Monday, December 31, 2012

another year

What is it about January 1st that causes us to take the time look back, examine, evaluate, and analyze the previous year. It's as if we get a fresh start, a chance to do things differently or turn a corner. In God's kingdom, we get fresh starts and second chances no matter what date is on the calendar but there's still something about a new year that feels substantial and significant.

Tonight as I was driving home from a fondue party with friends (yum!), I just felt God nudging me to turn off my music and reflect with him for a few minutes. So I just prayed over this past year and I realized that my initial instinct was to beg God to make 2013 easier than 2012. I wanted to beg him to give me the desires of my heart in 2013, to let some exciting and fun things happen, to let me stop struggling. But, as I thought and prayed through this past year, I realized that the hard things, however abundant, have been God's way of teaching me to trust him. The truth is, this year, my heart has seen the school of suffering in so many ways.

There are so many songs that could be the theme song for this year but I think Audrey Assad wins it again with "Wherever You Go." The lyrics to the song are:

There's a train leaving your heart tonight.
There's a silence inside your head and you're running you're running from it.
Down the tracks on a midnight line.
There's a red moon in the sky and you're running you're running from it.

But I'm coming for you, coming for you, wherever you go.
I'm coming for you, I'm coming for you wherever you go.

Wrestling angels till dawn breaks through
There's a blessing in the wound and you're running you're running from it.
When all your demons are at your door
it's a soldier they're looking for and you're running you're running from it.

But I'm coming for you, coming for you, wherever you go.
I'm coming for you, I'm coming for you wherever you go.

I'm coming for you, I'm coming for you wherever you go
I'm coming for you, I'm coming for you wherever you go

Across the sea, the space between everything you think you know, 
the things you keep and bury deep underneath the melting snow - 
I'll follow.

Fathers & mothers don't always come through,
but I'm never gonna stop following you

Prophets and lovers don't always hold true,
but I'm never gonna stop falling for you

So, when your wine's all gone and your well runs dry,
Open your hands and look into my eyes; all that you see here,
you'll soon leave behind, so open your hands and look into my eyes

'cause I'm coming for you, coming for you wherever you go

I'm coming for you, I'm coming for you wherever you go 

Fathers & mothers don't always come through,
but I'm never gonna stop following you
Prophets and lovers don't always hold true,
but I'm never gonna stop falling for you

One of my favorite lines is, "wrestling angels till dawn breaks through, there's a blessing in the wound." How would I live in this world if there wasn't a blessing in the wound? I think Audrey is referring to the story where Jacob is left alone in the wilderness right before he meets Esau. A man wrestles him through the night. Jacob's opponent realizes that he will not overpower Jacob so he touches his hip and wounds him permanently. The man tells Jacob to let go but Jacob clings to his opponent and says "I will not let you go until you bless me." I feel like I've been clinging by a thin thread, just begging God to bless me. And he really has. Not the way I thought he would or the way my fallen heart would've chosen but in the best way.

This year, I've felt like my wine's all gone and my well has run dry...and I've heard my Savior over and over again call me to open my hands and look into his eyes...and each time he's told me "all that you see here, you'll soon leave behind.." This place is not your home..

So, you see, it's a blessing that I don't feel at home here. This place is not my home. He's coming for me, no matter where I go and He's never going to stop following me and He's never going to stop falling for me.

One day, I'll be face to face with my Savior in glory and I won't be sad or overwhelmed anymore, my joints won't hurt, my pancreas will work, my body will be healed and new! I will be able to sing beautifully in any key I can imagine and even some I can't, I will have energy and get to expend it all on worshiping my Rescuer! and I'll probably be a gardener or an artist because there will be no sick kids for me to take care of...Oh how I long for that day...

But, tonight, even as I long for that day, I am also thanking God for the ways that he has let me see His kingdom come here on this earth. I'm thankful that he gives me glimpses of the fulfillment of that promise. I'm thankful that each day, each month, each year, while I see more of the effects of the Fall on this broken world, I also see more of the Fall being pushed back, more redemption and restoration coming to fruition.

Suffering isn't fun. It doesn't feel good. I'm still not sure I would've chosen that if I were God. But, I'm not God for a very good reason. God knows so much more than I do and somehow in the midst of all the hardship and trial and sickness and grief, He has drawn me closer to Him. He has taught me to lean into him in a way that I didn't know before. He's shown me his goodness, his ability, and his delight in providing abundantly for my every need. He has made his love and his presence feel real to me in a way that I haven't felt before. He keeps keeping his promise again and again that he knows me and he loves me and he surrounds me and hems me in and delights in me and rejoices over me and embraces me as his daughter.

Things are still hard and there are things that I long for that I don't have and things that I have that I'd return if I could...but, I have a Father who is coming for me no matter where I go..

Psalm 139 and Isaiah 54 have gotten me through this year.

Psalm 139 says:

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

Isaiah 54 says:

“Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame.
    Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.
You will forget the shame of your youth
    and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.
For your Maker is your husband
    the Lord Almighty is his name—
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
    he is called the God of all the earth.
The Lord will call you back
    as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—
a wife who married young,
    only to be rejected,” says your God.
“For a brief moment I abandoned you,
    but with deep compassion I will bring you back.
In a surge of anger
    I hid my face from you for a moment,
but with everlasting kindness
    I will have compassion on you,”
    says the Lord your Redeemer.

He is working on making the night shine like the day. He's pressing into my soul the truth that I don't have to be afraid because He has taken away my shame. He is my Redeemer and he looks on me with deep compassion and everlasting kindness. However dark the path seems at times, that darkness isn't the least bit dark to him. Jesus is the light that confuses the darkness, that shines so brightly that the darkness flees. He's the light that existed before the world was formed and the one who holds it all together. He's the one who wrote every one of my days in his book before even one of them came to be and the one who promised to finish the work that he started in me. So, may 2013 be a year of worship, a year of trusting him even more, a year of running hard after my Redeemer and resting in him, knowing that He loves me and He's coming for me...

