Day 48: Last Day with My Kids = 3D Turkey Time, Lung Poppin’, Puppy Kidnapping, and Fiesty Articles

Today has been quite the day to say the least. It started out earlier than most Thursdays because it was the last day to be with my fourth graders. Needless to say I decided to spend the most time possible with my kids. But I couldn’t just go out spending time with them. Me being me, I had to go out with some kind of bang, so I brought a craft for the kids to do! It is almost Thanksgiving so I was thinking a turkey craft, but I couldn’t do a hand turkey craft, because that is so kindergarten, and yes I just sounded like a valley girl. But let’s be real, what fourth grader wants to make a hand turkey? So I went to Michael’s; naturally. I found foam balls and lots of feathers and Popsicle sticks and red miniature cotton balls for the gobbler and lots and LOTS of feathers of every single color. I went absolutely nuts in the craft aisle and was SO excited! I went into the school today at about eight am and the kids were absolutely excited to see me this early, but of course it was bittersweet because this was my last day with them. I got to go to lunch with them today and just walk around with them, talking to them, hearing their stories and listening to all the things going on in their lives. Then, when we got back from lunch, they ATTACKED that craft. There was nothing better than watching them get super creative with their turkeys making feet, putting on multiple heads, making crazy faces on their turkeys, and imagining really creative stories of where the turkey comes from, where it goes, and how it ends up looking the way it does. At the very end of the day, I was giving the kids their cards that I had written individually for them telling them advice I had for them for the future and how they had individually touched my hearts this semester, they surprised me with individual cards from each of them. I had done well all day keeping it together and at that point, I lost it. I couldn’t keep it together and it finally hit me that today was my last day with them. I can’t believe after spending time having them push against me with their emotional behavioral disorders or their learning disabilities and working through things with them and just loving them and being loved back that I had to leave. I literally left with arms full of their goodbye cards with one of the kids wrapped around my waist telling me I should stay. I cried the hardest when the kid who the first day told me he would never talk to me because I was just gonna leave and not make a difference told me I should just fake sick and stay forever. I’m crying again as I write this because I just can’t believe how much my heart and soul has been touched in just one semester. I can’t believe this is going to be my career. Like, I can’t believe how blessed I am that God gave me a talent and a heart for this kind of thing. I truly, truly am blessed and I wish these kids knew how much I will hold them near and dear to my heart forever and ever. As I read those cards that those students wrote to me, I could not believe how much time those kids had spent writing them, especially the kids who struggle with spelling and how much they hate writing. It really spoke to my heart and I bawled almost all the way back to getting my lunch before my next class.

As if being a hot mess and crying (but with good reason) wasn’t enough, my body decided that because I got good rest last night, it should start getting more sick. Logic, where did you go in my body and its ability to fight off sickness? But really though hahah So I’ve been coughing and coughing and coughing today to the point where I quite literally sound like a man. I mean there is nothing wrong with that and hey I am rocking it, I’m just saying, it would be nice if my body would just grasp hold of sleep and make the corrections necessary for me to be able to work all the hours I’m assigned next week for work. I’m pretty sure I saw my lung fly out the window of my friend’s car when we were driving earlier to the grocery store to go get medicine!

As if all of that wasn’t enough action for one day for a sickie like me, one of my best friends and I kidnapped a friend’s puppy for the second day in a wrong. I swear he is never going to have his puppy for himself ever again. Granted, the guy is working forever, but at the same time, he has a beagle puppy and two girls who love animals in some of his classes who live in the same apartment complex. Bless his heart, he is never getting his puppy back. But this dog has been just a blessing to cuddle with and love on and just be sweet to me while I just feel like absolute poop. The great thing about being sick and being in recovery though, is that it doesn’t trigger eating disorder thoughts, it makes me just want to be well, relax and get back to kicking arse and taking names!:)

Right when I was getting ready to settle down, I saw an article that was a rebuttal to a really rude article I saw about how dating girls with eating disorders is good because of a bunch of things that are negative about eating disorders, but they were glamorized. I definitely went off verbally and then to one of my friends when I read the article. But then, I was really excited to see that they had at article responding to that ignorant piece of crap article saying how unreasonable and unrealistic it was and telling the realities of eating disorders and how truly, 1 in 5 individuals diagnosed with an eating disorder dies from them. It is real life and these are real problems whether society wants to face it or not. One of the biggest problem in not only our country but our society as a whole is that things like this are either minimized or made into a joke. I’m sitting here as a girl who struggled and battled and fought for her life for nine years and almost died multiple times that this is real and this is not something that to be made into a joke. I don’t get fiesty and genuinely angry about anything except for this kind of thing. If I ever hear about this kind of thing anywhere near me, I feel like it is my job to try and make sure that people know how real this disorder is. With all that being said, I know God is placing these kinds of things in my path to keep me motivated in making sure that I continue in my recovery strong and through Him making sure to Him be the glory.

