This Is Us, But Mainly Kate

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This Is Us is the best show I’ve ever seen. I know that sounds extra, but I’m pretty sure I’m telling the truth. The show follows the lives of three adult siblings with complicated lives. 

I have a DEEP appreciation for amazing portrayal the Black character, Randall. His backstory, his current story, his family #Swoon. The whole show could just be about his family and I would still be as invested.

As much as I love all the richness that is Randall and Beth Pearson, I can’t help but admit how much Kate’s subplot speaks loudly to a fat girl in me who is constantly healing.

This Is Us - Season 1

All the people reading this who relate to this scale moment, exhale. You’re not on the scale in front of people any more. It’s ok. I totally get how seeing this pic could cause anxiety, but breathe. OhCAE… moving on.

Recently, I’ve reached a new place in my weight loss journey. Or maybe we could call it my journey to changing my relationship with my body. In a 2010s world of body positivity there are still women like me and Kate who grew up in a world that hated fat people. It’s hard to not internalize some of that hate. It’s SUPER hard to push some of it out when it’s been part of a person for so long.

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Look at kiddo Kate in her Care Bears bikini! Cute! She’s 8 and hasn’t learned to see herself through other’s eyes yet. I have a bikini pic from around the same age and size. (I’ll find it and update this later, maybe.) In the pic, I was having a super fun time at Wheels Inn. (RIP Wheels)

Pig Kate

So here’s Kate enjoying her life with her bikini, then her friends laugh at her and explain that they no longer want to be friends because she looks like a pig. This, of course, devastates her. But it’s not just the note. It’s a combination of the note and her mom’s constant pressure for her to lose weight. She makes her eat cantaloupe while her brothers eat sugary cereal. 

People wrap their encouragement to lose weight in fake concern for fat people’s health, but never discuss health choices with trash eating people in slim bodies. Kate couldn’t eat what she wanted, but her brothers could even though it wasn’t good for them. 

Now, lemme clarify. This isn’t my story. But I definitely know how lonely it can be to feel like you’re the only kid you ever see who has to be concerned with food intake. It’s an unfortunate and sobering moment to realize you’re a 7 year old and sitting at a fat doctor. Going to your pediatrician because you have a cold and he scoffs when your dad asks if it’s safe for you to take the prescription at 11 because “she’s 200 pounds” is an unforgettable experience.

Thinking about this stuff makes me reassess why I’m so comfortable only acknowledging Randall’s family line. Randall’s life reminds me of the current me. The one who has taken my trials and built the life I want despite the difficulties. Kate’s inability to move beyond her childhood hurts makes me face the fact that I still have work to do to heal little Cae.

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It Was Never Just About You

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I had a conversation recently and while we were talking, I immediately felt more peace. Because in that moment, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me “It was never just about you.”

That was an insanely profound moment for me. One of my repeated prayers has been to just understand the purpose for some of the things I have dealt with. I’ve let the scripture replay in my mind that “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” But I lived in a constant place of wondering “Where is the good?”

Then suddenly, after a decade of asking, I received and experienced the purpose. In that moment, a life of pain and 10 years of prayers made sense for me. It all made sense when I understood that the situations were never about me.

I can’t get my time back and I actually don’t want it. I have my peace and I have made a difference.

The Dichotomy of Artistry

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I started writing because I was going through things that I did not know how to express. Somehow, though, when I put my pen to the paper I was suddenly articulate. Something about writing for an audience made me remember that I wasn’t alone in my suffering. Something about writing for an audience made it all worth it.

I didn’t want anybody to know there was a problem, but the only way to deal with the problem was to tell somebody. When I started writing, it forced me to find the lesson. When I found the lesson, it made the pain make sense. Sorta…

So I write to expose the wound

To clean the wound

To let it breathe

So it doesn’t get infected

and cause unnecessary sickness

So that I can remember that I’m not

the only one in this

And I get to look back and see

That I’ve been through this before a time or two or three

And just like I learned before,

This isn’t the end of me.

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He Is Listening

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In high school I was very depressed but I kept it a secret. So I secretly cried many nights and that was my only relief.When I got to college, I got saved and everything changed for me. One day I was sitting at my desk in my dorm and out of nowhere I could feel the same overwhelming sadness come over me and I almost cried but I stopped and reminded myself that I am new. 

I wasn’t sure what the appropriate response was, but I opened up a New Testament Bible (with Psalms & Proverbs) that was on the desk and randomly flipped it open and I read the first scripture I landed on. It said “Why am I discouraged? Why am I restless? I trust you! And I will praise you again because you help me, and you are my God.” (Psalms 42:11 CEV)

That was the first time in my life that I REALLY believed that God heard and listened to my silent cries because He said to me exactly what I needed to hear in that very dark moment. All I had to do was turn to Him (His Word). 

