Hi friends and welcome to the Arise, Beloved blog. We have an amazing team of writers behind this blog and our desire is to speak truth into the lies that cripple us and shine light into the darkness that isolates us because we believe that now, more than ever, the Church desperately needs women to be restored so that the world can be set ablaze. Our hope is that you find comfort, solace, and peace in knowing that you are not alone, you are not too far gone and there is ALWAYS hope to be found.
I’ve spent countless hours standing in front of the mirror, analyzing every curve and bump of my body. Words of self-degradation and self-loathing bouncing off the walls around me, ricocheting back to punch me in the gut. I’ve not eaten for days on end, hoping to squeeze myself into the same pants I wore at 17 and stuff myself into the mold of beauty society constructed for me.
Over time, through therapy and prayer, I worked to overcome these eating issues and deep insecurities. I still struggled of course, and there were days I hated my reflection. But for most of 2018 and 2019, I was proud to say that I never once withheld my body from food, even on the days I felt extremely insecure.
That is, until the end of last year. After going through a series of traumatic and painful events in the span of just a few short months, I found myself in a dark, desolate place. Feelings of unworthiness, shame, and inadequacy began eating away at me from the inside out. I couldn’t sleep; I couldn’t focus. And most frighteningly, I slowly stopped eating. Some days, it was due to the violent waves of anxiety that raged in my stomach, making it impossible to even think of food. But other days, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I wasn’t trying to become thinner or reach a certain weight. Actually, I looked in the mirror and saw objectively that I was thin.
I couldn’t quite pinpoint why I wasn’t eating, and it troubled me. I knew in the past, it was because I wanted to distort the physical appearance of my body, but I knew this wasn’t the case presently.
I began to reflect and dig deeper. Through prayer and therapy, I realized that my battle with food was solely mental and spiritual and had nothing to do with the physical insecurities as it had in the past. Over the past few months, I had been deeply wounded, rejected, and used, specifically by men, which unearthed and created deep, deep feelings of shame. I felt extremely insecure and unworthy. Not just of a man’s attention, but of being alive at all. I felt I didn’t deserve to take up space, that I wasn’t really worth anything. And by not eating, I was subconsciously feeding this need to disappear, to slowly waste away and fade into the background. To literally take up less space in the universe.
The root of me not eating was a wound deep of shame within me. A wound tied to my very identity: you aren’t worthy. You are so unworthy that you don’t even deserve to take up space. A wound I know many people, especially women, struggle with every day. I knew they were lies from the devil, and I needed to actively battle these words of condemnation.
I dug into Scripture, reading the truth’s the Lord speaks about our identity. Filling my mind with Scripture helped to lower the screams from the devil. One particular passage that struck me was Psalm 139: 13-16:
“For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.”
I’m still struggling, sisters. I will be honest with you. But I’m now able to properly nourish my body. I’m able to reign in the lies before they start an entire corrida de toros in my brain. The words of Scripture are our best weapon against the lies of the enemy. Of course, therapy is still important, especially when dealing with any kind of trauma, but don’t forget the importance of Scripture. Don’t forget what the Lord of the universe says about you. The One who handcrafted you soul and molded every inch and curve of your body. Who put you on this Earth to literally take up space.
Your words, your existence, they matter. Don’t ever let yourself waste away. You deserve to take up space.