Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Long Walk Alone

This week has been an interesting week for me, spiritually when otherwise it might seem kind of depressing actually.  The temp job that I started last week ended very early.  Future employment seems hazy (as is the usually industry standard).  Today I received notice that the job that I had interviewed last month, the job I had been praying about continuously, the job that made me think that my days of poverty might be over...I did not receive.  And as the weather gets warmer I am realizing that I am starting to crave having a summer boo haha.  But spiritually a lot has been going on.

It all started on Sunday.  I was debating whether to even go to church at all.  I had decided to take mom to Wine in the Woods.  Going to church that day meant I would have to go to the 8:00 am service, a time when I usually enjoy sleeping in.  But I, we, pulled it together and got there (not too late).  I was so glad that I did. I felt like the whole service spoke to me.  It began by having a skit portraying a single, 35 year old black woman, who is single and wondering if she is being punished by God.  I am in that boat.  And so are a lot of my friends.  

The sermon was outstanding.  Pastor Dan Taylor weaved his theology background with his dry sense of humor to produce a clear and on point message.  Basically, he said that God is training us to be strong.  He cautioned that we cannot run away from this training no matter how painful and uncomfortable that it may be. Instead we have to figure out what God is trying to do and learn from the lessons that he is trying to teach us.  Powerful stuff right?

Monday I received another sign.  The weather was beautiful and I was driving with the windows rolled down.  I felt so incredibility grateful, happy, and calm.  I even had happy tears developing in my eyes.  I just had a feeling like everything was going to be ok.  But I also had an overwhelming feeling that I needed to be still.  I felt like there was something I needed to learn right away.  It felt as if there was a moment that I could not miss.  So I drove immediately to the christian book store.  I bought a book called "When Women Walk Alone:  Finding Strength & Hope Through the Seasons of Life" by Cindi McMenamin. 

Before you get the wrong impression this book is not supposed to be a how to find a man guide.  The book is not necessarily referring to the loneliness of being single.  While that is one reference it is more of a general feeling.  You can be married and feel alone.  You can be in a room full of people and feel alone.  Sometimes you can feel alone just because you feel as if no one understands what you are going through.  Or you can also just feel alone because you are not dating anyone.  I have felt a few of these feelings  Shoot, I am feeling a few of these feelings now. But the point of the book is not to figure out how to get out of your lonely place, but instead to embrace it.  It is in our deserts that God is looking for us to pay attention.

All of these signs softened the blow of my job rejection.  I honestly feel like I am in a position where God is doing some great things in me.  I feel myself growing spiritually but as a person as well.  I am trying harder than I ever have to lean in and figure out what God has in store for me.  I might not have gotten the job that I felt would answer all my problems but I feel as if I am one step closer to where God wants me to be.  And although that means I remain in limbo, it means I am uncertain of my future, I feel like this thing I am feeling right now is more important that all of that combined.  You'll see :)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Continued Pursuit of Close to Perfection

This year I have made the focus of working on myself.  I can say for the past few months I have really had the opportunity to work on my relationship with God.  This journey has allowed me to learn about myself, and myself in relation to others.  I have worked on joining my church (Shout out to Bridgeway !) and I was even baptized.  But through this all, in my continued pursuit of close to perfection (close to, because no human is perfect), I realized that I need to begin working on my body as well.

It has been said that the body is a temple.  If my body is a temple chicken wings, pizza, and french fries are at the center of my worship lol.  In all seriousness, I don't think spirituality and becoming a better person can be separated from the way that we treat our bodies.  If I am not both mentally, physically, and spiritually fit I will never be able to carry out my purpose to help others.  If I am in bad health how will I take care of my mom?

The past month I spent meditating on these thoughts.  I gave up fried foods for lent.  It might sound easy for some, but you don't realize just how many things are fried until you can't eat them.  Without the fried foods I was forced to make different decisions and I was happy about it.  But I didn't want to stop there.

I know this next thing I am about to say it is not going to be well-received.  So please don't throw daggers until you hear me out.  I want to get married one day.  And I truly believe that by looking, and more importantly feeling like this I won't find the right person.  Don't get me wrong, I think that everyone has their own preferences and marriages are not just about looks, obviously.  However, for me, and for me only, I love myself but I love myself to know that physically I am not where I want to be.  And because I am not where I want to be I am not shining how I could be.  Let me clarify.  I do NOT want to watch my weight and exercise in order to attract a husband.  I want to do all of those things in order for me to be happier with myself.  And because I am content with myself then I will naturally attract the man who is right for me.

I want to feel good inside and out.  I plan on being around for many years to come.  I don't want my last few years on this earth to be miserable because of the bad choices I made now.  I don't want to feel depressed when I shop for clothes.  I want to go on a hike with my friends without being scared that I will walk too slow or that I will start wheezing and slowing down and then everyone else won't enjoy their own experience.  I might never be able to run a marathon but I want to be able to do what makes me happy without my body holding me back.

Yesterday I joined Weight Watchers!!!!  This is not my first time on the program.  In fact I was on the program a few years ago and lost 70 lbs!  I didn't stop because I didn't love the program, I stopped because I needed to cut costs and I figured that would be an easy way to do it.  If I knew I would be where I am now I would have never quit.  However, I am back now.  Sure I don't really have the money for it, but I figure my health is too important to ignore any longer.  Health problems run on both sides of my family and after this week it became more evident to me that I need to make a true commitment to taking the best care of myself.

So here I am.  I put it out there.  I have you and Weight Watchers to keep my accountable.  If anyone else is interested in making some lifestyle changes with me let me know.  I would love to have some accountability partners in the mist of this journey!