Monday, November 12, 2012


I want to simplify my life.
I want to get rid of some of my crap and start from scratch. 
Maybe I'll reconsider what I want to be when I grow up. I've been joking about having a quarter life crisis but so far it seems like a remarkably accurate assessment of the current situation. 
I'm moving out of my apartment and in with a family from church. They're taking me in when I'm the least likely to contribute anything and the most likely to just mooch off of them (which ironically motivates me to help however I can--isn't that the effect grace should have on us?). But, the point is, I'm getting a chance to get rid of some of the stuff I've accumulated over the years and start over with the things I really need. I have a feeling it will be evident which things aren't necessary over the next few months, since I'm moving from a pretty large living space to a much smaller yet more cozy and comfortable space. There's something about having a whole family down the hall that creates a sense of security that just doesn't exist when you're living on your own. 
My life doesn't look like I thought it would. Has it ever? You'd think I'd get the picture after 26 years of thinking it will turn out a certain way, only to be surprised each time with God's plan being different (and better) than mine. After a while, logic says I should probably stop setting so many expectations for myself and just trust that God is using me in his kingdom the way that only he knows is best. 
I'm moving back in with family at the age of 26, I've spent all of my savings on doctor's appointments and medicine and food,  I've slept through a large portion of the past 3 months, I've taken lots of time off work, and I'm still confused. That feels like failure. The endless refrain that runs through my head says, "why can't you do life like everyone else? Everyone has a hard time, but they can keep going. Why can't you? You're basically worthless." It's sad that the voice spouting those lies is often louder than the whisper that says, "you are worth it. you are loved. you are precious in my sight and I have great plans for you." I'm glad the whisper, though quieter sometimes, is far more consistent and infinitely stronger than the lies.
God wants me to slow down. Simplify. He wants me to calm down and stop trying to figure everything out. Maybe it would be ok to just sit still every once in a while and stop thinking.
I was talking to a friend today, wondering if she had figured out the secret to life making sense. She said, "I think I've come to a place where I've realized that all the wisdom comes from the Lord and that it doesn't have to make sense to me." It doesn't have to make sense. What would it look like for me to be ok with life not making sense? 
Daniel 2:21-22
He changes times and seasons;
he sets up kings and deposes them.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.

He's in charge of the seasons. Both the weather kind and the life kind. He knows what is in the darkness. He is light. I don't think it's a coincidence that to shed light on something often means to cause something to make sense. Right now, life feels hidden and dark. Answers seem to materialize one second and vaporize the next. But God is wisdom and in James, He promises to give us wisdom when we ask. The light I long for dwells with him.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

speak up

Tomorrow's Scripture at church is Philippians 3:12-4:1 and since I'm reading it in the service, I decided to read through it a few times tonight. God decided I needed to hear a few things, too. The other day, I asked him if he could speak up a little cause these days I don't hear so well and I feel like I've been having trouble hearing him. Well, I kinda wanted him to tell me what to do about work and what to do with all of my stuff and the secret key to unlock the mystery that is my health (or lack thereof). Or maybe he could tell me where my husband is or how long I'll have to wait or when Diabetes will fade into the background and not be such a big deal. But, as usual, his thoughts are so much higher than mine, so He said this instead:

Philippians 3:18-4:1
   For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!

I am so thankful that I don't live as an enemy of the cross of Christ. SO glad that I've been rescued. Yet, I still live like my God is my stomach and my glory is in my shame. My mind is stuck here in this fallen world, where nothing is new under the sun and we move from dust to dust, endlessly acquiring things that moth and rust will eventually destroy. I'm so discontent at times because I look around and my life is not what I thought it would be. There are so many things that I want that I don't have. A husband, kids, a job that I can do consistently without so much wrestling, a brain that works and produces serotonin, a benevolent donor, a pancreas that actually produces insulin, and on and on. The point is that my mind is so often wrapped up in trying to "figure out my life" that I forget that this isn't my home. Things are never going to be the way they should be on this side of eternity. We are in the between time, the "already but not yet." We are already saved from our sin and freed by the blood of Christ but we are not yet made whole, complete, and without sin the way we will be in the new heavens and the new earth. We live in the tension between knowing we've been made holy yet still struggling with sin. But one day, we will be glorified with Christ and our "lowly bodies" will be like his "glorious body!" 

So, no, I don't have everything I want right now but when I step back for a minute and take my mind off my circumstances, I realize that I have everything I need. My god is not my stomach and my glory is not in my shame. Jesus paid for those things. At the cross, he bought me freedom from my stomach and my shame, the two things that bind me most tightly. Paul says that we should stand firm in the Lord by eagerly awaiting a Savior from heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ. I want to be eager not anxious, hopeful not depressed, expectant not avoidant. I want to walk and rest in the truth that he has everything under control and he's in the business of rescue. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

soaking up God's grace

In 2.5 years, today is the first day that Anne has cancelled an appointment. We've missed weeks but it's always been planned in advance. That is a darn good track record. Add that to the list of 1,017 reasons why she's the best therapist in the entire world. She is so consistent. and her life is such a beautiful picture of integrity. She's congruent. She's brave. She lives what she says and she always keeps her promises. and I can always count on her to say plenty of things that are worth repeating. She is so patient with me and shows me such bountiful grace. So thankful she's mine.

Last week, in the midst of many tears and snot and puffy eyes, she made me look at her. She's never done that before. I mean, I don't know about you but looking someone in the eyes is not my first choice of things to do when I'm weeping and feeling like a total mess. But, I trust her, so I did. and I'm glad I did. I know I've said this before, but I'm reminded every week -- She has kind eyes and the ability to communicate deep concern and caring by just looking. And she said, "This is the cycle of shame starting. Do you hear yourself? Amy, it is OK that life is hard right now. It is normal that you're struggling. You've had a rough couple years. There's a lot of grieving to be done, still. and you are not alone in this." I'm sure she said a lot of other things but that's what I heard. I've been hearing that in my head all week, especially during the times when I feel like a failure at life because I can't work or when I have to lie down in the middle of the day because I'm tired or when I wonder how I'm going to make it through the next month financially.

God provided in a beautiful way today. I've said before that my CDE Susan reminds me a lot of Anne. I asked her once if she was a closet therapist. :) She's just a really great listener and she asks really great questions. She also can read me like a book. She can tell when there's too much information or when I just need to talk or when an hour isn't long enough. Well, I had an appointment with her today. What sweet provision. Susan brings out a part of my personality that most people don't see very often. She makes me witty. It's weird how different people bring out different parts of us. When I'm talking to her, I just feel understood and like it's ok to just be me. I had to tell her about the cake pop, reese's cups, skittles, 2 PBandJs, and distinct lack of vegetables I ate yesterday. I didn't even really notice, to be honest. I'm in survival mode. My new goal is to eat one vegetable a day. My over-achiever tendency would normally try to eat 5 vegetables a day but this time I really only have the energy to think about trying to eat one. Susan treated me to coffee after our appointment today and it was so fun to laugh with her and just get to know each other better. She's a keeper for sure.

