Thursday, January 5, 2012

First ever guest post . . . Sarah from Bearing Eating Being

I am so excited for todays post! A little bit of background info. . .

When I was struggling with my eating disorder one smart decision (ok the only smart decision, besides recovery) I made was to research and read blogs of other women who had been, at some time or another, in my shoes. I wanted to hear from women who had experienced, firsthand, what it was like to struggle with anorexia and who truly understood the dynamics of the illness and how it has the ability to overtake any and every area of life.

Although I don't remember when exactly, at some point I stumbled across the blogger Sarah who writes over at Bearing Eating Being. I remember reading her posts and thinking "wow, this girl DID IT." She overcame what (at that present time) felt like hell on earth. What struck me even more? She incorporated GOD, JESUS and the HOLY SPIRIT into recovery and into her story. Praise God she was willing to write and share with random blog stalkers (me) because little did she know she was having a HUGE impact. 

Fast forward a few years. . . I am totally stoked that Sarah has agreed to a little guest post here on A Joy Renewed. I hope you find her story as touching and inspiring as I did and still do!

Hey all! I’m Sarah and I was so excited that Brittnie asked me to share a little of my story with you.  I’m currently writing this from my parents’ kitchen table in the midwest as snow falls outside--a far cry from Florida, where I’ve lived for the past 3.5 years.  
Being home for the holidays is a good thing...but it hasn’t always been.  In 2005, I spent my holidays wrestling with an eating disorder that my parents could see but I couldn’t.  That year, I tiptoed around my house.  I couldn’t sit still, I couldn’t get warm, I couldn’t feel the joy of Christmas.  I remember passing out at Target as I did some last minute Christmas shopping with my siblings.  I remember spending a few days in bed because I lacked the energy to get out of it.  My mom brought me eggs and toast and I feebly protested, until I realized: my options were eating or dying.          
That weekend was a turning point for me.  As I lay in bed, I prayed intently that God would help me figure out whatever was wrong in my life and fix it.  God seized that prayer and led me to medical help.  When I finally accepted the diagnosis that was obvious to everyone around me, I cried out for help, for understanding, and strength, because I knew I couldn’t heal myself or get better on my own.  
In return, He gave strength that reminded me of the manna sent to the Israelites: enough for the day. I wasn’t stockpiling strength somewhere for later and I lived my life vacillating between terror and calm, but He always gave me the calmness and strength that I needed to do the right thing when I needed to.  
This reminded me that the strength I was experiencing was not my own and taught me to rely on Him.  It also made me realize that recovery was going to be a process...and rightly so, because getting sick was a process.    
A few painful months later, the Lord gave me Psalm 107.  I connected so strongly with this passage that for over a year, it was my “about me” on Facebook because I felt there was nothing more to say.  Here’s a sample: (really, you should just read the whole thing--it’s amazing!)  
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; 
   his love endures forever.
 Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story—
   those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
   from east and west, from north and south...
...Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness,
   prisoners suffering in iron chains,
because they rebelled against God’s commands
   and despised the plans of the Most High...
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
   and he saved them from their distress.
He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness,
   and broke away their chains.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
   and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
for he breaks down gates of bronze
   and cuts through bars of iron.
Some became fools through their rebellious ways
   and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.
They loathed all food
   and drew near the gates of death.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
   and he saved them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them;
   he rescued them from the grave.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
   and his wonderful deeds for mankind. 
Let them sacrifice thank offerings
   and tell of his works with songs of joy...”
This Psalm gave me hope: I had already called out to the Lord.  Now I could trust Him to  be faithful to heal me, to break away my chains, to bring me out of darkness, to save me from my distress, to rescue me from the grave, to send forth His word to me, to gather me, to redeem me. 
Six years and a TON of work later, I’m pleased to report that I am healthier and happier than I ever was before. Having an eating disorder could have been the end of my life.  Instead, our Lord “cut through those bars of iron” and saved me. 
Psalm 107 ends with these words: “Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.” 
I invite you to do the same.  

THANK YOU, Sarah! 

I love that she literally is a living testimony of Psalm 107. And is some ways... aren't we all? I think we all have rebelled against the Lord only to eventually cry out to Him from our distress, from the bottom of our pit.  Don't we all  have some "bar of iron" that we need the Lord to save us from and to forever cut us free?

Questions: Do you have a scripture or set of verses that sum up an especially hard time in your life? Has God responded to your distress call by giving you a particular scripture passage of hope? Please do share in the comments section!


  1. Great guest post! :) God is SO good and He always has a plan for us!

  2. Usually what gives me strength are all the songs I learned in primary. There is one titled "Count your many Blessings" and whenever I am feeling sorry for myself it immediately pops into my head and I remember how blessed I am.

    I serve in the Primary in my church and I just love singing and teaching the little ones each week. Their spirit's are amazing and inspiring.

  3. Psalm 46...a vivid description of a life/world in tumultuous times...and then verse 10..."Be still and know that I am God...". In some versions it reads "Cease striving...". Lately I learned the root of the phrase means "vacate" other words, stop trying to be God and let God be God...let Him show His power in the midst of our brokeness. I was sick once for a year and a half and during some of that time could do NOTHING for my body was too weak..doing a load of laundry was a big day for me then. God used this Psalm to show me His ever-present love and intimate care for me and my family during a very scary time. Those times change us forever and for good.

  4. Love this guest post, Brittnie! What a powerful testimony Sarah shared! One of my verses that anchors me in difficult times is Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You."

  5. Great post! Sarah's blog is wonderful, and she's been such an inspiration to me as well.

  6. I love this post, and everything Sarah always has to say :) I have learned so much from her growth!

    There are so many verses that I find comfort and solace in. For a long time now, though, my go-to source that keeps me sane and in check actually comes from a devotional by Sarah Young, I believe. It is based on 1 Thessalonians 5:17, "Pray without ceasing." But what she says in response resonates so deeply with me, and I read it every single day as a reminder.

    "Rest in Me, My child. Give your mind a break from planning and trying to anticipate what will happen. Pray continually, asking My Spirit to take charge of the details for this day. Remember that you are on a journey with Me. When you try to peer into the future and plan for every possibility, you ignore your constant Companion who sustains you moment by moment. As you gaze anxiously into the distance, you don’t even feel the strong grip of My hand holding yours. How foolish you are, My child! Remembrance of Me is a daily discipline. Never lose sight of My presence with you. This will keep you resting in Me all day, every day."

  7. Good gracious! I didn't realize that comment was so long! Sorry!

  8. Thanks again for allowing me to do this! It was a really neat opportunity to reflect on my journey. God is so good! I'm so excited for where He is leading YOU and your sweet little family. You're going to be such a great mama to that little girl <3

    I will put up this link in a few days on my blog! Thanks again :)

  9. Hey girl! I just wanted to know how inspirational and encouraging I found your blog to be! I too have struggled with an eating disorder for some time now and am now in recovery, fighting every day to get my healthy and ahppy life back. It is a long and tough road at times but hearing stories such as yours just gives me the strength to keep fighting. Thank you! Your message of hope is truly one to be admired. Keep doing your thang, hun!

    1. Proud of you for fighting for your health! It is probably the HARDEST thing I ever did but can tell you firsthand it is SO WORTH IT! Hang in there. Just take it one day at a time. Have a great day. :)


© A Joy Renewed. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.