He’s Already Coming To Get Me [a follow up post]

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It’s only been a little over 48 hours since I sat crying in my bed and published my last blog post, but wow, God is already showing up.

When I wrote that blog, it really wasn’t for my readers. It was for me. It was for me to be able to vocalize that God is good in the midst of it all. In the midst of my sadness and uncertainty, I needed to proclaim that God is good so that my heart could believe it. It was a reminder for me, no one else.

Oh, heart, believe.

I let that blog post become my faith declaration; my heart cry. My white flag to Jesus. Me screaming, “I TRUST YOU. I KNOW THAT YOU ARE GOOD. I BELIEVE THAT THERE WILL BE AN END TO THIS SUFFERING. BUT UNTIL THEN, I WILL PRAISE.”

I didn’t expect the darkness to lift any time soon. And if I’m being honest, it got a whole lot darker on Monday morning.

But God.

God hear my heart cry. He knew that I believed and that I trusted, but when I wrote that out for the world to see on this blog, he used that as my declaration of faith.

It’s as if God read my blog post and said, “Okay, she trusts me. She knows that I’m good and that I’ll save her from this eventually. She has that faith. And she is still choosing to praise me, no matter the timeline or outcome.”

And then God moved. 

By Monday evening, I couldn’t stop crying because of JOY. Pure, unexplainable-except-for-Jesus joy.

God moved mountains and opened doors that I had not even imagined or knew existed. He is just THAT good!!!

He knew my deep heartache, but he also knew my deep faith. And once I proclaimed his goodness over my situation, he moved.

That is just who our God is. Time and time and time again, he has proven that throughout all of history.

Abraham. God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Without question, Abraham went. When Isaac asked his father where the lamb was for the offering, Abraham said, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” (Genesis 22:8). He didn’t know for sure, but he decided to believe that God would provide. FAITH DECLARATION. When Abraham goes to slay his only soon, God stops him. “Do not lay a hand on the boy. Do not do anything to him. Now I know you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son” (Genesis 22:12). And then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught in the bushes. GOD MOVED.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. King Nebuchadnezzar created a statue of himself and commanded all the Babylonians to bow down at the assigned time and worship him. They were all told that if they did not bow down, they would immediately be thrown into the blazing furnace. Yet Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, stood their ground and refused to worship any god except for God. Right before they are to be thrown in the fire, the king asks them if they believe that God will save them. They reply, “if we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18). Even though they knew God might not save them, they still declared him good. FAITH DECLARATION. They were thrown into the fire, and once the king and his advisers looked in, they saw that they were not burning, and that there were four people in the fire. Jesus showed up. Shadrach, Mesach, and Abednego were taken out of the fire unharmed–“they saw that they fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them” (Daniel 3:27). GOD MOVED. 

Boy Possessed by an Impure Spirit. This is one of my favorites. A man brings his demon possessed son to Jesus, begging him to heal him. After the man expresses doubt of his ability to heal, Jesus sasses him and says that all things are possible for one who believes. The man then proclaims, “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) FAITH DECLARATION. After the main’s proclamation, Jesus rebuked the impure spirit and it fled from the boy’s body immediately. GOD MOVED. 

These are just three examples of countless times over all of eternity that God has worked and opened doors after his people have declared faith. Sometimes faith is all we need.

I stand amazed at my God this week. Things have been SO hard and I saw no end in sight, but I trusted. I had faith. I proclaimed. And God moved in ways that I had no idea were possible. WHAT?! 

It isn’t over, but joy is there. There is sun again. I can’t stop dancing and twirling.

God is good.

He is faithful.

Time and time and time again.

Always good.

Always, always, always faithful.

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He Won’t Leave Me Here

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It’s been quite a week. Quite a month. And if I’m being honest, it’s been quite a semester.

I am so incredibly happy with where I am right now–I have the best roomie, my boyfriend is great, I’ve been traveling and seeing all my people which has been SO good, and I absolutely adore my major and the path that my life is on–but the darkness is heavy.

