“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

March 29, 2012

It's me! I am back and thriving in this newly life I have discovered. There is so much I want to tell you all-so much God has taught and shown me these past two months. This journey has been an extraordinary experience of self-discovery, confidence building, and the ability to (for the first time) allow myself to have a voice. I cannot describe to you all how liberating it is-this road I am on right now. I am doing things I never thought I was capable of; and while it's crazy amazing, it's also surreal and scary.

I catch myself more often than not wondering, and asking myself: "Is this me?" Never having the courage or the know-how to do some of the drastic, character-contradicting things I have had to do-or willingly allowed myself to do-is mind blowing. Experiential. Compelling. Freeing. Healing. A breath of fresh, crisp, holy air! Why haven't I done this
before? What was holing me back?

While my journey on this road has nearly just begun, I hold in my heart these words (words that I hope can soon become a visible and ever-present part of my life) from the wonderful and beautiful author Natalie Lloyd, "I no longer imagined my scars as ugly, like I was a monster pieced and stitched together. Suddenly, they were curling and blooming onto a canvas - thorns at first, and then roses" (From Paperdoll, p. 70).

God's love is hard to fathom. The blessings He gives I am undeserving of, especially His gift of life, grace, and love. Yet, He never ceases to amaze me by His unsurpassed gift of grace and willingness to give a sinner like me such unfathomable blessings.

It’s been said to me on more than one occasion that we were put here on earth to LIVE, and not to merely exist. Oh, the wise words of my Aunt Shae ring true. As I have been in the process of recovering from my eating disorder, I have found these words to hold more than truth, but power and adventure and wisdom; and a hope that is emboldening and enlightening.

The idea behind living is extraordinary in the fact that it presents a challenge to all of us here on earth. What do we gain by merely existing? There's no adventure in a life that is being lived less than the potential Christ has given us to fulfill. In Philippians 1:27 Paul is certain that living life here on earth embodies a special, significant purpose, when he states that "to live IS Christ, and to die is gain".

But, what does that mean-to live is Christ, and to die is gain? Although we've heard this verse time and time again, nod our head in agreement, yada-yada, we cannot relate to Paul on such a spiritual level until we understand his meaning behind this prolific verse. We believe the words, because they are evidently true, considering the origin from whence they came; and yet, are we living our lives the way Paul mentions in verse 27? Living life should be exciting, even fulfilling. But that kind of life cannot exist if we are to merely exist.

This whole idea was not only spawned by my aunt, but by my favorite poet, Maya Angelou. On this topic she wisely states-better and more profoundly that I could wish to in my lowly attempts- that "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take out breath away."

Until I started looking at my own life, I never pondered the fact that I might be living to merely exist. If anything good came out of my eating disorder it's this: I don't want to merely exist and at the end of my days wonder what the heck I did. I want to LIVE LIFE to its fullest, knowing that I took chances, made mistakes, loved, laughed, and embraced the sweet freedom of being, well, me!

What do you want to do with your life? Are you merely existing or fervently living the life God intended you to live?