Twelve years ago I received the beautiful and transforming deliverance from my eating disorder. It’s been twelve years now of discovering exactly who I am. That’s right. I’m forty-years-old and have really only had an authentic identity for a little more than a quarter of that. So I’m twelve, technically.
Prior to that, I had no idea who I was. I knew I wanted to be thin and that I would do absolutely anything to make that happen. Everything else took a backseat to that. The woman who writes and speaks and mothers and teaches and loves is twelve, or at least that’s how long I’ve known her. I’m just a pup, technically speaking.
I can say that because the person I was before, for the first twenty-eight years of my life, is truly someone I don’t recognize so much anymore. I mean, I do remember her, but she is not me and I am not her.
I guess that’s why He calls us “new creations”, huh?
There are certain lifestyles where it is simply PC to concede, “They’re just born that way”. For that matter, I can tell you I was born not liking my physical appearance. Some of my youngest memories are memories of me wanting to change what I looked like, and the change that I was fixated on was an aspiration to become thinner.
I would become entranced by thinness. I loved it, dreamt of it, and desired it. I fantasized about becoming the thinness that I viewed as perfect, and this was before I entered the years of double digits.
The world can throw at me many reasons or causes for my early obsession, but I can tell you simply that I don’t ever remember not being obsessed. So could I say I was born that way? Probably. As much as anyone else can make that claim, I presume.
What I can accurately state about how we were born is that you and I both were born to worship. When we dig into that word “worship”, which I actually can’t fully do in this article, we can be assured that we were born to be obsessed, addicted, and completely over the top.
Shocked? Well, I’ll attempt to prove it to you.
To say that I acted out my addiction in extreme ways would be putting it mildly. When we’re worshipping something, we tend to do that. Just look at the way David acted out His worship. Extreme? Absolutely.
We do act out in very “over the top” ways when we’re addicted. We’re designed to go to extremes in worship. The problem sets in when the object of our worship isn’t the Lord. That’s when it gets dangerous and where we more commonly hear the term “obsession”.
Understanding that I had been worshipping was the first truth that sparked the fire of God’s freedom in me. You see, in my deception, I believed I worshipped the Lord; I believed I loved Him wholeheartedly. That is, until He called me on it.
He revealed to me that I absolutely was worshipping. In fact, there was a whole religion I was upholding; however, it wasn’t Him, or His, or anything remotely close to His liking.
I had a high place, an idol, and I worshipped it well, to the extreme that worship was, and is, intended to be—except, of course, for the fact that the object of my worship was a counterfeit. My Father revealed to me how I had set up a whole religion based on me. My life was a statement of what was important to me, and my actions showed Him that He wasn’t even in my top 5.
If someone would have been in my head—knowing my thoughts and desires and observing my every move, which of course He was—the results were not good. Obviously, right up on top of my high place was excessive thinness, followed by food, restricting food, exercising, finding ways to check myself and determine how thin I was, purging, and the opinions of others.
That was definitely my list; I couldn’t deny it. I called Him “Lord”, but if He were truly my Lord, wouldn’t my list be much different? Where was He?
When He showed me this, I was actually shocked. Stunned. Disgusted. I couldn’t believe I had done this. I loved Him in such a way that I was not prepared to face Him and tell Him what kind of trivial things He was taking a back-seat to. Can you even imagine coming face to face with God Himself and saying, “Yeah, I’m sorry that I didn’t put you first, Lord, but, you know, I just really wanted to be thin”. My word. It sounded so sick, and yet, it was … I. My love for Him broke my heart, as I had no way to deny this revelation that was staring me right in the face.
It’s interesting, even writing it now as a new person; it sounds so ridiculous to be completely worshipping something but not having ever had a complete awareness of that fact. It’s called denial, or spiritually speaking: deception. I was certain that my set of food rules and rigid workout schedule was somehow “righteous”. Disciplined and self-controlled is what I called myself, however, self-righteous, self-dependant, and prideful was more accurate.
With all that I was and all that I did, I was screaming to God that I knew better than Him. I don’t know about you, but that is a statement I’m not willing to make. So that was my metanoeao moment (greek for “repent”: change the way you perceive the world around you). My perception of my life, in that moment, did a complete 180.
You and I receive revelation from God all the time. However, we have a choice as to what we are willing to do with that revelation. There are some who will allow His truth to soak into the very core of their beings, and there are some who will reject it.
Fortunately, there was a place deep in my heart that wanted Jesus. I had declared Him “Lord” as a young child and that declaration was alive in me. What had to happen, though—for me to fully step into my identity in Him and to truly be set free—was to surrender to His beautiful Lordship.
My high places needed to come down.
What about you? Your life is a statement of what lords over you. What makes your top 5 list? Is He #1?
Ready to knock some high places down?
Holy Spirit, would You reveal now what (in my life) I have grown so accustomed to lifting up, that maybe I’m not aware, without Your revelation, just how high of a place I’ve given it? My desire, Lord, is to completely surrender all that I am to You. I will not tolerate anything in my life coming before You. So today, would You invade my heart and my mind and put all that I have and I am into Kingdom perspective? I renounce idolatry. You are my King. You are my Lord. Come have Your way in me. In Your Most Precious Name, Jesus,