It’s been almost four years since my mom sold The House. We call it “The House” because (1) it helped our family differentiate homes after my parents split and (2) because The House is the singular place where my brothers and I grew up.

I suppose I first moved when my parent’s divorced and I started living more with my dad at the aptly-named Condo. So, while it was tough to let The House on Foxcroft go in 2018, I hadn’t lived there in a while. And by that point, I’d become a pro at moving.

See, to counter the lack of moving in my childhood, the last ten years has demanded no less than eleven moves–the latest of which has been the transition to my husband and I’s home after our September wedding.

Oh how I love our little ranch! Come over any time and I’ll gladly give you a tour. I’ll show ya the new curtains we’ve hung and the spacious backyard; I’ll take you to see the master bedroom renovation and my photo wall and the little lights I’ve strung in my office. But I won’t, on my own volition, show you the closets…

Why? Well, in my longing to truly make our house a home, I’ve stuffed those closets full. Don’t get me wrong–each shelf is organized and each box is labeled, but they’re still, well, filled. So, like any good homeowner, I’ll show you the house when you come for a tour, but I’ll gladly bypass the box closets–“oh, that’s just the closet,” I’ll say.

Despite my knowledge that there are things to be unpacked and sorted-through, I can mostly forget about the unfinished stuff when it’s packed in a box and shoved in a corner… in my house, and my heart.

I’ve gotten very good at “boxing up” the trauma and sin in my life. And I doubt I’m the only one who plays this little game. As humans, we process through some stuff, but adeptly pretend the other stuff doesn’t exist.

“I can mostly forget about the unfinished stuff when it’s packed in a box and shoved in a corner… in my house, and my heart. I’ve gotten very good at “boxing up” the trauma and sin in my life.

Last weekend, I was reminded of some of my own spiritual and mental “boxes.” See, I was pretty proud of the progress I’d been making with my mental health, turning a blind eye to my own stubbornness until it turned into a proverbial closet dump.

A Step in Faith

Thursday morning, I was sobbing under the roar of the jet engines, just one plane ride away from a weekend I no longer wanted to go on. But, like a kid strapped in to a roller coaster car, my panic was a little too late. I was going.

When I first heard about the Bring Your Brokenness retreat, I knew God was calling my husband and I to go. As scared and hesitant as I was, I knew this weekend of spiritual and mental equipping was a must. And I was all gun-ho, until 5 a.m. Thursday morning. By that point I was terrified. By that point, I was actually realizing what a challenge it would be for me to fly to Florida and spend nearly four days talking, praying, learning, eating, and sharing with other Christians–all there because they or their loved one is battling an eating disorder.

Mental health is something I’ve written a lot about on this blog. But I’ve hesitated to open up my “closet of boxes.” One reason for that is valid. As I’ve shared before, I don’t take it lightly that God has given me a platform with this blog; the last thing I want to do is point toward myself or to speak into something before I’ve thoroughly considered and prayed through it–including my personal trials. But the other reason I’ve not shared is because of shame… fear that I won’t be taken as seriously in my other writing; fear that I will be looked down upon or treated differently.

Some photos from our time in Florida

But this last weekend, I was reminded that God is glorified in our journey–not just afterward. For, if we do not preach of His goodness in the valley, what credibility does our praise carry from the mountaintop?

If we do not preach of His goodness in the valley, what credibility does our praise carry from the mountaintop?

Deuteronomy 10:17 has been heavy on my heart the past few days: “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe.”

Because my God is great, He has more for me than the chains of anorexia. Because my God is mighty, He can heal me. Because He is God of gods and Lord of lords, He can restore all that the enemy has taken (Joel 2:25-27). And He can do the same for you.

It’s Time to Move

So, it’s time to open up the closet and I invite you to do so with me. Take stock of the ways you are hiding from your own weakness and/or sin. Maybe, like me, you’ve tackled the “easy” stuff, but stopped actually fighting. Maybe, like me, you realize that just a there’s no stagnation in the struggle–that, whether it’s an eating disorder or another trench hold, we’re either fighting or we’re falling deeper. That’s what I realized this weekend. I realized that the constant hatred toward myself, fear of food, compulsions to move, and social anxiety are not “little” things. They’ve put me in a prison that I’d been far too accepting of. Until now.

Because He is God of gods and Lord of lords, He can restore all that the enemy has taken.

Now, I’m choosing to really fight back–and that starts by shining God’s light on the brokenness. It starts with a commitment to surrender to fight with His strength. I’m fighting an eating disorder and I’m not ashamed. If God is glorified in this struggle, then every ounce of embarrassment or scorn is worth it.

It’s time to open the doors, grab those boxes, and move them out of my life.

What’s Next?

I know two things to be true: God is on the throne and I am His. That means that this fight will be like hell but it won’t be hell because He has conquered sin and death. It means that life gets better than this and I can choose to trust in that.

What does it mean for you? Maybe you’ve bypassed your own brokenness and want to press in for the first time. Maybe there’s a sin struggle you need to address and you’re realizing that, just like an eating disorder behavior, its cage will continue to shrink until it suffocates the life out of all God created in you.

God is an in-the-mess kind of God.

Friend, don’t let it. Join me in confronting the shame and fighting together against all that the enemy is trying to steal. We will defeat Satan by the blood of the Lamb (that’s Jesus) and the word of our testimony (Rev. 10:11).

Don’t let your story, your battle, and your victory be prolonged by shame. And don’t let it be hidden from those who need to know that God is an in-the-mess kind of God.

I will not waste ten more years of my life “managing” anorexia when God has called me to conquer it in His strength, nor will I let the testimony of the victory be shrouded by shame. I hope you’ll be encouraged and challenged as I move along in my journey and encourage you in yours.



2 thoughts on “Time to Move

  1. Thanks for sharing Hannah! I think most of us have some form of eating disease. Through our 21 day fast our church does in January each year, I came to realize I can truly cut back on what I eat and not suffer greatly. As soon as I go back to regular days, I find myself struggling to get back to “normal” 3 meals a day after days of liquids or two meals. It was difficult eating all three meals again at first, but I seem to have no problem going for the dark chocolate or some other easily-accessed food. If I’m out somewhere and sweets/treats are offered, I can’t stop at just one or two if I start. My body shape makes it difficult for people to notice when I’ve gained weight so they still think I’m skinny even if I’m twenty pounds heavier. Suffice to say, even though I eat fairly healthy and am close to what I should weigh, I spend too much time thinking about food and scrounging. The Bible talks about the end times when people’s god is their belly and I think we’re there! No one but God has a right to our bodies, souls and minds. He comes first and all other things come after, in right order and balance. Only Holy Spirit can keep us on the narrow path – if we let Him!


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