Climbing Aimlessly Over These Hills

I kept hearing this song on the radio lately. But I hardly listen to Christian radio so I can't have heard it much. The lyric, "Whatever you're doing inside of me it feels like chaos" has been looping around and around in my head.
Because it does.
I've been chatting with God over the last several years about change. Change who I am, how I feel about myself, my physical appearance (as in getting healthy), how I treat others. I've begged him for passion and motivation to do something worthwhile, anything at all that isn't focused on my own comfort. He's patiently pointed out a few areas in my heart that needed swept out, cleaned out and purged. He's gently knit back together the shards of my heart I used as weapons against others. He's waited patiently through my tantrums and deafening silences and curled his arms around my stubborn turned from Him back.

It's all been very exhausting.
Now, now he's seemingly trying to show me that the healing is done enough for me to move. Take action. To let my direction determine my destination (Directionationism) and it feels like chaos. It feels paralyzing. It feels overwhelming to dream big and seemingly impossible dreams that to others might not be that big of a deal. But they are to me.
I've cleaned this old house. I've purged, cried, screamed, whispered and whimpered it all out. Now is the time to move instead of climbing aimlessly over these hills.
But I still feel so paralyzed and overwhelmed. I still am finding the habits of living based on lies so deeply ingrained and scarred on my heart hard to overcome.
So I shut down and shut up and try to not address it directly.
But if there is one thing I've learned about God, it's that he doesn't go quietly into the night. He's poking and prodding me to keep it moving.
When in doubt, when scared I try to stay very very still as if I can somehow disappear into the stillness. But God keeps stirring it up, my heart.

Some days I just don't know what to do with that. I don't know what next step to take. Some days I do, and I'm just so scared to take them.
A lot of days lately, I've just been sitting with it. Holding it in my heart and letting myself hope for something larger than this life. Something Heavenly.

Posts that may only slightly be related:
Some Days
Kind of Girl
Shut Up Just Sit Right Back

It's time for healing time to move on
It's time to fix what's been broken too long
Time make right what has been wrong
It's time to find my way to where I belong
There's a wave that's crashing over me
All I can do is surrender

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
but I'm giving in to something heavenly

Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Reevaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow your will
or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is you want from me
I give everything I surrender...


Time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to to release all my held back tears

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but now I can see
This something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly
Something heavenly

It's time to face up
Clean this old house
Time breathe in and let everything out
Sanctus Real Whatever You're Doing(Something Heavenly)


The Truth of a Thousand Lies

My face has been in a lot of pain lately. Seems I have a bum tooth thanks to an almost 20 year old silver filling that is shifting and allowing decay to get underneath the it and into the nerve of the tooth. The pain intensified Thursday morning and it woke me up to seeing colors at about 3am.
I went to the dentist and got it all taken care of and was commended for the care I take with my teeth, brushing, flossing, mouth wash etc. Which was odd, because I was pretty much ready to stop flossing because I blamed the flossing for my bum tooth.

On the way to the pharmacy to fill my prescription I started thinking about why I thought it was the flossing that gave me the tooth decay, because it clearly isn't. I realized with a start that when bad things happen I blame the good things for them.
I don't think about my decisions to live on a diet of solely Mt.Dew. chocolate and high sugar fruity adult beverages. I don't think about the years I didn't brush my teeth a lot and certainly never flossed. I blamed the good thing, the flossing and the good habits I'm developing now. I automatically decided that I shouldn't even bother flossing because all it does is cause the decay to happen. It didn't occur to me without a lot of thought that the flossing only brought out the hidden decay that was already there, just below the surface. Decay that would have come out eventually even without the flossing.
I do that with a whole lot of things. I used to never wash my face and I rarely had acne. When I started washing my face I broke out so badly and it was super painful. So I stopped washing my face again. Until a friend told me that I was breaking out because the face wash was bringing all of the junk hiding below the surface of my skin out to wash it away. If I would just stick with it through the pain and break outs my skin would clear back up and I wouldn't have that much acne again.
I thought of that on the way to the pharmacy too.

I thought of how working out has caused my knees to hurt, my arms to ache, my head to throb and how I almost threw up after working out that one time. It makes me want to quit. Because I blame the working out. I don't consider all of the junk I've stuffed into my mouth for 30 years. I don't think about all the lazy days spend lounging in bed drinking soda and eating chips that caused all of this weight to be stressing my joints. I blame the good thing, the good habit for the current pain.

I thought about my relational baggage. How I blame every single less than exactly how I wish they could be fella for the shortcomings of the one I really want to be with. I don't think about the lies I was told, that have become so ingrained in my heart that I don't hesitate to believe them. Ugly. Fat. Worthless. Stupid. Unlovable. Selfish. I blame the fella. I call him shallow when that isn't really true. I seek out his shortcomings and orchestrate his downfall in my mind before he finds the truth of a thousand lies I've engraved on my own heart. I blame the fella for the intentional bad choices I've made in relationships, for the repercussions of such things.

