Transitioning from dreams to reality

Archive for April, 2010|Monthly archive page

More Beautiful than a Starry Night

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2010 at 10:29 pm

“Oh my gosh!” I think to myself as I rush out the door of my Thursday night women’s group. I am not ‘oh my goshing’ over the wander of the inspiring women I just spent three hours conversing with. No, I am ‘oh my goshing’ because I just spent three hours conversing with wonderful women while I should have been learning about Rothman’s model of locality development for my Community Development final that is less than 11 hours away. Despite the fact that it is late, I am tired, and need to be at home preparing for an exam that could potentially determine my future (always thinking about grad school), I decide to saunter up the street and gaze at the stars while reflecting on my time in group.

Tonight the sky is especially clear which makes the moment of intentional self-care easy. My eyes look to the dark blue canvas and have trouble deciding where to focus while my heart expands with anticipatory joy. “Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow!” I whisper. Thoughts develop as quickly as sparks flying off a roaring fire. The stars are beautiful and I feel like a child with a brand new box of gel pens – you know the ones with 50 colours – because I want to look at every single one, getting excited about the next before I open the first!

Standing in the middle of the quiet, familiar street, I am lost. The beauty of twinkling stars promises safety. It doesn’t matter if life is overwhelming or I don’t remember the definition of the word I have already forgotten that will be on tomorrow’s exam. The stars are so BEAUTIFUL! “What a perfect ending to an amazing night,” I smile. The topic in group tonight was beauty and the two questions that captivated my mind were:

1) What does beauty mean to me?

2) What about myself do I find beautiful?

My answers were full of life as I dove into the reality of my existence. God saved me! He brought me out of the pit and planted Truth within my heart. I have a passion burning that drives every choice, belief, action, and motive. Sometimes it is hard to contain my excitement; 60% of the time that I am awake I feel as though my entity is shaking with expectancy. There is Truth that needs to be communicated, lives that need to be set free, and hearts that need to be released to the One who created the ability to surrender!! Honoured and humbled by my position, I dream about the next moment of destiny’s embrace.

A star falls through the sky and I am reminded that beauty of this world is expected to be tangible. Dreams and passions can’t be measured, nor can people feel the bright colours of Power surging through my veins. Taking a deep breath, I try to ignore the lie that victoriously dictated my life for 20 years. “You are a fat disgrace and should hide before one more person has to look at you.” Standing in the middle of a deserted street, I choose to focus on the stars. Lies are lies and I understand the strength in replacing them with the Truth. Mechanically choosing the predetermined Truth, I whisper in desperation, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made and am the apple of my Creator’s eye. I choose to believe that the One who set me free has made me free and I will NOT be dictated by the powers of darkness.”

Satisfied with victory over my moment of weakness, I intentionally look back at the stars. An umbrella of tangible beauty. “Wow,” I am in awe that God created these beautiful fireballs to brighten my night. Walking to my car, I hear a whisper in my spirit, “the stars are amazing, but they aren’t beautiful enough for me to be in relationship with.”

I was created more beautiful than a starry night?!

Forgetting my vow to ignore the importance of feeling tangibly validated, a tear rolls down my cheek.

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That Place

In Uncategorized on April 4, 2010 at 2:27 pm

So have you ever walked to that place? You know, where it seems like you are about to cross the line into unspokenness, but haven’t quite committed? I think I just reached it and can only smile. So many times before I have paused momentarily before jumping into the realm of behaviours……not just any behaviours….issue behaviours. This time is different though because I know that giving in “just this once” is never how it seems. “Just this once” turns into “just today” which turns into hopeless devotion to a sin that only brings destruction. Cutting, purging, restricting, bingeing ~ just thinking of these things makes me shiver.

It seems ironic that I have resisted and stood firm against old temptations for so long and now they are hitting harder than ever. Maybe it’s because I allowed myself to take that step. You know, the one that is harmless at the time because it is so miniscule, but 15 miniscule steps later end up taking you just a little further than anticipated. I did take that step, I maybe even took 3, but I haven’t passed the thresh hold yet.

I am at that place. You know, the one where it seems like you are about to cross the line into unspokenness, but haven’t quite committed.

I am at that place. In the moment I have to separate myself because the emotions are just too strong; they claw into my soul and try to drag me into the lie of quick release. As I take a step back and realize what is happening I reach my hands up as far as possible. My feet may be in the place, but the rest of my body refuses to accept the path of fact. Grabbing onto the only One I know, I dig my fingernails into the hem of His garments. I can’t let go. The temptations are too strong, but I can’t give in, I can’t! I don’t know if the weight of expectation or fear of failure is heavier, but something is pulling me down. I claw at the fabric, but can’t find a firm grasp! As my fingers give way to air, I expect to fall completely to that place. I guess it is like all those other times. I strive and fall, reach and lose, try and fail.

I hold my breath and expect the worst, but I’m not falling! Instead of sinking into a stance of defeat, I feel myself being lifted higher. Into His arms; the only place of true security that I know. Until I let go, He could not pull me higher. Holding onto His garments and refusing to let go while trying to control my journey meant that I was stuck, unable to move in either direction. He was drawing me nearer while I was trying to find a way to stay hanging.