I've been spending a lot of time at the church office this week. It's been so good for me. Even if I don't talk to Corey, there's just something about knowing that he's in the next room over that makes me feel safe. It's restful. and I think that's the point of my life right now. I'm trying to slow down and breathe and do things that I want to do. and not feel pressure or stress or expectations. Anxiety is near these days for some reason. Even in little situations, like taking longer at wal-mart than I planned. I'm trying to convince myself in those moments that it's ok to not meet my own expectations perfectly. I don't have anywhere else to be. it's ok.

Anne said something last week that I think is true. She said "I think maybe you're fighting too hard." I spend so much energy trying to get it right and fight to be joyful and happy and content that I end up being just the opposite. How do I just relax and soak up God's grace? How can I just rest in His goodness to me without feeling like I have to DO something?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Jesus meets shame

Shame WITH Jesus
David Powlison spoke on what the gospels have to say about shame and guilt. How did Jesus address the issue of shame during his time on Earth. David began with asking a question, “How can a cry of heartache, despair, and hopelessness become a song of love and rejoicing?” These men who are speaking at this conference have a deep abiding sense of life’s messiness and brokenness that coexists with a deeper, more penetrating sense of God’s faithfulness and His ability to mend the broken and clean up the mess. It is beautiful to sit under teaching that flows from that kind of worldview. Powlison pointed out that there is a particular kind of person who comes looking for Jesus. These people are messy and confused and each of them have an all-consuming sense of need. They are working with this pre-Theological notion that they need help and Jesus can help them. They don’t know that he is the Son of God, nor do they know that he is the Messiah who will die to rescue them from their sin. They’ve just seen him work. They’ve seen who he is. They don’t know how he will help, they just have a sense that he will. I love the story of the woman with the alabaster jar washing Jesus’ feet at Simon’s dinner table. Powlison shed some new light on the story for me when he said “Jesus can see that, despite her broken past and her skewed view of relationships, this woman has learned how to love. Love has always been unsafe for her but there is something about Jesus that she trusts. She intuits that he will bless her and not curse her, that he will keep her and not abandon her and as a result, she is freed up to love him in a way that she could never love anyone else.” It is so beautiful how Jesus honors this woman. Can you imagine how she felt? Before all of these men who have labeled her according to her sin, Jesus speaks forgiveness over her and honors her with his words. To know Jesus is to solve what is most wrong with our hearts. The way up is down—humility. Overcoming shame is about knowing your need, asking for help, saying thank you, and loving the one who helps you. What a beautiful picture of the saving grace of Jesus.
“I wanted to tell her that if only something were wrong with my body it would be fine, I would rather have anything wrong with my body than something wrong with my head, but the idea seemed so involved and wearisome that I didn’t say anything. I only burrowed down further in the bed.” 
― Sylvia PlathThe Bell Jar 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Shame Interrupted

Have you ever listened to a talk and felt every other body in the room evaporate into thin air or melt into their chairs, all the while wishing it were you evaporating or melting? All of a sudden it’s as if the speaker’s eyes are boring holes into your soul. “This talk was written for me. “ That happens to me often and lately God has been speaking to my soul using various vehicles and what seems like magnified surround sound regarding shame. When I heard that shame and guilt were the topics of the CCEF conference this year, naturally, I was intrigued. My sometimes overly eager spirit of adventure committed to going almost immediately, without regard to the eight -hour drive or the distinct lack of company. I’ve had my moments of wishing someone were here to process with me but I’ve also duly noted that it’s probably good for me to be forced to be alone. I don’t do alone if I can help it but the truth is that the times when I’m quiet and alone are the times when I’m forced to get real about what’s really going on in my heart. Not to mention, God has been so gracious to provide sweet time with precious college friends in my free time. J

Shame BEFORE Jesus.
So, Friday morning, Ed Welch, who is one of my literary and counseling heroes spoke about shame before Jesus. He examined what the Old Testament says about shame.  Shame is the very first feature of the Fall. It is the human dilemma yet it is so rarely a part of our ecclesiastical conversation. Ed pointed out, as he made his way through the Old Testament, that God has a unique affection for people who struggle with shame. When he said that, what felt like hope leapt in my heart and my head lifted from staring at my notes. I gazed toward the stage for a second as if to ask, “really? Could that really be true?” I’ve never thought about that before. It made my heart glad to hear him speak from lots of the verses that I’ve been fighting to claim over my life this past few months. I call them “my shame verses.” The beginning of Isaiah 54 where God talks about being the husband of the desolate woman, promising that she will not suffer shame or be humiliated have quickly become my life verses.  This quote resonated in the deep places of my heart: “When your Maker is your Husband, you will never cease to be pursued.” I’m in awe of how beautifully and completely God meets our deepest needs and longings. Ed spoke directly to the difference between shame and guilt. Both include a deep need for rescue and salvation but shame adds a need for covering, inclusion, and cleansing. He went on to explain that these things can only be secured in Jesus. “You touch the Holy One and he touches you back.” We belong to him. There is nothing more profound than that for someone who struggles with shame. If you struggle with shame, then you are just the kind of person for whom God is searching. As I was listening to Ed speak, I realized something significant about my story. I absolutely love Ed’s book Depression, A Stubborn Darkness. So much so that I loaned it to someone who still hasn’t given it back and I ordered a second copy just in case. I’ve wondered for months why this book stands out among all of the spiritual “Jesus books” I’ve read as one that profoundly helps me.  The root of it is shame. I’ve struggled with Major Depressive Disorder for most of my life but have felt, for the majority of my 26 years, too much shame to admit that I need help beyond what I can do to help myself. I've jumped back and forth between desperation and self-righteousness, medication and counseling, all the while drowning in shame and fear. When I read the 1st sentence of the 2nd chapter in Ed’s book called "How Depression Feels," I felt inclusion for the first time in the area of depression. I felt like he understood what I was feeling and I realized for the first time that other people that God used in mighty and powerful ways for His kingdom, shared my struggle. Shame is one of the largest threads in my story, second only to the thread of the gospel that rescues me from it. I’ve lived most of my life with a sense of failure, feeling that somehow I just don’t measure up. I struggle with feeling like a fraud when I experience success or a compliment of any kind because I deeply feel that I don’t deserve success. I just never feel like I quite belong, like there’s always something that’s just enough wrong with me that I don’t fit. But as Ed pointed out in his talk, God’s story is the story of the naked covered, the outcast accepted, the unclean thoroughly washed, and of honor, glory, holiness, and beauty being bestowed upon his prized possession, ME. Even that sentence is hard for me to write. My very nature resists that kind of love and honor even though I know that it’s been bought with the precious blood of my Savior. However, regardless of my resistance, reality is that I BELONG to him, he is pursuing me. He breaks off my humiliation and I take on his reputation. In his kingdom, there is NO way that shame has a permanent place. At the end of his talk, Ed asked a question, “Do you feel dirty? Like you don’t belong?” If the answer is yes then all of scripture is about you. He will chase you and love you until you give up, lay it all down and say, “Ok, I trust you.” We take on the name and reputation of the most honorable person who ever lived, Jesus himself. To be blessed is to be shown favor. God doesn’t turn away from us in disgust, He turns His face toward us. He has a choice and he chooses to place his name on us and call us HIS people. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

