In Observance of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week
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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I love your powerful testimony!!! What an amazing recovery through the power of Jesus!
Thank you, Barbara. I agree It is indeed “an amazing recovery through the power of Jesus!”
And thank you again for sharing my devotion on your Facebook page, Barbara. I sincerely appreciate it.
Thank you, Sheryl, for sharing your excellent, heart-touching testimonial blog message with us! Love this: “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 could easily relate, because in my teenage years, I also struggled with anorexia and even with loving myself. God’s Word has helped to transform my mind, control my thoughts, and even learn how to love myself, so that I could love others even more. I’m so thankful you got the needed help and that you have had victory almost it for 20 years! God’s goodness and care for us never ceases! Great post! May your vulnerability touch those who need to hear! “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13. Even the temptation to focus on ourselves, our weight, etc…, rather than focusing on Jesus.
Indeed! Great comment, Becky. AND praise God for your deliverance as well! I’m so very thankful for God’s powerful work in both of us.
❤ Sheryl, thank you for sharing your heart with your readers through your testimony. May those who suffer from any type of eating disorder and have the blessing of reading your message know that there is hope for them through counseling and, most importantly, through seeking God for His wisdom, guidance, and strength are two major choices that they have available. May they learn to see themselves as their loving Father sees them and begin the healing process. It is significant to celebrate that, through your honest transparency, you can truly reach out to other hearts for His divine purpose and glory. Amen! ❤ I am both honored and blessed to share your blog message on my Timeline. ❤
Thank you for your encouraging and very kind words, Joyce. I too pray all those struggling with eating disorders will “learn to see themselves as their loving Father sees them and begin the healing process.”
And thank you for sharing my testimony on your Facebook page!