Let’s Be Honest…

This is my “pre-conference” blog. You know, the one where I am supposed to write and tell you that I am totally confident that God is going to use my words for His glory. That I am not the least bit nervous to stand up and speak in front of a room full of girls and moms. That I am not ashamed of where I’ve been and have no problem with the fact that people now know.

Yeah-  if you’re looking for that blog, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Right now, I am just praying that I speak in coherent sentences. That is, when I’m not thinking about the fact that everyone now knows I had an eating disorder. If there was any doubt in anyone’s mind, it’s printed in small black letters in the Breakout Topic section.

Eating Disorders… Alexis Sommer

As I stood in the auditorium tonight, I realized just how uncomfortable I am with people knowing my past. Odd, right? I mean, I write a blog about eating disorders. I intern with an eating disorder organization. I’m pretty open with sharing my testimony. But standing in front of someone knowing that they know your past?

Unsettling… because they can just slap a label on you and walk away.

It’s the label that bothers me; I hate being labeled. I can’t stand the look someone gives you when they assume they have you all figured out. I can’t stand the box that the word “eating disorder” puts me in.

Why?

Because that’s not my life now. I’m not who I was. I have come so far and, although I still have so far to go, my eating disorder no longer defines me. I love the freedom of that, and when I see the label try to creep back into my life, I panic.

As in “I wonder if anyone will notice if I don’t show up” kind of panic.

{Yes- I am known for my rational thinking}

Then it hit me: God loves overcoming labels. I mean, look at Moses. When God called him to go speak to Pharaoh, Moses complained about his inexperience in public speaking. Instead of walking up to Pharaoh’s throne, he slapped the “I’m a Horrible Speaker” label onto his schnazzy new coat. He did not expect to be used by God, and I bet the people around him did not expect it either. I mean, he was clearly labeled inadequate for the job.

God though… He has a thing for labels.

Apparently He takes great delight in stumping the onlookers. He likes to color outside the lines, think outside the box, and leave the name tag blank, free of any restrictions.

So yes, I once had the word “Eating Disorder” scrawled across my forehead for the world to see. Some people still see it when they look at me. Some people still judge me for wearing that label. Some people will never forget.

That doesn’t bother me tonight, though. For tonight I can rest in the truth that I am no longer defined by the two words that once tried to destroy my life.

Tonight I am defined by the One who saved it.

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5 thoughts on “Let’s Be Honest…

  1. As I was reading this my first thought was “it’s easier to write and tell the world about it through the internet, even in a book, but to come face to face with actual people who can look at you with look of judgment, disgust or whatever else they may think, is … honestly …. fearful”. It’s fearful for our ‘flesh’, our human nature is fearful of what others may think, or ‘label’ us. But we walk by the Spirit and God did not give us a spirit of fear, which is why we can rest comfortably in the fact that if we listen to Him and are guided and lead by His Spirit, we can overcome the fear and the words out of our mouth will glorify HIM! I love that. I have yet to have an opportunity to speak in front of any group with my testimony/message. But I feel that God is leading me that way because gosh do I have a story to tell. But it’s not a story of a glorious life. In fact it’s so totally oppsite! It’s of a broken little girl that started at 11 years old looking for love in all the wrong places and just now at 38 He’s healing me and moving me in a direction I never in my life thought I’d be going. He’s funny that way… he loves to take the broken nobody’s and make them BEAUTIFUL!

    • I hate the labels we get if we come “out” and let people know that – shock! – we have/had an eating disorder. Because it’s so misconstrued in society as to what, exactly that means, I find most people only focus on the weight and breathe heavy sighs that have no understanding, just pity. I’m glad you know it no longer defines you. . gives me hope that one day, I might just feel the same 🙂

  2. I know its been a week since you posted this, but I hope that your session went well. I was at a women’s retreat and was encouraged to share a small part of me and what I needed from God. It felt so awkward to really have those words, “eating disorder,” attached to my name. But, the words that came out of my mouth–and the utter honesty–could have only been from God. I had to leave shortly after that, no idea the impact if anyone heard my words, but it started me talking.

  3. PS–I don’t know if you have ever heard this song (More Beautiful You by Johnny Diaz) but your blog name reminds me of it:

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