An Open Letter to my Eating Disorder

Dear Ed,

I want to hate you. I want to hate you like my friends and family hate you. I want to hate you so much that I cannot stand to be in your presence. But I don’t hate you, and I’m not sure why.

You have taken more from me than you ever gave, but you did still give. You gave me comfort when the world became too much to handle. You gave me an escape and an obsession that I could use to distract myself. You gave me a feeling of mastery when I watched the number on the scale decline. You gave me answers when all the world could give me was questions. You gave me a feeling of accomplishment. You gave me an out when obligation bound my hands and taped my mouth. Even when the relationship was abusive, I still woke up in the morning hoping to feel your presence by my side.

For all of that, I am thankful. I am thankful for the experiences, regardless of how miserable I was. Saying goodbye to you feels like mourning the loss of a close acquaintance. Because of you I have grown wiser, tougher, and more disciplined; however, there is no longer room in the relationship for me to grow. Like a tree planted in a flower pot, what once provided stability and guidance now suffocates my roots. I need to branch out and ground my roots in a more stable foundation.

You are not good for me. You have taunted me with false promises, and 10 years later I am empty handed. You made me a puppet, unaware of all the strings that yanked me in a million directions until I was too weak to dance on my own. You disguised happiness in a blanket of false hope, and manipulated my thinking to match your plan. Looking back over the past few years, it’s hard to know what was me and what was you. You blurred the lines so thick that not even hindsight can sort through the mess you made.

I still find comfort at times when I hear your words on a quiet night. I still see you in memories distorted to seem good even when I know otherwise. But I no longer see you when I close my eyes. I have different visions of my future where I wear purpose and passion instead of shame and guilt. I no longer find peace in pain. I am ready to blossom, because a powerful oak tree was never meant to be delicate rose. I will never say goodbye to you, because you will always be a part of my story. Not in the chapters or words, but in the font and punctuation. I am more loving, gentle, and encouraging because I know that not everyone can advocate for themselves.

Overall, I cannot change what was done, but I can choose who I become. I am not a victim or survivor because you do not define me. I am on a journey. You are not the only enemy I will encounter. I choose to live a life defined by my savior not by my sin. I choose to love God without saving any room for hate for the enemy. The enemy has been defeated and victory is mine. I choose to celebrate my God-given victory, even when I do not feel victorious. I choose to wear my gold-medal even when I feel like I am losing, because freedom in God is not a destination but a team.

oak tree wisdom

What is my Purpose?

One of the most common questions I have asked myself or heard others ask is, “What is my purpose?” I believe that every single person’s life matters. When God knit each and every one of us together in our mother’s womb, he knit us together with a plan.

“When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother’s womb, when I was growing there in secret, you knew that I was there-you saw me before I was born.The days allotted to me had all been recorded in you book, before any of them ever began.”-Psalms 139:15-16

I also believe that when we ask ourselves, “What is my purpose,” we are asking the wrong question. The question we should be asking is, “What is God’s purpose for my life.” The purpose we have for ourselves is usually limited by our perception of what we think we are capable of achieving. God’s purpose for our life is so much greater than anything we could ever imagine. This morning I was reading Matthew 17 where a man approaches Jesus about his demon-possessed son asking for healing. He says that he had asked the disciples, but they could not heal. When the disciples asked Jesus why they could not drive the spirits out, Jesus replies,

“Because you have so little faith. Truly, I tell you if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).

The disciples did not lack faith in believing and following God. They left their families to walk with Jesus. Instead, they lacked faith in themselves. They lacked faith in God’s purpose for their life. They lacked faith that God could use them to do the impossible. Wow…hello to me! Almost everyday I battle with thoughts of feeling inadequate, and I doubt my capabilities. I don’t doubt that God can do the impossible…I just doubt that God could use me. Often, I feel overwhelmed when I think about my dreams and aspirations, because I doubt that I can achieve all the desires in my heart. The same power that conquered death lives inside of you and me. No dream is too big with God. We need to stop limiting what God can do with us.

Also, purpose is not something in the future. Often, we spend our lives wondering what our purpose in life is, linking the idea of purpose with a career. One of the biggest misconceptions is that our purpose is to work at some career. We tend to think that our purpose in life is achieved. As a freshman in college, I have been asked hundreds of times over the last few months what I plan to study. My (current) answer: physician assistant; however, my purpose in life is not to become and work as a physician assistant. My purpose is to glorify God in whatever and all that I do. God makes my purpose for each and every day (yes…even today) pretty clear.

“In him we are chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:11).

“Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men” (Colossians 3:23).

“…so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy. And here is the second: Love others as well as you love yourself” (Mark 12:29)

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms”(1 Peter 4:10).

God calls us to love Him. God calls us to love others. He calls us to serve Him. God calls us to serve others. We need to stop waiting for God to reveal to us our purpose and realize that our purpose is today. It is about glorifying God in all that we do, and being intentional to love on his people.

YOU CAN NOT FAIL IN ACHIEVING YOUR PURPOSE. Personally, I have felt so worried recently that I will major in the wrong thing or not hear where God wants me to go. This morning as I was spending time in the word, I just felt God telling me to relax. I’ve realized it is not about what I study or where I go…it is about how. If I continue to pursue God, and am mindful of the opportunities around me each day to spread His love, then I am doing what I have been called to do.