“soak thyself”

I have being walking in a fog.  Awoke to a text message from my beloved, as I was still wandering through the puddles of my sand-man dreams and convinced that I was walking through a snow drift….I finally picked myself out of bed and made coffee, parting my shades and cleaning the floor.

I have been feeling a sadness well up inside of my throat day by day. I have been walking the hallways of my heart slowly, head down, tears ready, feet dragging. I walked with a frown, without knowing the reason as to why that little corner of hurt seemed to be twisting a little more today than I felt it yesterday. I smiled slightly when God spoke to me though the birds chirping at me on my way to class. They seemed to be singing His praises, but I felt that hurt subside for a moment, slowing down to lift my head momentarily.

I walked though today as if coasting. I got by.

Recently I have been feeling God tugging at me to take a bubble bath. I know that sounds completely ridiculous, but it is true. It came up in a conversation with Terri when she told me that it was important to make time for yourself to take care of you. I was also struck by the way she took time to look her best that night. She rubbed lotion into her skin, made her makeup took gorgeous, and smelled so feminine and beautiful. Lately I have been going through days with messy hair, wrinkled clothes, no makeup, and not taking time to even put lotion on. I know that those things are not necessary, but I also know that I have been neglecting them because I have been sad. I don’t feel like plucking my eyebrows or putting on perfume when I feel down.

Today as I was meeting with Sandi to talk about student teaching, we got on the topic of finding out who we are as women. So often women become attached to their caregiving, to their husbands, their children, their jobs, but they do not take the time to have their alone time and that time to figure themselves out. She did not specify this, but I thought to myself, “we do not make time to be with God and feel beautiful in his presence”. For women, I feel that this is key to feeling alive and well. We need to feel captivating.

I certainly have not felt very captivating recently. I have felt tired, ugly, sad, stupid, and just….not enough. Until tonight I was not sure why.

I convinced myself that these feelings were simply because of this semester and because of finals and because of not sleeping. But honestly, it’s because it’s been too long since Jesus and I have had a date.

I came back from Cycle and Pilates at work and felt smelly, tired, but somehow renewed. I realized that all of my room mates were gone and that I needed to make dinner, and then have a glass of wine. I began to pray before eating and I just started this beautiful, open, conversational dialogue with God. I told Him that I was ashamed that I had not fully let go of bulimia, I told Him that I felt stupid after taking my math final yesterday, that I felt like I was not pretty enough for my gorgeous fiance, that I felt sad and lonely and that I didn’t like the way I was acting around other people. I told Him that I was nervous about my internship, that I was angry at people and that I didn’t know why, I told Him about how I was questioning my ability to schedule and that I felt the need to please my family with wedding plans and summer plans and money. I told him that I didn’t know where I wanted to live, that I didn’t know if I was doing what I was designed to do. I told him that I was sorry for not praying for the people who need it. I told him what was on my mind….even the stupid things, like “why did my hips hurt so much in pilates today?? does that mean I’m out of shape??”….

Then all of the sudden I started crying…kind of. And I knew what to do. I turned on the bath water, brought my wine in and took a bubble bath.

I spent the whole time washing my hair and talking to God. My heart began to soften like soap.

After ward I took time actually combing my hair and putting lotion on and still kept talking to God. For some reason I could tell he was happy with me. I was taking care of myself. I was talking to him. I was taking time out of my day to be with Him and he wanted me to spend that time giving my body the care it deserves.

I have been struggling with food lately. I have avoided mirrors and been picturing myself differently so that food is a constant thought in my mind. I have been convinced that every bite is too much, that every meal is self-indulging and disgusting….I have been giving into Satan’s lies. It struck me at church last week when I remembered that God made Satan beautiful in heaven, so now, he uses that gift for evil, appealing to mortals in such festinating forms. But that is not true beauty. In the same way true beauty cannot be achieved by me when I take a bubble bath and comb my hair. I need to connect with God and let him fill be in order to become truly beautiful.

It struck me again tonight as I was thinking about this. I realized that I have not been living like the woman that I know God has meant for me to be. But I was encouraged by the fact that she is not some unfamiliar goal to be hopelessly reaching upwards for. No, she is inside of me. I know her better than anyone does. I know her because she is the core of who God has made me. She is not unobtainable; she is always inside of me. I only need to uncover her. I let go of all the stress and labels that Satan has crowned me with; I let go of all the sadness, the neglect, the little corner of hurt I somehow find to be safe. I let it go and give Jesus my whole heart, and he knows just what I need, even if it is and earthly thing like food or sleep or…..

a bubble bath.

I am excited to uncover that woman of Christ that I know God has so beautifully  made inside of me. I am looking forward to seeing how she comes to life in the next few days. Tonight I have cleansed my sore and broken spirit in a connection to Christ which is completely irreplaceable. I cannot explain it well, but I do feel so much more loved and cherished now than I did two hours ago. How great is our God?

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