Hey guys! Today I get to share my testimony with you.

I‘m very thankful to be able to say that I was raised in a Christian home and church. My parents taught me about Jesus when I was little and I was pretty young when I first admitted my need for a savior and acknowledged that Jesus was Lord. I asked him to forgive my sins and transform my life through the Holy Spirit and his Word.

Throughout my life, God has taught me so much and continually changed me as I’ve sought him in easy and hard times. But I think the most powerful evidence of God’s transformative power in my life has been in his redemption of my eating disorder and anxiety.

At age 15, I developed anorexia. There were several reasons I began acting in unhealthy ways, but I believe the main driving force behind my pursuit of a thin body was a deep and internal belief that I was not good enough as I was. I constantly felt like I did not measure up to anyone’s standards. I was deeply afraid to be seen as flawed in any way.

In the midst of my feelings of inadequacy, I heard and internalized messages from our diet and skinny-obsessed culture. I began to think that being skinny would make me more acceptable in people’s eyes—and that thinness would make up for some of my other perceived inadequacies.

Deep down, I knew these thoughts were not true and that starving myself and over-exercising were not God’s best for me. But my desperate desire to perfect myself began to control me. I spiraled into a dark and unhealthy place and started ignoring God for a while.

With panic attacks also occurring during these years, I was in a physical and mental condition that really hindered my life and kept me from the abundance that Jesus was inviting me to.

At one point, I was on the verge of literal death. In that low and terrifying moment, though, my foundational beliefs in God’s Word reminded me that I belonged to an all-powerful God who could certainly pull me out of the hopeless darkness. I knew that if anything or anyone could save me and bring renewed purpose to my life, it was him. I gave in to the strong nudges of the Holy Spirit, admitted my need for help, and surrendered some control.

For about three years now, I have oriented my life around a new pursuit of God and physical, mental, and spiritual health. Bible verses have been the only thing that bring me deep peace in the midst of panic attacks. My therapist, parents, spiritual mentors, and the Bible have empowered me to eliminate my addictive behaviors and fleshly desires. But more importantly, they have reminded me of what God says about me. They have helped me better understand what it means to know that my identity is a beloved child of God.

Now that I am done with therapy, I have clung to the word of God for direction, truth, hope and meaning. Over time, I’ve been finding more freedom from my fear of being imperfect or being perceived as inadequate, flawed, or somehow bad. I’ve been focusing on the promises of the Bible that say that since I’ve accepted Jesus as Lord and savior, God views me as righteous, whole, and filled with purpose! When I truly believe this, I don’t have to worry about my value in the world’s eyes or about people’s perceptions of me. I don’t have to be so afraid of messing up or strive so hard to be or look “good enough.”

God also promises that he has good plans for me life, and that he will use me to accomplish important work, no matter what size my body is! I AM good enough—just as I am—in God’s eyes.

Knowing what God says about me has radically changed my life! My thought patterns have changed. My body is healthy. My panic and depression have departed. My fear of imperfection has less of a grip on me. And I have hope for the future, because God promises good things for me. And I’m THRIVING at Biola now, as I learn more about who God has made me to be. I’m discovering what unique work God might have for me to do and it’s so exciting!

I hope my story encourages you to learn more about what God says about YOU and to let that truth transform your life!