Remember the Recovery Series? This is the series in which I get to share different unique stories of girls who have walked the road to recovery and conquered through the grace of God and the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Each story is different, yet each story is a reminder that recovery is not an impossible battle. (I originally posted this on May 5th, 2016, but I thought it would be really fun to refresh these posts and share them with the newest readers on here.)
I’m back with the seventh, yes, the seventh installment in the Recovery Series! Each story is a reminder to me that recovery is possible. Each story is beautiful. Each story is hard. Each story is a reminder of God’s power, that God shows His saving power in the healing power of Jesus Christ, who came to save the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds. Each one is to remind you that each life has a purpose. We are not random. We are created by God, for His purposes, and He redeems for His own purpose and glory.
Each one of these ladies have wounds, and there has been so much healing, and these are the stories of that healing and restoration.
This is my dear friend Megan whose writing corner resides at Apron Strings and Sticky Fingers. I’ve never met her face to face, but God has connected my heart to this woman because she reflects this verse in Matthew 5:16, ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’
Megan SHINES Jesus in her posts. She shines hope and joy and the fullness of the love of God in a concrete way. She writes candid posts about recovery and exercise and food. She develops recipes. She shares the crazy life of a student. Each post is heartfelt, loving, and truthful. Also, Megan recovered from an eating disorder, and she is constantly encouraging and building up others in the journey, pointing them back to Jesus as the only hope. She shows what it is to be free from your idols, free to worship God, to lift your hands in joy and praise, to stand in God’s grace in Jesus Christ, and this post, this story is just that.
This is Megan’s story, the beautiful story of how God brings beautiful things out of tears and storms. He is with us in every storm.
Looking back I can’t believe how hopeless and lost I felt.
I can’t believe how empty and broken I was.
I can’t get over how God’s incredible love can turn any situation into something beautiful.
I grew up in a Christian family. We went to church every Sunday, I sang praise songs, I read my illustrated kids bible and at the age of 4, I asked Jesus to come into my heart.
Somewhere in between that sweet little girl who always wore tu-tus and who I am today, I stopped listening to the quiet murmuring of my heavenly Father, and started tuning into the blaring noise of the world.
I began believing the voices in my head that were telling me my body didn’t measure up, that my thighs were too big and my body wasn’t toned enough. It didn’t happen all at once, but bit by bit those voices wore me down until I was hardly recognisable.
That’s when my disordered eating began. 5 kilograms. That was all I thought I needed to lose. Then I would be skinny. Then I would be pretty…and then I would be happy. I began carefully measuring, calculating and tracking every morsel that went into my mouth. Which I paired with intensive workouts that I pushed myself to do every day without fail. I denied myself desserts at family celebrations. I worked out instead of seeing my friends. People praised me for being “so dedicated to my health and fitness goals.”
But I was anything but healthy.
I lost the 5 kgs, but I still felt empty. I still wasn’t slim enough. I continued to tediously monitor everything that I ate and punished myself by exercising. It was the perfect equation…energy in, energy out…consuming only enough to survive while losing the flesh from my bones.
5 kgs turned to 10. My clothes no longer fit properly. I was a wilting daisy, a fading wallflower. And yet, with every decrease in number on the scale, my heart would leap with joy. I couldn’t see that I was no longer the same person…just a shell of my former self.
My relationship with food and exercise was seriously messed up. All I cared about was getting a body that others would approve of. I scrolled obsessively through recipes on the internet feeding my desperate desire for the carbs and sugar I was restricting. I would bake delicious things for my family and friends but would never eat it myself.
But I told myself this was just temporary. Once I reached my ‘goal weight’ I could eat chocolate, cupcakes and sweets again. Once I was the right size it would just be about maintaining the weight. Maintenance would be easy.
I was heading down a slippery slope without any hope of healing. At this point, God wasn’t even a part of my life anymore. Like a friend from high school that you lose touch with.
But this my friends, is where it gets good. If I had taken another step forward, I would have been plummeting into a deep dark hole.
However, at the beginning of last year, I left home and started college. And little by little, I became myself again.
There are multiple factors which contributed to my recovery commencing. I was living in a hall which meant I no longer had control over the food I ate. I found books and podcasts in which the author’s talked openly about their own struggles. I started attending church again with my friends.
All of the above are excellent reasons…
But I give full credit to God for setting me free.
While the healing process was slow and exhausting at times, with Jesus by my side my yoke was easy and my burden was light.
I’ve learnt that seeking God is the most important thing we can do. When we allow things of the world to separate us from God we become weak, and the enemy finds this the perfect time to attack.
My body became an idol for me.
I put it before my relationship with God.
I was so obsessed with eating just enough to survive and manipulating my body to try and fit a certain standard of beauty, that I completely lost touch with God.
I let the desire to be accepted and adored by those around me fuel my unsustainable and unhealthy lifestyle. I let my fitness goals separate me from the only One who could truly satisfy me.
The incredible thing is, once I came running back to His arms with tears streaming down my cheeks…it all began to fade away.
I slowly began to love and cherish my body, in the way it allows me to run, dance and heal. I began to enjoy eating food again, without worrying and obsessing about how much fat or sugar it contained. I began to see other beautiful, slim women and not feel ashamed or critical of myself. I began to see myself through God’s eyes…as a precious, delicately crafted and adored child.
God’s love has filled every broken crevice of my heart.
He has given me a purpose for living, outside of eating a perfect diet and having a perfect body.
He has opened my eyes to the masses of women who are suffering just as I was.
Now it is Him that I live for each day. It is His approval I seek above all. And it is He who fills me, sustains me and gives me hope.
It is my biggest prayer that all women will realize their immeasurable beauty and strength cannot be found in the superficial ideals of the world but in Jesus Christ alone.
About the author:
Megan is on a mission to redefine what it means to be healthy. Rebelling against the prioritization of clean eating and six packs, her focus is on finding balance in emotional, spiritual and physical health. You can find out more on her blog and connect with Megan via Instagram, twitter or facebook!
No questions for you, but I would love if you share your thoughts with Megan on her story… <3 Please share any encouragement you have in the comments! 🙂