So heavy.

It’s been a heck of a long time since I have felt such unshakable sadness. The kind of sadness that’s almost debilitating. The kind of sadness that has left me in bed for 75% of this past week. And it is so hard to feel like this again.

I don’t think I have felt this kind of sadness that has lasted this long + affected so much of my life since before Carolina House. Ouch.

No no no no no, I am not that girl again. I’m not. This sadness is dark and heavy and it honestly feels like it’s never going to end, but I am not that girl still. I’m never going to be her again.

There’s really no point to this post except to say that sometimes life is hard. And sometimes you cry upwards of 10 times a day. That’s okay. It isn’t for forever.

I think in this past week I have journaled/vocalized to my roommate/texted my support system this very question about a gazillion times: “When is it just going to end?”

I don’t know when it’ll end. I don’t know when the tears will stop or when life will feel yellow again or when the sadness will finally go away, but here’s what I do know:

Jesus is good.

Jesus is good and he is faithful and he will not leave me here.

He’s never left me here before, and he’s not going to start now. That isn’t who my Jesus is.

Last night I journaled, through a heck of a lot of tears, “My Jesus, you are good. So good. Let me see that and say that in the midst of it all.”

YES.

Let me see your goodness and let me proclaim it EVEN IN THIS SADNESS.

Currently I want to go get Psalm 27:13 tattooed over every inch of my body because it is my heart cry right now.

I will remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13

Amen.

My confidence and my only hope right now is that there is an end to this sadness. But even until then, I will praise Jesus because he sees me in this valley. He sees me and he knows me and he calls me his.

This season might not feel good, but he is good. And that is enough.

My Jesus won’t leave me here.

I don’t know when this sadness will end, I don’t know how many more tears will come, I don’t know how many more times I’ll beg for it to just be over already.

But he is here, so it is well.


This song is my anthem right now. Give it a listen, let it sink into your heart, and believe it. Peace be still.

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Recovery Q+A

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Hey friends! I know that eating disorder recovery can be confusing to people that have never experienced it. BUT luckily someone suggested I do a recovery Q+A, so here we are!!! I’m answering most of the questions that I received, but if you don’t see yours on here or you think of me, feel free to leave a comment or message me through my contact page. Love y’all wowowow!!


Q. When you were in your disorder, was your view of your body distorted? Like, did you see yourself as fat when in reality you were actually skinny? And is that part of an eating disorder or a separate thing that a non-eating disordered individual can experience?

A. YES, my view of my body was extremely distorted. Looking back at pictures now, I can see how sickly I looked, but in the moment, all I saw was fat. I saw fat on parts of my body that didn’t even exist. Body dysmorphia is a common part of eating disorders that most (but not all) individuals suffer from. However, there is a disorder called Body Dysmorphia Disorder. While many eating disorder individuals claim to have BDD, it is not possible (according to the DSM-5!) for the two disorders to co-occur. BDD is essentially the same thing that many eating disorder sufferers experience, but just a separate diagnosis specifically for those without eating disorders. So yes, it is possible for non-eating disordered individuals to experience distorted body image. While I can’t say that every person who has bad body image has BDD, it is definitely a possibility.

 

Q. What are some tips for dealing with a changing body in recovery? Specifically when you are “weight restored” but your body is still changing.

A. Girl, I still struggle with this! Weight restoring is hard, and then it’s still hard when you body continues to change and fluctuate. However, that is SO NORMAL. Weight fluctuates all the time. It happens to everyone, not just eating disorder individuals. So for me, I’m just learning to trust my body. Our bodies are SO smart, and they know what they’re doing. So when my body changes or fluctuates, I just remind myself that it is normal and I choose to trust my body, even when my eating disorder is screaming no. I also fact check with my dietitian a lot! I tell her what I’m experiencing and she always tells me that it’s normal and we discuss how I feel about it. I suggest reaching out to your treatment team because they can validate how you feel but also give you the facts!!

