Monday, January 25, 2010


This morning my boyfriend, Jeremy, sent me a text message:

"Good morning wonderful. As you start a new week, take time to be grateful for a weekend that was not painful."

Maybe having a companion, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife serves a few basic purposes. Relationships can become messy, but I like to think that Jeremy keeps me focused on where I'm going and where I've been.

Like when I called him about a month ago and said, "I'm sorry. I threw-up."

He didn't say, "Not this again! Why do you do this? You are too much to handle."

Instead he listened intently for over an hour as I tried to understand in my mind what took me to that scary place where turning back seems impossible and asking for help leaves me paralyzed.

I talked. We sat in long silences. But toward the end of our conversation he said, "You know, you haven't thrown up in six months. Six months! You've been doing so well."

He's right. I have been doing well. He was right this morning too. It was a good weekend.

Every time Friday rolls around, tension begins to form around my neck and shoulders, my stomach churns, and my mind starts racing. Oh no, another weekend. So soon? Do I have to? While any normal person might eagerly anticipate the weekend for a chance to sleep-in, relax, and pretend homework doesn't exist, I dread it.

Relaxation is a skill. If you have it, God bless you. If you don't, I feel ya.

The idea of wide open spaces, plenty of time, and lack of schedule makes me anxious. I start pondering all the things I might want to do, but alas, I seem to get stuck there in my head, with the reality of everything I'm not. I can't fully explain it. The best way I know how is to say: When I'm busy, I'm distracted. Whatever I'm avoiding bites hard on weekends.

What made this weekend different?

For some odd reason, when a friend in Campus Ministries asked if I wanted to sing for church this weekend, I said "yes." Even Jeremy said, "Can I ask, why?" I'm not completely sure, but I knew that because I could pick the song, I wouldn't feel uncomfortable singing about something I don't believe in.

I chose to sing a song I wrote about 9 months ago. The whole process of a typical church service at College View Church ends up being quite an unnecessary production, if you ask me. From arriving at 8:15 sound check, to running through the service including transitions (Are we in such a hurry that people really need to be moving around during prayer?), checking for mics, then performing for 2 different services. Oy!

The song is called, "Train." Here's the first service edition (though the second service one was better. No squeak).

"Train" video
(1/23/2010): The whole service was great (but mom, I'm 24 minutes in).

Honesty continues to save me. Admitting my humanity continues to be the most radical thing I've ever done. Telling Jeremy about it later, he said, "I wonder if some people look at you and think that you must be fake because you are too honest."

The prospect made me dizzy as I tried to consider my actions from every possible perspective and every possible angle, but I couldn't. I can't. What am I supposed to do then? "Ya know, I have yet to receive one negative comment as a result of my honesty. I can't worry about what people will think if I'm too honest." I've been overwhelmed the last 3 years at how I've actually been welcomed with all of my dirt, instead of being rejected for it.

Sitting up there, on that piano bench, before a couple thousand people, spilling my guts, does not come naturally to me. It's not easy. I don't enjoy every minute of it. But since Saturday I've received a dozen or so emails and Facebook messages from people in a similar place who said, "Me too. I'm struggling too." And that, is what makes it all worth it.

So this weekend, I'm grateful that I was able to share part of myself with the hope that it gave someone courage for their own journey.

I'm grateful that I have a story to tell.

I'm grateful for wonderful friends, who invited me over for lunch.

I'm grateful for Ben and Ashley, my kick-ass roommates. We are pretty dull compared to what most people do on a Saturday night, but sitting with popcorn and an episode of Mad Men was exactly what I needed.

I'm grateful for P90x which is whipping my butt, yet reminding me that I'm stronger than I think.

I'm grateful for the Mill. Oh, what a wonderful place for a chai latte on a windy day.

I'm grateful for my friend Michael and our talks.

I'm grateful for bookstores and where I always seem to end up, the cookbook section.

I'm grateful for yoga, deep breaths, and meditation.

I'm grateful for Jeremy, who reminds me to acknowledge the moments that are full of hope.


Hannah said...

I watched the clip of your song. It was beautiful! Can you post the lyrics to your song or can I get a copy? It's very powerful. <3

Carley Brown said...

I really liked your song Heather. It was interesting hearing your voice after only reading your words for so long. I enjoyed it.

Heather said...

Thanks Carley. I suppose we haven't actually "spoken" much, and if so, it's been about ten years!