Happy Memorial Day! I hope you're enjoying a long and relaxing weekend and hopefully the weather is nice for all the outdoor festivities! If you're looking for some last minute healthy BBQ inspiration, I rounded up 20 recipes. There is something for EVERYONE- meat eaters, vegetarians, vegans, food allergy sufferers, you name it there's something in the roundup for them! Check out the round up here.
I'm excited to be continuing the guest post series and today's post comes from Emily blogs at Beauty in Christ. I've been blessed to get to know Emily some over the past number of weeks and the first thing I noticed is how genuinely kind she is. She has such a kind spirit and her love for Jesus is evident in everything she does. I'm super excited that Emily offered to share a post because she opens up about the struggles of living with an eating disorder and how she overcame it through her faith. I know so many people who struggle withe eating disorders so my hope and prayer is that Emily's post can be a blessing.
First of all, HI everyone! I met Rachael via the blog world, and she did a blogger baking exchange with me. Well, this girl went WAY beyond the call of duty and made this HUGE box of granola, peanut butter, and cookies. It was amazing and I'm so honored that she gave me the opportunity to share a guest post for her blog.
What do I blog about? Well, for about 7 years I struggled intensely with idolizing my body and food, before the power of God truly saved me from it, and my blog is that story. My blog is about freedom from bondage, freedom in Christ, freedom to enjoy good food, and freedom to live and love in God's awesome world and walk in communion with Him. I share the 'ugly, the happy, and the victory' because Jesus Christ has overcome all the power of Satan, the death, and sin, and He is my captain.
So I'm titling this post, 'Freed from Bondage,' because it is something that I feel so passionate about, and I hope it is a huge blessing to anyone struggling with bondage, as I know that the struggle is REAL. But God is greater!
Life is scary sometimes, isn't it? It's rocky. If you think that you are alone, it's even scarier. The Bondage (torment) of fear is a powerful human emotion that came into the world, when sin came into the world. Sometimes you look out in front of you, and you can barely see. Sometimes, you have chains to heave, chains of bondage, that almost have you laid flat on the ground. The way looks rocky, and the bondage of fear just grips you. You're afraid. You don't know what comes next. That's what an eating disorder, an idol, does. It taught me that there is bondage, but it also taught me that there is ultimate, freedom from that bondage, when you come to realize the truth, the truth about who you are and why you were made, WHO made you, and WHO saves you.
This is my favorite thought that has been going through my mind this week, and I wanted to share that there is FREEDOM. There is not just life-long bondage. There is freedom.
An ED taught me that self-confidence didn't work, in a really powerful way. I couldn't save myself.
ED want you to fear. The devil wants you to be in bondage, and he doesn't want you to see the way, the truth, and the life. He wants you to always keep trying, striving after the perfect body, the perfect diet, the culture's definition of 'perfect' instead of looking to the only One who is perfect. He wants to keep you in torment without hope.
The devil is the father of lies and his lies produced torment in my heart. They clouded my eyes for MANY year to the truth. I wasn't running to the truth. I was wallowing in the bondage that I believe had the power to overcome me, because all I could see was myself.
What were these lies?
'You have to be a certain size to be loved.' I didn't remember that God's love is unconditional.
1 John 4:10-11 'Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and send his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.'
'You have to spend your whole life consumed in exercise, because that means you are disciplined.' I didn't realize that the burden that God gives is easy and light. I was burdening myself, when Jesus had already set me free from the law of sin and death and idolatry. I wasn't realizing the beauty of the gospel, that the gospel truly does set us free from that fear that has torment.
Those were just a few of the lies, but I am so grateful to say that today, I am much less fearful than I was even a year ago.
It would be a lie, though, to say that I don't still struggle with feelings of bondage. So what do I do when I struggle with that bondage?
Well I tell myself truth, truth that God tells us in His Word.
1. I still experience periods of bondage, but that's not necessarily bad. This means that God is still working in me. When God is working in me, He is showing me where I need the gospel in every area of my life, including that area of bondage. The times I fall into sin and idolatry, it points me right back to 1 John 2:1-2
'My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.'
He is showing me where I need the truth of Jesus Christ and His atonement for my sin to POUR into my life and cleanse me.
2. I need to remember that even when I sin, I am no longer separated from God. I am his child. I can RUN back to the throne, confess my sin like a child running to their daddy, repent, and leave that burden there. Nothing can separate me from His love, and even when I sin, the gospel STILL cleanses me because it's God's power, not mine (Romans 5:1-2).
The truth of you being a daughter or son of God never changes. That adoption was completed by the work of Jesus Christ at the cross. You were justified, adopted into God's family, and you will be with Him in glory. It's not because of you. It's because of God's power, God's plan that you are His child.
You don't work you way to heaven or into His love. He loved you before you loved Him.
Galatians 4:4-8 'But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath send forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; if if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.'
3. I was a slave to the law, but I'm not anymore. I'm in Christ Jesus. I'm not under the law's condemning tyranny, because Jesus fulfilled that on the cross, so I can't be in terror of the condemnation of the law. Now it is my delight to keep, to honor, to love God's love, but it is no longer a condemning power in my life.
Romans 6:14-15 'For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.'
This realization is truth. Speak truth to yourself. Speak the truth that Jesus Christ has overcome your sin, overcome your idols, overcome the lies, and the devil. And you will fly...because CHRIST is within you.
If you struggle with fear, dear sister or brother, ask yourself, 'What does God say about me? Who am I?' Don't look at what you're doing, but ask who you are, and your belief about who you are IN CHRIST will drive what you do. It's out of the heart that these things come. What is your heart believing? Are you believing that:
You are reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:21)
He counts the hairs on your head (Luke 12:7)
He knows you and ordains everything that happens to you (Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 138)
He will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)
His gift to you through his Son Jesus is eternal life, and that was a gift, not earned. All you must do is believe (John 3:16, Romans 6:23)
Nothing can separate you from his love (Romans 8)
Last but not least, if your heart is thirsty, God fills the thirsty heart. Jesus came to bring SPRINGS of living water, and he will fill you.
PICTURE- freedom from bondage
Psalm 42:11 'Why art thou cast down, P my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.'
Do you struggle with your identity?
What are the truths that you repeat to yourself about your identity?
Where have you found freedom from bondage?