Hi, my name is Kristen. I am a grateful believer in Christ in recovery for bulimia, overachieving, and perfectionism.
Life was crazy, chaotic, and unsteady for me growing up. I was an awkward, nerdy, athletic kid, and I just wante to fit in somewhere. Because of several experiences, I came to believe the lies that I would never be good enough and that I was to blame for everything that went wrong. I thought that the best way to cope was to choose (or force myself) to always be happy on the outside, no matter what. So I started putting on masks. However, inside I started pretending and living in a fantasy life to cope.
This way of coping eventually paved the way for me to start struggling with an addiction that was pretty easy for me to hide…bulimia. My life was marked by insecurity, performance, people-pleasing, and the striving for perfection. I convinced myself that this was something that was only hurting me and that I could control it.
I finally came to a point where I realized my eating disorder was controlling me, so I started getting help. While attending Celebrate Recovery, I gave my life to Christ and gained real freedom and recovery, not only from the bulimia, but I started getting freedom from the perfectionism. I learned what it meant to trust and believe Jesus, that recovery wasn’t about perfection, and I learned how to receive grace from Jesus.
I started recovery for my bulimia – but stayed for codependency. Especially these last two years, I am learning what it means to set up healthy boundaries with my family and those I interact with. My identity isn’t in what people think of me or how “needed” I am by others, but in Christ. He continues to bring me to the first scripture I ever memorized, Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
Today, I am a leader at Celebrate Recovery. I get the gift of leading my local Celebration Place, the kids’ program for Celebrate Recovery meetings, and I’m the Northeast Regional Rep for Celebration Place. Time and time again, I see people coming to Celebrate Recovery who are as broken as I was, and through Jesus begin trusting, opening up, and having real freedom and recovery occur. And it is not just the adults– every week, I see kids come into Celebration Place and know they are loved and liked by not only the leaders and other kids, but by a big, big God who loves them so much more than anyone else could. Every week as we read the kids’ small group guidelines together, I have tears come to my eyes when they all want to say guideline #5 together, “We never use mean words or putdowns at Celebration Place.”
My recovery journey hasn’t been easy, and I have made lots of crazy mistakes and decisions along the way that have hurt me and others. But I have experienced Jesus’s grace and freedom like I never knew was possible. I can’t believe that I have 14 years of freedom from bulimia – there are even days when I forget that this is part of my story.
To the newcomer, God really loves you where you are at and is for you. You don’t have to earn his approval. But he longs for you to gain freedom as you work your recovery, and in the process, as a result, grow closer to Him. Especially on those days where you don’t know if you can get out of the car or share anything, push through and come. That is a huge victory.
I often remind myself how God sees me as his beautiful princess warrior. I don’t get to stand quietly, and I get to fight for my freedom and my recovery. I hold tightly to what it says in 1 Samuel 16:7 that it is not the outside that matters, but the heart. He’s quieted my thoughts, and fantasy no longer rules my life. Instead, I get to pick living in the reality of his love for me. I have learned that when I truly surrender to God, I see myself the way He intended me to see myself. I no longer have the distractions of the world tainting my view. I am perfect in his sight. I am created in His image. I am loved. I am beautiful. Besides, according to Romans 8:15, I, Kristen, will always be “Daddy’s Girl.”
If you would like to learn how to start your own Celebrate Recovery ministry, to contact your Celebrate Recovery Rep, please visit: https://crgroups.info/. To get involved in an already existing Celebrate Recovery ministry near you, please visit: https://locator.crgroups.info/.