 

Q. How do you balance the demands of college while maintaining stable recovery?

A. At this point in my recovery, it feels normal to me to balance the two, but when I started my freshman year, it was so overwhelming. BUT FLEXIBILITY IS KEY. College is demanding and your schedule gets crazy hectic, but you have to make room for snacks and meals. For me, sometimes this means eating in class or at work. You can’t use your busy schedule as an excuse to not eat. You have to be proactive and make a plan for the times that you’re busy! When signing up for classes, I always make sure to have a break in between classes to have lunch. Figure out what works for you, and stick with that! Reach out to your friends and let them know what’s going on so that they can keep you accountable. If you’re struggling, make sure to always go to the dining hall with friends. Work with your school to get some accommodations if needed. It’s challenging, but as long as you stick to what you know you need to do, it’ll become second nature!

 

Q. What are some things that are helpful and supportive to say to a person recovering from an eating disorder as opposed to the well-meaning yet destructive comments?

A. Thank you so much for asking this question. I know it’s really easy to say, “Wow, you look so healthy!” or something of that nature, but to someone in recovery, their eating disorder can twist that to mean “Wow, you look so FAT!” It’s best to stray away from commenting on the person’s appearance. Tell them that you’re proud of them. Acknowledge that recovery is so so hard, and validate how they feel. Offer to help them in any way that you can, whether that be meal support or accountability or distraction. Acknowledge that you don’t understand what recovering from an eating disorder is like, but always be willing to listen to them. Remind them that they’re worthy and capable and that you believe in them. Most of all, just be there for them!!

 

Q. How do you start a relationship with God, and how does that affect/play into your recovery?

A. You start a relationship with God like you do any other relationship. You spend time with him. I started doing this by starting a prayer journal, which is just a normal journal, but you address your journal entries to God as a prayer. For me, that was an easy way to begin my prayer life because I was doing something that I’d normally do, but I was making it a spiritual practice. And reading your Bible is so important! I recommend starting with the Gospels so you can learn about who Jesus is and what he did for you. Feel free to comment or message me for more book suggestions! Get plugged in with a good Christian community, whether that be a youth group or Bible study or whatever. Most importantly, just push through and put in the effort to get to know God, even if you can’t feel him! The more you learn about him, the more you’ll be able to feel his presence.

My faith plays a big part of my recovery. I feel like the two go hand and hand. For me personally, I don’t think I’d be in recovery if it weren’t for Jesus. Knowing Jesus gives me a purpose and a reason to not live a miserable life of self-destructive behaviors. The more I know Jesus, the more I want to live for him and in line with what his Word says. Jesus is the most important thing to me, and if I want to live for him, I can’t live for my eating disorder.

 

Q. For you, what is the most rewarding part of recovery?

A. The freedom that I experience. Recovery is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I am the happiest that I have been in years. Being able to eat and laugh and live life without ruining friendships or isolating or feeling guilty or as if I’m drowning all the time is the best feeling. I’d never give up on this journey because recovery offers me so much more freedom than my eating disorder ever did.

 

Q. Do you believe in full recovery? And if so, how do you know when you’re fully recovered?

A. I do. I don’t/won’t believe that we’re made to live in our eating disorders for the rest of our lives. We’re made to live in full freedom, and I believe that that is possible after a lot of hard work. I think full recovery comes when you don’t hear your eating disorder’s voice all the time anymore. I think when the voices do come (which they will from time to time because #dietculture), recovered is being able to immediately combat the eating disorder voice as lies without thinking and without urges to act on behaviors. It takes a while to get to fully recovered. It’s a gradual process, but one day you’ll realize that you haven’t had thoughts or urges in so long and that you eat whatever you want without a second thought. I don’t know how long it takes. But I do know that I’m over a year into this journey, and I’m still not recovered. But I’m getting there. And I fully believe that it will happen one day, and I don’t think that that day is too far off.

