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My anorexia

There was a period of time where I hated church.  Didn’t wanna go or have anything to do with it.  I was hurt by it and so I left….. and I left with my middle finger up on the way out (so to speak)

After I left, I decided to live my life the way I wanted.  In this season I can never say I did anything we’d consider“bad”, like cheat on my husband, become a drunk or end up in jail….. but I sure joined the ranks of the mediocre.  I lived my life independent of God.   I had no problem letting small things slide, which eventually led to a heart that became harder by the day.   By day, I was out to make my own success and by night, in the club dancing my cares away.  Life became about independence, pleasure, fun and MY kingdom.

It was 2 years I stayed away from the doors of a church.  I still believed in God of course.   I didn’t really have much to say to Him during that time, but if you asked me if I believed in Him I’d have no problem saying, “yes”.

I was out for coffee with a good friend who I confided in about my woes of church life.  She looked at me and bluntly stated: “Connie, you’re spiritually anorexic”.  Ok….. wow.  That was a heavy hit.   It really hit me in my heart because I was her leader in youth group.   And now, here she was confronting my heart’s condition.

I don’t know what it was about her statement that hit me so hard, but after that I became much more aware of how far I’d allow my faith to slide.   Where there once was the heart of a history maker, there lied an apathetic heart, uninspired to live for anything other than the moment.   Once I had a heart that hungered after God.  Now I was consumed with anything but God and everything about myself.

I knew I had to get my heart right with God.   I wish I could say I had the desire to do so, but I didn’t.  All I knew is that I needed to set things strait.  I started by committing myself to ask God EVERY DAY for Him to give me a desire to live for Him again.   I prayed that each day for 1 year.  Not a few days, not even a few months…… one whole year.   And even after a year, it was only an ounce of desire that came back.  Not a whole lot.   It grew over time.   The more committed I became to stay consistent, the more it grew.

I can’t believe how many people I have met who have been through similar experiences!  It’s overwhelming how many.  Some have got the passion back and stronger than before!  Others are still out there somewhere, still hurt and struggling with their disappointment with faith.

There’s always hind-sight when you look back.  Once you’ve climbed the mountain,  you see the big picture.   I can say now that I’m on the other side of that dark time, that it wasn’t the church that devastated my life.  It wasn’t people who were to blame for my disillusionment.  And it certainly wasn’t God looking down on me in judgment.   Who does that leave left to blame then?

No one.

I’m just left with me and my response.   I’m left with a choice of how to react.  In my lack of knowledge of the “big picture”, my choice was to blame the church – to point my finger at the people in the church who I expected to  somehow be perfect….. but they’re not.  They’re fallen – just like me.  In fact, my journey to the “pig-pen” showed me I’m not so great myself!  I’m as capable of messing up as anyone else!  Its easier to get there than I thought.

You know what’s grown in my heart as a result?  Grace.  Grace for those who aren’t perfect.  I’m not so quick to point the judging finger anymore.  And I have a more realistic picture of people in the church.  I don’t expect them to be Jesus.  When they fail me, I get it.  I, too, fail others un-intentionally I’m sure.

I can only pray that others out there, even those reading this blog, who have had their faith devastated by the church or Christians, can find their way to the top of the mountain to have a bird’s-eye view at long last.

For me its deepened my faith in a way I cannot explain.  The love I have for Jesus is so much greater because I have experienced His never-failing acceptance of my foolishness.  I’m forever grateful.   And like I mentioned, I can see others through the eyes of grace much more than I could before. I have found an amazing, loving church to grow in.  Not everyone has that option.

No matter what – don’t give up your faith.   Don’t stop believing (I hear a song with that…. a little Journey anyone?)  Find your way back to God – the one who has never left your side.

It’s time.

“I’ve never quit loving you and never will.  Expect love and more love.  And so now I’ll start over with you and build you up again….”  (God speaking in Jeremiah 31:3)

Categories: a new spirituality
  1. Charlene Z
    February 2, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Dearest Connie, I treasure your honesty. There is something about being real… Real people, sharing real experiences… it’s Beautiful!! Praying for you today my treasured friend!! You are a blessing to everyone you meet & everyone who reads this. Sending big hugs to you today!!
    Love & Prayers,

  2. February 2, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Great thoughts. Again. Is there a book in all of this?

  3. February 3, 2011 at 6:42 am

    This is another great post Connie.

    As somebody who’s faced being disappointed with the church… quite honestly I felt like a leper. I still attended church but my heart wasn’t there and if it were it was a divided heart.

    I think I’ve grown to extend as much grace to those caught up in the sin of self righteousness as much as those who are caught up in moral sins. There is an issue much more deeply rooted then what is seen on the surface. There is a reason why people become self righteousness in their attitudes and there is a reason people succumb to moral failure. We sometimes focus too much on the exterior and not enough within. When we actually focus on our heart and mind in Christ we tend to bring to proper perspective God’s holiness, we then can appreciate the beauty of holiness instead of viewing it as work and labor that’s unattainable for us. Truth is, it’s attainable when we allow God to gain access to our hearts … those who hunger of thirst for righteousness shall be filled.

    I’ve heard of a couple of different types of anorexia. I’ve heard of the eating disorder. I’m involved in a ministry that’s an inner healing prayer discipleship program for those relationally and sexually broken. In that context I’ve heard of “sexual anorexia” more common among married women who withhold from relations with their husband as a form of punishment in much the same way people would withhold themselves from food…

    I’m trying to understand “spiritual anorexia” but I get what you’re saying. Are you saying that you withdrew from God in much the same way somebody would withdraw from food or in some cases married couples withdrawing in unhealthy ways from sex? 😉

    Darcy – If Connie doesn’t beat me to it I might have one published in a couple of years 😉

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