In three days I will be sharing my story with my high school girls. It seems like forever since I initially decided to do this. I have spent hours reading through Bible verses, praying, and planning out exactly how I will share in a way that will be beneficial to the girls but myself as well. I have learned more about myself. I can see that the eating disorder is not all bad, even thought it has caused a ton of havoc in my life. Last Sunday I gave my outline to both Kim and Rick. Yesterday I told all of the girls what time to be at the church and how we are having a girls outing. This is really happening and I am so ready.
I messaged Kim today to make sure everything was okay with how I wrote it out and her response made me cry. I love her.
Receiving her approval has inspired me to post the outline here. I feel confident in what I have written. I hope and pray that the words I speak and scriptures I share will reach these girls in the most positive way possible.
I have been a Christian since I was very young, but also from a young age I never really loved myself or thought I was worthwhile
- Bad self esteem/self acceptance
- Led to self harm off and on for years and mentally beating myself up all the time
- Didn’t believe the “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” concept
Decided to stop self harm/realize I have a problem and talk about it at NTS 2013
- Quitting was hard but I have been SH free for nearly a year
Fall 2013 I began developing an eating disorder (anorexia) as I got better with SH
- Skipping lunch occasionally led to an extreme fear of eating with others, later eating anything other than a few specific foods/amounts
- Couldn’t focus on anything other than food, weight, exercise, etc
- Continued to try and deny how bad the problem was as the year went on
- Went to therapy but it didn’t help much
- My relationship with God was strained badly
- Summer 2014 it got so bad that I had to go to PHP treatment at Forest View
- hardest thing I’ve ever done but it saved my life
Recovery hasn’t been easy at all but now I am learning to live again
- I am so much closer to God now
- He is showing me:
- He will use my struggle
- I am worthy of love
- I am not broken
- I am strong (feel stronger than in the worst part of my sickness)
- Learning to be patient with myself
- Not having to be perfect
- Learning to see myself as God and others do
- Seeing how bad the ED truly is. It has made me separate from God, lie, hurt others who love me, close off emotionally, isolate, hate myself the way God designed me
- Healing spiritually
- Wanting to fight the thoughts that have hurt me for so long
- Fully trusting in God
- Believing I have a purpose and future
- Beginning to really love myself
In the beginning of my recovery I had times where I asked “Why God?” I didn’t understand why I had to change at first. I didn’t get why God would let me suffer like this. I didn’t think any good could ever come from this disorder.
- Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 – Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
- Paul saw his own weaknesses as areas where strength through God could come
- Ephesians 3:13 – I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
Learning that the ED was a bad thing and a way Satan controlled my life was hard.
- John 10:10 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life; and have it to the full.
- Galatians 5:1 – It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
I’m still learning that it doesn’t matter what I look like on the outside, but who I am. Satan’s view of beauty is all what’s on the outside, and this is also the ED’s view of beauty. God doesn’t see beauty this way.
- 1 Samuel 16:7 – But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
- 1 Peter 3:3-4 – Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
The eating disorder always caused tons of anxiety – what I would eat, how to get away with skipping meals, would I be forced to eat in front of others, did I gain weight last night. I spent so much of my life the past year or two with thoughts like these. In recovery, I have worked hard to reduce my worrying. God doesn’t want me to be stuck in this worry, especially not about things like this.
- Matthew 6:25-27 – “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
- 34 – Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
As I leaned more on God in recovery I felt better. He was there for me through it all. I didn’t have to be perfect. God will help me even in my imperfection.
- Psalm 34:17-18 – The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
- Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
- 1 Corinthians talks about our bodies being temples and this has helped thinking of it that way versus the ED thoughts.
I am not perfect but I am getting better. I am not recovered but in recovery still and this is OKAY. God is showing me new things each day and He is making me stronger and more full of life. Even though I have gained weight it doesn’t make me weak or a bad person. I am healthier now. I am happier. I am able to do all these wonderful things I couldn’t be doing if I was really sick.
I don’t believe I would be where I am today if I had never gotten sick. This disorder has had all kinds of negative consequences but it also is a part of my story and who I have become. I won’t let it define me but I am letting it make me stronger, closer to God, and a better person overall.
So in approximately 72 hours I will be reading this to the girls. I’m not really nervous anymore. I am still continually praying and practicing until then, but I know that God will take care of my fears and it will go fine.