 

Q. As a Christian, do you believe that you can be fully 100% healed from a mental illness through the Holy Spirit?

A. I think so. I had a pretty instantaneous moment of healing from self-harm, so I do know that the Holy Spirit can heal mental illness or self-destructive behaviors. As I mentioned in the above question, I believe that full recovery is possible. God doesn’t always heal through prayer and the laying of hands; sometimes God heals through doctors and therapists and other treatment providers. I wouldn’t be in recovery if it weren’t for going to Carolina House, but I believe that God worked through that treatment and is still working through my continual outpatient treatment. It’s a hard question to answer, and I’d love to talk one-on-one if you’re interested! But short answer, I believe that 100% healing//full recovery is possible. Healing can obviously come to those who are not Christians (SO many people from other religions are fully recovered), but I do believe that the Holy Spirit can bring that same healing, whether instantaneous or by working through worldly treatment. In this blog post, I talk about my instantaneous healing from self-harm and how I feel like God is still a big part of my eating disorder recovery, even though I did not experience the same instant healing through prayer.

 

Q. What is your favorite DBT skill?

A. Opposite action. As much as I hate it sometimes, it’s the most useful skill in my opinion! When my eating disorder says no to pizza or ice cream or whatever, I force myself to say yes and eat it anyway BECAUSE SCREW MY EATING DISORDER. I think recovery is basically summed up as opposite action because you never feel 100% ready, but you choose to recover anyway.

 

Q. What is your favorite self-care activity?

A. I’m a huge introvert, so I love having alone time. Whether that’s reading or painting my nails or watching Netflix (or all three!), I love having a night to myself to decompress and let my emotions level out without overflowing.


This was so fun, y’all! Thanks for sending in such great questions. 🙂 Feel free to comment if you have any thoughts or opinions to any of my answers! And feel free to contact me if you have anymore questions. Thanks for being so awesome!!!

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Oh my Jesus, I am so sorry

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I don’t know what to say.

All I know to say is I am so sorry, Jesus. You are King and I nailed you to that cross. I nailed my King to the cross. I nailed my Savior to the cross. I nailed the very thing that I am living for to the cross.

My heart is breaking. When I sat down to read the crucifixion story tonight, I prayed that Jesus would not let me just read the words. I prayed that he would make it real in my heart, that I would feel the agony of what my sins did.

And oh my sweet Jesus let me see the crucifixion in all its pain and darkness.

I am Judas.

I am the one who turns on my Savior and betrays him in the very spot that I often meet with him.

I am Peter.

I am the one who denies knowing Christ because sometimes the world just seems so much better because being a Christian is hard and uncomfortable.

I am Pilate.

I am the one who knows the truth, but still turns away from it and does not stand up for what I believe in.

I am the crowd.

I am the one who yells to crucify the Lord; the one who mocks him and spits at him; the one who denies that he is King.

I am the men who nail him to the cross.

I am the one who murdered my precious Jesus.

My sins killed my Lord and my heart is so heavy.

Who am I to be loved by the man that I killed? Who am I?

I don’t know.

But I do know that where sin runs deep, grace is more.

Time and time again the Bible reminds us that Jesus came for a purpose. He came with full intention to die on the cross.

He came and loved the people even though he knew that they were going to kill him.

He willingly died even though he knew that thousands of years later we would still be sinning and turning away from him.

He knew, but he still did it.

And that just doesn’t make sense to me.

But that’s grace.

Crazy amazing grace.

Tonight my heart is broken and raw because of what I did to my sweet Jesus.

I am broken inside knowing what I did to him, but I am full knowing what he does to me in return. 

Today is good, not because of what we did to our Lord, but because of what he did for us.

We don’t have to live in darkness anymore.

We get to live in the light as we wait for Sunday to come.

I am so thankful for this resurrection life that we don’t deserve to live.

But we’re living it, all thanks to a messy, yet beautiful cross thousands of years ago.

My Jesus, I am so sorry for what I did. But thank you for what you did in return.

