Catholic Movie Night

You know, I never took people seriously when they said that exposing yourself to negative, morally questionable content brings you down spiritually.  Kind of stupid of me, right?  All I know is that over the past week or so, I’ve … Continue reading

Fervor

It’s time for me to really shake off the lethargy of past sin and run full-speed at actively rebuilding my foundation in Christ.  I’ve been thinking this for several months.  There are people I want to help, things I want … Continue reading

Lost Causes and Signs

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

Another Return

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:

 

Lord,

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.

Amen.

 

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.

Alive Again

ImageI’ve always loved being a Confirmation peer, but I don’t think I ever realized just how much it matters to me.  I really do think that leading people to Jesus and faith is the greatest joy in my life.  Right now, I’m so at peace, my heart physically aches, if that’s even possible.  Do you ever have moments in your faith when you’re just so incredibly taken by otherworldly joy that your whole being aches for more?  I haven’t had a moment like that in a while—until now.  Lately, faith has been a struggle to some extent.  I’ve been so surrounded by cynicism and bitterness and despair, it seems.  So many mixed feelings about my own inadequacy, my guilt, the burden of feeling like nobody’s on my side and I’m fighting an internal faith battle alone.

 

This past year, I think, I’ve been a little lost.  I stopped going to youth group stuff because I was busy or tired or couldn’t get a ride.  I couldn’t go on the Confirmation retreat in September, and I’ve been so worried about my sister and her apparent disinterest in faith.  But last night, I went to a retreat lock-in for Confirmation peers, and for the first time in months, I felt at peace.  I love the people in my church family, I love how close we are, I love the acceptance, I love the giggling and goofing off, I love how dedicated we are, and most of all, I love—with my whole heart, I love it!—seeing and feeling and experiencing God shaping each one of us in beautiful ways.  In my experiences as a Confirmation candidate and later as a peer, I’ve seen so many iceberg hearts just melt, so much bitterness fall in surrender to His love for us.  In my almost-eighteen years, I’ve never known anything nearly as incredible as being a part of that love and sharing it with others.  Lately, I’ve just forgotten that part of me, I guess.  I’ve been mixed up about what I want to do with my life, but last night reminded me that He knows just where I belong.  I feel so called to actively melt hearts and change people through Jesus’s love.  I’m praying that I don’t lose my way again.

 

Thank You, Lord, for everything.  Captivate my heart and lead me to You.

After a Long Hiatus…

ImageWell, 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 ♥

Burdens

hands of christDear Jesus,

I feel ambivalent about everything these days.  Just unsure of myself, I guess.  These last few weeks at Mass, I’ve just had this burden on my chest, this overwhelming feeling of unworthiness.  It physically hurts.  I don’t feel like I’m good enough for Your love, Jesus.  I feel like I’m just letting you down, like my sins are going to eat away at my faith little by little.  It’s terrifying, Lord.  I need Your love so much it hurts.

I don’t know what You have waiting for me.  I know I’m not supposed to worry about tomorrow, but it’s hard not to worry when everyone around me is moving in such a blur, getting ready for their futures, making plans, writing application essays, seemingly so ready for real life.  I don’t know whether I’m ready for what’s to come, Jesus, nor do I know what’s coming.  I hope I’m making the right choices, heading in the direction You’re pointing me.  Life’s overwhelming me right now, and I need to cling to You.

Lord, what am I supposed to do about the guy?  He’s sweet, he’s smart, he’s funny, he’s cute, he likes me.  I worry that I’m blinded by all the good and failing to see the bad.  Is he pulling me from my faith?  The conversations we’ve had, the photos I’ve sent (nothing risque, but not quite modest either).  He knows about my faith, he knows about my chastity.  He supports it.  He’s Jewish, but not too serious about his religion.  He’s older than me and he lives far away.  He always makes me smile, and I love our Skype calls and his bad puns and pet names.  I’m just so confused right now, and I don’t know what I’m doing.  I really like him, but I firmly believe that “a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”  I don’t want to do that, Jesus.  I want to listen to Your voice in every area of my life.  I can’t give You my full heart while looking for Your loopholes.  That’s not who I am, and that’s not who You created me to be.

Jesus, You know that all this is just the beginning of my worries right now, just the tip of the iceberg.  I’m just begging for Your help at this point because I fear I’ve lost all direction.  Make me humble, Lord, but at the same time, help me to see the good and beautiful in me so I don’t have to rely on boys for validation of my own worth.  Please stay with me and help me to listen to Your voice among the crowd.  I trust You to lead me home.

Amen.

“That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.”

“To Be Alone with You” – Sufjan Stevens

I’ve been lazy lately, I guess. I’ve been posting songs rather than actual blog posts, but maybe these songs can say more than I can. This one in particular is really beautiful, a song I just discovered recently on accident. In the indie folk genre, you’re, of course, bound to find plenty of religious cynicism and anti-Christian sentiment, but Sufjan Stevens is clearly the exception. A devout Christian, he lets his faith inspire much of his songwriting.

So, listen to this, it’s beautiful. The lyrics are simple and honest.

What to do with myself?

I’m having a day, you guys.  All seventeen-year-old girls want approval, right?  Do most of them need it the way that I do?  I mean, are there other girls who would react the way I did to my mother’s comments about my hair?  I feel a little ridiculous being this upset.  The conversation went like this:

Mom: [looking through my senior pictures] I mean, these are nice. [pause] I think you need to do something with your hair.  It’s not very feminine.

Me: Mom, I’m not straightening it or cutting it short.  I like it the way it is, and you know that.

Mom: [sigh] Katy… You know Ms. Dineyli from church?  You’ve seen her and her sister side by side.  Now, her sister’s obviously the prettier of the two by far.  The thing is, Dineyli actually isn’t unattractive.  It’s just that she has that frizzy hair that makes her look tacky, not very well put together.  I look at her, then I look you and your hair. [grimace]

Me: MOM.  My hair is absolutely fine.  It doesn’t even look like hers.

Mom: Katy, it’s not that much better.

~~~~

Yes, I’m sorry, I get really sensitive about things like this.  She always, always, ALWAYS has something to say about me, the way I look, my personality, my friends…  Literally, I get daily compliments on my hair.  “Your curls are GORGEOUS!” “People pay serious money for hair like that.  Don’t ever cut or straighten it.”  But then there’s my mom!  Other people can say the nicest things about me, that I’m smart, pretty, interesting, funny…she’ll say I’m lazy, stubborn, insensitive, antisocial, and that I need to take my antidepressants/ADD meds before she’ll be willing to talk to me.  She constantly talks about how I’ll never make it in the “real world.”

So, yeah… 😦 I’m crying right now, and I really can’t help it.  I don’t mean to be dramatic, I really don’t!  I’m just not happy with myself, and nobody else sees it.  Here I am, struggling with bulimia and anxiety disorder and depression, and I have to keep quiet about it.  Nobody thinks I’m trying my hardest.  When I have my “days,” everyone in my family thinks I’m fishing for attention.  Just now, my younger sister Lauren said, “Katy, you know you’re fine.  You’re being rude and dramatic, and you’re making a big deal out of nothing, like you always do.”  Lauren’s so no-nonsense.  She doesn’t cry or have panic attacks the way that I do.  I can’t tell her that I’ve been making myself throw up.  I’m afraid she won’t believe me.  Nobody in my house will, and they won’t take me to a therapist.  I don’t know what to do.