Finding God in an Eating Disorder: Guest Post

Guest post by Abbie M.

God will never let you go.

Have you ever felt like you’re not enough? You looked in the mirror and you couldn’t see past the cute girl on the advert? The B you got in that exam? All the ridiculous things you got up to as a kid?

What do you feel — shame? Regret? Pain? Ugliness? I have felt all these things….sometimes at the same time, often close together, and most of all in the morning. Unfortunately, I’m not a morning person. I mean, today I managed to get up at 7 am but that’s unusual, trust me! You see, one of the hardest things I have to deal with in life is getting past that fifteen minutes of struggle in the morning because I don’t want to face the new day. Life seems too hard — to be honest, it often is.

But before we get back to “you in front of the mirror” I want to tell you a bit about how I got to this place. I was the typical homeschooled Christian kid; or perhaps I seemed more than typical. I am still a workaholic and perfectionist; I was fit and healthy, had a great memory, amazing parents, I loved exams and books and had a good relationship with the Lord. I had good friends, and struggles didn’t seem to stay for long in my life. In fact, I had a lot going for me, you could say.

But sometimes it’s these good things the devil can use against us. And I began to be a bit complacent; I felt so good about myself but the perfectionist part of my mind was slowly taking hold. Plus my pride. I will be the first to admit that I was prideful, and arrogant even if it wasn’t outward. 

Then 2019 happened. Probably my hardest year on record. 

It started in November 2018 when I discovered my first favourite actor. That’s not bad in and of itself but I let my fascination of her become something it’s shouldn’t be. She was accomplished, she was slim, and she was beautiful. And I wanted to look EXACTLY like she did.

Things started changing; old clothes got thrown out and a wardrobe makeover began to change my style to be like hers. But it still wasn’t enough — she was a lot shorter than me, which meant that she was lighter, and I came up with what seemed to be, at the time, a logical conclusion. If I wanted to be pretty like her, I had to diet. I had to lose weight, and lose it fast because I was impatient.

Things went downhill steadily from there. Soon I was eating half on my plate, then a quarter, then barely anything. Unless you count salad, I eventually got to the point when I barely ate anything, and even when I was hungry nothing would make me give in. 

At the time of my exams, I began to restrict even more when I was on my own and once I got home after such a stressful time, it was too late. I wasn’t eating anything unless you count about one bite per day. My parents, worried sick as I developed breathing problems and loss of strength and other complications, sent me to the doctor.

We got the call about an hour later. I was to go to the big hospital straight away; my body was dying.

I can’t remember most of my time in hospital but what I did go through isn’t worth mentioning.

The thing that does matter is that I’m out now and I survived something that I couldn’t have gotten through alone. When I pushed God away as I blamed him for my situation, he kept coming closer; through friends, family, books I read.

There were times when I physically couldn’t get through a meal, couldn’t swallow…and yet a small voice in my mind told me simply, keep going. 

Just one more bite.

Without God, I wouldn’t still be here. I’m not telling you this to prove I’m tough or scare you or some other excuse but I want to show you I can totally understand if you’re struggling with big things in your life or other people’s lives; because even though my life before seemed so perfect before, I still fell. God is perfectly able to help you.

To those who have body image problems I want you to know — no matter how many times people have said it to you, read this and BELIEVE IT: you are absolutely stunning, God created you so beautiful! Don’t ever believe any different. Learn how to love who you are but remember not to become self centred or see the problems as your identity. You are a child of the Father and HE MOVED HEAVEN AND EARTH TO RESCUE YOU. He knows how much you are worth to him — the sacrifice of his Son. Walk away from the self-blame and the worry that you won’t be enough. The right people will love you for who you are and that’s how it should always be.

To those with stress or anxiety problems, I want to pray this over you: Lord you know these precious people. Protect them from what they think of themselves. Help make them strong through the pain, patient in the waiting, hopeful in the chaos. Remind them that you don’t need us perfect — we can be broken and you will still love us just as much as before. Please, give them calmness and energy for the next day, the strength to get up out of bed and start a new day praising you in the trials. Raise them from the ashes, restore them to an even braver warrior than they were before and help them delve deeper into your word and find the truth of how you feel about them. Let them REST in your presence.

For those who can’t forget their past, I pray you will find true meaning and purpose in today serving your Lord and Saviour. As 1 Corinthians 16:13 says, Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. God has got this! No matter how ridiculous or embarrassing or hurtful your past is, accept it and move on. Find something good to do to distract yourself when you’re feeling down and have fun with it! Learn to live life happy and be contented. 

Something that helps me with this is a thankfulness journal and a prayer nook where I put up bits of paper with prayers (a bit like the movie War Room except I don’t have a room. Improvise!).

Life can hurt. It can hurt and it can bring back past hurts. But despite all the fallenness around us, we need to remember He is a GOOD GOD. He will hold us in the heartbreak. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever. 

He will never let you go.

So go to that mirror every morning. Brush your teeth. Smile. And know your father in heaven loves you even when no one else does, or seems not to.

Hey everyone, nice to meet y’all! My name is Abigail and I’m a fiction writer, mocha drinker, chocolate eater, absent minded blogger and movie binger. When I’m not shooting arrows, reading Maze Runner or going on bike rides I love to write my own shorts stories and am currently working on a larger novel at the moment. Though I do find it hard to share about my personal life I felt a burden to tell you about the important lessons I’ve learned through the tough times. I hope it helps you! I’m so glad you could join me for this post — may God bless you and keep you! And may he remind you that wherever you are, you are not alone.

You can view more of Abbie’s post here at// https://tinkeringwithfeathers.home.blog/blog/

Image from Brad Loyd on Unsplash.

2 thoughts on “Finding God in an Eating Disorder: Guest Post

  1. Thank you for sharing so honestly and openly with us Abigail. Your vulnerability and desire to share your story to help others is inspiring. You are not simply a survivor but an OVERCOMER. The enemy wanted to take you down but, just as John wrote in Revelation 12:11, you overcame and in sharing your testimony with others, you are prophesying healing into the hearts of those who listen who have similar struggles. Bless you as you thrive and flourish in Jesus!

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  2. Aw thank you so much Gainzie! What you’ve said is absolutely bang on, we aren’t just meant to survive but to find purpose in our fight. Thank you again I’m so glad you enjoyed this post

    Like

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