Here is an excerpt from the book, Living Full, that I wrote this past summer for my senior capstone. I look forward to sharing more with you as I finish up the editing process.
A note from my journal on April 28, 2018, NYC:
I was in the bathroom getting ready. I felt a heavy sense of loneliness, depression, something trying to fill my thoughts. I commanded any oppressive spirit to leave in the name of Jesus. Immediately I felt better.
I randomly asked God: “What is the mission you have for me?”
Then I felt the Lord speak to me: “To bring freedom to my daughters.”
He led me: “Go look out your window” (I was a little caught off guard, but I went to the other end of my apartment to look out the window). “Do you see that building? What does it look like?”
“It’s black and shiny,” I replied.
G: “Yes, it is dark from the outside and it looks like it’s empty. But that is an illusion. There are things and people going on, but the outside world doesn’t see that.”
“What does that mean?” I asked.
G: “What do you think it means?”
R: “Maybe it’s a metaphor for my life when fear controls it? And for other women’s lives?”
G: “Yes. The light can’t shine because the window shades are drawn. I’m trying to do/ I’m doing something on the inside of each one of my daughters, but people on the outside can’t see it because the fear controlling my daughters doesn’t allow my light to shine. The shades need to be opened and the windows cleaned.”
A journal entry from May 31, 2018, Ohio:
Something I sensed the Lord speaking to me while I was in prayer:
I need you. I need you to help set my daughters free from this. Eating disorders tear apart women’s friendships, relationships, marriages, spirits, souls, and bodies. It prevents them from experiencing true intimacy, because they are so focused on themselves, and afraid of not being a certain way for others. So much so, that they forfeit their sense of identity for a number on a scale. They trade being truly known for the applause of the world. But that demon of an eating disorder will never be satisfied, even after the body is destroyed to its very last muscle and organ. It is not satisfied until the woman is completely destroyed and rendered ineffective and incapacitated, so that she will never be a threat to the darkness, because she has surrendered herself to the hands of destruction, and is locked in its grasp.
This is not who I have called my daughters to be. I have called them to be warriors of wisdom and grace. To be a light to the world. To influence the world through love, power, and peace. The world will listen to powerful women who walk in those attributes. But the enemy has used the world to lie and say a woman will only be listened to and valued if she looks a particular way. If she can make men drool over her, if she can be promiscuous, if she can be the “perfect woman.” There is no one perfect woman. I have created everyone differently. What is beautiful to me is the sensitive spirit I have placed in each one of my daughters, and the gift they have to powerfully change and influence things through gentleness and humility. There is much darkness coming. I do not say this to scare you. I say it to excite you. Although you will be tempted to be afraid, do not give in to the temptation. Incredible light is also coming, for the light cannot be seen for what it truly is, until darkness descends upon it.
To the dear reader who is about to embark on this book,
We are tremendously blessed to live in the times and places that we do. However, while we live in an age of tremendous prosperity, there also exists ridiculous amounts of darkness and confusion. Like he did with Esther, God has placed you in such a time as this.
This may sound harsh, but I mean it in the must loving way: it is unacceptable for you to be living in bondage to disordered eating, body dysmorphia, or exercise addiction. God created you to live in fullness of life, in deep intimate relationship with him, in life-giving friendships with other people, and in peace with your own body and mind. It is unacceptable for disordered eating to continue to torment you. It needs to leave, so you can be free!
Eating disorders are often rooted in deep trauma, anger, pride, vanity, or shame. Jesus did not die for you to live in bondage. He died for you to be free in spirit, soul, and body. I want you to walk in this freedom, and I believe you can, because of the great love, grace, and power of Jesus. I ask you to believe this as well. Romans 10:9-10 declares, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved” (NIV). The word “saved” here is from the Greek word sótéria, which means welfare, prosperity, deliverance, preservation, salvation, and safety. Jesus came to give us abundant life, and the enemy tries very hard to steal that from us (John 10:10).
Hebrews 12:1-3 says,
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Getting freedom from disordered eating is no easy journey, but once you overcome it, you will walk in great freedom and authority, and deeper relationship with God and other people. While disordered eating is not from the Lord, I earnestly believe he redeemed my eating disorder for good by revealing to me and setting me free from self-centeredness, rebelliousness, and pride (of course this is a lifelong process). He also led me on a journey of rooting me firmly in my identity in Him, teaching me how to fight and grow stronger spiritually, guiding me in how to rely on his grace and not my own works, and giving me a great passion to help guide others out of oppressive eating disorders.
When you surrender to the Lord and follow him in faith, you receive the grace and abundance of life that you need to overcome. This does not mean life will be easier or your circumstances will always be positive, but God loves you and will never leave you or forsake you. In order to walk in his power and healing, you need to decide to take the necessary steps to receive and live in the grace that he gives you. The amazing news? God has given you everything you need in Jesus Christ, in his Word, by the revelation of his Spirit, and in the body of Christ (the Church). I pray that this book will be a blessing to you. May it not be an end-all-be-all, but instead a starting point to lead you into deeper intimacy with Christ Jesus, and to help equip you to begin to understand and walk in all that God has for you.
~ Rachel ~