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Day 47: Pure Appreciation, Leap of Faith, Mushy Gushy

Maybe it didn’t hit me until the other night when we were talking or maybe it was because I truly had not yet realized how messed up and broken my last relationships were, but something clicked with me last night/really early this morning. I realized why I used to hate seeing all those girls being so mushy about their relationships, not because I truly thought it was annoying, because I never had experienced one worthy being that way about. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not sitting here telling you that I think Brandon is the one because we have only been dating a week and only been talking for a little over a month before then, so that in itself would just throw up all kinds of red flags in my own face of clingy if I was thinking that. But, just in this time that I have spent with him, he has completely shattered my image of men and shown me what someone who truly has God in their heart and a good raising behind them can do in a relationship; basically how a man treats a woman. So I’m just going to have to warn ya’ll ahead of time that I may now officially be that girl that gets occasionally mushy because gosh darnit, I have a reason to be..FINALLY and I’m proud of him being in my life. But last night he came up to talk to me about some things I had posted on twitter when we had first started talking because I had honestly put some posts up out of anger. Should I have done it? No. Were they my way of putting my walls up because I thought he was going to leave and turn out like the rest? Heck yeah. But that gives me no excuse. If he has taught me anything, it is that everyone deserves a fresh start in your life and that no one deserves the same treatment as someone who abused you, used you, or left you in the dust previously. Yes, having a sheltered heart is okay. Heck, in the bible it says “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” Proverbs 4:23. But, he was right to come and talk to me about it because without even realizing it, I was being hateful and hitting on some of the key things that he had shared with me. Now I pride myself on being very loving and understanding, but this time, I messed up big time. All I could do was tell him the truth, that I was putting my walls up out of fear. Luckily, I do have a good one who understands, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt him or scare him to see things like that before we were even dating. How does he know I’m not going to do it again? He doesn’t. And now he has a basis to go off of, whereas when I was running off a misunderstanding and angrily writing things, I was just running off of my past, which I have overcome and I know I am stronger than. After I talk, that is when it truly hit me, God has placed a wonderful man in my life and I need to appreciate not just who he is as a person, but make sure that on a regular basis I am appreciating his heart, his soul, and his spirit. Yes, I have made tremendous strides, but I know I am hard to handle. I can be the perfect girlfriend on the outside but my trauma can sometimes make things difficult and even in the short amount of time that we’ve been together, he has already helped me a lot.

Heck, my ex tried to get ahold of me multiple times recently and instead of giving in like I always do and beating around the bush, I told him I am happily in a relationship that I feel is going to last. Basically, I ended the cycle that has been going on since I met him however many years ago. Can I just tell you how amazing that feels to be able to say that I did that, let alone to have actually done that?! I wanna cry right now for how amazing that feels on top of just wanting to scream it from the roof top that I AM FREE and I FINALLY DID IT! All I ever wanted to do after all of the things that happened in that relationship that were so broken and abusive and just horrible, I just wanted to be able to walk away, but I was never able to. Something about Brandon and this new found strength I have in Christ and who I am in Christ, I just felt like I could boldly say that I am done with the past and everyone and everything in it that used to break me and walk away, no regrets and no more ties. *Insert squeaky high pitched voice here* I DID IT!!! I permanently shut that door.

With all that being said, I’ve been giving him (Brandon) my all, just not with the extra pep like I usually do. If you know me in person, you know that every relationship or interaction I have has an extra little pep to it because I like neon colors and just anything that has a little something extra. That is just who I am. While the actions have been there, the fear of my past somehow messing this up has also been there. My past has had a way of creeping in and ruining great things for the past nine years and I wasn’t putting it past it this time (pun intended). But now, I know that my past is behind me and I am walking forward, hand in hand with someone who wants to look forward and isn’t interested in knowing how many people hurt me or knowing how many times before I’ve turned around. He just wants to keep my chin up and my eyes facing forward so that he can keep helping me gain strength as I have been in the Lord and in life in general in my spirit and in my heart. I didn’t think I ever wanted a guy like that, but once you’ve done a lot of the mending yourself, a guy like that is pretty handy. Especially if you don’t need someone to ‘fix’ you, it’s just nice to have someone hold your hand while you do the ending repairs and stitches on wounds of the past. And in a way, we are both healing together. We both have places we wish life had never taken us, but not out of regret because we grew into who we are today. And we both have scars that have stories that are hidden in the shadows that maybe will come off the shelf when the time is right. And as I’ve said a million times, I don’t know what God has planned for us. Maybe we stay together for years, maybe we split up in a few months or at the end of college, maybe we get married, maybe we don’t, who knows and who cares. That is the great thing about trusting God and trusting each other to grow along side each other. It is not the amount of time nor the amount of past shared with one another. It is the growth made with one another and the strides taken towards a future, either together or separate, knowing no matter what happens, we are both better people because we are together now and want the best for each other. That in and of itself is what I’ve always wanted in a relationship and never been able to pin point it out until now.

