Within our ministry, we have had the honor to have a sister be part of everything we have done since Day 1. Everyone has a story / testimony to share and we were fortunate to have our sister Miriam show her strength to share hers in her own words with all of us. It takes a lot courage for people to share any issues they go through or things they have witnessed. But within those troubles, there's ALWAYS triumph if you just put your faith on God. So, please take time to read her story and join us in prayer for our sister Miriam:
My name is Miriam and I’m from Italy. I think everybody has a story to tell, so I thought I could finally share mine too.
It’s been a while since I first met this wonderful team of Our Savior Watches, sooooooo… here I am! I feel totally lucky and blessed to be part of it.
I was born on May 13, 1992 in a small town in a family where both parents were nurses. I also have an elder sister named Elisa and a gorgeous nephew named Daniele.
My story is probably nothing special, it could be like any other you’ve listened to, but I believe that it’s the contribution you give that makes it unique in every single case.
My family has always been formed by believers, in fact I was introduced to Christ when I was only 6 or 7 years old and went to primary school. I remember sharing, especially with my mom, moments meditating on the Word of God, reading the Bible by myself, going to church, stay with amazing people whom I’ve learned from and even writing love phrases for Jesus everywhere! Haha! On papers, diaries, walls, everywhere possible! It was like being in love!
From 2000 to 2002, my family and I moved to Bristol, England, where we lived the best two years of our lives. It was magical! I attended school there, while my parents worked, went to Bible school and my sister also worked and went to college. We had a blessed life there and the people we met were so cool! The church we were in helped us a lot even in our difficult time and I experienced a very deep relationship with God.
When we came back to Italy our lives changed. It was nothing compared to what we lived in England. Everything was so different and probably that’s when our crisis began. We had normal lives, I still went to school, but I realized that all was changing. There’s been a period of time when my father left us and fell into the sin of adultery, but then my mother forgave him and he came back into our family and all carried on as before. That was when our relationships with the Lord started to change and I also changed.
I have always been a very active girl, a brilliant student at school with high marks and practiced a lot of sports, including gymnastics, swimming, soccer, karate and bodybuilding. By that time, that was when everything started to fall apart, precisely in 2006.
My body has always been perfect, I was very fit and could eat everything I wanted without gaining a single pound, but something was slowly changing inside my mind. I started exercising at the gym and lost the first kilo. I thought it was normal, as a result of the movement I made. It seemed like nothing, but it turned into an obsession. I then lost the second kilo, the third, the fourth and so on. By then, I also decreased my portion and my weight became so low I couldn’t even stand on my feet properly, I couldn’t afford to play sports anymore because I was too weak and at serious risk of cardiac arrest.
I started developing an eating disorder, became dangerously thin and my parents started to take contacts with doctors, who told me that if I didn’t start to eat again they would have put me into a hospital.
That was it! I was so scared I started to eat again, but the dark thoughts were still in my mind. This carried on for many years, which have been full of rises and relapses, but never so dangerous as they would have been in the next years to come. I was really down!
Because of my illness, my relationship with God has also declined.
Sadly, in 2011 when I graduated in high school with great results, my uncle died at the age of 60. That made me so depressed because he couldn’t even see me as a graduate. I got my diploma in July but he died in May. He always believed in me, even when he saw me so ill. He was always there for everybody, was also kind, considerate and always made me happy in the best ways he could.
My anorexia at the time started to get even worse and that’s when I dropped down at my lowest ever. In 2012 I started attending the Molinette hospital in Turin with weekly check ups in ambulatory. I was never willing to collaborate. I was always up and down with my mood, but took nothing seriously until October 2013, when I was such in terrible condition I was admitted to a feeding clinic, weighing only 35 kilos (77 lbs).
I stayed into recovery for three months and decided to finally come out of the disease, so my path went really well. When I came out I was quite healthy, weighing 42 kilos. I got my period back and all seemed to go fine.
But only after a very short amount of time, I started to lose weight again because I began restricting and purging again, dropping back at 33 kilos once again. In March 2014 I risked another cardiac arrest because of my potassium which reached a value of only 2.2. I couldn’t go home and had to stay there in hospital. So the hospitalization procedure started again. I was again admitted then got out after a month.
My mind was still the same, it never changed. I was still willing to stay anorexic and not gain weight at all. I put my life in danger to stay thin at any cost. I didn’t care.
