My Verse

Isaiah 43:1

"But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Isreal, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!"

Monday, March 07, 2011

I am Second - Ashley

After sharing some of my struggle with eating disorders, with the girls in my Home Group, they asked if I had seen this video. I hadn’t, but I was curious. Just watched it, and cried. She would say, “I hated myself”. And I remember the feeling of looking at myself in the mirror and hating me, all of me, not just what I saw on the outside, but what I thought was on the inside.

I used to say I was the product of a broken home. My real parents divorced when I was young, and I always felt rejected by my dad, for leaving and for never being around. I blamed myself, there had to be something wrong with me. But I was young, and didn’t know how to say these things.

I experienced a lot of sadness at an early age, with my parents divorce, my grandparents dying, then my mom was diagnosed with cancer when I was in the 5th grade. She had remarried, and life seemed great for once, till then. After a short battle, she passed the week of Mother’s Day. I remember because we had been working on Mother’s Day presents at school. The teacher held mine till the end of the year. It was a knitted string with potpourri attached.

Her husband, my step-dad, offered to adopt my sister and me. And so we were a family of hurting people, a widow and orphans. While he did, what I believe was his best, his best was out pain and hurt, and often times would spill out to us in his words. I became lazy, immature, and selfish in his eyes, and I began to feel rejected again. This continued for years. And I hid it all. Never talking about the rejection, or the feeling that I didn’t deserve to be loved. And the more things happened, the more I hid my feelings. My life was always out of my control, the things I wanted (a home, a family, love) always seemed just out of reach.

It started my junior year of high school. I was sitting in Physics, turned in my desk, when I tried to get up, my hips got stuck. Of course, I was in front of a row of guys who burst into laughter. I know they didn’t mean anything, but that was something that stuck in me. I knew I had to take control of something, so I stopped eating, and prom coming up, only fueled that fire. I bought my dress, that I was going to be wearing to two events. It fit perfect for the 1st event, and then 2 weeks later I had lost so much weight that it had to be taken in 2” on both sides. I was getting compliments on my looks, people were taking notice of me. It felt great! I loved it! But I began to fear that if I ate anything, I would lose all control.

Then it happened. People started acting concerned. A friend of mine got me alone and said I looked like death warmed over. I hadn’t realized how much weight I had lost, but I was going down in sizes every week almost. But at that moment I, realized that something was wrong and I needed to fix it. But when I started eating, I still had no control, and now instead of feeling light, I felt burdened and weighted down with everything. How could I change that? And the bulimia began.

That was my senior year. Half the time eating, the other half purging. I battled for years, into college, marriage, children. I was 26, and at the end of my rope. I was one step away from just ending the pain all together. I didn’t realize why I was hurting emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically. There wasn’t a part of me that was ever truly happy or at peace. I hated myself, I felt unlovable, rejected, I was an orphan. I had no real family, and why was it that the husband and children I had didn’t satisfy?

God led me to a dear woman who has become a great friend. All she did, was make herself available to me, to listen. I spent 2 years telling my story to her. At first things were worse, but then, I started to see a light. God put me on a path to show me how much He loved me. That I belonged to Him. I wasn’t an orphan I belonged to Him. I was His child. He was all the family I ever needed. He was all I needed.

The road has been long, and riddled with stumbling, but He has held me. His word is true when it says that He holds us up, I have felt that in my life when I have fallen flat on my face, He was still holding me. “In Christ Alone” has become one of my favorite hymns. I love where it says, “I am His and He is mine.” It sums up the feeling of belonging. I belong to Christ, He has not rejected me, He has loved me before I was even born. He has given His life as my ransom. I love Him for all that He did, that I did not deserve.

And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

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