I blame the good things to avoid dealing with the bad.
I thought this morning as I lay in bed nursing the left side of my wounded mouth about how surprising it is to me that I still believe these lies. The liars have been revealed. The truth is out, they were full of shit. But still, years have passed with me still believing their lies. I believe the slithery lies whispered in my ear in the dead of night.
Don't even try, you will fail.
Don't speak up about these things, no one wants to hear them.
It's his fault, not yours
You don't deserve this
They're better off without you

But I'm realizing that this is all the decay. The decay of a thousand lies told to me by the enemy and by people that should have loved me. The decay has always been there. It's always been just below the surface. Talking about it hasn't caused the decay it's only healing it. But still I dodge, deflect and demur. I blame the talking about it, the being open about it as what causes this pain.
So today I'm trying to remember, that the pain, the junk, the decay is not caused by the good thing. It's not caused by the moving forward, moving on, airing of the hidden lies. The pain is a sign that it's working. That the infection is being attacked and healed and that one day it will be as it should be. I'm holding on to the promise that mercy will come and wash all of this away. That in the end this interim pain and struggle won't matter anymore because it's the good that will come from it that matters.

I tried so hard
In spite of the way you were mocking me
Acting like I was part of your property
Remembering all the times you fought with me
I'm surprised

It got so far
Things aren't the way they were before
You wouldn't even recognize me anymore
Not that you knew me back then
But it all comes back to me in the end

You kept everything inside
And even though I tried, it all fell apart
What it meant to me will eventually be
A memory of a time when

I tried so hard and got so far
But in the end it doesn't even matter
I had to fall to lose it all

Posts that may only be slightly related:


Change of Plans

"Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else's skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too."
Frederick Buechner

Especially when I have a way events will go set in my head it is difficult for me to change plans under the best of circumstances. I spend a lot of time thinking about how something will go, the conversations that will be had and my responses to any possible tension, conflict, whatever.
Even worse is when I have a set time that I would like to arrive. I hate being late, I hate it. I've had huge fights with dear friends about being late. My tendency is to just throw people out of my way and get moving already so we can get somewhere on time. The ironic thing about that is I almost always get places early, I panic about being late and leave way to early and end up cooling my heals for awhile until whatever I was arriving for begins.

Friday I was going to a book reading by my house. Before I got there I needed to go to West Chester and pick up my friend Claire, who doesn't like to drive at night. I left work late because I was fussing with my hair in the bathroom and reapplying makeup (because I may or may not have an awkward and obnoxious crush on the author that was speaking). I was frustrated because I made myself late. Traffic was annoying because it was raining during the drive from work up to West Chester. It's really only about 30 miles total but traffic makes it take the time of about 50-60 miles, especially when it rains.
I had in mind I was going to pick up Claire, run to my house to pick up said authors book that I forgot at home and then head to the venue all by 630 so I could get good seats. Logically speaking I knew that there would be plenty of good seats to be had but I was all wound up about it in my head.
I was also worrying about money, because I'm totally broke. I mean, I'm not broke but the amounts of funds I have to vicariously spend frivolously is less than zero. Which is fine and my bills are being paid but owning a house by myself is expensive and hard and it's just catching up to me lately. So I was calculating and budgeting and wrapped up in my little world during the drive up to West Chester.

As I drive up the exit ramp to Union Centre I see her. The woman standing on the ramp holding the sign, "Homeless and Hungry. Anything Will Help" I immediately thought, "I don't have anything lady I'm flat ass broke" But I felt bad because I like to help, I know that even a smile and a kind word might help but this womans belly would still be empty and she would still be homeless. So I smile at her as I drive by and try to move my mind on to the subject at hand, budgeting, getting to the venue on time, what I was going to do the rest of the weekend. But my heart wouldn't move on.
My heart started telling me that even as broke as I am I am one of the richest people in the world. My heart told me that I had a car, a house, clothes, heat, family and friends that if I really needed it and was in trouble would bail me out no questions asked. I had food in my cupboard, my stomach was bulging with the results of our pot luck at work. My heart told me that my schedule, my plans, my idea of how things should go that evening was wrong. That I shouldn't be so worried about getting somewhere 30 minutes before an event starts that I sacrifice compassion for someone else. My heart sounded a whole lot like my God.

I turned to look behind me as I switched lanes to prepare for my turn and I saw it. The crock pot, still warm, filled with homemade rigatoni from the pot luck at work. But I immediately dismissed the idea because in order to give her rigatoni I would need a container, disposable silverware, time, energy and motivation to give it to her. All of those things I was running short on. But God reminded me again of how rich I was, of how much I had, and how a little inconvenience on my part wouldn't kill me. God reminded me that whatever I did for the least of these I've done for Him.

