The Lord has been putting on my heart to share what He has done to redeem me from 6 years of bulimia. As the years go by, I am so very tempted to hide this part of my story out of deep shame. My bulimia was a complex cry for help and my way of demanding to be noticed and loved, while also filling an ache that couldn't be healed apart from God's love. And while it's not a time in my life I am proud of, God has done so much to deliver me from the mindset that led me to bulimic behaviors.
For that I am brought to my knees reminded of all He has done for me and the chains of slavery I'm no longer enslaved to. I don't want anything about bulimia to sound glamorous (as I falsely believed as a teen) so I am not going to paint a pretty picture of what my eating disorder was.
From ages 14-19 I saw the bottom of a toilet more frequently than my closest friends. It crept up slowly, the bulimia, at first it was difficult. My body fought against something that was so unnatural- so I did research, asking skilled bulimics online how they managed to be so good at what they did. Within a year I was a skilled bulimic and within 2 years I was a pro. By the end of my fight with bulimia, purging simply meant bending over the toilet and thinking about throwing up. After graduating high school and entering into a highly stressful nursing program, my idea of a fun Saturday became driving to the local Walmart, buying the foods I liked to binge on then sitting in my my car eating only to go back into the store and rid myself of all of it. By 18 I hated my bulimia. I felt trapped in a cycle that left me feeling half-dead, irritable, and always distracted.
I hated it. But I loved it.
Being a highly controlling person had led me into a pit of despair that I couldn't climb out of, unless I was willing to surrender the control that comforted me more than anything. Attempting to fully recover from my bulimia not only meant breaking an addiction that had weaved itself into my DNA, it also meant letting go of the one tool I had to force those around me to care for me. I wanted to be fragile and broken, because who is going to hurt someone who is already fragile and broken. Giving up my bulimia and not allowing it to be my identity meant facing the darkest corners of my personality.
I was 19, engaged to be married in just a few months, and a total wreak. During one of my million fight/talks about my bulimia with my now husband, Sam, I broke down. I was done, I was out, I needed rescued from myself and I knew only Jesus could be that rescue. So in the same breath of swearing off bulimia forever, I devoted my life to a Father I could put my trust in. I put my trust in Him to control my life in a way I never could, and I put my trust in Him to love me in a way no one else could. He was my healing salve to a wound so ugly I could hardly look at myself. I needed His forgiveness to move forward as much as I need His love.
It wasn't easy. It is still not easy.
Being a highly controlling person didn't just lead me to years of bulimia. Looking to myself and trusting only in myself has led me to despair and anxiety again and again. I continue to cry out for His help to change the parts of me that if left unchallenged and unchanged would lead me away from God and towards a life of self trust and self destruction. But even though He has led me through such scary roads of mental turmoil, it is so clear to me how He has revealed Himself through my sinfulness. He has used my anxiety and personality quirks and my past wounds to draw me closer to Him, because He is the only one who can comfort me while also changing me for my good and His glory.
I survived what could have been a deadly battle. I am here to tell you that you are not condemned to your past wounds and mistakes. You should not cower in shame and self doubt, but rather share and exalt the one who has parted your red sea. As psalm 139 says; "He knitted you together in your mother's womb" he has searched your heart and will continue to do so. He will use you even if you feel like there's nothing about you He could make useful. My friends, be humble and be thankful for how God has met you in your neediness and how sweet it is to be be forgiven, recreated, and forever perfected through Jesus' blood.