So with all that being said, despite being sick and completely overwhelmed with projects, I’m stronger than I used to be, and I’m only getting stronger. I never realized there was a point in recovery where going back just isn’t an option anymore. And maybe there isn’t but I’ve just defined that for myself. In my life and what I want to do in my future and the fact that I want to have a family and children and teach special needs, there is no room for ED in my life anymore, GOD takes up that room in my heart and mind, ED just doesn’t fit. While it is something that will be a battle or something I deal with for the rest of my life, I Just cannot and will not look back. ED stole everything from me and now looking at my life, I have taken absolutely everything back from ED except the occasional thought that slips in my mind. If I am twenty-one and have been dealing with this since I was twelve, am symptom free, am basically a senior in college, have a 3.7GPA, am dealing with five different assault situations, AND have a healthy relationship with my heavenly father as well as a guy and my family and friends, I’d say yeah…ED sorry bud, but you lose. I can guarantee that ED looks at my life on a regular basis now and wishes he hadn’t ever touched my life, because it has now become a platform for recovery. And the best thing about platforms is they can only go up from here!:)

Day 46: Sickness, Fighting Back Tears, Banana Bread with Apple Pancakes, and Overwhelmed with Grace

Okay, okay so I know I’m really not consistent. I say that pretty much every time I type these, but with that being said…guys I’m sick with a sinus infection and some other gunk going on in my chest. It feels really gross and if you’ve had it, which I’m sure most of you have, then you know it’s a pain in the arse to try and eat with it. Not that it’s triggering, because honestly that part is not. And if I’m being honest, I haven’t really been thinking too much about my eating disorder lately, other than with my knee, I just want to be more active. You never really think about how much your body and your mind thrives on being active until there is some injury prohibiting you from doing so. ED is eating this up and the other day I swear I almost just had to sleep for a few hours because the fight was just so intense in my head against bad body image. But what did I do instead? I got dressed up and went out with one of my girls and my boy and his best friend and looked dang good and had a great time. And I got complimented by some random stranger telling me how beautiful my eyes were. Was that the most random thing that has happened to me in a while? Yes. Was it also something that I really needed to hear on that particular night and so God kind of sent it my way to help fight ED? Also, yes.

It is crazy to know that no matter what the day brings, a good or bad ED day, a good or bad day in general, God is still there, and God is still good. He is still right there next to me holding me. That is something that is so easy to forget when we have our mountain top highs and we feel so surrounded by His mercy and grace. He is the same God that is there next to us, holding us in the valleys of life when it feels like everything around us is falling apart. But that is the thing, He won’t ever let us fall. If we trust in Him and rely on Him the whole way, He will guide us and make our paths straight. Today, the pastor at The Heart was talking about Jeremiah 29:11, which is my anxiety ring on my thumb, and how it has much deeper meaning than most people think it does. The verse says this, “I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope.” A lot of people, including myself, have taken this to mean that He will get us through whatever is going on quickly and it will be over and He will hold us in the night and in the morning His joy will come. That is a good way to think about it, but long story short, this verse is tied with a story about when Jerusalem was exiled for 70 years. I think it really hit me hard today because I remember thinking how even though I was suffering terribly for nine years in my eating disorder, my faith grew even deeper with Him because I still was holding on to the promise that He would eventually lead me out of the darkness. Sure, there were days that I thought I wasn’t meant to be on this earth anymore or there were months that I just completely gave up on absolutely everything, but He NEVER gave up on me and kept me alive because I realize now that He has a plan and a purpose for me and that involves peace and to spread that peace across the nations, across His people.

