This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. I don't usually post about it when it rolls around each year...but the theme this year is "Everybody Knows Somebody".
15 years ago, I was a couple of months away from being hospitalized, and missing the last couple weeks of my senior year of high school, after collapsing in front of my terrified 13 year old brother. This was because of an eating disorder that had ravaged my body and spirit, leaving me close to 80 pounds and pretty hopeless. I had stopped nourishing the physical systems of my body, so they had begun to fail me. I had stopped nourishing my self-esteem and my knowledge of my worth as a daughter of God, so I had close to none. I was feeling out of control in many areas of my life, so I attempted to have control over something. I was living and believing a lie...that I could somehow manage my worth...forgetting that I had a Father in heaven who had already given me an identity that could never be taken away.
I read an article today that resonated with me. It was about the abundance of "fakebooking" that we do...the ever present need to make the lives we present on social media look shiny and beautiful, filtered through the unreliable glow of instagram, and not so much rooted in reality. We all struggle to manage our identity, so that what people see is untarnished and "fine". What if we let people see what is really there? And what if we believed who God already says that we are?
So here I am...scars and all...and I will probably always struggle within myself to truly believe who my Heavenly Father says I am because of Him. Don't we all? It may not manifest itself for you as systematically destroying your own body...but we all fight against the holiness that is already present inside of us.
Even now, at a time in my life when I am overweight and struggling to
learn to love my body in a different way and to take care of it...to
strike a balance of teaching my children how to value and care about
what they are putting in their bodies and yet not make that just another
idol...I hear a voice in my head that tells me there is an easy
solution to this...just don't eat. Those lies are still there...they
always will be...but I can choose to hear the truth louder.
The world gives us lie after lie about who we are...and then Jesus says,
"...but you were washed
clean, you were made holy to God, and you were made right with God in
the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God." ~ 1 Corinthians 6:11
I love the word "WERE" in that passage. It has already been done. It is finished. Our identity in Christ can never be stripped away by the temporary trappings of this fleeting world.
"Everybody knows somebody"...and sometimes you may not even know it. If we're honest, we've all been that somebody. Maybe we haven't all struggled with an eating disorder, but we all know what it is to deny the truth of our identity.
My life does not fit into a neat little box...and, yet, I still try to cram it in.
I choose, so many days, to crop out the ugliness and to filter my life through a haze of what I think I should be living up to as a woman, a wife and a mother...but my Heavenly Father still says, "Come".
I abuse and mistreat this one body, this temple He has given me as a vessel for His love...and He still says, "Come".
I let the lies of this world seep in to my spirit and redefine who I think I am, and who I think I am supposed to be...and yet He tells me, "Come".
And so I come...broken and scarred, I come. I listen again, as He tells me who I am because of Him. And I don't try to hide the scars because even Jesus, perfect and spotless, had scars. And all I want is to look like Him.
And as I lean into Him...He leans in and whispers to me that, by His grace, I already do.