Participants: Jennifer Jill Schwirzer (Host), Christina Ceccoto, Paul Coneff, Shelley Wiggins, Elise Harboldt
Series Code: MOC
Program Code: MOC000018A
00:26 Welcome to A Multitude of Counselors
00:29 where we tell our stories
00:31 because the last chapter is healing.
00:32 We're going to be talking today about: Beyond Bulimia.
00:37 Bulimia is an eating disorder
00:39 characterized by undue focus on weight and food
00:42 and bingeing... purging behaviors
00:44 which includes self-induced vomiting,
00:46 laxatives and exercise.
00:48 Prevalence is...
00:50 across the US... about 1.5 percent of women
00:53 and 0.5 percent of men have bulimia.
00:56 There is no isolated cause to this illness
00:59 but I think, the media has a lot to do with it
01:01 because we see a couple of things happening
01:04 in the media more and more,
01:05 one is that the ideal of beauty is far thinner than the average
01:09 and the real woman is heavy... is getting heavier
01:13 as the ideal of beauty is getting thinner and thinner.
01:16 We also hear a message in the media often
01:19 about hyper-palatable foods or, what we call, junk foods
01:23 and how wonderful they are
01:25 and so we're just bombarded with these conflicting messages
01:28 and it sets up a lot of stress in women's minds.
01:31 The prognosis is that it is a serious illness...
01:35 suicide is higher among people with bulimia.
01:39 Early aggressive intervention
01:41 is the best way to approach this illness
01:43 and there is much more positive outcome
01:45 if it's done early on in the game.
01:48 Bulimia responds to both talk therapy
01:52 and antidepressant therapy.
01:53 We find that people with bulimia are what we call, "ego-dystonic"
01:58 the illness is dissonant to their self...
02:00 they don't like having the illness...
02:03 they feel ashamed of it... they're embarrassed of it
02:05 whereas anorexia which is another eating disorder
02:08 is an "ego-syntonic" disorder
02:10 meaning it is in sync with the ego...
02:12 in fact, people with anorexia
02:15 are often happy that they have it... strangely enough,
02:18 so, as a result, people with bulimia often have mood issues,
02:22 they're depressed about it
02:23 and anti-depressants can sometimes lift the mood
02:26 and give them enough impetus to get out of the cycle
02:29 but then, there's always God
02:31 and what He can do in our experience
02:33 and we have an amazing story today
02:35 from my dear friend, Elise Harboldt,
02:37 she's going to be sharing with us today, her story...
02:41 and I want to introduce her, she's a freelance writer...
02:44 creative... what do you call yourself?
02:47 I'm a Communicator.
02:48 Okay, she's a Communicator and currently you live in Oregon...
02:52 part time in California, part time?
02:54 Elise: Little bit...
02:55 Jennifer: Yeah, she's creative in the way she lives too
02:58 because she moves around a lot
03:00 and does a lot of interesting things.
03:01 We're so thankful you're here,
03:03 I'm just grateful you're willing to come and share your story.
03:05 We also have our Licensed Professional Counselor,
03:08 Shelly Wiggins from Michigan,
03:11 Marriage and Family Therapist, Paul Coneff from Texas,
03:15 Professional Counselor Christina Cecotto from Georgia.
03:19 So glad each one of you is here as well.
03:21 So, Elise, let's start with your story,
03:24 when did it all start?
03:26 Sure, so, I think...
03:28 I like to think of it starting in the womb
03:31 because it says in Psalm 139
03:34 that God knit us together in our mothers' wombs
03:36 and that we're fearfully and wonderfully made
03:39 but because we're not aware of that,
03:42 we run into different stories
03:45 where that's not part of the way
03:47 that we're thinking and living our lives
03:49 so, the real problem started when I was about 12,
03:52 I was... I moved a lot growing up
03:58 and definitely had family that cared about me
04:00 but I did not feel like normal and accepted
04:03 and just like... as part of the peer group,
04:06 and so, I became convinced which was really easy to do
04:11 as a young woman, that if I was...
04:14 if I had the perfect body...
04:15 then I would be loved and accepted
04:17 it was like this "easy fix" to just wanting to be okay.
04:23 So, I started...
