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Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid: Or the Story of My Year So Far

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It’s halfway through April and I’ve still yet to find what my personal theme for this year is going to be. I’m not too worried because I’m sure when I figure out, it’ll make complete sense. That being said, I’m still feeling that the year of “The Impossible Girl” is still lingering over me.

It’s funny because I’m still seeing God working in my life 100% in ways that I did think were impossible in the last few years. It’s kind of freaky to go back and read journal entries and see how much my life has changed in ways that I can only attribute to God working in my life.

One of the things I’ve been asking God to be more of this year is to be more clear to me. When things get murky and not so clear, I tend to get confused and then I wallow in it for a long time. I’ll get stuck trying to figure out details and I just don’t move on. It’s a very horrible feeling and it constantly makes me feel like I’m not trusting God enough because it’s my fault and that I’m doing something wrong.

But weirdly enough this year, I feel like God’s been making things pretty clear in my life almost to the point of bluntness but with a much kinder approach. It’s been kind of cool though. Doors are either closing for good or they’re not even opening at all. This is somewhat nice because it means I can instead focus on other things instead of just standing wondering if I should keep trying to work on that door.

I’ve never been a big fan of people telling me that when God closes a door he opens a window. Because this line from “29/31” by Garfunkel and Oates sums it up perfectly: “You realize that’s a smaller opening, right? You used to be able to walk out the front door and now you have to climb out some slightly ajar window somewhere, possibly falling five stories to your death. That is NOT an upgrade.”

But at the same time, I feel like the doors that have been closing in my life were pretty big things in my past that I needed to let go. These were circumstances where I wasn’t trusting God and was taking them by my own hands and sometimes they ended up working positive and sometimes they didn’t. Either way, in the past month I’ve been seeing them shut one by one, some by my choice, others have definitely caught me off guard at the sudden closure. It’s definitely showing me that I’m not the one in control here. It’s kind of a bittersweet feeling and yet….

Does it mean God’s closing the doors just to close them? Is He shutting all of them down because I need to move away from what I once held important in the past?  Or does it mean it’s because He has something planned even better for me? He could be doing either. Again the moral of this story is, gah. I just have to trust Him. You think by now I’d be used to this plan/idea but like I said we all know I’m a late bloomer.

I’m also trying to become more assertive in what I want. Instead of just passively waiting, I’m more actively waiting. This means praying first and seeing if this is something I feel God wants for me and then instead of just waiting for things to magically happen, I go for it. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t. I don’t have to sit around getting emotionally invested wondering what might have been.

Does this mean I’m not waiting on God to work in my life? Far from it. I’m still 100% waiting on God to work in my life. I know fully well that He is in control of everything.

I’ll just say right now there’s a small situation in my life that seems SUPER CRAZY INSANE impossible. Almost to the point of I FEEL REALLY STUPID EVEN THINKING ABOUT IT AND HOW I AM VERY SUBTLY MENTIONING IT ON HERE. I’m not going to explain it because really it’s THE MOST ABSURD THING EVER AND THIS MAY BE THE ONLY TIME I EVER TALK ABOUT IT. And yet….I know fully well that God can make the impossible happen. All I can do right is pray that He continues to show me what He wants and to put what He desires into my heart as well. And if it’s not meant to be that He makes it super clear so that I know.

Things may not turn out like I wanted or planned (though it still could) but I know that my God will always come through. Always.

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The Incident at the Stoplight

So hi, how are you doing? I’ve been doing great. I honestly have. Life’s been pretty good for the past two months and I’ve been in a good place, a place I have not been in…hmm gosh, maybe 20 years? So yeah, it’s been good and I’ve been happy with myself. I’ve been feeling at peace, it’s been calm, and I’ve been wonderfully stress and anxiety free.

And then I happened to be driving home from a delightful beer tasting one night when I pulled up at stoplight and saw something I was not expecting to see.

Basically listen (or read the lyrics) to this song (just genderswap all the pronouns) and this is what happened:

It was like a punch in the stomach AND the face all at the same time.

Immediately all that peace and calm and happiness I’d been having recently? All erased. Hello stress and anxiety. Because guess what, you’ve been replaced and forgotten about. What?! Why?????

God, why did you have this happen? I could have been perfectly fine not having this incident happen. Doors have already been closed. It’s not like this was a “let’s sweep this under the rug and pretend it doesn’t exist” type of situation. This was a “I’m done and I’m not looking back and I’ve accepted and am at peace with it all” type of situation. Things were going well. Why did you bring along this bump in the road?

If I had just stayed a bit longer or left earlier from the tasting, I would have missed this incident completely. Or had I not switched lanes mere seconds before. Or why did I choose to turn my head at that particular moment? There are so many factors that could have been changed so this whole thing could have been avoided and I would have driven away and never known what was near me.

