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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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How a failed coffee attempt taught me about fate

This is one of those rhetorical question posts where I can’t give you an answer because I don’t know it myself.

How do you know when to give up on something and when to keep trying? If something doesn’t happen is it because God didn’t want it to?

I feel like in life there are certain situations where we tell people they need to keep going after something if they want it. We never tell someone to stop going after a job if they keep getting rejected from it. We may tell them to try for a different position or go a completely different route in attaining it. But as a whole, we never tell someone after they get passed over for a job that they are just meant to be jobless forever.

Then there are other times when it feels like the world is against you every time you try to do something so you feel like you need to give up and people seem to reconfirm those thoughts. They’ll tell you it just wasn’t meant to be or that if it was supposed to have happened it would have happened. That you should just give up and stop trying and accept things. (And for some reason, Christians will throw this around all the time with being single. Stop with the “gift of singleness”. Just stop.)

I’m sure there’s some logical explanation for this if I dig hard enough, which I’m not. It just sometimes feels confusing about when you need to just accept that things weren’t meant to be and when you shouldn’t.

I’m even talking about small things. Sometimes I wonder, if I missed a turn while driving even if I was paying very close attention, did I miss it for a reason?

Ok here’s a better example: One morning on my way to work I decided I needed coffee in order to make it through the day. There is only one Starbucks that’s directly on the way (meaning I don’t have to turn onto any side streets) so since I have a Starbucks card I decided to head there. Traffic was awful and I nearly missed the turn. That was sign number one. I finally get into the parking lot only to find out that there wasn’t a single space open in the entire lot. I circled three times and no one was getting out. Sign number two. Not wanting to be late for work, I finally resigned that I wasn’t going to be getting coffee that day and was already starting to feel grumpy. I turn back out and start heading to work. As I continue driving, I remember that there was a Dunkin Donuts also on the way and even though this meant I’d have to pay actual money, it’d be worth it this one time. I suddenly realize that I’m running short on time to get to work and it’s going to have to be a quick and snappy in and out of DD. I pull into the parking lot and am able to grab the last parking spot. Just as I’m heading out the car I realize the horrible truth (aka sign number three): I forgot my wallet and I don’t have any cash on me. Plus there’s the fact that my license is in my wallet so now I just screwed myself over because I was going to leave to go out of town right after work and I can’t do that now. Needless to say, I did not get my coffee that day.

Did this mean I wasn’t meant to get coffee that day? After three tries, I kept trying to go after it and it just didn’t work out. So I gave up. This did not mean that coffee was evil. I was able to get coffee the following week with no mishaps. Perhaps had I actually gotten the coffee that day, I might have died somehow. (Don’t ask, I have a very active imagination.) Though I have to admit, if I hadn’t tried to get coffee that morning, I may not have discovered that my wallet was missing until right as I got out of work (luckily I was able to go during my lunch break to retrieve it. Driving very slowly I might add) and that would have horrible trying to go back to retrieve it.

So there you go. God just did not want me to get coffee that day. No matter how much I tried to fight it, it wasn’t going to happen. During that whole process, I did discover something else that eventually helped me out in a way I wasn’t expecting.

I guess that’s just how life is. You want something. You keep trying for something. It’s not going to happen. But in the long run, you discover other things that you didn’t realize you needed.

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Keep My Heart Slow

Whenever messages at church lean towards marriage and family, while I still try to listen and get much out of it as I can, it still can feel slightly uncomfortable. All the teaching and advice is very helpful but if you’re not at that stage of life and you don’t know if you ever will be, it feels like it’s not going to help you. And it hurts when you feel like the church has forgotten about people who are NOT married or with children. Sometimes you make the choice to be single and sometimes you don’t want to be in that state but either way it can feel like you’re overlooked in favor of those who are in a coupled relationship.

On Sunday, I knew that the teaching was going to be on Colossians 3:18-21. I’ve heard messages on this passage several times and while I wasn’t apathetic to it, I just wasn’t super excited because I didn’t think it’d apply to me right now in life. And then my pastor said this in his prayer to open up the message: “There may be a number here who are single but this is still very much for them. There is much here for all of us no matter what state we are in life.”

Well then.

The passage from Colossians says this:

Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

As my pastor explained, the world view of submission and spiritual authority is different from it actually means.

The definition he gave: “Submission is an inner quality of willing obedience that is a gift to the husband based on Christ’s example of willingly submitting to His Father that affirms the leadership of the husband within the limits of obedience to Christ.” But it does not mean that if he wants her to do something clearly wrong she has to do it.

The husband and wife are equal to one another as Christ is equal to his Father, but He still submits to the Father.

Spiritual leadership can be difficult because a lot of guys have no idea what that is or what they are supposed to do. “Spiritual leadership is servant leadership which is a husband’s gift to his wife based on Christ’s coming not to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.” He needs to submit to his wife meaning he will die for her and therefore she will submit to his spiritual leadership. A woman can have more Biblical knowledge than her husband but that doesn’t mean he should be intimidated. He just needs to see to it that her spiritual needs are being met and that the wife knows he is following the Lord and praying for her.