04:24 my journey started actually with anorexia, not bulimia.
04:28 I was restricting at 12 and 13...
04:31 and I had been relatively thin to begin with
04:35 and it quickly spiraled into
04:38 just something really out of control.
04:40 I was hospitalized a couple of times,
04:42 this is a picture right before I went into the hospital
04:47 with my grandparents and... like you said...
04:52 there's a... just... almost a euphoria
04:56 and an excitement about having this illness
04:59 because, the belief is that there's a goal inside
05:03 and that there's love in that goal,
05:05 so, I was very resistant to getting help
05:10 and getting treatment
05:11 because I felt like that was just being... you know...
05:13 like, taken away from me...
05:15 where this is, like, clearly the solution to my problem
05:18 and I worked so hard towards that,
05:22 so I was just very resistant
05:25 and the next picture is taken from my art journal
05:29 when I was in the hospital
05:30 and I think it really speaks to
05:33 the way that the enemy gets into our minds
05:37 I wrote... this is a picture of me
05:39 and I said, "Will somebody please give this girl freedom?"
05:43 But by freedom, I didn't mean freedom from being sick,
05:46 I meant freedom to be as thin as I wanted to be
05:51 where, now I look back and I'm like...
05:54 "Oh my goodness, I'm just so grateful to be free
05:57 but I'm not free in the way that I thought... "
06:00 It just crushes me inside to see that picture...
06:03 don't you just... oh... when I see you
06:06 and I know you so well and I love you and care about you
06:08 and I just see you and want to just... like a wounded bird...
06:11 how did you get out of it, what happened?
06:15 Well, I had the opportunity to go to academy
06:19 and I had to make a decision,
06:20 "Do I want to be skinny?" or "Do I want to go to school?"
06:22 Because they said,
06:23 "You have to weigh 115 pounds in order to go to academy. "
06:27 And I thought long and hard about it,
06:28 and I just really believe God gave me that grace
06:31 to decide that I wanted to go
06:32 but I still thought in my mind,
06:34 "Well, as soon as I'm 18... I'm just going to lose the weight. "
06:37 While I was in Academy, the Dean there, J.P. Mathis,
06:41 was such a special lady and she was teaching NEWSTART
06:46 for part of the chapels,
06:47 so every week we'll learn about nutrition, exercise, water...
06:52 all the different health habits
06:53 and I remember... that was really the first time
06:55 I'd see the big view of the health message
06:58 and I thought, "Whoa, God has a health plan for me
07:01 and He probably...
07:03 that probably doesn't include an eating disorder... "
07:06 so that's where I had to make a...
07:09 I had to struggle because it was like this conviction
07:12 that, you know,
07:15 that part of my identity wasn't part of God's plan
07:18 and so, even though I had already
07:20 kind of recovered weightwise...
07:22 that's when I made the decision, like, "I'm going to recover"
07:26 because it's my decision
07:28 and not because somebody is forcing me to. "
07:29 Jennifer: And isn't this what they...
07:31 Shelly, isn't that the way they treat...
07:32 particularly anorexia, they get your weight up,
07:35 they don't even try to work with the cognitive stuff until...
07:37 Shelly: The re-feeding process has to take place
07:39 in order to deal with the depression
07:41 because normally, they're co-existing morbidly
07:45 so if you can't get a person re-fed...
07:48 then their brain isn't going to be working
07:50 to make the cognitive decision to say,
07:53 "Yeah, I'm going to embrace life I'm going to choose life,
07:55 I'm going to embrace my spirituality
07:57 and invite Jesus in to this process... "
07:59 so, first things first, we got to re-feed...
08:02 Jennifer: The brain is a physical organ,
08:03 it has to be nourished to function,
08:05 and so, "Talk Therapy" at that point
08:06 is going to be useless, so,
08:08 that's kind of how it worked out for you
08:10 because you get back your strength
08:11 and then, a little ways down the road, you realize...
08:13 you see this vision of health and you decide to embrace it.
08:16 Right, and yet, it can be really challenging
08:19 because if... like I remember as I was getting better,
08:24 people... I mean...
