Have you ever felt trapped or captive to someone, or something?
Captivity and entrapment comes disguised in many forms. It could be a habit, a behavior, an addiction, an emotion such as fear or an eating disorder. This story is based on a woman’s journey to ultimate healing from anorexia (a disorder, often referred to, and personified by the name ‘Ana’), and how she is called out of captivity and clothed with strength.
I encourage you to look beyond the disorder in this story, and to allow God to examine your heart for those things that are keeping you in chains. Let God awake you and clothe you with His strength.
As a young girl, she grew up in a Christian family and was a healthy, high achiever in all aspects of teenage life. But in her senior year, her father attempted suicide. It shook her to the core, and with the added stress of her final exams, she was so worried that the thought of food made her physically ill.
“And then I lost a lot of weight”, she says, “and I actually got a lot of attention from it, and people said ‘oh you look so good!’ and I thought ‘oh, what did I look like before?’”
Her father recovered, but she became increasingly sick with anorexia. “I had become so introverted, I stopped going to church and socialising with people”.
It was only when she reached 37kg that she realised she had a problem. “And I felt I was failing in my Christian walk”, she adds. “I’d lived the life of being so involved in the youth group, telling kids that they’re made in God’s image, to look after their bodies …and I felt like a hypocrite, I was letting so many people down.”
“That’s when I started this journey of reconciliation with God, I went to a church service with my mum, and thinking that maybe my healing could come from God. And I gave my life back to Him …and that started the journey for me.” She started to read the Bible and feel hope again.
God then used three separate people to give her the same Bible scripture, Isaiah 52:1-2. She says “I realised that I was the ‘captive daughter’, and I realised that God wanted me to be free, and He was the one to do it”. The next day, with God’s help, she began eating better and has made a full recovery. 10 years later, she is now actively involved in her church, and married with two young children.
This letter is written just for you, your daughter, your family member or friend.
It was originally published in Desiring God and it is written from the perspective of a woman who grew up as a pastor’s kid, and at the age of 13 struggled with an eating disorder. It is a raw and heart warming letter from a beautiful woman, of how she discovers the Truth that Jesus is her Living Bread.
“Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city! For the uncircumcised and the unclean Shall no longer come to you. Shake yourself from the dust, arise; Sit down, O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!” – Isaiah 52:1-2