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Archive for December, 2019

50BD83DC-A164-4C4B-AD16-6DFDD72DBDC3It’s true. I am a cross between a “woke” Californian hippy and a deeply Jesus loven Holy Spirit lit southerner, that lives in cynical, jaded New England that had a reputation for not accepting either. This makes it very difficult for someone like me, to find my space and my people. What else is new though? I was always made to go against the grain. However this past year, this was actually a favorable lesson in learning about the only one whose judgement matters. Him.

2019 was the year I stopped apologizing for it. I no longer cared that I sang worship music to loud with the windows down, nor that I admittedly have a gift to talk to dead people. I no longer feel the need to define who I am by other people’s constructs on what a “good Christian” looks like, nor do I feel compelled to define myself as a bunch of checked boxes.
I am all of the above.
In 2019 I became brave. Unapologetically – radically brave. For me- knowing from a vision He has blessed me with-this is only the start.

2019 gifted me new eyes to see that I was drowning in a career that was toxic and no longer letting me grow. It gifted me new eyes knowing that in systems, all lives are replaceable, so I could no longer live my life for a system. I needed my life to be lived for Him. When I started to pray about this, God started fo open so many doors to confirm this was the journey that was meant for me in Him. Leaving a career that had steady income, benefits, retirement, and the summers off seemed incredibly stupid to some, but it literally saved my life.
My very vibrant soul was dying and I didn’t even know it until I left.
2019 I became free.

I let the Lord lead while I trusted. I opened up a business not knowing a thing on how to do that, and continue to learn. I  didn’t advertise, trusting He would send me the people He needed me to heal. I have never in my life felt more humble and more vulnerable. I was now letting the world see my giftings, that open many up to having lots of opinions on being “Christ like”. The Bible has hundreds of supernatural healings in it, we pray for them to happen all the time, but somehow humanness gets in the way when I tell people I do this for a living. Every single day I rely on Jesus to use me as a vessel. I am so blessed by this, and watching amazing things happen in people’s lives, including finding a relationship in Jesus. Yet my own church people seem to be the hardest group to convince of the radical Jesus I am encountering on a daily basis.

I keep telling myself this is ok because He has set me free to be brave. My ego doesn’t need to be stroked by my church people being in amazement on how He uses me. He uses me for the people that need Him.

My favorite story of 2019 about this was when a woman “randomly” found me on the internet (thank you Holy Spirit). She drove almost an hour to me and we had an instant connection. She sent her entire family to me, and I kidded I would end up in their Christmas card photo this year.  This beautiful Jesus loving human, one day sent me extra money she called “tithing”. Why? Because she saw first hand how Jesus is working through me and felt the desire to bless my business in His name. A beautiful gift of saying “I see you Aimee- being vulnerable and brave, keep going”.

And I did. I kept going. Over a hundred healings in 2019. Each and every one completely different. Every single one Jesus showed up. Every single one, I questioned if I was worthy or knew what I was doing. Every single one, the person left with a piece they didn’t come in with, and a flooding of His love and light through my palms. I know even at 1000 I will still question if I know what I am doing, because I eat the humble pie knowing, nothing of this is me. All of it is always HIM.

When I came back from Heaven as a kid I had no idea that His question before I came back to earth, “what have you done for your fellow man”, didn’t only mean a list of good deeds as a social worker. It meant how do you live your life in my name, while being so vulnerable it aches when you show up, but willing to give your all. This love is double sided.

So upon all the December’s I have ever lived on this earth as Aimee, I can tell you I have never reached one quite like this. One that my soul literally screams out praises of grateful heart. Even the 2019 heart that was hurt by judgements of others, lost friendships, heart ache, sickness, and so many other bad news days. Because I am now living my life filled to the brim in His greatness. Knowing, I can adore Him year round, every single day. Because I took a brave yes, I let Him open me to aching vulnerability, and my livelihood actually depends on Him meeting me where I am at.

2019 – you beautiful, Holy Spirit filled love of my life, Thank you for returning me to my best version. That is me living my life through Him and for Him. May I never forget the year I was gifted this abundance.

Brave and Free, I lead by His abundant love and grace.