second chances

How do you know if someone has changed? You see fruit and growth in their life that seems to be a result of improved circumstances, which makes you wonder if the change is permanent and character deep or only temporary and superficial. Does a person who broke your heart countless times have the ability to love the shattered pieces back together again? Does someone who once doubted your commitment to the Word have the ability to speak that very Word into your life on a daily basis? Does someone who incessantly pushed you away have the ability to draw you in?

I am a huge proponent of second chances. If I didn't believe in second chances, I couldn't possibly grasp the reality of the gospel. The gospel is God's sweet story of one giant second chance for those who trust in Christ. It's the second chance to end all second chances. The ultimate do-over. A real clean slate. True forgiveness. Life from death, light from darkness, order from chaos.

I can feel God softening my heart. I know he's moving me toward forgiveness because how could he move me toward anything else? His very nature is one of pardon. He is a God of second chances.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


The other day someone asked me what I would do if I had a million dollars. Immediately my response was "quit my job and write a book!" That surprised me. I didn't really know I wanted to do that. haha! 

What would my book be about? no idea. I've written lots over the years but most of the things I have to say are all things that people who've come before me have said more eloquently. My life isn't that interesting. I've learned and grown exponentially these past 2.5 years, though. I could write a book about my journey through therapy but I guess maybe I should finish therapy before I write that. :) I could write a book about having Diabetes, from Day 1...but I guess I should have Diabetes for longer than 4 months before I write that. I could write about compassion or brokenness or joy or struggle and how the love of an ever-faithful Savior covers a multitude of sins like a thick blanket of snow covers the mud in dead winter. I could write about life. 

hm, we'll see.

Friday, October 5, 2012


"Adoration wars against a life lived as a response to our wounds.

There’s a war against our hearts finding adventure in the right now. 

Simmering below the surface of what appears to be circumstantial disruptions is a staged battle keeping me from communion, the minute-by-minute communion which makes me alive and makes Him known to me."

Oh how I long for that communion...

Thursday, October 4, 2012


It's amazing what a little perspective and a sense of humor can do for a person. Today Anne said "Perspective feels good, doesn't it?" Yeah, it does. It's kind of like the difference between drowning and being able to float. Perspective feels like coming up for air. Praise God that he loves to give his children perspective, whether it's the truth that this is not our home or the promise that Jesus is coming soon or the reality that because we look to him, our faces are NEVER covered with shame. I've lost a lot of hair in the past 6 months..and by "a lot" I mean over half. All the labs have been drawn, most of the possibilities explored and no one knows why. Pretty frustrating if I'm honest. BUT this morning I walked into my living room to see a painting my roommate had done of the first question from the Heidelberg Catechism. This might be my favorite Catechism question of all time:

What is your only comfort in life and in death?

That I am not my own but belong body and soul, in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watched over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven: in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.

How's that for some perspective?

I have the best therapist in the entire world. seriously. Mostly I feel like God has gifted her particularly to walk alongside me. I mean, she walks with so many other people but she has been the most precious gift that God has given me over the past few years. She helps me figure out what's going on in my heart, she makes me laugh when I need to, laughs with me when life is ridiculous, listens to me cry when I need to, reminds me often that she cares about me, prays for me, hugs me, speaks powerful truth into my life, is willing to say hard things when I need to hear them, but gently encourages me and challenges me in a brilliant way. She's helping me believe God, letting me borrow her faith when I don't have any of my own, and pushing me to rest in my need, knowing that Jesus is the meeter of all my needs. Not only is she awesome at her job, but she's also an incredible friend. The only issue I see with this situation is that I only get to spend 45 minutes with her a week. She's really popular for obvious reasons and I know God is using her to bring his Kingdom here in so many people's hearts. I miss her, though. 7 days is a long time and 45 minutes seems to be getting shorter and shorter. Too bad there's no remedy to this problem on the horizon..alas, I am praising God for his glorious provision in the form of Anne :)

In the past 3 weeks, God has given me another wonderful gift in the Fitts family. They have let me eat dinner with them every night and spend the night with them, entertained me without fail, given me purpose and a real place in their family, encouraged me relentlessly, and just generally made me feel so loved and like I belong. They have helped bring some stability and routine in the midst of a crazy unstable and scary season of life. What a precious gift. I have so many families who love me and accept me as one of their own and I could never even begin to express how grateful I am and how powerfully those relationships impact my heart and my understanding of the gospel.

Praise God for his commitment to helping me internalize the truth that He really does know me and love me deeply and his promise that he is restoring us and healing us and making all things new.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


there are so many things I could write about BUT I'm working on not thinking quite so much :)

With Corey's recommendation, I found a new coffee shop that I'm obsessed doesn't even matter that it's in North's that good. Sola. love.

