Seven Words

“Little Girl, I say to you, arise!”

On my day off today, I was able to go to church. And the reading was from Mark Chapter 5, and it really spoke to me.

In this story, a father frantically searches for Jesus to come heal his 12-year-old daughter, who had fallen ill. By the time he reaches Jesus, she has already died.

So Jesus goes to see the little girl, and that’s where we’ll pick up the story.

Jesus says, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead, but asleep.”… He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” [And she] arose immediately and walked around…They were astounded…And Jesus said that she should be given something to eat.”

“Little girl, I say to you, arise.”

With that one short sentence, Jesus was able to bring this girl back from the dead.

I love this story. I think part of the reason is that it is about a little girl, so I can really see myself in the story. Especially given my ED past.

But here’s what I love about the story. It’s not that Jesus brought her back from the dead, or that He performed a miracle, or that she was able to reunite with her distraught parents. Those things are all lovely and good. But they’re not what really speak to me.

“Little girl, I say to you, arise.”

That’s all it took.

Seven words. And this little girl’s life was completely restored.

It was that simple.


Maybe it’s the actor in me, but whenever I read a story – particularly in the bible – I always imagine it in my head as the scene of a movie. You know what I’m talking about…the deep, cavernous narrator’s voice; ruggedly handsome actors; and yours truly playing the leading lady 🙂

But I digress.

So I picture the scene: Jesus and the girl’s parents and the bystanders, all hovering over this little girl’s bed. There’s commotion and talking and murmuring going on and Jesus takes her hands and says those seven words. Nothing grand. Nothing spectacular or showman-like. Just a small little phrase. I mean, if you weren’t really listening for it, you’d miss it.

And with that small command, the girl awoke and was restored. She walked around.

And then the kicker? Jesus goes, Oh yeah — give her something to eat.

Like, hello, could this be anymore about anorexia recovery?!

I’m kidding…sort of.

But here’s the thing: the majority of the time, Jesus doesn’t speak to us in burning bushes. There aren’t skywriters on stand by, waiting to transcribe the word of God to us. He speaks to us in gentle whispers.

“Little girl, I say to you, arise.”

This girl was dead. Period. Her parents knew it. The community knew it. Everybody knew it. But Jesus was able to revive her. He took her by the hands, and brought her back to life, with that one little phrase.

I don’t know about you, but I can definitely relate. During the depths of my anorexia, I was just like that little girl – lifeless and without hope.

And for a long time, I was so wrapped up in the day-to-day battles waging in my mind from the disease that I wasn’t listening for Jesus’ seven word command for me. I felt as though I was caught in the midst of a hurricane, and there was no way that I could hear His gentle voice that would revive me and bring me back to life.


I invite you to just press pause. Take a minute and catch your breath. Maybe Jesus is speaking to you, and you just haven’t been able to hear Him over ED’s incessant commotion in your mind.

All it took for that little girl was to hear that one, short, phrase, and she was brought back from the dead.

From the dead.

That was all it took. Jesus took her hands. She listened to His voice, and then she ate food.

It’s that simple. That’s recovery in a nutshell. Literally, people. That’s it.

And I know that it seems impossible. I know that things can be so dark that you don’t believe there’s hope to be found. But that is a lie.


Just let Jesus be your guide. He will take your hands and lead you. Just take it one baby step at a time. He’ll tell you what to do. Just like He did that little girl.


And eat.

12 responses to “Seven Words”

  1. I just want to say how much your story and blog mean to me. God is using you in mighty ways. As a recovering bulimic, I so appreciate how your writing touches me every time. I’m so thankful.


    • Hi Oneta, thank you so much. I really appreciate your readership, and all the positive affirmations you give. It truly means so much. I’m thankful for your friendship! Have a wonderful day and thanks again for stopping by!

  2. Even when the rest of the world, and even our friends and family think we’re too far gone, Jesus doesn’t. It is indeed a powerful statement. 🙂

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