It is customary to at least think about the last year of one’s life as a new year begins, is it not? However, I am moody and crabby and just wanna eat chocolate and don’t wanna think about life….but the logical, non-emotional side of me says it might be a good idea to think about where I have been and where I am heading.
As I think about the last year, I have been re-reading blog entries and looking at photos that have chronicled my year and I have begun to see a theme. Relationships and Dependence. Usually the word dependence is looked at as a negative thing and as much as I don’t like the thought of being dependent on another for anything ( I like to be self-sufficient), I have come to know over this past year that I cannot do life alone. And while God is a constant companion that will never leave me nor forsake me, He has given me many “Jesus’ with skin on” to help me along the way.
I started 2008 being asked to serve on a Discovery team, not sure I had anything good to offer. I was feeling sapped of energy and life as my time with my employer was coming to a close. I said yes to that team experience on condition that I would do my job and nothing else. I would not be at the training or attend meetings or anything else. I just didn’t have it in me to give that much. I just couldn’t DO it. Very quickly I began to see how much energy and life God brings when one simply says yes to Him. When I am empty of all I have to give…somehow there is still more. How incredible to experience being Enough, as I am, in this moment, no matter how little I think I have, it is really just about being me…in relationship with others.
I competed in a Triathlon as part of a Relay team. While it seems like no big deal to many to swim 500 meters, it was a big deal for me. I have never considered myself to be an athlete or an athletic person, but I discovered I really enjoy swimming. And while many may say “but you only did one leg of a triathlon”, I know it is one more leg than I have ever done before. It is a beginning. I never would have believed I could do something like that, had others not believed for me and in me first. And really if Jen had not gone first in 2007, I don’t know if I would have done it, even if others had believed in me.
While I have been in counseling for a while, it seemed that 2008 was the year God had for me to confront my sexual abuse story head on. I have avoided this topic outside of generalities for years, often minimizing what happened and its effects on me. But for some reason God chose this year to be the year that I could no longer avoid this. It seems everywhere I went and no matter who I was with, this subject would come up in some way whether in an actual conversation or at least in thought. All of this led me to begin a healing course at church called “Retelling God’s story for your life”. I don’t even have words for all the things I learned in this class or it’s impact on me. The only word I can think of is Grace. Grace as I took an honest look at my story in full detail. Grace as I processed all of it. Grace as I began to see it’s effects on my life and in my relationships. Grace as I let myself off the hook for what happened. Grace as I confronted my anger, fear and pain. Grace as I felt God move in and make camp with me. Grace as I wept many tears over many hours, sometimes alone and sometimes with dear friends. Grace.
And of course in 2008, I became 23 lbs healthier. I started a journey not just about weight loss but about becoming all around healthy. Most of this journey has been written about in previous posts so I wont go on about it all. But I will say this. I could not have done any of this alone. I am thankful and grateful for the friends who have come alongside me and did life with me.
For Jen-for going first in Triathlon, for leading by example what true faith is and stepping out of your comfort zone, for “covering me on all sides”, and for all the conversations.
For Jason-for being an anchor during Retelling when all I wanted to do was run out of those doors. For calling to check on me after a particularly hard night at class, for hours of conversation, and for sharing your own story with me.
For Aaron-for having the courage to tell me you didn’t know how to support me but that you wanted to, that you wanted to be a part of this thing I was doing (however undefined I have made it), for always pointing me back to my heart and out of my head, for being willing to say hard things and ask hard questions, and for always encouraging me and believing in me.
For Mike-For helping me to get my ass to the gym when I really did not want to go. For all the “chats” we have had, all of your encouraging words, for seeing the beauty within me before i saw it myself. You seem to believe I can do anything and somehow you make me believe too.
For Greg-your text messages, your hugs, your friendship. It got me through many tough days!
For Laurie- for being willing to introduce me to running…although that is on hold for warmer weather. 🙂
For Lisa-You always point me back to Jesus even from halfway around the world!
For Adam-You make me smile my friend! And it is soo motivating doing Y classes with you! While we don’t usually do the same things at the gym, it is incredibly motivating to know I am there with someone. Thanks so much for working out with me so very often! You have no idea what an impact you have had on my journey!
And finally, for Kenny-the only family so far to know about this blog. We don’t really talk about what I have written here, but I know you check here often to see what I have written about and that encourages me to keep writing, because no matter how many friends I have, I really want to be known and understood by my family. Thank you for caring enough to read. Perhaps sometime we will actually talk about it.
Thank your for a great 2008. I look forward to doing life in 2009 with all of you, not just those mentioned here. Our journey is not over until we meet at Heaven’s gate and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to walk alone. In fact, I cannot do it alone. I am dependent on each one of you to walk with me and I with you and at times for us to carry each other.