My name is Brenda Silva Torres. I guess it’s safe to say that I have been a christian all my life, but that does not mean that I have followed Christ all my life. Ever since I was born I have been going to church and for the most part I loved it. At the age of 13 I was very dumb and young (like most of us probably look back and say), my problems started at that age where I didn’t know what I wanted all I knew is that I had to fit in.
In the seventh grade I don’t really know how it started but I started to become rebellious. I started distancing myself from all my friends and family and swore that I hated everything including God. I would go to church because I had to not because I wanted to. Everything annoyed me and made me want to escape. One day I was so angry I gave myself a headache so like any other time I took some Advil to make it go away, except this time was not like every other time this time I started to feel something different. I thought that day that Advil made the pain in my head go away maybe it could make the pain of my everyday life go away too. So every time I felt hurt or helpless I would take a couple Advils at the same time, in months the number grew from 2 to 6 till one day when I was feeling low I took 30 in the matter of three minutes. Luckily (or unluckily at the time) for me I had been taking Advil to “ease” my pain for so long that my body was used to it by then, that lead me to dig deeper and want something stronger but not have to turn to the big known drugs, so I turned to Pamprin. I know it sounds silly but any girl who has ever taken it knows what just one can do to ease the pain for cramps, now imagine that multiplied by four. It was possibly the worst feeling I can look back and say that I have ever experienced. I felt out of my body, I could not control myself, my nerves were always out of loop and it was starting to show in my physical body actions. One day a girl in my class (that I never got to thank her but hope one day I will) saw my taking my second pill right after the first she saw me take and turned to me and asked if I was okay, like most people with a problem (I didn’t know I had) I turned and told her yes. She didn’t believe me and took my box of Pamprin away from me and stepped on it. I was so angry but I do believe now that it was a God sent action of hers for me. Because after that I stopped. Later on that year although feeling low because I had a sadness in me and nothing to “take it away” with I went to church, while there the youth group made a presentation of the Lifehouse-Everything play. That was the moment I broke down, I saw myself as if God was giving me flashes of my life in every single one of the people in that play going down hill unless i ran back to Him like the girl in the play did. That day I decided that I was going to live my life for Jesus and be closer to Him. That day I felt no more need to “ease” my pain with anything because I felt no pain inside of me.
But my struggle did not stop there. As a child I was always told that I was pretty because I was skinny. I didn’t know it at the time but I became obsessed at a young age with always staying that way. In the seventh grade something else had begun in me that I was not aware of until my freshman year of high school. This started a what I only later realized was a five year struggle in attempts to try to be the pretty skinny girl, I became an anorexic. At first it was I just skipped a meal or two here and there in the week to lose a couple, then freshmen year of high school in attempts to stay pretty whenever some guy liked me I stopped eating because people always told me I was pretty skinny so I thought the skinnier the prettier. Then when things would not work out I didn’t eat because I thought I wasn’t pretty enough. After a while stopped thinking that I wasn’t pretty enough for boys and I started thinking I wasn’t pretty enough for anyone or anything including me. I started skipping more meals, first it was one dinner a week, then every other day, then lunch and dinner every other day, till the point where I only ate lunch or dinner once a week. I also became a vegetarian because in my mind meat had fat so if I cut out one more fatty thing from my life I would be skinny and pretty. I never saw a difference in my weight in the mirror, because every time I looked in it I was the same and felt like a cow. By my sophomore year I knew deep down I had a problem but thought that if I didn’t say anything out loud then it wouldn’t be real and I could just go on ignoring it, and no one would know so I wouldn’t have to change and I wouldn’t get fat, and that’s what I did. I hadn’t weighed myself in three years. Then one day my junior year my friend put up an embarrassing picture of me on Twitter as a hash-tag friends thing and that was the day I saw what I looked like to others. I cried because I was literally skin and bones, my arm was so skinny that it was literally looked like I only had skin wrapped around my bones. But although I knew I needed to change I didn’t know where to start, because every time I looked in the mirror I saw the same girl I had seen for four years. That day in my room I started by praying and telling God that I wanted to be closer to him again, because this disease lead me astray, I could not see His love for me because I could not accept myself so I thought why would God accept me.After that day He set up ways for me to start recovering. God showed and keeps showing me that even when I can’t accept myself He is almighy and forgives me and accepts me. He it made so that I finally told people who I was part of a leadership group with, some who I didn’t or barely even knew, durning my senior year what I had gone through for years. This made me come to terms with what had happened and made me praise Him even more for freeing me from some thing so troubling by telling the truth and have me best friends help me and look after me after that.
Now here I am telling this story to you all, I have always had a dream in my heart that I believe that God put there to speak to people about Him, and He has given me life and saved me from dying more than once. I could have died those times when I wanted to end the pain or starve myself for vanity and my own selfish desires if I kept that life up any longer, but He stopped me and showed me my wrongs before it was to late so that I could tell you all about His relentless love for us. I know I’m not the best christian, I still make mistakes, but I know that because of His unending grace and forgiveness even when I mess up He still loves me and gives me a chance, every morning to come back to Him everyday. And I know that I am not perfect nor will I ever be but I am trying and will continue to try everyday to be closer to Him and be more like Him.