A Goodbye Letter to My Eating Disorder

Dear ED,

Just a few months ago we had such a close relationship, and I thought I could trust you with everything. You promised me that you would make me look beautiful, that I would be loved, and that I would be accepted by my friends, family, and even strangers if I followed your every command. You convinced me that most of the food that I ate was “bad”, and my body revolted in response to your harmful attacks. You caused my body to start shutting down. My pulse & weight dropped, my anxiety and depression levels elevated, and my stomach reacted in all sorts of ways to your deceptive tactics. You lied to me and told me that I needed to lose weight and tone up no matter what size I actually was. You condemned me for my inability to maintain a balanced relationship with food and exercise, while simultaneously encouraging me to engage in destructive behaviors. You told me that there was something wrong with the way that God made me, and that if I was a better Christian that I wouldn’t struggle with anxiety, depression, and an unhealthy relationship with you. You are manipulative, condescending, judgmental, and my enemy. You isolated me from the people that I loved, and convinced me that I was unlovable because of my relationship with you. For a minute there I truly felt like you were going to ruin my life & eventually kill me. You seemed so strong and powerful and I felt helpless and weak.

But God…….

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved-and raised up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus..” (Ephesians 2:2-4)

God’s plan from the beginning was to reconcile me to himself. He is a jealous God, longing for my time and attention (Exodus 34:14). I am made alive through the blood of his son on the cross; Jesus died so that I may live. ED, there is no power of yours-past, present, or future-that is more powerful than the finished work of Jesus on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). When the Lord acts no one can reverse it, and God is doing a new thing in my heart and life. He is making a way in the wilderness and streams of living water in the wasteland (Isaiah 43:18-19). God intervened and protected me from your evil schemes. He is my strength and my shield; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless (Psalm 84:11). His love for me drowns out your voice and every insecurity of mine. No one (not even you), can bring a charge against God’s elect; there is no condemnation in Jesus (Romans 8:1,33). He is faithful, always keeping his word and never breaking his promises (1 Kings 8:56). He rescued me from your deathly grip and he won’t stop fighting for me (Exodus 14:14). What you intended for complete evil and destruction in my life, God intended for good (Genesis 50:20).

As hard as this journey has been, I have grown closer to God than I ever have before. I understand what it is like to walk in a difficult season, and I have a deeper understanding of your compassion. I have laughed, cried, loved, and connected with my friends and family more than I have in the last 2 years. I am not sure why God allowed me to walk through this suffering, but I do know that his word says blessed are those who persevere through trials, having withstood the test, they will receive a crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him (James 1:12). I know that the suffering of this life is not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed to me later on (Romans 8:18). And I truly believe that God is going to use this trial and victory in my life to encourage other people and share the hope of Jesus with them.

With all that being said, it’s time to say goodbye. You break your promises and your word is never true; our relationship has been nothing but toxic. It is time for you to get out of my life. Don’t bother trying to pack up your things. This morning I am going to go give away the clothes that you have tried to use to kept me sick. My scale is shattered, and my fitbit is about to be long gone as well. You offer me nothing and I have nothing to offer you in return. Get out of my life. Don’t talk to my family, don’t talk to my friends, and stop talking to the millions of people around the world who have the same type of relationship with you that I once had. You are spreading evil and deception among all people, and you will be judged by the living God. I am praying for everyone who is currently enslaved by your bondage, and I am confident that you will lose (just like you are right now in my life), because the God of angel armies is on the side of those who fear Him. Once the Lord acts no one can reverse it (Isaiah 43:13). You have done a lot of damage in many people’s lives, including my own. God’s word tells me that in this world I will have trouble, but that I have no reason to lose heart, because HE has overcome the world. (John 16:33) I am a warrior, an overcomer, a child of God, and a daughter of the most high king (John 1:12). You have been, are, and will continue to be defeated until you are forever no more. Until then, understand that I am going to wage war against you for the sake of myself and God’s children. The weapons of my warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God, for the pulling down of strongholds, casting down of arguments, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

You have lost to many who have gone before me, you are losing in my life, and you will lose to countless of other people who are fed up with you. I would say that I am going to miss you, but that just wouldn’t be the truth. The temporary pleasure or relief that you have me does not compare to the joy and life that I experience when I am not with you. You are nothing compared to the presence of God & the people I love. It’s time for you to leave; you’re not welcome anymore. I know you are probably going to try to get me back, but I am standing firmly against you. I’m not afraid of living a life without you, and I know that God’s plans for my life are for my good, not evil and destruction like yours (Jeremiah 29:11). I know it’s going to be a fight every day, but I am not afraid because the Lord is with me always, until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).

Goodbye ED,

-Emily

This picture was taken after Josh and I went on a date to Burger Republic this summer. It was the first time in probably 4 or 5 years that I went out to eat and ordered a burger, french fries, and milkshake for dessert. The milkshake was good but the victory and freedom that came with it was even sweeter!

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