This is a series of posts about how
God took my shattered self-image
and made me whole again.
Hello. My name is Janell, and I’m in my 8th year of recovery from Bulimia.
Now, I have been going back and forth about sharing my story because it opens me up to being vulnerable. After reading the following passage (and lots of prayer), I knew that I couldn’t keep quiet.
“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” Luke 8:16-17
It’s time to be brave and share my “secret” past.
It’s time for me to share my story.
So, where do I begin?
Why don’t I start by explaining why I decided to share this with the world.
As you may know, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in March of last year. Having a daughter changed me, as well as my perspective on how I see myself in the mirror. There were many moments when I rocked her to sleep and thought of how my words were going to shape her life. My words could bring life, or death.
That thought scared me.
I struggle with many insecurities, and even though I don’t make myself throw-up anymore, I do struggle with self-hatred. More than anything else, I don’t want to pass on my insecurities to my beautiful little girl.
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6
You see, as parents we have limited control over the lives of our children. They will make their own choices, and they will make mistakes. But, we do have the power to show them that their self-worth does not rest upon the number on a scale. We must pray over their hearts and minds. And we must show them how to love their bodies and minds regardless of what the world says.
Recovery isn’t just for alcoholics, it’s for any behavior that you struggle to control every day of your life. For me it goes much deeper than food and purging.
I didn’t wake up one day and decide to throw up. The road to my eating disorder wasn’t sudden, but gradual. That’s how the enemy works. He plants seeds inside, and over the years your mind starts to twist and turn until it isn’t sure how to decipher the truth from lies. There are no warning signs.
“The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” -C.S. Lewis
I will venture to say that eating disorders are more of the mind than of the stomach. My thoughts were not my own. They were the thoughts of a very broken, insecure, and ashamed young woman. That wasn’t me.
But folks, my mind is being remade.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
This world is trying to break you. And it will, if you let it. Instead of taking the easy road to conform, I’ve chosen the road of transformation by letting God renew my mind. He speaks to me loud and clear, and those lies that used to scream in my ear are but a faint whisper.