This is my friend Adrianne’s story. She’s found freedom from food addiction and an eating disorder. I’ll be honest, I don’t have this level of freedom with food yet. I pray some day I will, but I don’t. But, I’m encouraged by stories like Adrianne’s that someday, I’ll have it. I hope you’ll find her story inspiring, too!
1. I love this pic’s message: “Will work for someone else’s freedom.”
2. I think vulnerability is a super power.
3. A gent from Denver recently shared the verse: “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.”
So, Ima tell you the single greatest miracle in my life:
God released me from the bondage of over-eating. I remember a season when I was drowning in pints of ice cream when I wasn’t even hungry and then missing exams to get to the gym to fix what I had just shoveled in, only to find my stress compounded with missed coursework and clothes that barely fit. I was weary of feeling drawn to every drive thru and exhausted with the vicious cycle of loathing myself afterward.
Even though I was a believer, I was tired of fighting on my own. I was done trying, days were burdensome and dim. No one could help me. No counselor, strategy, powder, pill, surgery, program, book or rah rah speech could fix this stronghold over me. I really thought not living would at least relieve the sadness.
So after I had made a royal mess on my own, I FINALLY cried out to God for help. I confessed all my crap, and asked Him, “How am I going to fix this?” He actually replied. I heard Him answer, “I AM.”
My internal battle of pride and insecurity was no longer my war to win or constantly lose. It was now His.
God began to counsel me by His Spirit about my heart-to-mouth triggers and why I was numbing out. I had to invite God into my little daily stressors and deep historic wounds. I had to confess and turn from my darker heart motivations for wanting to be thin or even healthy to begin with.
I committed to Him that if He took this addiction, I would not use my health to distract, but to refract His glory. With this, I sensed a surge of the Holy Spirit in both a gentle and violent way.
A feather-like breeze of His Presence began to infuse my days with His tailored counsel and healing in all my hidden places. He also sent some gale force winds to overthrow the enemy strongholds in me. He taught me to feed my spirit when my flesh begged until the fight became effortless. As I surrendered, He gifted me with an effortless boredom with excess so even my flesh began to crave less. Somewhere in the process, I realized He won. He defeated my addiction.
I just started thinking clearly, lightness returned and an aggression for school and “normal people” work. Things I had lost heart for before. Freedom snuck up on me, and I’m still, still, still, free. I’m so free that the eating patterns that once enslaved me, I can barely even recall to write about it them. Honestly, to recall the struggle is work.
I enjoy food and thank God for all the cool kinds, but the compulsion around it is so entirely foreign now, it’s like I never knew compulsion before.
(And the human counselors said I would struggle with this my entire life.) Well, for the last 15 years, whether it be a carrot or a donut, I keep leaving both half uneaten all the time. It’s not unusual that I’d prefer veges and later want some ice cream, pull out a pint and just take three bites because I’m content and already thinking about the next activity, project or kid.
I may go to the gym here-n-there or try the latest rage in protein powders or whatever, but I know that I know there is nothing on God’s green earth that empowers me not want the second half of my plate, margarita or ice cream but God Almighty.
He alone rescued, and I am free to live for other things!! While I’m still in process with plenty of other issues, I’m willing to work in prayer for anyone else still fighting the fridge, bottle, or whatever…
I want more people to look in the mirror and not see flaws or another day of the impossible but the peace and relief that comes when the power of Christ takes over an area of life.
His sustaining liberty is worth surrendering for.
Adrianne Schwanke is a shabby sinner saved by grace, roamed the streets of Time Square searching for something to fill that ethereal hole in her heart. Something clicked when a friend invited her to an MTV Bible study (ironic, yeah, we know). Adrianne realized that God Himself was the passion in life she was looking for. His Spirit redirected her toward His glory and graced her with a new discipline. After completing a B.B.A. from Texas A&M University, she met her husband at Dallas Seminary where she graduated with an M.A. in Biblical Studies. It was her husband’s blue eyes and butterfly stroke which stole her attention, but his servant leadership kept it. Ryan serves as a mission’s pastor, and they both share a passion to influence a movement toward cross-cultural worship, on earth as it is in heaven. From this burden, Adrianne founded and now serves as Executive Director-Producer of Shabby Chic Ministries. It is her desire to lead a generation of globally-minded women as well as her four children toward Jesus…who she refers to as “the Chief Musician whose heart beats for the nations.”