I never considered myself normal. I’ve never been someone that fit in the popular crowd. And I love it.
When I was young, I was the good kid with the best grades in school, so, of course, my parents were always proud of me. I came to Jesus when I was sixteen, because I was craving God. I wanted to know Him, to know if He was real.
At 17, I graduated high school. I was popular because I had the best grades, not because I was cool. I had already decided to save my first kiss for my husband, and I knew I was not going to get married while I was a teenager. So I had no problem staying away from boyfriend issues until I was twenty-two years old. By then, I was in business school, I was one of the youth leaders at church, and I was working as my pastor’s secretary. Life was good. Still I was after Jesus; I just knew there was more of Him.
So, I met this guy. He was a little shy, kind, very nice. As extra bonus, he was super cute. We became friends. Then, we developed feelings for each other. Still, I didn’t want a relationship though. I was waiting for the one I would marry, but I couldn’t deny my feelings for him. I don’t know how it happened, but he became very demanding about my looks. My features are not that of a skinny girl. They never have been, but I was okay with it. Every time we talked, he would ask me to go on a diet or to go to the gym; he thought I needed to lose weight. Then my closest friends joined him.
By the time I turned 24, I started to think that “the one” for me would never show up because I was fat. I believed that my friends and that guy were right; I needed to lose weight in order to be beautiful.
As a coincidence, I met this lady at the bus stop who happened to sell certain products to lose weight. They were very expensive, but I tried them. In two months, I lost 18 pounds. I started dropping sizes and everyone noticed how attractive I looked! This lady said I shouldn’t use the product anymore. According to her, I looked good already, so losing more weight wouldn’t be good for me.
However, I then had some guys interested in me and I liked the feeling. So, I couldn’t afford the risk of getting fat again. That’s when I decided to stop eating.
I got so obsessed that I thought that a glass of water would make me gain weight. My temper changed. I was grumpy all the time, and I learned to lie. When my friends would ask me if I ate, I told them I ate at home.
One day, my mom told me that my dad was crying the night before because he thought I might have issues with anorexia. God knows how I love my parents, so the fact that my dad was sad made me miserable. Of course, I denied it to my mom. I told her they were crazy and I felt bad about that. So, I decided to start eating again for them. However, I couldn’t stand the idea of having food in my body. First I tried throwing up, but I hated it. Then, I was introduced to the world of laxatives. I started using laxatives in a very abusive way to get rid of the food I ate.
I kept dropping weight and I looked terrible. Yet, every time I looked at myself in the mirror, in my head I looked obese. Deep inside I knew what I was doing to myself, but I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t eat; food was the most disgusting thing to me. I started losing my hair and my period stopped, but I just couldn’t eat. I wanted to be able to eat and not take laxatives, but it was stronger than me.
One night I felt so guilty. I prayed, “Jesus, if you are there and you can hear me, please help me get out of this.” But nothing changed. Then, one day I found the courage to confess to my mom. We both cried, and she encouraged me to hold on onto Jesus for this. She said they missed my joyfulness. They were worried about me because I looked like a walking bunch of bones.
My mom talked to my family and friends, and they all started a “Let’s save Gaby plan.” They called me often just to tell me I didn’t need to be skinny to be loved. There was always someone with me; they didn’t even let me go to the bathroom without someone waiting for me at the door. Somehow, it made me see that I was loved, and that made me want to stop. That is why I say that “Love rescued me.” It was a lot of prayer and love that gave me the strength to fight the voices in my head.
I went to the doctor and praise God, almost everything was normal. However, my stomach and my intestines were very hurt. My family and friends were very patient with me eating little by little again. Slowly, I started to heal. I felt forgiven by Jesus and by the people I love, but it took me a long time to forgive myself. I felt stupid knowing I could have diet and that I hurt my family and friends. Above all, I struggled with knowing that I had hurt Jesus. It took me about five years to heal emotionally.
I still struggle with the “beauty” subject. It’s been ten years since my battle with anorexia, but it is a constant battle in my soul. Now, as time has passed and my sweet Papa God has made His plans known to me – plans for me to rescue children from garbage dumps in my Guatemala. I’m here to fight for them to have a future worthy of a child of God. I want to be a part of changing their destinies for the glory of my Father. Now, I understand that the Enemy will always do all he can to stop the plans and purposes of God in our lives. He almost got me, but Jesus in His mercy rescued me with His love, and He is rescuing His precious children now.
One morning, while I was praying, Papa God told me to read Psalm 96. There’s one verse that talks about the beauty of a holy life, and it hit me. Then he led me to Psalm 45, which says that “The King is in awe of your beauty” and I got i!
I am beautiful to Him.
I am cherished and loved.
My precious children in the communities will come to me saying I am the prettiest girl, the most beautiful princess in the world. I think God does that because He knows I need that. I can’t imagine the number of people that die every day because of anorexia and bulimia. It hurts to know the number of purposes that are stopped because people choose it. I know that Jesus never wanted me to go through that. It was my choice; I chose to believe those lies.
I know now, though those thoughts still come to my mind, above all, I am beautiful – not because of myself, but because I was wonderfully made by the best artist. I am beautiful because of a beautiful Holy Spirit living inside of me. His plans are perfect, His timing is perfect, and His creation is perfect.
Thanks Gaby for sharing your story! I know that you encouraged and inspired many reading today! Friends, share this post and encourage someone today! Also, Click here if you’d like to find out more about Gaby’s organization, Faithseeds.