God is gracious and He answers prayer. The most evident lately is His provision of a paid tutoring job! I've been looking for a way to make extra money and turns out I actually love tutoring...even math! crazy! AND it's for a family that I absolutely LOVE. I just couldn't ask for a better deal.

I'm praying about eventually moving in with this family from church. I made a pros and cons list and the pros FAR outweigh the cons. Now God just has to shake all the details into place...pray with me!

I feel better today. Life feels less overwhelming. maybe because I've only been letting myself focus on 3 things:
1. not eating lunch or dinner alone
2. exercising every day
3. observing my patterns and habits and giving myself some grace instead of judging and condemning

Eventually, I'll have to add life things back in one by one but for now, it's ok to focus on a few things and make it through this "crisis" season. it's ok. it's ok. it's ok. I have a hard time letting that really take root but it's just gonna have to.

happy Thursday!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Come quickly, Jesus!

I was reading the Jesus Storybook Bible before bed and I read this: "and John knew, in some mysterious way that would be hard to explain, that everything was going to be more wonderful for once having been so sad. And he knew that the ending of The Story was going to be so great, it would make all the sadness and tears and everything seem like just a shadow that is chased away by the morning sun. 'I'm on my way,' said Jesus. 'I'll be there soon!' John came to the end of his book. But he didn't write The End. Because of course, that's how stories finish. (and this one's not over yet.) So instead, he wrote: 'come quickly, Jesus!'"

One day, everything sad will come untrue. Oh how I long for that day! And I pray that my hope lies in the certainty of its coming..


A sweet friend sent me a message today in which she described me as a “courageously honest woman” and I think that might be one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. I love to write. I love flowery language and big, descriptive words and those of you who read this blog know well that I don’t hesitate to use them. But more than anything, I long for authenticity, for honesty in what I write. I want to paint a picture of the reality of life in this fallen, broken world in beautiful juxtaposition with the reality of the beauty of the gospel and the restoration that Jesus brings. Honestly, I only know of a few people who read these words I type. This blog is mostly for me as a way for me to process through what I’m thinking and what God is showing me on a somewhat regular basis. This blog is part of therapy and healing for me. It’s raw. There’s something about clicking the “publish” button that allows me to let go of some of the things to which I’ve clung for years. Sometimes God uses it to pry my death grip off of certain things one finger at a time. There are parts of my story that may never make it to these pages but God is teaching me that we all have a story and that everyone’s story is worth being told. Even mine. I confess that I still have a hard time claiming that as truth. I still wonder if my story is really worth being told. It’s not very exciting, sometimes deeply depressing, and sometimes just plain boring. And there are parts of it that I haven’t even told myself yet, which, at the age of 26, makes the thought of exploring them a bit daunting. Alas, along with my journal, these pages have helped bear some of the weight of my story these past few months and that is worth the time.

I love the concept of story. The idea that God is the author and the narrator of our stories fascinates me and the truth is, as a literature nerd, it makes me a little giddy. I just love stories of all kinds. I love digging deep and finding patterns and motifs and exploring language and theme. I love the way that stories unite us. Picture a room full of toddlers who are distracted by each other and lots of toys. What would happen if I walked into that room with a book and started to read a story? I would bet money that 2 pages in, the majority of them would be sitting in my lap or next to me or in front of me, trying to help me turn the pages and wanting nothing more passionately than to see the pictures. Stories unite us, they help us find common ground in our humanity when it seems we have nothing in common. Dan Allender wrote a book called To Be Told.. about how God writes our stories and longs for us to be involved, to join him in the writing of the rest. The book talks about theme, pitching the idea that God weaves certain themes in and out of our lives that can help lead and direct us to who and what and where He is calling us. I think it’s true. It’s beautiful to see how God has given me a heart for women and children who struggle with many of the same things that I have wrestled with throughout my own life and a deep desire to be a part of bringing some redemption and restoration to that arena. My themes are strong and it’s the very places where I’ve experienced the most brokenness and despair that I long to revisit with younger women and children as one coming alongside and fighting with them for freedom. I’ve thought many times that maybe therapy is as much, if not more, for the people that I will love and minister to throughout my life as it is for me and my own healing. I, for one, am so glad that Anne decided to go to therapy when she did. It’s amazing how God has equipped her to walk alongside me through this process. And I can only pray that God would one day multiply that healing by using me to come alongside someone else.

Lately, I’ve felt pretty lonely. But this weekend, I spent hours with my pseudo nieces and nephews and brother and sister, today I spent hours with a different set of pseudo family and tonight, as I sat around a table of women who love the Lord and love me, I realized that I am so far from alone. True, no one really knows what’s going on and there’s only so much they can do to help but they are doing so much. More often than not I am too scared to admit that I need help and too prideful to ask for it when the truth is that they want me around. They want me around. I need to work on believing people when they say that instead of coming up with 100 reasons why there’s no way they’d want me around. It’s a worth issue. I know, I know, you’re shocked! But the truth is that my worth comes from Jesus and it’s rooted and grounded in his love for me and the significance and purpose that he brings to my life. I’m worth it because Jesus is worth it and no one can really argue with that. Not even me. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

not for a moment

in my hurt, at my worst, when my world falls down...not for a moment will You forsake me.

Monday, September 10, 2012

If you were diabetic...

Depression is officially worse than Diabetes. For years, I've fought it, at times able to hold it at bay without help. Well, last year, I finally had to admit that I was tired of fighting so hard all the time and I asked for some help. I remember so many conversations with Anne about the pros and cons of medicine, most of which consisted of me being stubborn and her actually knowing what was best. (hm, that's still kinda true..) She said "If you were diabetic, would you take insulin?" yep. well isn't that just ironic? ha! Amidst several of these illustrations, she said "Amy, if I felt the way you do, I'd take something." Well, that did it. I respect her so much and care so much about her opinion and God used her to move me, through many layers of history, resentment, anger, uncertainty, fear, and sadness, to a place of acceptance regarding medication. I argued that treating it wasn't the same as having Diabetes or some other physical disease, but then it helped. It gave me back my life. It reminded me that depression is not my identity, that I don't have to live in this fog where life is too much to handle. It reminded me that I love to laugh. It lifted the darkness just enough to give me some strength and some hope that my life could be good and fun again. It opened a door for there to be real progress and growth in therapy instead of just the sadness police. I remember being amazed at how fast it helped, yet still skeptical. and I also remember when one pill wasn't enough. I felt so much better compared to where I had been that I had a hard time realizing that there was still more freedom to be had. My meter of what is "normal" was smashed a long time ago by years of sadness and hidden grief. I was told multiple times in multiple ways that I wasn't getting the full benefit that meds could bring. Still, I felt crazy. Not only did I need depression meds, I needed 2. Well, they were right. I need 2. The darkness continued to lift and I felt like I could breathe deep for the first time in years. I remember times of lamenting in my car over the fact that I am dependent on these medicines to function in life and I remember times of rejoicing in my car just singing praises to the Lord for these 2 pills that I have to take everyday. I felt rescued and cared for.