08:25 just not getting better... but gaining weight, people said:
08:27 "Oh, you look so much better, you look so healthy... "
08:28 well, that to me, that just means, "You're fat"
08:30 and so, we need to be careful
08:32 to not view a healthy weight as health...
08:36 because there are many people that are at a healthy weight
08:38 that have an eating disorder.
08:40 Jennifer: Hmmm... hmmm... that's right.
08:41 Paul: Because they're hearing our words...
08:44 we're trying to affirm them, "Be positive... "
08:46 but they're hearing the words...
08:48 our words... through their filter...
08:49 through their negative thought patterns
08:51 and negative identities.
08:52 Christina: Through their cognitive distortions.
08:53 Elise: Yeah, right.
08:55 Jennifer: And through the false standard
08:56 that you're laboring under,
08:57 which is, you have to be "stick-thin"
08:59 and basically be underfed and you're...
09:00 if that's your standard, someone says,
09:02 "Oh, you look great, you put on some weight... "
09:03 it sounds like you failed that standard, so...
09:05 Elise: Yeah... yeah... Jennifer: Wow!
09:07 Shelly: Do you ever remember praying a prayer
09:09 "God give me the eyes to see myself, the way you see me... "
09:15 to be able to get that cognitive distortion turned around.
09:21 Elise: More recently, when I was anorexic,
09:26 I so identified with that
09:31 and so believed that that was my ticket to being loved,
09:35 that I actually stopped praying and I stopped singing
09:39 and I was like...
09:40 "Well, I'm not allowed to be happy if I'm fat... "
09:44 like, "I'm not allowed to be enjoying myself... "
09:47 it made me feel like I was better at being sick
09:50 if I could, like, punish myself by not doing it
09:53 and I remember, one time, something really funny happened
09:55 and I laughed... and that was like,
09:57 "Oooooh... " like, feeling guilty for laughing...
10:00 Jennifer: For laughing...?
10:01 Elise: At that time, no, but more recently...
10:03 and we're going to talk a little bit later about...
10:05 like the "body-image healing"
10:07 which very much has been separate
10:08 from the actual recovery of weight.
10:10 Jennifer: So you went from anorexia
10:12 to somewhere down the road... got into bulimia.
10:14 Elise: Yeah... right... well, before...
10:17 before I talk about that, I just want to share something
10:19 that I think was a "God thing"
10:21 so when you invited me to be on the Program,
10:25 and I was reading the list of all you guys,
10:27 I was like, "Oh...!"
10:29 I was excited because I knew all of you in some capacity
10:32 and you've all been a blessing to me
10:34 but Christina actually was part of my story of anorexia.
10:37 We were very close friends during that time
10:43 and I've got a picture of us together
10:45 when we were like, 12, I think,
10:47 so Christina watched that whole thing happen
10:51 well, part of what happened was, I was very isolated
10:54 and really just shut people out of my life,
10:58 I was so sick that I wasn't aware
11:01 of how it impacted everybody else
11:03 and I realized, when I saw her name I was like,
11:06 "Whoa, we never really talked about everything. "
11:10 Jennifer: Let me just insert something really quickly here,
11:11 I had no idea that you too even knew each other
11:14 when I was setting up these programs
11:16 and I just randomly put you with her
11:18 and then this whole thing unfolded.
11:20 Elise: Yeah, and so I thought,
11:23 Man! I don't think we ever talked about that
11:26 and I think we were able to talk before... and just I was able...
11:29 I was just praying like,
11:31 "Lord, what should I... what should I do here?"
11:35 And I had been praying, a couple of months before,
11:37 like, "Please make me aware of the people that I've hurt... "
11:39 because I know there are people that...
11:41 we all hurt people unaware and we have blind spots
11:44 and so, I felt like I should ask Christina like,
11:47 "What was that experience for you?"
11:49 and, you know, I was just really grateful that she could share
11:53 and I realized, "Wow! I've hurt other people
11:56 and they didn't know why I distanced myself whatever... "
11:59 and she was super gracious and being understanding
12:02 but I think it's... one of the beautiful things
12:04 about sharing our stories is that God brings further healing
12:09 just in the process.
12:10 So, what was... tell us from your angle...
12:13 all of a sudden, you see her name on the Program
12:16 with you in the Program.
12:18 Well, it was definitely a shock and it was...
