Tag Archive: eating disorders

On Grace by Dawn

Below you will find Dawn’s testimony of God’s grace displayed in her life through her struggle and freedom from an eating disorder. I hope that you will find hope in her story and peace in knowing that God’s grace is most assuredly sufficient for YOU!
God Loves me so much that he sent his son Jesus that I may live… now and always by grace. How can I not sit back and look at my life and not just wonder, in shock, at what God has done and continues to do? I am so thankful that at the end of the day no situation or challenge can change the goodness of the Lord.

For three years I have walked with Him. Three years ago He held the end of the rope that pulled me out of the pit of death and into His shadow of light.  My testimony is posted on a website and this is part of a comment that someone left…. Like the “dawning of a new day” – your testimony heralds the beauty – the sheer wonder of being new in Christ – the old is past; behold all things become new – Oh what a blessing – may the LORD your King continue to use you mightily like a trumpet, to compel all to “Come, dance with our King!”

Use you …Use me….Hear I am, Lord….How many times have I said that to my Daddy? I’m always asking Him to use this Freedom Walker, to use this girl now three years out of brokenness and three years into the light. This past year has been different than the first two years, there were more days, than I have ever admitted to anyone, that I really didn’t want Freedom anymore, that I wanted to throw it all away and seek the guise of thinness. I know the answer to how all these thoughts started? Something so simple….busyness. I got so busy that I didn’t make even small moments of time to spend with my Daddy, He got pushed to the wayside and when the overwhelming feelings of life came I didn’t have the Truth to stand on to fight. Instead I decided I wanted to fight myself and fight my body for control over what I felt like was an out-of-control life. And let’s just say that putting my walls down to seek out the Truth, in the words of wise counsel, was really, really hard. But I had to do it. I had left that struggle in the past.

But hear me….it is a choice. In my life I had to change that I was Supposed to walk in Freedom to Wanting to walk in Freedom. Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). That’s what he wants for each of us. But we have to embrace the truth, so instead of fighting my body I wake each morning choosing to walk in Victory. Walk out my Freedom! I will not let the mirror or the world define me, but I shall speak the Truth of God’s Word. I WILL LOVE ME; I will surrender myself into the hands of my Father, who will equip me for battle. Too often I, still more than I want to admit, measure my beauty by a number. He has already declared me BEAUTIFUL, His chosen and beloved daughter, the one He intimately wants to know and love me beyond any love that I can seek here on earth. I will continue to fight the lies that tie up my thoughts, I know the TRUTH, and I can speak it! The real battle is making sure my Truth doesn’t fall on my own deaf ears and understand that it isn’t always about those around me hearing the Truth but I need to make sure I’m still hearing it myself.

“If you hold on to me for dear life,” says God, “I’ll get you out of any trouble.” Psalm 91:14, The Message.

Dear Father,

What a journey this has been and I am truly in awe of all you are continually doing in me. One day with you is better then a thousand elsewhere. I know you are good and that knowing you intimately has transformed my life. Give me the faith to walk in freedom and victory.

In Jesus’ Name,


This months post was written by Dawn. I hope that you take what she has to say and be challenged in your own life as you strive to live a life of freedom in Christ.

I remember clearly the moments when I lied to seek attention for my eating disordered behaviors. I remember clearly the day I decided to ‘fake’ a fainting spell due to lack of food in a friend’s house, to garner the desire of love and concern; and more importantly worry. I craved the worry of a friend, the constant ‘How are you’, ‘Do you want to come over’. Those words were what I lived for. I wanted someone to be concerned about my weight, if I had eaten that day, or was I still taking pills. I would scrutinize outfits in the mirror wondering if they made my arms look skinny enough because if it didn’t no one may stare with a look of concern at my wrists.

In some sick way I longed for love and attention, and even if I had to ‘fake’ purging noises or ‘accidently’ leave a spoon by the toilet so my friends would think I was purging regularly I would do it. This gave me the attention that I so desperately wanted but allowed me to get caught up in a tortured life all because I felt like it’s the only way to feel loved. Yet it wasn’t proper love. I had a feeling deep down inside me that the only way I could get attention from anyone was if I was thin and small, weak and frail, I would be easier to hold and hug that way.