Was this a test? Are you trying to see how I would react? Are you trying to humble me? I was freaking out because I thought I was going to be ok and instead now I’m feeling vulnerable and slightly emotional.

This all went through my head in the span of a minute. This was basically me:

But then I also have to look back and see what else happened that day.

I could have faced this completely alone. This could have been a very bad situation for me where I could have completely regressed. Kind of like a relapse after you’ve been clean for a while. Not that I’m personally comparing myself to a recovering addict but you get my drift.

Instead, directly prior to this happening, I had a really good conversation about related topics with a good friend that made me see that I was not alone in how I felt. There was also the realization that it’s not as easy as other people make it out to be. Part of me wonders if perhaps God was trying to humble me a little.

Timing was a factor because it allowed me to not have to face it alone immediately after and instead was able to be talked through the situation with a friend and this gave me time to calm down. I was able to understand why I was having these feelings and that it was ok for me to and no, there wasn’t something wrong with me at all.

Then instead of having to sit alone and dwell on it all night by myself listening to emo music all night, plans had already been made unexpectedly in advance for that night with yet ANOTHER friend. This allowed me to be able to (mostly) forget the entire incident all night and instead have a good time. What are the odds of that?

While I can question God and ask why did He allow this to happen and what was the purpose of all this, at the same time I can also see Him working in this situation. Basically, it was like He knew this was going to happen but He always wanted to show me that He also cared about me to bless me with people before and afterwards. It was like, He was showing me, You may not have gotten the love you wanted, but look how much I still love you. I also did find myself praying which is probably the reaction I needed to do anyways.

So yeah, I’m doing ok. I’m doing good. To quote Good Charlotte: “Everything’s gonna be alright now. Everything’s gonna be alright.”

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Enough. Enough Now.

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I’ve talked a lot on this blog (as well as outside of it) about having to trust God when things seem impossible. About how I’ve been spending a lot of time waiting on God to see if what He promises will come true. How I’ve walked away from doors, leaving them open but turning my back on them and not looking back though still hoping.

Well the time has finally come to close a particular door.loveactually2

I’m being rather vague about this because it doesn’t need to be blasted in detail on the internet though if you know me in person you’ll probably have figured out what it is by now. But the actual reason for prompting this post really doesn’t matter. It’s what I learned from this entire experience that does.

I have probably mentioned this already so forgive me if I’m just repeating myself. When I share how I feel with someone I’m close to, I’m very open with how I feel because I trust you and I feel that you are a safe person for me to share what is going on in my life. I will not just spill my guts out to just any person. I’m actually more guarded with my life than you’d think. But at the same time, even as I’m talking to you, I’m also thinking I really don’t want you judging me. I just want you to listen.loveactually3

For the record I know that there are some of you who it just in your nature to want to give out advice. I know that you totally mean well when you do this. It’s just that because I know you’re already forming in your mind what you thought I should have done instead or how I really should feel or have I thought about it from the other point of view, it makes me having conversations with myself WHILE I’m talking to you. I’m doing it RIGHT NOW in fact because I know what the opposition to my decision will say. Plus I also realize things that I shouldn’t have done. But isn’t that part of knowing you’ve grown up?

That being said, it’s weird how there are certain situations you can be in where even though you know you’re not being selfish, but that’s how it’s going to come across. But you have to take care of yourself first because if you’re not at your best, how can you expect to make others better? If I truly want to love others as I love myself, I have to love myself first. And taking care of me means loving myself so that I can love and take care of others properly.

I’m still not sure why all this happened. It wasn’t part of the plan. If I had had my way, I would have avoided everything regarding this and never gotten involved. But God had other plans. And maybe one day I’ll get to ask him why. I’m still not sure if there was any good in for me throughout all this. I want to believe that there was good in it for others because surely something beautiful came out of all this mess.

I’ve cried a lot over the last three years. I feel like that’s enough tears that needs to be shed. I know that it’s time to move forward and stop looking back.

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It’s time for me to finally close the door. To not leave it hanging open just in case. For me to walk away and never turn back and look. And know that everything is going to be ok. To know that I’m not going to lose my faith in God over this. That even though I may question and briefly doubt that I ultimately know that He still will keep his promises. I shall not be afraid.

I wrote this in my journal about 2 and a half years ago. I still feel it’s relevant today.

Right now I’m being pretty strong about this but I know also that days will come when I am going to feel really weak and emotional.  I am going to feel like I’m not good enough or that something is wrong with me.  I wish I could say that I am stronger than all that but I know that I am human and the temptation to listen to those lies is going to be really strong.  It’s going to hurt like hell……  Right now I want to say that I can deal with it and be strong and keep going.  But really what will probably happen is that I will cry, curse things, and be miserable.  What I’m hoping is that God will give me strength, wisdom, clarity, and peace throughout all this. I know that He wants me to wait.  I know that he wants me to trust in Him.  I know that I shouldn’t be letting my emotions control me..

