Last fall, my friend Sarah and I were catching up over coffee and she started telling me about Shauna Niequist's newest book she recently read that was quickly being recommended to everyone she knew.
So naturally next pay day, I used some of my monthly chump change to buy it.
I read and savored it up. Every last word.
This past week I re-read it again. In one particular chapter, something struck me I hadn't noticed from the first time.
Shauna was talking about how in this season of life she is relearning her own daughter-ness; she's re-claiming something over the years that got lost and misplaced.
I have been thinking about that a lot over the last week.
Growing up in church, there were a lot of things I heard with my ears but never translated to my heart.
Jesus loves me.
You are a daughter of the King.
You were created for a life that no one else can fulfill.
Stuff-ish like that.
Honestly I heard it a lot.
Some of it felt reallyyy cheesy. Some I didn't believe for years because of my own brokenness and wounds.
Eternal truths that never register in our heart will never change us the way God desires.
I had many good people in my life and church community remind me of these truths. But that 18 inch journey between the head and heart sometimes is the hardest journey we'll ever embark on.
I am 31 years old. And for the first time in my life, I am really reclaiming my own daughter-ness.
Not in some happy-clappy Jesus or cheesy kinda way that's loud or obnoxious. Even though I can be kinda loud sometimes. #asktheyouthgroup
But in the that in changes the way you look and talk to yourself, the way you look at other people. The way I just feel in my own skin...its just different.
Those 18 inches between my head and my heart are more unified and whole than they have ever been in my life.
Maybe its all the kick a$@ counseling I have been going too (Mary, you can never retire! ;). Maybe its because I've worked hard on issues and wounds I dragged into a marriage that didn't last.
Maybe its because I've really processed and healed from my divorce and not seeking a relationship as an emotional band aid. Maybe its because this season I feel so connected, deeply rooted emotionally
Honestly its a cocktail blend of all of them.
When I was still married, one of the things my counselor taught me to help me get through the day was choose certain truths to say out loud to myself every day. Being the control freak I can be, I took it a step further. #naturally
I set 3 timers on my phone throughout the day to go off. When they did, I stopped and repeated two things.
First, the Serenity Prayer.
And second, my own: "Jesus help me to see and love myself the way You do. I am a beautiful, strong, courageous woman and I am taking back my power to be emotionally and spiritually healthy."
Those words began to take root in me, and as I really prayed sat with them, I felt my tangled spirit slowly begin to untangle.
I have lived the majority of the first half of my life not knowing my daughter-ness before God.
But the second half of life is going to be much different because I know to my core my own daughter-ness, my place in the family of God.
And that is the best possible place to be and live in.
Cardinal Dolan who is currently the chair of the USCCB's Committee on Pro-Life Activities came out and strongly called them out on such intolerance. Anybody else feel like he reminds you of a jolly, smiley Santa Claus?
Just me? Okay. :)
Sure it has been widely known for awhile that overall as a whole the Democratic party has led with a pro-choice card. But after the election, I guess it strikes me that they are coming out so guns blazing on such a critical life issue.
So what's a Catholic Christian supposed to do politically these days?
Anybody else feel politically homeless, or is it just me?
It is getting more tricky and difficult. I have a much harder time feeling good about the GOP. When Donald Trump is the best we've got that is kinda scary to me.
At the same time, I hate how boldly intolerant the Democratic Party is acting.
I believe in supporting both an unborn baby and the mother, both lives have equal worth and value.
Abortion is not good for anyone.
In a world where tolerance has basically become the 10th Commandment, Democrats are saying pro-life people are not welcomed and will not be supported as candidates on the Democratic ticket.
It makes me wonder could this totally backfire on them?
I try to remind myself its always better to shut up and not lead with the reactionary (still working on that piece).
I make an effort to read and listen to people on both sides of the aisle.
I try to value honest, respectful dialogue over just being right.
I am grateful for lots of writings and documents of the Catholic Church that offer me some sanity in well balanced perspective on social teaching, morality, and ethics.
And at the end of the day, I remind myself I will never first identify with an ideology or political party. But rather my primary identification is striving to follow Jesus Christ in all aspects of my life.
I don't do it perfectly and have a ways to go (just ask my family).
But I ardently desire that identification to be the leaven in how I live my life, treat others, and do ministry.
Hopefully that is all our goal.
How do you wrestle through all this stuff with culture and politics in one hand and your faith in the other?