It is National Eating Disorder Awareness week! I share my testimony every chance I can to shine Gods truth and light in the midst of darkness. As many of you may know, I struggled with eating disorders in my teen years; But I also want to point out that “eating disorders” are not only limited to anorexia and bulimia. I can say from experience that there are many forms of disordered eating, all of which steals the health our bodies, and robs us from the life that God designed for us. When it comes down to it, anything that is in extreme, excess, unhealthy, or unbalanced when it comes to food, exercise, or even how you feel about your body is something that God can heal and restore.
In my teen years (14-18), I was trapped in a world of disordered eating that started with anorexia and progressed into bulimia. It all began when I was a young girl who was unsure of her identity, and I received a lie spoken about me, which escalated to years of lies that I played over and over in my head. I began trying different diets, going from one extreme to another. Ultimately, I accepted the lie that if I didn’t fit into the perfect “mold” no one would ever love me, and so I starved my body, and punished it with excessive exercise and purging. On my 18th birthday, my sisters called me out in an intervention and had tears streaming down their faces. This moment will forever be etched into my mind, as it was the moment that “shook me” awake and I saw how I was hurting not only myself but those who loved me most, which is always the case with sin.
God did a deep work of repentance on my heart that night and I knew I would never be the same; Yet I still had years of wrong thinking that had to be renewed. This was a work that only me and the Lord could do, and it all began with renewing my mind with His word. As I sought Him for healing, He led me to Romans 12:2 which says, “Don’t CONFORM to the pattern of this world, but be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind, then you will know my good acceptable and perfect will for your life.” I knew this scripture was the roadmap for healing, and I clung to every word.
I began to take an honest look at my life and everything in it; Asking, “Am I trying to conform to the pattern of the world?” If the answer was yes, I began to ask God what He thought about the matter, and I longed to please Him with my every thought and my behaviors. I clung to Jesus, seeking Him with all my heart and meditating on His word day and night until it transformed me from the inside out.
Both finding my identity in Christ and learning how to properly care for my body was a process; And it wasn't until my early twenties that I can honestly say that I found a healthy balance in caring for my body and soul. In addition to seeking out the truth with all of my heart, God used what I was learning in nursing school, as well as cooking to bring forth full restoration in my life; And I haven't looked back!
Looking back I realize that the most important thing that I needed was to admit to myself was that although I gave my life to Christ as a young girl, I wasn’t fully surrendered to Him. I kept my body for myself, which made me feel empowered, but I was ultimately keeping myself bound in chains.
The good news is, there is a redeeming love that can reach down into the deepest of pits and give every person a firm place to stand! God designed for each one of us to be in constant communion with Him; And He desires to partner with us in everything. I can say with full assurance that life truly begins when we not only acknowledge Him as Savior, but also surrender every area of our life to Him. When we let Him in, He gently guides us into all truth and heals the broken places. He becomes our reason for living, and His light begins to shine on every area of our lives.
When we make the choice to go all in with Christ; We will never regret it. When we surrender control, we let go of a weight we were never meant to carry. It is then that we will experience a love that is real and never changing. It is then that we find our purpose, and find true identity. It is then that we find who we were created to be, FREE in Him.