February 21st – 27th!!! National Eating Disorder Awareness week.
I don’t want to talk about the nitty gritty of the disease. We discuss that a lot. What I do want to focus on is HOPE!!! Why focus on all the darkness when you can focus on the light… The only thing that can overcome darkness… The thing that darkness actually has no chance to fight against.
Scientifically, the definition of darkness is the absence of light. No matter how deep the darkness, light can always illuminate. It’s just fact!!!
And just that little bit of scientific knowledge encourages me. There is simply no amount of darkness that can’t be lit up by light. But I’m here to tell you that I’m not just encouraged… I am filled with hope. Not some little bit of hope because science proves that light overcomes darkness, but EXTREME hope because I have a Savior who is the Light of the whole world, and as I walk with Him and by His grace and love, He continually gifts me with the light of life. ABUNDANT life.
All who know my story know the darkness I was standing up against. But all who know my story also know the superabundant amount of light that has completely illuminated and elucidated my life. Sure, I still have shadowed moments, I can tell you all about the way Satan attempts to bring my back to his darkness… But I am no longer facing the darkness. I say “facing the darkness” because I was never actually completely immersed in it… I simply just did not have my eyes on the Light of the world… I simply did not have my eyes on Jesus. So let me use this awareness week to tell you some good news: there is a Light that wants to shine in your life. There is a Flame that actually cannot be put out if you allow it to burn through you. And His name is Jesus. There is a good and gracious and loving God that just wants to shower you with abundant life that happens in LIGHT.
I thought darkness surrounded me. But then God gave me the strength to just turn around 180 degrees, and in front of me was light. It had never left me. HE had never left me. It was my perspective that shifted away from Him. He called me to arise. To shine. For the glory of the Lord shines over me. And I don’t ever want to turn back.
The harsh reality is that someone loses their life every 52 minutes to an eating disorder. The harsh reality is that eating disorders are among the deadliest mental illnesses, second only to opioid overdose. But you have access to a new reality. A Heavenly reality. A reality that you are being fought for and provided for and loved on by a Heavenly Father that sent His only Son to die so that you may have eternal life in paradise.
I pray and hope that by reading this, by talking to a trusted one, by crying out to God, by opening a Bible, you will surrender your life to Jesus Christ, resulting in a life that will not be lost to the chains of the enemy. Let me be the one to tell you that I didn’t think there was any light to be found in my own life. Let me be the one to tell you that I thought He had abandoned me. Let me be the one to tell you that I believed I was too far deep to climb out of the pit. And let me be the one to tell you that I was done… I was ready to end it. But I talked to other believers, I cried out to my Father, I opened my Bible, I chose to surrender my life to Jesus. And my life didn’t end in death. And when I do pass… My life won’t end in death either. Because the hands of Jesus hold the scars of my pain. When He took the cross, He took my place. When I pass, I am only passing into new life. Praise Jesus!
***I am very well aware that there is an enemy out there feeding us lies, bringing us down, putting us in chains. It’s painful. I lived it. You don’t have to tell me that life is hard. I know it is. You don’t have to convince me that there is a battle being fought. I know there is a very real war going on. But I also know that the enemy has been defeated. I also know that I wasn’t promised an easy life here on earth, and that my pain is being worked out for my good and His glory. I also know that the battle being fought has already been won and there will be a day that we will come face to face with the Victor. And I also know that the schemes of the enemy are not strong enough to separate me from my King.***
I know there will be people that read this and think that there is still no hope for them… That I’m wrong and that life simply sucks. Well, you’re not wrong… Life does suck. But it only sucks without Jesus. My prayer for every eye reading this and every ear hearing this is that there would be at least a tiny glimmer of trust that there is a good God fighting on your behalf. Hold on to that glimmer. What seems like a tiny flicker WILL burst into flames. I have lived that too.
So, for all my dear friends out there struggling and battling an eating disorder and every pain and heartache that comes with it, my word for you to focus on for the rest of this week is light. Raise your eyes. Look around. Turn around. It’s there. The light is there. It has never left you. He has never left you. Let me be confident in that for you. I could go on and on but I want to leave you with one final thing: when you read this and continue to think to yourself that God has forsaken you… That God has abandoned you… Be reminded of this: our God, our Light, just so happens to be the ONLY God that pursues His beloved people. So LET Him. Let Him love you and wash over you. Receive it with open arms. And know that you are loved. So loved.
And hey, ask me about my Jesus.
“And the light shines in the darkness; and the darkness cannot overcome it!” John 1:5
“I am the light of the world… Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12