Student Profile: Andrea
I always felt a void within myself. I attempted to fill this emptiness by becoming who I believed to be the "perfect" person. Perfection to me was someone who was beautiful, thin, intelligent, successful, and well-liked.
Despite all my efforts to be perfect, I always felt inadequate. Yet, I looked at these feelings as a sign that I needed to try harder. I pushed my limitations by starving myself, believing that it would allow me to gain a sense of control over my life.
For four years, my life revolved around body image and food
I believed that if I could attain the perfect weight, then I would be satisfied in life.
Eventually, I reached a point where I realized that I could not continue going down this destructive path, it was killing me.
I sought professional help. Even as I began the healing process, I still felt the sense of emptiness that had initially driven me towards the eating disorder.
I remember confiding in a close friend who knew the struggles that I was experiencing at the time. He responded by sharing how God had worked in his life during difficult times.
As I listened to his story, what stood out to me was how he found peace in the midst of all his troubles by turning to God.
His story caused me to contemplate the purpose of life. I began to wonder if there was more to this life than I could see at the present moment; maybe there was a cause for hope.
Before I had hit rock bottom because of my eating disorder, I did not have much hope. But, a friend who knew God proceeded to share with me about his hope. He told me that because of God’s great love for him, God gave up His son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for his sins. God made this sacrifice because He wanted to restore a relationship with him. He said that this same hope was available to me. That God gave up his son for my sins too.
My sinful nature had spiritually separated me from God. However, I could be in a right relationship with Him because of the forgiveness that Jesus Christ offers through his death on the cross.
I had never heard of God in this context before. I had always considered Him to be a distant and impersonal being. I was amazed by the possibility of having a personal relationship with God.
Although I hesitated at first, I knew that I was at a point in my life where I could no longer continue going down the path I was traveling. I was at the end of my rope. About a week after my friend shared with me, I accepted Christ into my life. I decided to turn away from myself and my old ways and place my trust in Jesus Christ as my personal savior.
After that day, however, I continued to battle the eating disorder. I became disheartened, wondering why I was still struggling. I thought that my life as a Christian was supposed to be easier. I expected God to heal me so that I could move on with my life. As a result, there were times where I questioned my faith. Then one night, God gave me an epiphany:
The reason why I was still struggling was not because God had abandoned me, but that I had abandoned God. I was living apart from Him in the sense that I still wanted to be in control of my life. Deep down inside, I wanted to "fix" myself before I came to God. Yet, God showed me that it is the other way around: I need to first surrender to Him in my brokenness and then I can be open to healing. In this process, I am learning that healing is not equated with personal perfection, but with wholeness in Christ.
Since then, there are still moments where I am tempted by thoughts around body image and food. However, I am learning to surrender my old patterns of thinking and replace them with the truth of God’s word.
His word states: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life; what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food and the body more than clothes" (Luke 12:22-25).
This truth reaffirms that my worth in God’s eyes is based on something greater than my physical appearance. God’s loves me just the way that I am! Reading this verse, I am also reminded that God cares more about the condition of my heart than the condition of my body.
Reflecting back, I see that I tried to attain satisfaction through perfecting my physical appearance. However, I felt a void in my life because I was not attending to the spiritual condition of my heart. Pursing a relationship with God is of great value because it is in this relationship that true satisfaction in life is found.
- Women and self-esteem
- Finding freedom from an eating disorder
- Questions about spirituality? Read our spirituality articles
- How you can know God personally
- Student Profiles
Copyright iamnext.com 2003. May not be reprinted without permission.