I really can’t tell you the moment that I began to struggle with food, but I can tell you the lies that I had to uproot in order to get well.
As a very sensitive child, I always seemed to have an overactive sense of rejection or failure. I excelled in most things I tried, but I was painfully self-conscious around other people. I heard criticism easily and internalized my feelings. On top of my sensitive nature, an abuser had access to me. By the time I was a teenager, I was full of self-condemnation and making terrible decisions.
Abusive relationships plagued me into adulthood, culminating in the decision to abort my child. Two hard taskmasters drove me—shame and perfectionism. I carried shame like a weight around my shoulders, but the perfectionism worked as a protective factor. Although it wasn’t a conscious effort, I needed to be good enough to keep everyone happy. I needed to meet everyone’s expectations so that no one would be disappointed in me. I absorbed negativity into my spirit in such high doses that I guess I learned to just keep everything going at all cost in order to not have to face any more shame.
Of course, when perfect is the standard, every woman’s body is a target.
In my late twenties, I cried out to Jesus to save me. He did it in dramatic fashion. What might surprise you is that my eating actually became worse. Now, I knew that God loved me, but in my lack of understanding, I worked to keep that love, and my perfectionism took on a whole new dynamic.
I do remember thinking as I got on the scale and felt a sense of accomplishment at the fact that I was 106 pounds and still losing, “Everything else may be out of control, but I can control this!” The “this” of course was my weight. That weight was unhealthy for me, and it was not the smallest number I ever saw.
I was also having another battle. I did not know how to give all of myself to my precious Savior, but He did not just want part of me. He wanted my whole life: body, mind, and soul. I kept trying to give it all up to Him, but my self-protection mechanisms were strong. I needed the control.
The Lord loved me too much to leave me there. I began to see in the pages of the Bible a God who loved His children, and through His Word I could hear Him speak words of healing and significance into my heart. When I began to realize that God could be trusted and wanted me to live freely in His love, my chains began to break. When I realized that He did not want me to carry shame and that my perfect performance was not what He was after, I began to heal in many areas of my life, and what I found was that perfect love casts out all fear. There is only one that is perfect, and He loves us with a perfect love that overcomes the dark voices that haunt us. Will you let Him sing His song of love over you today? His is a beautiful song of everlasting joy and peace and there is no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 107:20 says, “He sent out His word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave.”
Scripture verses to meditate and pray:
Pray and ask Jesus to deliver you as you meditate on these scriptures.
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
“He’s the one who gives might to the faint, renewing strength for the powerless.” Isaiah 40:29
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (Romans 8:26)