I have the honour of knowing Kelsey we go to church together and she is an incredible young lady of whom has a touching life journey that I know many ladies of all ages will relate to.
Kelsey has her own Blog and is a very gifted writer with an incredible testimony. Having her apart of the Dressing Room family is such an honour and I am so humbled and inspired by her life even though she is just 16 years old. Her life speaks volumes above her years. She has such wisdom, love and compassion for others.
If you would like to know more about who Kelsey is before you read the post below then here is the link ( About Kelsey )
KELSEY’S STORY ( from her Blog )
Sometimes I really don’t understand some of the seasons I walk through, at all. But somehow at the end of every season, God turns me around to show me how far I’ve come and what He has accomplished in and through me. After all, it’s all for His Kingdom and His glory. There’s never been a season I’ve walked through where God hasn’t shown me His faithfulness and taught me something about myself. He works in miraculous ways.
I’ve always had this ‘thing’ with seasons. I don’t know what it is. For example, a couple in our church that moved to another country to plant a church there – it was a ‘new season they were walking into’, people would say. I always sat there thinking: “Lord, what does that even mean? Sounds kind of exciting.”
My definition of a season vs. your definition of a season might differ. For me, a tough time in my life – I’m just walking through a bit of a different season. For others, it’s packing up and moving to an entirely different country because they feel that God has called them there. It differs. But on this specific post, I want to share my season with you, I call it the season of ‘transfiguration’.
On the 23rd of June 2015, which was the start of the school holidays, I had breast reduction surgery (ha, still doesn’t feel real). Before the surgery I promised myself that I would try and eat as healthy as I possibly could, specifically for the reason of not being able to do any intense exercise post-op for at least 6 weeks (I could start walking on the treadmill after 2 weeks). But as a 16-year-old girl with food cravings and a lack of self-control at that time, I gave in. I didn’t eat entirely unhealthy, but I didn’t eat how I should’ve been eating.
This resulted in: throwing up. Not throwing up because I was nauseous…nope. Throwing up because I stuck my finger down my throat. It happened 3 times earlier in the year on the odd occasion (because I overate and would feel really sick), but this time was different. This time I wasn’t overeating, I was just eating. I would feel guilty after eating carbs or a treat or most things really, and I would go to the bathroom and puke.
It started off after my surgery as a once a week thing. But it progressed faster than I thought. It started off as once a week and progressed to 3 maybe 4 times a week. But as the holidays were drawing to an end, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to do this when I got back to hostel. It turned from a habit during the week to weekends only. It started off as once a weekend and before I knew it, it was 6 times a weekend. There was one Sunday where I threw up every time after I ate. By 12 in the afternoon, I had already thrown up 3 times.
As you’re reading this, unless you’ve been through it yourself, you might not understand at all why someone would do that. That’s understandable. I don’t really think that anyone who hasn’t been through this can entirely fathom what runs through someone’s mind when they’re standing over the bin or toilet or in the shower, sticking their finger down their throat and vomiting their lungs out (sorry not sorry for that imagery).
A lot of things were happening in my life at the time that made me use this as a ‘coping mechanism’. Things with family were a bit tough (the atmosphere), my dad was in a car accident and I was under massive pressure at school. All these things kind of mounted up on top of all the emotions I was already trying to work through, so it was quite a lot of things that I was trying to process.
Round about the end of May, I got extremely close with my hockey coach. She was the only one who walked this journey with me from start to finish and is still walking with me. My mentor and dad and some friends only found out at the later stages.
Over these 3 months, along with all of this (and also a possible reason for using it to cope), I was also doing a lot of self-discovery. Dealing with issues and problems that I sort of just ‘swept away’ and tried to forget about: childhood feelings, memories, emotions…just a lot of things. My hockey coach walked with me through it all. She helped me unravel, be vulnerable and deal with it all. There aren’t many people that want to or are willing to do it, a lot of people are only there for you when you’re fine, fun and full of laughter. Not a lot stick around for the tough times, the fight, dealing with REAL stuff.
I had no idea how much my throwing up actually hurt those around me. I remember one talk I had with my hockey coach, she just burst into tears crying…it hurt her because I was hurting myself and there was physically nothing she could do about it. She couldn’t make any decisions for me, I had to do it myself. I had to want to stop.
