I hadn’t given up on recovery from my eating disorder, but I’d gotten close.

As someone who loves Jesus and hates the consequences of anorexia’s chains, I wanted so badly to be free. But despite ten years of on-and-off therapy, treatment, and biblical counseling; I still felt stuck. I knew God wanted to bring freedom into my life, but I couldn’t seem to let go of the eating disorder. All the tools and biblical knowledge in the world didn’t change the fact that at the end of most days, I laid awake hating myself for choosing the ED over my Savior. This self-hatred only grew worse as COVID-19 descended and lockdowns were imposed. It was then that God mercifully brought me to the end of myself and brought me to where I am now: active recovery.

If I may, let me use a food analogy—that seems a bit taboo, but it is what it is…. I’m finding that recovery is a lot like that tried-and-true family recipe. It’s not about exact quantities as much as it is a pinch here and a dash there. That didn’t compute very well with my perfectionistic mind. And that is exactly the point. Perfectionism has no place in recovery. Instead, I’ve found what I believe to be 3 crucial components of eating disorder recovery. The measured amounts of these “ingredients” will look different for each of us, but what day each need to meet me. Using my story, let me explain a little bit about why that is.

1. Christ

If you were a Christian, it should come as no shock that Christ got to be at the center of your recovery journey. But if we’re honest, many of us don’t quite know how that can or should play out. For me, it has involved the hard process of confronting my perfectionistic tendencies with the truth that only in Christ and through Christ can I ever be free from anorexia. Not my own efforts, not the best treatment in the world, and even the best support I can find; will do the trick. Only Christ. That is why having a treatment team that understands that truth is crucial in my opinion. This culture’s health and self-confidence movement seems appealing, but the truth is that no one values your body and your mind more than the One who created it. Make Him the center of your recovery and you will, I believe, see the fulfillment of Philippians 1:6 in your life.

2. Community

After three years of “recovery desert island,” I was giddy the first time I attended a BYB virtual support group. I nearly cried at the realization that there are people like me who love God and hate their eating disorder, and (using dialectics like my therapist taught me!), at the same time: they are struggling to break free.

I shouldn’t have been surprised though. The Bible is crystal clear regarding God’s stance on long ranger Christians. God not only said we were created to build one another up in community (Gal. 6:2; Eccles. 4:9-12). He also models it in His own Triune nature (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).

To boil it down: Recovery doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We need to learn from each others’ struggles, successes, and hard-fought battles. That community might look different depending on your situation. But know this: If God has called you to live in community, He will provide it. So, if your support system is lacking, ask God to open doors to provide what you need. He will!

3. Commitment

My church has a really neat practice that leadership encourages within small groups. It’s called a “Small Group Covenant” and it lists a number of suggested commitments that group members make as they enter into relationship with one another. Why is this helpful? Because it recognizes that growth requires commitment to the process.

That applies to recovery as well. While you don’t need to be 100 percent ready to kick the eating disorder out the door, you do need to be realistic with your willingness to step into the process of recovery. It will be hard.

So how do you keep your motivation up? You don’t. You dig your heels in and set your mind (Isa. 50:7) that, whether you “feel” it or not, you are committed to pursuing God’s full healing in your life.

I’m On my Own Journey

As a sixteen-year-old, I never imagined that I’d be battling anorexia at age twenty-seven..

That ten-year label has shrouded my recovery in shame for much of the past few years…years I wasn’t really seeking recovery much at all. And yet, here’s what I’m finding: God has used each moment to prepare my heart and reveal the necessary ingredients to my recovery.

How do you keep your motivation up? You don’t. You dig your heels in and set your mind that, whether you “feel” it or not, you are committed to pursuing God’s full healing in your life.

I wish I knew exactly how these components ought to play out in order to guarantee the most expedited eating disorder recovery. I don’t. What I do know, however, is that we can entrust our recovery journey to the One who has said He will finish the work He has started in us (Phil. 1:6).

God is paving the way for my recovery just as He is for each one of His children. He’s pressing you and I toward freedom because He has created us for freedom.

By the grace of God and the glory of Google, I stumbled upon Bring Your Brokenness this past fall, and, as a result, my eyes are seeing the possibility of true freedom for the first time ever.. My relationship with Amie, the others who serve with BYB, and my fellow ED warriors are a testament to God’s faithfulness in my life. They’re living proof that Philippians 1:6 is a truth I can stand on. . 

Friend, I want you to step into that same bold faith with me. I can’t tell you exactly how to find your way to recovery, but I know you can’t get anywhere on your own. I can, on the other hand, promise that if you are (1) rooted in Christ, (2) centered in community, and (3) committed to healing; you will not fight this battle in vain. 

While sixteen-year-old Hannah couldn’t foresee the duration of her battle, she also couldn’t imagine the redemptive healing that was, and is, to come. Some days are harder than others, but I’m clinging to the glimpses God shows me each day as I bring my brokenness to Him and to trusted people around me, I find rest and healing for my soul.



This article was originally published on Bring Your Brokenness’ website.

One thought on “Weapons of Warfare

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