Pinterest A Grateful Life Lived: You Can't Fly Solo

Sunday, February 1, 2015

You Can't Fly Solo

I still remember looking at high school kids and thinking they were so old.  Yet, I've surpassed high school and am into my college years.  And as of Thursday, I'm officially two decades old.  Eep!  That's a bit scary.  I can't believe time has flown by that fast and I've accomplished so little.
(RELATED: Read about my travel adventures!)

So I went into this birthday with a pretty negative mindset.  I was excited-- because I love birthdays, they're my jam-- but I was also depressed thinking of the years I've wasted in my eating disorder.  How many birthday parties, holidays and outings have I skipped because of food?  How many events have I skipped because I was too anxious to sit and too enslaved to constant movement?  How many races and PR's and records have I missed as an athlete, because I was more focused on controlling my body than letting God have His way.

Now do you see why I wasn't ├╝ber excited to turn 20.

(RELATED: Recap of my 19th Birthday)

Here's a cute collage my mom sent me on Thursday. 
But then Thursday came and it wasn't so bad.  It was actually pretty great.  I had my PHP program from noon to six, but even that didn't bother me.  I enjoyed it like a kid at school on their birthday.  A sense of peace also washed over me, as I realized I didn't have to worry about how I would restrict with everyone watching.  I didn't have to figure out how to avoid birthday desserts that my concerned family might push my way.  I had peace.

I visited with my mom in the morning and then after PHP, my grammy came over and hung out for a bit.  After that, we had a dinner with my choice of fresh tilapia.  Then we had frozen yogurt for dessert.  And I had it all figured out in my mealplan so I had no anxiety or fear about it.  I enjoyed an amazing evening with my family and then spent some time with my super awesome friend who stopped by to give me a gift.  Then I spent at least an hour reading said-gift: "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers.  It is so good so far!  Stay tuned for a rockin' book review! (Click HERE to read some of my book reviews)

After relaxing with my book and some tea, I snuggled into my bed and reflected on the day and remembered again just how much God has blessed me. (RELATED: My Favorite Teas)  For so long, I shut the world out and built up my walls.  But I am learning that the risk of vulnerability outweighs the despair of solitude.  It's worth putting my heart out there, because my heart is always held and healed by Christ.  I don't have to control it all myself.

(RELATED: Moving Forward from Anorexia)

Perhaps you are rolling your eyes.  Perhaps you are nodding along because you've walked the same road- or you still are.  I'm talking to the latter group, the ones who know how dark the world gets when you've boarded up your windows and shut out the sunlight.  I know what it is like and I'm here to tell you that you can't fly solo.  We were made for community, to lean on each other.  And when we let down our guard, we embrace the raw beauty that is the human heart.

Sure, people will let us down.  Death happens, divorce happens, loss of a job: you name it.  We are going to get beat up and knocked down.  Better off is the individual who has a genuine presence in the world around her, for she will get to experience God's compassion through friends and family who stoop down to lift him from the mire.  I pity the person who has never made the friendships or revealed her struggles to a friend- I've been that girl.

God is all sufficient.  He is all we need.  Yet He created us for fellowship, community.  We are more able to fully enjoy Him and be all He calls us to be when we embrace the "sloppy wet" nature of mankind.  It may have taken me 20 years to discover this truth, but it certainly hasn't taken God that long to rekindle friendships in my life.  For that, I am ever grateful.

This next week, I'll be starting a part time job at Teavana and stepping down from 30 hours a week to 12 hours a week at my treatment center.  I think I'm ready because I'm really making strides in effectively asking for support and surrendering to the wisdom of my treatment team.  Turns out, they know a lot more than my confused, eating-disorder-plagued mind would like to admit.  Turns out, they are part of my web of friends and family that are making this ride worth it.

I guess it goes to show that what's true in an airplane is also true in life: It does no good to fly solo.  After all, you have to have someone to share the Skymall Magazine with, or you'll just sleep the whole time and miss all the laughter.
One of the most well-known Skymall images.

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