I Didn’t Celebrate Easter

This year Easter feels different. Not because I have fallen out of love with Jesus but because I’ve fallen out of love with the church, my church specifically. For the first time in years I did not attend church on Easter Sunday. A time that is to be celebrated but I couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed this morning with the normal excitement that typically surrounds this holiday. Maybe it’s because I had only slept for a few hours or because I hate the thought of leaving my mom who just had hip replacement surgery or maybe it’s simply because my church, the one I’ve been attending for 23 years, my whole life doesn’t feel like home anymore.

I feel the underline anxiety that carry with me most strange, new places when I walk through the doors of my church now. So maybe it’s for the best that we are closing because I never thought I would be anxious at my second home. I feel as though a line has been drawn in the sand not just among me and my fellow church goers but among many Christians and the church.

Because I fail to see how you can claim to be full of nothing love but be so strongly against basic human rights: love, respect, and equality something every American has a right to. Because the bottom line is that whether the person’s lifestyle is a sin or not, their rights are protected under the Constitution.

“But Rachel, this country was founded on Christian roots. How can we go against the Bible?”

I beg to differ, how can a nation built on war, bloodshed, rape, and slavery be one of Christ? We have never been a Christian nation and if we want to become one we must drastically change our views on the world. Starting with love.

Something so many people seem to forget that I desperately hang on to is that Jesus surrounded himself with the outsiders. The prostitutes, tax collectors, fishermen, and anyone else that did not belong. He did not shame them, he loved them. He did not take away their rights or shame them. He loved them and that made them want to become better people.

I could go on and on but the bottom line is I did not celebrate Easter this year. Maybe that makes me a bad Christian or maybe it’s me just reflecting off the rest of the United States who has fallen out of love with the Jesus that people try to imagine. Not the real loving, caring Jesus but the Jesus that is being manipulated to fit onto political posters. The kind I want nothing to do with.

I still love Jesus and the amazing feat that he conquered when he rose from the dead is not lost on me but celebrating his death and my second chance at life with people who I can’t understand anymore holds no interest to me.

I’m sorry.

 

Peace&Love,

Rai

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I Am Woman

I see the world through eyes that are filtered through the stars,

With a mind, as vast as the sun.

And a soul with scars that mirror the craters on the moon.

 

My tears water the bullet holes in my heart,

Shot by those that do not understand.

For I am a lost one,

A strange one,

A healed one.

 

Climbing a mountain made of self-doubt and regret,

Conquering one hill at a time with chances and loss,

Where I fall on my face but get back up,

Rinse the dirt from my eyes,

And clean the scrapes off my chest,

For I am a warrior.

 

Made of steel,

Dented and misshapen but still standing tall.

For I am a proud woman,

Made in God’s image not man’s.

 

Strong enough to bear the future when my counterpart cannot,

Strong enough to be a proud type of humble,

Strong enough to be what I am told is wrong.

 

I am a woman,

Hear me roar.

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I Hope I’ve Made You Proud

It’s February 27, 2017 and it’s been 4 years since Sharon Jordan left this world. I wish I could say  something that was less clique the usual things people say after the loss of a loved one. Like, “I miss her everyday” or “Things will never be the same.” But those are exactly the words that so desperately want to fall from my lips. I miss her. She was my best friend and helped raise me. She wasn’t your average active grandma she went so far beyond that. Maybe that’s why I feel the need to please her but how can you please a ghost? Especially when it’s someone you know would never judge you to begin with?

I live with the chronic belief that I must make everyone I cherish in my life proud and if I’m not doing that then I am failing at life. I want to live my life my way but I also have an underlining need to be perfect. Or at least thin.

So, that’s where my current struggles begin. Recently I went on a date that I found very pleasurable and promising. The boy however, did not feel the same way as he has not spoken to me since. And while logically I know that rejection hurts everyone no matter what your size it seems in my mind that my rejection is far worse then what any other person could feel.

I realize this is a greatly flawed way of thinking but I cannot help the emotions that I feel. I also can’t help but wonder and pity myself for my size. I know realistically that my weight most likely played a big part (no pun intended) as to why I did not get a second date. Because a selfie from the chest up on a dating site can only give a very small idea as to how big I truly am.

And as you can guess once I get sent into this state of mind it is a downward spiral. From being told by my own family that most men will probably not find me attractive and society telling me that I am a horrible, ugly, lazy human being, it leaves little hope that one day I will be able to replace my purity ring with an engagement ring.

As I’m sure most single people have done this evening I began daydreaming about being in love but quickly realize that my love will not be like the movies. I will not be able to be the small spoon, be carried by my man, and many other things that “normal” sized couples do. Sex will even have to be different.

The eating disorder that still lives inside of my revels at these thoughts and enjoys my misery because it gives it power and a chance to creep back into my life. But I know that if I truly want to make Grandma Sharon proud I need to stay strong in recovery and stubborn, very stubborn.

