An Opportunity to Live

“All Evil Things Come From Within”

I knew it was going to be a good service when the pastor said these words. Today was my first time at church in a few weeks due to vacations, moving in, and school starting. It was time to get back to church and start my day off right! I tried a new church at school today. I went to church on campus all through freshman year, and then stopped going my sophomore year because of some issues (i.e. exercise addiction, school work consuming me, no one to go with anymore). But now I realize that church is a time not only for fellowship, but it is a time for me to be by myself, an individual, with God. So I woke up this morning, made myself cute (I just love dressing up for church!), and braved a new church. WOW am I glad I did!

Here are the highlights from the sermon that I wrote down:

  • This weekend is labor day. The pastor expressed the hope that although we celebrate labor day by taking a break from labor, she hoped that whatever we are doing with our lives is what we desire to do and not what we think we ought to do.
  • What defiles us is not what we take in, it is what comes out of us. Our words, actions, ect.
  • Desire is blissful because there is a certain certainty that our desire will someday be fulfilled.
  • Talk is talk, work is what counts. Or try this, we can look the part in the mirror all we want, but if we don’t have the actions and the attitude, our look is deceiving.
  • The Christian life is responding to love. It is not about achieving the perfect faith.

The sermon was short yet sweet. I took a lot out of it. But what really made my day at church so much more than just a day at church was that it was communion Sunday. This is my favorite Sunday at church because it represents a chance to come to the table with God and allow the meal he serves to me to renew my spirit. He makes me contemplate what I am doing in my life, and what steps I need to take to live a more fulfilling life through him. It is my opportunity to realize that I am worth it. God wants me at his table, and he loves me.

After church there was a welcome lunch for college students. I wasn’t going to go. I needed to get home to my books and my cleaning. But then all of a sudden I decided that I was going to stay. I didn’t have to eat if I didn’t want to. But I should not pass up this opportunity to meet new people. Isn’t that what I wanted this year to be about? Meeting new friends, having new experiences, and letting go a little. So I went, I sat down at a table with people I didn’t know, and I became part of the conversation. And I had a good time. I left feeling amazingly fulfilled and happy. I think this is the opportunity I have been looking for.

So my next step is to go to Cooper House (which is the campus ministry house associated with this church). They have a weekly dinner every Tuesday that is for fellowship and fun. It is catered by this great vegetarian restaurant in town called Gillies (best breakfast ever!). And it will be another opportunity for me to go out and try something new and slightly uncomfortable for me. I am not great in groups of people. I don’t make conversation easily. I don’t always feel like I am fitting in. But I have had enough of that. So what if I am uncomfortable the first few times. The new director said she was too the first time she went to her campus ministry house. So I am not the only one. And I bet I am not even the only one there Tuesday who will be slightly uncomfortable.

I am just so thankful that I have been given the tools and opportunities to conquer my fears and live. This year is my year to build my individuality, make new friends, and live an exciting life.

I like to think it all started when I broke that piece of bread and drank from the cup.

 

 

Stepping Out of the Boat

Step out of the boat and into the water. The sermon at my church today was about walking on water. And facing fear and failure.

For those that do not know the story, Jesus walked on water to reach his disciples in the middle of rough water and Peter trusted Jesus to help him walk on water too. He trusted him to help him do the “impossible.” He did falter, but he recovered because Jesus had him. He sank but then came back up stronger.  That was the over all message… but there was more to it.

Having faith, being a Christian does not mean your life will be perfect. When was the last time you asked yourself What did I do to deserve this? or I follow God, I pray, I believe so these things should not happen to me. But the things is, as my pastor pointed out today, no where in the Bible does it say that if you follow God nothing bad will happen to you. It says that God will always be with you, he will never leave you. That means that although you are struggling, God is there. But why would he allow these bad things to happen?

He is building up your faith. 

For the athletes: It is like when you are training and you hit a point of plateau in which you can’t move forward and improve your skill unless you push yourself and make things harder. 

But there is the fear of failure, the fear of the unknown. Even the fear of succeeding. But again God doesn’t promise you won’t fail, he promises to be with you no matter what. So you are going to fail. Not all of the time, but there will be times when things get hard, and you fail. But you have to have faith that you will overcome the failure and keep going.

I have to work on stepping out of my personal “boat,” and into the water.  I have hit a place in my recovery where I am actually already out of one boat and I have made it to another. My weight is regained and has been for 3 years and I have no intention of going back to an unhealthy and unhappy life. And I have learned to enjoy my food, have conquered most all of my fear foods to the extent that I can and will eat a food even if I still remember the fear I had and may still have some fear of it. I know that by taking a bite I push my eating disorder away from my life more and more. BUT pieces of the ED still dominate my life if I am being honest. Now I have heard both tales told: 1- that you always have an ED but learn to live with it by adopting coping mechanisms and 2- that some people recover they are not living in recovery. I am not sure which one exists for me, but I can say for sure that I am not going to settle with what I have reached so far because I have this feeling that I have not pushed my ED far enough. It does not control me anymore, I still think about it every day. And I realize that it is a strong person who can live with an ED thinking, and then having the strength to still do what is sane and healthy and happy. But I want more. I do not want every day to have an ED thought that I push through. I want there to be days that I forget

I used to think these thoughts were just me remembering what the ED had done to my health and my life. Now I am seeing that this remembering is just a way of making an excuse for my thoughts. So I need to step out of my comfort zone and cross to another boat.

Staying safe is no way to live life. Sure I  could stay right where I am. I am at a healthy weight, I know what thoughts are good and what thoughts are bad (I hate the words good and bad by the way because what is bad for me could be good for someone else), and I am very happy with the decisions I have made to put me on the life path I am on. not it is time to confront fears that I could live with.

  • Breaking from my routine and trying something new- I could live with the same old routine, but it would definitely hold me back and stop me from experiencing a lot of potentially life changing things
  • Actually listening to my body instead of what I think is right- Following a clock and again sticking to routine works, but there might be something that is better for me and only my body can tell me that

Just to name two (there are more, and some I haven’t even realized yet I am sure).

I hope this challenges more people to walk on water even though there will be times that you sink. You just have to trust that when you come back up you will be stronger in both body and mind than you were before because

You had faith!

Sometimes a Song Speaks for Itself

I love Sundays.

Because on Sundays I go to church, on Sundays I don’t workout and I have never felt like I should want to, on Sundays I relax and contemplate about the past week and the week ahead of me. This Sunday was better than most however because today I not only got to go to church and relax and contemplate, I also got to lay out, finish a book, listen to my body, brain, and heart all in one day, and I got to see God at work in the lives of the children at my church! Needless to say it was such a beautiful day!

I want to write about the sermon for today (are we seeing a trend???) but I honestly cannot at this moment. I need more time with it myself to fully grasp what I was meant to hear this morning. I am sorry to admit that I had too much going on in my mind this morning, and I think I was too focused on those things than on how God was trying to work in my life. But I will keep trying to hear him and that begins with listening to the sermon again online.

I also cannot wait to write about my experience as a Crew Leader at my church’s vacation bible school, but I think that I will have more of a message and a lesson learned when the week is complete! But I will preface it with this: Children make the world and the day so much brighter!

So why I’m I even bothering to blog at all? Because a song hit me today on the way to church for VBS. And I think it says a lot. So have a listen! I hope you enjoy 🙂

 

I spend way too much time worrying about the time, my schedule, how to do things just right, how to make the best life possible… But am I missing everything?

I am going to try to stop and smell the roses of my life everyday. I want to take it all in, and I want to remember and be a part of my life and the lives of everyone around me!