It is the celebration of the risen Christ. And the risen...Aidan?
I wish I could explain the wonderful work of God in my life these days, and though I will try, I am going to fail miserably.
The death process began several weeks ago as I grew increasingly frustrated with my current situation. How much rejection and failure can one young woman take? As we all know, when something stays stagnant for long enough (think pond water), mold and algae begin to grow. Not only is it icky and mucky, completely covering the former occupant of the space, but it actually kills the life that becomes trapped underneath. This is where I've been. But like the fish beneath the water, I couldn't tell what was killing me; all I knew was the environment continuously became less and less hospitable.
Slowly, clear eyes took over, and I began to see my life for what it truly was - a scummy mixture of pajamas, naps, pills, chat rooms, and half-hearted living. Everything I did was less than my best. Whether I was vacuuming or washing the dishes or writing or applying for a job, everything I did came out of me with a feeble sigh, an acknowledgment that really, I wanted nothing better for myself. Well, that's not entirely true. I WANTED something better, but I didn't believe it would ever happen.
As a youngster, I could have done (and did) anything. Whatever project I undertook succeeded, often beyond expectations. Those who met me held high hopes for my future, usually entertaining the idea of some sort of professional writing, among many, many other things. Those successes still make me smile, and I could rattle off dozens of awards and honors to go with them. But then, something changed.
I began to mourn.
With dad deceased and a newfound freedom of spirit that I've yet to pinpoint, memory began to overtake me. That's because, basically, there are two ways to deal with abuse such as I experienced. You can live in the moment, fight it, and hope for the best. Or you can shut off all emotions and make every day about survival. The former kills you then; the latter, later. And so as the realizations of all I'd been through came to haunt me, so did fear and inadequacy. What happened then will always happen, so why do I fight so hard to change that, I asked myself? It came to the point where all I could do was sit in my room and hide. She who hopes for nothing and expects nothing is never disappointed.
Ah, but she is! She IS disappointed! Because she knows her Daddy, the Lord, has so much more for her than this.
This was what I woke up to a few weeks ago, and found myself completely dissatisfied. I began to fervently pray for whatever the good things are that God has for me.
It's scary! I won't lie to you. Because asking God to change your life into His plan is like pitching your first advertising campaign in front of the board - there is about 2-3% of it that's good, but the rest must be scrapped and reworked. Everything I once knew, God wants to rid me of. My familiar surroundings...gone. Everything. So it's very scary.
But it's also WONDERFUL! God brings such peace amidst the fear that you can't help but take a few steps forward and realize, it's not so bad. In fact, it's better than you ever could have imagined! And then, you take a few more steps and a few more and before you know it, you look in the mirror and don't even recognize yourself.
Such is the case in my story. I'm still dealing with trauma. I am still dealing with sickness (99% allergies at this point, so if you know a good home remedy, I'm all ears!). And yet, my life is so different than I ever could have imagined it even a month or two ago.
My physical appearance has changed. My hair, cut short but GIRLISH (instead of shaved boyish), is cute and flippy. Cute and flippy enough to have guys turning their heads in public to look at me. I bought a PURSE, which means I no longer must live out of pants. This frees me up to buy some really awesome clothes that will look sharp! (Right now, I can't afford to do so, and I am a bit turned off by my former self when I look in my wardrobe, but Goodwill may help with that, when I get funds.) I wear light colors instead of dark colors, radiating life instead of death.
My habits have changed. Sitting on the internet 24/7, frequenting a chat room, all of that - it no longer holds any appeal for me. I'm more active. I get out and do more things, and I'm not afraid to get in my car and drive.
And my personal feelings and outlook have changed. I see those old successes coming back. I see happiness; I feel excitement. Yet, I stay centered, too. It's the kind of person I always dreamed about being some day, and I'm starting to see her become a reality. It's so cool!
So thank God for the resurrection of Aidan on this Easter. May she continue to grow and to become more like Him. May she continue to live in abundance and victory, as she's so enjoyed these past few weeks.
I guess the moral of the story is...when you find yourself covered in algae and mold, let God be your chlorine.