In my struggle with anorexia, even once I admitted that I had a problem, the cruel lies that I didn’t want to believe anymore refused to leave. My mind felt like it was smoldering with shame and fear:
You’ll be monstrously fat if you eat that.
You’ll never be normal.
Your family is so fed up with your stupidity.
You’re such a failure you can’t even eat.
More than anything I wanted to know for sure: I won’t be fat if I eat! I am normal and loved. I’m not stupid and I’m not a failure. I can eat.
I wanted to believe—but what if it weren’t true?
I was so afraid to get my hopes up; afraid that God might let me down; afraid that I’d fail and look foolish and that the remnant of my faith would be crushed if I got fat or was rejected.
I’m not a member of the “name it and claim it” crowd. I do not believe that God dances at the end of my strings and waits to fulfill every whim. But, as God led me from the hell of anorexia, I began to see that sometimes I limit His ability to work in my life because I effectually do not believe either that He can or will do so.
Doubt feels safer. When God’s truth requires that I stand bravely upon what I cannot see, when God’s truth asks me to walk on water, when God’s truth asks me to believe that I can lay aside my crutches and walk—it’s safer to stay seated. At least I can’t be let down if I never stand up.
Where does the courage come from to simply announce God’s goodness and state loudly that He will meet all my needs? Where do I find the audacity to claim His healing in my life, to throw away my crutches, to stand up and walk? Who says He’ll do these things?
In John 14:12-14, Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these…You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
Faith boils down to choosing what I believe, and faith enables miracles. The Bible says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
In Mark 6:5, Jesus was restrained from working miraculously in the midst of people who had no faith in what they could not see. But, there are also stories of what real faith does:
The lame man at the pool of Bethesda summoned the courage to test his legs one more time and suddenly, against all logic, he could walk. (John 5:1-15)
Peter, without giving thought to “scientific proof” that he would sink, dove over the side of a boat and walked on water toward Jesus. (Matthew 14:22-23)
Today, I know what Jesus will do when I stick my toes in the water, when I lay aside my crutches and believe that God can do anything. He heals me.