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Wake up Call…in a Second-World Country

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Celby 1 year, 3 months ago.

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Before I begin, I want to say that I am a strong Christian. My passion is serving Christ and His people. It’s what I want to do with my life. I grew up in a solid Christian family. But we all make mistakes.
It started with the words. They were strong and motivating, positive. But when the positive words stopped motivating, the negative ones were the ones that did. They were written and stained with sharpie on my skin. Words no one believed that I, of all the people to do so, would think of myself.
I didn’t think anything was wrong.
“Weak” “Stupid” “Ugly” “Fat” “Unworthy” the list goes on.
It began in February. Track was starting in March and I had a month more to prepare. So I became the most dedicated I had been to my sport in a long time. Running was, and is, a passion of mine but it became my poison. I ate to perform, I drank to perform, my every thought was to perform. It was kind of exhausting, actually. It didn’t start out horribly either. It started out safe. I was eating enough, I was drinking enough but not too much. I was running a lot but treating my body right. But as the month progressed, tracking my calories online became a battle. If I maintained 2000 calories (the recommended) than I was in good shape. Below was okay, not everyone can achieve 2000 calories, but too far below was dangerous. Especially if you eat barely over 1000 and work off 600 with a workout. That is dangerous. But that’s what it became. I became wary of the food I was eating, the amount of calories, the portion sizes, the amount of water I could drink. If water was there, I would drink it. The only problem with that was the fact that water was replacing food. I wasn’t hungry? Water was in my stomach fooling my stomach into thinking was full. But I didn’t know. I didn’t see it. I thought I had it under control. I was still eating, wasn’t restricting food, it was okay, right?
The words on my skin became voices in my head. No silence. It was so loud. It was all I could think about. “Good, I’m not that hungry.” “That run felt great! I’m not even hungry!” I was eating, but not enough as I should have been for how much exercising I was doing. I believe that Satan used this time to intrude on those voices in my head by hitting me with the things that would hurt me most. The people I trust. Lies, constant lies, about these people would haunt me. I hated it. I asked for God to silence them so often but my own will brought them back. I was losing weight, which I was ecstatic for. I mean, that’s a good thing! And when I first began losing the weight, I was losing it the right way! I was 142lbs, stock and muscle. An athlete. When I began losing the weight, I was losing a pound or two a week. It was great! But it went downhill when everything turned from positive to negative impacts.
The words stopped appearing on my skin as often when my best friend saw them. It hurt her and that was not okay with me. I would rather the thoughts of doubt hurt me rather than her. So I wrote them less, and finally, they disappeared, she was someone God put in my life then and now to help me. But the eating habits got worse. It was along the border of entering what is called Anorexia Athletica. The subject eats the calories, only to work off the amount needed per day.
It was during this that I was also preparing to go on a mission trip with a group from a range of churches. Fifteen of us were headed to China to help disabled children and families in a country where they were out-casted. In China, having a disability is dishonoring and the disabled are rejected by society. The disabled, in the eyes of the Chinese society, are equivalent to dirt.
When I left for this mission, I was eight weeks into my whole “diet plan” and on the negative side of it. Things would be compromised there.
We arrived in a country where I couldn’t read, couldn’t speak, and couldn’t comprehend the language. It didn’t hit me how affected I was in the states by my “diet plan” until I caught myself looking at food labels. So this is what it had come to? Looking at food labels? No, I didn’t have a disorder. I was in control. Or so I thought. It became apparent to me through the food we ate and how much I tried to understand what I was eating and how much water I was drinking that I had fallen into something I hadn’t seen the hole of.
I wouldn’t say that I had the disorder, but had I gone any further with it, I would’ve fallen in entirely.
Then there was a day.
The organization we were serving helps families that face disability. We split up into two groups and each visited four of the families.
One family we were visiting had three girls. Each had some sort of health problem but the oldest is the one that caught my attention. She was 15-years-old, as old as I was at the time, and had blood clots in her brain. Blood clots! This was serious! These blood clots kept her from her studies, kept her from PE, jumping, playing, activities teens should be able to do, running! She couldn’t run! If she was on her feet too long, she had to sit down due to dizzy spells. Had we by chance grown up in the same country, we might be friends. We are the same age. Maybe we would have gone to the same school. Maybe I would have known her. But here she was. She was forced into a health issue without choice and here I was giving myself one blindly. I was imposing an issue upon my own body and I could hear God clearly in that moment. I could feel God. His hurt for me was so real, His voice was so loud, He was disappointed and hurt that I would even think to consider myself unworthy for His creation, as His creation. I had imposed that “diet” on myself in the first place to be fit and fast. It became about image on the side after a while. But to even consider doing that to myself while this girl was without choice in what her body decided to do? Selfish. I was and I am selfish. She didn’t even have the means to get help from doctors and people who could help her.
I can. And if I had gone any further with my eating habits, I would have needed help. Help I could get.
I left that home with pain in my heart and God whispering in my ear. I felt like I had disappointed Him, that He was angry with me. Maybe He was. But I felt His love over all the other emotion. I felt His sadness and His love.
“Am I not enough?” He said. “When will I be enough?”
That girl might as well have saved my health. God put me in that group to go to her home and make me see the truth. I was appalled with myself. Disgusted. But God showed me the way.
We all have struggles. I still struggle from falling back into that, even after seeing her…I don’t know her name. I pray for her, that she is getting better. That she is alive and well. I pray for her family, her sisters. Please pray for her and the people of China who face conditions like this.
I left that home dumbfounded and speechless. When I returned to the states a week later, I was changed and happy. I was alive. I deleted accounts on which I had tracked calories. Threw away pages marked with words. Deleted anything that would lead me to think that way again. I shared my story with people who suspected something was going on. And I still ask for guidance and prayer on days those thoughts try to sneak their way back into my head.
I’ll close with this.
God is working. He is abundant and sovereign and working. He is doing so much right now in our lives as women and He will never leave us to the world. His plan is so evident, it can be difficult to comprehend but luckily we don’t have to. He gives us struggles to make us stronger and we live to tell the tale. Maybe it can help someone else. Maybe our stories are others life-preservers.
This is only a chapter in the on going work of God.
Thank you for reading, I hope this helps someone out there. Please pray for that girl.

July 13, 2015 at 20:45
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Wow. This really hit me. I get insecure, sure we all do, but I never got to the point to where I began harming myself in a sense. There have been times where I’ve thought about but God, one way or another, stopped me. And I am forever grateful. Dear, sister in Christ, I pray that the Lord continues to strengthen you. I pray that God allows you to use this testimony to speak to young women (like ourselves) about how valuable they are. How God is enough. I pray that the Lord blesses you in all that you do. Amen.
You know, I live in China, though I am not Chinese, and this really opened my eyes about where I am living. I know that there are orphans that were cast out because of their disabilities but I don’t pray for them. I was..I am selfish. Thank you for sharing this testimony and opening up my eyes in such a way. I will pray for the girl that you met, as well as pray for you. I pray many blessings over you, my friend! 🙏💚

July 16, 2015 at 00:57


Thank you so much, that is beyond encouraging! I will pray for you as well, your life in China and wherever God brings you. Continue to serve Him! 🙂 God Bless!

July 24, 2015 at 21:11


What a blessed testimony! May God bless you and I’m praying for the disabled both in China and the rest of the world!

August 7, 2015 at 21:37
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