The rational side in me wants all this. God has told me that if I trust in Him, the outcome will be good. Now I don’t know what the outcome is. I have no idea WHEN it is either.  I know that it is up to you Lord and you make all things work together for our good.  I think that is pretty much the story here.

So we’re good here? We’re good.

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Help-Rejecting Complaining (or I like being miserable because it gets me attention!)

I was on Twitter the other day (fine, I’m on Twitter every day) and I saw a status from someone where they seemed to be complaining about something. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this person jokingly complain about this situation. It’s something they’ve brought up many times over several YEARS (though to be fair, I only started noticing it a few months ago). And yet when solutions were offered, the person either rejected or ignored them.

It can be frustrating from the other end to keep seeing this happen. You think surely if someone is that unhappy or irritated with the current situation then wouldn’t you want a solution?  Why do you want to stay grumpy and complain all the time? I mean why keep bringing it up especially after someone gave you a possible out to the solution?

It baffles me trying to figure out why anyone would want to live like this. Am I the weird one who doesn’t want to be like this? Because I know for me, when I do vent or legitimately complain to someone, I try to make sure that 1) I’ve exhausted all resources I can to find a solution, 2) unless it’s something that can’t be fixed, I try not to keep bringing it up and 3) I don’t let the person who offered me the solution see me keep complaining because I don’t want to hurt their feelings.

So I took to Google to help me find out the reason why. It took me several attempts to come up with the right combination of words.

A “help-rejecting complainer” complains as a way to seek help and support, but then rejects any help that’s offered. Whenever anyone tries to make a constructive suggestion
– “Why don’t you try…?” or “Could you…?” — the help-rejecter insists that the advice is useless. In fact, help-rejecting complainers sometimes seem proud to be beyond help. http://www.gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2011/01/assay-a-useful-term-the-help-rejecting-complainer-why-dont-you-try-no-that-wont-help/

After doing more research, it seems that people do this because they get attention. And social media is the best place to for this to thrive. Because now you have the entire world to listen to you.

And in the scenario I described, it makes sense. I don’t know if the person thrives on the attention they get from these joking complaints, but obviously they want to share it with the world if they are posting it on Twitter. I guess I just notice it more because it hits too close at home when I did offer a possible solution only to have it ignored/turned down. And every time I see a complaint/comment related to this, I wonder if they realize I can see this and just don’t care that it feels like a slap in my face or if they never connected the two together and are completely clueless. I don’t understand people.

For most people, they would say just ignore them or block them. Don’t let it bother you if it doesn’t have to. And yes, I realize that I do have that choice. And it may come to that eventually. There’s not really any emotional ties making me have to stay connected to them. They may or may not even notice that I’ve disappeared. When I put it like that, it seems like a no-brainer right?

I think at least for me, I just want to know why. I want to understand why you keep complaining, why you rejected the help, or at the very least or why do want to keep publicly flaunting it where you know I’ll see it. I want to help. But sometimes help isn’t wanted and you need to just let go and walk away from someone who is either that toxic or just plain clueless.

There’s a difference between needing to vent once or having really big struggles that you’re trying to work through. It’s another to just keep complaining for attention’s sake.

And this is the last time you’ll hear me publicly complain about this 🙂

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Not a Worry in the World?

I talk a lot about my faith. I talk a lot about it on my blog. I talk a lot about it in person. It’s something I’m not ashamed of. I am considerate of other people and I know when I should and shouldn’t talk about it. But as it’s a part of my life, I am open about it.

However I also worry a lot. In college my AIM screen name was “I Worry Easily.” I have a lot of anxiety in my life because I keep stressing out about certain things. Actually, it’s really one thing I worry about. The rest of my life, I’m quite grounded and stable, and trust God completely with it. I know that my friends get tired of me doing this because it seems to become a repeat scenario in my life. A situation will arise and I gain confidence, become assertive, and get my hopes semi-up (never too high up because I don’t want to crash really hard) only to find out that it doesn’t come through. And I am left in a state of limbo which leaves me in panic mode. I start coming down on myself, become slightly apathetic, and feel the constant need to get advice from everyone to figure out what to do next.

I’ve been realizing that I have gotten so much advice and opinions from so many people over the past few years. Not because I can’t think for myself or that I constantly need validation. But sometimes I just want to confirm that I’m making the right decision or that I’m not missing out on something that is so obvious but yet I’m still missing it. I think I worry so much about making mistakes that I did in the past, that I want to verify that I AM doing things correctly and I’m not an idiot. I trust my own judgment but at the same time I do want some validity. Basically what am I doing wrong, what is wrong with me, why is everyone else able to handle this but I cannot, what can I do to change in a constructive way that isn’t compromising myself?