So the last two years have been entirely based on coming and going from hospitals and clinics. I have been hospitalized so many times I’ve lost the count. Ambulatories, emergency, day hospital, inpatient recoveries. What a load of disgust! It all sucked!
Finally, the turning point came in March 2016, when I was admitted again to a feeding clinic because my weight was the lowest ever: only 31 kilos (68 lbs). I was in such a terrible state they had to put in the nasogastric tube, which I carried for almost 2 months.
But something in that stay was different this time. When I first stepped into the clinic, I vowed I would have come out of anorexia and made all the efforts, even if it would have been painful and I had to suffer. I was determined to never go back! I was sick and tired of suffering and desperately wanted to change.
I remained there for three months and during that period I turned back to God and started my relationship with him again... praying each day for strength and that He never let go of me. I felt that everything was different this time. Before entering the clinic I made the promise that I would heal once and for all, so I couldn’t allow myself to make mistakes, otherwise I would relapse and die. So I started to eat properly and change my mind.
What has helped me to go across my healing path was also the reading of probably one of the most beautiful books I ever held in my hands: The Purpose Driven Life by Pastor Rick Warren. While reading it, God has entered my life again and I felt stronger than ever. It helped me to make many things clear in my daily Christianity, I committed myself to read a chapter each day and pray afterwards. Each time I finished, I felt better than after a chat with my psychologist!
You know this, guys! God is the best psychologist ever! He’s the only doctor who can cure you!
So I got hooked into the power of God and this was the only reason to hold on until the end.
I got out of the clinic on June 22, 2016 and felt so free! I did a great job and fought like a warrior to win my battle and start a new life without anorexia.
I must thank all the doctors, therapists, nurses and each member of the unit who helped me throughout my journey. I must admit they saved my life, even though I couldn’t understand this concept at the beginning.
I have been suffering from anorexia for many years and only now I’m on my way to recovery. These have been years of sadness, pain, darkness and all kinds of negative stuff.
Years spent coming and going from clinics and hospitals, where I had to stand the terrible experience of intravenous drips, feeding tubes and supplements to make me recover more quickly. Years where I never accepted any type of help, in spite I knew I was on the point of dying. Years where I never listened to anybody who tried to get me out of the disorder and watched me with tears in their eyes because I was so sick. Years where my weight was so damn low I couldn’t afford nothing, even the most simple thing.
I now have a healthy approach to food and life and there’s nothing more beautiful than living as a free person! I am completely renewed and I don’t regret anything at all of my old insane past!
If anybody asks me if it was worth undertaking such a hard way to stay better, I say YES, go for it! It is for the sake of your health and life. You may suffer at the start, but later you’ll feel awesome. I guarantee you that!
I hope this testimony could help other people who have this problem and any other sort of mental illnesses. Claim your rights as daughters and sons of God! You are not alone, don’t forget it!
As Philippians 4:13 says "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Anyhow, I am so blessed to have Our Savior Watches and other people from the San Diego community support me in my life. Their prayers and thoughts help me to be closer to God and achieve the chosen purpose for the future that awaits me. I guess the Lord has put them into my life for a reason and nothing happens as a result of chance.
I feel so honored to tell my story for this team and all the other people of the world. I promise you I will never go back and what’s more… Did I mention I am making a documentary on my story? If not, well… I’m telling you now! I will publish it as soon as possible so you can know more about me and learn some stuff.
If you are about to struggle with your mind, if you are about to fight a spiritual war, if you are about to do any sort of negative thing, remember: God is watching over you from up above and embraces you in His arms.
I would be pleased with anyone who wants to share their stories with me. I would love to stay in contact with y’all and don’t hesitate to ask me any question you desire. I am here for you!
God bless you. Peace.
WOW! What courage Miriam had to share that with all of us. What she went through is a very serious issue. In America alone, one out of every 200 women suffers from anorexia.
Lord, we thank you Father for laying your healing hands on our sister Miriam and ask that you continue to heal her and give her the strength to keep fighting. We thank you Lord for allowing her to still be with us today. We ask that you continue to bless her life Father and shine your bright light on her so she feels surrounded with your love at all times. For others going through the same issues she's going through, I ask that you intervene in their lives Lord that they may heal like our sister Miriam is healing right now. We ask that this testimony she shared touches the lives of those who are fighting their own battles so they could too, seek you for refuge. We ask this in Jesus name...
Miriam... God Bless you! We love you and thank you for sharing this awesome testimony with us.