To the girl or woman who may be reading this who is battling an eating disorder…
First I want to start by encouraging you! The world may tell you that it is impossible to ever fully heal or recover from eating disorders. However, I am living proof (among thousands of other women that I have spoken with) that have been healed and completely set free by the redeeming power of Jesus! The good news is, what God did for me He can and will do for you as well if you let Him, because the Bible says that He does not show favoritism, and what he does for one person, He will do for anyone who believes. (Acts 10:34). Everyones journey may look different, but with Jesus, freedom is possible!
The second thing I want to say is that if you haven’t already told someone you trust that you are dealing with this, it is very important that you do so. The reason it’s so important to tell someone is because satan would like us to keep everything in secret, because he knows he has power to work in the darkness. When we reveal things to the people around us that you trust (like your family, for example), it is brought into the light. It is only in the light where God can move and bring freedom. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free! As a child of God, you have already been set free, but you must choose to step into that freedom! So if you haven't already told people around you that you trust, that is the first step! You may need to seek professional help as well, and in this case, it helps to have someone to talk to so that you can have support when seeking help.
I want to also share that my healing process truly began when my sisters came to me and talked to me about what I was struggling with. It was at that moment that I finally admitted what I was doing to myself, and I saw the pain that it was causing those that I loved. I also began to talk to my mom and my family about what I was facing, which helped me break free from the darkness, shame, and guilt that the enemy was trying to keep me in. When I opened up to the people I loved and trusted, God was able to shed His light on these once dark places. My mom also made an appointment for me to speak with a Christian counselor and pastor, which helped me talk through a lot of things that I was facing emotionally... And although all of these things were important steps in my recovery, the thing that changed me and truly allowed me to heal was my personal walk with Jesus.
When I was walking through my own journey to freedom, the Lord showed me that there were four major steps to healing from the inside out. It all began with me making the choice to surrender everything to Him. After making that choice, He took me by that hand and led me one day at a time on a journey that led me to complete and total healing and restoration.
Here are some of the steps that the Lord led me through in my journey.
1. Submit everything to God. First and foremost, I knew I had to come to the Lord in full surrender, which meant that I had to start by repenting for how I treated my body. The bible says that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit when we ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, (1 Corinth. 6:19). When we battle eating disorders, we are not honoring God with the bodies that He gave us, and we should come to Him with a repentant heart. When we repent, He is faithful and just to forgive us the very first time we pray (1 John 1:19). The next step is to surrender everything to Him. This is a daily ongoing decision that involves laying down our will for His, and making the choice to trust that His ways are better than ours. This can be hard to do at first, but this decision is the first step to freedom, peace, and a truly satisfied life.
2. Recognize truth from a lie. Often times when we are believing a lie, we don’t see it at first. Ask God to search your heart and reveal anything that is not truth that you have been believing. Ask Him to open your eyes to the truth and to bring any area that was once in darkness into the light.
3. Renew your mind. Spend time in prayer, praise, and God’s Word DAILY! Allow God’s Word to renew your mind to who He says you are. Spend time in fellowship with Him and allow Him to heal you from the inside out.
4. Guard your heart. You are unique, original, and a beautiful masterpiece that God created for a specific purpose. Be careful to guard your heart against the customs and behaviors of this world and comparison to others.
5. Spend time with Jesus. Last but not least, one of the most important things you could do is to spend time daily with Jesus! It doesn't have to be complicated, He just wants to spend time with you, and to hear from you, and He also wants to speak to you! When I was going through this season, I remember asking the Lord to reveal His love for me. I know this doesn't seem to connect with weight or eating disorders, but it's only when you get a true revelation of His love for you that you can give control to Him and let go of the fear and control related to your weight. If you see yourself as He sees you, and you know His great love for you, it takes a lot of the fear away of giving Him control. In order to get a revelation of His love, all you have to do is ask Him to show you. I can promise you that He wants to reveal His love to you more than you want Him to!
Now, all that being said, the most important key to breakthrough in any area of our lives is the spiritual healing that only Jesus can provide. However, there is also a practical side to walking out freedom from disordered eating. As far as the physical part of this journey goes, I personally found that as I began to heal on the inside, the Lord put a desire in me to start to cooking and baking and to learn to have a healthy relationship with food again. After time went on, the Lord led me to different resources that taught me how to begin to listen to my body and eat intuitively, (such as the book, You are Not What You Weigh by Lisa Bevere).
For me, intuitive eating began with me praying and asking the Lord to teach me how to listen to my body. I made the choice to trust to the Holy Spirit on the inside of me rather than my fears. It took some time to relearn how to eat in a balanced way, so be patient with yourself! This is a huge step in giving up control, so don't be alarmed if it seems scary at first… but know that God will not lead you astray or disappoint you when you are seeking His will and help!
I want to also point out that as far as the healing process goes and learning to eat healthy again, everyone’s journey may look a little different. The good news is, God knows each one of us so deeply and how to get through to our hearts when we surrender to Him. The Bible promises that the Spirit of God on the inside of us will teach us, guide us, and lead us into all truth when we invite Him to lead (John 16:13). Surely if He created our bodies, He can teach us how to walk into the freedom that He provided for us!
And, last but not least, the last and most important thing that God taught me when walking out my healing was that I am not what I weigh, and guess what…Neither are you! I do believe that God wants you to be happy with what you weigh and He wants you to feel comfortable in your skin, and He will help you get there! But with that being said, I would encourage you to take a step back and realize that you are truly beautiful and wonderfully made by the King of Kings, and I am sure that you have SO much to be proud of outside of what you weigh! While you are traveling on this journey to finding complete freedom and peace in this area, be sure to realize at the end of the day one thing; You are so much more than what you weigh!
Please Note: The information provided here should not be considered medical advice and is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified medical professional or treatment provider. If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, it is important to tell someone you trust, so you or that person can get professional help to address the specific needs of recovery.