Bringing a new, beautiful, wonderful, compassionate person into an eating disorder is like the downhill part of a rollercoaster.
There’s so much relief and joy and butterflies… but a nagging voice of fear, the voice belonging to the disorder itself.
How will I avoid eating with him?
What if I can’t measure my food when we’re together?
What if I start to slack off from the gym to spend time with him?
When Johnny and I first started dating about 5 years ago, he knew what he was getting into. He’d read some of my old blog posts, asked me questions and encouraged me in my recovery, and even demonstrated his understanding of the disorder.
But, as I look back now, I see so many things that the devil tried to steal from our relationship in the form of that eating disorder.
That is why this blog post is Part 1 of 2: the next one will be on our marriage, and God has enacted so much healing, understanding, and death to self that has led to so many beautiful changes that I glorify Him for.
Looking back, I see a Cassie who often struggled to fully listen to her boyfriend because she was starving, counting calories in her mind, and freezing cold.
That Cassie cared so much about and loved Johnny, but the voices in her head that screamed that ensuring her calorie and macro targets was of the utmost importance made it hard to show that care and loved.
It made dates and spontaneous hangouts hard, too. If that Cassie was going over to Johnny’s for the evening after classes, she would sometimes lie and say that she’d eaten dinner when she hadn’t, or go to the gym right after to burn everything off. Again, the distractions ensued, attempting to triumph over our love.
The eating disorder also…
- Concerned Johnny and caused him grief
- Caused me to lose my period, making it hard to know if we could ever have kids together
- Distracted me from schoolwork, family, friends, and, most importantly, Jesus
Don’t get me wrong… these things weren’t the all-the-time norm. But I can say that only because of Jesus, who convicted me daily of my idols of food and thinness, who helped me to seek the help of counsel, and who taught me Truth by His Word and His Spirit.
I know that every battle is the Lord’s, and that He’s already paid the ultimate price, winning every battle in His death on the cross–the death I deserve. It is this Grace and Truth that led me to tearing up my food rules, putting to death that legalistic sin, and living fully alive in Jesus.
I remember so clearly my first date with Johnny. We went to Starbucks, and had one of the best conversations of my life. Afterwards, we went together to the class that we had together, where our teacher had made a lunch spread for us. The dishes looked so saucy and oily… two adjectives that, at the time, downright terrified me. But I ate the dishes, having been encouraged and strengthened by the Spirit of God–the Spirit of Truth–in the man I now call husband. I will never forget the way the power of God ignited me to know, and really LIVE, the Truth that I need not fear that food. I needed to glorify and praise Him in my eating of it.
I wanted to write this post to help anyone struggling with an eating disorder, whether single or in a relationship, of the detriment it can have on relationships. All of these things, of course, deeply affected my relationships with my parents, friends, sisters, and Heavenly Father just the same.
But, secondly, I wanted to write this post to glorify Jesus and all that He has done in my life… that I could never do.
In our second year of dating–long distance, if you didn’t know–Johnny announced that he had on his heart that we needed to take some time of distance. No phone calls or Skype; nothing but letter writing. This time allowed me to focus on spiritual counselling, and to KNOW and live out the the freedom He had died for, so that I could live in it. Oh, what a love.
In His perfect way, He led me to ripping up the food rules that had been so all-consuming. I couldn’t wait to see Johnny again and tell Him of the freedom I’d found.
The next few years of our relationship were beautiful, as I experienced a renewed, graced attentiveness to the Holy Spirit. But it wasn’t until Johnny proposed to me that I started to realize something was really still not right.
To Be Continued Thursday, October 22nd