Peace&Love,

Rai

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A Short One

I’ve been trying to write this post for the past week with little success. I’m finding very little motivation in life. No, I’m not depressed just a little lost. So where to start?

Well things have not gone as planned, but when do they ever? Especially when obtaining to my life. I was not accepted into the program I wanted to study ministry. I didn’t even get an interview. It’s discouraging to say the least and as unhappy as I was in New York I can’t help but wonder if leaving and coming back home was a mistake.

So where do I go from here? For now I will continue working at a retail job, maybe find a church where I can actually grow and be involved in with people my own age, and try to go on with life even though it feels as though I have no direction right now.

I’m not a good enough writer to be published. I don’t sing well enough to pursue a musical career. I can’t even manage to get into school for ministry. So where do I go from here? I’m going to sleep.

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The Dreaded 15

Let me start by saying that the freshmen 15 myth is alive and well. From August to December I gained exactly fifteen pounds and my confidence has been dropping lower and lower with each passing day. And it’s not because something happened or someone said something mean but simply because my eating disorder voice is still doing it’s job and doing it well. It’s been quiet for a while but now it’s roaring it’s ugly head again and I’m struggling to put it back on mute.

It doesn’t help that after having some heart palpitations (caused by stress) in October and following up with a cardiologist in New York I received a stern talking to about how calorie counting was the only way to lose weight. She also lectured me about my horrible diet because all student away at school are eating amazingly healthy except for me.

I know at my weight having these conversations can’t be helped but there’s one thing I wish all these doctors would do, listen. To not just blow my eating disorder off as a “phase” and assume that I can simply stop obsessing over the calories, the numbers, the control or that I can do so in a healthy way.

So where do I go from here and what does this mean? Do I need to lose weight? I honestly don’t know. But a calorie counting app has been downloaded to my phone and I’m using it actively. Does this mean my eating disorder is winning this battle? Maybe but they won’t win the war.

Peace&Love,

Rai

 

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2016 You’ve Done Well

Once again I find myself sitting at home with coughs racking my body every few minutes, diagnosed with Bronchitis. I’ve been back in Washington for almost two weeks and it seems as if all is back to normal. I’m working at a job I love and always have. (I’m one of those crazies that loves working retail.) And I’m writing for fun something I haven’t done since August before I moved to New York. I guess that’s why I left. Writing was no longer fun, it was a chore. I had deadlines to meet and felt as if the pieces I submitted were never polished or well edited.

But now I’m home and working on a memoir. I’m sure a lot of you are thinking I’m too young but I figure why not? I’ve always wanted to tell my story and I love to write so why not marry the two? The most important thing is I’m happy and content with life again.

2016 has defiantly been an interesting year for me. I’ve lost loved ones, made new friends, lived on my own and in another state, pursued what I thought was my dream only to realize what my true calling is, and grew in my recovery.

So, what’s in store for 2017? Who can really know? But I know what I want to happen. Within the year I want to complete a rough draft of my memoir, go back to school for the major I want, become healthy which, seems to be an eternal struggle for me, live for God, and just be happy. Well, at least I can mark one of those things off the list.

What are your goals?

Peace&Love,

Rai

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I’ve been Praying a Lot…

I’ve been praying a lot lately little prayers, big prayers. But mainly the same one over and over again. “Please God don’t let me sit next to someone on the plane ride home to Washington that will treat me poorly because of my weight.” Okay, so there’s most likely some swearing involved in that prayer too. But it’s me being honest with God. About my fears, my worst fears.

No one likes to be embarrassed. But that seems to be something I’m gifted at. Or maybe I am just too easily embarrassed. Either way it seems to happen to me often. And a lot of it seems to have to do with my weight.

Now I know what you are thinking,”Rachel, why not just lose the weight? Then your problems will be solved!” I only wish it was that simple.

If you are still believing the lies that the media and society continuously feeds us then let me break it to you…Losing weight is not easy and not possible for some people. God blessed us with differences. So why should we all be the same weight? Especially based off something as flawed as the BMI calculations? Besides the obvious fact that it’s no ones business (besides my doctor) as to what my weight and anyone else’s is.

I’m not saying don’t buy two airplane seats if you need them. You should for not just others comfort but yours too! And don’t be afraid to ask for a seatbelt extension or buying one. Your safety should always be a #1 priority. What I am saying is don’t be an asshole.

I do not need two seats and don’t act like I do simply because you don’t like how I look. AND if a person does need two seats leave it to the airline to discuss them or at least be respectful about it. All I’m saying is don’t be an asshole.

Don’t be the woman who sulked and threw a tantrum like a three year old when her husband made her sit next to me. Don’t elbow me in the ribs and act as if my seat automatically belongs to you even though you didn’t purchase it.

Just have some compassion and kindness in your heart. It’s not easy being fat. Especially since it seems to me that most people already hate me because of my size. It’s not easy being hated…

Have courage & be kind

Peace&Love,

Rai

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