That in itself brings me to my next part where earlier today I was struggling to fight back tears when I was hanging out with Brandon. I mean it was kind of bad, but it was really good because I realized something. Now normally I try to stray away from being that cheesy girlfriend, especially early on, but guys, he is amazing. Maybe it is because I have never been in a healthy relationship before, but it is more than that. He is patient with me, especially my past, he cares about me and who I am on the inside and the outside, specifically in that order, and he just listens. I also am just not one of those people to open up to relationships very easily and he is making it easier than I thought it would be. Not that it is taking away my focus from other things because trust me when I say it just makes me want to change even more lives with special needs and helps me stay that much more focused on school and what not. But, an ex boyfriend of mine tried to get in contact with me today and I already was really exhausted so needless to say, that just added to my body’s desire to just sleep and let the day be over. I just started crying and Brandon was just really patient with me talking through everything even though it isn’t even his baggage to open, and even though he isn’t fixing it, he sat there and listened to me sort through it. Yes, I have dealt with it but there are also going to be days like this for just a little bit longer where sometimes my past leaks through. I just wish I could fully express how amazing he is to him and how just him is enough. I’m just not used to having a man like him in my life other than my dad and it is just truly a nice change to know that even at my weakest moments, I know I’m good enough and he knows and believes it too. I know he probably isn’t going to read this, but for what it is worth, today, he showed me that right now, he is exactly the man I need him to be and as I say to him all the time, who he is, is more than enough.

Apart from all that mushy stuff, because ya’ll know I don’t like to talk about that the whole time, today was a chill sunday because I’ve been feeling under the weather a lot. I decided to avoid being sick a little bit by baking and making homemade cornmeal apple pancakes and my grandma’s banana bread. Well technically I coached Brandon through the banana bread, but I made the pancakes. It was one of the most fun sundays I have had in a while. I miss having Sundays like this back home. I can’t remember the last time we had a normal one like this because my eating disorder had ruined so many of them. That is the one thing that I wish I could go back and change was how much my eating disorder affected my family and our time together. It split a lot of our family apart, including my brother from most of our entire family; oh how I wish I could get him back, but that is another conversational topic entirely. But let’s just say, up here finally feels like home because we had almost like a family brunch after church and I was cooking and baking again. It felt marvelous with no ED and no ED thoughts involved at all!

I just can’t thank God enough for all that He has given me and blessed me with in the form of friends and family. I just don’t know what I would do without them all. Yes, I have come a long way, but without all of the help I would probably still be trying to hitch hike my way along the road of recovery. And time and time again I have been completely covered by His grace and mercy that I didn’t ever deserve or earn, but thank God that I was because while I may stumble and fall, I’m on the right road of recovery and I’m never looking back.

Day 45:Battle with ED, Desert Song, Exhaustion, Push

Maybe it is just because I’m getting sick or because Boone is completely covered in smoke from a forest fire, but I just feel like crawling in a big hole where I can’t look at or feel my body. It’s not that I’m not doing well in my recovery, I just don’t feel well in my body today. You know those days that you just want to scream and put ed in a box and ship him to the middle of Antarctica until he freezes the way you spent months doing when you were listening to him? That’s how I feel. But my body is so exhausted trying to repair my torn cartilage and trying to fight off whatever sickness is coming that it just doesn’t want to have enough left over brain and will-power to put ED in his place in my mind right now. Can i just tell you how not okay I am with that? As anyone who has known someone with an eating disorder or is someone with an eating disorder, you know there are good days and there are bad days. As recovery goes on, the good days get more frequent, and the bad days get few and far between. For me, that has definitely become the case which makes the bad days that much more difficult for me to comprehend it feels like, especially when I physically don’t have the extra energy to be my normal, extra perky self. I’m taking time to rest because that is what my body, mind, and spirit need, but gosh dang if there was ever time I wanted to punch ED directly in the face, it would be right now.

I’m just trying to surround myself with His word and music that is about Him and His love for me because I know that will bring me peace that nothing else will bring and help me fight ED like nothing else will today. Like the verse from Song of Solomon 4:7 “You are altogether beautiful my love; there is NO flaw in you.” That is something I just need to repeat to myself for I am made in His image and there is no mistake in me for He created me in His image and He is perfect. Yes I make mistakes, but when looking in the mirror, I should not see something imperfect needing to be changed or thrown away, but a piece of art that God took the time to form each and every single detail of.How could I forget that? The other verse that always hits me pretty hard is Isaiah 45:9 that says, “How horrible it will be for the one who quarrels with his maker.
    He is pottery among other earthenware pots.
        Does the clay ask the one who shapes it, “What are you making?”
        Does your work say to you, “There are no handles”?”

Meaning, who are we to sit there and ask our Creator what He has made of us. He has created us nothing short of perfect and in His image. Who are we to try and change it or tell Him that it is not good enough, that we are not good enough?That is just silly for He took care and loves us with everything that He has. How could we possibly sit there and tell Him that we are not enough or that who He created us to be in Him and for Him is not enough? Such a humbling verse and honestly just writing this and going through the verses is helping me when it comes to fighting ED despite the fact that I still don’t feel all that well and he is still yelling quite loudly in my head. Or my absolute favorite verse that helps me through things that is engraved on a ring that I wear everyday, Jeremiah 29:11 which says, “I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope.”

