I’ve never been good at juggling. I like to pretend I am…I throw a couple of my kids plastic balls into the air from one hand to the other. It fools and amazes my kids but it’s not real juggling. And I like to watch in mesmerized awe when a friend picks up a few random objects and tosses them around as a party trick…I study his actions and try to mimic them but my hands can’t seem to move quickly enough.
But juggling my life, now that is a different story…I at least use to be good at that. Throw as many challenges my way and I could have wrangled them all in a calm display of theatrical elegance. Sports…got it! Academics…got it! Family…Church…Friends…got it…got it…and got it! But I failed to see it was merely practice for the real thing. When it came to the performance I choked and dropped it all.
After my freshman year of college I started to see the bigger picture and instead of embracing it and moving forward I became self-focused and overwhelmed. I was getting C’s on history tests and English papers, I had a tutor in math and I failed a Literature quiz…and the frustrating part was that I was really trying. One by one the balls began to fall.
“I can’t hang out tonight, I have to study,”
“I’m not going to church today, I’m just too tired.”
“I don’t think I can be in any clubs right now. I feel overwhelmed as it is.”
And then it all came crashing down. And the way I dealt with it was not to pick any of it back up and start again, but to chuck it all and hide in the corner. I skipped meals and spent too much time in the gym. I covered over the truth and hid from my friends. I counted calories like my entire existence relied on it and then punished myself when I couldn’t keep up. Whatever semblance of order I once had, was shattered to pieces by my new lifestyle. My new goal was not to achieve anything but simply to survive.
An eating disorder changes your whole perspective on life…and six years of it completely changes who you are. I don’t think the same as I use to. I don’t feel the same as before. I would like to say that it drove me to give everything over to God. I would like to be able to show something amazing from it. But right now as I sit in my living room, I am still trying to juggle and I feel even less equipped than I did before. I want to be an organized mom who does creative and educational things with my kids. I want to be an author/singer/songwriter who completely changes the world with what I have to say. I want to change the world with all my loving acts of service and know my bible well and be a designated prayer warrior and a leader in my church. I fail to see that is what got me into the mess to begin with….trying to juggle too many balls and not even knowing how to juggle a few.
It is the definition of insanity…to go about life in the same way that failed to work the first time. I’m not an expert juggler because I never tried to learn. I just wanted to magically know how to do it without the work of being taught. God created the world, planned all of history and holds the planets in his hands…wouldn’t He be the best place to go if I wanted to learn to manage my life? I think He probably knows a bit about keeping things together. But practically speaking, the more balls you add the harder it is to keep them up. Shouldn’t I attempt a few and see how I do instead of taking on the whole world? What’s most important? What does God want me to do? In what areas have I actually been gifted?…Have those questions ever entered my mind? That would be a good place to start….