Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Throne of Grace



Recent status updates on Facebook have referenced how I now walk in freedom from an eating disorder. There has been mention of my longtime battle with bulimia here and there on my blog. Last year I attempted to give it up for Lent. I wrote about it here and here. I wrote about how I did not reach my goal here.

The battle continued on, mostly in secret. Family and friends rarely confronted me on the matter, except for a few, which made it easier to keep it a secret. When the few would ask how I was doing they received the standard response of, “It is better.”

You might wonder, what does “it is better” mean?

For the most part, it does not mean a thing. Those words were used as a diversion from being real. There were times when the purging happened less frequently but usually not by much. The battle always remained a battle.

A part of me wanted to come clean by saying, “It is far from finished.” There would be freedom in such admittance. On the contrary, doing so would make it harder to carry out the act of purging, if the desire remained to do so, because others (mainly my husband) might watch closer my actions after eating.

Was I ready to let go of the warped sense of control I had over my eating disorder?

I could not tell you the last time I made myself purge. It hasn't been very long; maybe two or three months. I did not make note of the date it stopped. A day did not come when I said, “It is finished.” I thought a day like that had come—I said so during my Lenten journey here.

I was not finished.

Could it be my faith in Him wasn't strong enough for healing? The answer, of course, is no. Our healing isn't dependent upon the level of our faith.

Why am I now certain that it is finished? What is different from the other times?

I think it has something to do with accepting His grace. By this I mean, believing His grace is a gift for me too. I know that it is but there's a difference between believing and accepting.

I wish I could speak of a profound moment similar to the many miracle healings performed by Jesus throughout the New Testament. Like the experience of the bleeding women who came up behind Jesus to touch the edge of His cloak and then her bleeding immediately stopped (read Luke 8:43-48). Instead, a day just came when I no longer purged.

In a recent sermon by our Executive Pastor he addressed the nature of miraculous healings performed by Jesus. He expressed how the healings included four characteristics:

1) They were unpredictable

2) They were done in Jesus’ name

3) They were instantaneous and complete

4) They resulted in praise to God

Something clicked during his sermon. A light bulb went on. I had experienced a healing that could have only been done by Jesus.

Unlike the prediction of my eating disorder being finished when I began my Lenten journey in 2014, this healing was unpredictable. It was done in no other name than Jesus’ name because only He could perform such a healing. It was instantaneous and I now believe complete. All praise and glory goes to God.

My history may prove I will likely fall again. And I may. I think not though. His grace gift of healing is one I do not plan to give back.

It is finished.

I may not understand why He chose to do this now. But He often doesn't work in ways we will understand. This is what I'm learning: the magic actually happens beyond the healing. As I walk away from an eating disorder and in to freedom I cannot help but point others to Him because it's all because of HIM. And isn't that the point?

Healing or no healing, He is more than enough. He is all we need.

Like I wrote here, thank you for being a soft place to land as I tell my story. There is more to tell but I think I shall save for another post.

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31 comments :

  1. Paul said I was delivered, am delivered and am being delivered. Just as Jesus is continually cleansing us from sin He is continually working deliverance in us. It's a wonderful thing to witness His work in you!

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. Blessings to you.

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  2. Wow--I appreciate your honesty, Beth. We ALL have issues that we battle over and over, begging God for that one-time miracle that puts a total stop to it. But he often doesn't work that way, for reasons we can't understand.

    But yes, we can definitely celebrate the spiritual healing that he did completely in us--it is finished indeed! Thanks for these encouraging words.

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    1. Thanks for your visit today, Lisa, and for your kind words. Blessings to you.

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  3. Beth,
    Thank you for giving God the glory and for your honesty...and it is true, we don't know when or what or how God will heal...it is all a grace gift...celebrating with you my friend...((hugs))

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    1. All praise and glory goes to Him! Thank you for celebrating with me, Dolly. Hugs to you too.

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  4. I love when God does His quiet work in our hearts...sometimes so quiet we don't even realize He's working. And then one day we notice. It doesn't always happen this way, but so often He moves our desires closer to Him and farther away from things we used to hold onto. I know this has been true in my life. So thankful for His work in your life, Beth, and for you sharing so openly with us about your struggle. May God make you stronger still. Blessings.

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    1. I loved the way you phrased that, Sabra . . . "His quiet work in our hearts . . . sometimes so quiet we don't even realize He's working." So true! Thank you for stopping by today and for your kind words about my blog. Blessings to you.