Not to mention, last night was praise and worship night at CRU which definitely brought some tears to my eyes because I realized a few things that just brought tears to my eyes. For one, I realized that while my faith is strong, I am remaining stagnant if I am not going out there and making sure that I am growing stronger in my faith everyday. Yes, I am making sure that I am talking to Him on a regular basis, but I am also not going out there and talking to people close to me about my faith who I know could use it. That for me hit me big that. That being a couple of my best friends, but mostly my brother. I have been convicted about him for a long time but I honestly just don’t want to approach it because it hurts my heart knowing he gave up on himself and his faith forever ago. I’m not very good at rejection, especially from my own family, so I’m still praying about how to approach that. I also realized that God is using my testimony in the smallest of ways. Not necessarily in sharing my whole story because that is a lot to handle for some people, but just bits and pieces that might be something they needed to hear. Like hey I’ve been there, and I know it’s going to be okay. Or, I’ve seen rock bottom and God pulled me through. It wasn’t what I expected, but then again God is never what we expect, only what we need and so so much more. I just want to be able to do whatever he calls me to do and do it to the best of my ability. With that being said, a few verses of a song hit me really hard last night and I figured I would post it. It’s a Hillsong song, it’s call the Desert Song, and I don’t think it will ever stop bringing tears to my eyes.:

This is my prayer in the desert
When all that’s within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides

VERSE 2:
This is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flame.

 

Refine me Lord through the flame. Take today, as painful and hard as it is and take it to refine my faith in you about the difference you make in my life and the life of those you may not even believe in you. Lord help me step out in faith and trust in you even when my pride is on the line, when rejection is on the line, help me to trust in you. Lord just hold me, hold me near to you for without you none of this would be possible. And help on days like today for the mirror to reflect You and only You and Your love and grace.

Amen.

Day 44: Battle Over ED, Trying to Rest, Thankful for a Reignited Flame, and Tenth Avenue North

So, I’m sitting here in reading class with my leg elevated, my stomach chalk full of taco salad, struggling to make it through the first hour of class of a three hour of class without wanting to rush home and just rest like I’ve been trying to do all day. I think the fact that my body wants to rest and give my knee a chance to heal shows that I am truly dedicated to giving my body the shot to be all that it truly can be. With that being said, I gave myself a shot to actually rest today and wrote my papers from home instead of trying to push myself through a thirteen hour day and writing the paper in my one small break and push my body to its limit.

Let me just break out of this focused note and say that my professor just talked about cutting out articles from Dentistry offices based on their reading levels and then proceeded to tell us, “This is important shit, people! Kids are dying on the skewers of grade level reading expectations.” Can I just say how much I love my major and how much I know I’m in the right major due to the passion of my professors towards the students and getting materials and accessibility for students who really need it. That is all, I will get back to what I was saying.

With that being said, I have been doing a lot better about fighting against my meds despite my lack of appetite. Sometimes, yes that takes my friends bargaining with me because I literally don’t feel like eating or want to eat with how much stuff I’ve got going on because I don’t want to stop once I’ve gotten on a roll. But, with support, I’ve gotten to the point where for the most part I’ve gotten my appetite back which is pretty exciting. Yes, it has been exhausting, and no I’m not there yet because even tonight it was a fight to have to eat dinner on time to make sure that I could take my medication for my knee. But at the same time, I did it and that in itself is a triumph over ED and that makes today successful on so many different levels.

Speaking of ED, I find it ironic that I have not had time to go to the gym in a while because of all of the things that I’ve had going on in my life in multiple areas of my life. ED chooses now when I can’t be that active at all to start screaming about how out of shape I am because at least this time last week I could participate in self defense which is more physical than one would think. You get to kick, punch, block, knee, attack, etc. towards either a dummy or someone else in the class. So today was the first time I’ve heard ED’s voice in a minute and it was almost just like a little nat in my ear. It has just become one of those little bugs I have to swat at occasionally so that it doesn’t overtake my focus or my day. It may have taken my attention for a few minutes on the couch when I was waiting for the small pain relief I get to kick in from the meds that the doctor gave me. Sometimes I wish there was just a logical way to talk ED out of life forever. I know that living in recovery forever is where I’m going to remain for the rest of my life, because I am dedicated to doing that; the rest of my life IS and WILL be in recovery. But, all I want is a mirror to show ED how truly ugly he is because there isn’t nothing appealing about an eating disorder at all anymore, Praise the Lord. My wish is that one day, all individuals struggling with and eating disorder will be able to see ED for what he truly is, nothing but a broken mirror, full of nothing but lies, with nothing more to offer than that.

