Yep. Just like we don’t get measles or parking tickets.
I wish we didn’t, just like I wish we didn’t get sick or depressed or sad or any of the other messy stuff that makes us human. But sadly we do. It might look that way, but Christians aren’t people who are ‘fixed’. We’re people who are broken and weak – but we have a Saviour who is glorious and loving and strong.
Many thanks to everyone who’s been praying and supporting us in the run-up to book publication: I’ve been blown away by hundreds of big and little kindnesses and am massively grateful.
Here’s a short excerpt where I talk about some of the spiritual factors involved:
As my eating disorder took hold, I was just as ‘religious’ as I’d always been. I was still trusting in God. The difference was that this god had a small, rather than a capital ‘g’. And surprise, surprise, it was a god that looked just like me. The god of performance, hard work, externals and rituals. A god that gave nothing of itself, but demanded everything in return.
In the Bible, worship takes place in the context of a wider body where we are free to be ourselves and speak the truth in love. With anorexia, the opposite is true. I retreat into myself and cut myself off from relationships. I hide and I lie. I turn my hatred against myself and against anyone who comes close.
At the centre of the Christian faith is Christ’s body and blood, broken and poured out for us. In the Lord’s Supper we are reminded that we cannot save ourselves. We are needy – hungry for the Bread of life. But in Jesus we have found a self-giving God who invites us to his table and feeds us. ‘This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them’ is what they said in the Gospels (Luke 15:2), and it’s just as true today. As we come in our brokenness, we know that we are not worthy, but we are welcome nonetheless.
At the centre of the anorexic faith is another body, also broken. This body is solitary. It is mine. And it is punished by me and for me. This continual sacrifice is proof that I am worthy after all. I wear my rules and rituals proudly, for all to see.
The drive towards self-improvement is relentless. The weight and exercise goals are never enough. The rituals serve as sacraments. It all feels like freedom. But I am enslaved. Each day more demands are added to the list. Each day my body shrinks along with my world.
The gospel of anorexia isn’t good news at all. It is a system of works, of slavery, self-salvation and self-destruction. It feels like heaven, but leads to hell. It is a religion, as powerful and addictive as any cult.
Read the rest of this excerpt from Theology Network here.