If you missed my update post (spoiler: I’m pregnant with our first baby!), catch up here.
Pregnancy and eating disorders are an interesting mix. Let’s just say they don’t go together like peanut butter & jelly.
After starting real recovery from anorexia in December 2019, I have now gained upwards of 80 pounds and, since being pregnant, even more weight. That necessary, vital, inevitable, HEALTHY pregnancy weight gain puts my current BMI in the “overweight” range, something professionals assure me is normal. But, I hate to admit, seeing that +25 BMI is something I vowed I’d never see again and, therefore, something that has the power to make me spiral back into unhealthy habits if I let it.
Am I letting it have power over me? For the most part, no. But I have had my moments of weakness.
Moments in which I’m tempted to Google diets and questions like, “Do you really need to gain weight during pregnancy?”
But I don’t, because I know my body is literally the HOME of a human being right now, and that will never not be crazy.
I don’t, because it’s never been more clear how selfish the anorexia voice in my head is.
I don’t, because I not only care so, so much about my child…I am learning to care about me.
I want to focus this post around a verse from 1 Timothy that I mentioned in my last post that has proven to be so true for me throughout this pregnancy:
“But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety” (1 Timothy 2:15).
Context is, of course, important here as it always is. Paul is in the midst of making an argument as to why men should be the authoritative leaders of the church rather than women. I would urge you to read this commentary by John Piper, who dissects this verse well.
“The curse on the woman for her “transgression” was, “in pains you will bear children” (Genesis 3:16). Her “childbearing” is that in which the curse finds its operation. What then is here promised her? Not only exemption from that curse in its worst and heaviest effects: not merely that she shall safely bear children: but the Apostle uses the word “will be saved” purposely for its higher meaning [eternal salvation], and the construction of the sentence is precisely as [in] 1 Corinthians 3:15 — “he will be saved, yet though as through fire.
“Just as that man should be saved through, as passing through, fire, which is his trial, his hindrance in his way, in spite of which he escapes — so she shall be saved, through, as passing through, her child-bearing, which is her trial, her curse, her (not means of salvation, but) hindrance in the way of it. “(Alford, H. . Alford’s Greek Testament: an exegetical and critical commentary [Vol. 3, 320]. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software)
For me, while pregnancy has certainly been hard and I have no doubt childbirth will be too, it has indeed already “saved me” in that it’s made me more like Christ. So much of my flesh never wanted to have kids; our flesh, our sin nature, is not fit to be a parent because we’re selfish, impatient, and prideful. But the Spirit in me rejoices at the thought of new birth, at the reality that my womb is currently the home of a precious little baby that Johnny and I have the privilege of loving and “training up in the way he should go”. Yes, it’s the curse on women. But the curse was not the final word, and we know this now. Jesus has come to redeem us, to set us free, to join us into His family.
It’s also saved me in the way of body image. As I mentioned, weight gain is inevitable and healthy. I watch as not only my belly but other parts of my body expand and grow and become a bit softer, and I am much better than I used to be at letting Jesus silence the voices that want to criticize, tear down, and ridicule.
I also must highlight that that vow I made that I would never again be a BMI of +25 accompanies a long list of other vows I have made over the years that I have in the past several months broken and severed in the name of Jesus.
- I will never eat unknown-calorie foods
- I’ll never eat more than x amount of calories per day
- I’ll never eat added sugar
- I’ll only eat paleo foods
- I’ll work out every day
The list goes on and on.
And I live by none of these rules anymore.
Here are just a few of the Scripture verses that the Lord used to help me break ties from these vows:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Mark my words! (Galatians 5:1)
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him. (Colossians 2:6)
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4)
So, has it all been easy? No. But it’s been a journey of healing, fulfillment, purpose, and new life that has been so, so worth it and so clearly anointed for this season of my life. And I am so grateful!