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541654D1-DAFB-471D-AE0F-1AF1D5B09CED🎄Christmas music blaring on the radio … I was feeling JOY.
💚Then suddenly … it happened. The trigger that deflated the joy and made my eyes well up with grief.
A simple song the DJ played right after the Christmas cheer – Coldplay – Fix you. And I sobbed like it was that day all over again.
You know you can have post traumatic symptoms to trauma that you weren’t even actually IN but you felt?
My entire area of Connecticut can tell you this. Every year we try to seek joy in the season – every year we hold our breath to when the heavy silence of that day that changed our lives forever – sneaks in and breaks us again.
Lord have mercy it broke me driving that day/ I heard the song that was played to a tribute of the community that had literally palpable pain when you walked through it/ the tribute video that honored beautiful shockingly young lives lost as well as hero adults/ the video made in tribute of a town I live next door too and now work in.
Every year I wait to see what it will be that will trigger it. Every year is comes in like a storm and holds my heart.
Every year I ponder – what have we learned and done different?

We have locked up our schools like they are jails. We have practiced scary drills. We have lobbied for better common sense gun laws.
But do you know what the average parent sending their kid to school doesn’t see? ….
The enormity of mental illness happening without any resources.
The staff going into those schools that every day think about what they would do if this would happen again.
You know what the schools super security doesn’t protect us from? Those suffering from mental illness IN the building.
I arrived at a place where I felt I was doing more hurting then helping as a school social worker.
Not because my heart was off or I didn’t do great work …
But because our systems FAIL every single day.
From the very top of the government – down to the child in the public school classroom- we lack funding and adequate mental health resources. And my field of professionals are now quickly made into only working in crisis as a reactive agent – instead of a proactive one.
Not to mention as a parent who had some very trying years with a very sick mentally ill son – the only way I got him help was my own money (insurance wouldn’t cover it) and knowing my own rights. Many – TO MANY – families do not have this honor.

I hear the horror cry for the gun laws I DO.
But my friends – where is the battle cry for mental health resources?
Why aren’t we ANGRY and lobbying for that reform too?
If we are going to go all in when it comes to true change – not just bullet proof glass on the outside of our schools – we need to be doing the fighting in ALLLLLL the arenas.

I think about that day – and how my now 13 year old is alive simply because I chose to live in a different town and area that is only mere miles from those who didn’t. I look at my second grader – innocent and sweet- wondering how those babies felt that day.
And I honor my grieving heart for their families.

I send all three of my kids off to school everyday in FEAR but in faith they will return because … I know first hand the brokenness that is happening behind closed doors that the educators are not able to speak about.

We need mental health reform ASAP.
We need to save more babies.
We need to be outraged that funding isn’t available for our most vulnerable.

Our hearts will never be the same💚

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The Absence

E56B05A0-4850-4E1F-9DB6-132F98FFF308It’s taking me a long time …
Blood, sweat, and tears … crawling with skinned knees in exhaustion – to get to this place.
A place where I have the RIGHT to decide who receives my light.
My glorious, magnificent light- that was God given – and often times – stolen from the dark hearted.
I do not need to BE there just because it is the seemingly right thing to do.
I no longer have to pretend with a fake smile when someone has hurt me and continues on as if they hadn’t.
I do not have to put myself in emotional self injurious situations because it makes other feel better.

I no longer care what they think.
I am the owner of ME.

The world will move on in my absence.
While those who deserve, hold dear, and love my presence wholly, will grow beside me in light.

Dear friends that still struggle with your power within for others …
You no longer need to be the bigger person.
You no longer need to take it.
You no longer need to worry what others think.
You no longer need to force who you are to survive.

You hold the power of NO.
Use it.

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Beautifully Made ME

94215036-F535-49D8-8FD0-874D46F75BFEThe outside world looked upon me with jealous eyes, as I had no need to jump on a scale, nor a worry when I ate a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for dinner. They assumed I enjoyed my size 0, and that I must have worked hard for it. They assumed I had no issues dating at my size, or finding clothes that fit me correctly. What they didn’t know is for the life of me I couldn’t hide, or dress, that giant sized demon of vulnerability.

To often I felt bare boned raw when walking out of my apartment in New York City. When you have been a victim of abuse in the past, particularly one that involves your body being the enemy, a size zero is the very last thing you want to be.

My number one coping skill as a young person was emotional eating. It seemed like a luxury of mine to many, as I ate everything and gained nothing. Little did I know this was also setting me up for a life long struggle of seeking comfort more in food then in people. Food seemed to love me to the depths and the lengths, that I always loved people. The difference being, food never let me down then.

