Friday, June 21, 2013

A Letter to my Girlfriends

Lately I've been basking in the sunshine-y warmth of the blessing of girlfriends. Whether old or new, rekindled or ongoing, I've been treasuring every coffee date, every late night call, every letter written, every never-ending giggle for no good reason, and praising God for all of it.

Here is a letter to any girlfriend of mine, because there are so many words and moments are so few and my heart is rejoicing in you today:

Dearest friend,

Do you know that you are an immeasurable blessing in my life? You are a gift from God to me and all you meet, and it is beyond a privilege to have our lives overlap, intertwine, and resonate. I cherish every memory, and treasure all those to come. 

Do you know that you are beautiful? You are fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who loves you more than you could fathom. Do you believe that today? I pray that you do, because you deserve that freedom, that pristine peace. I know your heart weighs with burdens, insecurities, worries, doubts. As we hold hands navigating the frightening twists and turns of our journey, this lifetime we are given, know that your footing is set and you have a home and you are safe and secure in all things. This is the big lesson I've learned this year and I hope you'll share it with me. Let it shine through that smile that blesses every eye who beholds it and let it radiate throughout your lovely frame, a frame serving a purpose each moment that you breathe. 

Do you know that you are strong? Even when you think you cannot handle anything more, even when you feel so inadequate, not good enough, lacking because you don't meet the world's heartless requirements or achieve the goals you've set your hopes in, do you know that your life is rich? I pray that you know that you were made for an extraordinary purpose. Knowing you has inspired me that this truth is beyond true, because I've watched you in our friendship, blossoming into who God made you to be, so keep your eyes lifted to Him and find that strength, drink in the joys unending. You deserve it. You are living on borrowed time, sister, so live and love with me and laugh the cares away and know that you are known and share in the joy of being more than a conqueror with me. 

Do you know that you are kept? That there is someone who knit you together in the womb, who numbered your days, who makes every heartbeat pump and draws every inhale and exhale from and into your lungs? I pray that you do, because there is a God who can call you friend, who longs for you to cast your heavy burdens on Him. As I figure out what that means, will you leap crazy with me? Faith is scary from the outside but it is the fullest life on the inside. 

With all love I cannot wait to see you, wherever you may be, or however long it has been since we talked. Do you know that you have a sister who rejoices in your existence and loves you? I pray you do, because it's true. 

Much love, always praying, always smiling when I recall our friendship,

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Faith not Sight

And stepping off that scale, ready to melt, I realized this is the real part of the recovery where it's just me and God.

Three numbers crunched together on a scale. Three little numbers together changing the course of my day from boundless lovely to a squashed defect. And I felt once again the all-too-familiar sting of defeat as I stepped off that scale in my doctor's office.

Satan and his seductive lies are so sneaky, visiting at the most unexpected times when all is perfect and you and God are holding hands skipping through wildflowers and whistling carefree.

How can I rejoice in this?! I ask Him. How can I consider this all joy?!

What an extraordinary chance to live faith. The part of the recovery where faith is blooming all over my story and it has really come to life in all intensity and truth. 

For so much of my recovery was living by faith and sight. Numbers on scales and blood tests and heart rates. But the two are not synonymous, rarely resonating, and not the real faith.

For in this hope we are saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already  has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."
-Romans 8:24-25

This beautiful mess of the end of my recovery is just me and God. No one else can see what God is doing in my heart, the healing of my mental process-- not even myself. Truly closing the eyes and loosening the grip and falling backwards with a smile because I know full well that a Savior has arms outstretched behind, stronger than ever, going to unimaginable lengths just to hold me before I hit rock bottom.

And all of a sudden the wavering lip breaking into sobs becomes a smile. Peace begins to reign in His kingdom, and faith is known more deeply, more intimately, than ever before. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Safe at Last

And on that morning, the only living thing in the close vicinity I could relate to was the spider blown about by the breeze inside my window pane.

Tossed by something out of it's control, surely feeling more insignificant and tiny than it already is. And its fragile slender limbs grasp onto threads even skinnier, and it performs the greatest tight-rope maneuver of its life as rain drops just begin dripping from a powdery sky and the green grasses are fed.

Waver one way, waver another, and it all is certain uncertainty. The only saving grace for this miniscule arachnid is something beyond its power.

And I remember amidst a difficult morning the way I am saved, though heart quarrels over a disordered distaste for pancakes. A soul feeling silly to admit its disheartened state due to a handful of chocolate chips tossed into the breakfast cake remembers what she really counts on, what really saves her.

Is it works, or being a good girl, or is it blissful dancing in a grace-known life?

 I know the answer, it is the silver cross dangling from my neck, it is the teardrop realizing the weight of an Easter Sunday service, it is my ransom and my freedom, it is my life.

And I've been in denial with everything in me, I am not sweet enough, not charming enough, not beautiful enough, though the good book tells me these things fade and really weigh to nothing.
These harsh lies settle heavily on the heart, and the tiny saving lifeline of me that I cling to is about to break. And I am blinded to the real love, the real love spread on a cross.

And the Savior-man Jesus tells someone simple words to change a life, "Do not be afraid, only believe."

That is my lifeline this morning, that is what I cling to and my command this morning, every morning. And the trees dance in the jovial breeze as if nodding in agreement, that I have heard the Lord.

Setting my house on a rock in the Word, while all around me is an amalgamation of disaster and beauty and I am unsure where I reside, I find it in more words few yet monumental in meaning: put right through faith to experience grace.

And then I am not the spider, I am not the hopeless thing wavering, feeling the falling all the time. I am clinging to faith and faith does not move. Faith is the experience of grace which I now live. To know I am free, to know I share in the glory, to know I am loved beyond imagining and that it's by nothing I could ever do.

Safe at last.

Friday, June 7, 2013

A New Page

I love the pure feeling of holding a new journal in the hands, awaiting words, craving feelings, possibilities endless.

And this is the first time I have written, really written, in quite some time. Really written raw. Written no more than unadulterated feelings, simply prayers in ink.

There is something so inspiring about the fresh first page of a journal. As if my story starts anew today. Fresh introductions, not tainted by judgments made, no baggage piled high on an aching back. Open hands, open heart.

But I will not lie for this beginning. I come with baggage upon baggage, feeling swollen and worn out from a sprint of a recovery from anorexia; feeling restless awaiting a new life at a new school, a realization of purpose with dreams of a new career; feeling the viscous sting of inadequacy in my faith, not praying right, not being real enough, not being sweet enough to be a sweet smelling sacrifice, nor light enough to be a child of the light.

Messy me.

Here's the beauty of a first page though: it's not that there's nothing behind that first page, but there are blank pages of possibility to explore hereafter. Adventures of pen and page as they battle demons of the heart, igniting new bravery as discoveries flourish.

And the beauty of a life in Him: every day is a new page. 

"The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.
Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning."
-Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT)

My greatest craving as I dive into this journal white and lines bare: to fall more in love with a Savior, to reveal all to Him unrestrained, knowing no thing I could do will ever change the nature of His sweet love, to search for Him and find Him in new and lovely ways, to reignite my close relationship kindled on pages past and days delightful.

Be filled with joy.

It is written on the cover bright and buoyant. I want that joy. I want to know the joy of God. To figure out who I am in Him and dance in the knowing of being lost in His presence.