Yesterday I shared the ugly fears that reside in my heart. Thank you for your kind and gracious comments and messages in response. This is one of those struggles that has just kind of journeyed with me for most of my life. I remember being in a doctor’s office with my dad when I was in 4th or 5th grade. The doctor told us both that I needed to start exercising more and eating less. I probably just needed to eat less. Even at that point in my life I was already hording. I snuck extra oreos into the bottom of my milk glass and snuck extra snacks when I thought no one was looking. I simply loved food. If I got to choose a reward or prize I was probably going to select an edible treat.
The eating caught up with me and soon I couldn’t exercise enough. I began to blame my lack of a love life on my weight. This caused my emotions to fluxuate frequently and wildly from trying not to care and often caring too much.
All the while I was deepening in my walk with the Lord. I started reading my Bible and journaling. I was learning to think of God as my Father and Friend. But even on my happiest days when I was secure in Christ, I still had lingering disappointment with my body. Eating became my friend. I enjoyed it. I loved everything about food.
I entered into a really dark time. You would have never known it on the outside. I was leading Bible studies and serving on Leadership Staff at a Christian Camp. I was encouraging other women to love their bodies and to see themselves in the way God had made them. And yet, I had begun making myself throw up whenever I felt too full. It seemed a fairly easy fix, and a temporary one at that. I would hit my target weight and then stop. But as I mentioned yesterday, I really like seeing those numbers drop on a scale. I battled off and on for over a year during college.
Since that time the Lord has taught me a lot about His power in my weaknesses. Changes really started happening when I began to realize that my “issue” was bigger than the strength within me. That’s when I purchased “Breaking Free” by Beth Moore and read this statement. “A Christian is held captive by anything that hinders the abundant and effective Spirit-filled life God planned for her.” Whoa. Captive? Me captive? But I made the decision to start this…surely this is something I can handle!! Eventually I came to the conclusion that a stronghold was holding me captive. I was made vulnerable by some powerful lies from Satan, but eventually my sin became my idol.
I usually proudly proclaim that I now have victory in this area. And I do, at least in regards to an eating disorder. But I still have a heart disorder. Too often I let comparison or a desire to look a certain way steal the victorious life given to me in Jesus Christ.
I titled this post “Perfect Timing” because God came through again this morning in a huge way. My Tuesday night group is starting Beth Moore’s Daniel Bible Study. I’m way behind in my homework because of my vacation last week. But as I sat at my kitchen table taking furious notes, I knew that session #1 was exactly what God had intended for me to hear.
Point number 1: We also have an enemy who wants to return us to places God called us to leave.
Satan wants nothing more than to bring me back to the stronghold that calls my name! It’s so easy to fall into old patterns of both thought and behavior. He wants to see you and me playing with fire. Friends – Jesus came to bring you eternal life, but He also came to bring us real and meaningful life on this earth! When I fixate on the number on my scale and give it power over my emotions and life I am denying the abundant life Jesus has given. Do you know what really stopped me from hurting my body? I realized I was giving a victory to the enemy. I can’t and won’t willingly betray my Savior.
Tomorrow we are going to talk about the weapons at our disposal in this war. Because, yes, this is a war and the enemy is all about taking prisoners.
Jesus said, “I tell you most solemnly that anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave. A slave is a transient, who can’t come and go at will. The Son, though, has an established position, the run of the house. So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through. – John 8:34-36, The Message
I, for one, am ready to stop acting like a slave.