“Growing up, I heard my grandfather’s story. Plagued by alcoholism, he continued to lose the battle until one fateful day. He was drunk and behind the wheel. He lost control of the car and ended up in a ditch. Phased by the jolt, he watched the passenger door open and Jesus climbed into the cab.
‘Jesus was there. Dressed in white. He said, ‘You are going to die.’ I thought he meant right then but he simply said, ‘Don’t drink anymore.’ And with that, he got out of the cab and closed the door.’
My grandfather’s face spoke the truth. His eyes were always bright when he told the story. Every time, he ended by pointing upward and saying, ‘When Jesus tells you to do something, you do it. I haven’t had a drink since that day.’
It has been a year and six months since I drove off the road trying to end my life. I remember the air bag making it hard to breath and the sizzle sound of steam from the radiator. The heaviness of my life caved inward. The passenger door opened wide. In climbed a man dressed in white. His face expressed concern. He closed the door and looked at me.
Words of great love poured out. He gazed at me with his angelic face. ‘You are going to die…..’ The weight of those words mixed with all the heartbreak and sorrow from the day. ‘Stop the gorging. You don’t need food. You need me.’
I closed my eyes. The pain shot through my body. Tears swelled and I whispered, ‘Yes, Jesus.’ Then everything went dark when I heard the door slam shut.
I woke up in the stark hospital room a week later. I knew what I had to do. As soon as I was strong enough to go home. I asked my doctor to help me. I didn’t know where to begin but I knew I was going to die if I didn’t stop binge eating.
My doctor gave me the number of Overeaters Anonymous. I held onto the number like my life depended on it. I came. I sat. And I learned. I fought the urges and the binge’s sweet sounding voice. I struggled with the whole changing my eating habits. Carrots never satisfied me like a burger; but, I pushed through. I found satisfaction in Christ. I handed Him my life, my addictions and all that crap that I told myself.
Through OA, I found ways to cope. I built a support group that understood me and my addiction. They held me up. They pulled me up when I fell away from eating right. They spoke stern loving words when I called frantic that I might binge. They had a way of talking me down and away from the kitchen. They encouraged me when I enrolled in my first aerobics class. OA taught me that with Christ anything is possible. They applauded when every pound fell off the scale. And most of all they showed me how to love by loving me.
The judge granted Derrick primary custody. I lost my house. But, on the day I drove off the road, I gained my life back. They always say that from rock bottom you can only go up.
I am living proof. I am Priscilla Delinski. I am a binge eater. And today I celebrate, 150 pounds lost.”
Cheers fills the room when I step away from the podium. I am the new me. Grandfather was right. When Jesus tells you to do something, you do it.