The strains of Cistercian Monks fill the air with their chanting, waiting for the Christ child's arrival, as I write this. I also wait and each year I pray that I will be worthy of His salvation and grace. Each year I pray the next year will be one of healing, one of wellness and one of joy.
The past few years have been difficult. Since 2007, I have been told by doctors at least three times I was near death. One time I was close to slipping into a coma. Then I developed anorexia and I have often wondered why I developed a near-lethal eating disorder after almost making it back to health.
Did I want to die? Sometimes I long for heaven and Christ, but for some reason, He has kept me here. I still wonder why. I don't think my questions will ever be answered, and maybe it's time to stop asking them and accept His grace and peace for what they are - gifts.
I wrote the other day that I won't have an empty life. Each day it is a struggle to maintain that sense of hope and purpose. I have to keep trying, the only alternative is death. Each day I still struggle with food and my fear of it; I eat, then I pull back, afraid; then I eat again. I now realize this will be part of my life forever; I will always have some fear of food. And that's okay, as long as I don't stop eating.
I no longer regret having anorexia, or almost dying, or any of the other things that have happened to me through the years. I have made many mistakes, but each one has made me who I am. I think the pain and the struggle has made me more compassionate, as I learn that people and their feelings, who they are and what they dream, mean the most to me. I wish I could wrap my arms around each friend who is suffering and take it away.
Tomorrow is Christmas. I will eat and I will be afraid and I will fight that fear. And as I long as I fight, it will be a Merry Christmas.
I wish all of you a Merry Christmas, one filled with the peace and joy of Christ and one without fears or eating disorder thoughts. For those of you of other faiths, I wish you much happiness during your celebrations.