Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

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.”

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.