To the MIAM,

by Ellen in

I have forgiven you.
And I have forgiven myself for letting you take so much of me: my time, my thoughts, my worry, my heart.

This has been my spiritual struggle--not seeing myself through God's eyes. I have done a lot to hurt myself and thwart my growth, and there is no one who has the power to do that but me. I have been giving myself permission to say that God doesn't love me as much as he used to, that I'm worthless, and not whole.

Guess what? IT'S NOT TRUE.

I realized something in the shower (all my clearest revelations arrive during shower time) just the other day: I'm free!

I don't mean to say that it doesn't still hurt sometimes, but I no longer gravitate toward the pain and dwell in it. Now, it seems that I sort of orbit it, allowing myself not to be drawn in. And when I can pull away from it, I think my face turns red because I realized I've done it.

Lent is soon drawing to a close. It has been my Lenten discipline to not give up praying about this, for I knew that I could not make this happen alone or consciously. I have to let God work through me, to show me that I can be myself, but a new version of me. I felt a giant proverbial hill (I mean, it was like more than a 10 in spinning terms), but now I'm working my way down it. I'm not coasting by any means, but I can certainly feel the wind in my hair.

And so, through a series of graces, I have been able to let myself take part in that. Instead of asking, "Do I really deserve this?" about the good things, I can say "Thank you" and let the grace point my heart in a new direction.

I have said previously that during Lent I read Judy Bauer's compilation of Lenten wisdom taken from writings of Henri Nouwen. Even though I have read all of these a number of times during a number of Lents, I never fail to find something new. When I had my latest shower revelation, I finally understood that this is what I had finally been able to do without even realizing it:

"The great challenge is living your wounds through instead of thinking them through. It is better to cry than to worry, better to feel your wounds deeply than to understand them, better to let them enter into your silence than to talk about them. The choice you face constantly is whether you are taking your wounds to your head or your heart. In your head you can analyze them, find their causes and consequences, and coin words to speak and write about them. But no final healing is likely to come from that source. You need to let your wounds go down to your heart. Then you can live through them and discover that they will not destroy you."

For the past year a half, I have felt destroyed--mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. It has only been recently that I have really come to understand that I needed only God's help to help me see myself through the eyes of my Creator. I didn't need another man or a ring on my finger to prove that I am real. All I had to do was listen to the people God has allowed me to know, to read, and to TRY. As a result, I am now looking forward to the future, where I know my gifts will come to fruition, and I'm letting myself be used towards God's purpose for my life. I feel like I am finally moving forward, sure of the grace I have been shown, and knowing that I am new, I am whole, and I am never alone.

So, MIAM, I hope that when we eventually run into each other in 20 years with spouses and kids in tow, we can remember how we each helped the other become better servants to God's purpose for us. It'll be nice to smile at each other and thank God that it all turned out the way it did.

And somehow, I was terrified that I wouldn't discover anything worthwhile about this Lent.

I know I am supposed to write about dreams, but sometimes, my dreams and my real life go hand in hand. And in real life, everything is spiritual.

Here's a photo recap of my life in the past couple weeks:

Ben is in there!
Bryce Avary=the Rocket Summer. He's very small, but has lots of big talent.
Hello, Spring! So glad you could made it!