I was so thankful my mom was able to arrive at Fort Bragg, NC just a couple days before I gave birth to Haddie. Though I had never brought up the topic of bulimia with my mom directly, I knew she knew, and I was ready and waiting for a good time to talk to her. I had no hope this time around that this birth would bring about my desired change. I knew I needed help. Within 24 hours of my mom’s arrival, we were in the hospital.
Pain like I had never known before was eclipsed by the words, “It’s a girl!” As I held my little girl, I wondered why God chose to give us another girl – girls that I prayed would never go down the paths I had. How could I keep them safe? How could I teach them to treasure Jesus? How could I make the idols of this world appear deaf and dumb? And how could I do this when my own life was preaching something different?
Right before my mom left to go back to Illinois, we were sitting in the living room. As she was smiling at her newest granddaughter, I took a deep breath and went for it.
“I don’t know what to do … I can’t stop.” That was all I had to say.
I remember the mixture of pain and relief that crossed my mom’s face – pain for my suffering and relief that I had spoken. I too was relieved and yet scared that this somehow meant I had failed as a Christian. Jeff’s deployment to Iraq was four months away, and I would be moving back near my mom and dad. She said she would love to find someone who could help me (counseling), and she would love to watch the girls during the sessions.
And so, while Jeff and I sought to enjoy our remaining four months together, my mom arranged things with a counselor, and I felt like help was on its way. Maybe, once helped, I could slip back unnoticed into being a “good” Christian. Maybe, after I was all fixed, Jesus and I could pick up where we left off last. Maybe it was all just a bad dream, and once this issue was taken care of, I would have what I had before with Jesus. But God’s purpose was never to take me back to where I was before bulimia. What He was getting me ready for was a vision of Himself that far surpassed anything I had before. Haddie’s birth story held the contrasts of going from the most excruciating pain of childbirth to the highest heights of bursting joy. That was a picture of what lay ahead. I had struggled, wrestled, and gnawed at my bulimic chain on my own for long enough. I tried bringing Jesus into an equation of my own making, and that having “failed,” I was now ready for someone else to help me. Ashamed and embarrassed, I thought it was without Jesus this time, but my freedom was never more so bound up in Him. Jesus was not interested in helping me get better; He wanted to save me. He wanted to save me from myself, and what I thought I had to offer. He is in the business of saving people who have nothing to give and nothing to prove. Jesus was faithfully bringing me to the end of my “just stop it” and “just try harder” mentality. Like Lucy (from the Chronicles of Narnia), groping in the darkness, certain she would find the back of the wardrobe, I thought I knew what the end would look like, the end of my bulimic story (that is, if the counselor stuff worked). It was something as normal and regular as the back of a wardrobe. But that was not the story He was writing. For a little while longer, I found myself heading further into the darkness, but soon, I would step deeper into a world of grace, kindness, and mercy that I never would have, had I not gone through the darkness.
10 thoughts on “Aubrey’s Story #13: Bulimia and Haddie’s Birth”
Aubrey, I was finally able to sit and read all 13 posts today, and I found them beautifully written. “He delights to burst His light into our darkness!” Though my own issues were/are different, there are so many elements of your faith struggle that are familiar to me. What you have shared of the lessons you have learned about God and his grace are important reminders to all believers. I am so thankful for your transparency. I know your writing will illuminate a path to deliverance in Christ for so many. (I love, too, your Fitness Philosophy!)
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You have blessed me so much by sharing this, Michelle! Thank you. My heart longs to keep sharing the grace He showed me at every point along the way!
Aubrey, I have been following all 13 of your stories and find your humble transparency so encouraging and glorifying to God! I never knew this about you when we knew each other back during TSCS days, and I must confess, that while you were struggling with this, I was struggling with my own inner thought life of jealousy over people my age that were married–and I am ashamed to say, this included you. You were nothing but kind to me (and your whole family!) and I struggled so much not to listen to Satan’s lies telling me that you had things so easy because you were married and settled. I feel as though I threw away what could have been a more deeper and beautiful friendship because I listened to those lies. I ask for your forgiveness. I don’t know what I would have done my first year at TSCS without knowing your loving and welcoming family. Now we are both married with children (your last two I believe almost the exact same age as mine) and I wish we lived closer so we could pick back up our friendship. Thank you for sharing your story…. much love from your sister in Christ ❤
Carole! This has brought tears to me eyes! How thankful I was for you and your beautiful bright smile throughout our teaching years together! You ask my forgiveness…and a thousand times, yes..but I ask yours as well! There are so many friends I want to ask forgiveness from, knowing my struggles had impacted them without them ever knowing it had direct ties to my bulimia. Reading this has brought me such joy, and I too wish we could get together! Thank you for reading this story, Carole! I am excited to share the rest of His goodness! Much Love!!!
You didn’t even have to ask, but of course I forgive you!
On a completely unrelated note–I believe your Hudson was born one day before Mariam. I say we match them up in about 20 years 😉
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Aubrey, I hope God opens up a way for you to put all these posts into a book. Honestly, it is a beautiful love story of Jesus calling to you. Though you suffered for many years He drew you along, always close to Him, knowing you would find Him and His forgiveness and victory! Thank you so much for sharing your story with the world. I love you so much. Love Bethany
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This means so much to me!!! Thank you for your sweet encouragement. My heart starts beating faster every time I think about sharing each deeper revelation of His grace and love. Thank you for reading it. You have blessed me so much! Love you!
Thank you for your transparency and sharing. I know that it is touch many others besides me. I feel that as believers it is very important for us to share that it doesn’t mean we are perfect. Far from! WE struggle too!
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Thank you for sharing this, Mandie! So thankful that God uses our struggle to point us to Him!!!