Day 7) Where are you in your life vs. where you thought you would be at this point.
I’m going to go personal on this one. So if you’re uncomfortable with personal emotions and/or personal struggles, you might want to stop here. Or hey, go watch a cat video. That’s what I’d do.
I’m asked where I’m at in my life. I’m asked where I thought I would be. But the answer is the same as years ago: here.
I’ve always been here. Caged in by the chains I bear and held tight by the walls I built.
And never allowing my Savior to work in me.
As it always goes, it all started when I was very young.
Age 6–Mondays that reminded me of pink and Peter Pan and Barbies and reading with my Mama and making my Daddy take me on dates and fighting–always fighting–with everyone that didn’t do what I wanted. And boys.
Age 7–boys and smartest in my little class and…boys, boys, boys. And one day–you know, when I was the smartest and the grandest and fairest of them all–the boys would all fall for me and I would break hearts. Not like I would mean to, but yeah. I would be the heroine of my story–and all other stories. Because I have what it takes.
Age 8–weight gain. And Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. I would be them one day.
Age 9–by this time, consistently daydreaming my days away of the future that would come with the future guy and my future appearance and my future success.
Age 10–continued weight gain. But it was coming, it was coming. Wait on me, world. I’m fabulous. I’ll grow taller, you’ll see. It’s just baby fat, you’ll see. It’ll naturally go away, you’ll see. And, Mom, don’t tell me I can’t have that third piece of cake. I want it.
Building–always building. But only in my mind. Where everything could be controlled and written and re-written and obsessed over until maybe one day all these things would come true.
Age 11–running from responsibility. Trichotillomania: hair pulling. Pull, pull, pull. Dream, dream, dream. Eat, eat, eat.
And my mind continued to go to waste, lacking discipline. Always, always creating false happiness.
My parents didn’t know what I was going through. They didn’t realize the constant movie playing throughout my mind. But I knew. And God knew.
Age 15–high school. Dream, dream, dream. Stay up late to “do schoolwork.” Try to get saved again; see if it works this time. No? Okay, God. Give me six months when I’m panicking again–when I’m trying to get a get-out-of-hell-free card and we’ll see if I can keep up with being good then. Or whatever.
Age 17–he looks nice. One day, he’ll make my dreams come true. My happiness depends on him. One day, one day, one day.
Age 18–253 pounds. Palpitations and pain in my left arm. Don’t eat the fast food, don’t eat the sweets, take swigs of vinegar to clear arteries. (The things I hear…) Lay in bed, listening to my heart beat. Is it too fast? Deep breath, deep breath. Feel my pulse. Wonder if I’ll go to hell. Don’t let me die, God. God? Do you hear me? I can’t sleep until I know if I’ll go to heaven.
Age 19–down 50 pounds.
Whelp, don’t care about that anymore.
September/October: Daydream about him, chat on Facebook, stay up until 3 AM and get one thing done. I have time, I have time, I have time. Feel guilty. Determine to do better.
November: Daydream about him, stay up all night if necessary, get two things done.
December: finals. Try to survive and walk away, disappointed in myself. Hating myself. Wishing I’d never existed at all. Sobbing.
And the weight gain continued on and on and on.
All of this came to a head this summer, with me acknowledging that the true problem of all of this resided in the incessant daydreaming. Writing–always writing. It’s the cross I bear and the habit I’ve allowed to take over my entire life. Subconsciously, as long as I had hope that one day everything would be okay I was okay. I never needed to work hard; I never needed to discipline myself. With the coming of Prince Charming would come my salvation and that’s what I clung to.
Because that’s the only thing I thought would bring fulfillment.
But God knew. And he brought an individual into my life that I wanted–I mean, really wanted–to rescue me. From myself, from situations, from people who make me feel like less of a human being.
And God showed me that everything going on in my head was merely an illusion I’d created in order to stabilize the spinning world I grew up in. The world rocked by financial situations, abandonment from family members, and gossiping friends.
The world where my family and I were outcasts. The world where we were whispered about because my dad fell into unlucky job situations.
The world where a 20-year-old cries, “God, I know he doesn’t matter to them. But he matters to me! He matters to You too, right?”
And if Prince Charming would just come along…I’d be whole. And my happy ending would snap into place.
Jesus is nice, but He’s so universal. He loves EVERYBODY. I mean, I believe but…I want somebody all to myself. Who will love me for ME.
I’m beginning to see that I was wrong about Jesus.
If reality were a shore, I’ve been lost at sea for years and years and years. But Jesus wrecked me against reality. I sit here on the shore, the waves slapping at my legs, with a shattered heart cupped in my hands. The pieces start to reflect false hopes again–a mirror to nothingness and He looks at me and covers my heart with his hand, “No, child. Follow Me. Live. Build.”
I look up and wonder if it could be true. If He could actually rescue me from ME. I mean, that’s a pretty big deal. That’s a lot of the reason I kept straying away from Him–because I knew that, to change me, He’d have to turn on robot mode.
So, there’s my story. If you asked me a year ago where I thought I’d be right now, I could have constructed a beautiful story with a brilliant, fun-loving, thin twenty-something with a guy on her arm.
But now? I’m building. And growing stronger.
“Write hard and clear about what hurts.”-Ernest Hemingway