I wasn’t allowed to eat. At least that’s what I believed.
But who was making the rules?
National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (observed during the last week in February) has special significance for me. For most of my early adult life, anorexia nervosa and bulimia controlled me. My sole purpose in life during those years was to lose another pound. Anorexia and bulimia cost me my family, my friends, my jobs, my health, my sanity—and almost my life.
If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, please seek professional help. I thank God for the doctors, counselors and dieticians He used to help me.
An eating disorder is a serious mental health issue. But I discovered it’s also a serious spiritual health issue.
Being an eating disorder patient and a Christ follower conflicted and embarrassed me. For years, I was taught I could “overcome in Jesus’ name.”
But I wasn’t overcoming.
Still, when I followed my counselor’s advice to meditate on God’s Word, I noticed my love for God and His Word grew stronger than my “need” to lose weight.
I became more aware that I had choices. And with each choice, I could decide to dishonor God by skipping another meal—or when I did eat, taking more laxatives and/or forcing myself to vomit. Even though I knew I could pray for God’s help (grace)to make right decisions regarding my health, I foolishly chose not to.
Years passed before I realized that each time I resisted God’s grace and refused to surrender my will (desires) to Him—I was choosing to disobey Him. When I finally recognized this sobering truth, I made progress.
But it wasn’t easy.
I suffered many setbacks. Although I remained under professional care for several years, God’s mercy and grace sustained me. I can now testify that I’ve been free from anorexia and bulimia for almost 20 years!
Romans 6:13 (ESV) says,
Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life.
The weeks leading up to Easter will be a good time to reflect on the significance of Calvary and the empty tomb. Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus suffered, died and rose again so that today I can live—and eat—free from oppression. The same power that enabled Jesus to triumph over the grave continues to empower me to triumph over the sin that tried to destroy me so many years ago.
What about you?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post. (Others might also benefit from your comment.)
- What sin, addiction or bad habit controls you? If you haven’t totally surrendered it (or your heart) to Christ, what better time to do so than now as we prepare our hearts for Good Friday and Easter Sunday?
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