There’s a time warp in everyone’s life. I guarantee you, if you’re over 21 and have left your parents’ home that there is a massive time warp between their home and yours. If you’re married, if you have kids, it is exponentially larger.
I always chuckle when we visit my in-laws because my husband’s time warp is even more obvious to me than my own. I can hear it in his voice as he explains his job as an Army officer to his dad. Underneath his adult tone of voice is the ten-year-old he used to be saying, “Aren’t you proud of me, Dad?”
My husband and I both went to college in the same town where his parents still live. Inevitably, we try to visit the familiar campus bar and our old classroom buildings. Inevitably, we feel old. On Sundays we accompany his parents to church and there we receive only slightly more adult versions of cheek-chucking and, “My how you’ve grown.”
Those are fun warps. It’s not too difficult to snap back to reality when we fly home and suddenly there’s my own laundry to do, cat pans to clean, bills to pay and meals to make. But there’s another time warp on my horizon and I admit, I’m nervous.
In 2006, we moved to a new duty station, Fort Benning, Georgia. The convulsions of change can easily wreak havoc on a fledgling recovery. I was only a few years out of the weeds with my eating disorder, still courting some behaviors, but clinging to a safe weight. In a new place, fear and loneliness sideswiped me; quiet literally I defaulted to all of my old anorexic behaviors.
Because I was still addicted to exercise as the one constant that I believed would keep me strong and thin and in control, I joined a running club. What better way to meet friends like me? These kind people didn’t know my history so they were unaware of my vulnerability.
Weekly they encouraged me, “You’re pretty fast, you should enter this race.”
“I’m sure you could do a marathon. Join us for a 20 mile training run tomorrow.”
Their admiration felt good. Their confidence that I was good at something and the fact that they considered me a friend, stoked the fire. I found myself running more and farther. Until the addiction, so well honed from years of compulsion, clicked.
“I can’t run less than…”
“I’m lazy if I don’t run faster than…”
“If I’m going to eat X, then I have to run at least this far.”
I nearly ended up at an inpatient treatment center for the third time. However, we moved at the end of 2008. My gracious, heavenly Father directed our steps toward a safe place for me and led me to a good counselor. The things that had inflamed my fears melted away.
But now, the Army is sending us back to Fort Benning, and I’m a little worried about the time warp between here and there. I don’t want to slide backward again.
But this time, I know my weaknesses, and I know Who is stronger.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:6-7