I met Amie Shields about a year ago, and from our first coffee date at Amelia Island Coffee, I felt such a connection to her. Our kids are similar in age, we were both highly involved in church ministry, and I just found her very easy to talk to!
Little did I know that her life had taken some very low turns, and that she had been battling an eating disorder for 20 years! In the midst of getting married, having and raising four children, ministering weekly through song at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, and having a successful career in education and ministry, Amie had become so dangerously anorexic, her loved ones had intervened and demanded that she get help. Amie had spent months in a treatment facility for her eating disorder, not too many months prior to my meeting her. I was floored.
This beautiful lady seemed very normal, witty, and the most “together” person I knew! What I have learned since then is that Amie is very normal, witty, and together! And, that she is willing to use the painful trial in her life to help others in similar situations.
See, no one wakes up one morning and decides, “Hey! I think I’m gonna begin a dark, destructive habit that threatens to destroy my family, career, and life.” Instead, each of us, in our brokenness, looks for ways to deal with trauma in our lives. Sometimes people come along to help us cope in healthy, productive ways. But other times, in those vulnerable seasons, we grab at an unhealthy straw that plays for keeps. This had happened to my friend, and as irrational as her choices were, even to her, an eating disorder had become a stronghold in her life. But rather than allowing that stronghold to remain and destroy, Amie is an overcomer through faith in God, and through many tools of therapy and supportive people.
Fast forward to today…it has been over 2 years since Amie was admitted to the https://canopycove.com Eating Disorder Treatment Center for Women. Since then, an online and in-person counseling ministry has blossomed from Amie’s life! Between weekly support group meetings in Jacksonville, FL, to her blog and website, bringyourbrokenness.com, Amie is available, wise, and not afraid to meet someone where they are, in order to help bring them out. She’s back to leading in worship at her new church home, First Baptist Fernandina Beach, now that her family has moved to Amelia Island, and most of all, she’s back to being present with her family. Amie has huge vision, and plans are in the works for an Eating Disorder Treatment Facility on Amelia Island, FL!
At JTP, we look for ways to use the medium of photography to add value to causes we believe in. That’s why it was our privilege to invest in Bring Your Brokenness by capturing some portraits of Amie for her website and social media. We just can’t wait to see all the doors God will open in this ministry, as she continues to walk forward in faith! To read more of Amie’s story, or to learn how you can support Bring Your Brokenness, visit bringyourbrokenness.com.