During this time, I also started to ‘peel off’ the mask that I had painted on myself. Growing up, just the environment and circumstances that I was in, I had to be strong. There wasn’t time to cry or be vulnerable. I had to be strong for myself and for certain people around me. I rarely ever let everything out, which obviously shaped me into keeping everything in, putting a smile on my face and making as if everything was okay.
I eventually came out to my mentor at church and told her everything that was going on and she prayed for me. Something just still wasn’t right. Things didn’t change after that. In my head I knew I had to stop, but (and as gross as this may sound) I didn’t actually want to. I knew it was bad for me, I knew that the long term effects that this would have on my body wasn’t good, but I just couldn’t stop. It became an addiction. It was also something I didn’t entirely want to stop. In the moment, vomiting everything out – there was also something psychologically attached to it.
I felt that I wasn’t only just letting food out of my body, but that it was helping me deal with all the things going on in my life – only to realize now just how wrong I was and that it wasn’t the right way to cope with things. About a month ago, my youth pastor met up with me to discuss everything that I was going through.
She said something that has stuck with me and I haven’t thrown up since. She said: “Honestly, it’s just gross. It’s disgusting. It’s dangerous and you’re playing with fire.”
In all honesty, this scared the creeps out of me. It really hit me and like I mentioned, I haven’t thrown up since. Sometimes in life, the things we don’t want to hear are what we NEED to hear. It’s never easy.
I also knew that I had to probably tell my dad…something which I knew wasn’t going to be easy. I was in many occasions prompted to…but I just couldn’t get the words out. It was a Saturday morning, the day after my youth pastor spoke to me and I just knew it was the right time. So I came out and told him. He was very understanding and supportive about it and agreed to help me wherever he could.
Looking back, as fresh as this testimony still is, I also discovered who my real friends were and who was just there for the good times. With all honesty, yes I could say that I might have even hit a depressive ‘dip’ through this season of life and self-discovery. Some people just got annoyed with me because I became quiet and withdrew myself, but I suppose that was because they didn’t know what was going on in my life.
Only recently did I find out that some things I had said and done hurt people, something I never intended to do. This is also where the importance of accountability comes in. It’s so crucial to have someone that can keep you accountable for your actions and tell you (with grace and love) in that moment when you do something wrong, so that you can work on it.
Admitting your faults aren’t easy. But the greatest news is that you have victory through Jesus. In your weakness, His strength is made perfect. One of the things I learnt through all of this is that you can’t hide your feelings. They’re real things that you actually have to deal with. The longer you hide them away, the more it mounts up and the more you end up hurting yourself and possibly even those around you.
There’s also NOTHING wrong with admitting that you have weaknesses and things that you struggle with. You’re just human, you’re allowed to be vulnerable. You’re allowed to mess up, it’s how you grow and learn. You’re allowed to not always be okay – just make sure that you don’t allow yourself to always not be okay. Find someone, a mentor (preferably someone elder than you), that you trust and can confide in.
My mentor helped me through a lot of it. You don’t always have to be strong. I think that sometimes this world portrays vulnerability as a weakness, that you always have to be strong and cover up your emotions – WRONG. Vulnerability is the most pure form of authenticity. Your story, your testimony, whatever it is that you’re facing, is to bring glory to God and help others through their struggles.
Don’t get mad at God, your battles are when you need Him most. I discovered so much about myself and about life through this battle, and now I’m sharing it with you. Don’t get discouraged, don’t grow weary, don’t give up – just press on. There is a purpose in your pain, always remember that. You don’t face battles for nothing.
Looking back…I discovered that the things I never dealt with from my childhood mounted up – prompting me to do some self-discovery and sort myself out. I used throwing up as a mechanism to deal with it all, but I can tell you…it’s not worth it. Go to mentors, elders in your church, people that you trust – TALK, be vulnerable, open up – it honestly is the best thing you can do for yourself and for others.
By dealing with your problems and allowing God to work through them, you come out even stronger and with a crazy amazing testimony of His faithfulness.
Reading this, whether you’ve suffered with this yourself or you’re even just walking through a tough season of life, I hope this has inspired you to open up. To face your battles with the Armour of God. Go boldly, go bravely, and don’t let anyone tell you that your story doesn’t matter…because it’s YOUR story and it’s REAL. It’s not a movie scene, it’s authentic.
All my love,