My initial response to say ‘HA! If only..’ But there’s more to it than that.
For one thing, I’m still in recovery. Along with many ex-anorexics, I struggle with binge-eating: this beats starving myself, but it’s still looking to food for comfort. I no longer obsess about weight/calories … but I still have body hang-ups. Even now, years since I was really unwell, I bear some of the old scars. I’m a long way from where I’ve been, but God’s not done yet.
But there’s a sense in which Jesus has done – and is – working out a miracle in my life. ‘My story‘ explains this a little more fully, (as will my book coming out this summer), but the turning point was this: Jesus spoke to me. He said: ‘That’s enough. I’ve bought you, you are mine and I won’t let you live like this any more’. However, it wasn’t like X-Factor: there were no blinding flashes of light or smoke. Jesus ‘spoke’ through a book – the Bible – and John’s words from Revelation.
I reckon Jesus had been speaking to me for a long time before – but at this point, I heard. I met Someone bigger than me and my desires. Someone I could trust : who would be with me and help me at every step. And something changed.
In some ways, this was a totally unique and miraculous experience. Yet in others, it was the crystalisation of what I had already known: the offer of relationship with Jesus made to me – and to everyone. The same power and relationship I knew and know are available to all who throw themselves on Him. It was a miracle – but in the same way as anyone who sees who Jesus is has had their eyes opened.
The biggest challenge to me was in the area of my heart and the lordship I desired over my own life. But it had many repercussions: not least for my eating disorder.
This one miracle works out in lots of little miracles too. But painful, complicated, messy and time-consuming. Lots of little steps forward – and also lots of steps back.
To begin with, most days were just horrible. I wanted to stay in bed and be left alone – but I also needed constant companionship and reassurance. I started to eat, but every meal was a struggle and building up to a normal calorie intake took took a long time. Then there was the challenge of putting on weight, outgrowing old clothes, trying new foods. I started to talk about my feelings – but this too was painful: slammed doors and shouting and heavy silences and tears and prayers. I was furious and depressed and despairing. I believed that Jesus was calling me to recovery, but I rarely felt it. Instead, I howled at Him and at Glen and the world. I felt like I was hanging on by a thread – and I couldn’t see where I was going or when it would end.
But over time, the struggles eased. There were whole hours where I didn’t think about my body. People loved and prayed for me and gradually wooed me out of my isolation. I started to feel human and to see a world outside of myself. I started to see the Lord’s hand – not just in the present, but in the past. As I trusted who He said He was, I experienced the relationship I had read so much about. And then the real, heart recovery began.