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  5. Beth, I love the look of your website. It is soft and refreshing. A beautiful place I want to visit again and again.

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  6. What a beautiful testament of God's strength claiming victory in our lives. Thank you for your vulnerability and honesty in the struggles and victories in the pages of your story.

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    1. I just love and appreciate you SO VERY MUCH!

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  7. Dear Friend ... Thank you for sharing your grace-laden story. For sure, it resonates with most of us in one way or another, whether we're dealing with an eating disorder or some other thorn in our flesh.

    You are courageous and strong by His power within you.

    And I am so honored to call you friend.

    Hugs. Lots of them!

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    1. It is truly a blessing to call you my friend, Linda. I thank God for you. <3

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  8. Beth, with tears in my eyes, I want to hug you and sit across a very table from you, and talk. You know that I have struggled with this, but not bulimia any longer, it seems. It is eating more than I need but not purging anymore. Is that a half of bulimia? : /
    So with tears and a smile, I am so grateful to God that He has shown you healing and that you are so open and honest. You are one special child of God.
    I am grateful for this contact we have, Beth, from afar...at least.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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    1. Oh dear, Linda. I know you know this struggle. And I so get it when you say "half of bulimia." I've been mindful that the eating disorder doesn't just take on a different form for me as I know full well that it can. While the purging has stopped, I still daily have to push away the negative body image thoughts. Psalm 139 is on repeat in my mind.

      Praying for you, friend. Thank you for your kind words. Thank you for your honesty. You too are a special child of God!

      Much love.
      xoxo

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  9. Beth, beautiful post on the healing & freedom God brings. You continually bless me, and I am sure many others, with your transparency & grace. May He continue to keep you in freedom & use you even more for His glory & honor. XO

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  10. Oh, my sweet friend, it's times like these, with tears rolling down, that I so wish I could hug you IRL!!! Praise God, He is SO faithful. You've been hinting at this and I'm so thankful to read your words today. So very thankful. Love you.

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    1. I love you, dear friend. Thank you for all the ways you have encouraged me and for the prayers I know you have lifted on my behalf. xoxo

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  11. I like the way you portray redemption as the place we live in (wherever we may go) and not so much as a destination at which we strive to arrive. Blessings, Friend. Andy Franklin

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    1. ...for which we strive... (forgive my poor grammar)

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    2. Thank you, Andy. I so appreciate your comment here. I miss you and Beth.

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  12. Love you, friend. One day at a time, He is healing our brokenness and helping us to walk stronger. Your story gives us hope as we struggle privately and wonder if anyone else understands. Thank you for sharing, brave one. xo

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    1. Thank you, Lyli. Yes . . . one day at a time! Love you. xoxo

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  13. You point to grace beautifully. Ultimately, it is finished. BUT we live in a broken, hard world. Take this life one day at a time because one day forever will begin and we won't have to struggle anymore. Yes, we. WE all struggle with something. Thanks for sharing your story. I love you dearly.

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  14. I love you. HOW many have walked paths similar in silence? God has brought so much freedom in my life over the years as I've walked through my own journey and I know he will continue to do it for you, too! While healing and freedom are complete in Christ and I believe therefore we can claim these truths and walk in them in our own lives (Galatians 5:1) I also know that we need to continue to encourage one and other and allow God to work in U.S. (Keeps autocorrecting to U.S- I cannot fix it haha).. when we encounter struggles. Thanks to him who is able to do so much more than we can ask or imagine...

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  15. Beth,
    Amen that our healing is not dependent upon our level of faith!! I read this post and I found myself saying, "Yes!, Yes!, Yes!" out loud. So happy to share in your joy of overcoming your eating disorder!! I have been praying and will certainly continue to pray that you will have perpetual victory over this disorder. Love you SO much!! To God be the glory!
    Love and ((hugs)),
    Bev xoxo

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  16. I love your honesty and know your words will help others. Praying for you, Beth. Love how your pastors words gave you insight too. God is good.

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  17. Hi Beth! Your honesty is really amazing. How many others would ever speak or write about their challenges with the honesty that you do? I am praising God for His great love and grace to pour out on you to help you in your time of absolute need. I"m glad you are gentle with yourself, but never stopped trying.

    My prayers ride with you wherever you go. My love does too. I'll email soon, ok?
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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Much love to you.