I’ve heard of people with anorexia but have never really known a friend or someone close to me who has struggled with this disorder. And I guess because of my limited experience with this I’ve never learned anything about it….until this week. I met Kendal just a few weeks ago through blogging. She asked if I’d be willing to read and review her book and I was excited to do so because I was already intrigued by the short video clip on her blog where she is speaking from her book. She didn’t realize I had already been stalking her blog! So I was really looking forward to hearing her whole story. I don’t struggle with anorexia but I am eager to learn about issues that women deal with because as believers we just never know who God might call us to love more closely and minister to. And whether we are walking that specific journey or not, being educated in that area could really help us come along side someone right when they need it. To be able to learn what goes through someone’s head, even though it’s far from your own thoughts, is helpful in knowing how to come one step closer in understanding a person. Many times we lean the other way. We stop in our tracks when we know someone is struggling with depression , homosexuality , infertility , a terminal illness, is suicidal, has an eating disorder, etc. We save that relationship for the “professionals” or those who have walked the same path because after all, what in the world would be ever say to someone like that? And this is where we miss it completely as the Body of Christ. We are afraid of the very ones who need to be loved on in a way that speaks of Jesus without necessarily using words. The awkwardness, the fear, the risk that is involved outweighs the call to love. I think with these heavy and very real issues we must be willing to love even if we can’t completely or even a tiny bit understand what is going on. It’s time we stop judging and making misinformed assumptions about people because of the issues they struggle with. With that said, I’d love for you to hang around for a minute longer and let me tell you briefly about Kendal’s book.
“full” is the name of Kendal’s book and it’s comprised of short poems that describe her journey with anorexia. She walks you through her thoughts and the inner rigorous struggle of her flesh and her spirit. I felt as though I was walking right next to her through this entire book. She shares her openly raw feelings through her three year battle of her ED. She refers to ED throughout the book as the “Eating Disorder” but it had such a hold on her that Ed also becomes almost like a lover, pulling her away from everything else and almost stealing life from her. But God….. I love that statement because you can make a list of the most horrible things that have ever happened to you and as a believer you will see in your story, at some point, the words “but God…” and you will eventually conclude the sentence with a plan He had long ago. Even when you don’t see it just know you have a “but God…” coming soon! Hope is probably a better way of saying it. I’m digressing. I want you to know that this book is not a discouraging or sad book. It will give you insight. It will make you pause and think of your own thought life. I was struck at how much of her battle seemed to start in her mind and with her thoughts. At one point she realizes she might be struggling with an ED so she does some online research. She quickly rules out the possibility of having an ED when she read that one of the symptoms is not having a period. That didn’t describe her so she quickly shut down the research Slowly, over time, she gains freedom from this illness and even mentors a young woman with the same struggle right now. I have a new compassion for those struggling with anorexia. I’m not able to be empathetic because I’ve not walked the path but I know and have read someone’s story who has and I now have a reference point. If you know of someone who is walking the road of an eating disorder this would be a good book for them because it’s written by one who knows. And sometimes you just long to talk to someone or read of someone who really gets the struggle you have. Not everyone is as brave as Kendal to share their story so openly. You can order her book directly from her blog.
A few sites related to eating disorders that Kendal lists in her book are:
May God continue to bless you, Kendal. May He use you to encourage, love and inspire others. I pray a prayer of protection over your mind and thoughts. That you fill it with truth and that the truth will keep you free. I pray your story will spread and reach someone right in the midst of their struggle. That it will give hope. That your story will keep pointing back to Jesus Christ, the bondage breaker, our rescuer, the one who gives us a way out of temptation, and the one who loves us too much to let us stay where we are. This is what I pray for you today, my new friend.