But ultimately a lot of that advice is also speculation from people because none of us know the true and final answer. And sometimes I think that even when I do get the answer that I feel like I have been wanting/needing to hear, it still won’t be enough. I want to know WHY and WHAT else could I have done or HOW I could have changed the situation or WHEN would there have been a better time. Pet peeve: when I spend time worrying because of someone else and they don’t have a clue in the world of the worry they have caused. Oh to be so bliss filled and carefree without a worry in the world.

One of my friends, who doesn’t share my faith but has known me for over 10 years, called me out on this the other day. Over the course of those years, he’s seen my life go up and down and knows of the struggles and issues that’s been going on in life. So even though we don’t agree on everything, I feel he’s been a good observer of how I’ve changed and how some things stay the same. During a conversation the other day he said:

For a person with your particular faith you worry too much. You can’t put your faith in God and be a worrisome person. It’s contradictory. I’m the last person qualified to check someone’s faith. But here’s the thing. Aren’t Christians not supposed to worry? Through Christ all is possible and the Lord working mysterious ways and all?

I wasn’t offended at all by what he said to me. In fact, I thanked him for it. Because he made me realize that once again I’m not walking the talk I keep talking.

I claim to have strong faith in God. But it’s not just a claim. I truly believe. But yeah, why do I just not trust that God will take care of it all, and regardless of the outcome that I should just have faith that he has what’s best for me. I’m fully aware of all the verses in the Bible about not worrying. I know what Jesus says about it. And yet I can’t stop myself from worrying.

And I’m going to be brutally honest right now. I don’t know why I can’t stop. I’m not trying to be bleak or negative. I just don’t know. This seems like a cycle that just keeps repeating itself. I worry, I trust, I let go, I see God work in my life only to have a new circumstance come up and I repeat that cycle. Except my worry periods last longer than the others. And even with constant prayer, reading Scripture, and just giving it over to God, I cannot seem to stop. I talk to people until I realize they are tired of hearing about it. I journal til I fill up pages and pages with my thoughts that I can’t seem to escape.

Just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I have it all together. And I most definitely don’t. I feel very vulnerable admitting this. We always want to look like we have it all together. Anyone reading this blog is probably hiding something that they are struggling with in an attempt to NOT look like they don’t have it all together. And maybe there ARE a few of you who really don’t have a worry in the world. Either way I envy you (yet another not a being a good Christian trait). I have the world’s most horrible poker face and I wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m risking the fact that you are going to read this and think I have no confidence (which I actually do have a lot of) or that I’m over emotional (that’s not the case either).

I’m asking for your advice here. Can you honestly say that if you are a believer you don’t worry about things? If so, how do you not worry? Do you just accept whatever comes your way? Do you prepare for disappointment or do you just have hope and deal with whatever the circumstances are? How do you not let it overtake you? How do you hide it? Do you just ignore it? Do you just stay busy so it doesn’t enter your mind? Do you get annoyed when someone else is worried over things you don’t think need to be worried about? Do you dismiss other people’s worries? How do you have constant trust and faith ALL the time?

I’m being serious when I’m asking all these things. Because while I’m not going to hide the fact that I am going to have these anxiety and worrisome moments, obviously I am doing something wrong if it keeps happening over and over again.  I know that what ends up happening is we look back and wonder why we worried so much. What I want to do is just have to wonder because I never worried in the first place. I want to get to that place. And for ever person that has told me to just not worry, PLEASE tell me how you don’t worry. I honestly want to know. I’m exhausted from all this.

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2013: It was the best of times, It was the worst of times

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This week, my posts will be taking a look back at 2013 and looking forward to 2014. Monday’s post was about all my firsts for 2013 while Friday’s post will be about how geeky 2013 was for me.

I made my New Year’s Resolutions for 2013 in a ski mountain resort in western Maryland where 5 of my closest friends and I had spent the past few days enjoying winter activities (or for me falling continuously down a mountain). My New Years Resolutions for 2013 were:

  1. Go out of my comfort zone more
  2. Read at least 200 books this year
  3. Be more awesome

It’s safe to say I did all three of them. I’ve briefly talked about #1 on Monday. We’ll talk more about #2 on Friday.

2012 had been a really good year for me. It’s one of the few times in my life when I can honestly say I was happy for almost the entire year. 2011 had been such a crap-shoot year that 2012 was such a wonderful blessing in how awesome it ended up being. Sure, there was that one month that sucked really bad but other than that, it was one of the best years of my life. (Although when I look back at that crappy month, there may have been something good that came out of it, but only time will tell.) And I had hoped that 2013 would be the same way.

