I am one of 30 million. I am one of the 30 million Americans that have struggled with disordered eating. For roughly seven years I wrestled with the lies that surround an eating disorder.
Training your mind to think differently doesn’t happen over night. Seeing yourself, your true value in Christ doesn’t usually hit you like a bolting flash of lightning. Growth, change, and healing takes time, effort. One sometimes baby step at a time.
I have found victory over disordered eating, over the constant restrictions and purging. I have found God’s love for me, a relationship with Him more gratifying than any trip to the bathroom, any number on the scale. God’s love has filled me.
Even with God’s truth and love in my heart, I still have bad days. I am imperfect. I have occasional days where the thoughts come racing back. I feel inadequate, unlovable, ugly, and so on. Days when I am tempted to let the mirror or scale tell me who I am. Days when I start to reach for what I thought once satisfied me.
One of the beautiful things about food. The way God designed our bodies. We need food, about every four hours. So every four hours we slow down, pause, and often grab a bite to eat with someone. Family, friends, coworkers… The beauty you are asking? Every four hours, despite my own apprehension I have accountability. I find it easier to eat without racing thoughts when I am with friends or family on those bad days.
Earlier this week I was running errands with my daughter. It was well into the afternoon and I was tired and hungry. While going up and down the aisles of one store I had given my daughter one of those squeezes(one of the greatest things invented for toddlers!). She was satisfied. I was ready to head home. We had an hour drive ahead of us. I knew I needed to eat or I was going to be fighting a headache the rest of the day. I swung the car into a fast food drive-thru. As I was driving home, eating my burger thoughts began racing. So much so I wanted to pull over and throw up(sorry about the details here). I became afraid concerning the calories I was consuming. I resisted the urge. Later that evening I confessed my struggle to my husband. I shared that it is interesting how when I am with him or others I don’t think about the calories. Yet when I am alone, fear sweeps in and almost knocks me off my feet. What is it about accountability? Something powerful in the relationship with others.
Accountability has been a large part of finding healing and victory. As I shared yesterday I believe God designed us this way for a reason. Accountability keeps us healthy, keeps us in truth.
No matter your struggle. It may be something completely different from my disordered eating. Your struggle doesn’t have to stay in the darkness where it will rule you.
Gather together. Find, pray for a mentor, a friend you can trust with your struggle. Be open. Let Light into the dark places. Let Love change you.
James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. ESV
1 Thessalonians 3:11-12 11 May God our Father and our Lord Jesus bring us to you very soon. 12 And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. 13 May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen. NLT
Philippians 2: 1-4 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. ESV
Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them. ESV