Happy Monday, y’all! Today’s post marks the first of a month-long Monday series I am starting called “Suffering for Righteousness.” I am starting with a light topic, and planning to delve deeper into the mystery of life with Christ – a life in which suffering […]
He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. Happy Monday! Does anyone else write stories in their minds? The place most conducive to “Story-Writing” in my thought-life is the cafe I work at, Smile Tiger. […]
“My mom made me do Zumba with her the other night because she was feeling fat and didn’t want to work out alone.”
I was startled by how casually my 10-year-old hip hop student told me about her Zumba night with her mother.
“You eat McDonald’s all the time,” another 10-year-old in the class said. “Better watch out!”
A few years ago, I likely would have been so triggered by this kind of conversation that I would have been distracted and distant for the duration of the class I was about to teach.
Instead, I knelt to my sweet, sweet student’s level – a conscientious young woman who asked me when my birthday was on the first day of class, remembered it, and asked me how I celebrated after it had passed – and said, “I’m going to tell you something really important. And I want you to try really hard to remember it, forever. I mean forever. When you’re 22 like me and someone asks you about a childhood memory, I want you to tell them that this is what your hip hop teacher told you when you were 10. Okay? Do you think you can remember?”
She nodded, put her fingers to the sides of her head, and closed her eyes. “Okay, I’m ready,” she said seriously.
“If you EVER… “feel fat”… remind yourself that that is a lie of a feeling. It’s not part of you or your beauty. Remind yourself that you are beautiful and wonderful exactly how you are, and you don’t have to ever punish yourself for a negative feeling. Remind yourself of the reasons you love doing exercise, and do your favourite ones. “Feeling fat” is a lie. Okay?”
“Okay. I promise to remember!”
My heart broke for the mother who could only muster the will to do a workout because she “felt fat.”
My soul hurt passionately for the many people around the world who try a million things prescribed to them for the purpose of fitting into the Western world’s current prescribed ideal body (which changes).
I taught that hip hop class with an uncanny emphasis on fun, shoving off the ever-so-tiny voice in my own brain that sometimes still wonders how fast my heart rate gets when I dance or how many calories I burn.
And I said a promise to myself, to my future child, and to God, that I would remember the words I gave my beautiful, perfectly imperfect student, too.
Good Wednesday! It’s been a while since I’ve had even a moment to update you here, but today I am finally able to sit down and write a bit about something that has been on my heart to share for some time: Multiple Streams of […]
Here’s what they don’t tell you about eating disorders: They’re usually pretty innocent at first. An endeavour to “be healthier.” When my restrictive illness first developed when I was fifteen, I never would have considered that I might still be terrified of white flour and […]
In storybooks and seasons past, “Church” is seen as a service to attend for one boring hour on Sunday mornings in order to “keep right” with a distant God who might otherwise look sourly at us from His lofty place above.
I think, when Christian beliefs are not openly talked about, it is common to have this notion. It is common, even, for this notion to carry us through to our adulthood, as we go through the motions of “church” without ever really realizing why. Worse, while doing so because “our parents did,” or “to keep our place in Heaven.”
I am extremely open in all areas of my life about faith, and the reasons I go to church. If your notion of church-going has ever been as bleak as the one above, I would encourage you to think about the very Truth that lead me to a life surrendered to God in the first place.
It was a nagging question I had when I was nine years old.
I couldn’t stop thinking about death.
If I could somehow transport myself 100 years in the future, I thought, I would be dead. And life would go on. So there is no way the purpose of this life can be about ME, or serving myself, or catering to my temporary lusts. There is more.
My 21-year-old brain has definitely filled in some loftier language here, but you get the idea.
This thought led to a long season of entrenched soul-searching, at the end of which I was wholly convinced that Jesus Christ was the purpose of my life, of all lives, and that eternity with Him, for HIS glory and not my own, was a prize worth knowing. Meeting Him myself and falling in love with Him; His perfect, selfless way of loving; His beauty; His servanthood and godliness; His non-judgement and His Words; His lovingkindness, patience; then, understanding His wrath, and how deserving I am of it, but that it’s only Jesus that could save my soul… understanding my soul’s NEED for saving… it was this “fear of the Lord that was the beginning of all wisdom,” as the Proverb says.
Wisdom, that led to joy that wasn’t fleeting, but eternal.
And so, my friend, church isn’t an hour on a Sunday morning to sing songs about a foreign being. It’s a supplement to a LIFE that we’re called to in FULL SUBMISSION to the God who created us, who died for each one of us, and who we will all meet face to face one day. Who says He gives His Spirit in full to those who believe and ask Him.
It is my belief in these things that causes me to live moment by moment in grasping, anguishing need for my Father God. For every ounce of purpose, Life, wisdom, strength, and compassion.
Are you searching for purpose? What questions do you have? How have your views of what “church” is shaped your views of God? How might you go about finding the actual facts about these things, in order to live a life that is more aligned with the Truth?