Come as You Are
It’s an invitation to you, to me, to everyone everywhere. It’s grace upon grace calling our names and reaching into the depths to take hold of our hearts.
It’s the invitation I knew I needed but couldn’t find. It’s the love my soul was longing for but so often misplaced. It’s the life-giving, breath-giving, grace-filled God who is calling you and calling me to His love - to come as we are into the arms of the savior.
For so long, I did not understand. How could I be loved by this perfect God when I was still so messy? I still had issues, struggles, and doubts. My guilt and pain felt too much to bare, even for God.
When I looked in the mirror I hated what I saw, so why would I want anything to do with the God who made me in His image? I hated my image….. and this is where it all started. I ate, I starved, I ate, I starved, and then I ate some more. I never knew what to call the way I felt so I never talked to anyone about it. I was good at manipulating and hiding. By the time I got to college, a hot fudge sundae pop-tart was my single meal of choice. I picked around my food at the dining hall and thought no one noticed. I talked about junk food like it was a friend in fear that others might discover the real issues I was facing. I was good at hiding. After all, I had hidden my issues throughout high school and all that was ever said to me was, “you’re so skinny”, like it was a compliment. It was a damaging compliment that helped fuel the disease in me. My life was set on a destructive repeat but I hoped that one day this type of control would finally satisfy me.
Something about having a baby and the pressure to “bounce back” has taken it’s toll on my image-bearing heart. Lies that stretch marks and extra weight from pregnancy make me inadequate and ugly, hide my eyes from the throne of grace. It disguises itself in many ways. My body needs to bounce back after having a baby. As if the changes that occurred with my body not only should be “back to normal” by now but also that I need to look the way I did when I was eating one small meal each day and exercising during all my free time. I don’t want to “go back” to that and I don’t want anyone else to either. Sure, there are compliments and pride that come with with certain sizes but I was the furthest I could be from healthy; mentally, physically, and especially spiritually. I have not fully healed from this disease and truth is I may not until I stand before the Lord but, I have been rescued, redeemed, and made new by the God who made me in His image.
This is a letter to you and me,
Jesus invites us to come as we are because we all are broken before the throne of grace. Whether it’s an eating disorder that has plagued you for the last 10 years or feeling lesser than because of the way you look, Jesus takes your burdens, nails them to the cross, and sets you free! He already beat death and crushed sin so all there is for you to do, truly all you can do, is trust in Jesus. He won victoriously against your battles and He alone gives you the strength to turn to Him in all circumstances. The mirror, the scale, the perfectly edited picture, the gossip, the past, the comments on Instagram, or the popularity do NOT define who you are; Christ defines who you are, and if you are in Him, you are holy and wholly beautiful.
For far too long I let this be an issue I tried to handle myself. Although I didn’t know what to call the way I was feeling, I finally started to turn a corner when I let others in and sought help from professionals. It wasn’t easy to show people the extent of my brokenness but that’s the beauty of community; we all are broken and we all need Jesus. I urge anyone who may be struggling with an eating disorder of any type to seek help! You are not alone and your image-bearing soul is worth fighting for!
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:8-9