Recently, I read a friends blog about Sacrificial Love. In his post, “My Life for Yours“, Dale Tedder brings up some very thought-provoking questions about the meaning of sacrifice in our lives today. One such question is, “Do we love our lives too much in this world, so much so, that we are actually losing our lives?” I thought about this in the context of struggling with an eating disorder or, lets face it, struggling with recovery.
Well, I hate myself and my life, so this can’t be talking about me…right? I mean, my house is a mess, my kids are hard to deal with, my husband and I barely talk, I have no friends, and my body is disgusting. I do not love myself or my life…in fact, the idea of losing it doesn’t scare me at all. Who would even care? Not me!
That is the kind of thing that probably would have run through my brain if I had read Tedder’s post 6 years ago. I would have rationalized myself out of believing that it had anything to do with me..until I read this, “Can we let go? Of our wants, things, desires, passions – our very lives?”
Struggling with anorexia was, in part, an inability to do just that. I could not let go. I might have been able to say I hated my life or my body, but I loved myself too much to think about sacrificing the scale, my body FOR GOD. Oh sure, I was willing to die alright, but not die to self… I was willing to die FOR self. I was willing to sacrifice much…for myself- time with my children, energy to perform daily tasks, the joy of social meals, the comfort of being held and touched by others. I was willing to sacrifice spontaneity, something often needed when moving according to the Holy Spirit, because I couldn’t be a way from routine.
As I have moved further and further away from my eating disorder and tried to move closer to God, I feel like He often calls upon me to answer that very question: “What are you not willing to give up?” I believe that is the very thing God will ask me for.
As a follower of Christ, I have to be willing to lay down everything to follow Him. EVERYTHING.
Not only my desire to be thin, my love of fitness in general, my daily routines and plans, even the “good” things in- my marriage, my job, my hobbies. He may not ask me to give these things up, but He might.
There are several instances in the Bible where God demands the very thing that someone is clinging to in order to grasp on to Him. Abraham must be willing to sacrifice Isaac. The rich young ruler must give up all he owns.
What is the one thing you will not do for God? What is the one thing you cannot give up?
When I was in recovery I specifically remember my therapist asking me what I was so afraid of. My answer?
I was willing to do all that was asked of me in recovery as long as I didn’t “get fat”. But then she posed the question: “Why?”
So then I began to ask myself, “What if God asked me to “be fat”? What if I woke up tomorrow and was, by the world’s standard or even just my anorexic standards- FAT?
I had to come to a place where I was able to say:
My weight, size, and appearance has nothing to do with God’s love for me. He can still work through me, but only when I surrender, sacrifice, and submit everything to Him. My desires in this world have to die, so that I can live IN HIM.