But, apart from going on my nice little rant about how much I hate ED and how glad I’m so far apart from him, can I just state for a minute how happy I am that I came to my night class? We have been talking about how we are going to make it. We are going to influence kids and make a difference in their lives. That was just what I needed to hear today because somedays you just feel burnt out with education and this week has been one of those days. He then started talking about how we need to be able to have ‘us’ time when we get older because we will get wrapped up with the kids and all of their problems, trying to fix what’s going on with them. That sounds like something I used to do or something that I would do in the future that I would possibly do if I don’t keep my faith focused on God that He has a plan or focused on making sure that everything has a balance and a great purpose in my life.

I’m just going to end this post with a song that’s been on my heart lately that describes where I’ve been to what I now believe:

TENTH AVENUE NORTH

You Are More Lyrics

 

There’s a girl in the corner
With tear stains on her eyes
From the places she’s wandered
And the shame she can’t hide

She says, “How did I get here?
I’m not who I once was
And I’m crippled by the fear
That I’ve fallen too far to love”

But don’t you know who you are?
What has been done for you?
Yeah, don’t you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you’ve made
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes
You are more than the problems you create
You’ve been remade

Well, she tries to believe it
That she’s been given new life
But she can’t shake the feeling
That it’s not true tonight

She knows all the answers
And she’s rehearsed all the lines
And so she’ll try to do better
But then she’s too weak to try

But don’t you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you’ve made
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes
You are more than the problems you create
You’ve been remade

You are more than the choices that you’ve made
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes
You are more than the problems you create
You’ve been remade

‘Cause this is not about what you’ve done
But what’s been done for you
This is not about where you’ve been
But where your brokenness brings you to

This is not about what you build
But what He built to forgive you
And what He built to make you know

You are more than the choices that you’ve made
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes
You are more than the problems you create
You’ve been remade

You are more than the choices that you’ve made
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes
You are more than the problems you create
You’ve been remade

You’ve been remade
You’ve been remade
You’ve been remade
You’ve been remade

Praise God, we have been Re-made.

Day 43: Me-Dating?, Contentment, Turning to HIM for Siblings, Past Left Behind, and Roundhouse Kicks

Do you ever have those realizations that just smack you in the face. Like those things that your parents have been telling you for years but you JUST now realized they were right and it was true for you all along? For me, it finally hit me last night, as cheesy as it sounds, when Brandon asked if I would like to take our relationship to the next level. First off, this is the first time that I have not been anxious or pushing for a relationship to just ‘move on to the next stage already.’ Not that I’m one of those annoying girls that constantly brings it up, but my mind always circulates around that idea when I’m talking to someone and it’s obviously moving in that direction. This time, I was honestly just content being with him and going wherever it took us. That was the first indication that I am growing up and growing into my own apart from this being the first HEALTHY relationship I’ve ever been in. Not just since I’ve been in college but ever. And I’m also not talking about just with someone else. This is the first time I’ve also had a healthy relationship with myself. And right now, it’s not a matter of sitting in awe and being like how did this happen, but being like, wow I’ve worked for the past twenty-one years to have a healthy relationship with someone else as well as myself on the inside and the outside. It has taken days upon days upon years of hard work and fighting back against at times what felt like myself to get to this point. And some days it still feels like I’m fighting myself because that was my identity for so long. And now that I have finally decided to hand that identity to God and take on the one that He hand crafted for me, He is, bit by bit, handing me the life and identity that He has designed for me all along.

With all of that flowing through my mind, the concept of me dating hasn’t truly crossed my mind in I cannot tell you how long. After all the abusive relationships that I have been in, not just sexually or emotionally, but also just how one-sided they were, I swear I had sworn off men until the future when I was going to be so wrapped up in my teaching career it was going to take a marine to pry me out for a conversation let alone dinner or a drink. I guess that’s the funny thing about God’s plan and His timing. If we start giving our baggage to Him and stop acting like we know everything or stop putting on a mask, He shows us what life can be like. I didn’t think letting go of my past would happen so soon or so quickly once I started letting it slip through my fingers like sand. And these past ten months have just been about working through each of the handfuls of sand that have either gone through my hands or have thrown to the wind. Nothing feels better than knowing that there is no way that any of this is coming back and that I can, will, and am truly moving forward.

