Wishing I was “allowed” to eat was an unrelenting desire that plagued me for years. Whose rules kept me so hungry? It certainly wasn’t God’s.
For years, I felt powerless to say no to the behavior associated with anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Hunger pangs would shoot through my navel to gnaw at my spine. How crazy was it to starve myself, even though food was always available? Available, but not permissible. Even though I was 40 pounds underweight, I feared gaining a single pound. Yet, the horror of not losing another pound far outweighed that fear – and helped to satisfy my gnawing hunger.
Nothing became more important than losing that daily pound. And nothing made me feel more like a failure if I didn’t.
Nothing. My life – my every thought – became consumed with how to lose another pound.
I would have died had it not been for medical intervention, including professional counseling. Because of this, I want to make clear that I’m not minimizing the seriousness of eating disorders and the importance of getting professional help.
As I look back, however, I realize that, without knowing it, I was dealing with more than medical and mental health issues. I was also fighting a spiritual battle. I’m so very thankful for the godly counselors who helped me realize this and walked beside me through my journey.
As my relationship with God grew, I became aware that I had choices. I could continue to choose to be oppressed by my destructive behavior, or I could yield to God’s grace. I realized that each time I resisted God’s help, I was choosing to disobey Him. I was choosing to let sin reign in my heart, and, therefore, in my choices. Romans 6:12 (ESV) describes this: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.”
My counselor encouraged me to meditate on God’s Word, especially whenever I felt tempted to starve myself or purge. Romans 6:12 was one of those verses. Eventually I noticed my love for God was growing stronger than my need to lose weight. In time, by God’s grace, and as I stayed accountable to my counselors and support group, I broke free from Satan’s clutches – and his rules.
What about you? What sin or bad habit is controlling you? Whose rules are you following?
Sheryl H. Boldt is the author of the blog, www.TodayCanBeDifferent.net. You can reach her at SherylHBoldt@gmail.com