I’ll never forget that day. I woke up like any other day, thinking I would face the same battle I had faced for three years. Fear. Tormenting, gripping, irrational fear. What started out as a personal challenge to lose weight as a young teenage girl, a challenge to prove to myself and others that I could be in control of something in my life, ended up turning into years of bondage. Instead of feeling proud and competent at my ability to control my eating and lose those extra pounds, I ended up feeling like a total failure. Every pound lost became the fuel for fear of gaining it back again. Food became the enemy. A tormenting tug-of-war had begun. On the one hand, I became obsessed about eating because I had made most food forbidden, for fear I would become fat if I ate it. Every bite produced a fear which drove me to very damaging behaviors to get rid of the calories I had consumed. I started out believing I had control over my eating but soon eating began controlling me. I never would have imagined I could develop an eating disorder. The crazy paradox was that the thinner I got, the more I loathed myself. All I could see was a fat body. I longed to be thin and beautiful according to the world’s standard. I was tall, lean and athletic. Yet in my own distorted thinking, I was fat and ugly.
Several years after developing anorexia and bulimia, a friend told me how Jesus Christ had changed his life. I was skeptical at first. I felt so messed up, I wasn’t even sure God could help me. In my pain, shame and desperation, I turned to Jesus Christ. I experienced a love and power I had never known before. As I felt Christ’s love and forgiveness flood into my life, hope ignited. Though my eating disorder was stubborn, little by little, I began being set free from things that had me bound. As I continued to grow in my knowledge of Christ and the Bible, I discovered that my body was a temple of God. I was wonderfully made by my Creator and I was being destructive to that temple. I began to cry out to God to set me free. I was scared to let go of what controlled me, but my desire to become free became stronger than my fear of letting go. In John 5:5-9, Jesus encountered a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. The man felt he never had a chance to be healed. He had been sick for so long with no hope of help. Jesus asks the man the same question He asked me, “Do you want to be healed?” It might sound like a strange question, but Jesus knows if we are to be set free, we must want to be healed and we must believe He can heal us!
I’ll never forget the day that I discovered the healing power of Jesus Christ. I saw with eyes of faith that life could be better. My body image didn’t have to rule my life. Jesus asked me the question, “Do you want to be healed?” I finally said “yes”. I sat at the breakfast table, ready to eat and had no fear of the food I was eating. For the first time in years, I felt normal. Jesus continued to teach me many truths about His love for me and my worth and beauty as His daughter. I began to see what real beauty is. Don’t buy into the lies of the world. Discover the real you in Jesus Christ, the beautiful, wonderfully made YOU. If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder or body image issues, please get help. There is hope and healing.