Well, here we are again. Am I alone in feeling like Mondays wear roller-skates? It’s barely the weekend and then – whoosh! New week. Sunday might be the technical start, but there’s a psychological shift when the clock tips over into the weekday.
Plus, Mondays always seem to throw up new challenges. Well, I say new, but that’s a complete misnomer. Is it just me, or do you spend a lot of your life going over old ground? The same battles, albeit from different angles. A Groundhog life, without Bill Murray to relieve the tension.
Why does God take us over the same ground? (Especially on Mondays). Is it the same? Or some sort of divine joke? Lord, I don’t want to tell you your job, but this is not funny. It’s wearying and DULL. And it can be painful too. But time and again, He takes us back to struggles or areas we really don’t want to face.
Since regaining weight, my digestive system hasn’t really recovered. (another good reason to address your eating disorder sooner rather than later – especially as, in a lot of cases, the damage can be reversed). I’ll spare you the gory details, (though perhaps this is exactly what blogging was designed for)..but it throws up a few challenges.
When you put on weight after starving yourself, a bit of bloating is natural. It’s your body’s way of chugging back to life. Although it feels yucky, it does subside if you stay the course. In my case however, the colon’s sort-of checked out. This means that I get sick and sometimes my stomach swells massively. When this happens I have to crack open the pregnancy trousers. (I’ve even been given congratulations cards – and my doctor has repeatedly suggested pregnancy tests, just to be sure). The Uber-bloat also comes with a massive dose of fatigue and general bleagh. This is one of those mornings.
On the plus side, I can beat Glen in a Gut-off and people sometimes volunteer their seats. But as a recovering anorexic and wannabe mum, looking but not being pregnant is painful. It taps into a lot of places I don’t want to go. It raises questions about my identity – as a woman, as a person, as a sinner. Questions about my body and my worth. Recriminations, anger, guilt. Have I got ’better’ for this? Why is God making me go back over the same ground? And how do I respond? By pretending that I’m fine and it doesn’t matter? Or by conflating grief with guilt – retiring from hope and life and wallowing in my ‘unique’ pain?
As I face my life, I’m tempted to think I’m just going backwards. But I know that this is not true. There’s a reality that’s much better than the one I planned for myself. It’s bigger than my body. It’s more than whether I look the way I want – or even if I can fill the roles I want to have. Maybe I will get better. Maybe I won’t. But in the midst of struggles, I’ve got a hope and a value and a purpose that no-one can take away. I have a Lord who is doing something in the mess. Who comes down to share it with me. Who loves me enough to want my best – not just in a ‘gritourteethsufferingnowglorylater’ way. Or even in a ‘thismayhelpotherswhostruggle’ sense, (though I pray that will be true). If He leads me over old ground, it’s because He LOVES ME and He wants what will bring me real joy and real life. I might find myself in a wilderness, but it’s not the old slavery of Egypt and I’m not alone. Plus, whatever day it is, the future is always, always full of hope.