These are things God has done. These are Redemption Stories.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Redemption Story #13 - The Thief

It’s taken me a while to actually sit down, reflect, and begin to write my redemption story. For a few months now, I have been waiting to be healed, waiting to be at a place of freedom and perfection so I could write my testimony. In this journey, I have discovered that my story is more a “redeeming story” …not yet complete, but in the process of redemption through full reliance and trust in the Lord.

I have been living with a secret, one I have been hiding from everyone for the past few years. I have been living a double life, believing in the devils lies and insecurities he has flooded my mind with. I have an eating disorder, one the doctors call bulimia.

Growing up, I don’t remember a time that I was fully satisfied with my body, completely confident in who I was and able to live free of the fear that body issues brought me every day. The fear of being in a bathing suit caused me to miss so many opportunities growing up, and the time my mind has spent obsessing over my image has been such a sad waste of energy.

My mom set a great example for me and showed me that a balanced life of health and fitness was attainable, but I let this desire for perfection spiral me into a bad relationship with food - leading to binges, purges, restrictions, and exercise obsessions.

It’s just been these past few years that I have let this issue grow into something greater, tear me apart from the inside out, and cause me a lot of health issues. I tried to maintain this lie for a while…hiding food, hiding receipts, hiding the purges, hiding the restrictions and hiding my fear. 

Food became my escape, my comfort, and something that made me feel good temporarily…I knew I could get away with it if I got creative with how I would deal with it after. That lead to more lies, more pain, and more secrets. It also led me to realize that it was an issue of control-while I wanted help, there is comfort in holding on to patterns I have known for so long. 

Food became my best friend and my absolute enemy. I developed a pattern of feast or famine, and lived in extremes putting my body through so much pain. For a while I believed that there were benefits to this pattern of eating; I was convinced that this could numb my emotions, help me control an area of my life, and allow me to look “normal” in social situations. 

Lately, I have realized that this eating disorder has taken so much of my life. It has robbed me of true joy, optimum health, and caused me to push others out of my life as a way to retreat and deal with the feelings alone.

It took a while for me to realize I needed help, forgiveness, and faithful prayer. This was habit, my identity, and a strange sort of comfort to my daily routine. I thought I could find healing on my own, but I quickly realized that my strength had to come from the Lord. I had slipped into depression, didn’t feel like myself, and spent days living with regret, feelings of failure, and heartbreak. 

Confession was my first step to recovery, and seeking professional help came soon afterwards. I am on this journey, having to surrender every moment to God in hopes of simply making it through a few hours on my own. 

I feel incredibly supported, loved, and prayed for…but it’s been a long and hard journey. I am confident that God will restore my faith, and bring complete healing. I am stepping out in faith and pursuing Him for my assurance, hope and strength. I know that God is going to use my story to help others, and relate to people struggling with similar issues…I am looking forward to that day.

The promises of Psalm 139:13-16 reminds me of how precious I am, and how much my heavenly father loves me. While I find it hard to love myself each day, the words of this passage confirm the passion that Christ has for His children, and the love He has for each and every individual.

13  For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place, when I
was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your
book before one of them came to be.

As I mentioned before, this is my journey of redemption, and while I wish I could have written this after “complete healing”, I am thankful for the opportunity to share my story and reflect on how far God has brought me already. I am thankful for the many who do support me and the resources that I have been able to utilize to receive help. 

This might be something that I will always be challenged with, but I know that my identity is in Christ, that He loves me, and I am his daughter - absolutely beautiful, and completely loved. For now, I am taking it a day at a time, resting in the God’s love and mercy.

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