It is a common misconception that people with eating disorders hate food. The reality is quite the contrary. In most eating disorder sufferers, food is obsessed over, constantly thought about, and researched.In the depths of my disorder, I constantly baked and cooked high-fat, delicious dishes that I wouldn’t let my own tongue even nearly close to, but that I served with glee to those around me.
Frustrated is my word of choice. I am overwhelmingly frustrated. I’ve read every blog post about hypothalamic amenorrhea. I’ve spent months eating as much as my insides could take without exploding and remaining sedentary. Then I’ve tried adding in light exercise, eating high high fat […]
He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.
Does anyone else write stories in their minds?
The place most conducive to “Story-Writing” in my thought-life is the cafe I work at, Smile Tiger.
I’ve never worked somewhere in my life in which the people are so compassionate and family-oriented, and the atmosphere is so cozy. The most loyal and true “Regular Customers” are here every day, and the quaint furniture is entirely irreplaceable.
This is why, as a writing-coffee-lover who has been doing both for many years, it is bittersweet for me to announce that I am leaving the coffee industry behind, as I have accepted a full time position as a writer at a multimedia marketing/design agency.
I will miss serving people. I will miss directly engaging with strangers. I will miss tidying the cafe and answering questions and toasting the yummiest, fluffiest bread and heating scones. This is the shortest job I have ever had, but it has certainly left its mark.
A conversation I had today with one of my co-workers here actually reminded me of what I am excited to share with you guys today. It is something from Scripture that has been on my heart for some time now.
He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. PROVERBS 28:13
This is a topic I’ve been wrestling with the Holy Spirit with for several days now. It goes like this:
We often hide our sins, our shortcomings, our failures. Our wrongdoings. But I actually think this hiding is one of the worst things we could possibly do, and the reason why is revealed by this Proverb writer.
When we confess and repent of our sins, we will find… COMPASSION.
What? My God, my God… you have compassion for (*insert most horrible “secret sin” I have committed?)
My God’s answer is YES. Forgiveness is His Song, and Grace for His people is all that Jesus is. But He asks us to confess them. Reveal them.
The thing I have been wrestling with is the tendency of people in what we share/confess when we ask for prayer.
In “prayer requests,” we often ask for help with the things that are “easy” to admit. Healing for someone with cancer; help with an exam. It is by no means WRONG to ask for prayer for these things, but how often do we confess things like porn addiction, lusts, and greed, and ask for prayer and accountability? How often do we call out the nitty gritty details of our most “secret sins,” renounce them, and give them to God?
I believe that the devil works to keep us in fear of sharing our sins. In fear of judgement, rejection, or change. But something I have discovered is that, the moment we bring to light the thing that we were so afraid to share, comes joy and healing we never thought possible. Then comes some of the sweetest moments in life– because, after all, Christ’s strength is “made perfect in our weakness.”
I was reminded of this at work today because of that beautiful co-worker I mentioned, who welcomed conversation by asking me questions about some of the real “tough stuff,” without shying away from any of the details. This kind of vulnerability should be normalized. This kind of revelation of failures, met with nothing but love, should be welcomed.
Is there something you are struggling with that you are afraid to share with someone – or just with God – that you are maybe feeling like you need to? What is this discussion stirring up in you?
There is such beauty in authenticity. We can know God’s Truth all we want, and we can believe it – but that doesn’t mean our earthly experience is 24/7 joy. But KNOWING that there is a Living God who wants to make us more and more like His perfect Son daily… that is tons of motivation to repent of our sins.
Here’s what they don’t tell you about eating disorders:
They’re usually pretty innocent at first.
An endeavour to “be healthier.”
When my restrictive illness first developed when I was fifteen, I never would have considered that I might still be terrified of white flour and sugar, baked, frosted goodness with unknown nutritional values when I was of age and stage to be getting married.
But in the depths of my sickness, the worst times of eating nothing but spinach and the occasional piece of broiled, skinless chicken breast, I would have told you there was no way I would ever touch a baked good again.
If you know me today, you know how far I’ve come since those days.
It’s the memories of shivering cold due to lack of nutrition, feeling faint and zombie-like that no longer cause me to crave numbness, but to feel so truly, desperately sad for that lost girl, and anyone else going through the same deception.
It’s the reminder of conversations in which I was barely engaged with the other party, and more engaged with the adding of meaningless numbers – caloric values – in my mind, constantly finding new justifications for not eating that has made me, finally, so pleased to have engaged, meaningful, undivided conversations.
