I hold an empty, disposable coffee cup in my hand. It symbolizes my spiritual journey in the last year. I have felt empty and disposable in the Body of Christ.
For the past several years, I have been on a healing journey–spirit, soul and body. My thyroid stopped working and I ballooned in weight; so, last year, after a couple of years of getting the thyroid medications synced up to my brain, I started exercising again. I LOVE working my body hard, and I love watching my body slowly, excruciatingly slow, gain back its strength. This year, I begin the art of living bravely and vulnerably. For years, I lived out loud and fearlessly. I remember feeling alive and unafraid to take risks in relationships and daring to try new things.
Then I took a nose-dive with no parachute opening for me.
It’s a long journey and a long story; but I relate well to the man in the parable of The Good Samaritan who was beaten to the point of death. Spiritually, I experienced that severe beating. Emotionally, I experienced that severe beating. All that beating took a toll on me physically. Anyone who has been that character in the parable knows, but may not be able to articulate to anyone, the mystery of “O death, where is your sting.” One moment I thought I might actually die, another I nearly panicked that I would not.
We all have what I call ‘ugly stories’ in our lives. Mine are no worse than anyone else’s–they are just mine. Some of my stories stifled my bravery and shut down my vulnerability. I’m starting to reclaim myself this year. If my physical body can recover with the help of doctors and discipline, I believe my spirit can recover its vibrancy and vitality with God’s help.
I hold an empty, recyclable coffee cup in my hand. Empty of my preconceived beliefs about God and my place in His world, I wait with expectancy of what liquid He will choose to pour into me as my “drink offering.” Recyclable, I wait with expectancy of how He will transform me to His purpose and give me “beauty for ashes.”