Redefining Lent


Lent.

*sigh*

This is a rather bittersweet time of year for me personally. Because even though it is leading up to Easter and is such a beautiful and intentional season of reflection, it also brings up a lot of pain for me.

Because you see, Lent of sophomore year in high school, was when my anorexia first began.

I gave up sweets.

 

Innocent enough. No desserts or sweets for 40 days. I was being a good little Catholic girl — “challenging” myself during this season of lenten fasting and penance.

But what started as that small denial, quickly spiraled into a lifestyle of extreme restriction, and the next thing I know, I had wasted away to 78 pounds, knocking on death’s door as a shell of my former existence – physically, mentally, socially, emotionally, and spiritually.

So yeah, I look forward to Lent just about as much as I do a root canal.

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But as I was reflecting on all this the other day, I was struck with a powerful thought:

Lent is bigger than me.

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Lent is bigger and more important than Little Ol’ Me going boo-hoo, it makes me feel bad about my past. 

You know what? Everybody has things that remind them of pain. Maybe it’s not an eating disorder, but everybody’s got something. Maybe a broken relationship, or the loss of a loved one or friend, a rejection by a peer, missing out on an opportunity, getting cut from the team, betrayal, bullying. Whatever it is, everybody has reminders of pain or trials in their life.

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And if there’s ever a time to “look beyond myself,” it’s Lent, for cryin’ out loud. This is a time when we reflect on the fact that Jesus made the decision to die on the Cross for us. For you. For me. For my sins. For my eating disorder.

So yes, maybe it’s a little sobering to think about my eating disorder every time Lent rolls around. But perhaps, instead of viewing it from a self-pity/victim stand point, what if I’m supposed to be reminded of that darkness, so that I can fully appreciate what my freedom truly cost? What if I’m supposed to remember, so that I can rejoice in His saving power in my life? Rejoice in the fact that I’m not trapped in that hell hole of anorexia anymore? Rejoice that I was rescued?

Maybe, just maybe, that timing is not by accident.

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So.

Lent.

You can bet your bottom dollar that I won’t be giving up sweets any time soon.

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And in fact, I won’t be doing any dietary fasting, period. It is detrimental to my recovery to fast, even for one day, even for religious reasons. I have vowed never to abuse my body and withhold nutrients from it ever again. I made that promise to Jesus and myself. And tbh, I think it gives Jesus more joy for me to eat and nourish myself for His glory, than to fast and flirt with the behaviors that nearly took my life nearly ten years ago today.

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I will instead fast from negative self talk. From thoughts and lies that erode my self worth. From comparing myself to others and setting the unattainable standard of perfection for my life/body/possessions. I will instead fill myself with His love for me. “Feast” on His words of truth and love. “Feast” on the joy that comes from His forgiveness and from His saving and healing hand in my life.

This is Lent.

It is no longer a reminder of the destruction that nearly took my life, but a reminder of my rescuing by a Savior who gave me new life.

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beautybeyondbones

BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

317 thoughts on “Redefining Lent

  1. “I will instead fast from negative self talk. From thoughts and lies that erode my self worth. From comparing myself to others and setting the unattainable standard of perfection for my life/body/possessions. I will instead fill myself with His love for me. “Feast” on His words of truth and love. “Feast” on the joy that comes from His forgiveness and from His saving and healing hand in my life.

    This is Lent.

    It is no longer a reminder of the destruction that nearly took my life, but a reminder of my rescuing by a Savior who gave me new life.”

    Now THAT is powerful stuff. You done good, JD. 😉

    1. And BTW – I just saw that I originally responded, calling you JD! haha my bad! 🙂 I was doing 12 things at once when your comment came in lol But I cannot reiterate enough how your friendship and support has bolstered in me the courage to continue blogging and sharing my faith. you rock Tony! thank you!

  2. Lent is a tradition; a good one if done for the right reasons. Yet if it doesn’t honor Him, then it lacks all meaning and purpose. Our purpose should be in Him, not in feasts or fasts. So God bless you as you celebrate Him and what He has done for us all.

  3. I don’t have much to say except for this. Stay strong and hope faith and love. Just strength in Christ greatly encouraged me on a daily basis. When your book is released to the public, may I please be the one to do the audiobook for you? I play lots of love and blessings towards you. Look up nc that your savior is forever happy because you are fearfully and wonderfully made. In fact I want to get love with you one time or maybe more then just one time. You write so good that your story is should be an emery paper across the country. And this is coming from a kid who is Canadian but does not live in an igloo.

    1. Oh you gosh you are too kind my friend!!! Wow what affirming words. I hope you know how incredibly much I appreciate you always popping by with a nudge of encouragement and a smile. It makes my day. Hugs to you, Mr. Canada! ☺️☺️😎

      1. Wow what an honor that would be! Thank you so much! At this very moment in pretty slammed with stuff going on but when things die down a bit I’d love to:) thanks for asking

      2. I could send you a list of bands you could look up on YouTube, if you wish. I don’t listen to any other music then Christian music because the old self is dead and buried and I now have a new life in Christ.

      3. Sure I can do that. When you get an opportunity look up the band southern raised they are a brother and sister band and genre of music is mostly gospel bluegrass. Some similar bands to that R the Canadian band rescue junction.

