Yesterday I celebrated the Resurection with all my family. It was a great day all around. Full of laughter, friends, food and most of all a needed reminder that I am living not for today but the promise of everlasting life. This is why I am a Christian.
I cannot explain the mystery of why I am so certain that all this is real. All I can say is that I have felt since I was small child that there is something bigger than myself. Watching over me, caring for me, loving me. No matter what has was going on in, I was protected and safe.
You can read more about my journey in this post
I am in a posture of learning for this year and from this place I see I am surrounded by so much pain. We all carry unseen scars that lay hidden behind learned coping mechanisms. In this pain that I too carry, there is Holy and Good.
I have always believed in the Holy and Good. In something greater than myself, a mystery beyond my full understanding. Even in the midst of my hardships and pain throughout my life, this I have always believed in. It has been nearly ten years since I stepped forward during Easter services longing for Christ. In that time I have faltered and failed God many, many times. The struggles and hardships have shown me the Holy and Good.
When the noise from the world seems only full of vitral and anger, I believe in the Holy and Good. It is there, in the corners that are not easily seen. I think too there is confusion over something being hard, and if its hard it cannot be good. I have walked through hard and seen my friends and family do so too. Hard does not mean that good work is not being done.
[Tweet “By leaning into the pain of my life, holy work is done and good has come from it”]
By leaning into the pain of my life, holy work is done and good has come from it This is the work that sanctifies me and prepares me for what is ahead in this journey for me. My life is not just about today but also tomorrow. Today will be forgotten and I shall be made new. So I live for that day in great anticipation, in the Holy and Good.
“See, I will create
new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
nor will they come to mind.
Recently, I read John Krakauer’s , “Into the Wild.” The true story of a young man named Chris McCandless who was found dead in the Alaskan wilderness. I had seen the film based on the book years ago, and I have to say it has never left me. The story of a young man figuring out this world. What it means to be alive and how to go about that in this often sterile world.
This story touched me so deeply because I identified with the struggle. I too ran away from everything and everyone I knew. When I was nineteen, blundering my way through my first semester of community college I decided to move to Phoenix, Az. I had no connections there, no plans. I just wanted to get out of Miami. All I knew was that I felt suffocated and something had to change.
The differences between Chris and I are rather evident. All I wanted was to leave and figure out my life. While Chris seemingly desired to cut all ties to his past. Afterall he did not tell his parents of his plans, burned the cash he had with him, leaving his car behind when he could no longer drive it.My family knew where I was, I was reachable. I had no notion to simply wander as Chris did. We were both wandering though, I was still sleepwalking in my life. Wandering in my own way.
Where we were similar was the search. The desire for an authentic life. The need to get away from it all. I hid from the world by immersing myself with television, Chris immersed himself in nature.
For me, it was a search for God. As if I were challenging Him to follow me out there or to meet me out there in the desert. But what I had not known was that God was with me all along. In the end, it was I who would journey back to the place I had left in the first place.
The thing about running away, is that no matter where I had gone, I could never run from myself. I had to meet God in his terms and not my own. My time in Arizona lead me back to Him. First returning to the church of my childhood, the Catholic church. Then attending services from time to time with my roommate at her familes’ place of worship. Planting seeds for this journey of faith. Seeds that would grow to fruition upon my return to Miami.
Chris’ journey ended in the Alaskan wilderness, dying slowly after unknowingly injesting moldy potato seeds which caused his body to reject any form of nutrition *. An unforseen tragedy. We will never know where Chris was in his spiritual journey. If perhaps he was ready to come out of hiding, to stop running.
I too died, though mine is a spiritual death. As I had to in order to become new. Chris McCandless’ story will always have a place in my heart. A reminder of the cost and reward such journeys can pay out.
*From page 192, ebook version of Into The Wild.
Photo Credit: Erica Rodriguez of Mua Loa Photography Inc. @mualoaphotog on Twitter.
This is my personal story, I am not a doctor, therapist or dietitian.
Writer’s Note: This is a repost from my old Blogger account. I have had issues importing them to Word Press and decided to copy and paste them here instead. I began this blog to tell my story of losing weight and discovering who was there all along. My hope is for those of you struggling with this area to find a place where you can relate. For those of you who have been there from the start this may be a bit of a retread but I felt it was important for new readers to understand where it is I came from in my journey. The next few weeks will be reposts that explain this better. Not all of my old posts will end up here as I do want to move forward with this blog. However I feel for you dear readers it will help you to get to know me better. Thank you for taking the time to read!
There was no plan. I did not set out to get healthy. Oh I made noises about wanting to get healthy of course. Then I would go and enjoy another ice cream cone. Reaching out to friends ( half- halfheartedly I admit) to start walking together were made. Nothing ever came of that. I knew I needed to do something, but just was not ready or knew what I should do. I used the excuse I could not afford to lose weight. In my head one had to go to a gym and buy fancy food to get healthy. That kind of money I most certainly did not have.
The first few pounds were lost with out me even realizing. Due to financial restrictions, I could no longer go through the drive- thru or buy the usual not so great food at the grocery store. I was forced to buy healthier and actually ration out my food. I do not mean to say I was starving by any means and believe me I still found ways to get “good stuff” when I wanted it. Slowly though my pants began to droop just a little. It was only after I posted a picture of myself on face book at Christmas 2011 did I see the difference. Well reading the comments that followed actually woke me up to the fact that I had lost weight.
That day, at my mother’s house I weighed myself. It had to have been over a year since I had ever stepped on a scale. The number was lower than I last recalled. At that time I was not sure what to do next or at all. Little did I know what was soon in store for me. If I did have an inkling I doubt I would have ever said yes.
This was my first year participating in One Word 365, something I had read about in Twitter and decided to give it a try. It seemed better than writing out a list of things that I knew would not happen. My one word 365 for 2012 was YES. I would say yes what God held for me. I do not know why this word chose me, but it was all I could see in my head. I prayed this on New Years Eve and New Years Day I was tested. Don’t you just love when that happens?! I received a message from my friend Jackson* from church. He was offering to be my personal trainer for all of a dollar. He had helped another friend prepare for the army and thought I would be interested in getting healthy. I had never spoken to him about my health and the way he wrote it was very kind. Before I knew it I had replied yes to him.
We met at Starbucks the following week to discuss it. This was the first one on one conversation we ever had. Really, it was. He talked about diet and exercise and what my goals were. Of course I drew a blank, I mean does anyone really have a ton a questions when asked that? I text bombed the poor guy later that day with what I hoped to do and a million questions for him. We agreed to meet Monday through Friday around the same time at a park near his house. Consistency I would soon learn was key to what lay ahead.
I will go into more detail on my diet and workout at this time in a later post.
My only goal at that time was to be able to walk up a flight of stairs with out losing my breath. That was it. You know what? I learned through this process that it does not matter what your goal is, but it is so important to have one. At that time I did not know what I would later be capable of doing. As I grew more confident, my goals grew from just wanting to get up a flight of stairs. Soon I found I wanted more, to run further and faster. To try new things and not worry about other people in the park. I also learned that you do not need a lot of money to get out to a park and exercise. It is just a matter of getting out there and doing it!
While I did not have a plan, I know that God did. He knew it was time for me to do this. Deep down I knew I was ready.
Was there a time when you got a needed push to make changes in your life? *Name has been changed per request