Letting go of the identity of your addiction is a very big bridge to cross. I didn’t know how to get attention without it. It gave me life each day to think up ways to get sicker, of ways for others to think I was getting sicker when instead I was actually eating or binging daily. But what were these behaviors really doing for me? They were getting me great immediate attention, that’s for sure. I was taken care of, hugged, was able to sleep on friends couches and had someone holding my hand 24/7. But really what kind of life was this? What was I doing to the poeple that were just simply sharing their own love of Christ to someone that they thought was hurting and needed love? Satan tricks us into thinking that we need to act out in order to fulfill those needs for attention. But it’s a lie. Instant gratificiation works, but long-term it doesn’t. You’ll end up feeling empty and hopeless when peopel start to get frustrated and annoyed at the constant attention seeking. People know when someone is really struggling and when we just want to be cared for. Sometimes we just have to face the reality of it that we can’t find our identities in addictions or in other people.

In the course of my attention seeking I sought some of the most unhealthiest relationships that I thought were the best ever, the constant need to spend 24/7 with the same person, and any decision is only made with the approval of that person. I fell hard, twice, into the trap of a codependent relationship.

The relationships I was in were strong and intense; they were co-dependent on both ends. I needed them for the physical touch of a hand holding and a hug and the worry they did about me. They needed me from a financial aspect and to be a constant go-to for them, the one who could be called in the middle of the night and I would throw on some clothes and be right over. I played savior, when in fact I was the one who was seeking salvation from me. Satan had his hand all over my life, he had it covered. He was smiling as he used co-dependency to feed the feelings that I craved.

As painful as it was and even though Satan can still tempt me I have learned to curb my tongue when it comes to what I say about myself. I have currently worked for several years with what I consider a very close friend without disclosing the gritty details of my past, I can say I am proud of myself to not fall into the trap of getting that sympathy and attention from my past sins. Instead I am loved as a friend because of who I am and what I do right this very day. I am loved because I bring Christ into the room with me. How did I get here? It was weeks of reminding myself that utter helplessness and dependency on Him for my every breath was the only wayh true healing was going to come my way. It was a hard transition into being a responsible adult who cares for themselves as well as others. It was quite difficult to make my own decisions with just the help of God. It required daily renewal of the mind while being fed and filled with God’s Word, being surrounded and immersed by it. Learning who I was, not just ‘Who I am in Christ’ as defined in the Word, but truly learning who I am and how to be me. Something I’d never done. I have found that there is no other way to be filled except through His Spirit. Nothing truly satifies my soul like God does.

Some of the best advice I ever received was that if you need attention then you can do GOOD things, and long term, those things pay off. I can touch other lives and walk out my freedom; THAT is the positive attention that I REALLY need. I don’t want to be the one getting pity and attention instead I want to be the one pouring out compassion. My cup is now filled, my cravings are satisfied by the One who loved me FIRST!

And remember, your Father is ALWAYS paying attention!

A friend of Speak Don’t Bleed by the name of Megan wrote this months devotional blog. Megan has struggled with an eating disorder for 15 years. Just recently she went into treatment and has come out stronger and more equipped to fight the temptations that Satan likes to taunt her with. She wanted to share her heart with you in hopes that it would be an encouragement to other girls who are struggling.

Lift Up the Hands That Hang Down

by Megan

I am coming to a place where the Lord wants to bring further healing. Therefore, the enemy is fighting all the more fiercely against that healing. I am finding myself facing temptation after temptation to slip back into old patterns. I have been so discouraged the past couple days as I have faced fatigue, feelings of frustration regarding food and body image, and feelings of depression and despondence. This is all my resistance coupled with Satan’s attacks against God’s next moves of healing.

Lift up the hands that hang down! I cannot evade this growth point in my life. I face this crisis of belief head-on, or I miss the healing that the Lord has for me at this juncture.

The Lord is no longer satisfied with where I am. It is time to move on and to step into higher levels of healing, to develop the hind’s feet that He has for me so that He can take me to higher heights. Those strong legs will not develop from these feeble legs if I walk around the mountain that He has for me to climb. This is where the rubber meets the road and where I choose which way I will go. I hate it when what was ok before is now disobedience. But this is refinement, sanctification, and maturity. Praise the Lord that He has done so much restoration and has more to do.

