Over the years, I have found the old adage “Writing is therapeutic” to be true. From filling up a notebook with all my crazy ideas and plans; to writing deeply personal letters that never get sent; to the many iterations of my personal blog; writing has been cathartic and good for my soul. Being able to write brings healing.
This blog is called Rapha' (רָפָא). Rapha' is the root Biblical Hebrew word that means 'to heal'.
So why do I need healing?
I’m at a crossroads in my life and if I’m honest about it, I’m not happy where I am at. Now, to be clear here, I’m not dissatisfied with my wife and kids. Outside of my faith, they are my joy and have kept me going all these years. My personal cheer squad. I wouldn’t change that or them for the all the world.
However, this dissatisfaction has gone on for a long time. I have lost the best years of my life listening to lies. Lies that have cost my family the absolute best husband and dad that I could be. Lies that have cost my best years in serving the Lord – though I’m not dead yet! These lies were brought about by believing and absorbing the weight of both emotional and spiritual abuse from some church leaders and family. A crushing weight that often led me to question my worth, God’s love for me and lead me down the path of an “emotional break” – which at one point had me contemplating suicide. I am not at the point of self-harm anymore. I have lots to live for. However, the pain is still real and raw. It’s been a long journey back.
With my mental health being diminished, so too has my physical health. I stood on a set of scales the other day only to see the number at the highest its ever been. No wonder I have no energy for my family. No wonder I was diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. My body can’t sustain itself in this condition. This “letting myself go” is connected to my mental state – I essentially ate my feelings. I turned food and nourishment into a tool of self loathing and self abuse.
Changes need to be made.
This blog is an experiment in healing. It is a tool to keep me accountable and help me track my growth as things progress; both health-wise and as I continue in my career transition.
Most of the things that I write about will be done through the lens of my faith. To refocus my heart and to shift my outlook. I’m writing it for me – first, and then if anyone finds it encouraging or beneficial, then awesome. I realize that it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. I’m just happy to have an audience of one.
So what’s this blog going to look like?
With my previous blogs, I usually ‘bit off more than I can chew’ by setting some lofty and unattainable goals. The blog would usually crash pretty quickly and then see many a tumbleweed. This time around, however, its going to be kept simple. I am hoping to be consistent and try to blog three times a week. To help narrow my focus, I have chosen to blog on the following topics:
A Healthier Life (#AHealthierLife)
This could cover anything from my mental health, social life, spiritual health or physical well being. A place to document the growth opportunities arising from some of the daily challenges that I face in pursuing holistic (whole-listic) health.
I have already made one change – I joined a fitness/weight loss program to help me get back on track with my physical health. In 7 weeks, I have lost 32lbs and feel great.
As I said above, I want to refocus my heart and shift my outlook on life. Actually, I want to return to a place where my faith directs who I am and what I do in life. It’s been a sad reality that I have strayed from this over the past little while because of hurt.
Spending time in Scripture, gazing upon the beauty of Christ and marveling once again at the Gospel, is where I want to be. I also want to be a godly example to my children and build up my wife in faith. This topic may include a meditation on a section of Scripture or just sharing some of the awesome prayers from the early church fathers or Puritans.
Closely related to this is the desire to take a deeper look at theology, doctrine and the different facets of the Christian Life. I want to focus on some of the things that are very close to my heart – shepherding, justice, hospitality and the Gospel. Not just to fill my head with knowledge, but to encourage myself to live out my faith and glorify Jesus in all I do.
This might be in the form of a (slow-ish) book study. One of the first books that I want to blog through is called Contagious Holiness: Jesus' meals with sinners, by Craig L. Blomberg.
I picked this book because we live in a world where we as Christians forget Christ's example of how to love and treat others – even those who don't share the same worldview. We are actually pretty horrible at it, often acting like the Pharisees of old, who weaponized their faith and used it to tear people down.
That being said, I have always found it a life-changing and interesting exercise to see how Jesus treated people in the most humblest of settings. Around the 'table' is where he often revealed the Grace of God and his redemptive mission. My desire is to go back to that example of Jesus and encourage others to do so as well.
I love to cook. I love to learn how to make different dishes from other cultures. To be transported to another place through food. Cooking, at one point, was my thing to do; my hobby. I’m slowly returning to that love – I’m enrolling once again in cooking classes and experimenting on my family. There is something about sitting as a family (or church family or a group of friends) and having a meal together that points to something greater.
I’ll share some of my culinary adventures, mishaps and perhaps recipes.
For my career transition and associated career interests, I have chosen to focus on the following topics:
I think these are self-explanatory. Perhaps they will develop more over time.
That’s about it. I think this will help keep me focused on my goal. For more minor quips and opinions, they might just end up on my Mastodon feed.
Thanks for dropping by.