09 Oct Surrendering Body Image to Jesus
Surrendering Body Image to Jesus
No one wants to hear the words from your doctor “you have an eating disorder”. On that abnormally cold February morning, when I heard my doctor speak those words to me I felt a mix of freedom and shame sitting in the doctor’s office. Something I had secretly struggled with for months was no longer held in the dark by the enemy. At that moment, I realized how far I had wandered from God, but how much power the secret lost because it was spoken and in the light.
Throughout my life, there have been seasons when I’ve felt the enemy had a stronghold over how I view my body. I would hear a lie whispered to me and instead of fighting it with truth, I took on the lie as if it were part of my identity. The whisper became something that consumed most of my thoughts.
I allowed controlling my weight and how much food I ate (or didn’t eat) consume me. I restricted myself from eating certain foods and from eating at certain times. After months and months of restriction, I started to realize I had a problem. My bones became more predominant than ever before. I allowed the enemy’s voice to speak over me louder than the voice of my Father. I became fixated on how my body appeared to the world rather than how my heart appeared to the Lord.
Healing is a slow process and over time I’ve felt the peace and freedom that comes from placing your identity in Christ. When the enemy convinces us to keep things in the dark, it’s easier for him to hold us captive there. Once it is in the light, the enemy can no longer fight – he loses all control.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
How sweet it is we have the power to take our thoughts captive to obey Christ, but how ugly the process is to get there. What a sweet gift, that we have a Savior that put in all the work on the cross so we can live a life standing firm in freedom. We take our thoughts captive by reading and knowing the Word, knowing what is a lie so you can combat it with a truth. Filtering thoughts, emotions, actions, and words through a lens of “Does this honor the Lord and glorify him?”. Knowing the Lord and walking with the Lord will give you power to break strongholds. Where the enemy believes he has a stronghold, the Lord actually knows our hearts.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
When we place our identities in Christ and our eyes are fixed on Him, the enemy loses power. When we speak into light what the enemy convinces us to keep in the dark, chains are broken.
While I experience freedom and I’ve slowly surrendered to God, there are still moments of temptations. There are days I still struggle to eat, there are days I look in the mirror and I lose my appetite, and there are days I look in the mirror and I doubt that what my Father has made is good.
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
The best part of feeling like you hit rock bottom is it’s a firm place to start your foundation there. When you are in Christ you are free from the things that feel like a stronghold. Free from lies, hurt, pain, habits, and sin. Freedom from the world who tries to tell us who to be or how to look. Jesus came not to just give us life but to give us an abundant life.
Just because we have freedom, it doesn’t mean we won’t struggle with temptation. I have mostly good days, days I rest in knowing who I am because I know who my Creator is. For the days I struggle, I write out the lies circling in my mind and next to it state the Truth, I lean on my community who points me to Christ and holds me accountable, and I worship God because even when I don’t feel seen or heard or chosen – God is with me in the darkest valley listening and walking with me and he deserves worship no matter what I am feeling.
On days of struggle, I think of Peter. Peter chased after Jesus but he was not a perfect man. One night Jesus walked on water and met him where he was at. Peter was low in faith and crying out to the Lord.
“But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:27-31
If you’re struggling, don’t allow the enemy to hold it over you in the dark. Bring the truth into the light and experience the freedom of laying it down at the Lord’s feet. Seek professional help and tell at least one person who will love you through it and hold you accountable. Allow the Lord to meet you where you’re at, you’ve never wandered too far for him to love you.