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The Search for Identity

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I’ve gone on a really not-so-fun search for identity the past few weeks. I’ve had a lot of revelations about who I am in Christ over the past almost three years, but I have found myself trying to place my identity in all the wrong places.

In friends, my boyfriend, recovery, a sorority.

Now nothing is inherently wrong with any of these things. But it’s the value that you place in them that makes them wrong.

Friends are good and so so important to life. As Jesus reminded me a few weeks ago, he created us for community. But we cannot find our worth in that community. Who are friends are and how many friends we have do not determine how worthy we are as a human being. No. I am worthy, whether I have two friends or if I have two hundred. I am just as worthy being the most popular girl in school, or being the girl that no one knows. I. Am. Worthy.

I love my boyfriend. Sappy sap sap. Sorry. We just got back together and have a few month break (I never wrote a blog post on that but I meant to, oops). Anyways. As much as I love him, he is not my one and only. I am Sarah Beth, regardless of if Andrew is in my life. Who I am does not change whether I have a boy in my life or not. Like I said, I. Am. Still. Worthy. Having my boyfriend does not make my life any harder or easier. Life is still the same. It does not make my problems go away. Having a boyfriend simply means that I have another person to do life with. And that is so so fun. He’s on my team and I’m on his. But that does not change who I am independently.

RECOVERY IS SO GOOD, Y’ALL. Most of y’all who read my blog are in recovery too, so you know the joys that come from it. Just as making your diagnosis your identity while in the midst of your eating disorder is super easy, it is just as easy to make your recovery your identity too. I’m guilty of this one, not because I think advocacy is wrong, but because it’s how I viewed myself. Jesus has put it on my heart to work with eating disorders for the rest of my life as an LCSW and advocate. It’s my passion. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I’ll never stop fighting for awareness. But I am also so much more than just a recovery girl. I like that title and I’ll proudly embrace it, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.

Y’all. I’m not a sorority girl. But I came back to school this semester so insecure with myself that I decided that being in a sorority is what I needed to find who I am. Just a tip for y’all, but if you’re doing something just so you can find your label, you shouldn’t be doing it. Y’all, I loved the sorority that I rushed for/got a bid from. They are SO SO SO awesome. Literally I wanna be bffs with all the girls in it. But it’s not me. And that’s okay! I was joining the sorority just so that I could say I was in it, so that I could be given “my tribe,” and so that I could have a certain big. Not. The. Right. Reasons. To. Sell. Your. Life. Away. I’m the most introverted person that I know, so when I told my friends from home that I was rushing, they were like ???. Same, y’all. Same. So I dropped out of pledging on Bid Night. Y’all, I pledged for a solid two and a half hours. Once I actually got into the club I came to my senses and was like What the heck am I doing? This is NOT me. I had to have a come to Jesus moment with myself. And I realized that I was trying to put my identity in something that I was never meant to be apart of. And that’s okay. It’s okay to not fit into something. But it’s not okay to try to force yourself into it.

Let me tell y’all, I have been so incredibly broken over the past few weeks as I’ve grappled to find identity. I felt the rug had been pulled out from under me and I had no idea what to do or who I was or what I wanted.

But Jesus is so good because he knows me so well and has my name written on the palm of his hand! Which in my head means that he has my identity written on the palm of his hand. Because your name is what you’re identified by. Jesus literally knows exactly who I am just by looking at his hand. Well, he knows without looking at his hand. But the idea of my identity being on his hand is so so so cool, so you get my point.

So I asked Jesus who I was. What my true identity was. Not the identity that the world gives me. But the identity that HE gives me.

This is what he said:

  • I am called to belong to Christ.
  • I am created to be like God.
  • I am more than what people think.
  • I am what Jesus has done in me, not what I have done to save myself.
  • I am more than a former broken girl.
  • I am called to change the world with Jesus.
  • I am allowed to wear my prodigal ring and robe with pride.
  • I am fought for.

WHEW. I like this identity a lot.

Identity crisis over? Not quite.

I still stress about friends. Like, Jesus, when are you sending me my tribe? I need my people to live in the nitty gritty with!