      4. Yeah not too bad for someone that used to listen to punk rock music. What change of pace from listen to bands like Green Day rancid and of course Billy Talent to going to listen to other music out there like Christian music from Chris Tomlin Jeremy Camp Kari Jobe and others. When I got saved and received the baptism of the Holy Ghost God totally took my case for punk rock music out of my mouth and he replaced it with music that is edifying to God.

      5. FYI it’s been said that if a child of God sings gospel music out loud, the angels in heaven will quiet down enough so that the Lord me hear you sing. It kind of makes sense because the scripture does say about the Lord and happening the praises of his people.

      6. Hey BBB. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you for your Christ like goodness. I become greatly encouraged by simply reading your about your stories and experiences. I had this post put on my heart to give you and of course show you the love that Christ would show his children. The words you share in this blog show your readers a compassionate Christ. Our people need much love, it doesn’t matter what colour they may be. God commands all men everywhere to repent and welcome Christ in our hearts, minds and souls. When I read the words you speak I see that you chase the very heart of God and that is simplicity beautiful. Your words are certainly edifying our Lord. I am certain that with the words you speak put a smile on the Lord’s face himself. It does for me. So let your light so shine before men. When battling with thoughts of fear, think on the six things the Lord requests us to think upon listed in the book of Philippians. Anorexia does not define you because faith hope and love remain but the greatest of these is love you have a solid foundation upon the rock that is Christ Jesus. I told you have then made absolutely new. When dad comes to your mind, repeat the versions listed in 2nd Corinthians chapter 5 verse 10 and also Luke chapter 10 verse 19. Much like how Christ loves you so do I.

      7. Wow, wow wow wow. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this outpouring of support and encouragement and friendship and care. You have warmed my heart tonight friend. I am so grateful that our paths have crossed. Hugs and love to you, friend.

      8. You have me beat by several years. I only fully came to Christ recently within last 2 years. I thought I was saved, it was until I was in college and had near death experience and realized that my life was truly going to be over did I realize the need to call out to God. If you want to read more of my book I encourage you to do so. Who sings I’ve just told you don’t go into detail but as the writings in my book increase so will your knowledge about my life. You once said to me that you don’t want to release your name to the public or the stories set that are set that are all about you. I understand that, I appreciate that. Sometimes though I feel as though I’m reading the book just for one person. You, the reason I say this is because your constant attention you give to my blog.

      9. That’s good. At first I thought the book itself was going to be a lot of work and not worth posting online but it is the feedback I’m getting on the book is incredible. I’m going to be posting an entry today it deals with independence versus dependency. Stay tuned and look for it because it’s got a lot of myself in it. Have a blessed day

      10. I’ll pray everyday for you until you know you are loved by God and He grant you a spirit of endless joy. My prayers for you will not go unanswered. The impact you have had on my life as a writer has been a profound one. You are truly one of the best writers I’ve ever known. Danielle steel has nothing on you. Keep walking in the face and strength of the Lord. Remind yourself of the verse spoken about in the Philippines chapter 4 verse 13. remind yourself that it is a child of God can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. I say this I believe this and that settles it and because I believe it. I see it and practices I know that speaking the Word of God give this power over all demonic forces. Even anorexia. Anorexia is a ploy of the devil himself it’s a disease created by Lucifer to destroy the human body we are clay and yet members of the body of Christ. I say this you with great love and compassion must resist the devil humble yourself before God and He the devil will flee from you. I want you to know that the devil was a murderer from the beginning Annie abode not in the truth for this reason the Son of Man was manifested so that he may destroy the works of the devil. Claim freedom because of the man in the middle freedom because of a resurrected Christ be joyful did he so willingly called you out of darkness into the light these words many are called, but few are chosen be happy and humble for the remaining of your days because you is a child of God were chosen to be his. stand on the promises of God and claim victory because of the cross.

      11. Wow what an outpouring of encouragement and support! Thank you. I can feel your passion in your words. Thank you for the prayers and for YOU continuing to encourage and push me forward. I am grateful for your friendship. Yes, I must claim the victory of t he cross.

      12. Well to be honest with you, I know it just like to go through trials especially with food. I know what it’s like to go through trials and fight your physical body everyday. I also know what it’s like to want to have the strength and courage to turn that around. I know why you created the blog beauty before bones. You wanted to warn people of the dangers of anorexia as well as encourage others who are dealing or have dealt with the same issues that you have dealt with. I know because it’s the reason I started writing a book on the footprints of my funny feet. you have encouraged me greatly as I’m sure you have encouraged many others across the world. Your words are profound your experiences are real and vivid your strength is admirable. and your compassion for others your greatest sign of love.

      13. I’m the one that should be grateful. You’re one of a kind. Anytime you need prayer I’m there, anytime you need someone to comb your hair I won’t be however I may come in the mail. I have a question for you do you like music more specifically do you like Christian music? In addition please know that because there isn’t much options out there in terms of Christian friends, you may be one of my best friends.

      14. Well I think that I’m going to do a blog tomorrow on the power of an acoustic guitar. In reference to rock music and Christian music. There is a difference now I’m going to examine what difference there is. I myself have been wanting to write a post about the topic of music. No Everyone has an opinion on it and everyone can get involved by sharing theirs.

