Kianna Garmanian, Staff Writer
Dear Kianna, how do I stay true to my faith when I am struggling so much? It’s hard to pray and trust in God during such difficult times. Do you have any advice? -Believer
Dear Believer, Thank you so much for sending in this question. I do have some advice, but also want to say that I struggle with this too. I believe everyone, no matter who they are or how strong their relationship with God is, has moments of doubt and fear- especially during trials. Know you are not alone in all that you experience. However, I do want to say that I am proud of you for seeking help to grow in your faith, even when life throws a few curve balls. I know God is smiling at you.
I will share pieces from my own journey, as this can hopefully help you and others who have similar questions about their faith. Last year, I very openly talked about my struggle with an eating disorder and issues with my body-image in The Belltower. When I battled through an eating disorder last school year, I hit rock bottom both mentally and physically, and it was the most difficult experience I have ever faced. I didn’t know who I was anymore, my purpose, my worth, or my meaning. I was trapped in complete shame, hatred, guilt, and fear. I felt hopeless.
During this battle, I often looked to God with such anger, bitterness, and confusion. How could God allow this to happen to me? Why was I suffering so much? Why did I hate every inch of my being? Why couldn’t I just accept myself? Was this eating disorder always going to consume my life? Would I ever break free?
I spent many nights crying out to God and wondering where he went. Was he by my side? Did he really care about me or my pain? So, I know how it feels to doubt and struggle to trust in God when you are hurting inside. Some days, I couldn’t even pray. I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth because it hurt too much. I knew God was there- I just couldn’t say anything.
You know, all throughout this journey, there was always a part of me that knew I was not alone. And even in the complete darkness, when I couldn’t see any light at all, a glimpse of hope lived within me. Looking back, as I am now recovered from the eating disorder, I realize that hint of hope was the presence of God in my life.
My faith was the most instrumental part in my recovery, which is something I will share about in more detail in a future article. God was, even during the days when it didn’t seem like it, my ultimate source of hope. Deep within me, in such despair, I knew my life and worth was more than my body or external appearance. I felt God calling me to a greater, glorified life, and knew that through these pains, the good would come forth.
And that is exactly what happened. Through the pains and trials- and battling through the eating disorder- these wounds have given birth to new life, strength, and power within me. And this process of healing takes time. But know you are not alone, and God is with you. It may not seem that way and it may be hard to believe, but whatever you are facing- God will bring the good out of the darkness. He always does. He always will. But you must trust in this; trust in him; trust that your life is worth it.
So, what is my advice? Keep going. Don’t give up. Keep looking to God, even when you can’t see. And you don’t always have to say something, for God knows your heart. If you don’t feel like talking, don’t do it. But know the pain will pass and the light will shine your way. I am praying for you, and please pray for me.