12:21 when I heard that she wanted to speak with me
12:25 before we even considered doing the show,
12:28 that was definitely scary...
12:30 but I'm very grateful to have that opportunity
12:34 because it allowed me to understand
12:36 that what had happened wasn't my fault...
12:38 it was actually something I had lived with
12:40 and thought that it was my fault...
12:42 what happened to Elise and so, to hear more about...
12:45 the intricacy... the intricacies of what had happened helped.
12:50 Jennifer: It's so cool how God literally validated
12:54 what we're saying here on this Program
12:56 by letting... just orchestrating this whole thing
13:00 so then, kind of moved into bulimia mode, what...
13:03 talk to us about that.
13:05 Right, so, I had strong recovery for five or six years
13:10 after anorexia and then I was in college,
13:13 I went through a really intense time with...
13:16 very dark picture of God, very performance based...
13:19 very legalistic... and I kind of cracked under the pressure
13:25 of trying to be perfect,
13:27 and that's when I developed bulimia
13:29 so, I don't do anything halfway
13:32 and that applies to bulimia too...
13:36 I quickly started having really out-of-control binge eating,
13:40 I would eat just 1,000s and 1,000s of calories at a time
13:43 and then vomit...
13:45 and... whereas anorexia was kind of like...
13:49 like you said at the beginning, you're proud of it...
13:52 even though I was... it's so messed up,
13:55 bulimia was more... just a lot of shame
13:57 and I had kind of like double and triple layers of shame
14:04 because I... I had gone to a Bible college
14:06 and I was... figuring out... considering myself a missionary
14:10 and I'm doing outreach and I knew the health message
14:14 so it was like, "What is wrong with me
14:15 that I can be acting out
14:17 when I had all this information. "
14:18 Jennifer: With the shame and the triggers,
14:22 were there certain environmental triggers
14:25 that made you feel more... like you said...
14:29 made you drift over to legalism
14:30 or, was it just, from within yourself?
14:33 Or was it both?
14:34 Elise: Yes, yeah, it was definitely both,
14:36 like, I... I had been
14:39 learning a lot about standards and the right way to live,
14:43 really awesome things that I can celebrate when I...
14:48 understand them in the right context
14:49 but I just had tremendous pressure on myself
14:52 to... like, be the perfect student
14:54 and to manage my emotions perfectly
14:56 like, I was going through a breakup and I thought,
14:58 "Well, because I feel like
15:00 God lead me away from this person,
15:01 I'm not allowed to be sad"
15:03 and so, I have to be happy all the time
15:05 and I have to exercise every day and just like
15:09 trying to be perfect and I kind of cracked
15:13 because I didn't feel a sense of love and acceptance
15:15 so, the bulimia was not an attempt to find love
15:20 but just giving up on the fact that I was able to find love
15:24 within Christianity
15:25 because I just couldn't keep up with, like, trying to perform.
15:28 Jennifer: So there seems to me
15:30 like there are two different kinds of eating disorders,
15:32 one is more spiritual...
15:33 sounds like you've got elements of that...
15:35 like, people just want to be righteous... kind of thing...
15:37 and then there's the body-oriented one
15:39 where you're very oriented towards seeing your body
15:42 and comparing it to standards and fashion,
15:44 did you kind of have both going on or...?
15:46 I mean, definitely through both eating disorders
15:50 there were the body-image issues
15:52 but I think they were also both very much driven
15:58 by spiritual and emotional needs,
16:01 so, I wanted to share a story that...
16:04 it just kind of highlights,
16:06 I think, the way that God reaches out to us
16:08 when we're in that place of darkness.
16:09 There's a picture here of my adopted grandma, Rita,
16:14 and she... really sweet lady who kind of adopted me
16:19 when I was in college
16:20 and I started binge eating at her house
16:23 and I would like, eat her food
16:25 and then I would go to the grocery store
16:27 and I'm trying to replace it
16:29 and I was just so ashamed about the whole thing
16:30 and I remember, one day, she was like,
16:33 "Is there a mouse in my kitchen?"
16:35 I was like... so embarrassed...
16:36 and I told her what was going on
16:38 and she said, "Sweetheart, are you eating regular meals,
16:43 are you sitting with people?"