      15. Some time ago you talked about accountability in your previous blog. Well what if it is the will of God for me to be in an interview to you as well as you being encouraged her to me. Is that a form of true accountability to you?

  4. It is amazing how the Lord find exciting ways to remind us that He hears our cry. Your reflection is timely in my life (and I’m sure in the lives of others). We are all struggling through something right NOW, and we can remember plenty of times that He brought us through.

    I’ll be reblogging this so my friends and family can bear witness to your trial and how the Lord helped you overcome your battle. Meanwhile, I take heed that He sacrificed Himself for us so that we don’t have to…

    1. Thank you so much for this. For your thoughtful and kind response, as well as the reblog. I’m glad this resonated with you tonight. You’re right, He made the ultimate sacrifice because we are THAT loved. Hugs my friend xx

    1. Hi MM! No it’s not a self sacrifice, but the opposite–fasting from dietary sustenance– in my particular case(with the history of anorexia in my past the literally nearly killed me) — I do not feel is good or healthy for me. I love Jesus with all my heart and am eternally grateful for His sacrifice on the cross, and want to express that, but doing so by withholding food is not the way. For me. I hope that clears things up. Thank you for that question! Hugs!

      1. No, no, I understand! Sorry that wasn’t supposed to be accusatory haha. I just mean maybe that would be a good substitute: While many probably over-eat and fast because of it, your history of (and tendency towards?) under-eating might be met with forced eating!

        I also think you’re right that God is thankful that you’re avoiding this near occasion of sin, and appreciates that you’re still wanting to observe Lent.

        Sorry again for the confusion!

      2. Gotcha! And no worries! i didn’t think it accusatory at ALL! It’s a legitimate question that I’m glad I was able to answer. But you’re so right — avoiding the near occasion of sin — definitely something I want to do! 🙂 hugs MM xox

  5. Reblogged this on msktb and commented:
    It is amazing how the Lord finds exciting ways to remind us that He hears our cry. This reflection is timely in my life (and I’m sure in the lives of others). We are all struggling through something right NOW, and we can remember plenty of times that He brought us through.

    I am reblogging this so my friends and family can bear witness to the authors trial, and how the Lord helped her overcome her battle. Meanwhile, I take heed that He sacrificed Himself for us so that we don’t have to…

  6. Everything you write touches my heart ,,what is it about 10th grade,,,My daughter started with her depression her lack of of self worth and even though she is better she still fights everyday day to wash away those times,, days,,it’s hard with my son being a sophomore this year and having a great year…and her seeing this but she wouldn’t want him to be unhappy. I am so happy you have turned Lent into a positive thing now and you so amaze me , stay strong my dear, and I look forward to more of your posts.

    1. Thank you so much, my friend. Ahh, 10th grade. Yes, there’s something in the “water” for sure. But have hope. Your kids will make it through. It sounds like they’ve got a great mom 🙂 Just keep loving them like you are 🙂 hugs and love to you! thanks for the encouragement!

  7. Thank you! This speaks to my heart so much. In my discipleship class this week our assignment was to fast if even for one meal and spend that time in prayer. I have had so much stress and things going on that I haven’t even thought about it until now and your post given me pause. So very much to think about. Thank you May God Bless!

    1. Oh thank you Saudade. Im so glad this resonated with you in the way you needed to hear it. I think God is just so happy for His children to want to worship and love Him, in any way they can 🙂 hugs to you xox

  8. I always forget about lent and have never given up anything. My church did not practice this, so it never held much weight in my mind. I like the idea of it, but like you, I don’t want to restrict myself in any way that would be harmful. Maybe instead of with holding something, I’ll give myself something each day (not totally the point, but I like it anyway). Maybe each day I will write out three things I like about myself. This will get hard after the first day, but I think it might open my mind to how wonderful God made me to be 🙂

    1. Hey Ellie! I love that. I think that’s a great idea! Because you’re so right: God made you an amazing, beautiful – both inside and out – young woman, and be reminding yourself and helping yourself believe that– I think that would bring Him so much joy. Because you deserve to feel those things about yourself. Because they’re true! Hugs to you my friend. Let me know how it goes! I’m very interested 🙂 🙂 xox

  9. What beauty and thank you for sharing. Lent is for me always a reminder of an eating disorder as well and I accepting that I cannot fast can be one of the hardest things for me. Yet I know it is exactly what I need.

    1. Thank you so much for this reflection. oh my friend, i feel you! You’re so right – not fasting is exactly what we need. And how comforting to know that God just loves us. He understands. And he wants us to thrive. Such a comfort. thanks for stopping by. sending you so much love and hugs!

  10. A great post to begin the lent season 🙂 I think you are making a wise decision in not giving up dietary stuff (taking into account the past anorexia and all). You vowed to not put your body through abuse and that should be highly applauded. You are very smart and you can easily come up with something different to give up for lent 🙂 As for me, I am giving up this low-fat sugar free latte drink I get once a week from McDonalds 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    1. Thank you so much John! I appreciate your supportive words. Yes, there will be something else for me this time around. And your right- that vow I made IS important. Haha- LFSFLatte. Quite the order. But I know- we all have our “things” and giving them up is a sacrifice indeed! Thanks for your thoughts! Xx

  11. Ooh, that’s a good one. Yeah, I’d like to do that. My thing is going to be *awareness*. My situational & sometimes spatial awareness needs improvement. I’m going to be focusing more on “offering it up to God”, whatever “it” is in the scenario I face and be more “present” in the moment.