I have to remind myself that who I am is no different just because I have a boyfriend. I’m still in charge of me.

I want to make recovery the forefront of my life, and even though it is majorly important right now, I have to remember that it won’t be as huge forever and one day it will be a small thing in the back of my mind (because one day I’ll be recovered woo woo!!).

I’m still dealing with a bit of regret from dropping out of pledging. It was the best decision I could have made for myself, but it’s still hard to watch everyone going through pledge week. But I have to remind myself, that is who they are, but it is not who I am.

Living in Jesus’ identity is so much better.

There is so much freedom.

It’s literally living in a cloud of glory, honestly.

I’ll gladly trade who I think I am in order to be who God knows that I am.

I pray that we all continue to find our worth and identity in what Jesus’ palm says about us. It’s the best person that we could ever be because it is who we were created to be.

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Fully Broken, Yet Fully Whole

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Hey friends. So I originally wrote this post as an end-of-term paper for my Bible class. I changed some of it to make it fit more as a blog post, but I wanted to share it with y’all! Excuse the parts that talk specifically about my Bible class… I deleted most of those parts, but I had to leave some in order for it to make sense. Anyways, Jesus is so crazy cool. I can’t believe that my first semester of college is over, but I have learned so so much. I’m so excited to see what else Jesus has in store for me here!


When I came to Lipscomb, I already had a solid foundation of my Christian faith and who Jesus was in my life. I grew up in the church, went to Christian school since I was six-years-old, and actively pursued a relationship with God through reading the Word and continually being in communion with him. Having a Bible class was nothing new to me—I have grown up with daily Bible classes since I started kindergarten. I had always known who Jesus was, but it was not until the summer before my junior year of high school that I really, truly met him. He collided with my life every so gently, yet so crazily while I was at a youth conference, and since that week my life has never been the same.

Five weeks before I moved into my dorm here at Lipscomb University, I was discharged from an eating disorder treatment center after a two-month long stay. To say that coming to college was a whirlwind for me would be an understatement. My entire life flipped when I entered treatment, and then it flipped again when I discharged back to my outpatient team at home. I learned a lot about Jesus throughout the entire process, but I still felt shame about my eating disorder. Jesus had changed my life so drastically just two years prior—why was I struggling with this? Did I not have enough faith? I thought my eating disorder was a messy part of my life that I needed to hide from the world. I was the good Christian girl. I was a leader in my youth group. Could I really admit to the world that I was human? That I was imperfect? That my beautiful story of redemption was marred by the stains of my eating disorder?

The first day of my Bible class my teacher told us, “[God] is really good at breaking out of boxes.” I wrote the quote down because I liked it, but I forgot it only moments later. I liked the idea of God being able to break down any barriers I put around him, but I honestly did not realize the constraints I had him in. I was telling him that there was no more redemption to be done in my life. I thought I had peaked. I thought the shame of my eating disorder was just something that was apart of my life. Yet little did I know that I was building boxes around God, and that soon He would be completely shattering them.

In my Bible class we discussed the Sermon on the Mount. It has always been one of my favorite passages in the Gospels, but it never truly occurred to me that in his teaching, Jesus was trying to show his followers the difference between a good person and a Kingdom person, which I think can be further narrowed down to a good Christ follower and a Kingdom warrior. I think for a while I had gotten caught up in being a good Christ follower. Nothing I was doing was superficial. My relationship with Jesus was real and strong. I was raw and authentic with him. He held my heart in his nail-scarred hands. Yet even though I was worshipping him and running after his desires, I was still focused on me. I was focused on my mess. On my hurt. I was worried about how I looked to the Christian community. Was I a fake? Did I need to prove to them that I was devoted? Did my eating disorder make my faith invalid because I could not just “pray” my disorder away?

I was completely forgetting the Kingdom part of Christianity. Sure, I was serving others, but was I serving them with my story? Volunteering at a food pantry and putting together service projects for my youth group was awesome, but that was not all Christ was calling me to do. The very Kingdom act that I was created for was to lay down myself and my shame and share my story.

