As babies we are fascinated with our bodies – we can all attest to admiring ourselves in the mirror or maybe just checking out our toes like “wow, there’s so many of them! And they fit in my mouth.” As children we did crazy things, riding a bike down the hill with no hands attempting to defy gravity, just having fun and not thinking much about our appearances.
Somehow on the path of growing up instead of appreciating how strong our legs are or how hard we can kick a ball we fret about how short our legs are or how they “jiggle” when we kick a ball.
Ladies and gents, it’s time we take back that mirror.
It’s time to tell the mirror we are children of the most high. We are to tell the mirror, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalms 139:14)
I can say this because I’ve been there. Let me take you back a few years ago when I was eating dinner with my then boyfriend and I ordered a burger with fries, not the usual girl eating a salad combo. If anyone really knows me, they know I’m a sucker for burgers. They could possibly be the best darn food in the world, okay… maybe I’m exaggerating a little but they are pretty awesome. As the food came I wasted no time, I started on my fries because I have a weird thing about eating fries first, you may say weird I say genius haha. Once the fries were over and done I took a bite of my burger, just one bite that’s all I was able to get to when my then boyfriend made a comment about my eating habits being like a man. I was very disturbed. That’s when the waitress came over, they always have the “perfect” timing, and asked how we were enjoying everything, I told her we were ready for the bill and when she noticed my untouched burger, with the exception of the small bite, she asked if I wanted a take out container, “no” I responded. My date paid and we left. What’s crazy is that he didn’t even seem to realize what he’d just done. We went back to hang out with some friends and while there I rested my legs on his, and then he began to squeeze my legs and said “I love your chunky legs.”
I’ve always considered myself a healthy eater; I didn’t eat pork and watched my daily intake, not obsessively but well enough. I was a happy size 6. I ate out only twice a week so I saw no problem in indulging in a burger when the occasion presented itself. But, that night something had changed. The relationship ended, and thank God it did but that’s when my new obsession with weight began. I went from 3 meals a day to just 1. First it wasn’t intentional, I was just working so much early morning and late nights that by the time I got home I only had time to scrimmage a little snack before bed. That’s when the compliments came rolling through about my new look, I loved the newfound attention. I was now eating ice as a supplement for food, imagining it being a juicy burger while maintaining the one meal a day. My mother was worried, rightfully. She’d make me lunches for work and search my lunch bag when I returned to make sure it was being eaten and it was being eaten, but not by myself. She was still concerned but no longer had proof that my food wasn’t being eaten by myself so she let it go, thank God. That was what I wanted because it wasn’t like I had a problem I’d keep telling myself, I wasn’t forcing myself to vomit or binging in my room behind closed doors. I had just limited my daily intake. But that’s no different.
I’d been so busy working that I’d missed many weeks of church (this is also the time when I swore God off as previously attested to in Confessions of a Church Girl) so when my day off finally came I was dedicating it to sleeping in but my mother had different plans. She picked an outfit for me, set it on the bed and left me to get dressed. I took the outfit and laughed at her sense of style, put the outfit on and walked downstairs to meet the family for church. By the time I hit the bottom step my mother was in tears. She no longer recognized the girl that was in front of her. She brought me to the mirror and had me take a real long look at myself in the mirror. With sinking cheeks, deep collarbones, and a sunken rib piercing stomach I realized I had a problem.
From that day on I was committed to making a change. It wasn’t easy. I weighed around 100 pounds and was weak in body, but with God and my family I was able to make it out of that mess. Philippians 1 verse 12 reads: “Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.” This is the goal I have in mind, some may say I’m crazy and maybe they’re right. I’m crazy about Jesus; I love Him and have a goal in mind, to use my story to bring others to Him. Although you may be wondering, what does an eating disorder have to do with God, well everything. When we know we’re loved we won’t go to the extremes to make ourselves loveable, love is given… it’s free, Jesus paid the ultimate price/sacrifice we don’t have to suffer.
If you are falling into the same issue or feel pretty close remember the God loves you – because He made you. And even more because He died for us. I realized some time ago that my body was no longer just skin covering muscle covering bone but that it was a vessel and God wanted to pour His love into me so I could pour into others. We are not just physical beings. We are spiritual.
I know it’s not easy when the world tells you that you are what you eat, or what you weigh, or that you need to be more muscular. The world weights with numbers; the Lord weights with grace, and you owe Him nothing, friend. He has paid it all. He wants you to rest and trust Him. He’s got you covered.