Finding Freedom – Part 1

Flashback to College

FindingFreedom 2-01

I was a sophomore in college.

I was walking up the big hill that led to my dorm, with a to go box of food in my hand. Yes, once again I had just wanted to eat lunch alone in my room, not wanting anyone to see what I was going to eat, or rather how little I was going to eat. Plus, I had homework to do, no time to take a break and catch up with a friend. As I walked up the steep hill, tears started to well in my eyes. The darkness seemed so heavy, so tangible. I suddenly got a vision of myself stuck in this underground prison cell, so dark and cold, crying to get out, to be free, but completely stuck. Unheard. Scared and ashamed.

I had struggled with an eating disorder on and off for years now. And although a few close friends probably knew, including my parents, I didn’t feel like there was anyone I could confide in, who would really get it, and help me to find true healing. And if I were being completely honest, I wasn’t ready to find healing. Although I hated the shame and embarrassment, I was more afraid of gaining weight and not being beautiful. Of not fitting into the status quo. Really, of not having control. Life seemed so stressful sometimes, and this was one thing I could actually control. During this time, I was a leader on campus, and a leader at church. I loved the Lord with all my heart, and yet, I didn’t know who I was.

I had no idea what God thought of me.

I was trapped in a cycle of believing lies about who I was and who I should be. The pressure weighed so heavily on my shoulders. If only I had known the truth back then. If only I had known how much God loved me and how much more he had for me. That freedom was on the other side of surrender. That God had died to set me free, and he wanted me to live in freedom, not shame and guilt and isolation. That light came with truth, with vulnerability, with telling a trusted mentor or friend. That true beauty comes from within, and that true joy comes from surrendering to Jesus and letting go of trying to control my circumstances. He offered peace, and I was plagued with fear.

If you relate to any part of my story, know that God is pursuing your heart today. Longing for you to take hold of him, and to start a journey of freedom and healing.

Love,

Alyssa

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