Monday, March 7, 2011

You Are More

"But wanting it still didn't make me believe it." -- Gina Welch, In the Land of Believers

Some time around seventh grade I began using food as a weapon, against myself.  I manipulated my weight as I chose, binged to stifle the loneliness, purged to "cure" the self-loathing that being overweight bore.  Somewhere along the line "cutting" introduced itself into my repertoire; I burned myself, picked at my wounds, mutilated and punished myself in any way I could keep "under control."  Gradually the mutilation turned into pushing -- taking on more than I could handle, pressuring myself to do more (better), then failing, burning out, and hating myself some more.  After high school, alcohol became my drug of choice.  Each party had to be bigger and wilder than the last; when things began to slow down I was front and center, making sure they got fired up again -- whatever it took.  When the parties got old, there was always a relationship.  I was, as they say, a serial monogamist.  I wanted the knight on a white horse; I wanted so desperately for someone to save me from my pain, my past, myself.  I could picture him: tall, strong, smiling and courageous, ready to rush to the rescue; I just couldn't picture him rescuing me.  Just because I wanted that, didn't mean I believed it would ever happen for me.

At the age of 39, with two children (of two different fathers), two marriages, one divorce, and one pending, I could have been wrecked.  Instead I was remade.  I began to realize that not only had I denied myself the happinesses of this life -- loving relationships, "normalcy," peace -- but I'd never really been able to see myself clean -- a Christian, loved, washed pure by Christ's blood.  But this time I'd had enough.  I wanted nothing more but to live in happiness, and for God to bless me. It wasn't gonna happen without some committment on my part, but at that point, I would've done anything for a life without pain.  So, I threw away the knight, the white horse, the excuses, the would haves, the could haves; I gave it all to God, and He gave me His Son. 

And slowly, those things I wanted all those years?  Well, I not only believe them now, I see them -- everyday.  The knight has come and he brought three great kids.  His faithful steed was a tractor trailer and a few demons of his own.  He didn't run away with me, but he stands with me (and Jesus) day after day, fighting the demons.  I want to be a writer, but wanting it, doesn't mean I believe it; I can't picture myself on the dust jacket of a book, I can't see my name on the binding.  So for now, I continue to see myself following God's direction, and I will wait for the end of the story.

Tenth Avenue North
"You Are More"
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