I’ve been doing a lot of scrolling through the internet trying to find youth based projects who are advertising for writers. Lately I’ve been trying to expand my writing portfolio and thought this would be a starting point. Surprisingly, I’ve come across one or two and have been looking into applying for them.
One thing I do love about this generation of youth is that we’re probably one of the most empowered generations going and have been enabled to have a voice with the platforms necessary to use it. Many of us feel passionate about something and for young writers that creates the awesome space for us to pick up our pens and start writing to change the world. I too have a passion, something I want to use my voice, pick up my pen and change the world.
My passion to see people with anorexia healed is what drives this blog.
Through my own recovery I so often have spoken about my relationship with God and how it was through him that I was set free from my eating disorder. So when I see a call for young writers to create articles to create change, my immediate thought is to use my testimony to help others.
I was once told that I have a golden ticket testimony, that it will change lives and yet, I hesitate talking about my journey of freedom anywhere else other than this blog.
I often wish I felt passionate in other areas that wasn’t anorexia, that my calling for the time being would be human rights or saving the environment. Talking about abolishing slavery isn’t shameful, trying to protect the planet isn’t shameful but anorexia? Well there’s still a stigma around mental heath problems.
Despite suffering from a range of mental health illness myself, I still carry that stigma. I find my mouse hovering over the submit button as I wonder do I really want to be known as Arabella the anorexic? Surly there must be something else I can talk about, some other passion that didn’t have to feel so wrong?
But there never is another topic I want to talk about.
There is nothing in this world that I feel more strongly about than seeing people set free of anorexia through Christ… and this creates a problem.
Who’s will do I want more?
Do I protect my own pride and hide my shameful past or do I use my story to help bring people to God?
An area I’ve always struggled with is pride.
I have never been able to achieve middle ground, I’m either compleatly self less to the point where it affects my mental heath as I’m denying myself even the basic of things as I believe other people need it more, or I’m pretty prideful, unable to admit when I was wrong or seeking my will above all else.
I’m also a very driven person, a few steps away from a workaholic. There’s this incredibly strong desire to create and build my own future single-handedly. Through school I quickly learned that no one was going to help me. I was very good at slipping through the net and as a result I became self reliant at all times, one of the hardest things for me to do was accept help.
All of this doesn’t really mix well when it comes to me and God and I’m often faced with another dilemma.
Do I trust God and the journey he’s been taking me on, or do I craft my own future doing what I think is best for me?
It may sound like an easy choice to make when it’s wrote down like that, of course I want to choose Gods way. However, in my day-to-day life that choice never feels so obvious. More often than not I find myself over analysing a situation and getting into such a flap about it that I don’t make any decisions at all.
So how does all this tie together?
When I was set free from anorexia I remember feeling so ashamed about what I had done, yes I could eat but I wouldn’t allow myself to recover. I felt too ashamed about the anorexia that I forced myself to remain in that shame as punishment. When I saw the cross, asked Jesus to take it away, I was met with the words ‘ I already have’.
I’ve thought about that night many times and in reflection I can now see that the cross wasn’t symbolising taking the anorexia away, but instead it was a clear way of reminding me that Jesus took away our sins and shame on the cross. Understanding that my shame had been paid for was the key to my recovery.
What reason do I have to feel shame now?
Jesus took the cost of my sins, the anorexia on the cross. I have a flipping powerful testimony that glorifies God. I am not recovering from anorexia, I am recovered and free.
This begs the question, where is this feeling of shame coming from?
John 10:10 sprung to mind whist I was writing this.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
I’m really not the type of person to see the Devil in every situation. If something goes wrong I don’t instantly blame Satan, I feel that in doing so it takes away our accountability and gives a quick and easy way to blame your actions on something else. However, I am so aware that there is a thief that he will come to steal and destroy, I am so, so aware of that. A way to steal in my own life is not to take something away, but to add in the feeling of shame.
Sometimes it is my own pride that stops me from finding ways to share my testimony, it’s my own pride that doesn’t want me to be known as Arabella the anorexic. But being real here, there is no reason for me to be feeling ashamed to use any excuse to glorify God.
Yes, comfort wise I’d much rather feel passionate about something else, but I’m a tiny unstoppable furnace who has a passion to see people with eating disorders be set free through Christ and that is nothing to be ashamed of.