All right, it’s blog time. Let me start by saying, I AM NOT A BLOGGER. This is not my profession or my expertise. I am a mother, part time graphic designer, accidental business owner, and most importantly, I am an arrow carefully sharpened and hidden within the quiver of the Lord. (Isaiah 49:2) I go where He points, and I do my best to bring Truth with me. I don’t desire or expect the blog aspect of Sacred Arrow to become it’s own thing, and that is not my intention. Nor is my intention to endorse specific diets, routines, products or decisions for anyone else. I am not a counselor, a physician, or a fitness expert. I just want to share my story out of obedience in hopes that you would be encouraged, and I would be accountable.
Here goes nothing. Most of you know me a little bit by now. My name is Jess. I’m one of the founders of Sacred Arrow. I’m also a mother to four wonderful kids (three of whom are biological and homeschooled, and one who is with us through foster care and attends high school) I’ve been married to my wonderful husband, Allan, for almost ten years. (Yep, we're best friends.)
What you probably don’t know about me is that I have hypothyroidism and chronic widespread pain. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about five years ago, and the pain has been with me for as long as I can remember. Maybe since I was a teenager. Most of the time it is a dull ache in my shoulders and neck with tenderness in my arms and upper legs. Some days it is an open flame. A burning tightness that makes me feel like screaming at everyone who comes near me. Usually, I don’t.
This is important to know, because it is the very thing about myself that I have been too ashamed to deal with honestly. With myself. With my family. With the Lord. I have “dealt” with it by ignoring it, but I have not addressed the root. Why? It seems silly to live in pain when you can pursue wellness. But if you are burdened with shame and an entrenched belief that you are somehow deserving and that you brought this on yourself, well, then doing the work to be well is very, very hard.
This is my effort to let God love me. To love myself. To lift the burden of shame and face my weakness. It will be a lot of work. I probably would not be able to share this or to even realize it without the book Shame Interrupted by Edward Welch. It was recommended to me by my dear friend and co-founder Callie. She saw the hurt in me that I thought I masked so well. If you or a loved one is aching with shame, I do recommend it. It is not an easy read, and it is not a book to skim over quickly, but it is honest. And it is hopeful.
I am now seeing a Christian counselor twice a month, eating a clean anti-inflammatory diet, and starting today I’m meeting with a physical trainer. It’s not easy and some days it seems absurd (to spend this much energy on stupid, useless me?) but I am trying, and I am believing, and I am reading the Psalms.
“But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the Lord, and He answered me from his holy hill.” Psalm 3: 3-4
So, in this blog I’m going to share my experiences, prayers, confessions, successes and failures. If you’re looking for advice, well, maybe check the comments, because I probably won’t have any.