Looking into His heart I am brought back to the Truth. It’s not about expectations or striving. He set me free to live in freedom!! I am not in freedom to set an example or prove a point, He set me free to be me. My Freedom can only shine through genuine transparency.

I may have been at that place, but I took a step back. Those tiny shuffles that led to the depths of dispair are as easily reversed as my willingness to see it happen. I saw the thresh hold, but I didn’t want to cross. What’s the point? I know how the story goes and I am sick of it having the same ending. The ending has been different for a while and I like the shape it is taking. Instead of a jagged iron gate, the path leads to an open area. The space is empty, not a lonely empty, but an expectant thrill. He’s letting me choose the words and paint the pictures to my story. It’s mine. Because of Him I can choose to have it go in any direction. Because of Him I know the safety of anticipation.

I am at that place. You know the one where there is complete peace and trust because Faithfulness has proven true? The place where no matter how far facts drag you, the Truth will prevail. I am at that place……do you know the One?

The Decision

In Uncategorized on April 2, 2010 at 10:16 am
July 2, 1985
“There is no freaking way this is happening again,” I whisper under my breath as fear builds in my heart. According to the calculations, my period was supposed to have come over 2 weeks ago. The first few days I figured it was just late; being a serious athlete sometimes causes my body to do funky things, but I have never been this off. I stand, determined not to cry because then I would be accepting the unlikely. Walking to my bedroom I know where my emergency test is hidden. I root through my underwear drawer and find it – the potential determinant of my future (and my parents acceptance).
I drink a ton of water to fill my bladder and sit on the bathroom counter waiting. It seems like eternity before I have to pee and in the long span of 15 minutes I try to find a positive emotion within myself, but can only find dread drenched in defiance. When I feel ready (and my body finally cooperates) I open the test and squat over the toilet. “Please God, if you exist, make the test be negative,” I whisper while feeling the warm spray of urine against my right hand. I stand, not bothering to pull up my pants as I stare at the white test in my slightly wet hand. A thin blue line.

If it wasn’t for my past experience with pregnancy tests I would choose not to believe the little blue stripe, but I know within me that the test is correct. I am pregnant. Destiny, tragedy, or plain stupidity, whatever the cause, I have a microscopic person growing on the inside of me.

Memories mixed with emotions overtake my entity – I don’t know if I am in a nightmare repeat of three years earlier, or going insane. Maybe that is it, maybe I am just stuck inside a nasty daydream; I try telling myself this until my phone rings and I am snapped back to the present. Standing half naked, in the middle of my bathroom, holding a positive pregnancy test while listening to my phone ring, I realize how sickly real the situation is.
Out of natural reaction I run to answer my phone. “Hello?!” I half accuse, half whine. No reply except a click. That’s great, just peachy, I am in crisis and the first person I speak to decides to abandon me. I am not sure if I want people to be close or as far away as possible; I can’t completely comprehend my emotions.

This also happened three years ago. I was dating Gary and became pregnant. He broke up with me when he found out and I was left deciding what to do about the kid growing in me. I ended up having a little boy and putting him up for adoption, but the nine months prior were anything, but easy. I was only 19 and trying to pursue sports in university. After the pregnancy I quickly trained and snapped back in time for basketball season, but was left with an emotional hole in my heart. I don’t know if I can go through that again.
My phone rings again and I choose not to answer it, but when I hear my best friend’s voice through the answering machine, I pick up the receiver. “Hey Megs,” is all I can whisper through the tears that start again the minute I hear her voice.

“Oh no, what’s wrong?” she demands. That’s what I love about Megan, she has an unnatural ability to take control in even the worst situations and I know this is like any other.
“I, I’m” I can’t finish the sentence because I am overtaken with hyperventilated wails. She picked up on it though – we have only been best friends for two years, but Megan and I can finish each other’s sentences.
I hear her finish my broken phrase, “pregnant. I will be right over.” As she hangs up the phone without another word I slip onto the floor next to my nightstand; this is where she finds me when she walks in 20 minutes later, sobbing and curled in a ball. Without a word she sits next to me, the smell of Dolce and Gabana, Light Blue overtakes my senses and I feel a new calm. I am not sure what the next step is, nor what the upcoming year looks like, but I know that everything will somehow work out because my friend is next to me.

Two hours later I have showered, tried to digest a smoothie, and somewhat emotionally prepared myself for the trip to the doctor. I know that I am pregnant, but Megan wants to take me to get tested and make sure that everything is physically all right. Walking in to the doctors office triggers memories from three years ago, except the last time this happened I was alone, and today I have a friend by my side.

20 minutes after I have slouched into the worn, leather chair, my name is called. “Marie Peters,” a stout, middle aged, Asian woman calls. She smiles as I stand in response; the smile does nothing but deepen the pit in my already churning stomach. Megan stands and grabs my hand as I begin the walk to the examination room. It seems like my day has been sectioned off in time – 15 minutes to go pee, 20 minutes for Meg to come over, two hours to get ready, 20 more minutes to wait to be admitted at the doctor’s, and now more minutes for the doctor to enter the room. Although any other day I wouldn’t notice the time span, today is not like a normal day.