    1. That sounds like a great thing to do for lent! Offering it up is a powerful form of prayer and worship. A very selfless one to be sure. Hugs to you friend! Good luck with the awareness! Xox

  12. wow – you completely inspire me. every.single.post. you write straight from the heart, from
    deep in the soul. it is simply beautiful. though i do not share your life struggles/journey– I have my “something” just like everybody else. Yet I still relate to you through Faith. And you move me every single time!

    thank you so much for this reminder during Lent season. xx

    1. Oh my gosh, thank you so much, NestingSoul. Wow, your words bring so much warmth to my soul. I’m so glad that my posts resonate with you 🙂 sending so much love and hugs to you! Xoxox

  13. Rebecca, you go girl. I was raised in the Lutheran church – sigh. Talk about things to give up, let’s try Lent. Oh, and by the way, I sleep through root canals!

    1. Thank you so much! Haha oh my gosh! That’s intense about the root canals! Thank you for your encouragement. ☺️ and just a little thing- my name is not Rebecca! 😬 not that I mind, I just haven’t revealed my identity yet– one day I will work up the courage to, but for right now, I’m just BBB ❤️❤️❤️hugs and love to you friend!

  14. “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

  15. You put your honest emotions on the line. I think that is wonderful. Many readers suffering eating disorders as well as other disorders leading to a reduction in self value will gain important insight from your words.They are truly healing words.

  16. Than you for the post! It reminds me of a book I’m about to start reading…40 days of decrease. I think it might be along the lines of what you just wrote!

  17. I praise God for the work He has done in you! I praise Him because you are here, alive, and sharing your life with others so they an be inspired! Good for you for choosing to see the blessings God has for you especially through this lenten season. May you experience a touch from the Lord as you fast and pray. Amazing things happen when God shows up! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Oh thank you so much! Yes, I pray that too. God is good and He does reveal himself and His truth. I so appreciate your words of encouragement and kindness. Thank you. Hugs and blessings!

  18. You are a very strong advocate for Christ. Like Mother Theresa your love for others and the savior are quite convincing evidence that you have been transformed as the Bible says by the renewing of your mind. Though I was raised a Protestant and just naturally would not agree with certain things Catholicism says, however I find your testimony compelling and your faith one that will surely clear any bounds I think that a particular tradition may whether I am right or wrong put before you. I hope you can take this as positively as I meant it. Sorry for the length. God bless you!

    1. Hi there! Oh thank you so much for this:) I completely understand what you’re saying! I personally believe that God is God, and He just longs for his children to love Him and love one another. I have friends and loved ones across all denominations. Our hearts are one for Jesus. Hugs and love to you! Thanks for your thoughtful reflection!

  19. […] morning and afternoon of this storm raging inside me, I came across posts (Beyond the Darkness, Redefining Lent and When you let go you’re free to find out what’s meant to be) on my reader, about […]

  20. You go Girl! This is another wonderful blog post that reminds us how great is our God. Thank you for your inspiration and positive outlook. Many blessings.

    1. Aw thanks Loretta! Your encouragement and affirmations means the world. You’re so right- God IS good. SO good. Glad you stopped by today. Hugs and love to you my friend xox

  21. It speaks to God’s glory that you were able to overcome your anorexia through the power of Christ in you and that He is using you now to be an inspiration for others. I enjoyed your post and thank you for the like.

    1. Thanks so much Jason! It was all God. And I don’t say that lightly or dismissively. I literally owe my life – my healing of ulcerative colitis, my rescue from the depths of anorexia and recovery – everything to Him. He is awesome. Thanks for reading and your encouraging words. Hugs and blessings to you xox

  22. Thanks for sharing this. I, too, had a Lenten fast that went awry (mine was 35 years ago) and so fasting from food is not a Lenten practice for me. This Lent, I want to bask in the loving gaze of God–just soak in God’s love of me–and then tell others how blessed i am, how blessed we all are, to have a God who cares enough to become one of us and share in our sufferings. Easter hope, that awareness that life can come from death, is how I redefine Lent.

    1. Hi Madeline! Wow wow wow what a beautiful and thoughtful reflection! I absolutely love your perspective: basking in His loving gaze — what a comforting thought. It’s like a soothing salve to the soul. Thanks so much for sharing this this morning. You can be sure I will me thinking about this wonderful imagery all day. Hugs and love to you my friend and warrior! Xox

  23. I am reminded of the words of St. Therese of Lisieux: “May today there be peace within.
    May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
    May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
    May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
    May you be content knowing that you are a child of God.
    Let this presence settle into our bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
    It is there for each and every one of you.”

    This is what Lent is about for me. May God’s presence continue to “settle in your bones”. Blessings on you Lenten journey.

    1. Hey Richard! Oh The Little Flower! I love her ☺️ my oh my what a powerful quote. Thank you so much for sharing it! Yes, May that presence settle into my, yours, and all of our bones! May we dwell in that Love and hope. Thanks my friend, for this wonderful reflection.

