My family was NEVER the reason for my idols of self, food, and body. In fact, God used my family to be one of the biggest parts of recovery.
Well, I was thinking about this, and I thought, ‘What would be a good topic to ‘think out loud’ on with Amanda?’ I couldn’t think of a better or dearer topic to my heart than this at the moment in regards to recovery.
My family NEVER said anything negative to me about my body. They NEVER called me fat. They never disparaged the way I ate. They would playfull tease me when I would load up on a HUGE salad, but I never incurred ANY hurt from those comments. I thought it was endearing. Nothing they ever said or did pushed me down the slippery slope to putting the idol of self, body, and food in front of my Almighty God and Father.
(My sister re-enacting the ‘Lion King.’ This sister understands struggles with body image more than I ever did at her age, and in a lot of ways, I regret that, but in a lot of ways, God has used it to make her so compassionate and understanding. She reminds me of what it is to eat to live, not ‘live to eat.’ She loves soup, cookies, salad, and ice cream. She gets me back to what real balance is)
I am so thankful that God Almighty gave me my precious family in recovery, because they were one of the biggest reasons I recovered. God works in so many awesome and mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. His mind and ways are higher than mine, SO much higher, and for that I’m so grateful.
(Best brother in the world. Thank you Lord)
I could not have planned how recovery would go or that I would struggle with an eating disorder, but God has brought something SO beautiful out of it.
Ecclesiastes 3:11, ‘He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.’
God used my family to make recovery beautiful. They didn’t make it hard. Of course they challenged me with the love of Christ, to conquer my fears through Christ alone, and to move on from many of my fears that I had, and to REALLY trust that I serve a mighty God. They pressed me to really discover and search the Scriptures for what the PERFECT, absolutely perfect love of God is. If God loved me with an everlasting love through His Son, why would I want to be in bondage to myself and the devil anymore?
1 John 4:18, ‘There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.’
My sister was the one who asked me whether I was TRULY walking in newness of life. Was I really acting as if Jesus Christ had won the victory over these idols of food and body? Or was I continuing to listen to the lies of the Devil. Was I resisting the Devil so that he would flee from me or was I embracing the freedom of Christ Jesus?
John 8:34-36 says, ‘Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.’
My family pointed me back to Jesus, the only solution for my brokenness. They didn’t give me half-baked solutions. They didn’t just make me feel better about myself. They often prodded me to the core of my being with truth from the Scripture, and it helped uncover and heal the wounds that had been created over years and years of idolatry.
(My dad going on a bike ride with my sister and I in Vail, CO)
Psalm 118:1-9, ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever. Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever. Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever. Let them now that fear the Lord say, that his mercy endureth for ever. I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? The Lord taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’
Most of all, God used my family to soak me in the living water of Christ.
John 4:13-14, ‘Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.’
The more I recover, the more Jesus Christ fills me with His worth and His beauty. Obsessing over how many calories I ate, or whether or not I miss a workout won’t ever make me happy or ultimately joyful. It’s not eternal life. It’s only food. That’s all it is, just food, nothing more, nothing less. It’s an incredible gift from God. BUT, it’s not THE GIFT.
That’s what God used my family to remind me of, and they are one of the MAJOR reasons I recovered and that I am walking in freedom today. They constantly point me back to my freedom in Christ, that in Christ I have died to that old realm of sin. I may fail and sin when I am listening to the lies of the Devil, but I am no longer under its dominion or its reign. I am NEW in Christ. I am not my body. I am not a number. I am not the calories that I eat. I am a sinner, saved by grace, and feebly walking this road, leaning wholly on the COMPLETE, FULL forgiveness and redemption and glory of my Heavenly Father.
This brings me to one last thought.
Will I ever relapse?
Romans 6:8-14 explains this better than I ever could. ‘Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.’
It’s impossible for me to go back. The whole point of grace was to redeem me from sin. It was to redeem me from every idol and to put me into Christ. I’m not perfected yet, but I know that will come when we go to be with Jesus. Yet, I know that the devil has no more dominion over me. He can yell at me, and I can even find myself listening to his lies, but his lies have no bearing in my life anymore.
This isn’t the devil’s life or even my life. It’s God’s life, and nothing can ever pluck me from His almighty, omnipotent hand.
Matthew 10:27-29, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.’
His grace is sufficient!
If you struggled with a mental illness issue or eating disorder who were some of the people who were most instrumental in your recovery?
What thoughts would you like to share? I would love to hear what you’re thinking about today, no matter how random. 🙂