Megan thinks that I am shaking because I am afraid of having another child, but really I am reacting to the thought that keeps replaying in my mind: if you have an abortion this will all be over before anyone has to know it even began. I have heard of other woman getting abortions, but that was only in far off stories told by friends of a friend, not in my immediate life. We talked about them in sex education during high school, but that was four years ago and I never accepted abortion as a personal option. Until today.

Before my mind can twist any deeper into the thought of cancelling the process that has begun within me, the doctor walks in. Dr. Forester has been my doctor since I was five years old and she knows me well. I don’t see her often, but my parents keep her in the loop about the new occurrences in my life while I try to keep them out. She reads my chart and looks at me with obvious pain in her eyes. I glance at Megan and receive a nod of encouragement to speak.

Before I can say a word Dr. Forester takes the floor, “are you sure? Do you want me to do another test?”
“No, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt. My period was over 2 weeks late and I did a test. I just know,” I say without letting my eyes meet hers.
She sits down on her swivel stool and rolls right next to me. While taking my hand she leans in closely, “what’s your plan?” she asks with sincere care.

I slowly glance from her to Megan then back to her. I can’t think, it’s like the processor in my brain overheated and crashed. Trying to pull at any form of a word to respond, I realize that I don’t have a plan. I don’t know what to do and I don’t want to go through another pregnancy. I start to cry again, but this time I don’t hold back. What’s the point? The other person who helped me get into this predicament moved back to San Diego 3 weeks ago and I don’t see the reason in telling him what has become of our few days together. He is probably sitting on his yacht with a new love object, or locked up in his penthouse office going over reports while cursing his wasted time in Vancouver.

Thoughts begin to race through my mind as if a floodgate was just yanked open. Taking a deep breath I quickly stand to my feet. Glancing at Megs and Dr. Forester I make an announcement. “I got myself into this mess by being irresponsible; therefore I need to deal with the consequences of my actions. The way I see it I have two options: abortion or adoption. As much as I would absolutely love to choose the first, where is my right in deciding this little one’s future before it is even born?” My right hand is on my, still flat, stomach while I am waving my left hand as I speak. I may be a wreck, but I am always able to come to a definite conclusion to any problem when I remind myself that I am in control. Other people may be able to give me advice and support, but in the end I will only be left with one person – me.

I am standing in a small, light green examination room, but the only things that my eyes are registering are the two women sitting in front of me. They both look stunned, or as though I just made some irrational proclamation. I can understand their surprise as I went from zero to 12 in less than 60 seconds on the emotional capability scale, but I have made a decision and am sticking with it. “Where to from here?” I ask Dr. Forester who is still staring at me, but now with a smile on her face.

After a few more minutes of conversing with my physician, Megan and I are walking back to the car. I feel as though I am inwardly shaking from the overwhelming realization of what is happening in my life, but I am determined to live, yet another pregnancy out. It will mean anger and disappointment from my parents, Profs at school questioning my ability to live a responsible life, and many other negative implications, but none of that matters. All that matters is that right now the little one and I are cohabitating in the same shell.
March 18, 1986

I can’t believe the time has flown by and I am about to give birth to my little girl. I guess I can’t really call her mine because the minute that she enters the world she will be taken away, but we still spent months together while she formed within me. I wish that I could keep her, but know that it isn’t realistic. My wish is that she knows how loved she is; if I could raise her as my own I would, but life happened and it isn’t a possibility. I am grateful that the social worker was able to place her in the same home as my previous child. She will be able to grow up with a biological brother (they had different fathers, but have me in common). I hope that he takes care of her and that they can stick together with their adoptive parents. I would really like to meet both of them one day, but also want to move on with my life. I guess I will wait and see what destiny holds.

A strong contraction yanks me out of my thought world. I can’t just sit here daydreaming about the future when there is most definitely a little girl trying to pop out of me. I carefully move to the phone as the pain strengthens. Dialing the numbers is a harder task than usual because I am trying not to double over from the pain.
“Megs, it’s time,” I breathe and sit down in pain.
“I will be right over,” says my best friend. She has been my support through these past 9 months and I am so grateful that she is in my life. She stood beside me when my parents yelled and even when I stubbornly wanted to run.
8 long hours later I have been taken to the hospital, felt contractions strong enough to shake my body to pieces, pushed until I almost passed out, become exhausted, and finally, seen the fruit of my labour. She is beautiful. 6 pounds 9 ounces of perfection that is taken out of the room instead of placed in my arms. 9 months of building a physical relationship within me and she is whisked away to the social worker on my case.

Megs holds my right hand while I dig the fingernails of my left into their palm. I can’t help but ask myself if this was the best decision? I just gave away my baby girl and even though statistically speaking there is no way I can offer her the best life, at least she would be with her mom.