Yesterday I went to the hospital for a doctor’s appointment. I had hoped to never return there again, but I guess I was wrong. I have something called Celiac Disease. It’s an incurable disease that’s been attacking my joints and slowly deteriorating them since I was about 9. I sank into depression and wallowed in self-pity when I was 10. And struggled with climbing out of that pit when I was 11. I went completely Gluten Free and slowly but surely recovered. (But then I relapsed this past March so no, this is not a success story.) It was the second hardest thing I’ve ever done. The first being what I went through last year. I had a nasty battle with hypocritical people, insecurity, and self-loathing. And that was just the beginning. No one ever mentions what happens in the in between. The moments between breaking free and letting go. No one mentions how much guilt is felt for wrongly handled situations. They just mention the aftermath. And if you are right now in that awkward middle, you HAVE to KEEP MOVING FORWARD! No one can help you but God and yourself.
So when I stepped into that dreaded hospital after 4 years of thinking I was off the hook, I’ll admit I was pretty upset. I thought I could beat it. This disease festering inside of me even now as I write. I thought I would win. But now I’ve accepted the fact that it’s never going away. I remember when I was younger, I thought God would heal me like he did with so many others. I prayed and pleaded, but he didn’t. This disease is just going to get stronger. It could very easily cripple me and in the end maybe even kill me. But I’m okay with that. Cause as I walked into that hospital, I realized I don’t need it, my body. And I don’t need to let a broken body lead to a broken heart. It was never the disease I needed to beat, but the depression and self hatred.
I have never been happier in my entire life. I have never been more free or alive as I am now. Why? Because I will not be beaten! Not ever as long as I have God by my side. With him I am invincible. I am unbreakable. I am fearless. I am alive. I will never let depression and self hatred get a hold of me again. My soul is unbridled, my heart in God’s hands.
I’ll soon be starting physical therapy and I have a long, hard road ahead of me. But I will not be shaken. I now know the secret to acceptance and freedom from my past. It’s to keep moving forward. It’s to not pray for my troubles to go away, but for my negative outlook to go away. I can do this. I am ready. Let the fun begin!
“The church and the whorehouse arrived in the far west at the same time. And each would have been horrified to think it was a different facet of the same thing. But surely they were both intended to accomplish the same thing: the singing, the devotion, the poetry of the churches took a man out of his bleakness for a time, so did the brothels. The sectarian churches came in swinging, cocky and loud and confident. Ignoring the laws of debt and repayment, they built churches which couldn’t be repaid in a hundred years. The sects fought evil, true enough, but they also fought each other with a fine lustiness. They fought at a turn of a doctrine. Each happily believed all the others were bound for hell in a basket. And each for all its bumptiousness brought with it the same thing: the Scripture on which our ethnics, our art and poetry, and our relationships are built. It took a smart man to know where the difference lay between the sects, but anyone could see what they had in common. And they brought music- maybe not the best, but the form and the sense of it. And they brought a conscience, or, rather, nudged the dozing conscience. They were not pure, but they had the potential of purity, like a soiled white shirt. And any man could make something pretty fine of it within himself. ”
-John Steinbeck, East of Eden
I must say, this is the most accurate description of the church I have ever heard! I’m reading East of Eden and came across this little jewel. Pretty interesting stuff. Well, just wanted to have someone to share in the awe of the authors finesse and eloquence. = )
“She jumped off the cliff and down she fell
But on the way down, she grew wings
With them she flew, having now known
You need to stay balanced to soar.”
That’s what I’ve learned this summer. I realized that far too often I was either one extreme or the other. I didn’t realize that there was a time for everything. I thought you had to choose one method and stick with it. But I was wrong. Sometimes the situation calls for you to be decisive or emotionless. Other times, your emotions can be your greatest strength. You just have to pray for the wisdom to know at what time you use which method. And you’re going to mess up and fail a lot or do the right thing the wrong way but you still have to try.
Well if I’m not careful this might end up turning into an online journal which is so not what I’m going for. So in order to avoid that, I’ll be writing a book review/ summary on “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck. It’s what I’m currently reading. Once again, everything I write is just my personal opinion so I’m sorry if what I say offends anyone.
Have you ever given super great advice and then you’re really proud of yourself and you feel like you have it all together and wow, you just know exactly what to do in every situation and you’re just so mature and everyone should just listen to you cause if they did the cure for cancer would be found and they’d be world peace and you’re just so perfect maybe God should promote you to Angel status? But then you prove what an idiot you are cause two weeks later you turn and do something stupid that is totally going against your superb advice and now you are filled with regret cause it’s like “If I’d only listened to myself then I wouldn’t be in this mess and my gosh why is it so hard to take my own flippin` advice?!” *silence indicating that I still don’t have any readers* No? Just me? Well then, you all aren’t missing out on much. Good for you. *deep breath* Okay, right, sorry. You all have no idea what I’m talking about.
Let me explain. Okay so the previous church I went to I was at for three years which is a record for my family. And in order to keep myself busy I joined something called Bible Bowl. -don’t ask me to explain, that’s what Google is for people-. I just never took into account that I might actually make some friends. But with friends comes drama which I wasn’t aware of since I’d never really had one before. And boy, was it bad! I now knew what having friends was like and now I was done. All those friendships pretty much dissipated-some I personally ended for which I am not proud-. Maybe I could have stuck it out, who knows? But instead, I quit the team and shortly thereafter left that church. I was done with making friends. I told myself that I’d just wait until college.
