I Shall Not Die by Karen

Anorexia Recovery Story of God's LoveI could not go on any longer! I desired for my life to end. I began to contemplate the simplest way to put to death a life that seemed to be in constant turmoil. Life no longer meant anything to me. It seemed that God no longer cared about the inner struggles I faced on a daily basis. The torment of negative thoughts which brought about harmful actions were becoming unbearable!

Where was God when I needed Him most? Who was God anyway? I had spent my life striving to please the God whom I thought I knew, but more and more I felt so far away from Him. Didn’t He care that I tried so hard to train our children to do all the right things? Didn’t He care that I was involved in numerous church ministries?

Yet, in spite of it all, my emotions brought forth anger and hatred! With a childhood of an alcoholic father, abuse, divorce, step parents and step siblings, I entered into marriage with this “baggage” clung to me. I knew no other way, but to treat my own children in the ways I had been treated. This only resulted in bringing further upheaval to my life. I couldn’t continue to treat them or my husband in a victimizing manner. They were not the culprits of my anger.

I turned the abuse on myself. It became my way of survival. I figured if I could not control my inner ugliness, at least I could control my outward appearance and strive to make it as beautiful as possible. I began to take control of the amount of food I ate and prided myself with watching the numbers decrease on the scale that I stepped on daily, sometimes two or three times a day. I had no idea the detrimental damage this would do to my mind or body. I simply delighted in knowing I was thinning out my already thin body. I began exercising and running at a rate that made it hard to stop. With each mile I ran, I felt exhilarated!

I was beginning to feel happy. Yes, this was it. This would help push aside all the tormenting thoughts of my past and all the abuse I had done to my own family.

Then it happened! I hit bottom! My body could no longer hold to this regimen I was putting it through. Though I tried so hard to keep my way of surviving a secret, I had been found out. I was told I had allowed myself to develop an eating disorder of anorexia. I denied it and fought the orders to go to a treatment center. This could not be happening! I would not go!

I had been so happy and thought life was going better for me than it ever had. Now that the secret was out, I was losing control of my own life. It was an order that I would be taken to a treatment center in order to receive much needed help.

So it is that I decided I just wanted to end it all rather than face the humiliation of being away from my precious children for six weeks, knowing I had once again failed. Truly if God was a God of love and forgiveness and hope, I needed to see that ever so clearly or I was going to end it all!

My time at the treatment center proved to be a source of healing time. I returned home sure I was free from the bondage of food, weight, and death. However, after a short time at home, I began the “emotional roller coaster” and dipped back into my old ways of survival. Something was still missing.

I pleaded to God for help! I was desperate and did not want to keep putting my family through concerns and uncertainties about whether I would live or die. My children and husband were suffering greatly!

Finally, during a message our pastor preached during a Sunday morning service, I understood. God kept me from taking my life because of His awesome love and grace toward me. He truly wanted me to have life. I wanted to die, God wanted me to live!

I was overwhelmed! With all I had put my family through, with all I had done to be destructive to my body and my life, here was God extending His arms out to me telling me He wanted me to live!

I had a choice to make. If I gave into my desire, I would be giving in to the disease and the enemy who so desires to take the lives of the very ones God created. I realized at this point I did not want the enemy to win. I knelt at the altar that day in May and allowed the tears to flow. It felt so good to release the fight! I reached up heavenward to accept this most precious gift of love God has offered me. I knew it would take courage to stand up and fight this food disease that so inhabits my life, but I also knew that if God was willing to give me true life, He would give me all the courage and strength I needed to go on. As I stood up, I felt so free! I had a hope that I had never experienced in my life. It was real and I knew it!

Now I knew who God truly was, hope and love and full of grace. It wasn’t long after that day at the altar that God put in front of me a verse that I have continued to cling to for He has given me the gift of recovery from a disease that was destroying my life; I now have the gift of life from God. Now, as the verse says, “I shall not die, but live and declare the mighty works of God.” Psalm 118:17

Encouragement for Others

Never, never, never give up!  Take hold of Jesus’ hand, let Him walk through this journey with you and let Him give you the abundant life He desires you to have.  If you give into the eating disorder, you are letting the enemy win.  Grab hold of the victory Christ has for you.  Allow those He has put in your life to surround you with love.  You may think you don’t deserve their love because of any past actions, but thankfully love is not about deserving.  Love comes from the heart of those around you and you are worth loving for YOU ARE PRECIOUS WITH A PURPOSE.  Don’t ever forget that!