Needless to say, overcoming body image issues and beating Bulimia was a long, difficult journey. I am 6’2″ and have never been able to hide in a crowd. “Are you a model?” “Do you play basketball?” “Mom, she’s so TALL!!” “Is your whole family tall?” are questions I hear everywhere I go since I was 14.
What I looked like used to overshadow who I was. In my youth, I thought it seemed important to other people, so it must be important to me. I proved great at smiling when I was actually hurting, answering questions graciously, when I actually wanted to punch someone in the face, and allowing others’ opinions and influences to inform who I was becoming.
My identity was crippled. My lack of understanding that I was not what I looked like or what I weighed, married to the severe brokenness in my soul left me wondering, “Who am I? Is there something more I was created for?” When I moved to Los Angeles from North Carolina, this was the cry of my heart.
Faith and friendship were foundational in my life, but I comfortably held both at arms length. The God of the Bible I knew growing up created the universe, loved me for sure, but I wasn’t sure He cared at all about my pain. If he did, why didn’t He show up for me? In some ways, God didn’t seem that different from the absent father I grew up with. I loved my friends, but I didn’t know how to be completely honest and trust they would love me anyway.
The devil wants to keep us in trapped in wrong thinking. Dysfunction stems from our thinking – eating disorders, addictions, personality and relational problems, spiritual problems and abuse. It is human nature to meet legitimate needs illegitimately. When we believe lies in our core over the truth, we behave in ways that are harmful to us and harmful to others.
Hurt people hurt people.
To overcome body image and identity issues, we must replace lies with truth. Can I tell you an annoying, but honest truth? This doesn’t solve anything… At first. I remember waking up every morning for a year, walking to my bathroom and saying out loud to the mirror, the truth of the word of God. “I am more than a conqueror in Christ. I am the loved beyond measure daughter of a King. God is willing and able to heal me. I am loved. I have value. I was created with intention, for a purpose…” On and on.
Sometimes I would cry, sometimes I would feel anger, sometimes I would feel nothing, but I kept on doing it. At the same time, I was practicing telling the truth in my friendships, attending every recovery class and discipleship course my church offered, and receiving counseling.
I was gaining weight because I was no longer throwing up, but I determined to know in the deepest part of myself that God would show me He loved me no matter what I weighed, no matter what I looked like, no matter what I had done, no matter my issues.
At the end of that year, I was 40 pounds heavier, happier than I had been in years, flourishing in reciprocal relationships and convinced in my heart that freedom from bondage was possible for me. In the medical field, experts say, “Once an addict, always an addict.” Lies.
In His love, we rest and trust that freedom is possible. I am living proof of this truth. More than a decade later, I am healthy and whole. I am free. We are not addicts for life – we are more than conquerors in Christ.
Jesus came to seek and save those who are lost and He came to gift us with the Holy Spirit and wherever His Spirit is, there is liberty. He found me at my worst and He held me all the way to freedom. He holds me now when I struggle. He holds me now when I hurt. He holds you as well.
Recovery Blogs: iamatreasure.com/category/recovery Eating Disorder Help http://iamatreasure.com/resources/resource-directory/eating-disorders Treasures Resource Directory: iamatreasure.com/resources/resource-directory