Sitting on the bathroom floor, as close to the toilet as possible, I heard the voice in my head saying, “Get it all out. You can do it. All of it. Get it all out.” I was bulimarexic. I tried really hard not to eat and when I did it, I threw up. Yikes. On top of this, I worked out… not a lot, because I didn’t want to pass out or end up in the hospital, but I was so determined to be skinny, that I did whatever it took.
This battle went on for 10 years. I stopped throwing up in college after my vocal chords started going during a show… if all of that nonsense was for my hoped-for career of singing publicly, I didn’t want to sacrifice my voice in the process. So, I stopped throwing up, but I sure did continue hating my body. Diets, classes, tanning beds, limiting food, thyroid disorder diagnosis, all of it just fed this hatred.
I surrendered my life to God on, January 2nd, 2010. I consider this my reborn date. I was raised a Christian, was baptized at a young age, and even had a relationship with God and Jesus… but this day I fell to my knees and surrendered EVERYTHING to God. I told Him I couldn’t do it all anymore. I needed Him to take over. I said I was done striving, I was done trying. I just wanted Him, His will, and His plans. In this powerfully emotional time with the Father, I said that if He was to break me of my image issues, He’d have to walk me through it because I had no idea how to do it on my own. I did not hear from Him that night, but I knew He heard me. I trusted and I woke up every day afterward VERY differently. At church in the next week or so, they announced they were going to have FREE physical fitness classes twice a day, 3 days a week. Each class would start with a devotional and prayer and end with an encouragement. Um, thanks God. Fast forward a few months and God led me to live in Malawi, Africa for 6+ months. While there, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, “I want you to fast.” I kinda shrugged it off thinking, “HA! That’s ridiculous.” Then a month or so later I heard it again. I dismissed it until one night, some friends and I were watching a Darren Wilson film and I heard it again. Though this time it was not a whisper. He was serious and busted out the almighty-ness. I prayed and asked what the details were for the fast and He said 30 days, sunrise to sunset. Day 1 of the prayer, I took my anti malaria medicine (as I did every day) and became VERY nauseous, as expected since the medicine is meant to be taken with food. I had a choice- throw up (to get the meds out) or ask Him what He saw in this situation. I chose not to throw up. For 30 days, I prayed and fasted… for my image, for my body, for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, for my impoverished kiddos who go without, for God to break me… 30 days flew by. You’d think it would have dragged on and on… but really y’all, I spent so much time with the Father that it made me crave Him even more.
That was 8 years ago and I have not thrown up since. Yes, I have thought about it… when there is a situation in my life that makes me REALLY mad or makes me feel completely out of control, I revert to the one thing the enemy told me I had control over. And as we all know, he is a liar. I gave birth to my sweet daughter a little over 2 years ago and I had hyperemesis my entire pregnancy. If I didn’t learn my lesson living overseas and fasting, I absolutely did after that season. I NEVER want to throw up again. Again, the act crosses my mind, because it is the thorn in my flesh, but I won’t do it, because Jesus already has me, it covered. He died and took that with Him. He was raised and gave me the power to say no. He lives in me and fights for me and with me. I may not be skinny. I’m not even fit (and definitely not keeping much track as I’m 6mo pregnant with my 2nd), but I sure am thankful for a healthy body despite what I put it through for years… God’s grace and mercy covers us from beginning to end, backwards and forwards. We think we’ve used up all of what He has to offer and He just keeps coming through.