COVID-19 continues to seep into all corners of the world. Even though Ohio's stay-at-home order is ending soon, with roughly 900,000 cases, there is no indication this pandemic will simply fade away. To say it has been a stressful time is an understatement. With anxieties and worries high, it's so easy to get caught up in all the negative things that are happening. At this point, I believe it's safe to say that our world's mental state is in a very poor place, especially for those who already deal with mental illnesses in their daily lives.
Stress continues for those who suffer from eating disorders and disordered eating. Symptoms of control driven illnesses like eating disorders normally worsen during times when people feel like they don't have control (so...like a global pandemic). Personally, my anxieties surrounding food have managed to stay at the forefront of my mind, especially whenever it's time to go grocery shopping.
In a time where I can't meet physically with friends or other support systems, it's hard to feel like I'm "not alone in this struggle". However, a total blessing has been my bible study for eating disorders. As a group of girls all in similar situations, it is so comforting to have weekly video chats to support each other through friendship and faith, which brings me to main point of this article.
What does God say about mental health and eating disorders? The Bible doesn't shy away from topics like anxiety and feelings of hopelessness, but it can be hard to know what He actually means because the Bible is not known for being too literal. Still, Jesus and the prophets have much to say about the human condition and all its troubles. So, if it provides any peace or comfort for you, here are five things that God has to say about your eating disorder.
1. Philippians 1:6
"I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus."
My favorite translation of this verse is "God didn't bring you this far to leave you." God has started something good in you; don't listen to your insecurities that tell you you aren't worthy of recovery and good things.
2. Romans 7:15, 19
"What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate...For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want."
Logically, we know what is good and what is bad for us, but that doesn't always stop us from making the wrong choices. God understands this and is still with us.
3. Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the Lord—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope."
There is much good waiting for you.
4. John 16:22
"So you are also now in anguish. But I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice and no one will take your joy away from you."
This is a personal favorite of mine.
5. 1 Corinthians 6:13
"Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food."
Can it get anymore straightforward than this?
Recovery is hard. Whether it's during a normal month, or when you're quarantined and stuck at home. It is always a long and difficult process, and you should not diminish that. You have worked so hard to get to where you are and to where you want to be. Just remember that no matter how difficult your journey is, it is never a journey you have to take alone.