Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

I stood before them in shame
My final hour

My dead eyes watched the exchange

the Pharisees glares held so much power

Then I looked at the sand
Waiting for the first stone
They held them in their hands
Ready to hurt my body, crush my bone

Silence was like a time spell
Lingering between death and life
And then one by one the stones fell
My executioners gave up the fight.

Only one stayed behind
He was still writing in the sand

“No one has condemned you,
They all threw down their stones,
Neither do I condemn you
Your stone is the only one left to be thrown.”

He laid his hand on me
A forbidden touch.
The Rabbi did not see me as unclean
Merely a slave child needing washed.

“Go and leave your sinful life,”
He said unto me,
“Drop all your stones and lay them down,
“Then you will be free.”

_______________________

Do you ever feel so ashamed, so ashamed it’s like everyone can see? Like a scarlet letter is written on you? It’s an awful emotion. It makes you tell lies, it causes you to hide, maybe it makes you purge. My shame did. I never had the “discipline” I wanted for anorexia… or rather, I never had the “discipline” anorexia wanted from me. So my “friend” bulimia stepped in. She had all these ideas on how to get rid of my shame.

If you’re thinking “oh, that’s what I need to do”–stop thinking and keep reading.

Bulimia gave me a way, I thought, to get rid of my guilt and my shame associated with body-hate and negative self image. It was like a way to right all my wrongs. It was my secret. But it was messy and left me feeling empty and unclean. In the end, Bulimia gave me more shame than when I started.

Even though eating disorders can come from other people’s opinions of us (secret: another testimony of a girl who struggled with this will be posted soon) the opinions of others are internalized and become our opinions of ourselves whether or not they are true.

The poem above is a paraphrase and somewhat fictional telling from a passage of scripture John 8:1-11. The woman had been found committing adultery in Jewish culture at this time, this offense was not just scorned but worthy of being stoned. The Pharisees are like church people. They’re the snooty, better-than-sin, perfect-for-god people. Now these people were constantly trying to get at Jesus. Jesus was a heretic in Israel. The religious people didn’t like what Jesus had to say. Jesus had this thing for sinners and this thing against the religious people. So the Pharisees call him out on it, and they’re asking “Well Jesus, we’re going to kill her, but what do YOU think about it?”

Jesus tells them the perfect person can throw the first stone. One by one all the people leave. They all know they’ve sinned. Every last one of them drops their stone and walks away. Finally this leaves only Jesus and the Woman. Jesus, who is the only perfect person. And the Woman who is on trial. Jesus basically points out he could be the one to stone her. He could, he’s God, and he’s perfect, having never sinned, giving him the right to judge. But the craziest thing happens, he doesn’t.

Jesus, the only person who can judge her rightfully, let’s her go. If you’re thinking “God could never care about me, not with what I’ve done.” But that’s a lie. He still cares. He will still listen to your prayers. You can walk into church. If your church has judged you, or your friends or family, have judged you and condemned you by what you have done, then they’re wrong. Jesus doesn’t condemn you.

One night I was talking with a friend who was feeling the same of what they had done, and I was saying just to ignore any judgement from those around him, because they were lies. He responded, “I don’t feel judged by others, I feel judged by myself.” That struck me. How often is this true about eating disorders? It’s almost worse when someone tries to help us get better, because we know we’re hurting them. We continue to blame ourselves.

Picture yourself holding the last stone. I almost wonder if the times I thought other people holding stones it was just an illusion. A mirage of my own shame, that I felt so condemned in my own heart, soul, and mind that I believed everyone else must have felt the same way.

Drop your stones. Forgive yourself. You don’t have to make sacrifices in your shame, you can be you inside and out: without any guilt or shame. Because when you live without shame:

The lies come off.

The secrets crumble.

The purging ends.

The walls come down.

And you come out! Not you with all the condemnation. Not you with all your fear. Not you with your scarlet letter bleeding from your heart.

You come out. Whole you. Free you. Beautiful you.

