It’s hard to come up with a short answer when people ask me what I blog about, but I suppose the easiest way to explain it is that I blog about my life and its ups and downs. There’s been a lot of both over the years, but recently I’ve noticed how differently I respond to the ups and downs.
Let’s face it. Good things are going to happen, and bad things are too. There are people who wrongfully assume that because I love God now that my life should be all sunshine and roses, and there are pastors on TV and writing books who make it seems like that. It’s just not true. The Bible doesn’t say that, and if a pastor or anyone tells you that, just ignore what they say as you run the other direction.
Life isn’t always hard, but we go through challenging seasons all the time. When we get through one situation, another arises. That’s life, and I’ve experienced a lot of ups and downs, changes and growth throughout my years here. I’ve learned to control my emotions instead of letting them lead me, and that has changed the way I view life more than I can express.
The last year has been filled with change. Most of it has been pretty awesome, but even some of the best parts have required some reframing in my mind. I was so bummed last week that I didn’t lose an incredible amount of weight (you know, since over 100 didn’t feel like enough) by my year mark, but looking back I’m not surprised. My weight, while important, is not my biggest priority right now. Yes, I want to be healthy. Yes, I desire to live a life of overall wellness, but that encompasses a lot more than just my size. It’s also important to note that losing over 100 pounds in a year or in any amount of time is a big deal.
I know that my weight is important because it’s a huge element of overall health. The lighter I become, the easier it is to take the stairs without breaking a sweat. I don’t dread the days when the elevator that I use to access the parking garage isn’t working. Taking the stairs when my hands are full is annoying, but I can do it. I can walk up several flights without worrying that my weight will defeat me, and that’s cool. I’m also not worried about which angle I’m in when someone wants to take a picture of me.
I got my driver’s license updated last week, and I didn’t dread the unflattering position that they made me stand in. In fact, I can see a notable difference in the photos, and I got to adjust my weight significantly too.
I also spent the summer focusing on adjusting to married life. Our goal was to move out of this apartment that I lived in for several years before I knew Michael, but now that we’re adjusted we may stay a little longer. It was weird adjusting to the presence of another human being in my home, but now it feels like ours. Working through those feelings was important, and I’m glad I did it.
Now we’re looking forward to decorating for Christmas, hosting friends – something we already do pretty regularly, and traveling to spend time with our families, near and far.
There was also that pesky anger issue I dealt with after surgery. When I could no longer eat as much as I wanted to eat when I wanted to eat it, I got frustrated. People warned me that it could happen, and it did. Over the last year I learned that the anger I was feeling wasn’t really about food; it was about not being able to get my “fix” of instant gratification, and once I realized that I began to retrain my thinking. I still don’t have a healthy view of food to the degree that I feel like I’m out of the woods, but I’m okay with the fact that this is something that I need to remain keenly aware of.
Right now I’m learning how to have patience. It’s not exactly fun, but seeing the fruits of my growth is really fun. I can see how my reactions have changed, and I can see the peace I feel even during periods of life when I have more questions than answers.
The future isn’t totally clear yet, but I understand my purpose more than ever before. These changes have occurred over the last several years because I chose to focus on Jesus rather than relying on my own strength, which is pretty weak. It required forgiving myself for the stupid things I did in my past, making a choice not to do them again, and recognizing that there’s always room for improvement.
If you’ve been reading here for any length of time, then you know that God has radically and completely transformed my life. I’m preparing to launch my new blog, which will be almost solely about God’s grace, his mercy, and the changes that come as we surrender to his will.
Some of you won’t want to read that, and I can respect that. There’s just no way I can leave it out of the story because it’s literally the most important part, and everything in my life hinges on that now.