Dear sweet sister dealing with anxiety, depression, or an eating disorder:
How I want to hold you today.
The ladies of Scarlet & Gold shop (a precious company on the rolling plains of Auburn outside my hometown) mailed me some sweet gold foil tats to share, all in the name of the #GiveGrace campaign: a campaign on mission to pull back the curtain and share struggles so that women dealing with pain may know they’re not alone.
Do you know who came to mind first? You did. Titus 2 compels me to walk ahead of you, but I do so only because women paved my road and voiced God’s faithfulness over me when — to be frank with you — depression rattled my core and panic attacks and social anxiety manifested in neuropathways afraid of nourishment in caloric form. I know I’ve flung bits of the stories across the internet but today I really want to talk to you. To give you grace.
Chiefly, I want you to know God still loves you. You’re not forgotten. Do you hear that? You are not. As a Christ-follower dealing with depression and mistreating my body, shame fit like a glove. And shame has a weak-in-the-knees kinda love for dark corners, so there it sits and grows bigger and bolder, you see. Truly, I doubted my faith, so it’s okay if you are, too. Christians don’t struggle this badly for years, I thought. Christians don’t doubt life, or wonder if their family would be better off without them in the way, I thought.
The enemy curled his claws together and nodded. Yes, yes this was his plan. Cause her to doubt. Rattle her core. Break the gospel and grace-soaked marriage in its infancy. That’s what he’s working on in you, too. He hates what you cling to.
But the thing is, sweet sister, Glory and LIGHT broke through for me. For my marriage. And the depths of my soul sing and believe that over you, too. The same power that took the dead, cold, fleshy corpse in a tomb and knitted it into life again for a King to reign eternal … that very same power is what I’m calling upon for you. I did this morning. I don’t know if you’re in a clinic or going to a nutritionist for meetings or just going to see a church counselor because for some reason you have no idea why you’re just sad all the time and oh-by-the-way,-is-it-normal-to-have-these-food-rituals … but I prayed for you today. I’ll keep at it.
There’s freedom from these demons.
One day, in Jesus’ name, you’ll wake up and skip a workout because your body is tired. Or you just plum don’t want to go to the gym. You’ll know how to walk yourself away from the panic attack cliff while driving. You’ll have Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer. You’ll have a margarita with your husband and not count calories. You’ll be able to eat even when you’re stressed. Or sad. Because you’ll learn we have these things called emotions and it’s okay to feel them. You’ll hear disordered thoughts from ED the eating disorder and tell him he doesn’t actually get to decide what you’re going to do today. Then, your OCD tendencies will melt even more when your puppy wets the rug.
Sister, you’ll be free. You’re not the only one. I’m here for you. Keep fighting.
I give you GRACE today. Grace even though people still think eating disorders are weird to talk about, and maybe they are, but give grace to people who believe eating disorders and depression tied together are a vanity thing. Give them grace, too. You and I know it’s not a bit of vanity; it’s just how stress and control manifested for you. Grace for today, friend.
In supporting Scarlet & Gold’s #GiveGrace movement, I would love to mail you a gift tat pack from Scarlet & Gold. I’ve got two packaged Give Grace tats on my desk, one for you to keep, one for you to give away.
Share why you #GiveGrace below for a chance to win (p.s. winner chosen randomly, ok? This is just to encourage conversation!).