So I call Claire, and ask her if she has a container that she would be willing to not get back. She did. I stop at her house, spoon the rigatoni into the container elated that it was still so warm. We stop at a gas station to pick up utensils and we head back to the 75 overpass. I obviously can't drive down the off ramp, so I park on the overpass and jump out of the car. I realized I had two umbrellas in my car so I grabbed one of those. I walked down the overpass and up to the woman still holding the sign and said I had food and an umbrella for her. We chatted for a second, hugged, then I walked back to my car. I was damp, my carefully straightened hair was starting to frizz and I'm pretty sure my eyeliner was smudging. But the turmoil was still. My heart was calmed.
I told Claire that I was pretty sure I wasn't going to actually enjoy the evening until that task was accomplished, because how could I?

Even now I wonder where that woman is, what she's doing, if she's safe and warm. I wonder what else I could have done. I know that what I did was good enough but it doesn't feel good enough. It doesn't feel good enough to me that there are people that have no homes when I have a large home for just one small person. It doesn't feel right that people are starving when I'm eating myself to death. It's not comfortable, this knowledge of poverty in the world.
I get caught up in my everyday life, I get distracted and inward focused and I may even forget for a little bit that this other world exists because I'm so cozily ensconced in my world. I'm not saying that we should feel guilty for what we have, but maybe we shouldn't hold on so tightly to it when others have nothing.

It's not comfortable, living in this tension between how I wish the world was, how I wish the world worked and what is actually happening. I'm grieved with the knowledge of what is wrong and the knowledge that it will never be truly right until we're reunited with our Father in Heaven. I long for that day.

Matthew 25:35-40
35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'



A simple conversation, not on the phone or face to face, leads me to spend days picking at the wound that I never let heal.

Just for a moment I'll think, I'll pretend it could be right. Maybe if I just pick at this corner the rest of the wound will remain sealed up tight.
No matter, it all comes undone with a whisper of the dream, with a hint in the deepest dredges of my heart of the dream that goes unfulfilled.

I know it happens, that it will happen, every single time. Yet I can't stay away, like a moth to a flame. The cliche so overplayed and melodramatic yet it fits this melodrama raging in my heart so well.

It's exhausting, this constant vigilance, to not long for it so deeply, to not look at it to closely, to not want the dream so badly. This longing that finds me in the deep darkness of the night when I sleep, when my defenses are down.
It finds me waking to the shrill alarm clock, stumbling into the cold bathroom with tears on my face.

How long? How long? How long will it be until this is healed, until I stop picking at the wound I don't let heal. How many more moments will there be when my breath catches in my throat at the very thought, the very hint of a life spent, I can't even say.
It's to much, to hard, to painful to imagine it without the possibility of it becoming true. This hope is foolish to hold on to, it is to much.

Posts that may only be slightly related:
I could never be your woman
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Impossible possible

It's hard to imagine that a year from now it could all be different. That the clothes I wear will be smaller and the space I take up will be less.
It's like I'm still refusing to believe it, this direction I'm trudging in.
I can hardly believe that I will be able to consistently make good choices, choices that are good for me and not just everyone else, choices that propel me down the path that God is clearly illuminating for me. Me.

My gut instinct is that I'm being selfish, focusing on ME. I know I'm not. I know that the foundation of anything that I do must be my own capacity, health and most importantly my very own personal relationship with Jesus. Because if those things are limited than what I can accomplish, the distance I'll be able to go is limited.
It seemed so vain, sitting alone in that little room with the Dr. Man talking about goals and what was happening down to the cellular level in my body. It felt weird to even be talking about my body, because I have put a lot of time and effort over the years into, at best, ignoring it and at worst abusing it. It was mortifying for him to ask me what size pants I wore, and then terribly self-centered to tell him in a halting and not really believing it can happen voice the size pants I would like to wear (which is less by exactly half by the way).

I felt like I was giving all the wrong answers to questions that had no right answers. I felt dumb because I've buried my head so deep in the sand about what and how I eat that all my food tastes like dirt. I had wound myself up so tightly before Dr. Man called me back into the little room that I was needlessly defensive and antagonistic. Because I was so primed and ready for a fight that I picked one just to relieve some of the tension (I do that sometimes, most likely I've done it with all of you). It felt strange that I wasn't met with cruel words belittling my very existence (which has been the case with oh so many Dr. Men before), but that rather I was met with encouragement, attainable goals and a warm and genuine smile.
I wasn't prepared for that.

