I hope this finds you all doing well and offering yourself grace that recovery isn’t linear nor perfect. We will often find ourselves stumbling through this journey of recovery feeling less than graceful at it. Failure is always part of the process. My pastor reminds me constantly that as long as I am failing forward, I will be okay. I believe you will all be okay if you adopt this idea instead of beating yourself up each time your recovery slips. We also need to remember to seek God to put a check in our spirit to receive His grace while not using this as an excuse to continue to pursue our will for our bodies, food, exercise etc. instead of his.
We all know what the Scriptures tell us about our body being a temple, it has been bought at a price, we are to present our bodies as living sacrifices, etc. I don’t know about you all, but when I read these scriptures and think about the eating disorder, I am engulfed in shame, condemnation, fear and self-loathing. This is just what Satan would have us feel and believe. He would have us believe that we are worthless and powerless over Ed because we haven’t treated our body like a temple.
Suddenly God’s grace and desire for our lives and bodies becomes lost in Satans lies. These thoughts and feelings can begin to bubble up and if I keep adding the fuel of my negative self-talk, in addition to Satan’s lies, a small simmer can become an outright geyser. So, instead of failing forward and being washed in a shower of God’s grace we turn a fire-hose on to ourselves and we are knocked to the ground.
I know, we all know, how God wants us to honor and nurture our bodies, and for those of us with an ED it is hard and it can be confusing. Well meaning Christians will quote all sorts of these scriptures at us as if shaming us will lead us to recovery. Wouldn't it be lovely if these well meaning Christians could meet us with compassion, empathy, and grace instead shame and judgement?
Well, this Christian woman wants to meet you just where you are and say, "I understand your struggle, this is an illness and not a choice. No woman ever would chose to have the most deadly of all mental illnesses. And I know that together with the support of others and God we can chose to do the next right thing to walk out our healing.
Here is what I try to do with these scriptures; I read them and ask God to show me one way I can honor God and my body as the scripture commands. Here is an example: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirt, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself. 20 For God bought you at a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”
I read the scripture with an earnest heart, seeking and desiring to hear what God has to say to ME through this Scripture. I read it, pray it and speak it. Here is what I hear today. “You do not belong to yourself.” And this is reassuring to me. I don’t have to do this recovery thing alone. How cool is this? I belong to God, I can trust in his truth about me, and I can say "Not today Satan..."
I also hear him ask me to honor him and my body in one small way right here and now. I scan my body, my heart and ask it, what do you need? I will honor God by resting today and invite him into the process. ED might say "No Way! Jesus says "Yes Way!" I take the one small step forward and then another. I feel like I am entering into a mountain range. The small foothills lead to bigger hills and before I know it I am on the mountain top.
I invite you this week to seek out a word or scripture that has left you feeling shamed or condemned as you fail forward in your recovery and ask God to shine His light in what it means for you.
Isaiah 52:7 “how lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace, And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, YOUR GOD reigns.