To Those in the Throes:
Hello, sweet girl. First of all, thank you for reading this. Thank you for taking a moment to pause your brain to do something good for yourself. That’s a win – Something to be proud of.
First of all, I want you to know that I have been where you are right now. I have been in that dark place where everything is out of control: food is scary, you hate yourself, your life is ruled by the clock and the scale, you hate your life and this food prison you’re in, your mind is always manically racing, you feel you don’t have a purpose – that you’re worthless, unlovable, and a burden. You just can’t find a minute to catch your breath. You’re always racing, trying to keep up the calorie burning, avoiding eating, keeping your life and your body hidden. Believe me, sweet girl, I get it. The comparisons, the anger, the anxiety, the fear, the battles with your loved ones. Life is hard. You feel that it is not worth living.
Sweet girl, please hear me when I say this: You can be free. And you are worth that freedom.
You can have freedom from the suffering you’re going through every day. You can be free from the self-hatred. You don’t have to torture yourself. You deserve better than that – because you are precious. I know, you’re probably rolling your eyes at that notion right now, but it’s the honest-to-God truth. YOU are PRECIOUS. And loved. And enough. Not because of anything you did, or what you look like, or what your BMI is, or who your friends are, or what you’ve achieved. No. You are precious just for who you are. You are intrinsically good simply because you are the daughter of the King – God. He made you, and He does not make mistakes. Your worth and value come only from the fact that you are made in His image. There’s nothing you did to deserve it, and there’s nothing you can do to change it or be disqualified from it. You are more precious that gold, simply for that very reason.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But I’ve done so many awful things. I don’t deserve to be loved. I’ve lied to my loved ones about my eating disorder. I’ve caused so much tension and stress in my family. I’ve manipulated and hurt everyone I care about. I’ve been so self-centered about my looks and my body and whether or not I have a thigh gap. I’ve shut everyone out, including God. I don’t deserve that freedom. I don’t deserve that love. I’m too awful.”
Please hear me, sweet girl, when I say this: You. Are. Worth. It. There’s nothing you can do that will change God’s love for you OR His forgiveness. You see, God knows all the shit that you’ve done in your life. And He knows all the crap you’re going to do in the future. But you know what, He still loves you, despite all those shortcomings. In fact, you are so precious to Him that God sent His son, Jesus, to earth with the sole purpose of dying on the cross for YOU. Because He loves you. And He wants to be with you forever in Heaven. So Jesus came and paid the price for all your sins and the shit you’ve done in your life so that you don’t have to. Why? Because He freaking loves you.
That’s hard to believe. I know. And it’s even harder to accept. “But the things I’ve done are too horrible for that to be true. Jesus died for the girl who’s biggest sin was hitting her little brother, or not flossing.” Wrong.
He died, knowing the darkest part of your heart and your sins. There’s a song lyric that goes, “I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that Cross.” Yes – accept it – your lying, your manipulation, your deceit, your purging, your anger and rage, your eating disorder is on that cross.
And here’s the thing – by saying that the shit in your life is too big for Jesus to have died for it, you’re saying that your sin is bigger and stronger than Jesus. Think about that for a minute. The God who made Heaven and Earth, who flooded the entire globe, who created people, who rose from the dead – He can literally do anything. He is God. By saying that your eating disorder is too awful and horrible and disgraceful to deserve Jesus’ forgiveness, or that it’s too grave a sin to be forgiven, you’re saying that your sin…that YOU…are greater than the Cross. I don’t think so. Jesus loves you so much. He came for that very reason. He came and died so that He would pay the price for your eating disorder. Not you. That’s how much He loves you.
“Okay. I hear you. Now what? I understand that…but how do I actually get that freedom you were talking about before, that to be honest, sounds impossible right now?”
Sweet girl. That freedom, and that forgiveness comes only when you lay down your eating disorder at the foot of the Cross. When you surrender it to Jesus: “Lord, take this eating disorder from me. You came to Earth to save me. Please Lord, carry this eating disorder so I don’t have to anymore.” And in doing so, accept the forgiveness that He is desperately trying to give you. Accept it. Accept the love that He is beaming your way.
You are His daughter. He is your daddy. You’re His little girl. He just wants you to lay your eating disorder at His feet so that you can climb up onto His lap and be bounced on His knee. He wants you to feel His warm, fatherly embrace. He doesn’t want you to suffer – because, honestly, right now you are suffering. Think about how amazing it would be to not be controlled by the manic thoughts in your head. How freeing it would feel to be able to actually enjoy food and the way it tastes without worrying about how it will affect your body or the numbers on the scale in the morning. Think about being able to hang out with your friends again and laugh so hard your body hurts. I mean, when was the last time you truly laughed? Or genuinely smiled – not a fake “I’m okay” smile, but a true, joy-filled smile? Sweet girl, the life you are living right now is not the life you deserve. You deserve to laugh. You deserve to be loved. You deserve forgiveness. You deserve to be free.
Jesus loves you so much. He was literally crucified because He loves you so immensely. And He loves you so much that He doesn’t force you to love Him back. And He loves you so much that He wants to take your eating disorder off your hands, so you don’t have to be imprisoned by it anymore.
But, Sweet girl, YOU have to choose to lay it down. He loves you so much that He gave you a free will, so YOU have to choose to give ED to Him. You have to ask for and accept the forgiveness that He is literally dying to give you. He just wants to hug you and cuddle you and LOVE you! Accept it!
That’s how I stay in recovery. It’s nothing that I am personally doing or not doing. All I’m doing is being open to receiving the love that Jesus is pouring on to me. His love is a gushing fire hydrant on a scorching hot, summer day, and I’m just standing in the downpour. My eating disorder wouldn’t let me receive that love. I had to choose to surrender my ED at the foot of the Cross, so that He could take it away, and replace it with love.
Sweet girl, there is such an abundant life out there, beyond the eating disorder. And you deserve it. You are worth it. You are so worth this love. And it starts by surrendering your eating disorder to Jesus – after all, He was sent here to die on the Cross to take away your sins – to take away your eating disorder.
He knows the lies you’ve told. He knows the secret exercising or purging you’ve done. He knows how you’ve manipulated your loved ones. He knows the hateful words you’ve shouted at them. He knows how you’ve lashed out, or thrown things, or barricaded yourself in your room. He knows every detail of your eating disorder. And He loves you anyway.
He is reaching out His pierced hand for you to grasp. He so desperately wants to lift the burden of your eating disorder off your weary shoulders so you can once again be the vibrant, vivacious, fun-loving, silly, spontaneous, creative, bright, and cheerful girl you once were. All you’ve got to do is lay it down. Hand it over to the One who loves you so much that He died for you.