I’m grateful that God reminds me of that moment from time to time because when life gets difficult some days I can’t help but wonder where God is when I can’t perceive Him. But I’d like to encourage every reader by letting you know that God knows and sees all and He is concerned about you.

  

God’s Gene Redeems

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Every time my knee hurts, I think about my mom and everyone else in my family with arthritis and any other health issue that is genetic. Instead of accepting that as my destiny as well, I remind myself that I have a new DNA. Arthritis runs in my blood, but there are no diseases in the blood of Jesus.
Sickness is not my inheritance. With His stripes, I am healed.

*i snagged this post from my tumblr blog. I think I stole the title from one of my pastor’s sermons in 2011.*

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Photo cred: wakethesilence.deviantart.com/art/By-His-stripes-we-are-healed-41556439

It Was Never Even A Thought

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I finished a book recently that I really enjoyed. It’s called John 3:16 and is written by Nancy Moser.

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One of the subplots features a couple who can’t get pregnant and during all their infertility woes they find out the husband’s mother has cancer.

I won’t tell their whole story, but I will spoil part of the ending. At the end, the mom calls the whole family over with some news that she wanted to share with everyone at once. The wife, whose perspective we read throughout the book, braces herself to find out the chemo didn’t work and how long the mom had to live. I braced myself for the same thing.

When they got there the mom made her announcement. She was cancer free. The doctors were shocked. It was a miracle.

I was excited because I had really become invested in the characters’ lives, but then I was confused. I was confused because I didn’t know why I was bracing myself to find out she was about to die. They hosted prayer meetings and it was clear that the mother was a woman of faith, but I didn’t believe she was going to be healed. It was never even a thought that she might live.

In my real life, I struggle to believe that God is really Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. When I find out someone is sick, instead of proclaiming Isaiah 53:5 “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” I start saying things like “Lord if it’s your will…” Or “Holy Spirit be a comforter. Help me to prepare for what’s coming.”

Science is really cool because of all the amazing things they’re able to make and fix. But I realize that it limits my ability to be a person of faith. Because I put total trust in doctors, medicines and treatments to make others feel better and I’m comfortable bragging about my mustard seed faith in God to be a healer.

This isn’t to discredit doctors, science or medicine because I totally respect the field. However, the book showed me how easily I’ll believe in the understandable things before my God.

I gotta do better because before there were scientific advances, there was the Word. From now on, I will expect miracles before I brace myself for death.

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Photo cred: novelreviews.blogspot.com/2008/11/nancy-mosers-john-316-reviewed.html?m=1
http://www.christianstatements.com/proddetail.php?prod=SCR251

Little Girl, Are You Listening?

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(This is an old blog from 2012.)

One day, I was in the car with my sister and brother (Tan and Tyrone). Ty had just bought an old Mary Mary CD (Incredible) so we were listening to it during our ride. There’s a song on it entitled “Little Girl”. It’s a song that’s supposed to encourage young teenage girls to see their beauty and love it. As it played, I closed my eyes and envisioned my 13 year old self and inwardly I apologized to her for ignoring her feelings and making her pretend to be perfect and unmoved by her life.
I told her I was sorry for not giving her the chance to love the 200 lb body she had. I reminded her that she’s pretty even with all the acne. And I told her that even if none of the boys at school wanted to be her boyfriend, she’s still pretty and an amazing person who deserves to be treasured.
I actually shed a tear when I saw her response to the final thing I told her. I simply said, “I understand completely. I see through the façade and I care about the real you.”
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The picture that came to my mind was of me at my 13th birthday party. As my 23rd birthday is nearing I have decided to deal with the issues I’ve buried for so long. Like many girls, I dealt with a lot of body image problems. However, I never felt like I had the platform to discuss it with anyone bc I thought they couldn’t understand. I wouldn’t even admit to myself that I was bothered. I decided to focus on my good characteristics. I capitalized on the fact that I excelled in school. I completely ignored my emotions, publicly. But as a teenager, many nights I cried myself to sleep. I was so displeased with my life and I didn’t want to taint my image so I kept it to myself.
Now, I’m wise enough to know that that was just a tactic of the devil to isolate me and make me feel like no one was invested in me. But as miserable as I was, I don’t regret one tear filled night. 10 years later, I have a testimony and a great appreciation for every woe.

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I encourage you to acknowledge your past hurts. Reconcile with your inner child and be healed, in Jesus’s name.