- 1. Drown it out. I’ve long known that music is like a healing balm for my soul, but I had forgotten just how powerful praise can be. On my way home from the hospital, I stopped to buy a small bluetooth speaker. The moment, I got home, I selected a worship station on Pandora and turned up the volume. Songs of hope, freedom and praise filled the room. God’s presence became almost tangible as I reminded myself over and over, through song, of His mercy and faithfulness. (Eph. 5:19)
- 2. Sleep it off. In the days leading up to my husband’s deployment, I didn’t sleep well. Whether simply from stress or soaking up those last waking hours together, my body was wracked with fatigue. That first afternoon, when compulsive thoughts overwhelmed me, my mind felt scattered to the four winds. I couldn’t focus on anything and therefore it was easy to shift into default and let old, anorexic thoughts carry me away. It’s no secret to anyone that our minds get fuzzy and frazzled with lack of sleep. Finally, I forced myself to bed early enough to soak up more than eight hours of sleep (and I have a nap scheduled this afternoon). It’s amazing how different today feels than yesterday. I swear, the sun is brighter, my heart feels lighter and I’m actually looking forward to the rest of the week.
Perhaps none of these tools surprises you; they don’t seem profound to me either. However, weakened by stress, I immediately became vulnerable to the same old habits of self-protection and distraction from pain. It can happen to anyone—if we think we stand firm, we run the risk of falling flat on our faces. Whether it be an eating disorder, another addiction or any form of sin, Paul reminds us in Ephesians over and over to stand firm. We do have an enemy who is out to destroy us and he doesn’t care what it takes.
If you find yourself flirting with dangerous, consuming thoughts or tempted to find comfort in old habits, reach quickly for these three tools. Run away—get outside of yourself, as far as you can from the battle in your own brain. Don’t reason with it, run away. Drown it out—the Bible also says that God dwells in the praises of His people. You will find comfort and sense His presence when you remember to praise Him because He never leaves you. Sleep it off—we weren’t meant to be Energizer bunnies. We weren’t made to run forever. God passionately cares about us, His intimate creations and He longs for us to listen to Him about how to tend our bodies.
We cannot win this battle on our own. We cannot maintain our freedom on our own. But, the Bible is God’s way of explicitly telling us that we can trust Him and find our complete healing in Him.
“It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.” Ps. 127:2
Three Weapons for Fighting Off Relapse, Part 1, by Abby Kelly
Eating Disorder Warning Signs, by Constance Rhodes