    1. Wow thank you so much! I am absolutely honored that you would read this in your classroom. Seriously. Thank you. God is good and these are all His words, not mine. I hope your students find hope in these words–maybe even someone who is struggling with something similar, may they find comfort in Jesus’s overwhelming love and mercy for us. That is my prayer today❤️ Blessings to you, friend. Hugs!

      1. I had also passed it along to other teachers. One said that her first period class clapped after hearing it. None of my students gave me verbal feedback, but it was quite apparent that it struck a chord with them. (There has been a lot of pain at my school the past couple of years). It also prompted a conversation with a student concerning something she deals with and what might be a proper Lenten practice for her. I am so immensely grateful for that. Thank you, again, so much. God bless you!

      2. Hey! Thank you for letting me know! That’s so awesome. I’m glad that this prompted a fruitful conversation. God is good:) I never write for “a response” or anything, but it is so encouraging to hear that it is sparking even one reflection like that. So thanks for letting me know☺️ I’m literally smiling right now reading this. Have a great day! Blessings to you! Xx

  24. What can I say that has been said already. I’m not into religion but I am with you on not allowing my eating disorder to get too much in the way of my life any more This post is more than just about ED’s -you can choose which direction you want to go and decide to look at things from a different perspective. I love the idea of ‘fasting’ on negative thoughts. I think I will be using that one too. A simply powerful and inspiring and thought provoking post. Pushing the boundaries and becoming more beautiful with each post xx

    1. Hi Daisy! Oh thank you so much☺️ yes, fasting on negative thoughts and comparisons is so important. And I didn’t realize how much “garbage” I was thinking about until I became intentionally mindful of it! I have a feeling that replacing those things with love and light and positivity is going to be pretty profound. At least it has been in the couple days since I wrote the post! Yes, here’s to looking at things from a different perspective! Thanks for stopping by Daisy. Have a beautiful beautiful day! Hugs!

  25. When I first read one of your posts about your struggle with eating, I felt like i was reading a foreign language. I only found your blog because, due to the mysterious nature of algorithms, you found one of my blog posts and liked it. I was curious about the name of your blog and wondered what could it possibly mean. I read your “Start here” and was utterly amazed. I don’t have an eating disorder and can’t think of anyone I know who has, although I’m sure some have but have not disclosed it. To let us look into the very personal nature of this huge challenge you have with food, and the pain it has caused to you and those around you who love you, allows others to gain strength through the exposure of your demons. It’s really beautiful and touches the innermost recesses of my heart. Today,using Lent in your sharing was masterful. The anniversary of the beginning of your eating disorder being tied to the season of preparation for the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is no accident. As he rose from the dead, it appears that you have done so as well. There ARE no accidents. God’s grace comes to us in many ways, and for you to find it in something that was trying to kill you is a blessing for you and for anyone who reads your words and hears your story.

    1. Hi Matthew. Wow. Thank you for such a powerful and thoughtful reflection. Your words have touched my heart this morning. So thank you. You’re right. There are no accidents. God is always working behind the scene and He definitely has used my past to illuminate his saving power and merciful love and forgiveness. Thanks for stopping by and sharing this wisdom and perspective. I look forward to reading more from you! God bless you my friend xox

  26. I encourage you to try taking something new on as a Lenten challenge as well. Our savior took on SO MUCH during those 40 days, so you can look at it that way as well! You could try to eat one sweet every day to spite your old Ed voice. You could say one positive body thought to yourself every day. Or even just spent those 40 days in intense prayer. Lent is such an incredible season – for He is coming, as he promised, and you can use that time to prepare however you’d like!

  27. Hi. I hear you on your wrestling with fasting. Have you read Isaiah 58? God shares a different view on fasting and I think it breathes a new life into the whole thing.

    1. Hi john! I haven’t read that particular passage – or at least I don’t know it off the top of my head! I’ll go check that out right now. Thanks for passing it along ☺️❤️❤️

  28. Beautifully said “sweet ” sister-pun intended to celebrate God’s power being made perfect in your weakness:) I too battled that stinkin thinkin monster for many years and Christ set me free, free indeed! I always pray to stay wise and be privy to the schemers schemes! The Screw Tape letters was a brilliant exposure to the tricks of the enemy! I have a scar on my arm I used to hide but now I celebrate because it reminds me of HIS EXTRAVAGANT GRACE AND HEALING instead of the darkness that held me ransom for so long! I posted a blog post a few years ago called “Redefining Hungover” and it was such a
    Joy to write! I love how God is still redeeming words, places, relationships, songs, etc… Made new and still making new! GoGod

    1. Thank you so much Pam! Thanks for your constant encouragement and friendship:) haha yeah that little lamb was too cute not to make it into a meme! ☺️☺️☺️ have a great week! Hugs! Xox

  29. I love your fast: “… from negative self talk. From thoughts and lies that erode my self worth. From comparing myself to others and setting the unattainable standard of perfection for my life/body/possessions.” Several years ago, when going through a separation, I fasted from my Ex-husband. This was so challenging because it was through such a painful heartbreak. I fasted him 40 days meaning I didn’t talk about it, I didn’t reach out, I didn’t read any emails or social media, look at photos, etc. Instead I leaned into prayer and that was all during the time I rebuilt my relationship with God. It was so healing!

