One of the biggest mistakes I made in recovery was trying to change my ‘behavior’ without realizing who I was, a hopeless person that couldn’t change my behavior without a change of mind, a change of heart.
I didn’t realize that recovery starts with the mind, not with changing the disordered behaviors.
Let’s link up with Katie so we can share some of these thoughts about the journey. 🙂
You see. There are moralists, and then there is the change that Christ makes in a life. I wasn’t realizing the change that needed to start right inside of me, my mind, my heart, my spirit, my soul.
I was a moralist. I was trying to change my outside, before I had realized the transformation that needed to take place within my heart.
The whole problem behind in an eating disorder is this:
You’ve forgotten what your identity is.
What is your identity?
A. A person, a human, imprinted with the image of God, precious, beautiful, and made for Him.
But what does an ED tell you? In fact, what happens when you forget what really matters?
The temptation is to let your status as a person be defined by:
1. How Much Money You Make
2. The Makeup or Clothing you Wear
3. The Food You Make
4. The College Degree You Have
5. The Way You Navigate Friendships
6. The Size of Your Waist or the Size of Your House
and the list could really continue to go, but my burning question is, ‘Are you any less of a person if you don’t fit any of these definitions of success that the culture puts out there? If you don’t fit the ‘ideal’ are you not a person who matters?’
This was the argument in my head.
I couldn’t be the skinny girl. I couldn’t ‘do the right things.’ I couldn’t be the girl who ate (TW: Calorie Numbers mentioned), 1200 or even 1500 or even 1700 calories a day and not go to bed STARVING.’ I felt guilty for not measuring up to that, because I had:
Forgotten who I was.
I listened to this amazing sermon this morning on Romans 12:1-2 and the phrase, ‘renewed in the spirit of your mind’ really really hit me.
The problem in recovery was not my actions (at the root.) It was the actions that came from the wrong spirit of my mind.
My mind said, ‘You are defined by what you do, the size of your body, the calories you eat, the exercise you do,’ and I didn’t think that I am a person, created in God’s image, for His purpose.
Then, it is:
‘Who I Am’ that was my biggest blind fold.
Yet, let me tell you. This last year has been a complete journey of freedom, because I’ve realized that I am a child of God in my mind which has led to a change of action and behavior.
I am a person, whose worth doesn’t change based on my works, because Christ Jesus paid the price, did the things, fulfilled the law that I couldn’t obey.
The amazing thing is that the mind directs the actions. It’s not a painting on of the actions that affects the heart. It’s a heart change that starts to change the whole person, including their actions. That’s the change that will last.
It’s not the fact that you don’t eat enough calories. It’s that you have to realize that you are a person, a person created for a purpose, (a purpose of being the image bearer of God, the image bearer of His glory.)
And then I saw that I couldn’t destroy that image for any reason. It wasn’t my right to destroy that image, to starve it, to beat it, but to care for it, because I’m a creation of God, someone who didn’t come here randomly by random chance. I have a purpose, and the fact that I am me, someone, a sinner, a broken person, who now is covered by the blood of Christ.
So the guilt is gone. Somedays, I do still struggle with guilt, but I tell myself this. ‘Emily, you are a child. Nothing can take you out of being a child.
Even if you sin, you can still go crawling back to Jesus Christ and ask God’s forgiveness, because He is my advocate with God the Father. And even if an earthly father doesn’t always perfectly forgive, your Heavenly Father does forgive the broken child and restore them and heal them every day more and more.’
2 Corinthians 5:17, ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’
I don’t just feel new. I am new, and by the grace of God in a sinner’s life I can share this newness. I’m a new person, so what does that mean? I just can’t go back to an eating disorder. My mind is different, so my actions are different. My mind is purified from those things. Does that mean that I still don’t have those thoughts?
Well, no, but I have to go back to, ‘Who am I?’ And the truth of our identity never changes, no matter what. When I struggle with all the wrong things that I’m doing, I’m brought back to what I’m thinking and Ephesians 4:23-24 is such an amazing comfort.
‘And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.’
Coming to the awareness of this newness of identity is what enabled me to recover. I stopped defining myself by what I did, and I started to see that who I was leads to the things I do (instead of the other way around.)
I can think of other girls who are finding freedom in recovery and have walked these roads before me and with me. If you want to follow any of their health journey’s, here they are below. These are beautiful women, created in the image of God, imprinted in His image.
Each one of them have a story, and if you have a moment, would you take time to encourage them on their journey and remind them that their identity is a beautiful creation of the Almighty God?
They each have insights to offer, encouragements to share, and most of all they are each beautiful, individual women that have the wonderful image of God imprinted on them.
Each girl is transparent, honest, and straightforward with her journey, and all the adjectives I use can describe each one of them, but I thought I would just put one adjective to give you a flavor for their blogs.
Honest and Wise Kat
Bubbly and Kind Alyssa
Now I’m not going to go out and just excuse myself for doing anything I want, but my identity is a new person. And new people do new things. I’m not an ED. I’m not a hopeless person. I’m a person, a daughter imprinted with, created for the purpose of a Holy God.
That means I can’t do any of those ED things anymore. I can’t be those things, because those aren’t me. Of course, I’m not my ‘career.’ I’m Emily. I’m Emily, and by God’s grace, I will always be Emily, changing, growing, and learning more about what it is to be a new person.
Do you ever feel the pressure to be defined by what you ‘do?’
Have you had a time in your life when you realized that your wrong mindset was driving your actions?
Thoughts? 🙂 I would love to hear whatever you think. 🙂
Last but not least I want you to know:
‘You matter. You are a person, created in God’s image, created for His glory.
That is what makes you precious.’
Linking up with Julia for Mental Health Monday! Welcome Julia back from her trip to Spain.