And it’s the knowledge that my engagement to the love of my life is one, fleeting season that involves so many beautiful friends gathered around good food with endless reasons to be thankful that makes me more determined than ever to block out the diet culture, the “Aren’t you gonna diet for your wedding?” questions, and the little voices that sometimes want to convince me to thwart my recovery by eating the delicious, dairy-free cake my mom bought for my bridal shower with a coffee and a beautiful friend.
Doing so pertained to so much more purpose than simply for enjoying a piece of cake for a few minutes.
It’s also about the memory made. Because, truly…
My experience of recovery has been that time has been fundamental in healing the little wounds that have surfaced.
When I experienced transformational healing a few years ago, I thought I was in the clear in terms of mental eating disorder recovery. This has made it easy for me to feel guilty about ever struggling, and potentially more likely to ignore any mental triggers. But slowly, these things have crept in in small amounts… and I am so, inexpressibly happy, and indebted to my God, to say that I am very aware of them, and rarely give in to old behaviours. My God has given me an awareness and conviction of the Truth I want to live by, which does not involve tracking food eaten.
From a tangible standpoint, the longer I have lived this way, free from measuring, counting, and obsessing, the more NORMAL it has become. And, most interestingly and amazingly, the more physical hunger has actually made me WANT and NEED food than been a mental trigger for restriction. The more normalized my understanding of “just eating” has become. The more naturally and simply my hunger cues take over.
It has been a journey– and if there was one time of my life I was afraid triggers might take over, it was that of wedding planning. But, rather than giving into the messages of the world, this season of engagement has been more motivation than ever to completely redeem my relationship with food, passionate about none of the ugly, disordered stuff sneaking into my marriage or home. To heal my physical body fully is truly my desire.
So I had my Bridal Shower Cake, and I really did eat it, too. And it was absolutely stinkin’ delicious.
Thank-you, Lord Jesus, for your Word that I know to be True. Make me more like you, in all things. Amen.
…I have learned that I struggle.
I know that God knows that I love a good story. A self-titled (and, now, professionally titled) writer since I was eight years old, I see everything in life in stories. A good storyline complete with metaphors and compelling arch is what I appreciate most about movies and books. My love of stories is probably why I adore spontaneity and thrilling music and consider myself a hopeless romantic. It’s why I don’t summarize the beautiful way my fiance proposed in a matter of minutes, but have written it out in detail and still tell it with glassy eyes and a voice of wonder.
So, when something happens IRL that is utterly story-like, practically telling itself through its serendipity and ability to tell itself, and then comes to an end that makes it all NOT very worth telling… I struggle.
But it’s good that I struggle, because it’s brought me to an awareness of the fact that I easily see God in “the story” and assume it’s Him and assume His will before praying, actively seeking His will, and discerning.
And, what this really is, then, is me “playing God,” and taking His righteousness into my own hands.
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 2 TIMOTHY 4:3-4
It is very easy for us to make this mistake and jump to conclusions as Christians who live in harmony with Jesus, and live for His will to be done in our lives. It is very easy to assume that, because something good and cool and happenstance has happened, the odds for the outcome of that happening are directly in my favour.
But really, rather than writing the rest of the story, I’m called to sit in His presence and rest.
He taught me this very tangibly when I first met Johnny. Boy meets girl that I didn’t force or forge and that took months of contentment in the Holy Spirit before anything happened. In those months leading up to Johnny and I actually talking, I might have presumed, through our classroom glances and mutual but unspoken affection, that we would have spoken sooner. In the books, it would have been a week into class.
But, MAN, am I ever grateful for God’s timing on that one.
Time and again, He has shown me where my love of storytelling is a gift for His glory, and where it could trip me up into playing God. And don’t get me wrong: God is in complete control, and allows all things that happen to happen– but the outcomes are not based on me and me alone. It is easy to be egotistical and assume that the odds are in the favour of my own dreams, because “God is on my side.”
The outcomes are always in my favour because God is on my side, absolutely. But those outcomes are far better chosen by Him than me. So the best thing we can do as followers is submit to THE Storyteller. He’s a pretty darn good One.
If you know me in real life, you know that I absolutely adore nut butters. And if you’ve been in my kitchen in real life, you know that on a whole new level. I almost always have more than one type of nut or seed […]