In my frustration tonight, I tried to go to bed early. I became horribly sunburned today, however, and could not sleep for the pain. I believe that the Lord used this sunburn to bring me to His throne. He will use anything I suppose. I opened up my favorite devotional, and it fed my soul in a way that was beyond perfect. This appropriate application of scripture doesn’t always happen, but it seems that God brings it in my crises of belief to call me and to convict me. The author highlighted Hebrews 12:12-13, which says, “Lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight the paths for your feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way; but rather let it be healed.”

The author of Hebrews calls us to lift up the hanging down hands. He calls us to strengthen lame knees. I think that this is where we “work out our healing.” God desires to heal me; however, I have a great responsibility in that process. Verse 13 says to make straight the paths of my feet and to go in the right direction. I have the glorious responsibility to choose to walk straight forward to the mountain that so frightens me. I must face the obstacle that depresses and frightens me in order to see God’s supernatural healing and power come in the face of it. My healing is not passive. It is active cooperation with Jehovah Rapha.

So many times, I have come to the crisis of belief, felt the pain of brokenness and surrender, and run away whimpering, back to my comfort zone of illness. This time, I am ready to face it head on, drive through it with hands stretched to the heavens, with strengthened feet, walking a path straight forward in obedience up the mountain of testing. The only way to see the walls come tumbling down around Jericho is to keep marching the entire duration of the seven days. What if they had stopped on day six? The walls would have never fallen, and they would have retreated defeated and discouraged. I am called to march forward, with hands raised in worship and feet set in obedience until I see the promise of the Lord come to fruition. I will plow ahead to see the waters divide, the Red Sea open, the walls come crumbling down, and my full healing take place.


Let’s Go

Are you ready, beloved?

No, Lord. Not yet.

Ok, my love. I will wait.

Are you ready, dear child?

Lord, no, I am too scared.

Child, my love drives out fear, but I will wait.

You must come forth, precious daughter.

But Lord, I don’t know what will happen.
The mountain looks steep.
I cannot imagine climbing it without falling.
How can I ever get to the place of promise?

I have been waiting for you to ask, apple of my eye.
Lift your hands,
Surrender your feet.
Fix your gaze on Me.
Come forth, and we will go together.
Do not delay your healing any longer.

Ok, my King.
I trust you.
Let’s go.

Spiritual Eating Disorders

 I know many of you struggle with physical eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia but is your spiritual life also disordered? There is a book that I have recommended on the Speak Don’t Bleed website called “Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves” by Erin Davis. As I was reading through this book, something stuck out to me. In the book Erin talks about our beauty and how it’s affected by media. Erin talks about her struggle with a distorted self image. One of the chapters in the book is about Eating Disorders. One thing stuck out in this chapter of the book…in the chapter Erin parallels physical eating disorders with spiritual ones! So I wanted to devote this devotional to talking about how we can have a spiritual eating disorder and what we can do to be spiritually well nourished.

Spiritual Bulimia

In the book, Erin asks these questions that I think we all need to consider…“Do you binge on Jesus? Do you get filled up at camp or weekend retreats or on Sunday morning and then purge so that you can live the life you want to live? Instead of getting a steady dose of Christ through His Word, do you count on filling feasts of God every once in a while?”

We need to be constantly fed through God’s word, prayer, worship, and fellowship with other believers. This will give us the proper Spiritual nourishment that our mind, bodies and hearts need!

So consider this, are you a spiritual bulimic? What steps do you need to take to make sure you are getting spiritual nourishment?

Spiritual Anorexia (Col. 1:9-11)

Consider these questions, “Do you starve yourself of Jesus altogether? Do you go weeks and months without seeking Him in prayer, fellowshipping with other Christians, or digging into the Word? ”

I don’t know about you but I have had this experience. I have just gotten away from God. Let me tell you, missing one day of spending quiet time with God can throw you off and that one day can turn into a few days and then weeks. We need to be consistently, daily in the Word of God so that we can come to know Him more. He is our Father! What would happen if you didn’t spend time with your earthly father? You feel like you don’t really know him and you aren’t developing that relationship with him, well that’s the same way it is with God!

Are you a spiritual anorexic? How will you take action and get your spiritual nourishment?