“Not Guilty” Aaron Keyes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PE8gxOxMuhg

“No More Chains”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD-UOVnmni0

I recently got an amazing email from an amazing girl named Kelly G. Kelly is 16 and has overcome an eating disorder just this year. She says she “gives all the credit to God.” This is Kelly’s story:

“I never thought that I’d be the girl who hated herself, who thought she was so fat that she would starve herself just to be skinny. But somehow, somewhere along the line…I became exactly that. My name is Kelly, and I’ve had an eating disorder for probably about a year and a half now. And this is my story.

I, like many girls, wanted — and still want — to be beautiful. And “beautiful”, to me, meant stick-thin; that was my image of “perfect”. And I didn’t feel that I was that…and I wanted it. I craved it. My back injury made exercising painful…and so, I resorted to something else: I began to skip meals. I grew to hate myself for eating. I would make myself feel completely sick to my stomach to punish myself for eating. There were soooo many times I wished that I knew how to make myself throw up, just so I could get rid of the awful feeling, and the 100 calories I just put into my stomach. I was proud of myself when my stomach would growl; it was satisfying to lie about what I ate that day. I would lay in bed at night and just be so happy because I made it through the day without food…and no one even suspected anything.

I had several people tell me that Satan was in my mind and seriously taking over my thinking. But I brushed it off because I felt like I was in control of it; I felt like I knew what I was doing. I knew I was damaging myself physically, but somehow, I didn’t really care. I became brainwashed. I knew the not-eating was standing in the way of me and God. I knew that I needed it gone, but I just couldn’t let go of it; I couldn’t give up control. Not until I was happy with what I looked like. And I hated what I looked like. I would argue with people who told me I was skinny and beautiful. I couldn’t understand how they could look at me and think that I was beautiful and perfectly made, when I looked at myself with such disgust. I HATED myself. Everything about myself, I completely hated.

I knew other girls who were struggling with loving themselves, and I would try to have it all together for them; I would try to be strong for them and give them advice on how to love themselves. On how to accept themselves as they were. I would tell them that they were made exactly how God wanted them to be made, so why would they try to change themselves? God knows best after all. …But I was such a hypocrite. I couldn’t even listen to my own words; I didn’t believe them for myself. How much could they really take to heart what I said, if I couldn’t even apply it to my own life? I knew I was loved by God; I knew I had a family that loved me; I knew my boyfriend loved me; I knew all my friends loved me. And they loved me not because of what I looked like, not because of how skinny I was — but for ME, for who I was. …So why was it so hard for ME to love me? Why was it so hard for ME to accept myself?

I had a very brainwashed view of myself and what I “should” be. Of what I “should” look like. For a while, I denied even having an eating disorder. People said I was anorexic, and I thought they were absolutely insane because I thought that being anorexic meant you were like skin and bones. But I’ve learned that anorexia is a mindset — a mindset that I had. Sometimes I would ask myself if being skinny was really worth messing up my organs, or even risking my life. And I KNEW the answer was “absolutely not”, but I still couldn’t change my way of thinking. I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t give up that control. Somewhere along the line, it had taken over the control; I no longer controlled IT — IT controlled ME. I was constantly planning how I was going to get out of eating that day, how I was going to skip as many meals as I could. It was taking over me, consuming me. And I didn’t want to be that girl; I didn’t want to be weak. I wanted to be the girl everyone looked up to.

But no one is perfect, and everyone struggles with something. And I struggled with this. I wasn’t letting God into my heart to help me with it. I still wanted to be in control of it — because I knew, deep down, that if I let Him have control, if I surrendered it to Him…He’d take it away. And I wasn’t ready for that yet. I tried not being so critical of myself for one week; just a week. …And I didn’t even last an hour. There is something so wrong with that. And eventually, it beat me down and wore me out. I couldn’t change myself; it was beyond my ability to fix. And I was TIRED of being consumed by it. I was TIRED of looking in the mirror and only seeing flaws. I was TIRED of being so physically weak and dizzy all the time. I was TIRED of acting like I had it all together. I was TIRED of pretending to be okay, when I wasn’t okay at all. I was exhausted and broken. It became less about control and more about what I needed — and I needed this to be gone. I needed it to not be standing in the way of me and God anymore. I needed Him. And I knew my relationship with Him was too important to sacrifice because of this struggle.