Depression is deceitful. It makes you forget those times of freedom. It surrounds you with doubt and paints despair where there once was joy. It comes quick and it's sneaky. and all of a sudden, you feel like your life has been flipped upside down and smashed into the ground. Guess what; when that's your life, it's hard to see the reality of what is happening. Sometimes it takes some scary things to shock you into the truth that you need help. again. And then the shame comes. again? really? I feel like a problem child, always asking for favors and concessions to be made for my health. I have appointments and bad days and other diseases that complicate matters. I'm so tired of not being able to handle my own life. and I have a hard time getting out of bed and going to work in the morning but doesn't everyone have a hard time getting up and going to work in the morning? it's so hard to know. but I know that I have had mornings where I have been glad to get up and go take care of those precious kids. and I know that it's been a while since I've been glad. I'm not a vegetable. I still laugh and I still smile. It's just not as full, not as rich, not as real. Depression dulls things. it makes everything seem dull and heavy. Even my forehead feels heavier, like it's going to press down and usurp my eyes. It seems like moving or making decisions or pressing on to another day is like walking through thick gooey mud. You have to keep moving or you'll get sucked under but it's hard as hell and sometimes you really wonder if it might be better to just stop and let the mud wash over you and sometimes you wish you had gone a different way and when you come out on the other side, you're still covered in mud and wondering if you'll ever know what it's like to be clean again and trying to brush it off just spreads it everywhere and eventually you just give up and accept the fact that you're the messy girl who trudged, ever so slowly, through the mud. A good friend of mine said "Don't forget, you can't take God out of the equation." Of course you can't. He's the one who made the mud and made the girl. He's the one who knows that the mud is really making her clean. He's the one who trudged through the mud already, who knows what it's like to taste despair and darkness, who is powerful enough that at any moment he could snatch the girl out of the mud and paint rainbows and butterflies around her. If he wanted to. Job says to God, in a weak moment, "I wish I had never been born..." and God says "Where were you when I put the stars in the heavens?.." among many other things. For real, though. Who am I to know what is best or why this is part of my story?

There's this song I love...shocker, I know! it's called "No Fight Left" by JJ Heller and it says "there's no place I can go where you don't already know how to reach right down and pull me out...I need you, I need you, I need you.." I've probably written about this song before because it's one of the few that I've found that really express how I feel when I'm in the midst of this. There's no fight left in me, but maybe that's where I should be. Maybe that's what God wants from me. He wants me to give up trying and give it all to Him. I could be mad at God because I know that if he wanted to, he could jerk me right out of this place tonight. but I'm not mad at him because I know that if he wanted to he could jerk me right out of this place tonight. He could rescue me here and now but he's choosing to leave me here and I've lived through this enough to know that he's a God who has beautiful, powerful purpose behind the things that he does. He hasn't forgotten me but instead he says in Zechariah 2 that he is a "wall of fire" around me and that he "will be the glory in [my] midst." Piper says "He is never content to give us the protection of his fire; he will always give us the pleasure of his presence." After all, he knows when I sit and when I rise and even when I settle on the far side of the sea, his hand is still there. and eventually, the night will shine like the day because even the darkness is not dark to him. Praise God that the darkness is not dark to him! I'm restless until I rest in him and there's nothing that can satisfy my soul but him and he loves me and will always be enough. He just has to remind me sometimes. Such a severe mercy.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

the Bell Jar

I've never been much of a home body, which I speculate is mostly a result of my rather ostentatious extravertedness. I love people. I love being around people and pursing people and gathering people together around a table or for a cause. I guess even extraverts get tired. I'm tired. There are so many things to think about, so many things to deal with or decide or work through. The past few days have just been rough. I can feel the bell jar hovering over my head ready to drop down and trap me. Most of you probably don't know what I'm talking about when I say 'bell jar'...There's this book, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. It's a favorite. She uses beautiful descriptive language and metaphor to describe the experience of severe depression in a time when mental illness was gravely misunderstood. One of my favorite quotes comes when she is talking about memories. She remembers everything that has happened to her, everything good and bad, all of the cruel and inhumane "treatment" she underwent for major depressive disorder, all of the side effects and the confused looks and the lack of understanding. She says "Maybe forgetfulness, like a kind snow, would numb and cover them. But they were part of me. They were my landscape." They were her landscape. Sometimes I wish a kind snow of forgetfulness would just come and cover all of me and my thoughts and my broken body and that I could just melt into this couch with the snow. But a wise friend once said to me as I wrestled with the "whys" of my own diagnosis of major depressive disorder, "Amy, maybe depression is just a part of your story, maybe God is going to use this experience to allow you to love and help other women someday." Maybe He will. maybe he already has in a way that I can't see. I know, deep down, that there is purpose to all of this. and even in the midst of my unbelief, I know that God is not abandoning me. It's just so hard. My heart is so weary. When I think about my landscape, it feels desolate and dark and dry. It hasn't always felt that way. Depression is a beast of a disease. It traps you in a cycle of defeat and even when you break free of the cycle, there's always this tiny fear in the background that it's coming back to devour you again. it's like being chased. always looking over your shoulder, wondering if this is the time it will catch up and engulf you. It's scary but I know I'm not stuck here. People I trust, who love me and know way more than I know, tell me everyday that I will get through this and that this is not forever. now I just have to believe them :)