I was scared. I was supposed to accept my story and acknowledge it in front of the world? My eating disorder equaled shame for me. Jesus had saved me from so much when I was seventeen, and yet I still had to enter treatment for an eating disorder less than two years later. I knew the Christian world would think differently of me after that. Yet little did I know, I was not the only broken Christian. I was nowhere close to being the odd one out in a sea of perfect people. In reality, I fit right in. There is not a single perfect person in the Kingdom besides Jesus. We are all his servants—broken, yet beautiful. Shattered, yet made whole. Cracked, but made for a purpose.

In class we learned that we become what we already are, meaning that our identity comes first, and then we move to fulfill that identity. I fully believe this to be true. As the salt and light of the world, we are different than everything around us, but we must be embedded into the world to have an effect. From the beginning Christ has called me to be a storyteller. When he created me, he knew that my Kingdom mission would be to proclaim my story to the world. My mission is not to just tell the story of where I have been, but tell the story of how Jesus has rescued me from my darkness, picked me up from the dirt, and redeemed my life song. Telling my story is for his glory only. I am simply a vessel being used to further the Kingdom.

It is still crazy to me that my Kingdom work is to simply share how Jesus has worked in my life. I have always thought of Kingdom work as moving to Africa as a lifelong missionary or starting a non-profit organization. I did not realize that my Kingdom work, my purpose, could be to advocate for eating disorder awareness and let others know that they are not alone in the fight. My words of hope to the broken world around me can advance the Kingdom? It is absolutely mind-blowing, but that is just who Jesus is. He works in us and uses our seemingly ordinary lives to do something extraordinary.

I have begun to fully lean into this vulnerable life that Christ is calling me to. Is it hard? Yes. Is it worth it? Definitely. My shame is gone. I now know that my eating disorder was a work of Satan, but that it is still redeemable by Jesus. I am open with my recovery story. I want to tell anyone who will listen the story of who my Jesus is and what he has done in my life. I no longer struggle in secret. I do not put on a perfect mask. I am fully broken, yet fully whole in front of the entire world. I am admitting to the Church that I am broken, but that that is okay. God has taken ahold of this brokenness and is using completely for his glory.

No part of this story is mine. It is all Christ’s. I am simply stepping into the identity that God created for me: a girl with a sensitive and broken, yet brave and hopeful heart. I am dropping the good Christian girl act and fully embracing who I am as a Kingdom person. My Kingdom mission is different than I ever thought that it would be, but I am chasing after it with full abandon because I know that it is what Jesus has called me to.

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My Jesus Never Works in the Same Way Twice

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If you know me, you know that I fully believe that God is a miracle working God. I have no doubt in my mind because I have seen him show up and show out time and time again.

The picture on the left was July 2014. I had attended Student Life beach camp with my youth group, and let me tell ya, Jesus rocked my world that week. During my seventh grade year, I began an intense battle with self-harm. I was so depressed that the only way I knew how to manage it was through hurting myself. This carried on for nearly four years. I didn’t think there would ever be an end. But Jesus. 

I went to the Student Life conference with absolutely zero expectations. I was too far gone; Jesus couldn’t make a difference in my life. I was completely blown away during our first session when Jesus showed me that he could do the impossible. He could soften my heart of stone that was so turned away from him. During worship, we were singing Let It Be Jesus by Christy Nockels. Jesus completely shook me to my core. He told me, and when I say he told me, I mean I heard it from deep within me, “Sarah Beth, I cannot do a single thing in your life if you don’t lay it all down. I want you, but you have to want me. You will always be a prisoner to yourself if you don’t come to me.” 

That week I laid everything down to Jesus. My life took a complete 180 and I’ve never been the same person since. The life that I’ve found with Jesus makes me wonder why I ever thought I could do it without him. I haven’t self-harmed since July 13, 2014. Jesus did a complete miracle in my life that week that I never thought would happen. But it did. He came for me in the Daytona Beach convention center two years ago and I could never praise him enough for that week.

