Early in life I developed an eating disorder that expressed itself in many ways. When I realized my dieting was becoming dangerous and my control was out of control, I decided to get help. When I met with my first counselor, my denial system was pretty strong, and I told him I didn't think my disorder was impacting my family. The counselor smiled and explained that if he were doing family counseling with us, the first things he would do is ask my children to draw the family dinner table. He then asked what I thought they would draw. After a long pause, I admitted that they would have drawn the table with my place either empty or with a drink only. I realized in that session the dinner table could be as much about interaction as it was about food. I soon became fascinated by Bible passages that dealt with food and meals.I had struggled with shame because of my crazy relationship with food. I hated how often my thoughts were consumed with food, dieting, the number on the scale, or the dress size I was wearing. I was also ashamed that food itself was the source of my struggle. As I searched the Bible for answers, I realized the very first sin ever committed was centered around food and that Adam and Eve's choice to eat the fruit was more about what Satan promised than the fruit itself. I also realized Satan's temptation stirred in them a desire the fruit didn't fulfill, and they ended up miserable as they longed for their redemption to be complete.
I could relate to Adam and Eve as I turned to food, mistaking relational or spiritual hunger for physical hunger. At times I searched frantically for the perfect food to satisfy a craving I couldn't even identify or satisfy. I could relate to them when I thought I would be happier if only I had something more--more pounds lost, more power over life or broken relationships, more freedom from besetting sin, more peace in the face of my perfection and anxious thoughts. Oh, there were momentary feelings of the "more's satisfied," only to awaken to the same cravings again and again.