Bulimia and Jesus. For five years those two words were like two magnets that opposed each other. It was either one or the other. I couldn’t have both. They could not exist in the same room together. Jesus could wash the disciples’ feet, but He couldn’t wipe the barf off my face. I had to hide my garbage bag of puke in the presence of Jesus. In my moment of deliverance, that was the lie that was broken. Jesus met me at the well. Jesus met me with my finger down my throat. He did not wait for me to “clean up my act.” Jesus embraced me in my very act of purging.
Satan sought to distort the gospel. He sought to make me think that Jesus comes to those who are worthy, to those who are clean. But He doesn’t. The moment puke was lodged in my throat was the moment of truth. I knew in that moment I was deceived. There was nothing worthy about me. Even if I had “conquered” bulimia on my own, I would have never been worthy. I would have never been enough. I would have never met the standards of perfect holiness. I had been trying to make it as a Christian to the finish line alone. If I could just get the momentum to “stop it,” I could get back with the pack of runners, and ensure my finish. But the momentum never came. The bags of barf, tied to my waist, lined up as far back as my eyes could see. And that is when Jesus met me. He sliced the ties that attached me to my barf bags and tied them around HIS waist. Jesus took my bags upon Himself. And He would run my race. Thank you, Jesus! Dear Readers, Jesus and Bulimia are not strangers. My shame is now my glory. Jesus never hid his face while I purged. I boast in my bulimia, because it shouts that Jesus is powerful! He meets the adulterous woman at the well. He dines with tax-gatherers. He blinds murderers and makes them His greatest instruments. He is Jesus, friend of sinners. He is Jesus, friend of the bulimic.
I had hoped in a motivator other than Jesus. I had hoped in discovering a new set of rules that would promise deliverance. If I could just find a new set of laws to follow, I could find freedom. But simply following a new set of rules never set anyone free. The truth sets free. And the truth I was blinded to was that Jesus gets down in our dirt. He comes to us in our mess. I had stiff-armed him until I had passed a test of my own making. But Jesus had aced that test long ago. In an attempt to make myself worthy, I had left the heart of the gospel, and had become consumed with my own failures and mess.
But when God looked at me, He didn’t see me drowning in my own barf. When God looks at us, He sees Jesus. That is the gospel that I left behind. The joy that I expereicend in the moment of my delierence had not come from a week of purgelessness. My joy had not come from a better performance on my part. It was not based on a week that had “gone better.” Rather it was suddenly the very fact that my self-made-worthiness-rug had just been taken out from under my feet. My joy streamed from the fact that Jesus is worthy. Jesus is wholly and perfectly pleasing to the Father. The joy that filled me in my deliverance was the joy of the gospel, for me, a believer. And Jesus had taken my barf bucket and cast it into the sea. He had taken every single heavy garbage bag of puke upon Himself.
The bags of barf were always heavy, and they should have sunk me lower than the grave. But instead of the grave, God gave me grace. Because Jesus…He is worthy!!! He is the well-pleasing Son!!! Let us rejoice in what He has done!!! The barf stains could never be washed out, no matter what I tried. My robe dripped barf, and its odor never left my nostrils. But in my moment of deliverance I saw that my robe was white. It always had been. For it had been washed in the blood of the Lamb. And that is why I cried tears of joy. No more trying harder. No more trying to prove. No more trying to “just stop it!” God is filled with delight, and He dances with joy over us. Because when He sees us, He sees Jesus.