16:45 and I just remember being like, so surprised
16:50 because I was coming at it from this angle of like,
16:53 "I'm bad... I'm doing the wrong thing... "
16:56 and she was just like, "Are you okay?"
16:59 Jennifer: You're not taking good enough care of yourself.
17:01 Elise: Right...
17:02 Jennifer: Like, you're not being good enough to yourself,
17:03 instead of needing to punish yourself,
17:05 you needed to be good to yourself.
17:06 Elise: Right, and usually, I think,
17:08 a lot of times when we're caught up in patterns of sin
17:10 and brokenness... like...
17:11 we think about it from this angle of
17:13 we think we're so sure about how God feels about us
17:16 and we're just so messed up
17:17 when He is coming at it from a different angle, like,
17:19 "I want them to be okay. "
17:21 I listened to a TED Talk recently called,
17:24 where "Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong. "
17:27 and in the closing statement...
17:29 Jennifer: For Love, care... for addiction...
17:30 Elise: Yeah, and I don't remember everything
17:32 they talked about but there were some beautiful points
17:33 and in the closing sentence, he said,
17:35 "For a hundred years we've been singing
17:36 war songs about addicts,
17:38 when really we should be singing them love songs... "
17:41 and it reminded me... because I still remember
17:44 there were like two times when I was purging
17:47 where I felt like... so ashamed and so sinful and just...
17:54 I'm like, "God must be so upset... "
17:56 where I had this distinct impression of Him
17:59 singing over me,
18:00 and like, these two moments of other songs... one said,
18:05 "When you're here, lowest of lows...
18:07 I want you to know,
18:08 I think more of you than what you could yourself... "
18:11 and just being just so caught off-guard
18:13 like, because that cycle of shame
18:17 that drives eating disorders and drives many addictions
18:20 is that... it just perpetuates the problem
18:23 and it's not from God.
18:24 All: Hmmm... hmmm... Jenny: Powerful...
18:26 Didn't you recently write a blog about shame?
18:30 Do you want to talk about that
18:32 or do you have more to say before we get to that point?
18:34 Sure, I would love to talk about that...
18:36 can we talk about body image?
18:38 Jennifer: Yes, let's talk about body image, yeah.
18:39 Elise: Okay, so, again, when I was asked to be on the Program,
18:44 I started thinking about,
18:45 "Well, I still have a lot of body insecurities... "
18:48 I mean, I still do...
18:49 but I think some... I always just like, thought,
18:52 "Well, I'm in God's work and it's not slowing me down
18:55 so, you know, just keep going
18:56 and if you feel bad about your body or whatever... "
18:58 and I thought,
18:59 "Well, maybe if God wants some more healing here... "
19:01 just in the last couple of months...
19:02 so I started praying about, like,
19:04 finding new ways to think about my body,
19:07 because I... you know...
19:09 everyone has insecurities about their bodies, like,
19:14 I'm pear-shaped and so there's some parts of my body
19:17 that I feel great about
19:19 and then there are others I don't feel so great about
19:21 and so, it was just kind of funny, like
19:24 God gave me a couple of different tools for body image
19:27 and I want to share because
19:28 probably more people can relate to that
19:30 than having an eating disorder,
19:32 so I realize, when I look in the mirror,
19:34 I automatically look at what I don't like,
19:37 and then I start to feel, like, shame about it
19:40 or just this negative self-talk so, I was like,
19:43 "I have to have a plan for what I'm missing instead. "
19:45 so, instead I started saying, like,
19:48 "Thank you God that I'm fearfully and wonderfully made,
19:51 like, I'm zooming out from this body part that isn't my favorite
19:54 and like, thinking that I have a body
19:56 and it's healthy and strong and it climbs mountains and...
20:01 thank you that I have thighs because if I didn't... like...
20:04 they connect my leg to the rest of my body...
20:07 it's this utilitarian thing... "
20:09 Jennifer: And if you had stick-thin thighs,
20:11 you'd have a lot harder time getting up those mountains.
20:14 Elise: Right, right, and then...
20:15 I was praying about... because I have this thing
20:18 where when I sit... you know, when you sit down...
