It’s common for those in eating disorder recovery to have a difficult time understanding their true identity. Actually, it’s common for many people, eating disorder or not. At any rate, in Christian eating disorder recovery, you can find your identity in Christ.
We need to be careful not to place our identity in what we think of ourselves or in what others think of us. Those opinions can change, so they do not provide a good foundation for our identity. But what does provide a good foundation?
Try to place your identity in what the Lord thinks of you. In Scripture, there are many things He says about you that are true and that describe who you really are. In the verses below, you are told that you are a friend of Christ, that the Lord knows you so well that He even knows the number of hairs on your head, and that God created you as He has for His purposes.
“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15
“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do.” Eph. 2:10
Another great passage to read is Psalm 139. You may even want to place your name in places where it says “me” or “my” in this passage. Let the truth of God’s Word fill your mind and sink into your heart.
We often place our identity in things like our appearance, our abilities or our relationships. But what happens when these things change? As we age, or as we lose or gain weight, we may see ourselves differently and allow that to change our identity. If our abilities have led us into a good job, what happens if that workplace closes? If we place our identity in our relationships and those relationships go sour in some way, do we let that affect our identity?
The way we look, the things we are able to do, the position we have in the workplace or our involvement in other organizations or groups, or the role that we play in relationships, are not the places we should place our identity. These are external things that can change and that do not really define who we are.
So when things change or go wrong in some way, we are still who we are. We don’t cease to be children of God if we lose our jobs, we don’t lose access to His power if we break off relationships, and God doesn’t cut off His relationship with us in any way if we experience a change in our abilities or appearance.
Try to place your identity in Christ, pray and ask the Lord to help you to see yourself through His eyes, and meditate on Scriptures that define who you really are. Let this be your foundation so that whatever happens in your eating disorder recovery or anything else in your life, you can be assured that none of these external things change who you are in the sight of God.