I might have mentioned this before: I spent 12 years of my childhood in Denver, Colorado. After that many years of living some place and never having anything else in the world to compare it to, due to a lack of travel, things like a daily view of the Rocky Mountains become so commonplace. The repetition of friendly smiling faces and good customer service becomes so monotonous and mundane. After a while you just want out, and I was luck enough to get out.
For 8 years I lived in the lone star state (Texas), without ever returning back to Colorado to visit. Now that I am back, I feel like a visitor in my hometown and find myself completely dumbfounded by the constant beauty and unique architectural layout of Denver. It seems I sort of missed all of this as a kid, and deep down I almost wonder if I was blinded by the darkness of ingratitude, or if Denver has drastically changed.
Denver has changed. As the number 2 most gentrified city in the United States, Denver has certainly changed, but the majority of what I find to be so beautiful has always been there. The Denver Public library still towers over the heads of so many children and even adults reminding them that if a real adventure has ever begun anywhere, it has always been inside of a book. The Capitol and it’s golden dome still shine lustrously in the brilliance of the summer sun. Sixteenth street mall still boasts it’s tourists attracting hot-spots and shopping centers. So much is all the same. And it all makes me wonder? What else has changed?
I think that along with all of that, my heart has changed. Let me just tell you, Texas wasn’t that pretty. Texas was a lot bigger and had a wonderful economy and much lower cost of living. However, when speaking in terms of natural scenery there just was not much to really experience. At least not beyond the limits of state parks. Something about living in an environment where beauty is a rare find makes you thirst for it. It makes you sort of determined that if you are going to live somewhere and call it you, you WILL find something about it to enjoy and take pride in. You will call it home, and hopefully you will mean it. So that’s what I did. I thanked God for what beauty and I find, and in doing so I found more. Gratitude begot joy and I remained the creative poetry-loving, beauty seeking human I have been since I was a little girl and first lived in Denver.
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On the 8th of July I moved to Colorado from Texas to live with my Aunt and little cousin for mental health and financial purposes. It has been extremely sweet and absolutely a dream to be so close to family again!
Today this household started Whole 30 in effort to both lose weight and see if the removal of sugar from my diet does anything to stabilize my mental health. Oh and I hate to mention it, but we are also taking caffeine out of my diet and I’m already feeling so sad about that, but let’s focus here primarily on the positive things.
I’m loving that green things are becoming such a part of our diet!! Here is the smoothie that we kicked our day off with this morning:
It gave me the same boost of energy I look for in my morning cups of coffee. My relationship with coffee is actually on the brink of termination now that I have learned that as a depressed person, coffee can exacerbate my symptoms. Not just that, but this smoothie really gave me a boost that I have never felt with coffee.
Another plus: it’s so green and makes me feel so calm and connected to nature.
Ok and finally I have to share what we had for lunch. It was a particularly creative dish that my aunt threw together with scrambled eggs, pan fried potatoes (fried in coconut oil), spinach and salsa. Boy it was better than I can describe and look, more spinach and plenty of protein.
It tasted so much better than the justice the picture does it. Boy oh boy!
So I’m thrilled. I know that we are all thrilled at the start of something new, but I have long waited for answers concerning my mental health. I have waited for the support of others in the area of such strong life changes, and have been asking God to pour fresh vision into my heart and mind with regard to my overall health and well-being. I really believe a foundation for stronger will power, and nutritious eating is being laid.
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Disclaimer: I am not and have never been against the regular attendance of a healthy bible-teaching church. I have simply been overwhelmed by the inexhaustible complexities of being committed to tradition and hard-core discipline, as opposed to the carefreeness of enjoying Christ and the spontaneity of the Holy Spirit.
Here We Go:
It’s been long since I last mustered up the courage to openly confess the wounds lingering in my heart with regard to organized religion, and things of the like. I cannot explain this deep disconnect I feel toward the concept of pledging some sort of allegiance to a particular denomination or even church—not that I would ever preach that doing so is wrong, it’s just that my heart is so repulsed by it. It has caused so much pain.
I know that I am not alone in terms of the amount of people who share this sentiment with me, but the fact of leaving it all out in the open really begs the question of why/how I am so burdened about the spreading of the gospel and living a life of ministry unto Christ and His people. To which the only respond I have is that, that I did not call me to do anything. Jesus called me and I surrendered. He poured all the love and mercy into my heart. He allowed me to suffer, suffer, and suffer more, to the point where I began to posses an insatiable thirst for healing, and sharing how Christ has comforted me.
Just as Corrie Ten Boom says in her book The Hiding Place: “There is not pit so deep that Christ’s love is not deeper still,” and I know that it surpasses all that I do not understand about the denominational constructs, and other theological principles. I do however know him personally, and I have been set free from myself by the mercies of his love.
I know what you’re thinking. This already sounds sort of sack-religious, and perhaps even disingenuous. Perhaps—you’re thinking, “she’s in some sort of spiritual haze and has lost her identity in Christ.” What I need you to understand is that what I am experiencing is quite the opposite. I feel so keenly in touch with my identity in Christ, as a daughter redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus, that everything else feels confusing, and lacking in simplicity. This is not to downplay the importance of fellowship, for it says plainly in Hebrews not to forsake the assembly of believers. I simply cannot wholly bow to a particular doctrine. I can’t do it.
What I Have Found:
The gentle whispers of acceptance, freedom and truth, that the Holy Spirit speaks to me do not frequently align with the latent messages communicated in organized religion that you have to really understand everything, and follow a rigid set of guidelines for living or else be condemned, both in this life and in the next. It’s not always explicitly stated, but I never feel more accepted, whole, or regenerated than in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps it was meant to be that way.
It is possibly my very own thorn of flesh that I do not understand why people pledge themselves to a particular doctrine and feel thus edified in doing so. I do not understand how Christians lump themselves into categories saying “these are my people, and these are not my people.” All I know is the sweet person of Jesus, the power of the gospel and the infallible word of God. I stand on it. It protects me. It is my guard, and shield from any schemes of the evil one…but anything outside of that, I do not know.
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