The long awaited birthday post. I have begun to hate reflection because it is a harrowing process of pointing out all the things I could’ve or should’ve done better. This year I’ve come to another iteration of my True Limiting Factor: striving to change myself (ironically)!
The obsession with being better, of growing and having made progress has shackled me. Has made me depressed. And makes me depressed. Somebody I consider a mentor told me that she once regarded her eating disorder as a thorn in her side, something she wished would just disappear. Something she begged God or the universe to take away. Then, at some point the thought stirred: what if this thorn was meant to teach me something? What if all these vices and destructive habits are clinging onto me because they are attracted to my punishment-based, self-hating mindset?
How can I be with the things I loathe about myself, such that I no longer hate myself at all? How can I accept that this living, eternal being that I am is enough, as I am?
See, it’s the same track over and over again and I’m getting tired of hearing it. The driving impulse to fix myself and try harder – how ludicrous to think I have failed even at loving myself! I’ll stop fiddling with the thorns, entrapping them ever deeper. God will perfect me His own way, as the only doctor who can heal my hurts and habits.
Today, I am a new creation. 22 with some two grey hairs.
Sophie, you are loved when you are late to class, eat too much, speak too hastily, snap impatiently, lose your new gadgets, spend too much, neglect your responsibilities, procrastinate, sit idly, think inappropriately, selfishly, and carnally. You are loved when you have nothing to say, when you feel like you don’t know a thing. I love you still.
I watched The Help last night and resonated with Aibileen; my prayers are my journal entries.
Thank you Jesus for this day. I went to Universal Studios with my best friend and drank butter beer. It was frothy with caramel/vanilla cream. The ride stopped halfway – kinda unnerving. Thank you for saving our lives and for protecting me today. That my comings and goings are seen by you. Thank you that I got the opportunity to speak of your goodness today, of how you have created me, how you have spoken to me. I got to share who you are with H – I hope for more opportunities. I had the courage to play a song about you, in praise of your name. There is NONE LIKE YOU! You are not an impersonal God. You are a God who penetrates my reality, you are everywhere. Without you, nothing that has been made would be made. Thank you for sustaining us both, for mutual company and warmth. Thank you for closing my lips- that I held back on certain comments because they were not glorifying to You.
2 Corinthians 9:11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving- the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.
2 Corinthians 9:15
As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them ad to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the OVERFLOWING GRACE God has given to you. Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!
Right now, I have a belly full of bagel and multi-flavoured doughnut pieces. It is my right, having come out of a rigorous quarter, a presentation at 8am this morning and a 50 paged curriculum report.
My group and I aimed to finish last night, starting at 7pm and working until 5am, on the brink of delirium. I had a pounding headache and I felt my anger flare whenever my group members went on tangents. Hey, I just want to finish this. Why are we (or you) talking about stupid Vines and laughing about inconsequential things? I flitted between annoyance and great admiration for their graciousness; they never once spoke with an edge in their voices. Their frustrations existed in a bubble which floated above us- something of a spectacle to poke at.
“Fuuuuck this thing, honestly I don’t even care anymore, she can dock us down for this, I’ll take it!” said the girl I’d once pinned down as an unassertive type. Sleepovers reveal the magic in everyone.
One of them lounged on his side, peering at the presentation through half-lidded eyes. “Remember when I asked whether or not you had already played the video? I literally fell asleep,” he chuckled.
They held me in their circle of play and gave me focused attention when I needed it most. My hand shot up multiple times as they joked, in a realm of my own, waiting for my turn. “I see you,” Kieran would say, smiling. It was always her. Unhurried, patient, kind.
In the wee hours of the morning, the three musketeers were the last ones standing; they stayed up to upload the document and figure out the formatting whilst I went to sleep. As we drove to school together, I found myself wishing I shared in the fullness of camaraderie borne of sleep deprivation and mutual suffering. I came away with an appreciation for the lightness with which they live, a kind of freedom and acceptance of the way things are. A sense that, though this is by no means ideal, it is by no means crushing either.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
We are pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.