Romans 8:5-6, 12-15
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again
One thing I have noticed (that is still very hard to do) is getting out of the idea of sticking to “flesh desires”. It’s hard to get out of that. As I read some scripture I have found that we can’t find peace in our lives by simply focusing on worldly possessions. How many times did we think that losing 5 lbs would make us feel better… or buying something new would do the trick. They will come and go. In order to find peace and true meaning, we need to look at the deeper-meaning things in our lives. For everyone, this could be different – for me, it’s my faith.
The eating disorder pulled me far from my faith. My focus was on the flesh. My focus went from pleasing God to pleasing people around me. In that struggle, I thought I was also pleasing myself, but there was no peace to be found.
As I walk the path of recovery, and really have to face everything head-on, and have some of the biggest trials I’ll ever face, I’m finding that grounding myself in faith is all that can carry me. I have found that there seem to be phases in recovery (I’m sure this might be true for any healing). There is a point where you can do the “grunt work” for a while because you have nothing left to do but trust the professionals (obviously my way wasn’t working). Once you reach a certain point, you regroup and then go at it again – all the while making and seeing progress. In eating disorder recovery, once you get yourself to the “healthy” point and the attempt to maintain it, that is where the tough work begins. It’s truly difficult to move away from old habits and trust that things will be okay. Whether we want to admit it or not, people in eating disorder recovery really have trust issues – and that complicates things.
Whether you have faith or not, isn’t the point of this post. Many people have different beliefs and may have different Gods, but one thing many of us all have in common is the thought of a higher purpose. I think we want to believe that there is a purpose to our life and that there is a higher power in control. If there were no purpose to this, then what are we doing? How many times have people asked, “What’s the meaning of life?” If only WE were in complete control of our lives, how difficult would it be to make every decision?
There is comfort in knowing that there is meaning to what is happening and what I’m going through. All of this will be worth something some day. Truthfully, faith is all that we have to keep going sometimes. Faith in that the hard work will pay off. This is so true for sports. We put our faith in programs and coaches to lead us in the right direction with hopes that the many hours of work and pain will be worth it in the end – the championship; the sense of accomplishment. There is a larger meaning in what we are doing as we work out and practice endlessly.
For so long, so much of my focus has been on the flesh. It’s been on the physical limits of the world. I have worked to make things happen and I will confirm that it has done very little for me. The world has not provided at either end of my scale. I have found that when I step back and examine my life on a higher level, I can find more meaning – and in learning from what I’ve been through. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and it might be a while before we understand the reason behind it, but I truly think it all has a purpose. Without some type of faith in events, it’s hard to find peace.
As I’ve increased my faith I have found that it is much easier to accomplish difficult tasks. When you are in a perpetual state of uncomfortableness, there HAS to be something to ground you. For all of us, that can be a very different thing, but I have found comfort in knowing and trusting that everything will work out if I just believe. Faith of any type is a way of thinking. It’s having a positive frame in your mind knowing that there is always better. So, it really doesn’t matter where faith comes from, as long as it comes… because truthfully, what is a life without peace?