An excerpt from a blog I wrote when I was in a hard struggle with forms of disordered eating and insecurities around body image:
How do I begin? It’s another slow morning. The best kinds of mornings, with a cozy blanket and a good cup of coffee. But there’s that horrid nagging in the back of my head and heart. Body image… a sickness with no name, she comes and goes whenever she pleases, far more often than a simple, unwanted guest.
She tries to deplete my ability to love others, to enjoy my life, to do the things I love, to be confident, to chase my dreams. She tells me I cannot when I KNOW I can. She tells me I will not as if her will is my command.
She depletes my excitement for life far more than any human ever could. She becomes my entire thought process some days. I give her more than I would ever admit.
Her sickness and contagion strikes yet again with a double tap on a post of a friend I am supposed to love but instead I hate because she says they are “better” than me and I can never even compete. I can’t win, I lose to her every time.
Not today. I refuse to listen. I refuse to go numb to my senses, my love, my excitement, my the life my Father in Heaven has given me. She knows she isn’t smarter than Heaven, she just wants me to keep me believing she is. She wants me to keep believing this repetitive cycle is my life and I can’t choose anything else.
Not today. My thoughts around any form of food or exercise begin to diminish as I reach for the only words that seem to help when my immune system gets weak. She tries to convince me I am unworthy of these Holy words I’ve cried over myself night after night after night. Stating that they will not be my assistant no matter how many times I read them.
Trying to read my Bible I make my weak reach again, again, “Oh, God, in fire and wind come and do it again. Open up the gates, let Heaven on in, come rest on me. Come down, Spirit when you move you make my heart pound, you’re here and I know you are moving, I’m here and I know you will fill me” (Rest On Us, Upper Room). I know He is the only one who saves, He’s bottled up my tears every other time she’s come, I just let her stay for far too long. Not today.
My song is not one of defeat. Yours is not either. I know it seems she has the authority, but in reality that voice in your head gets no say. Every time we believe a word from the enemy we are damaging our spiritual immune system, our spirit gets sick.
God come fight our battles, we know you make us well. We invite you in, come and bottle up our tears again. Resting our heads on our Father’s chest, His heart beat is good. His heart beat is for me. This is how we fight our battles, sisters.
Hey sisters, If you are reading this I wish I could give you a hug and tell you how for you I am today! If you read the above and it resonated with you I hope you find some encouragement here. I started to struggle with slight forms of disordered eating and insecurity towards the end of high school. By the time I was a freshman in college I struggled with pretty bad restricting and binging patterns around food and exercise. It got to the point where I was depressed, anxious, hated my body and felt ashamed of myself. When people ask me why I care about girls with eating disorders and insecurities I say “because of ‘her’” in relation to the girl who is “me” my freshman year of college who cried herself to sleep each night. I call those nights of struggle “dark nights” now in messages/blogs I write. If you are in a “dark night” season right now and the devil’s lies seem true, I want to share with you three things I wish I had used to fight against him during those hard times.
We have all heard the saying that the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He comes to steal our joy, kill our hope, and destroy our light. I believe he comes to steal our joy through comparison because it truly is the thief of all joy. For me personally I remember struggling with comparison with an acquaintance of mine for a long time and it went from slowly comparing, to jealousy, to wanting to find things she was doing wrong, to gossiping about her, to not liking her as a friend anymore, and finding myself thinking about how mad I was that she was successful literally all the time. One day at a time the enemy used this comparison to suck the joy out of my life. I truly felt miserable because I was so jealous of her life. This is not a fruit of the Spirit and truly not what God has for us. Comparison is a distraction from the God given purpose we have.