    1. Thank you so much for this reflection! Wow what a powerful fast that must have been for you. You’re right-when we lean into God and His overwhelming and merciful love for us, it is the most healing and comforting thing in the world. Thanks for reading! Hugs!

  30. It is no longer a reminder of the destruction that nearly took my life, but a reminder of my rescuing by a Savior who gave me new life.
    I love that! I wasn’t raised in a catholic home, but I resonate with what you are saying there because it is so scriptural, right from our Heavenly Daddy. <3

    1. Thank you so much Em! Our Heavenly Daddy. I love that☺️ He really is and was the true source of my recovery. I don’t know where I’d be with our Heavenly Daddy and His overwhelming love and forgiveness and mercy and compassion. I mean gosh. It really is new life. And I know you know what I mean❤️❤️❤️❤️ love ya girl! Thanks for being such a great friend! Xoxoxoxo hugs to the moon

  31. Thank you for sharing the evidence of God’s power in your life. This reminds of Paul’s words about “glorying in his infirmaties” because the power of God can “rest upon him.” I am completely in awe of how God uses the broken.

  32. Amen and Amen! I really needed that reminder also that once again….and over and over in my life…God has rescued …just me..as I am..the way he made me…what I survived…Hallelujah…what I don’t have to revisit…I’m so grateful….baby steps but my mind is returning to….the future…not the past! Thank you for this…

    1. Hi friend. I’m so glad this resonated with you tonight❤️ you speak the truth! God HAS rescued us…because we are so deeply loved and cherished as his children. Thanks for stopping by. Sending so much love and hugs to you!

  33. Hi! I nominated you for the Blogger’s Recognition Award. Check out my latest post for your website recognition and rules. Praying your Lenten Journey is a blessing. I really LOVE your site.

  34. You are a pride to be reckoned with. Pat yourself on the back because you deserve it. Not from bragging but being proud of how you are handling things. It’s what you believe in and what you do with it. Wishing you the best. God Bless.

  35. This is a beautiful post, you are such a great writer. I am in love with your body positivity as this is something I have struggled with forever!

  36. It is amazing how God works through us. Things that often bring great pain later show truth and change. I loved when you said: “what if I’m supposed to be reminded of that darkness so that I can fully appreciate what my freedom truly cost?” In all pain and struggle, there is growth and grace and freedom. What a great perspective to take something that could have always been a heartbreaking anniversary to something beautiful.

    1. Hi Kandace, thank you for this beautiful reflection. God is good and I whole heartedly believe that He works all things together for good. So even the pain and darkness of my past is no match for His power. Thanks for these words of encouragement. hugs xox

  37. Wonderful post. To be able to say “Lent is bigger than me” is a sign of mature recovery. I’ve only recently discovered your blog, but it’s quickly becoming a favorite. The insights you share apply to so much more than eating disorders. Thank you!

  38. I loved how you drew the conclusion of how it was supposed to be painful. I feel that way about my family. I don’t observe Lent. I’m a Christian, but don’t feel tied down to those kinds of observances. What I told a friend today was I think the point is that Jesus did for us what we could never, ever do. If I don’t do something for a season, it can’t even come close to what Jesus did for me. What Jesus did is off the books. Seems silly (at least to me–not making fun of anyone who does practice this, but my own thoughts here only) to try to somehow relate to Christ by giving up something so trivial. But I do love how we can use this time to really think about and honor Christ. We can use this time to appreciate all he’s done for us. I love your thoughts as usual.

    1. Thanks so much for this heartfelt response. You’re absolutely right: what Jesus did was off the charts. I can only do my best to honor and glorify Him in whatever way – whether that’s through giving up something for Lent, or by simply loving others using His love as an example. Being appreciative of His sacrifice is truly the meaning of the season. Sending massive hugs to you friend! Xoxo

  39. You’re such an inspiration 🙂 This post is beautiful, and I love your resolve that pours through here and your decision to give up negativity for lent. To be able to find the positivity and hope hidden amonst destruction and pain is such a remarkable thing and is something I am learning more and more about. Writing from amazing people like you helps in the most beautiful of ways. Thank you so much for the like and for allowing me to find your blog, and for sharing your story.

    Love and light 🙂

    Hadeesa

    1. Hi Hadeesa! My goodness thank you for such kind words. Wow I am so touched. Giving up negativity will definitely be a challenge, but one that will be very fruitful. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs!

