Have you ever planned for something only to see your plans fly away with the wind? Have you diligently prepared for a day you thought would honor God only to watch God create scribble out of your perfect painting?
Today is one of those days, which is why I am convinced that God is the Master Scribbler. I woke up this morning certain of what my change would be today. “This is definitely a change I need to make,” I thought to myself. So I planned and wrote and geared up for a day of change.
And then God hit me smack-dab in the face.
The throw-down occurred while I was reading Lysa Terkeurst’s blog. God spoke to me amidst her true and honest words: “This is what I want you to do.”
Now I have to say, sometimes I can be a little daft. I had no clue what He meant. “You mean write books? Yeah, I’ve told you I want to do that. But You don’t seem to be in any hurry to make that happen God!”
Umm, yeah. Totally not what He meant.
It hit me as I went about my morning routine: be vulnerable. Tell them where you’ve been and what you are going through today. God wanted me to speak the truth, share my heart, and be vulnerable?? With other women??
The shy, quiet, sit-in-the-corner-and-don’t-say-a-word girl is opening up and sharing what God has done (and is still doing) in her life. Here I go.
If I were to be honest, I would tell you that on my own I have no idea what it means to be beautiful. There are moments that I live in complete freedom from the binds of my eating disorder, and then there are moments where the thoughts come hurling back at me and I attempt to take shelter in that narrow definition of beauty. There are moments when I sit and compare myself to girl after girl, wishing that I could look like them, act like them, and live like them. There are moments I think that I have nothing to offer the world at large, and in those moments, I become defeated and the girl in my mirror taunts me with insults. There are moments I forget the truth and instead listen to the lies. On my own, I cannot live in freedom.
Thank God that I do not have to live on my own! It’s only through His grace that I am able to start each day anew. It’s only through His love that I can be accepted. It’s only through His mercy that I can stand up and face everyone I pass each day. Without Him, I would be curled up on the bathroom floor, bound to the lies that seem to settle in my mirror.
There are times I wish I had never walked the road of an eating disorder. There are times I shake my fists at God and ask for a new testimony. Something less hurtful. Something less vulnerable.
There are moments I wish I could be someone else, someone beautiful, smart and extravagant. There are moments I wish that I could live life perfectly and make God proud.
I am not the perfect girl. I make mistakes. I look in my mirror and sometimes I don’t see beauty. I don’t always cling to His promises…sometimes I cling to the lies. It’s easy for me to say that I’m free. In a sense, I am. Christ’s blood has set me free and everyday I walk in that freedom. Nothing I do can take away that freedom.
There are times, though, that I walk back into the prison and put on the chains. There are times I “forget” that I am free and live according to the lies. It may not be anything big or drastic, but being bound to the lies in my mind is just as bad as following through with the actions of my eating disorder. The mind can be a prison all it’s own.
Yet in all my weakness, Christ is strong. He is the One who constantly reminds be of what it means to be beautiful. He is the One who redirects my focus on the mirror and turns it back onto Him. He is the One who teaches me to live in freedom daily. He is the One who picks me up when I fall and whispers, “You are still free.” He is the One who loves me unconditionally, even when I turn my back and love Ed more.
I have heard from a lot of friends lately and all I can say is this- their pain breaks my heart. I watch them battle their eating disorder day-in and day-out. I watch them listen to the lies. I watch them live as if there is no hope. I watch them choose Ed over the freedom Christ offers.
No, I am in no way, shape, or form perfect. I do not have this whole “beauty” thing figured out. But I do know that there is freedom. I know that you do not have to live according to Ed’s rules. I know that you can live without the constant thoughts and fears. For the most part, I live and enjoy freedom. Yes- the thoughts come. And yes- sometimes I sit and compare. But Ed is not a constant part of me anymore. Life is wonderful because he is gone.
There is hope. Life will not be perfect. There will be moments of doubt, insecurity, and fear. But there are also moments of trust, contentment, and joy. If I could say one thing to any girl out there struggling, it would be this: Don’t give up because you have heard that you will never be free. That is a lie. You can be free today if you want. All you have to do is look to Christ, the one who sets you free. Walk in that freedom today and soon your actions will match up.
Here’s to a day of being vulnerable. I pray that this helps you, wherever you may be.
Verse: “I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.” (Psalm 86:12)