What’s the biggest battle that you’re fighting right now?
Is it the death of a family member, loss of a job, a broken friendship, or a chronic illness?
Betrayal, addiction, depression, discontentment, anxiety, or weariness?
Loneliness, gossip, sexual temptation, discouragement, or shame?
Pride, envy, anger, or greed?
The call for your prodigal son or daughter to come home?
A season of transition?
The salvation of a friend or family member that doesn’t know Jesus?
There is no battle that is too big or too small…it all matters to the Lord.
My Battle with Anorexia
Two years ago the biggest battle in my life was my eating disorder.
In case you aren’t familiar with my blog or my story, I’ll give you a quick recap:
- My junior year of college I cycled into a pretty severe case of anorexia.
- My heart rate, blood pressure, and weight had dropped significantly.
- My cognitive function had declined at a rapid pace; I could no longer concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time. I was never present when I spent time with friends or family, and all I could think about was my weight, diet, or exercise routine.
- I believed the lie that my eating disorder could save me, that it could somehow attain for me what only Jesus can do.
- I sought my eating disorder so that I could find peace and clarity, however, all I found was chaos and confusion. I sought it for comfort, but it only made me numb. I sought it to attain good health, and it gave me the exact opposite of that.
- I was also diagnosed with co-morbidities during the onset of my eating disorder, which included generalized anxiety, depression, and a sleeping disorder.
I talk about my experience with anorexia quite often, because it’s something that I never could have gotten through without Jesus. My experience in recovery is one that has shaped and changed my life in a way that nothing else could. One of the most important things that recovery has taught me is how to fight my battles, no matter how big or small.
The Most Important Battle Has Already Been Won
By the grace of God, I was very fortunate to enter into recovery already having a relationship with Jesus. Was there some confusion and heartache in that relationship?
No doubt. But I knew in the deepest parts of my heart that God had so much more planned for my life than what I was stuck in. I knew that he would help me recover because he had already revealed to me the biggest miracle that he would perform in my life; he had already saved me in a way that reconciled me to God and paid for all of my sins. If he could do that, I knew that he could do anything. Even if I didn’t feel like he was close…even if I didn’t feel like he was present and moving and working in the midst of the deep pit I was in, I knew that he was. Because he is a good father, and there is not one thing in the universe that he doesn’t have complete victory over.
I’m going to pause right here. Because I know that there is a good chance that there is someone reading this blog that doesn’t have a relationship with Jesus. And that’s okay. But it’s not too late. Jesus is the only God who was willing to come down to earth and pay the price for our sins even while we were still sinners. He loves us even when we try our hardest to run away from him. This is the most important battle that you will ever face, the battle for your salvation. The enemy (satan), wants you to believe that your relationship with God doesn’t matter, and that you can do this life on your own. It doesn’t take most people a long time to figure out that this world is difficult to live in, and that we don’t get to choose what comes our way. Jesus came to this earth to carry those burdens for us, so that his live-giving power may be seen in us. If you haven’t said yes to Jesus, if he isn’t on your team right now, it’s going to be a lot harder to fight whatever you’re going through. Trust me, I’ve tried, and it doesn’t work. If you want to know more about Jesus & how to enter into a relationship with him, I would be glad to connect and tell you more about him.
So, we don’t get to choose the battles that come our way, but what we can do is choose how to react to these battles that seem so impossible to win.
This is where Jesus comes in.
How to Fight Your Battles
Rita Springer’s song Defender sums it all up very well. It says:
“You go before I know
That You’ve gone to win my war
You come back with the head of my enemy
You come back and You call it my victory
You go before I know
That You’ve gone to win my war
Your love becomes my greatest defense
It leads me from the dry wilderness
All I did was praise
All I did was worship
All I did was bow down
All I did was stay still
Hallelujah, you have saved me
So much better Your way
Hallelujah, great Defender
So much better Your way”
Jesus knew. He knew before it happened that I was going to walk through a season of recovery. He knew before that you were going to walk through whatever is most difficult in your life right now. He knows, but he doesn’t leave us there. He wins. His love is our greatest defense.
We can’t, but Jesus can.
So what do we do in a practical sense?
We praise him, we worship, we bow down, and we stay still, until he acts. Even through sleepless nights, sobs of frustration, and feelings of abandonment, that’s what we do. He promises to fight for us, we just simply need to be still. (Exodus 14:14).
Some battles last longer than others, and it’s not fun. It’s draining, exhausting, and seems like an eternity. But when we turn back to God’s truth, we KNOW that he says he will make all things beautiful in HIS timing. He will do it, we just have to wait on him.
Each day in recovery felt like a lifetime. The process seemed so slow, tedious, and frustrating. When I began to bow my knee to the Lord and surrender the things that I knew he was calling me to surrender, I started to see small victories that eventually led to big ones.
I’m no longer underweight and malnourished. I no longer have abnormal lab values that have to be monitored closely by my doctor. I no longer refuse to go out to eat with friends. I am no longer a slave to my eating disorder, and my story is a testament to the life, healing, and victory that can be found in Jesus.
If I had recovered in an instant (which Jesus could have done), I wouldn’t have this story to tell. His power within me wouldn’t shine as brightly as it does. Even though it was harder, His way was so much better. His healing lead to me discovering my passion and purpose in him. His provision has allowed me to encourage others walking through difficult journeys. His grace has grown me in compassion and understanding. Hallelujah, His way is always better. If you’re walking through a difficult season, hang in there. The defender of your heart and life will come through in ways that are infinitely greater than you may ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).