Today is a little bit different from the ‘Thinking Out Loud’ posts I did last year. This year, God put it on my heart to try to discover other girls who have recovered and are recovering and see if they would be willing to share their stories. I’m incredibly grateful to discover so many that God has given a beautiful, second chance at really living in Him! These are their stories.
This is a story, a story of a girl who is just SHARING so much gratefulness about the love of God in her life. Truly this testimony from Claire is a testimony of a girl who is learning to give thanks to God for everything, and that is incredible to me. Claire blogs at ‘Galin Bloom’, and I hope you can visit her and follow her journey of sweet joy and HEALING in the Lord Jesus Christ. Healing is so beautiful, and this is another one of those incredible stories.
1 Thessalonians 5:18, ‘In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’
If you want to read four other absolutely beautiful stories in the series you can find them all here. Recovery is POSSIBLE and it’s happening every day. God is AMAZING!
This story is part of a series, where God has led me to so many girls who have been willing to step out in hope and share these beautiful stories, full of struggle, and VICTORY. I hope these are an encouragement to you, and if you would ever feel led to share your story with the readers, please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also do not mind keeping you anonymous AT ALL, so if you want to share, please don’t let that hold you back, because your story needs to be heard!
Claire’s Story: Lost and Found
For me, the history of my eating disorder and recovery is inextricably entwined with the story of how I lost and found my faith, so it’s impossible to tell one story without telling the other, too.
I struggled with a disordered relationship with food and my weight since I was about thirteen, although I never realized it through all those years of restriction and guilt in middle and high school. I just thought it was normal. However, when a dear friend of mine was killed in a car accident during my freshman year of college, those struggles turned into a full-blown disorder.
Paxton’s death impacted me so much more than simply losing a friend, which was hard enough already. Although I had never realized it before, I had trusted in God to look out for me and the people I loved. I had prayed quietly and upon occasion read my Bible, but I was never open about my faith. And without a church, family, or community in Christ to remind me of His goodness, I blamed God for Paxton’s death and turned away from Him completely.
But God gave me a second chance. A year after the accident, I took a class, “Introduction to Christianity,” and one assignment was to attend a Christian service at the college chapel and write a reflection about it. So, I went to a service, and as I was sitting there praying in a circle with my fellow students, I suddenly felt this pull to know God again. I started to understand that we might not understand His design, everything that happens to us, but He loves us, even though we’ve sinned, and has good, good plans for our lives that will be eventually revealed to us. I started to trust in Him again and my life became so much more content, but…
Now, I can exercise for fun, not counting calories burned and trying to lose .2 more pounds. I can enjoy healthy food because it makes me feel good and eat local, organic food because it supports causes I care about, not because I’m secretly trying to eat fewer calories. I can also enjoy a big piece of chocolate cake or eat an entire avocado’s worth of guacamole with tons of Tostitos because I understand that moderation in all things–including “healthy”–is what’s really healthy. I can eat without idolizing food or binging like it’s the last time I’ll ever get to eat cake. I can enjoy life in general and focus on serving God by sharing my story and my faith with others, something I never would have thought I’d be able to do two years ago. Am I 100% perfect at doing all of these things? No, of course not! I’ve only been recovered for not even a year. But I’ve been able to do all of these things in the past few months, and having glimpses of what life without an ED is like only motivates me more to recover “completely.”
Some people say that you can never be completely recovered, and I both agree and disagree. I think that if you’ve ever had an ED that you’ll always have to be hyperaware of any sneaky ED thoughts that might come back without you noticing them, like restricting before a big meal or feeling guilty about missing a workout. But I also think that now that I have a reason to stay recovered–the right reason, so that I can serve and worship!–I’m able to be more aware and am motivated to stay recovered. I don’t see my mistakes or slip-ups as failures anymore, reasons to give up, because I know that His love is infinite. I don’t deserve it, but He loves me anyways and is constantly changing me for the better!
Thank you Claire. This vulnerability and truth and joy takes so much faith, and I’m so grateful that God gave you the faith and love to share this story with us. <3 Every day I’m so amazed to find more and more who are recovering and fighting for the precious life we’ve been given!
Claire also shares a LOVELY Instagram from which of all of the beautiful pictures came, and I shamelessly think that you should follow her. You will be encouraged. I guarantee.
No questions today.. If you want to just leave a note of encouragement for Claire in the comments, I know she would appreciate it. <3