But to be honest, 2013 didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. There were so many ups and downs this past year that I’m surprised I didn’t throw up from having motion sickness. Then again, how many times can one really say they got everything they wanted? Still, overall I would have to say it was a rather good year. A solid B+.

I’m not going to go over EVERYTHING that happened this year. This is already a long entry as it is and doing that would make it a LONG LONG LONG blog post which you don’t want to read and honestly I don’t want to write.

I turned 30. It wasn’t so bad. I celebrated twice with my best friends. It was quite awesome.

I started paper journaling for the first time in many years. I talked about it in an earlier post but since I started writing in actual journals this year, I’ve filled up seven journals. Writing in them has been very therapeutic as it helps to keep the initial emotional outburst from not being put on social media. Which that eventually led to the creation of this blog. For which I’m really enjoying writing and I hope you’ve been enjoying reading.

And in case you wanted to know, these are the top most-read posts of this year (and basically since this blog started):

  1. The Girl Who Waited
  2. Trusting God When Things Seem Impossible
  3. The Elephant in the Room
  4. Silence is Golden…or Is It?
  5. It Comes in Pints?!

I lost my job in March and was unemployed for almost seven months. That was a very rough time for me. A deer hit my car during those months causing the car to be totaled and forcing me to buy a new car. It was absolutely rotten timing. But even through all the frustration and disappointments of job searching, interviews, and lack of funds coming in, I knew that God was going to provide and protect me throughout the entire process. And I KNEW he was going to give me a new job before the end of the year. Even though there were other parts of my life I was freaking out over, I always remained confident and at peace about my job situation.

Like I said on Monday, I had a lot of firsts. And I’m really proud at how many of them there were. I’ll just state this again, I’m a completely different person now than I was just a few years ago. And I’m really happy at how far along I progressed in 2013.

2013 was the first year of being completely single in almost a decade. Well, maybe not emotionally single for part of the year.  But God has finally closed doors on where they needed to be closed and in His timing, new ones will open.

When 2013 started there was something I wanted to happen this year. It was something I prayed about constantly, not that God would MAKE it happen but for Him to just guide me throughout the entire year to either prepare me for it or prepare me to not have it. I was told by a friend “Make sure you don’t put God in a box. Make sure you’re not telling him that he has to do things a certain way before you proceed.” Good advice.

My faith has increasingly grown throughout this year. Through all the ups and downs, through my frustrations and struggles, through the good times and the bad, I’ve kept turning to God through it all. And He’s never left me or forsaken me. He’s brought people in my life to help me get through the not so fun times. He protected me from any bodily injury when a deer hit me and totaled my car. He’s given me clarity and wisdom to get through all these times. And even when I still don’t understand why things happened the way they do, I’m trusting that He knows why.

As I stated above, my most read post this year is “The Girl Who Waited”. And that’s how I’ve seen myself this year. Last year I was “The Girl on Fire”, this year I was the girl who waited. I feel right now that’s what God wants me to continue being. Instead of rushing to make things happen immediately, I waited on a lot of things this year. Everything I waited on didn’t always happen the way I wanted it to but God has shown me wisdom throughout the waiting. I’m not saying I’ve mastered patience (far from it!) but I know God’s been walking with me throughout all this wait. And I feel that at this very moment, he wants me to wait just a little bit more.

Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” (Habakkuk 2:2-3)

I don’t know what 2014 is going bring into my life. There is a lot of uncertainty but there’s also a clean, fresh slate. I learned a lot of lessons in 2013. The goal for 2014 is to learn from those lessons. I approach this new year with hope. Yes, it could be awful. Yes, the world could end this year. Yes, there is a chance I will look at a bow and arrow and still wonder how to make it work. But there is also the chance that things could be really good for me this year. And Lord willing, I’ll be ready for whatever happens and that He will be with me throughout every step of the way.

So, 2014? BRING. IT. ON. Challenge accepted.

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(561) Days of [Insert Failed Relationship of Choice Here]

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“Some people are meant to fall in love with each other but not meant to be together.”

Boy meets girl. Boy falls for girl. Girl tells boy she doesn’t want a relationship. Boy says it’s ok, he can handle it. Boy and girl become this weird kinda sorta no one is not sure what to make of it relationship that’s not an official relationship.  Boy falls in love with girl. Girl decides she wants to back away because to her it was never a relationship, needs space, and disappears. Boy gets confused. Boy seeks advice. Time passes. Boy meets up with girl again. Boy thinks he has a chance. Boy finds out girl is engaged. Boy goes into depression. Time passes. Boy refinds his passion and himself. Boy starts to move on in his life. Boy sees girl one last time. Girl tells boy she found love, just not with him. Boy hurts one last time. Boy realizes she’s right and he will be ok. Boy leaves older, wiser, and smarter about relationships. Boy then meets new girl…

No I did not just tell you about myself and genderswapped all the characters. (Though it’s a familiar story…) What you just read is a very simplistic plot of one of my favorite movies (500) Days of Summer. (Props again to @theharmonyguy for making me watch this.) Why is it one of my favorites? Because as I just said, it’s horribly relatable.  Almost everyone can usually identify with the two main characters, Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer (Zooey Deschenel).