20:20 you're legs squash down... so they feel bigger,
20:23 and I just... you have gotten used to, like,
20:26 "Yeah, when I sit down, I don't feel good about myself"
20:28 I was like, "that is so lame...
20:30 am I going to go the rest of my life, like, feeling insecure
20:33 when I sit down, of course, my legs are going to be bigger"
20:36 so, I was like, "God, how do I think about this?"
20:37 and then I thought...
20:39 it's because of gravity that my thigh is squishing down,
20:42 right, so I'm like, "Thank you, Jesus, for gravity,"
20:45 it's like, if my thighs weren't squishing down,
20:47 we wouldn't be able to have this interview,
20:49 like, we would just be floating around out there...
20:52 right, and so, I love how God can make
20:55 something that feels so broken and shameful, like, actually,
20:58 just bring it into the light and like,
21:00 there can be humor and we can talk about it
21:03 and that doesn't mean that...
21:04 that's not my favorite part of my body
21:06 but it takes away some of the power.
21:08 Jennifer: Hmmm... amen... that's so... thankful for that.
21:11 Christina: Praise has really been a way of coping with this,
21:14 praising God for what you do like
21:16 as opposed to focusing on what you don't like.
21:19 Jennifer: And even praising God for what you don't like
21:21 and reframing it... looking at it through a different lens.
21:23 you know like,
21:24 "I'd be floating around if it wasn't for those thighs
21:27 that I think I don't like... "
21:29 that's great reframing, I think,
21:30 because you're looking at it from a different angle.
21:32 Elise: Yeah, and I... I...
21:34 something about being on national television
21:36 is motivating so... hopefully this work will continue
21:39 because I certainly don't feel like an expert.
21:41 Shelly: I have a question about the treatment that you got
21:44 when you had to go in-patient...
21:45 just from my experience of working with
21:48 eating-disorders clients,
21:50 I've learned that there's like seven tenets or a team approach,
21:58 what was a part of your team?
22:00 Because, obviously, "faith" played a huge part in it
22:02 which helps our thoughts and our cognitions incredibly...
22:06 research has shown that that's a huge part of it
22:09 if it's incorporated... not just in secular therapy
22:12 but bringing "faith" into it,
22:15 but what were the other tenets that were in your team?
22:18 Elise: I don't think I had an ideal situation,
22:22 I did counseling and saw a dietitian briefly
22:25 and then I... because my weight was stabilized
22:29 and I was in school it just stopped
22:30 but definitely having a team approach is really important...
22:34 and I think eating-disorder recovery
22:38 has come a really long way, like, one of the doctors I had
22:40 first time, he was like,
22:42 "You don't love God and you don't love your family...
22:44 or else you wouldn't be doing this... so... "
22:46 Jennifer: Oh great... more shame...
22:47 Elise: Yeah, and back to the shame thing...
22:49 I feel like... a common thread in anorexia and bulimia
22:54 and many other things we struggle with, is shame...
22:58 and recently I was able to share a message on "shame"
23:01 and if anyone wants to hear it, it's called:
23:03 "When Jesus put shame to shame... "
23:05 so you can just Google it,
23:06 but what the Lord really impressed me was
23:08 we have two types of shame we deal with as humans,
23:12 "silly shame and sinful shame"
23:15 so "silly shame" is like, the things we feel insecure about,
23:19 my thighs or my position or my salary...
23:23 or things we know shouldn't matter
23:25 but we still feel a lot of shame over it,
23:27 and then "sinful shame" is like,
23:29 the shame that results from our sins
23:31 and knowing that we're broken
23:33 and God made me think about, it's Hebrews... something...
23:38 "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith... "
23:42 it says, "who for the joy set before him... "
23:45 okay, so the "joy set before Him... "
23:47 that's the solution to the "silly shame," right,
23:50 because all these... all these things we have to do to...
23:53 the things we have to do to build an identity...
23:55 we're forgetting that we're His joy...
23:59 no matter what we look like or no matter how we perform...
24:01 we're His joy...
24:03 and then it says, "He endured the cross,
24:05 despising the shame... "
24:07 and that really speaks to the "sinful shame"
24:11 because He... in taking our shame on Himself...
24:15 Jesus said, in this really beautiful way...
