"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3: 5-6
This is one of my very favorite passages in Scripture...a passage that reminds me to sumbit all of my life to God...to allow Him to control every aspect of my life. Today, as I sat and listened to a Mom whose son has pericarditis secondary to an eating disorder I was reminded once again at how fragile life really is. His body fat percentage is so low that his immune system doesn't seem to be able to handle the virus. I see this Mom with tears in her eyes and I feel her pain because I have lived it not only as one who battled the disease, but also as the mother of a daughter who also lived with the demon.
I hate addictions...having battled my own demon known as anorexia...I understand how easy it is to get swallowed up and become seperated from that which is really important. As I sit here tonight writing this post I really do understand that God does not waste anything. I believe that my having an eating disorder was a part of my story that I would one day be able to use to minister to someone else. My child having it was far worse because always I felt so helpless.
I remember the days of eating 300-500 calories on any given day and then endless exercising to ensure that the calories would be purged from my body. I didn't struggle with bulimia, but more than likely had exercise bulimia which probably was worse. I do have permanent damage to my heart, but am so blessed that I did not do more damage to my body.
As I sat today and listened to his Mom sharing my heart ached for the moments that he has missed out on life as he deals with his demons. He doesn't want to go out to eat with his family...hates that he needs to weigh his food, tries to secretly exercise and refuses to go out with his friends if it involved eating. He stopped going to Youth group because there was always food there...so other than going to school he is isolating himself from what should be the best years in a teenagers life. He went from being a happy-go-lucky young man to an angry and depressed teenager.
What triggered it for him? No one really knows, but it started 2 years ago. All of our stories are different, but always the results are the same...moments missed in life that we can never recapture and unhappiness because perfection as we perceive it seems like it can never be attained. It has primarily been associated with women, but now more teen-age boys have fallen prey to this disease and it is said that they are more difficult to treat.
Our culture is obsessed with weight and we live in a world where exercise is recommended for our health, but when does it all go to the extreme? When I began the downhill spiral of my eating disorder I weighed 130 pounds...a few pounds more than was necessary on my 5'2" frame. I had a hysterectomy and my journey began then...as the pounds came off and people kept telling me how great I looked that became my fuel...I would think well, if I lose another 5 pounds they will really think that I look good. The positive feedback enabled me. AT 78 pounds I looked like a skeleton and I thought that I looked great...which shows you how sick I really was!
People applauded my weight loss, my disciplined eating and my obsession with exercise...but it took one courageous lady to see it for what it really was a serious illness. I have written before on my blog about her mailing me an 8x10 close up picture of myself...that was my reality check and I thank God that it happened before my heart gave out and before I lost out on more moments.
As I started the long road back to recovery I began to realize all that I had missed out on while this disease had consumed me. I hated going out to eat. My life revolved around my work outs and I had no joy in my life. It was a vicious cycle and my moods swings were horrible. My self-worth was tied to a number on the scale. This beast could have cost me everything that I truly held dear...I thank God that Bob never gave up on me and that my children forgave me for the moments missed.
It took this close up picture to bring me back to reality. I pray that the seriousness of this young man's illness will bring him to reality. He has to be willing to surrender it ...it is the key...you have to be willing to lay the addiction at the foot of the Cross...to surrender what the underlying cause might me and to not be consumed with external approval. I pray that he will be able to see himself through God's eyes and realize that he is made in the image and likeness of the God who created Him and that my friends is perfection.
Please join me in praying for this young man and his family and for countless others who are dying to be thin...