Thanks very much for your prayers for yesterday: (recording a 2min piece for 4Thought). I did it: I was Terrible, but I did it.

In an attempt to cheer myself up, I’ve been listening to sermons today on how God uses our weakness. I still think I talked a lot of nonsense, but my brain’s just as fallen as my heart and its judgement can’t be trusted.

Things that were good:

lovely lady who was prompting me (and cameramen, who agreed to enhance my chest and give me long blonde hair.  Ok, maybe not – but they said they’d try).

opportunity to talk about Jesus (I rambled, but there we are)

Things that were hard:

the opening: ‘my name’s Emma Scrivener. I’m a Christian and a recovering anorexic’.

urg, double, triple and quadruple URG.  One of the hardest sentences I’ve ever said – particularly to thousands of strangers.

The producer suggested I say ‘recovered’. I wanted to – and I guess in some ways I could have. Every skerrick of my being wants to run a mile from the tag ‘anorexic’. But I said ‘recovering’ because:

I think it’s a work in progress – and much more than just regaining weight.  It takes a long time to get there and a long time to get out. It sounds a whole lot better much  to say I trusted Jesus and was instantly fixed, but that’s not what happened. For me, the miracle is also a process.  And maybe it’s just me – or maybe there are others who are also in process and need to hear it.

One of the prompt questions was ‘how can you reconcile being a Christian and having nearly died twice of an eating disorder?  Surely that’s a total contradiction’.

I felt like I’d been winded: but my instinct was to agree. What on earth was I doing? More than embarrassing myself: I was bringing disgrace to Jesus.

In my head I visualised an enormous hand, picking up my book and blog and testimony and dropping them into the bin. Rubbish, all rubbish.   How dare you parade your weaknesses and call yourself a believer? How can your story point anyone to Jesus? – the very opposite.


More than my shame,

More than letting down my family, my God, myself

I believe it is okay to be a Christian and have struggles.  Needing a Saviour – whether for an eating disorder or something else – is the whole point. That’s the good news.  That’s why the Cross is necessary.  And that’s what sets us free – from sin and shame and a million other chains of which addictions are just one.

What else?

They asked about apologising – to God and to others, as part of my recovery. About what drove me into it – as a child and an adult.  They said ‘you look attractive and healthy.  What would you say to someone who thinks eating disorders are glamorous?’ I spoke about the hair loss, nails, organs shutting down etc.  Then I thought about where I was today.  I gulped.  Asked for a break.  And spoke about my bones and my bowels – but not about babies. Too raw.

I don’t think I made much sense.  In my head I was trying to explain my life. My marriage. The gospel. My theology of food and feasting. I weighed it up beforehand -the personal stuff : painful and exposing and embarrassing.  But more importantly, an opportunity to talk about Jesus. In the event, I felt like I exposed myself but didn’t explain the gospel.  I was inarticulate and I didn’t point to the Lord with fluency and grace. Maybe I let Him down and let others down too.

But in amongst all this, I come back to this:

– we do what we can.  I’m called to simply acknowledge Jesus: nothing more or less.

– I know you were praying: and those prayers will be answered.

–  In the world’s eyes we look shameful and foolish – and maybe we are.  But the truth of the gospel is that it’s okay to be weak.  I’ll stake my life on it.

19 thoughts on “OverExposed

  1. Well done you!!! Brave brave lady! I’m sure the message will reach those it is meant to reach so don’t fret – your honesty and openness will also help to speak for the Lord. Again, well done!!! You are an awesome woman!! x

  2. Hi Emma,
    If you went through all the filming, just to write this blog post, then it was worth it. Thank you for proclaiming Jesus loud and clear.

  3. I hear you Emma and I can only say, what you have written here is raw and honest and beautiful and far, far, far too harsh on yourself.

    Thank God there are still a few imperfect Christians around. More still, thank God there are still some Christians who admit to mental illness. Otherwise I think I’d give up altogether.

    Things that went well?
    You dared to be vulnerable.

  4. You’re basically the bravest person in the world, and I’m really looking forward to seeing it!

    I would never be brave enough to do it, so thanks for speaking up, and being honest, and admitting to being weak. You are weak, and so am I, and so are we all, and that’s why we need Jesus.

