healing.

This past week has been busy. I finished my second year of university, accepted my college offer, and spent a lot of time at the children’s hospital visiting a friend. A friend that I hold very near to my heart and pray to God to give her strength constantly. Nonetheless, this meant visiting the hospital.

Hospitals. 

Oh how I wish I didn’t have to step foot in one ever again. Although there seems to be a difference between visiting others and going for yourself. You see, I spent a lot of high school in waiting rooms and doctors offices. I know hospital layouts like the back of my hand and can tell you the exact layout of the rooms I frequented the most often. But I would never go back in time and relive any of that. For a while, visiting friends at hospitals felt strange. Like I was going through a time warp and all of a sudden, I needed to be sick again. But the truth is, I was never sick enough to be admitted so I don’t need to be now.

My friend is sick. With many different chronic and mental illnesses who bounce behaviours and symptoms off each other erratically to create a dangerous tornado of issues. It’s sad to see her lying in a medical bed, hooked up to an IV with a tube down her throat to eat. But I know that she is strong and courageous and trying to live through it. She’s still surviving and staying strong, so I will stay strong for her. Today we were told that they are moving her to the locked psychiatric ward to deal with her eating disorder a little more focused and supported which means I will no longer be able to support her physically. I will only be able to send thoughts of strength and love and courage through God. I wish that things were different right now but I know it’s something she needs and I think deep down, she knows this too.

This week I laughed as I thought about all the changes that are happening in my life currently. Both negative and positive changes of course. This week I am going back to the high school that I graduated from and telling my teachers about the changes that I am making to my life. Like how I’m changing programs “drastically” or about my booked tattoo that I am getting next week or my trips into the US for concerts next month. What about how I passed an exam that had math on it? Or how I got a full-time, well paid job for the next 4 months? That I am a year self harm free? All of these are amazing things and definitely changes to be proud of. So I am.

I am also visiting a hospital on Friday though. Shocker I am sure lol. The hospital that I attended 5 days a week for 9 hours for 4 months during senior year. The place that helped me learn how to cope with gaining weight and completing school work and eating 3 meals/2 snacks all at once. The place where I completed a fucking journey and pulled myself out of my eating disorder two years ago. I am so happy to be going back and seeing the CYC’s that helped me so much.

Healing happens constantly. Shape shifting as we move from one part of life to the next. It can be messy and upsetting and difficult and slow, but it still happens.

Change is inevitable. Live it. 

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. – Deuteronomy 31:6

are you there God, it’s me.

I started my journey for Christ in grade nine. I was originally looking for some friends as my mental health had kind of ruined that aspect in school so I turned to my families church as a crutch. Walking into the youth room one Sunday morning was a huge step for me and wasn’t really sure what I was going to find there. As it turns out, I found a community of people who didn’t judge me for being who I was then and that was a blessing. I needed that comfort. For a short while, that room was my little piece of the universe. I spent each week leading up to that day, knowing that I would be back in it’s safety eventually.

When I look back on my high school years, I wonder why my patience with Him and His grace dwindled. I wonder why I stopped believing in that place as a safe space. I am no longer friends  with those people I met there all those years ago. So much has changed since that time. Drifting from the church was one thing that I wish I could go back and stop myself from doing. As I find myself without a path to follow and a message to share with the world, I am lost again. Stuck in a dark tunnel with no light to bear witness to who I’d like to be.

My first youth leader was really cool. He helped me realize that God only put us through what he knew we could handle. We learned about his message through wisdom and grace. We read, shared, loved, smiled, laughed, and cried; all within the comfort of that room in the basement. Eventually he moved on and became a pastor somewhere else. My second youth leader wasn’t as cool and I probably stopped attending Sundays as a result of that. It wasn’t the same and no one from the previous year was coming anymore so I decided I shouldn’t either; a mistake I wish I hadn’t made. My final youth leader was cool. I went back in grade 12 when I was searching for something of substance to get me through the weeks of uncertainty I was facing at the time. On Thursdays, I went after dinner and played board games and laughed. On Sundays, I learned about the path I could be on. It was helping and I felt like I had somewhere to belong.

When one door closes, another door opens. A motto I try to live by. Recently though, a lot of doors have started to close and I feel very stuck. The people who I surrounded myself with throughout high school are no longer apart of my life (for good reason) and I am trying to find out where I am supposed to be going. I long to share my story,  my journey with the world. The ups and downs that taught me what I know now. I didn’t give up when the light went out and the world turned upside down. I persevered. Over and over again.

I want God in my life for good this time. But I’m not quite sure where to find Him. That church is no longer a place of comfort and care, like it once was. My journey into His grace will continue as I find a new space in the universe where I am comfortable as myself, once again.