24:19 He would rather put Himself to shame than put us to shame,
24:24 so the way He wants to relate to us
24:26 in our "every form of shame"
24:29 is just the most loving,
24:31 beautiful way we could ever imagine...
24:33 kind of like the way that Rita spoke to me.
24:36 Jennifer: You're the story of freedom, I love it.
24:39 Paul: You know as you're thinking about
24:40 God's brought you out of anorexia
24:42 which is a very deadly disease,
24:43 I think, Jennifer, you said, one out of ten...
24:45 Jennifer: One out of ten die,
24:47 it's the most terminal of psychological disorders.
24:49 Paul: Yeah, and then He's brought you out of bulimia...
24:52 so you're really a walking miracle...
24:54 in the fact that He's restored you
24:55 and I'm just curious, with that...
24:58 and teaching you how to praise Him
25:00 and to reframe things,
25:01 how do you see this flowing out,
25:02 what difference has that made
25:04 for the healing that God's brought you
25:05 you're still in a journey... we're all still in a journey...
25:07 and I'm just wondering,
25:09 "How has that made a difference in your life...
25:10 that you're really a walking miracle for Him?
25:13 Elise: Hmmm... I think it's good to remember
25:16 because I used to watch "Testimony Shows"
25:18 and I'm like, "And now that person has everything together"
25:20 and then, you get asked to be on a Program
25:23 and you're like, "Oh, but I'm not one of those people
25:25 that has everything together... "
25:26 Jennifer: We really want to clarify, on this Program,
25:29 that that's not what we're saying here,
25:30 we're saying, "You're on the road...
25:32 but everybody is a work in progress. "
25:34 Elise: Still, I think, to put it in a nutshell,
25:37 one of my favorite quotes says,
25:39 "The glory of God is man fully alive... "
25:43 and I have seen and felt and experienced
25:47 like, the thief coming to steal and kill and destroy me
25:50 and yet God infusing me with... with life
25:54 and helping me be more fully alive
25:56 so I believe His goal for me
25:58 is to make me feel more fully alive
26:00 and so when I'm struggling with other things, which I am...
26:03 and do... just being able to come back to that framework
26:06 is like, "I can trust Him... "
26:08 like, it's a work of healing
26:09 and that that freedom that I want... it comes from Him.
26:13 Jennifer: Amen...
26:14 Paul: You can go back to that track record
26:15 of remembering what He's been doing for you.
26:17 Elise: Yeah.
26:18 Jennifer: Wow! Love that.
26:20 Well, any closing words, we have, maybe, 30 seconds...
26:23 what would you say to someone who's struggling with shame
26:27 and the various manifestations?
26:29 Paul: Self-harm and... Jennifer: Yeah...
26:31 Elise: I think... for me... just like
26:35 imagine yourself being hugged in the brokenness...
26:40 imagine the most beautiful song being sung over you
26:46 and just knowing that we have that kind of God
26:49 that His love is so unconditional
26:53 and so... all encompassing...
26:56 and being able to... to know and feel that
26:59 is really the only thing that can help.
27:02 Christina: So finding security in His love,
27:05 that's what you're saying.
27:06 Shelly: Praise God. Christina: Amen.
27:08 Jennifer: Amen... Christina: Praise God.
27:10 Jennifer: You know, we are just all so incredibly broken,
27:13 every single one of us
27:14 and yet, in the depths of our shame,
27:17 God rejoices over us with singing...
27:19 not in some sadistic way but because He sees the future
27:22 and He sees the path out of that shame
27:25 and He knows His ability to restore us
27:27 and He also knows that He will restore us
27:30 and so, if you're someone
27:31 who has struggled with eating disorders,
27:33 if you're someone who's struggled with
27:34 one of the various manifestations of shame,
27:37 we want you to know that it's not over yet
27:39 and that God... you're story continues
27:41 and that the God of heaven is looking down on you and saying,
27:45 "I see the potential here,
27:47 I see this person complete in Christ,
27:49 even though, right now, they're in a broken state,
27:51 I can see them complete in Christ... "
27:52 and He bids us to allow Him fully into our lives
27:56 so that we can experience that healing day by day...
27:59 moment by moment...