Saturday, November 13, 2010


{before you read this, please start here. thanks}

this is the darkest part of my story. the messiest part. but God pulled me through and cleaned me up. He held my hand and dragged me away from the dark tunnel i was heading towards. fast.

it happened all so fast.

at age 19 i gave myself an eating disorder. i gave myself an identity in a self-inflicted disease. independent and searching desperately for acceptance as a young woman, i found comfort in the ability to control my physical size and my appetite. my faith was in the scale. starvation was my god. i worshiped emptiness. i craved weightlessness and would go to unbelievable extremes fill myself with nothing. the dizziness, the mood swings, the secretiveness, the self-hate...i found it all laughable. i was thin and in control. i was bony, sick, grouchy, and tired. but i was thin. nothing else mattered.

i starved myself for years. although my life from the outside seemed picture perfect, in so many ways i was always hungry, never satisfied. always wanting. 

God saw something in me. He still had a plan for me. selfish, sick me.

a few years after i got married, i wanted a baby. "God please give us a baby and i promise i'll eat." seriously, i was making deals with God. although really, i didn't know if i was going to hold up my end of the bargain. i had my fingers crossed behind my back.

but God gave us a baby. i fell in love with her at the first sound of her heartbeat. my doctor told barely pregnant me that i needed to gain weight and eat healthier for my growing baby. those words were hard to swallow. i knew it was true, and i remembered the deal i'd made with God. in this personal and private internal struggle, i began to realize how much i really needed God. and how much God really loved me.

it was not easy. i remember crying while i ate. it literally hurt my teeth to chew. i devoured nutritional information and memorized the food pyramid for the sake of my daughter in the womb. i ate without condemnation. i ate without self-hate. i ate with freedom. i ate more vegetables in those 40 weeks than i'd ever eaten in my entire life. i was determined to take good care of myself for my baby. i killed my anorexia with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a side of canned peaches. i kicked body dysmorphic disorder to the curb when i put the scale out with the trash. i wanted to be healthy now more than anything, and i knew that starvation was a one-way ticket in the wrong direction.

it wasn't until my daughter was about 6 months old that i stopped to look back at the dark tunnel from where i'd emerged. it must have been about the time most new moms start worrying about losing the baby weight. not me. i was a healthy mother, raising a healthy baby girl. i was healthy, with a completely renewed relationship with my food, my body, and my God. i wasn't a slave to calorie-counting or skipping meals anymore. i wasn't locking myself in the bathroom every hour to do 100 jumping jacks. when once i saw food as the enemy, i had come to know that food is vital. i was eating and exercising like a normal, healthy person, and learning to use food for fuel. i was free. and freedom tasted better than thin felt.

i remember looking at my precious baby and praying that she never ever ever has body image issues. i prayed she would be healthy and balanced. i prayed that she would be stronger than i was, smarter than i was, and happier than i was. i prayed that i, the one who once ate a Tic-Tac for lunch, would be able to teach her how to love her body. i prayed and i prayed that i would be a good example.

in this time of new life, both mine and hers, i felt triumphant. i knew i didn't do it on my own, though. it was all God. i owed Him a great deal of thanks.

i started going to church, taking my husband and little princess with me. i found and cracked open my bible. i read and praised and worshiped and prayed. thankful for His mercy. thankful for my "wonderfully made" "in His image" body. thankful for saving me. thankful for giving me life and trusting me with another. i gave myself an identity in Christ. He satisfied my every need.

six years ago i turned my life over to God. i'm not who i was. i overcame. i am consumed with His love. i crave His word. i have a growing desire to be in His presence. a beautiful relationship bloomed out of the deadest part of my life. without going through that dark valley of death, i couldn't have found my God, my light.

i was hurting, hungry, and hollow. He gave me healing, hope, and wholeness.

and that is my story. 

everything He gave to me, everything He brought me to, He can do it for you, too. He will save you just like He saved me. He is a God of healing, restoration, redemption, love, grace, and salvation. His promises are for ALL of us. whisper His name and He will answer you. turn to God and never turn back.