Eating disorders press pause on life; and sometimes rewind too. In the process you can lose yourself. It’s hard to remember who you once were – if you ever knew. Hard to imagine a world where we’re not just frightened. A place where other people aren’t just threats. And where there’s something bigger than the numbers on the scales.
But there is hope – and there is a way forward. It’s hard – really hard – but Jesus is with us and He can bring us through.
I know you tell yourself you’ve got it under control. You’ll turn the corner – tomorrow.
But tomorrow never comes. Or rather – it comes and goes and leaves you behind.
Other people move on too. They get married and get promotions and have babies or travel. They eat. They live. But you stay the same.
Next week becomes next month. Next year. Happy birthday.
Twenty-six, thirty-six, fifty-six. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and then you die.
Because today is what we have. And it’ll never be easier to get better than it is right now.
But we need help.
We need other people to say no for us and stand with us and by us, especially when we can’t do it for ourselves. I know that’s a big ask, because relationship and exposure is so threatening…but it’s also the only way we’ll be able to see ourselves as Jesus does and to actually live instead of being so unutterably, painfully lonely.
I know the possibility of love and acceptance is almost unbearable: hope is more threatening than fear, and it’s so much easier to cling to the selves we can hate and control and punish.
What’s really frightening is this: the love we long for – the identity and the purpose – is real, but it’s not under our control.
There is a God who sees us when we binge and who sees us when we starve, and who loves us but won’t let us keep killing ourselves. Eating disorders tell us that they’re our masters – but they’re not. We have the Spirit of God in us and He is calling you and me away from the lies. And Jesus can do in us what we can’t do in ourselves, even to change our desires so that we actually want what He does.
Like you, I feel scared a lot of time – but with Jesus that is changing. It really is. And like you, I couldn’t imagine a place where I could let go of even a little control…but that’s happening, step by step – and He’s doing it.
I know it’s scary to move forward – but it’s even scarier to stay where you are.
You are not too far away to get back – and more than getting back, to move forward: to know who you are and why you’re here and to step into warmth and life and freedom.
By His grace, we can do it.