The movie is told in a nonlinear format, which initially can be confusing and if you are the type of person who needs to have their story told in order, well you’re not going to like it. I personally really like it here because it gives the viewer a chance to view the rise and fall of a relationship perhaps in the way you wish you could have viewed yours.

“Did you ever do this, you think back on all the times you’ve had with someone and you just replay it in your head over and over again and you look for those first signs of trouble?”

When I first saw the movie, I was wearing my JGL glasses and was like poor Tom! Summer is a horrible person! Who wouldn’t want him? Then after multiple rewatchings, I soon realized that while I am still a Tom, he’s not perfect and he has MANY flaws. I think the problem stems because he is played by JGL who is insanely likeable is so many ways that I will not go into right now. And I think the audience is focused more on that vs the character itself.

These are my thoughts. Tom is a romantic who is so intent on finding the myth of “the one”. Why shouldn’t he be, when in all aspects of our society and culture we’ve made finding our soul mate the holy grail of everything? When he finds Summer, he falls head over heels in love with her, and just disregards everything else, including the fact that she says that she does not want to be in a relationship now. I kinda now feel like he set himself up for it. He probably should have asked himself “Am I in love with this person or am I in love with the idea of this person?”

It probably didn’t help that they ended up sleeping together which most likely made Tom feel even more connected with Summer. This is why it’s good to learn to be intentional up front and realize that if the person doesn’t want what you want, it probably won’t work. At the same time, sometimes you can’t help who you have feelings for no matter how much you guard your heart. And sometimes you really care about someone and when you realize that the other person doesn’t want you, it is painful. The reality vs expectations montage is exactly what I think everyone goes through.

The funny thing is I’ve had discussions with friends over who’s at fault for what happened in the movie. Like I said, it mostly comes from people relating to either character. The Toms will say Summer because she kept leading him on, mainly due to the scene at the wedding when she doesn’t tell Tom she’s engaged. The Summers say it’s Tom because he knew what he was getting into after she told him. Personally I do think both are at fault. Summer could have been more insistent from the beginning and I know she tried to make it work with Tom and she couldn’t. There’s no really right or wrong answer. Because this happens so many time in real life, it’s a painful way to visually see how a relationship doesn’t go the way it was hopefully supposed to.

There are so many freaking wonderful quotes in the movie (as I have sprinkled throughout this post) that make me feel that the script just needs to “STOP. JUST STOP TALKING ABOUT ME.”

“A girl and a guy can be friends, but maybe at one point or another they will fall for each other. Maybe temporarily, maybe at the wrong time, maybe too late, or maybe forever.”

“Just because she likes the same bizarre crap you do doesn’t mean she’s your soul mate.”

“Look, I know you think she was the one but I didn’t. Now I think you just remember the good stuff. Next time you look back, I really think you should look again.”

The final scene with Tom and Summer on the bench kinda kills me a little every time I watch it. When Summer tells him that she could have never really loved him and he looks away and you see the pain in his face, it’s like a stab to my heart every time. The whole bench scene can be uncomfortable to watch if you’ve been there (“You don’t want to be named as someone’s girlfriend but now you’re someone’s wife?”) but at the same time, it’s rather reassuring to know that you are NOT the only one that’s been in that situation. (Quality is kinda bad on the video below)

“I just…I just woke up one day and I knew.

Knew what?

“….What I was never sure of with you.”

Let’s put it this way. This is not a movie with a happy ending for this couple. They didn’t end up together the way they thought they were going to. There is a solid chance that Tom didn’t learn a lesson at all and will go about with the new girl in the same way that he and Summer acted. And I’m also hoping that the movie makers aren’t saying that Tom can’t be fully happy unless he has someone else in his life. But at the same time, this movie is a really good example of how you can get really swept up in a relationship, put your heart and soul into something that you really want, only to fall down HARD when it doesn’t turn out the way you want.

This can be one of the most uncomfortable movies to watch and at the same time, it’s therapeutic as well. You realize that the hurt will go away, you will have learned lessons from that relationship, and you can have the beauty of hope in a new one. All part of growing up and living life.

