"Our greatest fault is thinking that we can somehow manage life ourselves. We try to play God. We take control of our lives and choices by saying, I can do it on my own."
Does this sound like you? The reality is that you are not God.
Say it out loud – "I AM NOT GOD!"
What a sigh of relief to speak those words. You can stop pretending to be perfect. God is the ONLY one who is perfect, all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving. You are not Him. You have never been perfect, never will be and never can be.
Because you are not God, you must admit your need for him to control you life. Admitting your need for God is a choice towards healing.
CONTROL & EATING DISORDERS
In an attempt to gain control over something that feels out of control, you may find refuge in an eating disorder. An eating disorder is a coping mechanism. In the act of carrying out eating disorder behaviors, you may feel the thrill of ultimate control. While everything else is spiraling out of control around you, an eating disorder is the one thing that you have power over.
Yet, what ends up happening?
The reality is that we want control, but we end up losing it to the eating disorder. An image in the mirror begins to dictate our self worth and value. The mirror quickly takes control over us, whispering "eat less, exercise more, you are fat, you are ugly, no one could ever love you like this."
Satan has very cleverly convinced us that the messages we hear from the mirror are truth. We allow these thoughts to control us. But why? Maybe it's easier to believe the lies than it is to believe the truth.
Listen to the song, Piece of Glass by Caedmons Call. As you listen to the words of the song, put yourself in the place of this woman. Have you ever felt yourself crying out these same words?
Journal about your feelings as you listen to Piece of Glass
Answer these questions…
Think back to the start of your eating disorder.
Why did you give control to something other than God?
What were you desiring or hoping for?
Coming to the realization that we have lost control to the eating disorder causes many feelings inside of us. What feelings do you have about your eating disorder?
From the grouping of feelings below, make a pie chart. Divide the chart into percentages to show much of your life is consumed by each feeling in regards to your eating disorder
Feelings: Anger, sadness, relief, joy, guilt, shame, confused, anxious, worried, safety, security, power, hopeless, worthless, fear, thankful, free, rebellious, vulnerable, empty, full, alone, stressed, loved, hopeful, resentful, tired
Be honest about your pain as you come to terms with the eating disorder in your life. In our attempts to control our feelings, we often want to put up the front that everything is "fine." Most often, things are far from "fine."
HONESTY ABOUT PAIN
In God's Word, we are reminded that we can be honest about our pain. In Psalm 38:8,17 David cries out to God, "I am feeble and utterfly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart… For I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me."
David was a man after God's own heart, yet he experienced strong emotions. He didn't hide from them or hold them in – He cried out many times in the Psalms.
Being honest about your pain is acknowledging that God is there. God cares and He will respond to us when we make the choice to be honest with Him.
Be honest about the lies that you have been believing. What have you allowed the mirror to tell you? Name the lies. Write them down.
LABELING OURSELVES WITH LIES
Lies from the mirror become labels that we wear on our hearts. We label ourselves as ugly, fat, afraid, insecure, unlovable, and unworthy. Yet, labels are meant to reflect the truth of a packages content.
If you buy a box of Cheerios, you expect to find Cheerios inside the box. You would not expect a rock inside a box of Cheerios because it would not be true.
Why then do we find it acceptable to label ourselves with lies about our contents? God says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps 139:14). He has knit us together in our mothers wombs (Ps 139:13). We are made in HIS image (Genesis 1:27).
Be honest with God about the labels you have been wearing. Then ask God to change those labels. Ask him to peel back the corners, rip them off and tear them up. Ask Him to align the labels you wear with the contents He has given you.
He tells us in Scripture that He has created us with contents that are good, beautiful and worthy of love. Pray for these labels to stick to you like glue while the lies fade to memory.
TIME WITH GOD
Write a letter to God. He loves to hear from us, even in our pain and confusion. Reflect on your feelings about your eating disorder. Use your pie chart to think about what emotions come to mind. Talk to God about the things that have been controlling your life. Talk about your desires and fears of following God's way for your life.
PRACTICAL STEPS TO RELEASE CONTROL
Read the Challenge to Change for the topic of Releasing Control. There you will find a practical activity that will encourage you to act on the truths we are learning.
Read the EAT Daily pages for the topic of Releasing Control. There you will find Scripture verses to read every day this week based on the topic of control.