I’m not going to sit here and say that I woke up one day and it was over, that I’m now completely and totally free of this. Because I didn’t, and I’m not. Maybe one day I will be able to say that it is totally over…but not yet. But I DID wake up with a different attitude. I woke up and the first thing I thought WASN’T “how can I skip meals today?”. I looked in the mirror and my head wasn’t filled with thoughts of hatred. I can’t even remember the last time that happened.

I know this battle isn’t over yet; I know it’s not going to end overnight. I know I’m probably going to struggle with this for a while, if not the rest of my life. But my point is that right now, in this moment, I have something that I haven’t had in a long, long time: …I have hope. I can see God working. I can see Him changing my heart. And I am BEYOND excited about it. I’m starting to love myself for who I am. I’m starting to truly, honestly believe that I was made for a purpose, and that I was made the exact way God needed me to be made. I’m giving Him control of this — and He is taking it away. But it’s not bad like I thought it would be; I’m ready for it now. My heart is so incredibly happy for the first time in a long time. I feel free. I feel hopeful. And I can’t even begin to tell you how great it is.

My name is Kelly, and I haven’t skipped a meal in [over two hundred] days. I WILL overcome.”

When you go as far to get as thin as those girls in those thinspiration pictures you’ve given up everything to be skinny.

I know girls are willing. I see the posters, I hear the talk. You’ve been cheated. Skinny will give you nothing in return. Skinny will lure you, lie to you, and cheat you.

Skinny will cheat you out of:

  • Being strong enough to do your favorite things- You will be too weak to accomplish things.
  • Having close relationships- Skinny dominates and leaves no room for healthy friendships or relationships
  • Being honest- You’ve been lied too, and somewhere deep down, you know something isn’t right. You will lie to everyone you know. You will be paranoid.
  • Peace of mind- You will be obsessed with how you look. The fat you believe you have will drive you mad. It will make you feel sick.
  • Joy- You only see darkness.
  • Skinny will cheat you out of being you. All of the sudden your personality takes on something new and different and dark. Skinny becomes your identity, but gives nothing in return.
  • Life. – Skinny will consume you in every way possible. If you give everything to be skinny, you’re giving up your family, friends, hobbies, skinny becomes your religion, skinny owns your mind, your heart, your strength and your body. You will struggle to get any of it back, and it could kill you.

This is what lies behind those thinspiration pictures.

Starvation kills. Don’t let thinspiration make you believe that starvation can give you life.

Everyone gives themselves to something. We all have an obsession. And many of us feel empty. Our obsessions cannot satisfy, or we feel that we cannot satisfy them. I believe God, who is the founder and creator of the Universe, can satisfy. He is big enough to fill the void and He is true enough to fulfill us.

I couldn’t take my life back for myself. Skinny had too strong of a grasp on me. So I prayed that Jesus would take my life for himself. In that moment everything changed.

The Word of God is INSPIRING:

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”- Luke 10:27

When you give yourself to Jesus instead of skinny:

  • You will have strength-  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”- Phillipians 4:13
  • You will have love not paranoia or obsession or fear- you will be able to be close to family, friends, and God
  • You will be able to stop telling lies- You become real. You will no longer be guarded by lies but by truth (which cannot crumble beneath you, it is a firm foundation).
  • You will have peace of mind- “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”- Philippians 4:7. You will be guarded in your heart and mind from other lies that will try to tear you down and you will know the truth. That you are loved, that you are cherished, that you are worth it, that you can conquer, that God has called you and that you belong to Him and He will never harm you, but guard you.
  • You will be you. “Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”- Genesis 2:7, “Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you?”- Deauteronomy 32:6b. God made you exactly to be you. You will be more you in Christ, than you could ever be without him. He will give you the identity of being a treasure, of being innocent, of being strong, of being joyful, and of being YOU.
  • You will be given life:

” But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”- Isaiah 43:1. God made you. Israel was a tribe God picked, and they did not follow his ways and yet he loved them. You’ve never gone too far for God. You have been redeemed. And your name, in the culture of the Bible is your identity, SPECIFICALLY YOU can belong to God, be yourself, and claim life.

“Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”-Romans 8:2. This means that when you give your life to Jesus instead of skinny (which will lead you to death) he will give you more life. He will set you free from the prisons of your eating disorder.

#skinnyisalie #truthwillsetyoufree

Stop being cheated, start being inspired

-Merry

I began taking bites of this popular lie about skinny when I was really young. I kind of always believed I was fat. I have never been close to over-weight in my life, but the lie began to grow. At 16 I got a job working in fast-food. This was perfect, I slowly began to stop eating. I’d promised myself I would as soon as it was possible. So the lie became my belief and my mantra. I would be skinny. The skinnier I got the more I wanted it. It was never enough for me.

I almost felt like someone was making me do these things. Someone was driving me towards being skinny. It was uncontrollable. The more I believed the lies, the more I lied about my life. I didn’t know the truth anymore.

Disillusioned by the lies I drove myself downward into depression. Partially I wanted control, partially I wanted purity. The purity was part of the perfection. Food became the impurities. I would go for days without eating. I lived off of these highs and I lived for them. But the truth of the matter was, I was so dead. I had no energy, no joy, no life. My spirit was dark.

Once everyone around me knew what I was fighting, I really did begin to fight against my eating disorder. I wanted to be better… kind of. But I was still living in so many of the lies. The lie that I had to be skinny was the surface lie, the one on the bottom is that I was unclean… I was trying to purify myself through this. I developed bulimia. Bulimia always felt dirty to me, but it was getting the same result.

For a long time I felt like I was in control of what I was eating, what I wasn’t eating and my disorder. I thought I had the power. I didn’t. The disorder had the power. I had given up the power a long time ago and I had become a slave to the lies of SKINNY. At some points I felt like I was hearing voices, telling me I had to. At other points I felt like I was doing things so far outside my control and I didn’t know how to stop them.

It was a struggle. I had given so much of myself to these lies. They were eating me from the inside. I still wasn’t skinny enough. I felt like no one understood, and no one recognized. Part of me just wanted to be skinny enough so someone could say I had a real problem. I wanted free. I wanted someone to say I was a slave and there was a way out. I wanted someone to say what I was feeling was hurting me. I wanted out, but I didn’t know the way.

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”– John 14:6. I struggled between Jesus and my eating disorders for 2 years. I had good weeks, and bad weeks, I still felt like I was running. I didn’t really feel the kind of freedom I wanted.  I also didn’t believe real freedom was possible. Someone had told me this would always be my struggle. This was as free as it was ever going to get for me.

John 8:35-36 “Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  The Bible says differently. The Bible said I could really be free. One night I was in a worship service. Everyone around me was touched by the spirit, everyone around me was free in Christ, they were crying, they were laughing they were overwhelmed by God. I wanted it. I wanted it more than anything. I realized in that moment that God was more important, that his truth was truer than everything I had been living, and that he was life. I got to my knees and I told him to take it all, that I was done. And in the moment I was freed.

I accepted the life Jesus had for me, and this time I threw off all the chains I had on before. I have NEVER struggled with eating disorders again. My freedom is real.

With my eating disorder I was paranoid and disturbed. With Christ I am fearless. With my eating disorder I was dark and without life. With Christ I am joyful and exuberant. With my eating disorder I was falling apart and I felt impure. With Christ I am complete and walking in purity. With my eating disorder I was a slave. With Christ I am free.

My life is changed. I will NEVER be the same.

What would it be like if your peace and comfort lasted longer than the food you ate? What would it be like if you weren’t making blood sacrifices in your own pain? What would it be like if you weren’t following the dark whisper telling you you had to be skinnier, that you had to do this, or that or exercise? What would it be like if you didn’t have to work so hard to save yourself? What would it be like if you could start with a clean record? What would it be like if you weren’t obsessed with food, health, image, weight, beauty?

There is freedom from the living hell of eating disorders. The kind of freedom in which you don’t worry about the things you worry about now.

Skinny is a lie. Jesus is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE.