How many times in your life have you struggled while living as a child of God?
A struggle, as defined by Webster’s dictionary, is contending with an adversary or opposing force.
What do we, as believer’s consider to be our “opposing” force or struggle? For many it would be Satan. He attacks our marriages, our children, and our friendships.
His mission is to steal, kill, and destroy. He also likes to create division, confusion, and disorder within our minds.
My struggle is with myself.
I have body dysmorphic disorder. It is an illness in which you obsess about a flaw in your appearance. In my case, it is my weight.
I have struggled with this for as long as I can remember. It also causes me to isolate myself for long periods of time.
When I first became a follower of Jesus, I thought there was no way He could make this better.
I struggled with thoughts such as, “How could Jesus love me and why would He even want to love me?” I had hit the darkest part in my life. Suicide seemed not only logical to me, but a relief to the way I was living.
Every day I prayed for a release. Every day I begged God for a ‘normal’ life and a ‘normal’ body. Every day, despite what was going on around me, I felt empty, alone, and afraid.
It was in these dark moments of my life, where I found my secret place with God. It was in the lonely hours of the nights that I could cry out to Him and be comforted.
One specific night I reading His word, and I stumbled upon these verses:
As for me I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. He will bring me out into the light; I will see His righteousness. (Micah 7:7-9 paraphrased)
After researching these few verses, I found out that the people of Judah had failed and their enemies were laughing at them. If we look within ourselves closely, we will find that our human desire is selfish and prideful; therefore, causing us daily to try to satisfy our own desires. In the midst of my darkness, I wanted to be the one to control.
My control was over what I ate, what I wore, and what makeup to apply. If I were going anywhere, I felt like my image had to be perfect. If it wasn’t, I would make an excuse and never leave my house.
I had to surrender to Jesus. I had to learn how to relinquish control.
I believe God gives us two aides to help us in our time of struggle.
His Holy Spirit.
It was through His word where I heard Him speak so softly to my heart and in that moment I felt His spirit guide me.
During my rock bottom phase, I had two options: wallow in the darkness of self-pity or repent my need to control and surrender to Jesus.
Our eternal Father does not want us to sink without the hope of being rescued.
While I still struggle with body dysmorphic disorder I have found freedom through Christ.
He’s helped me make wiser choices mentally and physically. I now do my part by focusing on healthy eating habits and exercising every day.
Spiritually, I surrender my disorder to God daily and He supplies me with hope, strength, and joy to get through the day.