And it was nice being by myself all the time. I’ve really grown in my faith with God and I’ve learned that loneliness can be a gift. I don’t need friends to make my life complete. And I don’t ever want to be desperate for friends again. But, that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t make friends. That’s where I went wrong. I let a few messed up relationships keep me from seeking friendship. I’ve let my heart become hardened by negative experiences. And it stops now. The people who are around me now are not the people who hurt me at my previous church. Making new friends after you’ve had previous messed up relationships doesn’t continue the cycle, but stops it. It gives you another chance to practice compassion, patience and forgiveness. If you don’t open your heart to people, you’re just keeping yourself from living. Maybe friendships nowadays are messed up, but that shouldn’t stop you from caring. From reaching out to others, and more importantly, letting them reach out to you. Don’t make the same mistake I’ve been making. Go out and meet people. Have an amazing life and don’t let failures keep you from being a success!
Albert Einstein explained the relativity of time as this: “Time is relative. If you’re stuck doing something you do not enjoy, time seems to go on forever, but if you are with a pretty girl, it seems like only a moment has passed.” Yes, sue me, I very roughly paraphrased that. But you get the jist of what he means, right? So I began thinking about what he said and understood it perfectly. I remember when I was in sixth grade, I joined my church’s youth band, and the leader of the band was in 11th grade. She came up and talked to me and I was in awe. A high schooler noticed I existed!!! I was flattered and blown away and honored to be in her presence. She was funny, popular, and beautiful.
That was about four years ago. Now she’s all grown up and I’m the 11th grader. It didn’t really hit me how fast time had flown until I found myself in her shoes. My church has a little get together every year at summer’s end to welcome the rising 6th graders, and I had the pleasure of talking to some of them. It was shocking to see them look and talk to me the same way I had talked to high schoolers when I was their age! They all had their hopes and fears which they timidly expressed as I sat there in shock. Where had the time gone? I wondered. I swear that I was in 6th grade both yesterday and an eternity ago. And now, before I can catch my bearings, I’ll be in college and then an adult. It all seems so far away, but so close at the same time, you know? So I guess, in a way, I’m still that little 6th grader with hopes and fears of my own. So, time is relative, and we are both a whisper into the void and a wellspring of infinite possibilities. It all depends on how you look at it.
Several months ago, I read my very first Jules Verne novel. “The Mysterious Island”. It was very different from other classics I had read. It was neither boring nor did it have too many details -sadly that is the reason many a classic is labeled as unreadable by many nowadays-. It was very informative. I am now assured that if were to ever find myself stranded on a island, I would be perfectly capable of surviving. Naturally I found myself on Wikipedia 30 seconds after finishing the book, to read every single detail of this brilliant man’s life. I was surprised to discover that he had led a tragic life. And that he wasn’t as successful and loved as I thought he ought to be. He was not a brilliant, successful man who was loved by many. He was seen as lazy, unsuccessful, and a failure to his family and friends. Why had this engaging individual hide his intelligence from the world around him?
The answer came to me a few weeks later as I was reading my diary from when I was 13. At that time I had just started to make a few friends at a church I had been attending for almost a year. SOMETHING YOU LEARN WHEN GROWING UP#1: If you’re different, you will be liked by none and hated by all. So to fit in, I pretended to be the dumb blonde. Smart, huh? -let me just clarify that I am in no way dumb or blonde. I am, in fact, quite intelligent and very much a brunette!- But everyone bought it because they wanted it to be true. It very quickly turned into one of those situations like when you’re nine *mother tells whining child that “If you act like a baby, I’ll treat you like one!” Oooh how that would offend us!* Same sitch. If you act like a dumb blonde, you’ll be treated like one. I was. They did. I got offended. And became determined to convince them otherwise. So then I became the other extreme: the know-it-all. Didn’t end well….
Eventually I reached a comfortable middle where I didn’t compromise who I was for the sake of others but choose not to talk as much for my own sake. I learned that people hate different, but that’s their problem. And that in order to have friends you have to speak less than what you know because no one cares about or likes know-it-alls.
And that, my non-existent readers, is why no one saw who Jules Verne really was. Because he was as I like to call ‘Tragically Clever’. When someone is too intelligent for their own good. Someone who society hasn’t beaten the “If you want to be liked, be like everyone else” rule that’s been a part of our society for as long as we can all remember. Too smart for his time. It makes me wonder how many people hide who they really are for the sake of others around them….
Well, for my first blog post, it makes sense to tell a bit about myself. For one, I’m a Christian -yes I’m bringing up the religion talk first thing…-. I am also a writer, INTJ, and… err I like the color green? Yeah I’m still working on the how to introduce myself thing. Work in progress. Sorry about that.
The reason(s) for me blogging are simple in a way. I don’t want to merely exist. I want to live. I want to make a difference, shake things up, tell things for how they are and not for what they appear to be. I want people to look at my entire life and know that I live it for God. I don’t want to be a shadow, a whisper, a fragment of existence. I want to inspire others. I want to challenge others to live boldly for God. Sure, I’m nowhere near perfect. But hey, that’s never stopped God before.
Now for my ego`s sake, I’m going to pretend that people are actually going to read this.