I'm camping out in Psalm 139...again. The whole thing is a beautiful reminder of how God cares for his children but there's this verse that says "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." vs. 16. Guess what that means. That means that God is not surprised by me, he isn't shocked by diabetes or depression or degenerative discs (alliteration...ha!) but instead, he knew they were going to happen. He knows just how he's going to use them for his glory and my good and to further his kingdom. It's ok to struggle, it's ok to struggle, it's ok to struggle. I have a hard time believing that. I like having things figured out and analyzed and perfected. I don't like uncertainty and not knowing and brokenness and struggle and blind trust. The Lord is loving me, this is his mercy to me. and yes, I'm angry as hell. I hate this, I hate the fact that I can't take a break from diabetes or I could die. I hate that I've gained 45 pounds. I hate that I have such an unhealthy relationship with food. I hate that I am so tired all the time. I hate that I don't really look forward to leaving my bed or my couch. I hate that I don't feel like me. but God can handle my anger. it's not too much for him. I'm angry at the way things have to be and I'm working on expressing my anger (I'm not very good at that). and I'm praying that God brings something beautiful and joyful into my life that distracts me from myself and reminds me of his goodness. and that I begin to learn to really rest, knowing that his hand is guiding me and holding me fast and that he has searched me and knows me and still loves me all the way to the bottom and all the way to the top. Lord, help my unbelief.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

more good days than bad days this week, which is encouraging. it feels like today is gonna be tough. i'm trying really hard to claim truth and trust that my identity and worth are rooted in Jesus and not in what I think of myself or what people think of me. i'm tired. but not sleepy. my new bed has been awesome! waking up in the mornings is a much more pleasant experience than it has been in years and i really do feel more rested. too bad my brain didn't get the memo that we're supposed to be better. i want so badly to be positive and to not overreact to things and to take deep breaths and take things in stride. but i'm having a hard time going with the flow. it's a little turbulent at the moment and most days i just want to jump ship and wait this out somewhere else but i don't really have that option. my neck hurts and i just want to rip my head off. the truth is, i'm angry at my body. i feel like my body is my enemy and like it has totally betrayed me. and i know that i can't really separate me from my body but in my head, i do. i don't want this body to be who i am. i hate being needy. hate it. but i am so needy right now that i don't know what to do with myself. and it's been a couple years of neediness but never to this depth. i have a hard time admitting that i'm not ok and asking for help, usually because i'm not sure what would help, which unfortunately doesn't mesh well with intense need. ahh! i am so overwhelmed that i feel like i'm drowning. i feel like i'm buried in a pile of rubble, stuck underneath and i'm not quite strong enough to get out. it feels like my voice isn't working. like i want more than anything to scream for help but for some reason i can't. i feel like the next thing might just do me in. yesterday i met with an awesome lady, one of the diabetes educators at duke, who is diabetic and maybe the nicest person on the planet. she understands what is happening to me in a way that no one else really does. and she said so many of the same things that Anne says all the time. she was much more like a therapist or just a good friend than an educator. i have a feeling that she's going to become one of my lifelines. so thankful for her. hopefully she will be able to help me. she promised that this is not forever but that eventually, diabetes fades into the background. it's only a tiny speck in the grand scheme of who i am. there's a magnifying glass on that speck right now. a really giant powerful one. hopefully i won't lose my mind before we get past the crisis part.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

a long list

Another day down. Today my clinic finished at noon and no one needed help. I stocked everything that I could find to stock and still had some time left over! Craziness..

One of our favorite little kiddos landed in the Peds Cardiac ICU today. Precious 7 year old child with osteosarcoma, in the maintenance phase of her chemo, attempting to move on with her life. But studies show damage to her heart as a result of the high doses of chemo that have been destroying the cells in her body for the past year or so. We give these kids chemo every day but sometimes we forget that it's poison. until something like this happens. it killed the tumor but it also killed a part of her heart. It's such a tough balance. the risk/benefit balance. Is the benefit worth the risk? There are so many questions.

Today, my body hurts. and a friend mentioned the word 'fibromyalgia' yesterday. and another friend mentioned it today. and then when I described my symptoms to my mom, she asked if I thought I might have it. all of these suggestions were totally separate of each other. Now I'm trying to decide if it's worth adding another doctor to my repertoire and probably another pill to my already overflowing pill case. My body really does hurt. I have good days and bad days and ok days. Some days I don't take any Ibuprofen. Some days I have a hard time going 6 hours in between doses. who knows? There's a rheumatologist at Duke who does research on fibromyalgia. Dr. Rice. now I have to decide if it's worth a visit.

why are bodies so complicated? there are so many parts and pieces and they all affect each other in different ways and sometimes it's just so hard to separate one issue from the next. and sometimes I wonder if I'm just making all this stuff up. but the last time I thought I was making stuff up, my pancreas had actually stopped working. the list just seems to keep getting longer and longer.

The good thing is, God is not surprised by this. He knows me better than I know myself and He's got this.

Monday, August 27, 2012


I need to write more. I think I've had some version of writer's block lately. I think I just need to sit down and type.

My heart is weary. There's a song that I love. It says "These are old shoes that I'm walking in, I'm wearing weary like it's a second skin." I feel like those words will never get old. Audrey Assad and I have the same heart and feeling like someone gets me, even if I don't know them at all, is always encouraging.

I'm trying to learn to be ok with gray. gray is an achromatic or neutral color that can be correctly spelled with either an 'e' or an 'a' as its vowel. gray can be used to balance an all-black or all-white view. gray means there's not really an answer. unclear. uncertain. I've been known to be an extremist at times. life is either really good or really bad. I have a hard time only being ok. ok just doesn't seem like enough. gray means I haven't figured it out. I haven't evaluated enough. I love the color gray. I was an English major. gray is celebrated in literature and the evaluation and critique of it. Math is black and white, there's only one answer. English is gray, the right answer is what you make it. So overall, I love gray but when it comes to my own life and my evaluation of it, gray is hard to swallow.

Loneliness. what a bizarre concept. How can one be lonely when surrounded by people? Somehow, it happens. it happens a lot. I've struggled with this before, in fact I think I've spent most of my life afraid to really trust people enough to make them safe enough to even remotely touch my loneliness. At this point in my life, there are a few but having diabetes has tied a knot in my safety net. how can anyone really understand what this is like? having struggled for years with disordered eating, I feel like food has always consumed my life. Food is simultaneously my best friend and my worst enemy. and now I'm expected to pay close enough attention to what I eat that I can calculate exactly how much insulin my body needs to appropriately use the number of carbs that I give it. I've always payed close attention to what I put in my mouth and there's always been a monologue of shame and guilt associated with every calorie. it seems my bingeing and my diabetes can't coexist without killing me. I know what you're thinking. "Well, you can't not have diabetes, you're stuck with it. so, guess you'll have to stop bingeing." and my answer to that is, "If I could do that, don't you think I would've done it a long time ago?"

