I heard the incredible testimony of Carol Bostock, who lost 16 stones in weight after yoyo dieting, and her life was finally transformed by finding Jesus. Here is Carol’s incredible story for all to read.
‘I was told by relatives how, from the moment I was born, my father doted on me. But our actual relationship was so very different. I was confused. The answer, I reasoned, was that, since those doting baby pictures, I had become fat. So very early on I learned the lie that fat children do not deserve a father’s love. Lacking nurture, affirmation and approval from my father, I turned to food for comfort and so began a spiral of pain at my father’s disapproval, criticism and withholding of affection, consequent comfort eating and weight gain. Fat people are judged in the first moment of meeting; isolated, excluded and mocked – that pain leads to more comfort eating.
‘I had never been the little girl that dreamed of a fairytale wedding – because I had never believed I was a princess – but I had always dreamed of babies. I married a wonderful man who has loved me consistently, no matter what I weigh, and he too longed for a large family. But I got sick, was given an experimental drug, and grew much sicker. The Consultant standing at my hospital bed spoke not to me, but to the team gathered around him, ‘Has she been told she can never have children?’ The dream withered; then I had a hysterectomy in my twenties and the dream died. I learned the lie that fat children do not deserve to have children. Childlessness led to exclusion from my peer group of young mothers and unhappiness led to comfort eating and weight gain until I weighed about 26 stone. In desperation, I turned to a radical liquid only diet. I lost 11 stones in 9 months, basked in the unfamiliar affirmation and approval, and believed my 45 years of obesity were history. Over the next year
‘I gained 12 stone – I had changed the outside but the inside was still so very damaged… and only Jesus can heal on the inside. There is no more visible sign of failure than losing then re-gaining so much weight. Psalm 13 teaches that, ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick…’ and my heart became very sick.
‘A gastric bypass – losing nine tenths of my stomach – set me on the journey toward healing, I lost some sixteen stone in weight, and with it my sense of identity which had been rooted more than 45 years in the fact that I was a fat person. A new body with the same sick heart inside…. So Jesus in His kindness and grace gave me Jen Rees Larcombe and ‘Beauty from Ashes’ ministry to walk with me through a year of deep inner healing. In that 12 months, I was unlearning the lies that I transferred from Daddy to Father God, falling in love with Jesus, realising I could look into his face rather than trying to sneak up behind Him and touch the hem of His garment, understanding that I was Cinderella, not in the ashes but dancing with her Prince, that I was lavishly and unconditionally loved. One November afternoon, I met Jesus in a small house on the Emmaus Road and He gave me a new name, ‘Heaven’s Joy and Delight…’ and showed me that it was, indeed, graven on the palms of His hands. I am learning to live loved…
(For details about ‘Beauty From Ashes’ see http://beautyfromashes.co.uk/index.php )