” Be imitators of God, therefore as dearly loved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. ( Ephesians 5:1-2) (NIV)
” Love the Lord you God with all your strength and with all your mind; and, love you neighbor as yourself” Luke 10:27 (NIV)
It has been two and a half years since I relapsed into the world of anorexia. Hungering for nothing, yet starving for so much. It has been one and a half years since God used a picture of me serving his people in Belize to see that I was in grave physical and emotional danger. It has been one year since I began to attempt to eat by faith and allow my self to satiate my physical hunger and consequently recognize that I hungered for more than food, but to love myself and take in the love of those around me. It has also been one year since my body began to reject most food I attempted to eat. Imagine that? After 2 years of seeing food as the enemy, I was now asking it to see food as my ally. It has been six months since I weighed under 112lbs and was thinking that dying would be a better way out for me. Six weeks since I entered my first triathlon and maintained my weight while competing. One month since I did my second triathlon and placed fourth overall in woman. It has been 2 weeks since I last purged just to see if I could. One day since I last restricted, somewhat afraid of weighing in at the doctors. Twelve hours since I decide that I am still hungry, and after a long debate with myself, allow myself a bowl of cereal at 10 pm. Today I listen to my very tired body and take the day off after countless days of running, biking, and swimming without a break. And I see myself moving forward allowing myself to come back into view, it is not without fear.
Fear, it is so powerful. I fear losing weight. I fear gaining weight. I fear eating. I fear not eating. I fear purging. I fear not purging. I fear that by taking control, I am somehow giving up control. I realize I am still holding on to the eating disorder when I should be letting go.
It has been 1 week since I last spoke with my father, and five days since I let him go home to be with the Lord. And now since I can’t hold onto him or reach out to him, I reach out to the eating disorder, or maybe it is reaching out to me. I am tired and overwhelmed with emotion and find it hard to eat. Even during the years of recovery, it was always hard to eat when I was scared, sad, or angry, but always bounced back after a few days. I know I have probably dropped a few pounds and this time it tries to pull me in to its snare. I don’t want to go back there, but am too tired to fight it.
I hear the Lord remind me that I am not going to have to fight this all alone. He sends me family and friends to comfort me and pray for me. I am surrounded by love. I ask myself ” do you love yourself enough to hold onto the ground you have gained?” I find it hard to know the answer in the midst of my anger and grief. The last 2 years of my father’s life were tarnished by actions I will probably never understand. I have been angry, I have been hurt, and it was so very easy to be angry. The grief that came roaring at me like a hungry lion and it caught me by surprise. The compassion that the Holy Spirit gave me for both my parents took me by surprise. Be careful what you pray for.
Just as I am not a mere ball of eating disordered symptoms, he was more than the sum of his recent past transgressions. Despite it all he was my daddy, and more than that he was my hero. And I allow myself to grieve in hopes that by allowing my feelings to be big, scary,and powerful, I won’t need to fadeaway…..