SPOTLIGHT - faith, anxiety, & eating disorders
About the Spotlight Writer
Caitlin is a native Texan and a first year grad student at Baylor’s Truett Seminary. She studied church music as an undergraduate, but feels that her undergraduate studies were only in her life for a season. She feels called to missions and hopes to incorporate counselling into her ministry as a missionary. In her spare time, Caitlin enjoys riding horses, being a total introvert, and taking long drives.
Faith, Anxiety & Eating Disorders
by Caitlin Guziak
Everything is fine.”
This was my anthem. I thought that faith meant foolproof and that loving Jesus meant making him look good at all costs. I thought that by hiding my sins I would somehow keep the church from being tainted by my world. “It was well with my soul” because it had to be. This became the definition of faith for me.
In my mind, there was no room to talk about my anxiety in church because it was “just a lack of faith,” and there certainly was no room for my eating disorder because no one even knew it existed for several years.
2 Corinthians 12:5-10 shattered the lie that there was no room for me to bring those things to church. The passage says:
“...but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses— 6 though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. 7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,[a] a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Paul states that he will only boast in his weaknesses - the very things that he begged God to take from him! This seems counter-intuitive, but by sharing our weaknesses not only are we reminding ourselves that we are in need of a savior, but we are also allowing the world around us to see the depths that God has reached into our lives to save us from our own weaknesses.
I have seen this passage at work in my own life through my eating disorder because I believe it is what God used to remind me of my call to ministry. I wasn’t fine and until things got really bad, I was totally okay with being complacent in my faith. I wouldn’t turn to God for anything at all. I stopped having regular quiet times. I stopped considering God in my life, and when my body started to shut down from the trauma of my eating habits I started to realize my spiritual need again. I had been spiritually depleted to the point of self harm, but God gently picked me up off the floor one day and reminded me of my calling throughout that day.
Friends, if you are struggling with sin patterns, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, etc. do not be afraid to approach the Throne. Jesus would have sought you out for dinner in his time. Take a seat at his table and boast in the ways he has extended his grace to you.