As a writer, I employ most of my words to encourage women who are dealing with eating disorders. I don’t have a lot of letters behind my name; no degree to validate my opinions. But, if experience is worth anything, I have plenty to offer.
In Galatians 5:1, the Bible says that Christ has purposed us for freedom, “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.” What joy I have had discovering, uncovering, exposing, debunking and walking away from lies about my body, my value and my purpose.
One of the lies I believed was that I was inferior to other people. I couldn’t see my personal value or figure out what I had to offer the world.
I grew up with an extremely talented younger sister. We shared a room for nearly 16 years. The bunk-bed years were wonderful. I rescued her from nightmares, told fairytales late at night and helped her make her bed. As we got older she began to shine.
I let jealously cloud my vision. I saw nothing through rose colored glasses, only smokey lenses. When she invented crazy things that sometimes worked or left us in stitches as they fell apart, I looked at my hands and they seemed boring and uncreative.
She was a softball star, pitching whole games and leading her team in clever cheers. I remember the standing ovation that celebrated her second grand-slam in a single game. I looked at my arms and legs and saw un-athletic logs.
As we got older, my sister began to show her academic prowess. She got a scholarship to Texas A&M, traveled internationally, blew through her undergraduate courses and spoke at her graduation. Then she got an early invitation to medical school. I swept my degree behind me, folded my hands and glared angrily through my very dingy, bitter glasses.
I began to drown in the depths of my inferiority complex. It seemed that if I couldn’t make myself good enough, then I would make sure there was nothing left of me to be ashamed of. I acted through compulsive exercise, food restriction, avoiding my family and all social situations.
Numerous counselors told me the truth: You’re valuable just because you are. You have your own talents. God made you different than your sister. You’re special.
Truthfully, my hurt had nothing to do with my sister. It had nothing to do with inferiority. It had everything to do with pride.
The same deception that Satan slipped like a drug into the fruit that Adam and Eve ate, is still worming its way through human hearts and minds today. He convinced them that they deserved more than what God had given them, that they could become gods themselves.
Pride told me, I must be seen. I must have other’s praise. There must be something definitive about me. I need to be recognized.
It took me almost 30 years to hand my dirty glasses to Jesus and let Him wipe away the grime and filth. Floundering in blind, self pity, I asked, “Jesus, help me to see the truth. Am I worthless, invisible, inferior, simply transparent?”
Finally, I heard His voice, “Darling, you are loved. Completely enveloped in my heart. I created you intentionally and specifically to be just as you are. There is no comparison between you and anyone else. Do not worry how people see you; worry only that they see Me when they look at you.”
When people can’t see you, they can see Christ. There will be times when they ignore Him and don’t want to see Him. But you are His valuable ambassador, His precious child. Live intentionally, go everywhere declaring Christ’s presence, not your own.