As I was walking through the healing process with my eating disorder, a huge factor was transforming my thoughts. See our minds are a battlefield, and we have to constantly be on guard- to take every thought captive to Christ. (2 Cor. 10:5) It’s so easy to think a thought, and then dwell there- to let it take root in your mind and eventually let it dig its sharp claws into your heart. See I had believed lies about my body image, control, and eating for so long that they dictated how I saw myself, how I acted and how I felt. In order to find healing, I had to get to the root, and dig out those ugly lies, and replace them with truth. God’s truth. Put off. Put on.
2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” God’s word is alive and active. It’s not just words on a page, but actually has power to heal and transform. God has breathed these words out, and He’s given them to us so we can be equipped for every good work. So we can be armed for war, prepared for the battle, ready to do what’s right.
The Lord revealed four truths to me during this time. Yes, I had heard them all before, but I never actually applied it to my life. Application is key. But what exactly does that look like? In this situation, it meant that I memorized these verses. I let my mind dwell on them. And when a lie popped into in my head, I quickly recited these verses to myself, read them, or started to preach them to myself. Sometimes in my head, sometimes out loud. (I know, I’m a little kooky!) Obviously I wasn’t perfect, and sometimes I’d let lies creep in. I still have to fight each day to put on God’s truth. But the Spirit lives in us beloved! In Him, we can daily fight for truth, daily preach the good news to ourselves. Don’t despair beloved. You are not alone in your battle. God fights for you. He’s given you every tool you need.
1. We are made in the image of God. (Gen. 1:27) God created us to be His image bearers. You are created by the Maker God, to reflect Christ. To know Jesus. To be His. You are covered with His fingerprints. You are loved. You are wanted. You are His ambassadors.
2. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139) God handcrafted us. He formed us in our mother’s wombs. He thought of every limb, every hair, every muscle and every skin cell. He has uniquely made you beloved. You are a treasure, a beautiful work of art. He didn’t just turn his head and poof you appeared! No, He intentionally made every part of you, for a purpose.
3.We are the temple of God (1 Cor. 6:19-20) Beloved, if you are in Christ, the Holy Spirit dwells in you. He’s there. He’s with you. Forever. He’s not leaving. You are the temple of God. Therefore, you are called to be a good steward of what God has given you. God has blessed you with a body—don’t harm it. Don’t throw it away. Take care of yourself. Drink lots of water. Exercise. Eat healthy. Eat well. Eat enough. Don’t overeat. Don’t throw up the nutrients your body needs. Don’t overwork out and bring your body to complete exhaustion.
4. We must give thanks (1 Thess. 5:18) Not too often in the bible is it so clear as to what the will of God is. But here, He is quite clear. Give thanks. Every time we give thanks, we are praising Him, bringing our attention to Him. Beloved, give thanks- for the body you have, that you’re able to work out to keep your heart healthy, for the food you eat; for your muscles, your mind, your ability to be creative with food, for time to fellowship with people over meals. Let thanksgiving replace your fear, or insecurities.
I know that this battle you are in is a journey. Most likely you won’t heal overnight. But I hope these 4 truths encourage you and are tools for you to use as you walk this out. It takes work. You must do something. Put off. Put on. But the Holy Spirit is your Helper, and community is key. You don’t have to fight alone. Start today by storing these verses in your heart. Maybe you can write them on a 3 x 5 card, put them on your mirror in the bathroom, and start to memorize them. You will be amazed at how spending 5 minutes a day memorizing His word will fill you with hope as you dwell on His truth. We must put off the lies of this world, satan and our flesh beloved. And we must put on the truth that sets us free.
This is beautiful Alyssa. These truths are just what I have needed to hear. I’ve been discussing them and learning them over the past few months but to see them laid out the way you did, with descriptions and depth was SO helpful. Thank you!
This was so helpful! I and several of my close friends have struggled with eating disorders in the past, thank God that He is so gracious and merciful! This, I believe, gave me the ounce of strength I needed to confess to my mom what I’ve been through in the past. Thank you.
Thank you so much for this post! I have struggled with body image all of my life and never applied God’s word to the lies that have rooted in my heart. Thank you for the clarity in what the Lord wants us to do when we live out His word! God bless you darling!
I’ve been REALLY struggling in this area, very severely. THIS morning I decided for the 1ST time to finally deal with my issue by writing it all out on paper, acknowledging it, and forcing myself to rely on God’s strength & willpower to overcome it. This same day is when Jeff shared this article. Way too coincidental to not be from God. I’m in awe. Thank you.
Alyssa, thank you for posting this; I received much encouragement!
This is exactly what I needed! Thanks, Alyssa, for being obedient to the Lord and sharing this with your sisters in Christ. I will hug you in heaven ♥
Thank you, sister!
This is exactly what I needed today. I’ve been struggling almost my entire life with this topic, and honestly, your words clicked more for me than any other bit of advice I’ve been given. Thank you for being open. God is good!
Oh, what a great post. Just what I needed at the right time. Thank-you!
I’m not meaning this rudely. I appreciate your post. I know God takes great consideration in how he originally created us and finds us precious and priceless. But isn’t it our sin that makes the imperfection in our bodies, among other places? Which is why, when we move on from this life, we are given brand new bodies? Of course, this doesn’t mean God loves us any less. I’m just saying, God didn’t make us to be imperfect, being born into sin and taking part in sin is what makes us imperfect, physically and otherwise, right? What are your thoughts?
This is EXACTLY what I needed to hear! I have struggled with being overweight my whole life and have been trying to get to the root of my insecurities to heal this dependency. I’m also going through a breakup, so this reminder of our heart’s need for thanksgiving is such a blessing! Thank you so much for opening your heart to help others. I love your blog!
Thank you so much for this Alyssa. I’m a freshman in college and I’ve never struggled with body image or an eating disorder until this year and its been a year long struggle and I’ve been searching for answers and I think I just found what I needed to hear. Thank you 🙂
Having dealt with an eating disorder myself … I know exactly what you are talking about. I too went through and am still going through the process of letting God reveal those truths to my heart. I can say though with a smile on my face God is for sure fighting for us and he has brought be so far in this journey and gave me the willingness to not give up. Today I am so thankful to such great encouragement from your post.
This was such a great post! Thank you! I have struggled with body image (and still am) and this has truly helped me tons. It was much needed encouragement and taking me a step closer to recovery.
Hey Alyssa, thank you so much for your words and the sharing of GOD’s Word. I’ve been struggling with my weight my entire life. Not necessarily with bulimia or anorexia but with been over weight. Lately I’ve been struggling with bad thoughts about my self. I’ve come to sometimes believe the lies that the devil has put in my heart. It hasn’t been an easy battle but His truth and His Word has always overcome. Your words have touched me and reminded me that I was created in His image but also that I need to take care of the body that was given to me. You have no idea how much you have encouraged me –a simple 19 yr old girl. With tears in my eyes I thank you soo much Alyssa, thank you!
God has been showing me so much about how my identity rests in Him – and Him alone!
This is such a timely reminded of Who it is that I belong to!
The verse you stated about being the temple and the spirit always being in us and never leaving us is what stood out to me in this post. I’ve been dealing with pyshical self destruction / self harm, off and on for a few years. Tonight was the first time i actually “heard” what that meant when i read it. Is there any other advice you can give or scriptures for healing? Thank you so much.