When I got married and moved to the suburbs, I noticed quickly that I had actually exercised in the city without a gym membership. Walking miles everywhere in heels while dragging groceries was surprisingly an easy way to stay fit. Here I thought my body was betraying me for not gaining, when really I practically fast paced walked a marathon daily. Suddenly, my eating hadn’t changed, but my habits did. I was driving instead of walking, and then my body started to show it.

When I got pregnant soon after, I assumed it was a free for all since I was eating for two. I also assumed, I would leave the hospital my pre-baby weight without a struggle. It sounds pretty naive of me at age twenty nine, but I truly thought this. Well, my first baby gave me close to seventy pounds extra. Honestly, ten of it was probably him, and the other sixty my massive food tween (because lets be honest I can’t call that a baby).

I sat there one day thinking about the fact that in a matter of two years I went from a size  0 not able to gain weight, to a postpartum size 22 body that wouldn’t stop gaining weight. This was maddening. Now I suddenly was the girl that nobody paid any mind to. Secretly, I sorta of enjoyed this, and felt protected. However, as I ran into so many people from my past so many started to either give me passive aggressive diet tips, or bluntly say “finally you are the bigger one”. I had lived my entire life of people wishing this upon me, with little understanding that I felt unsafe in that body they had envied.

Size 22 didn’t feel like me either. I quickly found myself lost in motherhood, and wearing yoga pants everyday. OH… and eating. I never forgot my ultimate love of my life, food. I started to not want to be in pictures, and avoiding seeing people that may think less of me now that I was, at society’s standards, obese.

I tried weight watchers and failed. This bummed me out because I was such an Oprah lover, I was always convinced if she could, I could. I tried Zumba, and taking walks. Yet, each and every time I went to the doctor she smiled and said, “You are still obese. What are you doing about it?” What was once easy to obtain in weight, was now seemingly impossible.

So I decided to be radical in bringing back the Aimee everyone felt comfortable around and loved the most. The first time I went to hypnosis I lost eighty pounds. Skinny Aimee made others refer to me as the “old me” and “looking so much better”. I’ll admit I loved being able to wear a bikini top again and that I could easily pick up a size and it fit without worrying about the brand. I’ll admit that I loved the compliments, and people seeing me again. What I didn’t love was starving myself to be that person.

You see, I had horrendous body dysmorphia. The world could see me look one way, and I would look in the mirror and couldn’t see it. I trusted the size 10 clothes and people to tell me. Yet, I could only see fat. As a therapist, I knew this wasn’t a good sign, and often is a tipping point for a simple diet into a full blown eating disorder.

I went in and out of hypnosis for years. It worked, even with body dysmorphia. I would gladly go through cycles of famine of only meat and veggies for four to six months, into the ability to eat a potatoes for a few months with it, and then back to famine. This past time I heard myself self to a friend, “Oh I can eat that in two years”. This triggered me. TWO YEARS. Why on earth am I ok with not enjoying a cone of ice cream for two years, JUST to be skinny. Why am I not choosing my body to be enough as is? Why am I not choosing living my life loving food, not in an addictive or controlled way, but in a joyful one? Would I even be alive in two years to enjoy the damn ice cream cone I had been waiting for?

I sat in prayer next to a friend of mine in October and decided it was time to unravel. I had done four months of famine (which by the way why on earth would anyone wanting to live life fully and present sign onto anything resembling that), and had’t had a lick of chocolate. My friend turned to me and offered me a mint chocolate pretzel, and I decided to take a chance on me.

You know who has control over her body? Self. Can I just go out on a limb and decide I know when enough is enough with food? Can I dare to love my size 12/14, without wishing I was made any different at this age? For God sakes, I turn forty-three next week, and somehow I let society dictate to me that my worth is that I stay a certain look as I once did at twenty two. Can I work out for strength and resilience, and not for body image issues? Can I just trust that if God has made my heart perfect, He has also made the vessel in which it is carried, perfect too?

So I ate that mint chocolate pretzel. I prayed away the need for me to be anyone other than thy self. I quickly learned, the best parts of me have never, and will never be, at surface value. The people that think this, had never been my people to begin with.

I let it go. In just one moment, I renowned myself, and trusted her. She can be a size 0-22, I do not care, as long as she has lived life fully loved.

The beautiful thing at this age is I have learned to be loved by people over food. I have learned how to feel safe. I have learned to be vulnerable with those that love me deep and wide. I have learned that I am no longer an image, but uniquely, and beautifully made ME.

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