One year ago today I made this blog public in honor of what would have been my grandmother’s 85th birthday.
Tying together the gifts into a wreath of remembrance. Forget-ME-nots.
So why do I find myself today elbows deep in dirt, preparing soil to nourish roots of anger and disillusionment? Why do I plant at all when the harvest is upon me?
Convicted, I unhunch my back. I pluck the seed of pain from its pre-formed hole. I smooth the space that would have sustained the bitter bulb. I wipe my hands on the leg of my dirt-flecked pants.
I lift my gaze to see the sun is out shining, ready for the basking. My eyes scan the landscape teeming with untamed flowers, ready for the weaving. Ready for the worship.
A smile sneaks across my teeth up into the crinkles of my eyes, and as my fingers reach for petaled stem, the words escape my lips, “I will forget You not.” “
Most days, I care too much, too. I try too hard. I take too much pride in my skinny days, the days the mirror cooperates. And I freeze up in failure on the fat days. This is not a way to live.
On those fat days, like Laura, I need to be snapped out of my pity party and allow God to ask me the question: “How dare you call what I created not good enough?”
“It’s tough to open our hearts to new issues and causes and plights. It’s tough to open our hearts to new and unfamiliar people. People who are different than us.
So we sound bite. We distance.
We talk like heroes, but we forget to listen.
I’m probably the guiltiest.
I talk like a hero, but I forget to listen.
So how do we become more than words? How do we not talk over the poor? How do we give voice to the voiceless?
The first step, I think, is listening.
Sound bites are ideas distilled. And ideas matter. The messaging matters.
But our listening should drive our messaging.
I am reminded that first and foremost, solidarity is a posture of ears wide open. Eyes wide open. Lives wide open to the suffering of others.”
“If a friend told you she was sick, you’d respond with compassion, right?
When my friend told me she was struggling with an eating disorder, I didn’t feel compassion or sympathy or concern. Instead, I was angry. Angry that she had cheated to get the body I had always envied. The sleek figure, the toned abs–it was all a lie.
Over the next few months, God transformed my heart. He began to reveal the lies I believed about myself–that I was only as valuable as I was sexy, that I was a fat ugly blob if I didn’t work out, that my worth was based on my daily perception of body fat. He began to reveal the lies I believed about my friend–that she was the enemy, the competition, my rival in the contest to be the thinnest, look the hottest.
And He began to replace the lies with truth: I am not my body. Sexiness does not equate value. My friend is not the enemy. Eating disorders go beyond vanity; the disordered thoughts and behaviors are symptoms of a greater spiritual battle, a matter of identity, of worth.
So I began to fight–for both of us, my friend and I.
I still have a long way to go. But I’ve learned that we will never break free from these disordered thoughts if we don’t have right relationships. If we aren’t honest with ourselves.”