CS Lewis and Complete Freedom from Anorexia

I hereby designate C.S. Lewis “My Favorite Author”. But then, maybe by simply reading Predatory Lies, you figured that out before I did.

This morning, I got an email called, CS Lewis Daily. Never one to disappoint:

Teachers will tell you that the laziest boy in the class is the one who works hardest in the end. They mean this. If you give two boys, say, a proposition in geometry to do, the one who is prepared to take trouble will try to understand it. The lazy boy will try to learn it by heart because, for the moment, that needs less effort. But six months later, when they are preparing for an exam, that lazy boy is doing hours and hours of miserable drudgery over things the other boy understands, and positively enjoys, in a few minutes. Laziness means more work in the long run. Or look at it this way. In a battle, or in mountain climbing, there is often one thing which it takes a lot of pluck to do; but it is also, in the long run, the safest thing to do. If you funk it, you will find yourself, hours later, in far worse danger. The cowardly thing is also the most dangerous thing.

It is like that here. The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self—all your wishes and precautions—to Christ. But it is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead. For what we are trying to do is to remain what we call ‘ourselves’, to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life, and yet at the same time be ‘good’. We are all trying to let our mind and heart go their own way — centred on money or pleasure or ambition—and hoping, in spite of this, to behave honestly and chastely and humbly. And that is exactly what Christ warned us you could not do. As He said, a thistle cannot produce figs. If I am a field that contains nothing but grass-seed, I cannot produce wheat. Cutting the grass may keep it short: but I shall still produce grass and no wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be ploughed up and re-sown.

When I was fighting for freedom from my eating disorder, I ran up against this conundrum.

Could I not retain “myself” or the habits I had established that afforded me some imaginary modicum of control?

Could I give up counting calories but continue obsessively exercising?

What if I was willing to get treatment, as long as I could weigh myself everyday?

Could I continue to pursue the self-centered desires of my heart and keep personal “happiness” as the great goal of my life and at the same time surrender my will, my life, my eternal salvation to a God that I claim to love and trust?

And this is what I found: Just like cutting the grass can keep it short, but will not produce real, nutritious wheat; managing aspects of my eating disorder might keep me alive but would never result in freedom.

To mature and blossom in freedom, I must necessarily uproot the  grass and allow Christ to remake me–to make all things new. The change must be complete, a destruction of the old to allow the new to take root and flourish.

Desert Altars, Crusty Seashores

Deserts and altars.

A crusty seashore .

All Jesus asks for is more.

Do you love me?

I love you Lord! You know I love you.

Will you give me what you love?

But you gave me the love of my heart!

God, Father, Jesus! You have my love!

Isn’t it enough?

I lay before you all my heart.

My heart weakens when we part.

So I double my efforts to love you more.

All Jesus asks for is more.

Desert altars.

Slay your son.

Crusty seashore.

Will you die? Do you love me more than…

How easy it is to profess your love.

How easy it is to speak. Sing your songs and

speak my name.

But I call you to give me what you love.

Slay your son.

Lay down your life.

What do you long for, to what gifts do you cling?

What charms your heart and brings you joy?

Lay it down. Give it to me.

On a desert altar, a crusty seashore.

How can you love me when your hands are full?

How can you love me when your joy pulses from somewhere else?

Give me WHAT you love. That is the essence of true love.

On a desert altar, slay your son.

On a crusty seashore, walk away from your

livelihood, companions, plans, your nets, your boat…love me more than these.

All Jesus asks for is more.

Convenient Life

It makes me cry to see November

All life past a continuous blur.

Defining moments of a convenient life?

Can there be, will there be?

 

From one degree of pleasure and milder pain.

To another height or valley.

Defining moments of a convenient life.

Can there be, will there be?

 

When did time assault me?

It used to be my friend as I

Begged each year to grow me up

And experience to make me wise.

 

I climbed few mountains, notched few years

As critical memories. For each day fades.

How does this change? My current is strong.

Is middle, mediocre where I belong?

 

Or what impact would I have?

Do sleepless nights parade dreams

Of wealth and status?

Have I missed a lucrative calling?

 

Or have I buried dreams of sacrifce?

Goals of pouring out the fullest measure?

Will my mark be left on people or economy?

Who would define a convenient life?

About me: God’s gonna give up on me

On a chilly day in February, I emptied my rusty locker in the basement of Hillcrest Baptist Church.  Tiny Trinity Christian School used the church for classes.  Being one of the eight girls and 12 total high school students at the private school, it hadn’t exactly been the social pinnacle of my life.  I wasn’t really going to miss it, but I would have preferred to just disappear, rather than go through the motions of leaving.

“We’ll miss you!  Hurry back.”

“I’m praying for you,” faceless platitudes, because my eyes were swimming with unshed tears.  I refused to let them know that I was going against my will, that I was out of control of my own life.

I felt my goosebumps double in size as I stepped outside and headed to my mom’s waiting car.  I was bundled in long john’s, a sweater and my wool coat.  They failed to ward off February’s chill, because I had worn all those layers during class, too.  I was never comfortable anymore.

Teeth chattering and lips blue, I slid into the seat next to Mom. I ignored her tearful smile and knee squeeze.  She was shipping me off.  She was ready to be rid of the emotional baggage and physical liability that I had become.

***

Exactly one week later, I sat in the sunshine on a wooden bench in balmy Arizona, wearing nearly as many layers on my skeletal frame.  The treatment center’s tutor, Fred, looked like a shaved Santa Clause.  He smiled a genuine smile and said very little, letting me sulk.

Remuda Ranch invested three months into my recovery from anorexia… once…twice.  I passed the “recovery” test once, twice, tipping the scale at a safe weight.  I learned the healthy-talk that impressed my counselors and stretched the limit of my parent’s budget.

But I wasn’t ready to trust that God was in control of my life.  I liked believing the lie that I was the sculptor of my body, my destiny, my relationships.  So I made the same mistakes all over again.

***

I made the same mistakes all over again, over and over again, for the next ten or so years.  Even I was getting tired of my self.  Once is a mistake, twice is a slow learner, three times and more?  that means I just stupid right? a lost cause? a waste of time?

I even began to wonder if God was going to pull the plug on me, simply decide that I wasn’t worth His effort anymore.  Honestly, there were days when I wished He would.  But, praise the Lord, He is not easily deterred.

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we have been reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”  Romans 5: 6-10

Finding Balance, Faith Like A Child