One of the things about writing a blog is that I get some lovely feedback. It can be really encouraging and an affirmation that I am following a call I believe God has given me, to speak about my experience in the hope that it can give others a voice and place to be heard.
A few days ago I was given a lovely encouragement “you write very honestly and helpfully, keep it up”.
This was a beautiful expression of support yet my first thought was
if only you knew the bits that I keep hidden, the parts that I don’t share, the areas that are still shame filled and therefore kept away, not to be read or seen not to be shared publicly
That was it and for some reason it sent me into somewhat of a downward spiral.
When I write a blog post I get to choose what is written. I get to read back through and edit it to make myself sound more Christ-like, more worthy. I don’t have to publish the parts that are still a work in progress, those areas I struggle with. I get to paint myself however I choose to. I can present one face while keeping another hidden.
I have written in the past about depression and my eating disorder but I realised a few weeks ago that I still struggle with my eating disorder. It has not been left in the past but is still a part of my day to day. While I no longer use laxatives to purge I do still use food as both a comfort and a reward, a way to numb and a way to celebrate. I still look at food in terms of ‘how worth it is to consume’ and whether I will regret it later. I still skip meals here and there and tell myself that it’s ok because I’m not purging. I still look at the scales with disappointment and frustration.
But it’s not ok, it’s hiding a part of me because that part isn’t ‘complete’, I am not able to stand on the victory and say “I have come through this and there is hope for you” instead it leaves me with shame. When it comes to food I do not seem to be able to practise what I preach to others. Others are allowed to make mistakes and start again yet I hold myself to a higher standard where failing doesn’t seem to be ok or allowed. Because by now I should be able to do this differently.
Today these feelings of guilt and shame left me feeling like a shell of myself. There but not quite there.
I found this Ann Voskamp quote the other day
So today this is what I hold true to, I get to take these messy feelings and give them to God. I don’t have to do anything with them I just have to hand them over and say
God I don’t know what to do with these but I know that you do
That’s it, no more no less.
The lady that gave me the encouragement also mentioned a verse she is due to speak on (which I looked up)
The Lord your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing
God IS with me in the middle of my mess and he WILL have the victory. My story isn’t over yet, I will be renewed through his love for me and he sings over me at the top of his voice.
No matter how I see or feel about my present circumstance I am still Gods beloved. That I know to be true.
I pray you may know that for yourself too.