Monday, January 29, 2018

Christian, what is your only comfort?

Heidelberg Catechism, question 1
Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?
A. That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.
Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.

Over the past few years I lost my grounding. A horrifying layoff at a critical time in our adoption process was followed by a difficult move and two long hard years in a literal desert. It left me untethered and my writing a forgotten extra I no longer made time for. I also recognize that Facebook and Instagram may have made me lazy. Atrophied my creative writing desires. Why take the time to type and edit and post a long blog post no one may read when I could get 54 likes for posting a sentence with a cute photo? I have found, that similar to my eating habits, feasting on  the easily accessible and immediately satisfying only leads to a deeper hunger. 2017 was probably the breaking and turning point for me. The Trump election made me terrified to speak my mind and even more terrified to stay silent, but after having my own parents tell me how disappointed they were in my new found political beliefs and having friends send me concerned emails and phone calls about my shocking "new" liberal (oh that nasty word) tendencies I turned even more inward. Push comes to shove though and ultimately I broke. Deeply depressed I reached a new highest weight. voila. pass the brownies. My marriage was falling apart and I was spending more time imaging ways out of it than in. My husband had been laid off three times in 18 months and was on his 5th job in two years. We decided the only solution was to take drastic measures. Job number five required him to work away from home and stay in hotels for extended amounts of time. We decided if he wasn't coming home at night then it didn't matter where home ultimately was.  We sold our house and moved back to our hometown.  Six months later I feel like I'm finally waking up from a very long nightmare. So much life has been lived since February 1st, 2015.  So much was lost, but so much was gained and I'm not just talking about the weight. Our adoption was so difficult for me. Typing out details felt like a betrayal to her story and to her birth mother so I chose not to tell anything and suffered alone. At the same time, I betrayed myself because this blog and the act of writing my story in an unfettered, unfiltered, public way was such an important part of my own identity. When I had to hide parts of my story to protect hers I lost my ability to process so much of what was happening and in the long run, I shut down and fell apart. This year I've set some big goals. Goals that have nothing to do with weight loss or gym memberships or resolutions. Goals intentionally challenging and intended to open up my closed off self.  I want to read 100 books. I want to allow myself to receive input I've been hiding from. I want to listen to music. New music. Old music. I want to listen to podcasts and TED talks. For three years I hid. The hard was just too hard and the monsters under my bed too terrifying, This year I want to let it all pour in again. This outside world I've been too afraid of. The people I have convinced myself won't want me. This year I find me again. Because I belong. To my self. to my body. to my family. to my community. to my church. to my faith. to my God. Body and Soul. In life and in death.