The Great Divide

I go to the gym in the mornings. I am so grateful my husband gives this gift to me by getting up to take care of our child. But my son is teething and for a week straight he has been grunting and whining if not in my arms. I haven’t slept in days. First year molars are no joke. So this morning I drove straight past the gym to Starbucks, got a latte, and savored the caffeine and the quiet. And now I sit writing and breathing. It’s beautiful here, people. One hour of quiet time to pray and write can make all the difference in the world. By the end of the hour- I will be missing my little guy and ready to give for the rest of the day.

There are days when I don’t recognize the depletion. Days when I would have pushed myself to go to the gym anyway, worn myself out even more, and proceeded to be a grumpy, impatient mom resentful of everyone – including the dogs- for needing so much. Actually, especially the dogs. Does my ten year old cocker spaniel really need to go to the bathroom with me? I understand the one year old human, but the dog?!? And then there are days when its not possible to take an hour to be still. Days when my husband works long hours or is out of town. And to be honest, I don’t really buy into all this “mommy break time”. I am not entitled to self care breaks from raising my kid. You think mothers in war zones are crying “I need mommy time!”? In the countries where the focus is survival? I think they just take care of their families. So there are times when I have to push through on no sleep and just take care of my family (woe is me, right? Please.)

Today in this glorious time of caffeine and quiet, I realized I am trying to do it all on my own. Again. I often land in this place. How many times did I turn down help from a friend last week? “Thank you, but I got it” is my standard answer. Yeah…. no. I don’t “got it.” I cannot go it alone. Just the same as the mom whose only focus is survival cannot go it alone. I don’t NEED to go to Starbucks and drink a $5 latte in order to be a good mom. What I need is connection. I need people. I need to know I’m not alone even when the needs within my home render me unable to get out or pick up the phone. I believe we were put on this earth to be in relationship with our Creator. And in relationship with those around us. This is the deepest longing and often the deepest pain in us all. It is the common thread. Crosses every divide. The irony? It is also the great divide. Those with the deepest pain of alone-ness (different from loneliness)- those who have had to go it alone- are often the same ones to inflict great heartache on others. From creating an emotional wall to a physical one to a violent one, these walls are created out of alone-ness. “I am alone so I will turn against you. I will prove I don’t need you.” And so we are a world full of people trying to prove they don’t need each other. I tried to deny the need with anorexia and then tried to fill it with bulimia. Maybe we fill it with other addictions. Or we try to fill it with perfectionism or achievements- I struggle with this one too. Or we try to fill it with a false sense of connection through social media and technology. Or we join a divisive group through religion or politics or activism. The need is so basic. The solution is so simple. And yet it is most difficult. We need connection to the One who created us and we need connection with the ones who are created in His image. That’s all of us y’all. Every. Single. Person. We are all created in His image. And we are all created with this need. This common thread. This great divide.

My question today for myself and for you: How can we work to heal each other instead of hurt each other?

And so I begin again…

Always we can begin again. Thank goodness, right? I don’t know about you but I am needing to begin again on the regular. As a Christ follower, thank God His mercies are new every morning cause I sure need those new mercies. As a woman in recovery, I am grateful for the chance to begin again and again and again. As a wife… oh my. Do you ever hear yourself saying something and as it comes out you think NOOOOOOO! You wish you could grab it and put it right back in?? Ugh. Thank you, Husband, for allowing me to always begin again. As a mom, thank the good Lord I can begin again sometimes every hour. I’m not the most patient mommy when I’m up for the 6th time that night (you read that right. 6. Sleep is not high on my child’s list of priorities.) And as a blogger, today, I begin again.

Some of you may remember my blog from years ago. It was focused on recovery from my eating disorder. And then I relapsed and hit rock bottom. Again. Can you have multiple rock bottoms? Cause I did. And I didn’t write again… until now. Eating disorders shut you down and shut you up. That is their purpose. To silence. Fuel shame. They want you to hide. Do not speak truth. They feed on lies. If I speak up, if I speak out, if I show others who I am- then I have no need to wear that protective armor. Having said that, my writing this time around will not be specifically about eating disorders- it will be about life. Cause y’all… I don’t have a food issue. I didn’t ever have a food issue. I have a living issue. Life. Living. People. Relationships. And God. Those are my issues. And I still have them. A few years of eating well, a loving husband, and a beautiful baby and I still have those issues.

For those of us that have those issues- the life, living, people, relationships, God issues- it is extremely difficult to put anything out there for others to see. Even a picture on Facebook. I’ve been described before as private. I’m not really private- I’m scared. Big difference. But writing is tugging at me again. I have a lot to say. I have big thoughts. Many people describe big feelings (trust me, I have those too) but I also have big thoughts. Just go with the image cause that’s what it feels like (insert head exploding emoji here). Not right thoughts or wrong thoughts- just BIG. And if you will humor me and allow me to speak here, my husband will be ever so grateful.

About the scared. Or, really, about the God issue. Cause they are one in the same. I don’t have trouble believing in God. Believing Jesus is the Son of God. But I do struggle with trusting God. Isn’t that the root of all fear? Lack of trusting God? And when we humans struggle to trust God, it causes us to look for someone on earth to trust. There were many someones I tried to find trust in along the way. But someones always always fail. Always. So then it becomes a lack of trusting people. And if I can’t trust God and I can’t trust people then I am alone. NO one person can be perfectly trustworthy. Only God can. Oh… and food and weight loss. Or maybe alcohol. Or maybe drugs. Right?? They don’t ever leave. Always there. Always predictable. And ever so safe. So it seems. The problem with the food, weight loss, alcohol, drugs (or work, relationships, money, etc) is that eventually they tear us apart and destroy the soul. They attack the very core of who we are: God’s children. Wholly loved. Wholly treasured. Wholly made in His image. His beloved.

So this is the new blog: it’s about a woman, wife, and mom struggling with life, living, people, relationships, and God. Willing to be open about it, taking one new step at a time, and trying hard to love people along the way. Join me?