I think it would be interesting to watch this movie from the Summer perspective but it’s not worth having to go through the personal experience for it. I also wonder how it would be if the roles were reversed and Tom’s character was a girl and Summer’s the guy. Would the audience still relate to the “Tom character” as well? Or would they think because it was a female, she was just too emotional and all that? And if the male “Summer character” is more of a jerk for stringing “Tom along? Interesting points to ponder.

The other thing I love about this movie is the so excellent soundtrack. I borrow this CD from the library all the time (yes I know I could just buy or rip the songs but I don’t) and it’s constantly playing in the car because of how good it is. While every song is good, the two that stand out the most for me are “There is a Light That Never Goes Out” by The Smiths and “She’s Got You High” by Mumm-ra. Just go listen to it. I can’t fully describe the awesomeness of those songs

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Sigh. Yep.

0

In Time….This is The End

Oh brother I can’t, I can’t get through
I’ve been trying hard to reach you, cause I don’t know what to do
Oh brother I can’t believe it’s true
I’m so scared about the future and I wanna talk to you
Oh I wanna talk to you

– “Talk” by Coldplay

As I’ve grown older, my relationships with my friends have become one of the most important thing in my life. I didn’t have very many close friends growing up. I had a few but they didn’t last long or I was in part of a bigger group but never had a best friend like others did. Now as I’ve reached 30, I’ve found that I’d rather have a smaller group of very close friends that I can grow with in life as we all share experiences together. And one of the hardest thing about this is when one of those friends decides that they want the friendship to be over, and you aren’t ready for it.

It’s extremely tough and painful to accept the fact of when a friendship is over. It can be akin to a breakup but I think that losing a friendship is even worse. Boyfriends/girlfriends come and go, heck husbands and wives sometimes even. But losing a good and very close friend is harder because when you’ve built up that relationship, they can be very difficult to replace. And you may not even want to replace them…we’re not back in middle school anymore trading friends in cliques.

The worst feeling I think is that it can feel like all the years of your friendship now feel like a waste. Sure, you have good memories. Yes there were happy times. But when the friendship just dies, it feels like all the time, energy, effort…everything you put into the relationship feels like it was a waste. Especially when you can’t figure out what you did wrong.  If you had closure then you could put it behind you and walk away. But when you don’t know, it hurts. Instead of answers, you’re just left with silence. And sometimes you didn’t do anything wrong at all.There are some people who just aren’t good with closing things out. They don’t want to deal with messy so they just disappear and hope that you will eventually get the hint. It sucks like hell when that happens in a breakup, but when it happens in a friendship, it can be even worse. When your repeated attempts to figure out what happened don’t get reciprocated, you’re left with the feeling that the other person didn’t care as much as you did.

Sometimes you won’t ever get that closure. And you have to deal with it and move on. For me, lots of prayer has been and will continue to take place. I feel like there’s an empty spot in my life/heart right now. Not to sound all “Christian-y” but I know that God will fill it back soon. Whether that’s with other things, other people, or even God himself, I know that the gap in my heart won’t stay open and vulnerable forever. I wonder sometimes why God brings people into our lives only to take them away because it seems like it was a waste of time on everyone’s part. But ultimately God has his reasons and even though I don’t know why all this happened this way, someday I know I will understand.

I love how God directs me to what he wants me to know are his words that I need to read. I found this passage in Psalms one day during a particularly rough day. I have probably read it many times before and just glanced over it. But on that day, God knew that I needed to read it and all of a sudden it described exactly how I felt. I cannot tell you how perfectly this passage fit me at the time. I remember crying when I read it because it was as if David had written the passage about me. However, it was also comforting in the fact that I knew God had led me to read this. And then it gave me hope as well as to what to place my faith and trust in.

Psalm 55: 1-2, 4-8, 12-17, 20-22; 23b

Listen to my prayer, O God,
do not ignore my plea;
hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me
and I am distraught

My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen on me.
Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
I would flee far away
and stay in the desert
I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.”

If an enemy were insulting me,
I could endure it;
if a foe were rising against me,
I could hide.
But it is you, a man like myself,
my companion, my close friend,
with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
at the house of God,
as we walked about
among the worshipers.

As for me, I call to God,
and the Lord saves me.
Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.

My companion attacks his friends;
he violates his covenant.
His talk is smooth as butter,
yet war is in his heart;
his words are more soothing than oil,
yet they are drawn swords.

Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.

But as for me, I trust in you.

Truth be told, I don’t know what will happen next. Perhaps God has closed the door on this friendship for good. Or maybe it’s just for a season now where we’re not going to be friends. I don’t know. There’s a lot of letting go, waiting, and trusting in God that’s going to have to be done here. Sound familiar? I think that’s been the main theme of this blog…and my rebooted life.

Slightly topical, here’s another excellent article from Relevant, this time about when a friendship is draining and what are signs that you should be looking for to see if you need to end it.

