Today, I met someone who told me she had eating issues during our brief encounter. I wasn’t shocked to hear it because of my job as a counselor. However, I wasn’t in a counseling situation; we met in public.
I’ve learned that God has wired me to be open to encounters such as these and thankfully, He often brings them my way.
While it is not rare to learn about pain or someone’s history shortly after knowing them, it’s a first for me to have a complete stranger be open with me and share something that is normally hard for me to talk about. What I realized about the context of our conversation that followed was that we talked openly about it the way you talked about anything anyone struggles with.
Eating issue are deep, can be complicated and frustrating, but this conversation symbolized something I’ve prayed about in my own life for years. That conversations about them wouldn’t stay in the darkness. And part of that is being open to what God does in the light, how there’s power in naming what He has done and sharing something, even if it’s just for a minute.
I used to have a lot of all or nothing thinking. God has brought a lot of healing and helped me see patterns that needed to change over the years. At times it’s still a work in progress–especially when it comes to viewing things that I’d like to keep away from the light. The light is for healing, the light is for all the redemptive talk. The light is not for everyday conversation about eating disorders or for writing about it. Maybe another day, today I’d just rather not. This was me everyday.
But, what if more people struggle than we thought? Where is there room to talk about it? There is not much room between “all” and “nothing”.
It is my continuous prayer that I would live with assurance of God’s grace and know my greatest hope is Christ in me.
The beautiful thing about God’s love and His grace is that He lavishes it on us. I often think it’s going to run out or I look to myself to bring about change when I experience challenges or set-backs even though the only path to true freedom was and always is in Him.
I breathe a sigh of relief when I remember I don’t have to be perfect. He accepts me and loves me on the days when I question the journey and things like talking to a stranger about this surprises me and stirs something in me.
The beauty of surprising things is how they move me in unexpected ways. I’m finally writing about this again.
Once again, I see that the space between all and nothing is wide.
To Belong and Be Welcomed…Just As I Am, by Amy Schaller
Finding Treatment for Eating Issues, article by Constance Rhodes
Hungry For Hope 2014, annual conference