Put Back Together
As a kid I had attended a Catholic church but never knew Jesus. I had been baptized, and had gone through the ceremonies of my first communion and confession but never knew that I could have a relationship with God. When I turned 18 I stopped going to church, but my mind had tuned out long before that. Up until this last summer I was living as any other person in the world and running away from God.
My childhood was ordinary and unexciting. However, I began to suffer from depression in 8th grade, and it was that summer I developed an eating disorder. I was new to Temecula, I was shy and overweight. To make it worse I was also a perfectionist, overly sensitive and self-conscious.
It started off harmless, because I could afford to lose weight. Nobody cared when I lost 15 pounds over the summer. Before I knew it bulimia had become my crutch, my identity, and number one in my life. The number on the scale was the first thing on my mind in the morning and the last thing as I went to sleep. I was a prisoner to my compulsions. I knew it was wrong to obsess over half a pound, but I thought I was fat and it was the end of my world.
The eating disorder became my functional god. I ran to it for relief in trials and devoted myself to it all the more in good times. The day I tried to stop what I was doing was the day I realized that the thing I was trying to control was controlling me.
It was a scary thing to realize that I couldn’t stop. When my parents found out that my emotional issues had manifested into a behavioral problem they tried to help. I got therapy where people tried to teach me to love myself, which was hopeless when I had convinced myself a long time ago that I was unlovable. They gave me antidepressants and pills for anxiety. They gave me medication so I could sleep. That worked for a while. When I was still depressed they increased my dosage, but we were trying to address a spiritual issue with physical treatment. It was like putting a band-aid over a gaping hole in my heart.
I knew the grief I was causing my family, but I couldn’t see anyone else clearly from the fog that surrounded me. My mom would tell me to pray. She’d say “Kelsey, you have a God-size hole in you.” But that’s the last thing I wanted to hear. It wasn’t until I saw God’s hand in the lives of my parents and my sister that I believed He had the power to change and to save. At that point I was in a bad place with nowhere to go. I knew the path I was on led to death. I had been at war with my body for 7 years, I knew it was time to stop I just needed a way out. So I asked. I prayed and asked God to heal me. Soon after that I got the desire to open the bible that had been collecting dust in my room for years. It didn’t speak to me but somehow I just knew that the answer was in there. And so I went to church, and I kept asking.
Even though I had no reason to believe God would want anything to do with me, I felt reassured when I prayed. When I was gripped by my compulsions I prayed for peace, and it came. When I was able to overcome what had overcome me all my life I knew that God was with me. I knew that He loved me. And that’s when everything changed. Because if He loved me then I had to believe I was worth loving.
I was transformed by the renewing of my mind. It was impossible for me to continue in my sin because I despised it as I never fully did before. My sister told me that sin separates us from God so I started cutting the other sin out of my life. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I didn’t have the same desires. I broke up with my boyfriend of 2 years when he told me he didn’t believe in the bible. This decision wasn’t based only on his rejection of Jesus but also my need to focus on the basics. I barely knew my savior. I needed to build a relationship with my God and restore the relationship with my family.
It’s hard for me to fully describe the person I was before I met Jesus. But only by truly grasping the state of my fall could you praise God for the miracle of my deliverance. Before I was saved I wrote our Creator off as one who could make us and abandon us. But when I prayed today I thanked Him for making me and everything on this earth. I have faith that in the same love that He formed me, He will be by my side until I meet Him face to face. Before I became a Christian I was too proud to say ‘I’m sorry.’ When I raised my hand in church that Sunday I apologized for my entire life. I begged forgiveness from God, and then everyone else my sin had affected. The first thing I asked was ‘Jesus, will you save me?’ Since that day I’ve been asking Him to open doors so that I might help others to be saved. I’ve always held people at arm’s length, rarely loving, and altogether incapable of expressing love. When I invited the Holy Spirit to change me I became someone new. Love comes easy, and I don’t have to try to appear happy, because I am happy.
I’m 21 and I can’t help but feel like my life up to this point had been unproductive. I’ve been getting things done, but in my name and not in His. I’m trying to make up for lost time and a lifetime of Sunday messages that went in one ear and out the other. Learning His word has had such a huge pull on my heart that I’m applying to Calvary Chapel Bible College for the spring. I know that God has good things ahead for my life. I pray that I can grow in love and be obedient to the path he has set out for me. Whatever I end up doing in the future I know that He will be the center and the key of my life because He is the one that put it back together.