Just a reminder that you and I serve a wonderful, merciful, omnipotent God. His love is unconditional and all-consuming. He also knows that we, as mere human beings, cannot begin to understand the implications of His love and mercy, so … Continue reading
I always go MIA for long periods of time, then come back suddenly. I guess you’re all used to that by now. I guess a lot has happened, and I really do need to “restaple” my heart to Christ. It’s been a hard year, but I’m ready to stop living in fear that I’m somehow beyond God’s reach. Depression, eating disorder, anxiety, Dad leaving me—my God is greater than the sum of my fears. Just a stream of consciousness prayer I wrote to God today:
I ask You constantly for things I can’t even comprehend, so I’m going to humble my prayers to layman’s terms. I’m looking for Your peace, Lord, first and foremost. I pray that You will help me to quiet the intrusive, fear-stricken voices in my head so that I may listen to You instead and come to hear the quiet words You whisper into my heart. I trust that You’ll bring me back to Your arms, Jesus, and I promise You that I will, by the help of Your grace, let Your gentle, loving voice lead me back home. I’m a little lost right now, Jesus, but I will not give up. I love You more than I can understand, and, if nothing else, I will always stretch my arms toward You as You pull me back to shore. Again, I’ll say it, Jesus: I love You. I’ll give You my nothing if it’s all I have.
Out of context, I’m sure this prayer is pretty incoherent, but in light of my faith life as of late, I feel like it says all that I’ve been wanting to say to God.
Well, I haven’t blogged in a long time, I know. Things have been pretty crazy, but I’m working them out, little by little. I’m getting better, even though it’s difficult and I sometimes resist the changes. The thing is, in November, on my senior retreat, I told my whole senior class about my eating disorder. I’d never told anyone before, except the priest in the confessional, so I don’t entirely know what, if not Jesus, moved me to speak up about it. So, yeah, my mom found out about my bulimia, which was scary and confusing, but somehow it ended up okay. My school was understanding and helpful, and they were prepared to be flexible as I received treatment. On November 20, I started the day program at the #1 eating disorder treatment center in the country. Twelve hours a day, seven days a week (yes, that meant missing Mass and school). No mirrors, monitored bathroom breaks, intensive therapy, a whole personal treatment team and a super-strict meal plan. I spent five weeks there, and yes, it was crazy and stressful and emotionally draining, but I do think it helped.
I think my attitude really did change. When I got there, I was so consumed with self-loath and guilt. I couldn’t even think about getting better because I was so damn focused on how horrible a person I was. If you’ve ever felt absolute despair, you must know what that’s like. You can’t forgive yourself for your own mistakes, and you certainly can’t bring yourself to ask for God’s forgiveness because you’re soooooo caught up in your own feelings of unworthiness. I just had this attitude of “I don’t deserve God’s forgiveness”—and it’s interesting because I now realize that I’m not sure whether my shame came from extreme humility or extreme pride that kept me from asking for God’s mercy. Regardless, I’ve found it. He came to me while I cried over myself and my own unworthiness. I’m doing my best to remember that God really, truly does love us at our very best and very worst. It’s so important that we allow ourselves to be forgiven, that we are open to God’s saving grace and mercy. Right now, I’m focusing on Psalm 95:
“If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”
No, I can’t think of any situation where this advice wouldn’t help.
– thelightiswhite ♥
You taught the sun to shine so bright,
to hide beneath the hills and trees at night.
You made all things with a purpose,
You gave us each a soul,
and, Jesus, only You can make me whole.
I spent a long time struggling in vain
to make sense of existence based on chance,
a universe without a God to tell the skies to rain,
where chromosomes and DNA declare us all the same,
and love is the effect of raw endorphins to the brain,
and I am no creation of God’s hands.
Those hands that hold and love and give,
hands that curled in pain
as He, by His children, was tortured and slain,
so that sinners like me could live,
and choose to misuse and hate and abuse
and refuse His very name.
We hurt Him and aggrieve Him,
but He loves us all the same.
Jesus, I’ll know You’ll be with me
for whatever comes.
my soul waits for the day You’ll call me Home.
We do this at my parish’s Confirmation retreat, and it’s one of the most powerful experiences I’ve ever known. I did it last year as a peer, and it was so overwhelmingly beautiful.
The front of my piece of cardboard said:
“I hated myself. Felt worthless and didn’t want to live.”
When I flipped it over, it read:
“He told me I was worth dying for.”
Today is the saint’s day of one of my dearest saints, St. Maria Goretti, who along with St. Agnes, I invoke every day. She is a modern virgin martyr, a patron of chastity, teenage girls, and crime victims, and a witness and model of purity and forgiveness.
Maria was eleven years old, a poor Italian farm girl, when in 1902 Alessandro Serenelli, a nineteen-year-old farm hand and neighbor, tried to rape her. Alessandro had approached Maria a number of times before seeking sexual favors, but she had always refused; he had tried to rape her at least once before. This time when she refused him, he became enraged. She fought him, imploring him not to do what he wanted to do, a mortal sin, insisting she would rather die than submit. In the end, Alessandro stabbed her eleven times.
Before she died some twenty hours later, Maria forgave her…
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