2

Clenched Fists vs Open Hands

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Letting go of control is hard.

You want your life to go a certain way and you keep trying to do everything you can possible to make it happen. This however can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety in your life.

I think it’s because I’m female that I feel like I need to control things in my life. As women, we sometimes (ok mostly) think that if we had things go our way then everything will run as they should. I know that I tend to let my emotions take control of my actions and reactions, and that in turn causes havoc in my life.

The hardest part of letting go of trying to control everything is basically learning how to trust. For me, that goes back to trusting in God that he can and will handle any situation that I’m finding myself wanting to control. When the anxiety and the stress take over my life, to the point where I’m having panic attacks and freaking out over situations that haven’t and may never happen, then I know that I need to stop.

And the honest truth? It’s hard to not want to control that. When things aren’t going as you originally planned and you’re facing the unexpected unknown, it can get scary. As I’ve said before, I’m not good with not knowing how things are going end up. I want things to go the way I want.

Part of me has always been scared to just let go and let things happen. I have always had this fear that if I didn’t involve myself somehow that nothing would ever get done. For example, one of my biggest fears is that if I wasn’t the one to initiate contact with my friends, that they would never do it themselves and that it was only me that was keeping the friendship going. Soon I realized that if that’s truly the type of person that they are, to quote Incubus, “Goodbye, nice to know you.”

So it has been a bit of a weird day as I continue to write this blog post. I have been struggling for the past couple of days on an issue where I know God has told me to wait and trust him, to let go of the control, and to let him take over. But at the same time, I’ve been wondering if God just wants me to sit there and do nothing. After having a particularly rough night, I woke up the next morning only to have the very first thing I read was my Bible study in the book of James about being in the waiting season and how the growing during the waiting is the hardest part. Because as we’re forced to wait, our grumbling wants to take over.

And then I’ve been like “God, I need to know what to do! Tell me what to do!” as I just sit here twiddling my thumbs. Then this article appears about being active while waiting on God. I realized that God doesn’t want me to just be idle while I wait. If I don’t do anything, how can I grow in trusting God when I just let him do everything for me?

  • “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
  • “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

“Where is the Lord bringing me low today, so that He might lift me up? What am I clenching in my fist that I refuse to see as His? What is it that I long so desperately to build, to control, to call MINE?” (http://shereadstruth.com/2013/09/10/danielday8/)

I was talking with a close friend in the morning and shared that quote, revealing what exactly I’m holding onto in my clenched fist. And how I felt that even though God has made a promise, he still wants me to step out in faith and trust him.  And I can’t do that, until I let go of what is in my clenched fist. Because basically I am putting God in a box, saying to him, “Hey Lord! Sure I trust you! I know that what you said will come true! But you know, I still want things to go a certain way, so I’m going to hold on to some things here, and we’ll just work around it, ok? You still do your thing, but I’m going to keep this in my grasp while you do that.”

Ok you see what’s wrong with that? That’s not how God works at all. You can’t jump off the diving board if you’re still gripping on to the ladder railings. How can you move on and let God work in your life if you won’t let go? So in my own situation, I’m choosing to let go of something I care deeply about. And it’s scary. And I don’t know what’s going to happen. And I’m about to do something, that I never really wanted to do. But I feel that God just wants me to take this next step.  For all I know, many good things could stem from opening this door and I will never look behind me. Or God may just simply want me to open my hands and release all of the control and the things I want the most that I thought never would happen will happen. I don’t know what he has planned next other than I know that he will be with me every step of the way. That’s the beauty and scary part about all this.

As I said, it’s been continuing to be a weird few days. In the afternoon after I had decided how I was going to react to my situation, this article appears on Relevant‘s website about how to “Seek Impact, Not Attention“. In the middle of my freaking out over the way coincidental timing of the post, this part jumped out at me

In life we can live with clenched fists or open hands. A clenched fist signifies a desire to control, a lack of faith and a reluctance to adapt. Open hands signify a servant’s heart, a faith manifested in Holy Spirit promptings, and a persistent asking of “What now, Abba?”

You cannot move beyond the pursuit of getting noticed while living with clenched fists.

Thank you God for answering my prayers by showing me what I needed to read/hear when I asked for wisdom, clarity, and discernment about how to handle what I am going through. Thank you for showing me what you want me to do.  Help me to keep trusting in you and have my faith remain strong in you. And I know what you have promised me and because of that, I will continue to keep obeying you. I know you will never leave me or forsake me. Help me not to be fearful of what is to come.

I’m about to jump off the diving board. I’m letting go of the ladder. My fists are no longer clenched and I’m opening up my hands. I’m letting go and I’m going to let God.

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  • “When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel.” (Psalm 73:21-24a)