I randomly picked up this book that I borrowed from a friend called "Breaking Free from Emotional Eating." My first thoughts were, "GREAT! another book that will tell me all the same things about eating and food that every other book has echoed throughout the years. Ideas, concepts, plans, suggestions, and strategies that echo relentlessly in my head, in the end only adding link by link to the chains of guilt and shame that have had me bound for longer than I care to admit. Nonetheless, I decided to 'skim' it. turns out, this woman knows me.

2.5 years of therapy has taught me that I don't take care of myself well. the minute I stop intentionally choosing and scheduling things that take care of me, those things quickly lose their place of priority. quickly and quietly. until one day, I wake up and realize that I've done nothing to care for myself in weeks and I'm empty and exhausted and discouraged. on that day, if I look at the last few days, sometimes weeks, I usually see at least one binge a day, sometimes more. "Binges are purposeful acts, not demented feelings..a binge can be an urgent attempt to care for yourself when you feel uncared for. Binges speak the voice of survival. They are signals that something is terribly wrong, that you are not giving yourself what you need--either physically (with food) or emotionally (with intimacy, work, relationships). They are your last stand against deprivation" (p. 68). Anne always says "just remember that it's not about the food." that's so true, the eating is a symptom, a sign-post, a red flag or check engine light that tells me something is disoriented or awry in my heart. the problem comes when I don't stop for long enough to realize what the binge is pointing to. I'm afraid to stop. I have a deep seated longing, almost compulsion, to DO something. "We can excuse ourselves for doing nothing when we eat because eating is doing something. Eating is a socially acceptable way of taking time for ourselves, All else is defined as indulgence. or selfish or unnecessary waste of time" (p. 68) Ah, the chronic problem of humanity's need to do instead of just be. I constantly find myself running in step with the Galatians, whom Paul refers to as "foolish" simply because they've begun working, trying to earn their standing before the Lord and perfect themselves. It's as if they've suddenly convinced themselves that what only God can perfect by His Spirit, they can perfect by their own flesh...nope, it's just never gonna be enough. Of course I believe that, right? I know I could never be perfect, yet there are hundreds of ways every single day that I reject grace and sometimes subtly, sometimes not-so-subtly, attempt to prove my worth and earn my own righteousness. For me, the arena is often the space between my hand and my mouth.

For years, I saw my mom try diet after diet after diet yet caught her crying at the kitchen table in the middle of the night. I saw the guilt and shame on her face after she ate something she "wasn't supposed to." I ate because everyone in my family ate. Overeating was celebrated. I was just eating like a Yarbrough. In order to feel like I belonged, I had to overeat, indulge, eat myself into oblivion and physical pain. I could never even begin to count the conversations revolving around "rolling ourselves out of a restaurant" because we had eaten so much that we couldn't bear the thought of moving. I heard the message, spoken and unspoken, that I should watch what I ate. After all, obesity runs in our family. yet I learned quickly that feeling "full" could numb some of the pain, some of the disconnected loneliness I felt, some of my desire to feel like I belonged. It numbed me, made it bearable to keep my eyes open long enough to make it through the day. It wasn't ok to be sad when I was sad so I just ate when I was sad. It wasn't enough to just celebrate when we were happy, we had to eat when we were happy. Nothing was done without food or at least the nearness of it. Quite often, we still discuss the plans for our next meal while we're eating. I was never taught to just enjoy food. The "enjoyment" was followed with shame, which automatically negated the enjoyment. "How could you let yourself eat that much? You said you were only going to eat half. You said you weren't getting dessert but then you ate enough of everyone else's to far surpass the impact that your own dessert would've had. You said you'd order a salad. You can't even have enough discipline to do what you decide to do! and it's only been 10 minutes since you decided it. Seriously, again? You are such a failure. You can't do anything right. You might as well just stop trying because you're never going to be able to do it. You're never going to say no enough times to make it count. One day you're going to screw up so badly that no one will ever love you again. No one wants to be around the fat girl. No one thinks fat is beautiful. No one wants to deal with your issues. You'll always be alone. You'll always be left to fend for yourself, to wrestle these demons again and again until one day they suffocate you. You'll always be alone and scared." It's unreal how a few bites of food becomes a deep, deep worth issue. Somewhere along the way, how "well" I eat became a significant measure of my worth. "If they really knew how and what I ate, they'd be disgusted, they wouldn't love me.." that's a problem.

So often, I rely on something other than the gift of God's grace in my Savior to monitor my "goodness" and "badness." I'm good when I exercise, bad when I don't. Good when I eat carrots, bad when I eat cookies. and so on and so forth. This structure of evaluation is so natural that it's hard for me to even notice it, much less to put it into words or stop it before it starts.

For so long, I've held my life together with the structure of a diet or an exercise plan. I complain about having to record carbs and blood sugars, and insulin but somewhere deep down, I like the boundaries it creates. I'm so afraid of letting go of those things. But there's this verse that talks about how Jesus was before all things and in Him ALL things hold together. and there's this other verse that talks about how if God gave us His own Son, how could he not graciously give us all things. Would he deny me the safety, security, and structure of Jesus holding my life together, too? How prideful for me to think that I could even begin to hold this all together with my own expectations or plans. He delights to hold my life together. He loves me and he loves my life and my rebellious heart. He pursues me even when all I want to pursue is the latest diet or the ever elusive calorie-free comfort food. He says that His eye is on the sparrow, all the sparrows, and if his eye is on all the sparrows then how could I forget that He sees me? He is near to the broken-hearted, he provides security in a way that nothing in this world could ever do, He sees me when I can't even see myself, He can see the face that I don't want anyone else to ever see, He knows my deepest desires and my deepest fears...and He promises never to leave, to always be near, to walk alongside me and go before me in the fight, to shepherd me in a way that makes me lie down and trust Him instead of scrambling around trying to prove myself. Oh how I long for these truths to take root in my heart. to take root and grow, such that my life and the way that I eat and the choices that I make reflect the reality of His relentless love.