The second thing the enemy comes to do is to kill our hope. I believe especially with struggles like insecurities or patterns we are ashamed of he tries to convince us that “it is always going to be this way.” When I was in the peak of my struggles the biggest lie that kept me depressed and hopeless and un-goal oriented was that I truly could not imagine my life without this struggle. I had convinced myself I was not strong enough to get the help and do the things I needed to do to switch my mentality and patterns away from these disordered eating patterns. There was so much abundant life waiting for me, I just did not see it. If you are in your “dark night” season right now where your biggest fear is tomorrow feeling as hard as today was, I just want you to know, you have a God who surrounds you with angels on assignments, who comes into that dark night and says, “the darkness is not dark to me” (Psalm 139:11-12). I look back on those nights where I cried myself to sleep every night asking God for hope and strength and help and I see Him holding me tighter than He ever has. Know you are never alone in the dark and it does not have to stay dark because the darkness is as light with Him. (Psalm 139:11-12)
And Lastly, I believe the enemies #1 goal is to destroy your light. You might say, well Kathryn, Jesus died on the cross and already won, the devil cannot destroy that light. And to that I would say you are absolutely right, but he still wants to convince you that you are not worthy of carrying that light, that maybe the light of the world is not really worth following, or maybe that He is not even real. He does everything he can to get that light out of you and as far away from you as possible. He uses the stealing of your joy and killing of your hope to slowly but surely diminish that light from its purpose, to convince you that you are not the city on a hill Scripture talks about.
I remember when I was a little kid, my dad and I would snuggle and read the Bible each morning. Our verse was Isaiah 52:7, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of Him who brings good news, who proclaims to Zion, your God reigns!” He called me “pretty feet” from that verse. A little over a year ago God called me to start doing retreats for girls who struggle with body image and insecurities and I felt like He wanted me to do this as the theme verse for the ministry. I knew it would not make too much sense because it did not have to do with body image but I just had a feeling that was our verse. A few months later, I heard a pastor talk about the context of this time period in Isaiah. Basically anytime they went to battle they sent a messenger with a scroll and his only job was to bring back the scroll after the battle with it saying whether they won or lost the battle. He would get the scroll from whoever was above him and run home to the town he was from as fast as he could to deliver the news. And in this instance he was bringing GOOD news that they had won the battle. He was returning home with the good news that the husbands and sons and friends would be returning home because they WON the battle.
Well, friend, just like we said earlier we know that Jesus already won on the cross so the enemy cannot destroy the light, right? The reason that messenger’s feet are beautiful upon the mountains in Isaiah 52 is because He is carrying good news. The message he carries is what the people in the town will be celebrating. What if the good news we carry, the light of the world, is the most beautiful thing about us too? What if the reason my dad called me pretty feet when I was little was not just some cute saying, but a beautiful picture of the fact that I am most beautiful or pretty when my feet are going and proclaiming the good news? The world and the enemy are doing everything they can to distract you from what truly makes you feel the most purpose filled, loved, shame free, and beautiful. If we can be convinced away from spreading this good news, our bodies will still be beautiful because God made us in His image and knit us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139). BUT, no matter how beautiful we are on the outside, we will always struggle on the inside with insecurities and toxic patterns if we do not decide to dwell on the thing that makes us most beautiful and say no to the enemy’s lies by fixing our eyes on our Jesus and asking Him to be our light in the dark night.
One of my favorite Instagram encouraging message writers did a post a while back that said “How beautiful are the feet, if only they would go.” When we stay stuck in our insecurity and doubt our purpose, it stops us from having the courage to do the thing God is calling us to do. So, friend, there is healing to be fought for, it will not come overnight, but with day by day surrender and hard work. Will you be the feet upon the mountains? Will you say no to the devil’s lies and bring the good news anyways? Will you step into the MOST beautiful thing about you? I pray you do, because Jesus considered the purpose He has for you and me worth dying for. And man, is that a God worth living for.
so much love and grace friend,
Kat and her husband Casey live in Atlanta Georgia and run a company called He Would Love First (HWLF), answering the question, What Would Jesus Do (WWJD). She has a ministry called Be a Blessing for girls with disordered eating and insecurities around body image to help girls learn how to have God confidence over self confidence. She loves all things coffee, fitness, nature, and Jesus. Kat ran in college and dealt with disordered eating and lots of health issues and has a heart to help girls out of hard things & hard seasons from that. I Hope this blog encourages you in whatever season you are in!