Ok, everyone. Yesterday was a difficult day with body image and eating disorder temptations. In fact, it was probably the most difficult day in over five years for me.
I had an incredibly challenging morning with anxiety and self-esteem. Only one who battles such things knows the effort it takes to swing a sword against it all. I told my husband the anxiety I felt made me want to die. And not die because it would "end it all," but die because then my spirit could reach heaven. I would never be forced to endure another thought about my inadequacies. I would never have to feel STUCK in my body, wanting to get out of it. I would be united with my Lord and Savior.
Fast forward to the evening. My husband and I sat at a restaurant overlooking the sleepy Mississippi River. We got into a slight argument over something. The rational Cherie would have thought it's not a big deal, we love each other, it's FINE. But having stood in battle against attacks at my self-esteem all day, I was weary and broken. I sat in silence with my husband - he, not understanding (he is blessed with level-headedness) - and I was wishing I could weave together fallen logs and float down the Mississippi until I forgot who I was.
Our food came, and I was flooded with thoughts that I hadn't had in so long that I almost didn't recognize their evil. "You don't deserve that food, Cherie. Just don't eat it. You will feel better if you deny this food. You know that you don't deserve it. You don't even earn enough money to eat at a restaurant. You weren't very nice to Ben today. You are unworthy of this meal. Plus, you've gained some weight this summer. Get a handle on yourself. Don't. Eat. It.!"
My eyes blurred with tears as I looked out at the river. "Take me away, Lord. Take me. I'm done here. I can't do this." But the food stared at me, and I at it. And I was given a new resolve: I will NOT give satan victory. I have one Lord, and it is not satan and it is not eating disorders. My Lord hung on a cross to free me from my shame. He took it all so that I could stand blameless against the accuser. I am not unworthy. I am covered by grace.
And I ate that meal.
The Lord's steadfast love and intimate involvement with the details of my life came in shape of an e-mail today, a blog written by one of my favorites. Please read this whole thing. Even if you don't struggle with eating disorders, read it.
May you be richly blessed, knowing that the Creator of the universe sees your struggle and hears your prayers. He is looking out for you -- look back. See what He is doing to let you know that He is for you.