Six years ago, I walked out of a church where I had gone for confidential intercessory prayer. You see, I had been bulimic for more years than I had professed Christ, and I'd been both a Christian and a compulsive binge-purger for over a decade at that point.
I had decided to fully repent of this sinful addiction no matter what it took several months prior to this particular day.
It was hard. Very hard, as you probably know if you are reading this site. I gave up a lot. I would go for a week or two without a binge, then suddenly, inexplicably, snap - consuming vast amounts of pre-packaged junk food for no apparent reason, only to vomit it away immediately.
The cycle followed a predictable pattern -- numbness would precede crushing devastation. As my blood sugar plummeted, my hope of living without round-the-clock food obsession did as well. I would be depressed for days, even weeks following a purge; wondering if I could really be saved if I were still a "slave to sin", as Paul so succinctly put it.
I wanted out. I wanted Jesus more than the addiction.
(Addictions, by the way, are sins; just in case you've never been told that before. Sometimes Christian counselors forget to mention that little detail, or they relabel them "issues" or "diseases". S'okay. Jesus loves them anyway.)
So I started praying. A lot. And repenting. Several times a day. Falling down. Getting back up. Wondering if I'd ever be "recovered" without counseling. (Hint: one of God's titles is "Wonderful Counselor". Another is the "Great Physician". He came through on both counts.)
I finally found the courage to go for anonymous prayer, realizing that bulimia is a spiritual disorder first and foremost. The prayer team, a small group of very compassionate women, pleaded with God to break the addiction, to enable me to turn to Him instead of the "drug" of food, and even to re-wire the chemicals in my brain. Fourteen years after praying a Sinners Prayer, I needed to get to know God so that I could trust Him. I had never considered what the implications of being His daughter really were before.
As I walked out to the parking lot that fall morning, I felt peace for the first time in......I dunno how long. I felt hope, real hope, that things were going to be different. Immediately, I sensed the following whispered to my heart: "Live up to what you've already attained." At the time, I didn't even know where that was in the Bible (I finally found it - Philippians 3:16).
Five months later, I was completely victorious over this sin in my life. I overcame food abuse through Christ's power, not on my own. (After all, that worked so well for the first 16 years of my eating disorder). As I took thoughts and temptations captive to make them obedient to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5), He replaced them with God-honoring ones. Never have I relapsed. I am a new creation, and the same is available to every child of God.
I am in the process, God willing, of "living up to what I've already attained". More accurately, Christ has attained it for me. How can I desire to do any less, than to spend my life serving Him, and coaxing His other daughters back from the edge of the pit?
Several months ago, I completed a 17-chapter manuscript entitled "Redeemed from the Pit: Biblical Repentance and Restoration from the Bondage of Eating Disorders". I am in the process of seeking an agent in order to get published, which, as I am essentially A Nobody of Any Importance, may be quite an adventure. If all else fails, I will self-publish and you can all download the e-book for free. I wrote the book to help other Christian women understand how they can walk away from eating disorders in Christ's power, no matter how long they've been in the pit. God doesn't charge by the hour, and His Book truly does contain all the answers we need.
This blog will explore this journey in more detail. Welcome, pull up a seat, and bring your Bible. I have been counseling women at no charge by e-mail for several years, so feel free to contact me (e-mail is on my profile page).
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." - 2 Cor. 1:3-4