Deep down, we know as followers of Jesus that our worth can’t be found in our looks, our last reading on the scale, or our fashion sense. But living out that truth is one of the toughest struggles many of us face.
Scarlet Hiltibidal grew up knowing the truth too, but her heart wouldn’t stop wanting other things – like flowing tresses of manageable, blonde hair. She wanted to look just like so many of her beautiful classmates, her beautiful Saturday Night Live cast member mom, and the pictures she saw in magazines. Eventually, that deep desire led her into an eating disorder.
“I did get really skinny. And I was the most miserable I had ever been. I thought I was going to die.”
“If I had to pick a moment where this whole identity issue started to be resolved I would say it was when God gave me freedom from the eating disorder. Because it was so Him. He kept directing me to Proverbs 28:13 which says that he who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but – if you confess – you receive mercy.”
But Scarlet feared that coming clean with what she was facing might lead to consequences she wasn’t ready to face.
“By the time He was putting that verse in my face, I was already a believer. But I was so deep in my deceit. I was trying to hide that I was throwing up all the time. I was 19, and I was engaged to a pastor. So I was like, ‘God I can’t confess this. I’ll lose everything.’ So I disobeyed him, and I did not confess it. So I was just begging Him for freedom, but He wouldn’t give it to me.”
“Then, when I finally did confess, He healed me! That was 11 years ago. I remember the exact day. September 11th, 2008. He gave me freedom! I always preface that story saying there are things I have prayed for for years that God hasn’t answered the way I hoped for or prayed for. But in that instance I know it was disobedience, and I know that when I obeyed – the day I confessed – it was over. I had no desire to be dysfunctional anymore with food. And that was a huge moment, and that was when I started evangelizing like crazy! Like a new believer, even though I’d been a believer for years. It actually started to change the way I lived.”
Scarlet Hiltibidal is the author of last winter’s tremendous title “Afraid of All The Things: Tornadoes, Cancer, Adoption & Other Stuff You Need the Gospel for.” Her latest hope-filled work is “He Numbered the Pores on My Face: Hottie Lists, Clogged Pores, Easting Disorders & Freedom from It All.”On the Road with Scarlet Hiltibidal