During my darkest days of anorexia, I didn’t think my relationship with Jesus had much to do with my health. In fact, as I started another too-long run, sometimes it felt like I was hiding from God. Maybe if I ran really early, before the sun came up, He wouldn’t notice that I was actively involved in the demolition of His temple.
Then, there were the days that I wondered if God would just make me fat, totally against all reason, simply to show me that I wasn’t in control of anything.
Now, I know how that must have broken His heart. First, that I would want to hide anything from Him, my Creator and Savior. And secondly, that I would doubt His love for me and imagine Him as a vindictive, cruel Father.
As I have recovered, my approach toward whole body health, has changed so much. Jesus is intimately involved in my health, the instructor of how I care for my body. He always has been, I just didn’t give Him the credit that He deserved. He is my healer.
This morning, I read a devotional that made me stop and think. It was based on the story in Mark 2, about Jesus healing the paralytic man whose friends lowered him through the roof into the house where Jesus was.
“So he said to the man, ‘I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.’ He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all.” (Mark 2:10-12)
What Jesus said to the man is startling. No big ta-doo, no show. Jesus simply told him to take up his bed and walk.
As I walk in recovery, health and peace, I often wonder what God wants me to do. How can I help others now struggling with an eating disorder? How can I encourage the families of those same girls?
Other questions come. I wonder if people are watching me all the time, skeptical of my recovery, doubting my newness of life. Are others scrutinizing everything I eat? Do they pay attention to how much I exercise? Do I need to prove that I’m well?
As soon as he was healed, Jesus gave the man one commandment. He didn’t instruct the man to out and tell everyone what had happened. He simply said, “Take up your mat and go home.” So he rolled up the evidence of his past as a paralytic and walked home.
The evidence of my new life is that am not controlled by the past. I have rolled it up and now I carry my testimony. The proof and encouragement of my recovery are evidenced as I walk in truth.
“Don’t Judge the Book by Its Cover” Gina Paris
“Stop Focusing on Self” video resource
“What is Anorexia” article resource