I thought that that week would be my life-changing moment and I’d be good to go. But let me tell you, Satan is real and he is vicious. The Bible isn’t lying when it says that he is like a prowling lion waiting to attack (1 Peter 5:8).

My eating disorder started in seventh grade before my self-harm did. Though my struggle with self harm went away, my eating disorder only grew louder. The enemy is strong, y’all. So strong. He knows our weaknesses and he knows just what to say to pull us down. He was so afraid of my new freedom that I found in Christ that he pulled me to the deepest depths of my eating disorder that I had ever seen.

Satan leading me to my eating disorder was never about my eating disorder at all. It was all about trying to pull me away from Jesus. It was about making me believe that I wasn’t worthy of the cross, that I was doing something wrong. Satan knew that the struggle would leave me feeling like a horrible Christian because I was struggling and was not able to give it all away.

He was right. I was so frustrated with myself. I kept trying to lay down my eating disorder, but I couldn’t. I prayed and prayed and prayed, but I could not shake my eating disorder no matter how much I tried. I thought I wasn’t being a good Christian. Jesus healed me from self-harm in an instantaneous moment, so why was that not happening again? I began to doubt my faith. I thought there was something wrong with me. I was hopeless because healing was not coming the way that I was expecting it to.

My eating disorder became so severe that I had to enter residential treatment a month before my graduation. I felt defeated as if I wasn’t trusting God enough to heal me.

But Jesus, y’all.

The treatment facility that I was in was not a Christian treatment center. But I can tell you for fact that I felt Jesus more present in that yellow house during the two months that I was there than my entire senior year. It wasn’t an instantaneous healing. But there still was healing. It took a lot of therapy and a lot of meals and a lot of tears, but Jesus was working in my heart.

Jesus came for me so mightily in that place. I didn’t think treatment was going to work for me. I was so sick that I didn’t think it was possible to go back. I felt hopeless because my prayers were not offering me the same kind of healing I had experienced before.

But Jesus never works in the same way twice. 

He wasn’t healing me in the same away again because that’s not how he works.

Jesus likes surprises. Jesus likes showing up and showing out in ways that we’d least expect. If we try to put limitations around him, he gets sassy and is like, “nuh-uh, no way.” Jesus has his own plans because his plans are always better.

So of course Jesus wasn’t going to take away my eating disorder in the same way that he took away my self-harm. That’s just not who he is.

Jesus allowed me to go to treatment so that I would trust fully in him. The entire time I was there, I was told to “trust the process.” That may have been my therapist’s words to me, but I fully believe that those were also Jesus’ words into my weary heart. I needed to trust him and what he was doing.

Jesus showed me that my eating disorder was never about me. That my struggle was never because I was a bad Christian. But because Satan is real. Satan is powerful. But Jesus is stronger. 

The process is hard, but the process was specifically ordained and planned by Jesus. The process is meant to point to who Jesus is, not to show how “unfaithful” I am.

My flaws point to Jesus because he is the one who makes me flawless.

So no, I am not completely healed of my eating disorder. It’s a long process. It’s a hard process. But I am in recovery. And I’m loving it. Some days are hard, but I know that that doesn’t speak to who I am as a Christian. My struggles show that the enemy is real, but my recovery shows that Jesus is always victorious.

I’m no longer ashamed of my eating disorder story. I don’t feel like I have to prove myself as a Christian anymore. I don’t feel like I have to try to convince everyone that the work Jesus did in my life two years is still happening. I know now that Jesus never works in the same way twice. He came for me in Daytona Beach, Florida, and he came for me again in Durham, North Carolina. He came in very different ways, but he still came.

My life is forever changed because of the healing that he has brought to me. I haven’t self-harmed in two years and I’ve been in recovery for five months. All because a man with nail scarred hands came for me.

He might always in come in different ways, but I have full faith that my Jesus is always going to come for me. 

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