When “All Things” Includes An Eating Disorder

I didn’t think I would ever recover. 

I didn’t think that there would ever be a day that I could have an even somewhat “normal” relationship with food. 

I envied people who had that. 

I was too weak.

Too stubborn. 

Too anxious. 

Too depressed. 

Too confused. 

Too….

I will never forget the moment I decided I needed help. 

It had been a long day at work– 5:00 AM – 3:30 PM on a Saturday. I once again hadn’t eaten enough. By the time I got home, I felt like I was starving.

Out of desperation, I binged. 

And then I felt absolutely miserable– physically and emotionally. 

Feelings of guilt and shame flooded my entire being. 

“What is wrong with you?”

“Normal people DO NOT struggle with this.” 

“You are so out-of-control.”

“How could you ever eat that much?” 

And then, I broke. 

I shattered like glass. 

I couldn’t take it anymore. 

I remember sitting on my bed weeping, tightly hugging a pillow and wrapping blankets around my body in order to obtain some sort of physical comfort. 

I cried out to God, over and over again, “God I didn’t mean to….God I didn’t mean to….God I didn’t mean to…I know I am not glorifying my body right now….this isn’t healthy….please save me from this. Whatever this is.” 

This was without question one of the lowest points of my life…but it was also a huge turning point. Rock bottom finally pushed me over the edge. 

I felt like I could’t breath. Gasping for air, I reached over and grabbed my phone. I needed to do what God had been convicting me to do for months. 

I called my mom.

“I have an eating disorder, and I need help.” 

So she did just that. She got me help. 

And not just any help. 

God had a plan. 

Before I even started dabbling with disordered eating, God knew what was going to happen. He knew that I didn’t have the coping skills to know how to deal with my anxiety. He knew that my sinful nature was bent towards developing an eating disorder. He put up warning signs and road blocks (which I ignored), and he ultimately allowed that suffering in my life. He allowed me to reach rock bottom– but he refused to let me stay there. 

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.”

–Psalm 40:1-3 

I still shake my head in disbelief when I think about how God has redeemed and restored this area of my life. At just the right time (Romans 5:6), he hand-crafted a recovery team for me that was absolutely perfect. He surrounded me with people who believed in me, who prayed for me, and who wanted me to be well. He got me plugged into a bible study that taught me how to fight spiritual battles. He provided the financial resources needed to pay for my treatment. He helped my family walk in wisdom, discernment, compassion, and grace. He granted my husband patience. And slowly but surely, he helped me rebuild my life on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ. 

He rooted out idols that no longer belonged.

He gave me the strength to carry on even when things got tough.

He was with me through the highs and lows. 

He never gave up on me, even when I wanted to give up on myself. 

He T R A N S F O R M E D my relationship with food and my body. 

He answered my prayers.

He saved me.

He developed compassion in me.

He allowed me to suffer just long enough to truly understand what it’s like to have an eating disorder. 

He used this terrible, painful thing in my life and brought about G O O D from it.

Now, at only 23 years old, I see my first eating disorder client as a registered dietitian today. 

I am immensely aware of what a privilege this is. God has blessed me with the beautiful opportunity to offer the same hope he has given me to other people.

I don’t deserve it– and God deserves all the glory. 

I am forever indebted to my recovery team for using their training and expertise to help me get better.

I am inexpressibly thankful to my family and husband for always believing in me. 

I am grateful for my recovery, as it has shaped who I am today. 

I am eternally thankful that God works A L L things together for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28)– even an eating disorder. 

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