For those of you who have been in unhealthy relationships or who have clung to relationships as a way to find meaning in life or in yourself, wait until you know who you are and WHOSE you are as my mom would say, before you enter into one. It took me finally finding a guy who is worth calling mind to realize that until now, my life glasses were fogged up and I couldn’t even tell. I was going through life seeing everything the way that I wanted to see it, not willing to stop, take time to clean my glasses and get my vision straight, and then reassess the path I was on. Don’t EVER for a second think that your worth is found in someone else. Your worth is found in your Heavenly Father and He will never ever tell you that you are not good enough. Yes, we make mistakes and sometimes we fall down or go down the wrong path, but we are never too far away from His love nor do we ever make enough mistakes to not be worthy of love and goodness. It makes me sick to my stomach that people could ever think that someone else is not worthy of love, let alone actually verbalize it. Even worse, it makes me sad to think that those words could affect someone and make them their core belief. But, God is stronger than that and He has designed us for a higher purpose than that. I used to be one of those girls who would take that core belief as my own. I didn’t believe I was worthy of anything, let alone love or proper treatment. So, with that core belief, that is what I attracted. I attracted those who believed the same when they looked at me. They took advantage of me and robbed me of any light that I could still see that God still had burning in my eyes and in my heart. Unbeknownst to me, however, He never let go and that fire in my heart never went out because without Him in my heart and my soul, I would have never made it to where I am now.

Where I am now is a good place to be, but I won’t be here forever. Some days, like today, I will have struggles. Like when my brother texted me about my new relationship and as always tried to play the overprotective brother role but came across as a know-it-all who just wanted to hurt me. Granted, I am content and I know that I am just taking everything a day at a time so there wasn’t a pedestal to knock me off of. But, my heart still hurts when I know that my brother is lost and hurting and his one way of communicating with me is either hurting me or the ever rarity of being nice to me, but that usual contains something in it for him. I’ve prayed about my relationship with him, and just prayed for him in general, and most days that makes my heart content. Today, my heart weeps for our lost relationship and for him because I just don’t know how to communicate with him anymore. So for any of you guys out there reading this, please pray for him. I don’t know where he is on his spiritual journey, although according to him, he hopped off of that train a long time ago, I just want him to find happiness and to find peace again. And I just want our relationship to be filled with wholesome conversation, not him tearing me down or me looking for a way to run away so I don’t get hurt again. Granted, relationships are a two way street and I no longer go out of my way to start conversations or hang out anymore, mostly because of past experiences, but there should be no excuses. God placed him in my family for a reason, and so regardless of circumstances or clashes of personalities, I am meant to love him for who he is and never stop loving or praying for him. I just never thought loving and caring for someone could ever possibly be this hard, especially when I am following the path that I feel God is leading me down. And maybe there in lies what some people consider the catch. For no path is ever perfectly easy and there is always something going on in life strengthening us and our faith and reliance on God. This is my struggle or hole in my heart that I keep coming back to apart from healthy relationships. I just don’t know how to get past the hurt with my brother and just love him despite what he might say or do without retreating into a box in our relationship. With that being said, I’m going to take the next week or so and just meditate on God’s word with it and just pray. If you guys could just be praying with me, that would be great.

Well, on the bright side of all that, although all of this is bringing me closer to God and whatever future He has planned for me, I am currently rocking an awesome black knee brace. I managed to deliver a b-a roundhouse kick the other day in self-defense which ended up with me over rotating my landing and landing directly on my knee. Although I did hear a cracking of some sort, I just kind of ignored it thinking it was just like most of my injuries where it would go away. Well that was false, because when I went down to Georgia we walked pretty much everywhere and I came back up to Boone with a knee the size of a large softball. So, with a little coaxing from the boy, I went to the doctor to find out that I had torn some cartilage in my knee and that if it doesn’t get better within the next two weeks, I get to go have surgery. Although I was originally worried about missing time with my kids, I realized that next Thursday is my last day with my kids, but I will avoid that for now because that would add five pages to this blog and honestly, my knee is killing me to the point where a nap will more than likely happen when I’m done with this post. But for now, I’m just processing today and taking it as it comes with the knee pain and all. Ed has quieted down now that I’m just listening to God’s voice and it is amazing how loud God’s voice can be in your head versus Ed’s. It’s just so quiet in my head lately and I can’t explain how much of a needed break it has been and more than likely will continue to be. Today is just another day living out His will and living in recovery. Here is a cheer’s to many many more of those.

