Well, I’m back in New York after part one of my Annie shoot. It went so well, and I had an absolute blast.
When I was home, I went digging through some old memorabilia and I found these gems!
I had meant to put them in my post about said shoot, but alas, I was writing from the Chicago airport, and didn’t have access! So here you go: Vintage C-Bear.
But I’ll tell you what, it was quite emotional going through all those dusty boxes in the basement filled with photos and memories from, honestly, what seemed like a lifetime ago.
But even as I was shuffling through old theater programs, and costumes from past shows, and old trinkets and patches from camp, and sports – the thing that pulled at my heart the most…were all of my photo albums from high school.
The photos with my ex-boyfriend, and goofing around with my friends. To see the joy and the life and the love that was so palpable in those photos — it brought me to tears.
Because turn just a couple more pages, and I started to see the anorexia begin to take hold…It was just devastating.
Those photos of pure, unadulterated exuberance, then became scary — painful images of a terrified, and destructive shell of that previously fun-loving, spunky girl, now merely hanging on for dear life. That light behind my eyes was gone. And so was the radiance that literally exploded from my chest, pre-ED.
Later that night, after glass of wine with my parents, I…*ahem*…opened up a little bit. And when I say “opened up” — I mean, I opened the fricking emotional flood gates. Which, frankly, was really healthy to do, but still — to say there were waterworks would be quite the understatement.
But as we were talking, I was finally able to articulate something that, after looking at those photos, became glaringly obvious.
The photos in the basement, pre-ED: I was like a little sponge, soaking up all the love from my friends, from my family, from God. And then it was like, over night, that porous sponge turned to stone, and I felt unworthy of receiving that life-source that I so joyfully internalized and embraced before the disease.
And that distorted belief system has lingered long into my recovery. And even though I have made tremendous progress in that area, I can still see traces of that resistance to receive love carry over, even today in 2019 – particularly in dating. But also, if I’m honest, in my faith.
The next morning, on my flight back to NYC, I decided to turn on a podcast: a sermon by Fr. Mike Schmitz. And wouldn’t you know, it was like a little love letter from God.
Fr. Mike so beautifully said, that the one question we are going to have to answer at the end of our lives, is “How much will we let God love us.” Which, after that sob sesh the night before, I literally chuckled on the plane, knowing that only God could have orchestrated the timing of this divinely scheduled podcast.
But the truth is that, God has already declared His love for me and you. He did that on the cross. That is how much He loves us — enough to embrace the nails.
And so our job is to embrace that love. Open our hearts to it. We have to accept His radical, life-changing love.
This brought to my knees. Because that right there is precisely the battle that has been raging in my soul ever since the anorexia ripped through my heart and left it in ruins.
Will I allow myself to receive God’s love for me?
It is a question that you and I and everyone has to answer. And the fact of the matter is that we all have circumstances or past situations that influence how we answer that question.
And in that regard, I think we’re all a lot more alike than we realize.
We all have our “thing.” Our “battle” that we are at war against in our hearts. And the uniting factor in all of that is Jesus. Is the Cross that saved all of our lives and definitively declared His love for us. It undoubtedly commissioned His endless mercy and grace for all of us, no matter our past. No matter our failings or short comings.
The cross was the verdict. The cross was His final answer.
So how will we respond? How much will I let Him love me?
The thing about those old photos – is that there’s a romantic filter I unconsciously put on those memories. Of a simpler time, before heartbreak, before trials, before this detour, or X, Y, Z.
But the truth is that, life is happening right now. And I have the opportunity to create new snapshots, and new memories, equally as joyful, equally as exuberant.
Because the young girl in that photograph, and the young woman looking at those photographs — is loved just the same by the Father. The cross is the same for both of those girls, regardless of the situations, circumstances, shortfalls, and slip ups that happened between the “then” and the “now.” His love and His mercy is consistent.
It’s only the lens through which I am seeing that has changed.
And that, I have the power to change.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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Here was yesterday’s video! https://youtu.be/8pmp4ZI968A
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