First of all, has it really been more than a month since I last wrote? *checks calender* Apparently so! But anyway, I have got a WILD story for y’all today. No, I did not do anything stupid. I promise you that. I AM STILL IN ONE PIECE. Now, I feel like I need to give you some context, because otherwise it’ll be confusing and GOOD LORD I do not wanna confuse y’all. *deep breath*
ANYWAY, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when I was eleven, not too long after my mom passed away. I had these ups and downs of being okay and accepting, and at the same time not wanting to accept it. Well, I’ve always been reminded of that diagnosis in some way or another ever since, and hey, it’s exhausting. I just kinda submitted to it and said, “y’know, I’m gonna be like this forever, so whatever.” I didn’t bother trying to find my individual self and embark on the journey of self discovery that most people have done LONG before age 25. I literally did not even bother. I cared, of course, I wanted change, but at the same time I was afraid of change. Not to say that I’m not still afraid of change. Trust me, I’ve been going through some BIG changes lately and while very exciting, it’s also scary. Now I’m not talking scary like “Oh my god, I just watched The Exorcist and there are some things that cannot be unseen” kind of scary. No, I’m talking scary like…fear of the unknown. Because I’m taking some major steps in my life that I just kind of….waited for, but never once did I consider taking control and actually DOING something. Not until now, anyway.
But lemme tell ya, Asperger’s isn’t the problem. I’m no longer allowing myself to believe that I’m any different or less capable than anyone else. Ohhhh no, anxiety and depression are what really have sucked the life outta me for years. Sitting in a bathroom and sobbing because something went wrong or you anticipate that something’s going to go wrong? Yeah, that’s….that’s very unpleasant. Having a full blown panic attack is even worse. Literally feeling like you’re choking or you’re going to throw up or pass out. Not fun at all.
And I’ve never really found my individuality. I didn’t really know who BROOKE is. I do know one thing, (and yes I’m about to speak in third person. It’s for emphasis, and okay, maybe I am convinced that it sounds poetic and that probably made no sense, but *shrug*), Brooke didn’t love herself. Brooke didn’t even like herself. Brooke thought she was disappointing because she has a college degree and hasn’t done anything with it yet. Brooke believed that God does not love her because her thoughts and actions have not always aligned with that of a Christian. Brooke believed that God did not hear her because of those flaws and mistakes. Brooke was frustrated at God because she could not hear him. Brooke was lost. Brooke was afraid. Brooke, in a lot of ways, is still afraid. Brooke wants to strengthen her relationship with God. Brooke wants to feel closer to him than anyone else to the point that if she messes up or thinks the wrong thing, then she won’t feel the need to confess to her family or her friends or desperately try to compensate for the areas in which she has fallen short. When Brooke makes a mistake, she’ll talk to Jesus and ask him to forgive her, and then she will be at peace. She won’t have any hang-ups. She won’t hate herself for falling short. She won’t look at herself as being bad or unworthy of His love. She will allow herself to receive His love.
NOW we’re done with third person.
Okay, so I went to church today for the first time in a while and lemme tell you something that both excited me and made me go “Uhhhhh….” I was talking with my aunt and uncle Saturday, and we were discussing some things. And we were talking about how you can’t give what you don’t have. I hadn’t allowed myself to receive God’s love, so I wasn’t able to give that love and that joy to other people. There was no light in me for me to shine on others. And here’s where things got intense for me at church today while listening to the pastor, and let me just remind you that this man has not met me, does not know anything about the conversation I had with my family the day BEFORE the service. He said, “you cannot give what you have not received”, basically the EXACT same thing from my conversation the day BEFORE.
SAY WHAT NOW?
No really, that literally went through my mind.
He had never met me, he didn’t know me at all, he hadn’t once heard that conversation I’d previously. I mean, WOW.
It was that moment that I realized that God has been trying to talk to me, He HAS heard me, but I wasn’t listening to HIM. Nothing else was working, so He spoke to me through this pastor. And it wasn’t even just that specific thing (that was the stand-out moment, but still), it was like God had wanted me to be there this Sunday because He had a whole message that He wanted me to hear. That’s just so beautiful. Feeling God’s love on such a high level was different because I’d never felt it like that before, but I’m so happy that I experienced it today and got a fresh start with my faith. I am thanking Jesus Christ for the changes that my heart is going through even at this very moment.
Also, I’m actually going to follow through on my goals and dreams! Not just the ones that I deem “safe” and are within the bubble I put myself in. Today I am popping the bubble! I am going to pursue ALL of my dreams, big and small. Starting a business, for example. Starting a business has its risks, sure, but should I stop myself from trying? Not today, Satan! I want to write more poetry and eventually publish a book, even though there’s a risk that it won’t be successful. Am I going to just hide my poetry in a journal, away from the world? Not today, Satan! I dream of having friends, and eventually finding love and becoming a wife and mother. Am I going to retreat to a quiet room, away from the outside world? Not today, Satan! I want to follow my dreams and tell anxiety and depression where they can put their tears and panic attacks and breathing difficulties. (By the way, I mean stick it where the sun don’t shine). Am I going to let that anxiety and depression scream “RETREAT, RETREAT, RETREAT” anytime I try to do something outside my comfort zone? NOT TODAY, SATAN!
Does this mean that I don’t still struggle? Do I still have moments where I feel weak and emotion takes over? Yeah. But now I don’t feel ashamed of it. I’m human. Humans have real feelings and that’s okay. I am slowly getting on the right track and that’s all that matters. I wasn’t made to be perfect or to not hurt.
Jesus is the Lifemaker. He created life and when a life is broken, He can repair it. He can renew all that is broken. He can take one’s pain and turn that pain into triumph. I know because I am experiencing that as I write. I can feel it, and for the first time, I mean it.