It’s hard to admit that you need help but it’s even harder to admit that you need Jesus. I mean come on….I can’t really be that messed up, right? Jesus is, after all, just a crutch and with everything I know about a “father” He is not something that I want in my life. When I first started my sessions with Hannah, I made my stance on this whole God thing abundantly clear. Looking back, it really is funny how those things work—the further we run, the harder He chases us. Turns out, God has been chasing me for a very long time. But then again, who would want me? What the hell do I have that God wants? All of these things, and more, flooded my mind as I even entertained the thought of going back (yes, back) to counseling. But, I knew I had to get my life under control. At 25 years old, I was 254 pounds, drinking like a fish and experiencing ever-growing angry outbursts. It isn’t easy being “feeler,” especially when you can’t get control of all your feels. I wasn’t always that way, in fact, as a child, I told everyone that I was going to change the world. When people asked me, I proudly would respond, “I am going to be a history maker.” Little by little, as the years went on and the pain piled up, that dream faded and instead was replaced with depression, fear and self-loathing. How could I possibly change the world if I couldn’t even change my own life? “Pain has a way of clipping our wings and keeping us from being able to fly…and if left unresolved for very long, you can almost forget that you were ever created to fly in the first place.” (William P. Young, The Shack)
During my first session with Hannah, I told her that I wanted to quit drinking and that I kept having these outbursts, where my emotions would spiral out of control. I told her that I wasn’t interested in hearing about God, since I had already been that route and burned too many times. Hannah supported me and showed me unconditional love. Never did I feel that she pushed her beliefs on me or treated me differently because I was refusing Jesus. Little by little, my walls came down. I was able to be honest with not just Hannah, but myself. I had become so accustomed to survival mode that I had completely forgotten what it was like to be truly happy. Not just the happy that shows up every once in a while, but the kind of happy that is a product of a thriving life. I craved this kind of happy and to obtain it would mean a big drastic change.
Anyone who tells you that a lifestyle change is easy is flat out lying to you. Choosing to change your perspective, attitude and outlook on life is, in fact, NOT easy and takes a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears. Together, Hannah and I started my healing journey, my total life overhaul, my new path. As the months went on, something in me changed. I realized that I could not find true healing without the love of God. Slowly, I started asking Hannah questions about God and began to learn about Him in reference to my own life. Not the God I learned about in Sunday school, not the God of my parents, but instead my God. The God that had so many times before sat with me when I cried, and held me when I felt alone. Even if I didn’t want to believe He was there, He had my back the whole time. I remember one night specifically during my journey, where He really leveled with me; grabbed me right by the feels and told me how much He loved me. He told me that I am indeed designed for greatness. His plan is perfect, and through the unveiling of His love for me I would feel new life…I would finally feel that happiness.
Come to find out, my God is not the God I thought He was. He does yoga with me, dances around my living room with me and speaks through me to others. After embracing His unconditional love, it’s real hard to not show that unconditional love off to those around you. Perspective changes, outlook changes, and I now have this uncontrollable urge to be positive. My life has become a motivation to others and I am finally proud of who I am. There is a light that shines within me, and it is contagious. I have now lost 63 pounds (and counting), alcohol is a thing of the past and those angry outbursts are few and far between. Truthfully, every aspect of my life has improved.
There will always be ups and downs—that’s just how life goes. If life were always perfect, then we would have no reason to try and reach for better. We are, and always will be, in a constant state of growth. God will continue to mold and form us according to His plan. It is during the times of darkness where He becomes the light and will shine through, no matter the circumstances. I don’t just know this now, but I believe it now. We are destined for greatness, each and every one of us. Etched in our very being is the DNA of Christ; we are children of the King and therefore kinda a big deal. I will forever be thankful to Hannah for giving me the tools to grow and for her patience with me as we dealt through all my crazy. I now know that I am enough, I am worthy of love and I will change the world.