  40. Wishing you peace on Ash Wednesday. I am grateful to you for your willingness to share your reckoning with what Lent means to you, both the graces and the sufferings. In this broken world, I don’t think we can have one without the other, but I agree that Lent can be a time of remarkable spiritual awakening and beauty. Especially with the unity of prayer and acts of mercy. I also struggle coming to terms with the concept of fasting, and after two weeks of intense reflection and three drafts finally managed to write something down about it. I am reflecting on Psalm 51 today – it is our hearts that God is after, and it sounds like you are orienting yours in the right direction. It’s never quite as easy as the writing and the words make it seem, though, is it? At least, that’s my experience. Thinking of you and praying for you this season. ❤️

    1. Thanks Lulu! Wow what a beautiful reflection. You’re so right: writing it is a lot easier than actually doing it. One day at a time. One of my favorite sayings is, “just do the next right thing.” That’s gonna be my mantra this lent. And I really appreciate the prayers. Thank you:) I’ll definitely be sure to look up psalm 51. I look forward to reading your reflection on it. ☺️❤️ massive hugs to you my friend! Xox

  41. I don’t know if not doing lent is punishable but it certainly a mindful act in memory of christ and his sacrifice. Your healing process is always fun to hear. I hope you’ve recovered fully.. or will whatever the case. Touching so my lives in a positive way. I have a high really high metabolism so lent is not so good for me. My brain/body needs the food, and i’d waste away in 40 days.. I lose weight too fast even on a high calorie diet. I think it should die down soon when i hit 30. That’s when the males get fat, you know? =D haha jokes aside, thanks for dropping by as usual. Always good to hear from you.

  42. Great post! I’m so glad you are discovering your absolute value to God and his amazing love and grace to you. You are a living example of God’s love at work. Blessings, Lynda

  43. Just want to say that I find your posts insightful and inspiring–even though we come from different places religiously and even though we have different body issues. What you write feels authentic, and I think that’s why it transcends our differences.

    1. Wow Jenn, thanks for this. I’m so glad my posts resonate with you. And thank you for your affirming words. Hearing that really touches my heart, so thank you. Sending lots of love and hugs your way this evening. Xoxoxoxooxox

  44. What a lovely post both in content and appearance. I could learn so much from you. I have a dear friend , Catherine Dagneau who suffered from bulimia and her husband was a drug addict. They now minister together sharing their story and that story which used to be nothing but a painful memory has been metamorphised into a joy and blessing, much as you have written. And thank you for following me. Jac

    1. Thank you so much Jac! I really appreciate your kind and affirming words 🙂 Wow, what a powerful testimony that couple has. God definitely uses all things for good. Thanks for stopping by! hugs!

  45. Great insight! Funny enough, I just finished the draft of my next blog entry and it is based on my first experience with fasting (not related to Lent though) and how the “good” intention soon led to my “not so good” ED. Thank you for sharing.

  46. Absolutely, dear!
    I would give up “bitter blogging,” but I’ve already decided to do that. So, I am giving up feeling bad about being poor. So what if people get angry with me when all my cards are declined and I have to back out of $118’s worth of groceries; it gives me the opportunity to forgive and bless them and to thank God that I have another day to serve Him. To God be the Glory, and bless you, dear.

    1. Hi Kitsy, what a beautiful was to look at things. Yes, having the perspective of gratitude and seeing things with Him in mind are such a freeing and peaceful way to live. Thanks again for reading ❤️

  47. I think that the blog posts show that you’re as ready as you’ll ever be to move on from the eating disorder. But the problem with addictions is that they can always come back.

    I am certain that God is with you in not giving up food for Lent but harmful thoughts. You’re more use to God living a good life and making the world a better place than you are relapsing each year.

    And this post is another wonderful post from you.

    1. Thanks Harry. I appreciate this great perspective. I think you’re onto something there. God wants me to live a life for Him…not ED. Thanks again for stopping by and taking the time to respond! Have a wonderful week!

  48. Thank you so much for sharing your story. “I once was blind, but now I see,” said the man whom Jesus healed of his blindness. I am so thankful for the grace of God in our lives in delivering us out of sin, troubles, heartaches, sicknesses, addictions, and the like. I rejoice with you in God’s healing in your life. I know what that is like. I didn’t have an eating disorder, but I had my pain and suffering, and I needed God’s healing touch in my life. And, he healed me! I am always glad to hear other people’s testimonies of God’s healing and deliverance in their lives. So, I praise God for what he has done in your life. And, I fully support you avoiding what might lead you back to where you were before. Stay strong in the Lord and in his mighty strength, and keep putting on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil attacks against you. Sue Love

    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful reflection. You’re absolutely right: God is SO good and we are so lucky to have a Savior that longs to take care of His children and will work everything for good. I rest in that comforting thought:) I’m glad my piece resonated with you. I really appreciate the encouraging and affirming words. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love to you xox

  49. Yes! The triggers of Lent. I have written about this too. It seems as Christian women we are set up to view food as some kind of ‘naughty’ indulgence and fasting becomes equated with ‘purity’ and all the other things we may be emotionally seeking.
    Beautiful.

  50. Sobering story Beauty. I have yet to confront your situation face to face but what you lay down here has provided me different a perspective on the limits that humanity can bring. May God grant you grace and insight at whatever level you find yourself right now. Others need the first hand knowledge that your powerful testimony provides . God bless

    1. Thank you so much for this encouragement and affirmation. It really means a lot. Yeah everyone has different struggles, but how comforting to know that we have such a loving and merciful Father that will always take care of His children. Thanks again for stopping by. Hugs and love to you!

      1. Wow I so relate to you even though my issues were different. This Lent for me was more about embracing God’s love and not trying to earn it. Thanks for visiting my blog.