Spiritual Stress Eating

Are you a crisis pray-er who runs to Jesus only when the going gets tough? Do you neglect Him when life is smooth but seek Him with urgency when the road gets rocky?

So many of us struggle with this one, don’t we? We just go to God when things get tough or when we need His help. But is this really growing a relationship with your Heavenly Father? How would you feel if your friend just came to you when they needed help and didn’t talk to you any other time?

So are you a spiritual stress eater? What action will you take to grow in your relationship with God?

Just like physical eating disorders can destroy your body, spiritual eating disorders can keep you from having the kind of relationship with God that God desires for us to have.

Interview with Erin Davis about her life experiences and her book “Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves”.

1. What was your purpose in writing the book “Graffiti”?

“Graffiti” was originally written as a Bible study for a small group of girls I mentored. One of the girls in the group said that she would really like to learn how to feel better about her body. I started doing some research and couldn’t find a resource that approached the issue with the depth and Biblical insight that I knew was necessary. So, I wrote my own study. That six-week study changed my life. It changed the lives of the girls in that small group, and God has been so faithful to multiply that message. Ultimately, my desire is to see young women understand their value from God’s perspective. They can do that by really digging into His Word to see what He has to say about their value. It isn’t as simple as “God loves you just the way you are.” But He does love you, He did create you purposefully, and He does dedicate a lot of time in His Word to assuring you of your value. My purpose is to use those assurances found in Scripture to help girls develop a sense of value that isn’t shaken by the world’s standards or the opinions of others.

2. What has been the biggest struggle in your life and how have you overcome?

“Graffiti” is really the depths of my heart written down for all of the world to read. By far, my biggest struggle has been to see that I have value that isn’t dependent on what I weigh, what I accomplish, or what others think of me. That struggle has manifested in many different ways in my life including destructive relationship patterns, self-hatred, and disordered eating. Even though I accepted Christ at the age of 15, I still spent years battling anxiety and frustration because I didn’t understand my value. It wasn’t until I really began to study the Word of God that I found freedom in this area. It really didn’t matter what others told me about how God saw me, I needed to read it myself. God’s Word truly is living and active. Once I started reading that living Word and discovered all that God says about me, those chains really started falling off.

3. What advice would you give to girls who are struggling with their relationship with God and understanding their worth to Him?

Read His Word, read His Word, read His Word! That seems like a simple solution for me just to say “read your Bible more,” but I truly believe that His Word has the power to free us like nothing else does. Start reading it with the specific intention of learning what it says about you. It is no overstatement to say that from Genesis to Revelation, God declares your value to Him. I would also encourage you to be very careful what alternate messages your allow into your heart. Everyone knows that the World is pushing for a standard of beauty that isn’t real. But that doesn’t keep us from striving for it does it? Obviously we can’t hide in a hole and never see another airbrushed model again. But you can take some steps to guard your heart. Did you know that 70 percent of the women who look at fashion magazines reported feeling depressed, guilty, and ashamed of their bodies after less than five minutes of flipping through the pages of those magazines? Additional research has linked exposure to the unrealistically thin, young, and often airbrushed female bodies consistently portrayed in the media to depression, loss of self-esteem, and the development of eating disorders in women of all ages. That doesn’t seem like harmless entertainment! Make a conscience effort to get rid of as much of the World’s beauty messages as you can. That may mean that some magazines, television shows, or movies need to go, but I promise it is worth it! Finally, I would encourage girls to find a mentor who loves the Lord and can be a truth speaker when they are wresting with something. I have had mentors in my life ever since I came to know Christ and they have had a huge impact in my development of a women seeking to know and please the Lord. Believe it or not, your mom might be a great mentor (she wasn’t always your momma, she has been where you are!) If not, a friend’s mom might be great. Or your pastor or youth pastor’s wife might be a good fit. Just find a woman who is faithfully serving Christ, is committed to the Truth found in His Word and who you wouldn’t mind sharing a few cups of coffee with. And then…get talking!

I wanted to say hello to all of our current Speak Don’t Bleed girls and welcome those who have found our blog through the website or from a search engine! I’m glad you found us! If you have any concerns or questions please email us at speakdontbleed@yahoo.com. I will be posting old devo blog entries so that you have the to reference back to!

Steph Lampman
Founder of Speak Don’t Bleed