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Uh Oh

Have you ever read something that made you take a serious look at yourself and think, "Uh Oh?" 

My best friend lent me a book called, "Safe People" by Cloud and Townsend to help me heal after having to deal with some really unsafe people after my mom's death. As I was reading through, I was completely caught off guard by something. 

Growing up, I suffered from anorexia. Although, I didn't know I did. I didn't choose to starve myself. We were just poor and I didn't get to eat that often so I stopped feeling hunger. I still remember when I went to the doctor at the age of 20 with a serious sickness and he diagnosed me as an anorexic. I was so angry! I still remember explaining to him that I would eat if I could but I just wasn't hungry and there had to be something causing it. To which he replied, "That is, anorexia." I left his office offended and switched doctors. Later on in life, God showed me that his diagnosis was hard to take and not what I wanted to hear, but correct. 

So you can imagine my shock when God used the authors of "Safe People" to take me back to that place in order to show me where I am now. Below is what I read, 

You've most likely read about the clinical condition anorexia nervosa, in which the individual starves herself for psychological reasons. The word anorexia actually means "no appetite." If you talk to an anorexic about why she's not eating, she'll report, "I'm just not hungry." And she means it. 

Likewise, in the spiritual and relational arena, some people literally cannot feel their hunger for relationship... It's easy to tell if you have this condition. Here are some of the classic hallmarks: 

-I am uncomfortable with people and relaxed when alone
-I don't get "lonely"
-I spend time with people out of obligation, or for functional reasons (tennis partner, work, etc.)
-My fantasies of vacation always involve doing something by myself

Now, God also created us to spend time alone. We need to get away. But spiritual anorexia dulls the senses so much that we can be in real emotional trouble - depressed, ready to act out compulsively or worse - and the idea that "I might need to call someone" will not even occur to the spiritual anorexic. 

And, there was my "UH OH!!!!" I realized that I am not the person I was. I know this may come as a shock to some of  you because you see me putting on a happy face and forcing myself into the world. I try to be the old me; but, I'm just not. I used to love to be around people. Now, I find every reason I can to stay home. I even skip out on going to the Free Store and, since I'm being honest, would do so every week if I could find someone else willing to go. I used to love to talk on the phone. Now, I HATE to pick it up at all for any reason or anyone. I have not called one person that I did not have to since my mom died, other than Kimi and Michele and even my calls to them are few and far between. I even hate having to return calls about photography and fret having to show up at appointments and meet new people. 

The book went on to give all kinds of reasons for this spiritual anorexia, most of which to their credit I had experienced. Then, the authors made another statement that rocked me to my core, "Like a beaten dog scurries away from a hand that wants to pet it, the broken heart sounds alarm of danger at any semblance of closeness." 

Have you ever tried to pet a dog that was afraid of you for seemingly no reason? I have! The image in my mind is quite pathetic! And, to realized that I am that dog, there are just no words to describe it! I've spent decades of my life reading and pressing in, trying to find healing. Trying to lead others to healing! Only to discover that somewhere along the way, I just shut down. And, even worse than that is the knowledge that it hasn't been from lack of trying. I've known all along that I should be doing certain things and shouldn't be doing other things; and, while the old me could easily get myself in line, that simply is not the case any more. When I say that I have shut down. I mean completely shut down! Completely busted! Completely broken! Cannot fix it! You know the point when you've tried everything you know and the only option left is to throw it in the trash. That's me! That's where I am. 

So, please don't write me with your 101 steps to a perfect life. I've read nearly every Christian book on the shelves. And, please don't tell me how much of a failure I am as a Christian and if I were doing things your way that I wouldn't be where I am. I'm sure Paul and Joseph heard those same lectures when they were in prison. My relationship with God is just fine, I spoke with Him this morning ;) And, honestly, for the first time in my life, I feel like I'm out of prison. It's quite ironic really. My whole life was one problem or one bad relationship after another; yet, I kept my heart open and stayed positive and pressed in and pushed through. Now, I finally made it through all the crap to a life of blessing and my heart just closed down. You don't even have to have a sense of humor to laugh at that one. 

I may be staring at a big UH OH; but, there is one thing I still know... MY REDEEMER LIVES! Jesus took the bread and He BROKE it before He could use it. The bread in it's original unbroken state would have done Him absolutely no good. And, I recently watched him break my camera in order to multiply it and bring blessings to myself and others. So, I know what He can make of something that is broken, even a broken me, and the only thing I am capable of right now is waiting to see and I know that is more than enough because it is all about Him not me! 


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