    That’s what your book, and your blog, constantly remind me. Praying that some of the people who watch it will see a glimpse of Him.

    Ellidh x

  5. Ah, Emma, there is someone who would like to drop your blog and your book in the bin, and who whispers (shouts, sometimes) rubbish, rubbish, how can you call yourself a believer, how can your story point to Jesus. But that someone is the Accuser, the enemy of believers and the father of lies. Your Lord looks at you and says, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Because you so faithfully and consistently point away from yourself and to him. Because you share your struggle and encourage others to be real and to keep going too. Because being open about sin and shame draws their poison out, brings them out of the darkness and on to the cross where Jesus has dealt with them, and can heal us from the damage they have done. I’m sure you will have explained the gospel more fluently and graciously than you feel; you’ll have given a reason for the hope you have, even in your struggles. That will encourage all sorts of people, I know. And in God’s grace it will bear enormous fruit for the gospel. Thank you.

  6. Precious Emma! Bless your heart for not giving in and doing the “recovered” version.Think of all the other lies you would have had to tell and all the people watching who would be instantly locked out of the winners circle by that little suffix. We are all “recovering” and will continue to recover until our last breath. Any of us is but one choice away from being that proverbial dog returning to the vomit. Some are recovering from being a bully or coward or liar or idolater. Our modern labels have a way of separating struggles into groups that didn’t seem to bother Jesus. His promise for living water is for any who will come to Him. We are all recovering from trying to find Life outside of Him. You pointed to Jesus and that means you did PERFECTLY!!! I am so sorry for the issues of the womb you are facing and will be praying for that peace which passes all understanding.

  7. What a fantastic and moving example of God’s strength being made perfect in our weakness. Real God – really at work. Very well done

  8. Yes, well done Emma. Thank you. Amen to the Jesus came for the sick type stuff. The Saviour is for those who know they need saving. Time to stop crying and get on with editing the PCC minutes now!

  9. Emma. I’m so very thankful for you and Glen, which means I do remember you both in my prayers.
    Many of the comments you get are also very good,
    like the one from Caroline, I read that one four times..

  10. Looking forward to hearing it Emma. Would love to know what sermons you were listening to…

  11. Absolutely great Emma – well done. Having a camera pointed at us is hard. That’s okay.

    Don’t know you as well as I’d like to Emma, but for some reason I just feel really, really, really, really immensely proud of you. That’s not intended to be patronising, it’s really true – I suppose reading your blog and seeing the build up to this, I feel just so glad that you got this opportunity and so glad with how it went and how you’ve written about it here.

    And great and typical of the Lord Jesus to keep you to your word of being okay with weakness – just imagine, if he’d let you storm in there and feel like you’d nailed it , who knows what lies you – and all of us readers – might have believed? That weakness is for a season but now she’s a TV star? That somehow it was true for the blog or the book but in real life she’s gone and triumphed? Nah, God’s far kinder than that, in helping us all see you once again go the way of the cross – boasting in your very real weakness and his very real grace. So, so thankful Emma for your ministry. Keep going.

  12. Thanks – for your comments and prayers and wisdom and general loveliness. They are ENORMOUSLY appreciated. I won’t know for a bit when it’ll be screened, but I’ll keep you posted.

  13. Helen – sermons I’ve been listening to are from the All Souls website (www.allsouls.org) on 2 Corinthians. x

  14. I am SO thankful for you. Tearily thankful.

    I thoroughly agree with Caroline – there is actually more power in saying ‘recovering’ than ‘recovered’. You were wise, so wise, under pressure.

    But that feeling of ‘I just made myself vulnerable for nothing – I’ve just flayed myself in front of people and they will pity and despise me and nothing about this gives glory to God’? I know that one, and it’s horrible. Praying for protection on your heart and safety in the shadow of his wings.

    When I read your blog, I cheer. I find honesty and someone whose clay jar shines the glory of Christ. You shine, girl. That is all.

    Much love x

  15. well done – breathe a sigh of relief and thankfulness that it’s over… remembering our trials are part of His perfect plan is pretty hard to say the least at times.
    But yeah, well done… d o you know when it’s going to be on?

  16. aaaaaaammmaaazing describes you and God all over. You’re incredible for speaking up and sharing so much being truely honest. I’m sure God will use it so much to bring as as him glory. Big hugs Xx

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