This journey of melodramatic weight loss is being lived out so much more internally, in my heart and my head, than I was really prepared for. I'm being confronted by this idea I have of myself that is not based anywhere in the realm of reality. I'm finding the cruelty I so fear coming at me from the mouths of others is really only living in my very own heart. I'm hearing the whisper that it isn't supposed to be this way, that I am not this person I've talked myself into believing I am.

Instead, it's slowly sinking in that I am a cherished child of a big God that has a call on my life to do things in His name. It's finally occurring to me that I wasn't created just to be a punching bag in any way, not even by my own hands.

It was hard to imagine even just a year ago that I would ever truly believe that the promises I read about in scripture truly apply to me even at my most damaged. It seemed impossible that the God I loved and longed for other people to know truly cherished me. Because I put on him the junk of people that are not God and believed that was all there was. But now, I can barely recognize the girl from even just a year ago, let alone the angry sad girl of so many years.

So I'm trying to remind myself, that even though I can hardly imagine that in a year I could wear pants half the size I wear now, that I could have a sustainable habit of eating and living, that I could have so much more capacity to live out the call on my life, even though I can hardly believe it could be true, I know it can be. Because I look back on all the other impossible to believe things that have happened since I met God one scary grief soaked night on a balcony and I see that my God, my big God makes the impossible possible.

Posts that may only be slightly related:
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Love(ly) Things

It's nice when people say unexpectedly nice things about you, and they don't necessarily mean to.
It's also nice to hear it via 3rd party about someone that you are still unsure of.

It's nice when you can have time with people just wandering around doing things. Even though it's awkward and sometimes a little sad the way you feel about that person, it's nice when both people are making an effort to make it work.

It's nice when you feel yourself tumbling towards the edge of a precipice and you take intentional steps away from it. Because you've fallen down that gorge before and there's nothing but broken and bleeding hearts at the bottom.
It's nice to realize that you've done it unconsciously, because that means it's becoming a sustainable life style instead of a begrudged survival skill.

It's nice for you to say that you support what I'm doing and that I can call you if I need to. Because even though I know it, it's nice to hear it.

It's nice to know that even though you were the first person I told, the first person I was brave with, the first person that pushed and shoved me out of my comfort zone that we don't only talk about that.

It's nice that you honor my relationship with God by not making fun of it, even though you don't understand it. It's nice that you ask me open ended questions about it without thinking that I'm going to kung fu baptize you at any given moment.

It's nice to see you happy, to see you thriving, to see you settled and calm. It's nice to know that it's ok to still be a little sad about it though.

It's nice. This life. For all the melodrama and worries, for all the exhaustion and discomfort that comes with living on a limb I would have never chosen for myself...it's nice. This love(ly) life.


For Pete

They always say that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Why do my feet feel like they are made of lead?

Lead like the way my feet feel when turning to move in a new direction, lead like the way my head feels at the bottom of my stomach.
Turning a fully loaded freight train on a dime would be easier than changing my life at this point. The fear is overwhelming and the other side of that wall I've built is blank, unknown, and terrifying.

Dread is the lead that holds me down. I'd rather not know some days, I'd rather not find out that life could be better than it is at this very moment. If I knew, but still didn't move than I would only be giving myself another reason to hate myself and the life I feel trapped in.

My head is the place that all of this happens, the location I cannot escape as it follows me everywhere. My head is the table around which conversations are had, where irrationality and putrid streams of condescension are flung like confetti. The wall lives there, trapping me in my own quick sand.

I know it can be better, I can see that it should be better. I'm getting glimpses of that life, of that way of living open and free. Windows are being built in my wall so I can see the beauty of a life fully lived. But the windows won't open, and I still feel so trapped here, behind the wall I built to protect that is becoming the source of the pain.

They always say that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Why do my feet feel like they are made of lead?



I have found it almost completely impossible to cope with life right now. My capacity to relate and process over stimulating life this week dropped like a rock to the bottom of a very deep and dark cavern.

Work was busy, my life group sabbatical has officially come to an end and my terrified first steps onto the path towards health happened this week. It was a week that every night was filled with a commitment when all I really wanted to do was crawl in bed in flannel pajamas and pull the covers over my head. It was a week of dreams that I remembered and haunted me throughout the days.
It was a week of nothing terrible, nothing dramatic except for the irrational thoughts pinging around my melodramatic head.

But then I would think about how ridiculous I was being, wrapping myself up so tight in this little drama in my head. This would lead to me berating myself for being selfish which started the whole loop again. It got me longing for the luxury of a breakdown.

Quick, name this movie!
"You gotta be rich to be insane, Hol. Losing your mind is not a luxury for the middle class."

It was very very easy to swing into the land of irrationality and cop a squat for a nice extended visit with old friends.
I've had lofty goals for this week of what I want to get accomplished, none of which happened.
But tomorrow is another day. At least that's what I keep telling myself, that and at least tomorrow is a Saturday.

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