      2. Thanks for this! Ah yes, letting go of the need to “earn” love was so freeing. Although I am still trying to figure that out too. Thanks for stopping by! hugs and love xox

  51. I am so pleased you enjoyed my post about persistence. I have read several of yours and admire your courage and thoughtfulness. I wish you the best in your recovery and pray that you continue to inspire others!

  52. Thank you for sharing your story! I am a dietitian and have a little bit of a history of disordered eating, so I totally related with you on the whole using religious fasting to cut calories, etc. I’ve done it myself and also now choose to give up things other than food for Lent. Congrats on your recovery! One thing I am am curious about, from what I have heard about eating disorders, it’s usually not about the eating disorder or the food. The root of the problem usually stems from other things-wanting control, family issues, mental disorders, etc. Do you peg Lent as your starting point or as part of the problem (I guessing specifically the fasting)?

    1. Hi Nikki! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond! You bring up a great point. I have written pretty extensively about this in earlier entries, but you’re right on the money — the weight loss is merely a symptom of an underlying issue. And it’s different for everybody. For me it was believing that I wasn’t worthy of love unless I was perfect. So giving up sweets for Lent was the “perfect” thing to give up because I had set such an unattainable standard for myself, that of course, I was going to do the hardest thing for Lent. It’s all very complicated. lol I hope that helps. But yeah, it was definitely just a symptom of a bigger problem. Hence, why ED’s aren’t about the weight. Thank you so much for reading! hugs and love to you xoxo

  53. Fasting is obligatory for those in the age range on two days of Lent, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Fasting means two small meals, like snacks, and one normal meal. It would seem better for your mental health if you worked with your confessor toward meeting without exceeding that obligation. There will be many times in your life when you will have to fast for a variety of un-religious reasons–for surgery, for example. You can’t cut it out of your life because you tend to overdo. Doesn’t that suggest you haven’t overcome the problem, actually?

    1. Hi Janet, thank you for this response. You bring up some great points here. I am definitely aware of the fasting guidelines. And I have talked to my priest about it. After much prayer, we decided that dietary fasting is not beneficial for me or my faith. Plus, I have ulcerative colitis which I stay in remission and manage through diet. So there’s that aspect that is a factor in that decision too. But we decided that fasting from other, non-dietary things, is better, as well as adding in additional things to “do” — i.e., rosary, daily mass, holy hour, etc. So there’s that. I hope that clarifies things for you. And to answer your question about my decision not to fast as being indicative of not truly having overcome the problem…my answer is: absolutely not. I HAVE overcome the problem and embraced recovery. Part of living a recovered life is protecting your recovery at all costs. And what that looks like for me, is to uphold the promise that I made to myself and to Jesus to never withhold nutrients from my body ever again. And flirting with the behavior that literally almost killed me is detrimental to my recovery. Not because it would make me yearn for that empty feeling in my stomach again, or because I’m not strong enough to “handle” it — but because it is playing with fire. I am protecting my recovery by not putting myself in a situation that dances around that mindset. Yes, I respect and am grateful and praise Jesus for what He did on the Cross, and long to do everything I can in life to show that appreciation and worship Him — but doing so by partaking in the behavior that ED (Satan) used to try and end my life, is not the way to do so. Although unintentional, fasting is a tiny crack that ED could find his way into and bring seven of his friends. I know this is quite the passionate answer, but I feel very passionate and strongly about it. I love Jesus. My healthy body and recovered life is my greatest form of worship to Him.

    2. All sorts of red flags are flying up right now. I like to remind people to walk a mile in someone’s shoes before judging them; would that be appropriate for someone with no feet?

      The Law was intended to help people, not cause them problems.

      I’m having problems with the word obligatory.

      People, like myself, who have addictions and are successfully dealing with them and know their limitations ARE successful in their efforts. To tell me that my unsubscribing from retail sales emails is an indication of my not having fully overcome my addiction to spending would be cruel, unkind, and insensitive. What possible motive would someone have to say such a thing?

      1. Hi Kitsy, thank you for this response. I appreciate you sharing this perspective. It sounds like you’ve also found a “formula” that works for you. You’re right-recovery looks different for everyone. But one common theme that I can pretty safely say for any person in recovery for anything-is that they proactively protect their recovery-whether that’s by unsubscribing to emails, or not hanging out at a bar, or not looking at a computer late at night, or refraining from fasting. You protect your recovery by not putting yourself in situations that will cause you to flirt with fire. Anywho. Loved your wisdom. Thank you for this ☺️

  54. “What if I’m supposed to remember, so that I can rejoice in His saving power in my life?” Amen to that! Romans 6 says our old man was crucified with Jesus & that we were raised with Jesus to a new life. Lent is the anniversary of your death & resurrection with Jesus. I don’t fast either (http://thevoiceofone.org/2014/11/17/why-i-dont-fast/) & don’t feel it’s necessary, especially if doing so would harm you. Jesus said the Sabbath (& by extension any observance) was made for man, not the other way around!

    1. Thanks for this encouragement! You’re so right-not only do we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, but also our new life in, with & through Christ as well. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs xox

  55. Reblogged this on Using God's Word in Everyday Life and commented:
    When we consider all our failures in the past, it prevents us having joy in the present and hope for the future. Let us turn to Jesus and consider what He has done. He has taken our past and thrown it away. Now let us stop looking behind and start looking ahead to Christ.

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