Turning 30. Single. Broke. Eating Disorder. Chronic Depression. Need I go on? My life would seem to be wreck, an absolute mess. Would it puzzle you if I said I was actually hopeful? Inspired? Determined? Encouraged?
My reason for hope is found in my very near future. In two months, I will be taking a solo trip to Colorado to climb all 55 fourteeners! — You might be thinking, “What the heck are those?” They’re mountains in Colorado that are all above 14,000 feet. Think of the latest “Wild” or the classic “Into the Wild” movies and you’ ll catch my drift of what’s to come. Over 3,000 men and women have climbed all 54 infamous mountains. I’m just not sure how many have been women… and of those brave women, have climbed all of them by themselves… Welcome to a new chapter of my life, and I’m taking you with me.
In this chapter I’m free to be broken, free to be weak, free to lose, free to be no one, free to be ordinary and free, to fail. Doesn’t that sound amazing?! You see, in the very recent past, these things listed in my opening paragraph gave me reason to loath myself and hold myself imprisoned in a cage of shame and disgust and to an impossible climb of self-redemption. Every good circumstance brought me temporary happiness, while every bad circumstance, whether self-inflicted or not, knocked me down so far I’d be out for days or months.
Want to find true happiness, regardless of status or circumstance? Now, I’m not saying that I’ve arrived, but I do think I’m personally starting to absorb what it means to accept Christ’s death for our sins and want to dive into this deeper on my journey through the mountains. I’m starting to realize just how many “layers of yuck” I’ve been carrying around because I won’t accept forgiveness for my failures and sins. I know, it sounds cliche and if you’ve grown up a Christian your entire life like I have, you probably can relate to hearing a verse or a message a million times and it still not resonate with you- but someday, it’ll hit you differently, and you’ll know it’s God telling you to move.
Here’s another one you’ve probably heard, “God has you exactly where you’re supposed to be” (Act 17:26). It’s hard to hold onto that thought when it feels like your life has been a disaster, but right now I’m grateful that I have some time to really explore my past hurts. Why do something so painful? Because not dealing with it has left me a depressed, self-loathing individual who has never felt like she was enough.
As stated above, I am one of 350 million people globally that suffer from depression. It started at age nineteen when I was cut from my college volleyball team. Accompanying my depression at age twenty-three, has been my eating disorder better known as ED. I have had bulimia for six and half years. I still can’t even believe that it’s part of my story; I would have never predicted this. I’ve been trying to rid this insanity for a year and eleven months now and have been in 3 different treatment facilities. I’m currently receiving treatment in Minnesota and will remain in partial and eventually outpatient treatment until my departure to Colorado.
Even though my story is at a crossroads where my life doesn’t seem at all worked out, the great news is that God can use all our hurts and failures for good (Romans 8:28). That is the core purpose of this blog! I am determined to find acceptance, forgiveness and love for myself. The worth of myself will no longer stand in my beauty, my status or my accomplishments. It will stand in the beauty of being a princess of the Most High and living out who God made me to be! A strong, adventurous, free spirited woman with an enormous heart for those who are hurting.
My prayer is that my hurts, that are not uncommon (1 Corinthians 10:13), will help someone else (maybe you) to live their life more fully; as Christ promises us a full and happy life (John 10:10). I pray that if you have struggled with accepting who you are inside and out; that you will find hope, inspiration, determination and encouragement to live out who God has created you to be!
In efforts to support my journey, and to also encourage others to live their life boldly I created these tank tops which I’m selling on Etsy. They are all hand screen printed and each shirt has a precious bell tied to the inside hem to remind you to “ACT” on the promise of Joshua 1:9! More details on esty.com/shop/sunshineof1985