Today is Sunday, June 9, 2013, and this morning in church, while we were taking communion, I felt very impressed to write a blog post about something that God laid on my heart. However, before I do that, I feel that sharing my testimony is the best way to lead into sharing what God told me.
In 2011, when I was seventeen years old, I went through a very dark time. I felt unloved, unwanted, and unworthy. I also felt stupid, useless, and ugly. A lot of little and not so little things were happening in my life that really stressed me out and the farther and farther into my seventeenth year that I got the harder and harder it was for me to handle it all. Instead of focusing on the good things in my life—and I’m sure there were good things, but I never really saw them and I now can’t remember anything good about that year—I started to focus on all of the bad and stressful things that were happening to and around me. Many nights I would lie awake until I eventually cried myself to sleep.
I remember several mental conversations I had with myself where I would seriously think about eating less so I could become thinner, though I’ve always been a healthy weight and never overweight. Then I would think, no the results of that are way too obvious, someone would know there’s something wrong with me, and I obviously can’t eat too much and then visit the bathroom, someone would notice and or hear me. So, I would try to think of another way to become thinner… at many times I considered exercising until I had worked myself enough to lose half, if not all, of the calories I had consumed that day, that way I wouldn’t lose too much weight, but I also wouldn’t gain it either. Often times I would go workout, only to stop in the middle of my work out after a fairly healthy workout time, and tell myself I was being stupid, so I’d stop. Most of the time I would remind myself of that old episode of Lizzie McGuire where Lizzie’s best friend Miranda Sanchez went through an episode with a “minor” eating disorder and worked herself the same way. I would also remind myself of that episode of Full House when DJ did the same thing. Both references brought me back to my senses. (Whoever said TV doesn’t teach you things is whack! That’s two TV shows right there that taught me a lesson far more valuable than any school lesson could teach me!)
After thinking about eating disorders, I considered self-harm. It seemed like a “good idea” at the time, I mean cuts are a lot less obvious than unhealthy weight loss. So, I thought about it, and the more I thought about the more… appealing it was to me. Only instead of cutting my wrists, the obvious thing to look for, I used “safety” pins and stabbed myself with them. Normally I stabbed my fingers and dug the needle in there until it bled; it was immediate “relief” without any visible consequences. Sometimes I would stab my wrists, hoping that since I was stabbing my veins it would hurt and bleed more—it did hurt more, but it never bled more, so I mostly just stabbed my fingers. One day I was so depressed I actually cut my right thigh in three places—again it was way less visible and less obvious than my wrists. That was when I realized I really had a problem. I never cut myself again after that, but I did keep stabbing my fingers, not quite as often, but it was still too much. That’s when I heard that one of my favorite artists and actresses had been checked into a rehab facility for the same thing I had been doing or had considered doing to myself—an eating disorder and self-harm. That was enough for me to wake up! One night, actually on the night of my eighteenth birthday, I broke down and begged God to help me out of my dark abyss. And over the past year and a half, He has been doing just that!
Now, to share what God spoke to me while taking communion this morning. I felt as if God was telling me that when we mistreat our bodies it’s as if we’re unconsciously saying, “Sorry, God, but I don’t accept your sacrifice of blood and body, so I’m going to sacrifice my blood and body in hopes of finally feeling worthy.”
When I felt Him say that to me, all I could do was stare straight in front of me and hold the bread in my hand as if it really truly was the body of Christ. I don’t know how I didn’t cry; I think that maybe I was just so shocked by the sudden parallelism that I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t think about anything other than that for the rest of the worship period either. Even now, I can’t think of anything to add to that. So, I’ll leave you, whoever you are, with a few Scripture passages that have been on my mind since God spoke to me.
New Living Translation (NLT)
12 And so, dear brothers and sisters,[a] I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Amplified Bible (AMP)
19 Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, 20 You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.
New Living Translation (NLT)
26 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this, and eat it, for this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.