Okay…let’s see if I can start a post AND finish it today. I seem to start them often, and I may get four or five paragraphs in when I decide it’s not good enough, so it sits in my drafts folder.
You guys… I’m changing. And it is SO freeing.
Except for my hands. They are changing, actually, the eczema or whatever the hell it is, is spreading. So I now have eight horribly itchy fingers instead of three. Oh, and a new dry, itchy patch on my calf. Swell.
Back to the point. I’m learning to take care of myself (although apparently not physically – but I have the sweetest coworkers who really care and bring me different creams/oils to try!). I was baptized on August 18th, two Sundays ago. That was a great step. Our church does baptisms about three times a year and I had seen them several times, but didn’t know what I had to do to be baptized. About a month ago, an announcement was made in church that if you wanted to be baptized, you had to attend a “New Believers” class (for me, it should have been called the “Again Believers” class) the Sunday before. OH! So THAT’S how you do it. I went to the class and then invited my friends and family the following Sunday to watch me be the last (but not the oldest!), to be dunked. I am officially welcomed into the Kingdom, and it feels wonderful.
I know many denominations have different traditions on when and how to be baptized, and I think they’re all completely valid. No matter the style, baptism is a pure-hearted, beautiful thing. Personally, I agree with the concept of one deciding when he/she wants to be baptized so that she understand the magnitude of what is happening instead of it just being a ritual. I feel like I remember being baptized before when I was young maybe at a friend’s church, but I wasn’t completely sure. Of course I had good intentions when I was a child, but something about teenage hormones and rebellious college years may have warped my views on faith somewhere along my journey…so I was thankful to be able to be baptized (possibly again?) on the other side of my dysfunction and really try to stick to dedicating my life to Christ for good. And hey – there can’t be anything wrong with being dipped more than once! Or sprinkled, or poured, etc…
Attending Celebrate Recovery (on the weeks I do go, because I have been known to skip a week or two here and there – remember, baby steps) also helps remind me that I’m trying to change for the better. It helps me to pay attention to myself. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: I think everyone can benefit from CR. Freedom from your hurts, habits, and hangups…I mean come ON, it should be called, “Freedom from being a human!” The way I see the group is that it’s all about how to maintain peace in your walk with God throughout this chaotic, hurtful life. There’s a large group meeting and a small group meeting. Large group is either a lesson or a testimony, where you listen to someone’s experience from their walk, and small group is pretty much a place to vent or praise about your current happenings to people of the same sex. It’s such an inspiring and encouraging place for me to be.
Last night for the first time ever I went to a nar anon meeting (narcotics anonymous for friends/family) and felt the same encouraging, connecting feeling I do with CR, but with an added toughness factor. Advice was given, along with support. Advice about setting boundaries, and taking care of yourself. It was perfect timing for me to hear that. Take care of me. At the end of the day, that’s all we can do anyway! God can handle the rest. Although I’m sure he appreciates us trying, he really doesn’t need our help. He’s got this. 🙂 Our job is to relax and focus on doing what’s best for us, and remember that God’s grace is enough. We are enough.
Also, I’m still being blessed by new and continuing friendships! I’ve picked up on the fact that whatever bad things we remove from our lives, if we trust God, he’ll replace them with new and better things (and for me that means people). It’s amazing. So really, why worry?
Take care of yourself. Trust that the universe will put everything else in place. You are never alone.
Happy HUMP DAY! WOOT WOOT!
Also, if you have an extra 30 minutes, check this out (one of God’s replacements for me sent me this – thank you, friend!):
One thing my pastor said several months ago that I wish I had heard my entire life, “You are more than your sexuality.”
If you don’t watch the video, what I took from it is before you commit your life to someone, FIX yourself first. That’s where CR comes in for me. I didn’t really know I needed fixing until I started going. We all have hurts. We all need work. Do that work before you give yourself to someone else.