Day 41 and 42: But How?, Reminiscing, Chef Status, Realizations, And Georgia Ready

So I woke up this morning after going out last night with some of the people who are becoming my best friends up here, some of which already have been my best friends for a while. Regardless, I woke up this morning feeling a little more refreshed than usual. Not just like I actually slept well, because I think the medicine has actually leveled out so I’ve been sleeping better the past few nights, but waking up today was different. I woke up this morning feeling refreshed as in completely content and happy. I have felt this way a lot this year, but something about these past few months is different. I have not only stepped into my own but I have started opening my heart back up. Not just opening it up to friendships and not being so closed off the the world, but opening it up to the possibility of relationships, and figuring out what healthy relationships are. I honestly didn’t think I would ever get back to this point where healthy relationships became a plausible concept for me, let alone something I pursued. Waking up this morning, I just felt I was on the right track that God had designed me to be on. That, is one of the best feelings in the world.

All that being said, it got me thinking about how much I could feel this way on a regular basis if I kept up with recovery like this not just this year but everyday for the rest of my life. If I choose to focus on God and make living for Him and living in love for others, for Him, and for myself a part of everyday, then everyday can be this good. The thought of that just makes my heart so happy. I can’t even imagine living like this and feeling content and full of God’s love for the rest of my life. To think that I’ve been missing out on this for the past nine years because I was so busy fighting God and who He designed me to be, that is just crazy. I just hope I can help at least one other person not walk the same path I walked down, then my life has been successful and has had purpose.

I also realized something, both the other day and this morning. One of the things I wasn’t doing enough that brought joy to my heart and my body was cooking and baking. While that goes hand in hand with where I’m at in my recovery, what i’m cooking or baking, it also somehow always seems to get my mind off whatever is going on in my life. When I’m in the kitchen it isn’t about how stressed I am or how much ED was screaming at me that day. It is about what herbs I know go with what vegetables, or what textures go well in what recipes. I have recently just submerged myself in the kitchen any chance I get and just go, go, go, until I either have a full meal or can’t go anymore and run out of ingredients. It has just been a release for me lately and just in general in life and I am so excited that I am back to cooking.

Sorry that these posts keep coming so off and on. I will start writing a post and then life happens and it’s the next day and I realize I have so much more that I want to say. Like yesterday, it was just so amazing. After all that I typed, I took a nap and went to meet with one of my best friends from church up here and it was just so uplifting. It was so great to spend time with her and to catch up and to be in time with the Lord with her. There is nothing better than fellowship with someone who loves the Lord like I do and we push each other in our faith and in general. Needless to say, after an amazing week like this, I needed it. This week I have just felt more refreshed in God and His love and His people. Following that was church. Can I just say how amazing that was? They always seem to play the right worship music. I’m not just saying music that keeps my foot tapping or has my hands clapping. I’m talking music that hits my heart and makes me literally want to cry out, and lately that’s all I do because the Lord our God is so present. He is everywhere and is begging for us to just reach out to Him. Like the song “Come to Me” the worship song by Bethel, oh my goodness, I’m listening to it now, and if that song didn’t hit me like a brick in the face. It was just what I needed. It was talking about how God wants us to just come to Him because He is literally our everything and all we need. No matter what goes on in life, He is everything we could possibly need and will never leave nor forsake us. Yes, that is in the bible, but there is something about crying out to God and singing it and being in a worship setting and hearing it with the instruments that makes it set it a little deeper, like down to the core.

Something about having everything stabilizing in my life feels really good. I know I keep mentioning that, but guys, I never thought this time would come. Especially knowing that I will be okay if anything goes wrong. I now know that my past is a platform that God is going to use to put me into the future. And I also know that God is preparing me to intimately share my testimony. That in itself scares me a little bit, but I know that He is preparing me and will show me the way. That being said, I know somehow my story is going to workout for His glory and His greater good and the bigger picture of  the plan that He has designed for me and for whomever I’m meant to share it with. I think that is the purpose of trusting Him, not only letting go but knowing and accepting that His plans are better than any we could possibly even dream up. His ways are higher than any we could even attempt. To think, He has everything planned out, and without Him we would fall short in everything, but He loved us enough to not only send His only son down to cover any mistakes we would make, but He always wants to walk with us and have an intimate relationship with us every step of the way. That will never stop blowing my mind.

So with this week being a week of just amazing realizations of how blessed I am to have the relationships I do with the people around me, friendship, family, and otherwise, and just the steadying of my present focused life and my faith reliant living, I am ready to go have an amazing weekend. I am blessed that I get to drive down to Georgia this weekend to see one of the most amazing guys I have met in my life. He is basically the male version of me who has changed my life since the moment he stepped in. He has reminded me what it is like to have an amazing God focused friendship, as well as just a loving friendship. He is one of my all-time best friends and I don’t know what I would do without him. That being said, I get to spend an entire weekend with him reminiscing on this past summer and just making new memories with the football game! I am just so excited to spend a weekend with someone who helped get me to the place that I’m at now! I am truly blessed!

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