*Greetings and salutations, readers of the Kerux! This blog post does mention eating disorders, so if that is at all triggering to you, it may be wise not to read it. Do what’s best for your well-being. 🙂
If you’ve met me in person, then you might know that I have a singular tattoo on my inner right wrist. It is relatively tiny – about the size of a quarter. If somebody sees it, usually he/she will ask me what the symbol is and/or what it means. I love when people ask me this question, because then I get to tell them what the tattoo is: the symbol of the National Eating Disorders Association. It is also known as a symbol of eating disorder recovery. For me, it also symbolizes my testimony to God’s faithfulness in all of my life, especially in the couple years in which I battled with anorexia.
An eating disorder is a horrific thing, so why would I want a tattoo (something that stays on my skin for the rest of my life) that reminds me of it? An excellent question, friend. The ink does indeed remind me of that part of my life. When I look at it, I remember all the unpleasant things that I went through as I fought this monster in my mind. However, I also remember the good things that happened in the midst of the struggle. I remember the people who cared for me, supported me, and believed in me; I also remember my Lord, who was there with me in the midst of it. When I was battling the eating disorder, my relationship with God had taken a hit, to say the least. I was at my absolute worst; I didn’t want anyone else to see what I was like, most of all God. But He saw it, because He’s God. He knew everything, and that was unnerving for me at first. However, as I progressed in my recovery (which took a significant amount of time), I started to realize that God did not love me any less when I was struggling with anorexia. I came to terms with the reality that His love for me would not change, no matter what happened in my life.
This unchanging love is a huge part of how I came to be at peace with this part of my life. I’m not going to say it was easy, because it wasn’t. Recovery was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, and coming to accept the entire experience was tough for me too. However, I think that the hardest things are the ones that are worth the most in the end (as cliché as it sounds, I do believe there is truth to this).
When I get to talk about my tattoo, I not only get to talk about beating anorexia, but I also get to talk about God’s incredible steadfast love. It is this love that I hope to share with others, not only through my testimony, but through how I live my life as well.
Annika Kolean, an MTS student, a classic rock enthusiast, and an Enneagram 5.