Now that September is well and truly settled, I thought it best to look back on the manic month of August.
Most months fly past with no significance or value, I’m living, surviving, sometimes growing and other times skipping through the month. However, this month was different. I can confidently say that I stumbled out of this month battered, bruised with a smile on my lips.
August 2017 was easily the most anticipated month of my life to date, both for positive and negative reasons. The main positives coming from New Wine, what you’ll hear about later.
I’m constantly setting goals. I’m a lover of stationary, notepads and colored pens, I find something satisfying about wring goals and lists down on crisp paper with every shade of ink I can get my hands on. It’s part of the reason I love my bullet journal.
One goal I set myself in 2016 was to be ok when August 2017 came along. I had to be fully recovered from both the eating disorder and anxiety. I had to be normal. No, I had to be perfect by the time that date rolled around.
This was a goal I kept secret, no one knew about my deadline. People knew I was trying to get better, but no one knew about the incredible pressure I put on myself to achieve perfection in only a year. When I slipped up or had a little relapse I would be told that it was ok, my reply would always be No it’s not. My slip up weren’t ok because I couldn’t afford them, I didn’t have time to make mistakes. I needed to be perfect by the deadline.
Why did I set this deadline?
It was a combination of things. I was applying for New Wine, I wanted to be the best version of me that I could be so I could help people. I also knew I was going into a new class in September. When my friends would be starting university, I would be staying at college to study for a third year. I knew I would be two years older than most my classmates and I wanted to appear it. Problem with losing weight is that I didn’t look my age. There were other motives as well.
The problem with such a goal was that it wasn’t achievable.
If I’m honest, looking back, that goal, just made things worse. I wasn’t getting better because I wanted to but because I felt like I needed to.
So when August came along and I wasn’t perfect it hurt. I felt like a failure and I slipped.
Then home life went downhill.
The day I found out what was going to happen I was back counting calories. I got my intake to 1200 a day, then 1000 and finally 800. I was a bit of a mess.
August was a bit of a mess, with the exception of New Wine, yet I’m writing this content with myself.
In fact, I haven’t been this ok in a while.
For the past year and a bit I’ve been looking at life through a broken window whilst wearing sun glasses. It’s left me seeing life very shattered and dark. The saddest part was that I didn’t really appreciate that how I was viewing life was wrong.
New Wine gave me the tools to replace the broken window, and by tools I mean I learned that you can’t replace a window by yourself.
The events at home taught me that I really need to take those sunglasses off.
Life isn’t perfect, I’m not perfect, church isn’t perfect and homes not perfect but God is.
His perfect loves gives me the ability to forgive people who have hurt us as a family time and time again. I’ve discovered that I have to keep going back to God about these people and having to forgive them over and over because in my own strength I cannot do that. In God’s perfect love though, I can.
In my own strength I’m not doing to get better, recovery has to start with me and I do need to take responsibility for it. However, without God’s influence and is unfailing love, I’m not going to be able to do that. What’s going to be a challenge, I’m not perfect. I struggle praying, don’t read my bible as much as I know I should, I dread coming to church and am very guarded towards other christians.
God doesn’t want a religion, he wants a relationship.
I read this in a book and it really hit home. I can often get caught up in all the religious aspects of things, so what I do simply becomes a habit, it becomes routine. I beat myself up if I don’t pray on a night or if I don’t read my bible everyday, not because I want to particularly and I’m upset that I didn’t, but because it fells like something that I have to do and i felt like a bad christian for not doing them. You’re told to read your bible consistently, you’re told to pray. My attitude towards those things is something I need to effect on and change, right now I’m trying to please people and not God and that’s not ok.
It’s time for me to replace the broken window, take off my sunglasses and enter a relationship with God and not a religion.
The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit Psalm 34:18