Cissie Graham Lynch, daughter of Franklin Graham and granddaughter of evangelist Billy Graham, has opened up about her years-long struggle with an eating disorder and shared how she only recovered after being "flooded" with God's word.
In a blog post published on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website, Cissie said she first fell into an eating disorder in high school after a classmate lost a great deal of weight, garnering a lot of attention.
"And that is when my eating disorder and addiction began," she said. "Three years of misery. It first started with just a small diet, then diet pills, and then laxatives. Every night I went to bed angry that I allowed myself to eat too much during the course of the day. And since I didn't think I could control my eating habits, I turned to laxatives."
Some days, Cissie would take up to eight pills, hiding them in her car, locker, backpack and anywhere else she thought necessary.
"Many nights I cried myself asleep. I was angry because of what I ate, and cried because of the bondage it had over me," she recalled. "I wanted to be set free. I prayed countless nights, 'Lord please allow me to see myself through your eyes and not my own.' Over and over again I prayed."
For three years, Cissie prayed for the Lord to heal her: "I guess I expected an overnight miracle, but those rarely exist in these situations," she said.
It wasn't until she took a semester of work to minister at an orphanage in Thailand that she realized she was no longer thinking of herself "first thing in the morning or last thing at night."
Once she decided to serve Jesus wholeheartedly before serving herself, Cissie found deliverance from her struggles.
"I was there to serve others, but most importantly I was serving the Lord. My days were filled with His word and His promises," she said. "Being flooded with God's Word was the only tool that could pull me out of my pit...He gave me the desires of my heart."
An estimated 10 million Americans suffer from potentially life-threatening eating disorders, according to U.S. News & World Report, and at least one person dies as a direct result from an eating disorder every 62 minutes.
Christian actress Candace Cameron Bure has also previously opened up about her struggles with bulimia and how her faith helped her heal.
"I found strength and my path to eating disorder recovery through my faith," Bure wrote to her nearly 2 million Instagram followers last May, including a photo of her posing in a black and white ensemble on the step-and-repeat of the Eating Recovery Day event.
The actress added, " ... Everyone's journey is unique and for those who need help, I hope they'll visit @eatingrecovery today, on #EatingRecoveryDay. But let's also continue the conversation. I know that if I needed ERC's help, they would have been there for me too, like they are for so many patients, to provide the best treatment available in the country for those affected by eating disorders."