NEDA Week, Day Two: Romans 11:6

[…] If it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace.
-Romans 11:6, NRSV.

This is NEDA week — so CW:ED talk and food. Please assume that all of these will have this same CW on them — I might forget to add them.

Grace becomes difficult. In the Lutheran world where I live most of my days, Grace operates in a binary with Works. Grace and Works are two alternate means of Salvation in theological worlds.

Yet, in recovering from my eating disorder, I recognized that Grace and Works were deeply intertwined. As I did the hard work of Admitting I was Powerless over my Eating Disorder, that a Higher Power could return me to sanity, and that I would turn my will and life over to that Higher Power.

Today, is Fat Tuesday — a day when the Christian church celebrates what I like to call an anticipatory binge. Eat all the good stuff, the diet starts tomorrow.

Eat well — I don’t know when the next paycheck is coming.

Indulge — It’s the last time for… a while.

That’s a really unhelpful way to interact with food if you have an eating disorder. When I was younger, I would go on fasts that would last for weeks, one extending to nearly two months long. I would periodically eat safe foods, but certainly not enough to sustain life. Each* of these fasts was preceded by and followed by a binge to put others to shame.

My higher power, who I call Mamma, gives me grace that I can stick with a 3–0–1 (ish) eating plan. Yet, Mamma also calls me to work out my salvation — my Balance — myself. Mamma places me in two theological systems — in two worlds, where Grace and Works both set me free. Paul misses the mark here, just as the Christian Calendar also misses the mark for people in recovery. 
Recovery is works. Recovery is Grace — and they work together to make each other possible.

Thanks Be To God.