alone if they are in a similar experience. It felt like the scariest, most unsafe place I could be. My shelves were stocked with foods I had deemed safe and totally stripped of anything that I used to enjoy. I felt like I couldn’t eat in front of others. Some days I would just avoid going in the kitchen at all.
One of my biggest struggles this year has been trusting that the Lord is a redeemer. By no means will I say that I just prayed and asked God to heal me and I was instantly better. That just wasn’t the case. However, with months of therapy, appointments with dietitians, and even medication, I began to find healing.
The space that once felt terrifying to me became one of the safest, most redemptive, and healing places for me.
Moving out yesterday was tough. I learned to love that kitchen. It became a safe place, a place of healing. My last few months in that kitchen were spent experimenting with new recipes, baking an absurd amount of bread until I got it just right, packing up orders of baked goods to share with friends, and never quite being able to keep up with the amount of dirty dishes I was going through.
It is by the grace of God that I started Yellow Apron Kitchen. I let my eating disorder strip me of so much, including the joy I experience around food. It is by the grace of God that I am in recovery. I have found that the thing that was my biggest struggle is now something that is life giving, joyful, and full of so much freedom.
So, to my tiny kitchen – I love you. Really truly. I love the ways the floors sloped. I love how the cabinets never actually stayed shut. I love how there weren’t enough outlets and definitely not enough counter space. I am so deeply thankful for the place of refuge and healing it became. Thank you.
I can’t say thank you enough to Savannah Shaw. She reached out to me about taking some photos. She is so kind and gracious. She uses her talents to encourage, uplift, and champion others’ dreams. I can’t say enough good things about her. I linked her website here and her Instagram here. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Savannah!!