Couples shouldn’t use these verses as scriptural grenades at each other. The verses aren’t supposed to be used to attack each other, they are for  A man who has to tell his wife that she needs to submit to her probably isn’t leading very well and a woman who has to tell her husband to love her more may not be submitting very well. Any time you have to tell someone what else they are supposed to be doing probably means YOU’RE not doing what YOU are supposed to be doing.

“Show me a man who is willing to die for his wife and I’ll show you a woman who is willing to submit to her husband.”

The takeaway is to never ever lose hope. Your hope is not in your spouse. Your hope is in the Lord. “The gospel leads us to an ultimate hope in Jesus, not in a spouse or any other human relationship.”

This entire message was SUPER good. And I’m really glad to have heard it.

It can also be a hard message to hear. When you keep hearing how a man should want to die for his wife because he loves her just as Christ died for us, it can hurt to hear that when you’re single. I have to fight the voices of doubt that creep in telling me I’m not good enough and that no one wants to die for me. That even though I have a ton of friends who do care about me, in reality I should just prepare to die because they are going to take care of their spouses first over me. These are lies that can poison me if I spend too much time listening to them.

I’ve written before how I feel like I need to wait.

The song “I Will Wait” by Mumford and Sons has been rather significant for me over the year. There’s a line in there that’s been my prayer to God for the past few months:

Bow my head
Keep my heart slow

I’ve been asking God to help me with my heart. To keep it where He wants it now. I have the tendency to lose my heart very fast which then results in getting hurt more than I should have. I get excited about things very easily. If I’m interested in ANYTHING, I want to dive in headfirst and am very enthusiastic right from the get go. It’s not that I burn out easily, it’s just I invest more than I probably should. Which leads to a lot of heartbreak and pain a lot of the time.

So instead right now, I’m asking God to help me slow down. To focus my heart on where and what HE wants me to focus on and not necessarily on what I want. This doesn’t mean I’ve given up hope of ever finding someone (or someone finding me) and it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be in a relationship or get married (again) but I’m not making it the most important thing in my life at the moment.

By keeping my heart slow, it means making wiser decisions. It means having clarity and discernment. It means spending less time worrying. It means letting go. It means really trusting on God. It means waiting. Every single thing God has told me over the past three years to do.

I still don’t know what God has planned in my life for me. All I know is that right now I know what I need to do.

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Say something, I’m giving up on you

Something must be wrong with my phone.

I mean that must be the reason why I haven’t heard anything back.

It’s not showing me that I have any notifications.

I don’t see a text. Or a call. Or a email. Or a chat.

After all I do have Sprint. I mean sometimes their service can be unreliable.

Maybe my message didn’t go through. Or perhaps the return message didn’t go through.

So it must be the phone’s fault.

It can’t be because I’m being deliberately ignored. Right?

I could think of a bunch of excuses. To justify the reason.

People get busy. People forget to respond.

Maybe it’s the OTHER phone’s fault. Maybe it got stolen. Or broken.

Or maybe there was a kidnapping, illness, natural disaster, moved away.

Hoping that there wasn’t a death and no one contacted me about it.

Most likely though, it’s not intentional. Though it could very well be.

Maybe there just needs to be space. And time. And waiting. And being patient.

There’s always a reason. I just don’t know it yet.

The point is that despite all the things I just wrote, I’m not worrying about it.

The message on Sunday in church was yet ANOTHER one of those ones when I was NOT expecting it to be relevant to me and yet it was again. The speaker filling in talked about having a “black water” experience, and how hard helmet diving is a good illustration about facing a trial when you’re a Christian. Just like diving into places where everything is pitch black and you can’t see anything, going through trials makes you feel like you’re isolated, alone, and in the dark. You don’t know what’s going to happen and you get lost and scared. The only thing that you can rely on is having trust in someone who will tell and show you what you need to do. And then when it’s all done, you’ll come out of the pit, the hole, the darkness and you’ll look and be amazed at what you went through and still made it.

God is the only one that knows what exactly is happening and why it’s happening in this way. From past experiences, I know that I’ll be in the pit looking up and I have to trust that God will rescue me and bring me back up. And when I do come back up, everything seems so much better. And I also know I couldn’t have done it without my faith.

The waves of death swirled about me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
“In my distress I called to the Lord;
I called out to my God.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came to his ears. (2 Samuel 22:5-7)

Basically, it’s going to be ok. It’s scary now not being able to see and not knowing what’s ahead. But because I know that I can trust in God, because I know that he’s not failed me in the past, it will be ok.

Maybe the phone will ring or a text will come. And maybe it won’t ever. It’ll still be ok.

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Anniversaries, milestones and memories

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I have two degrees in history which can be interpreted that I enjoy remembering and preserving the past. One of the things that comes of being a history scholar/buff is that you’re really good with remembering dates and anniversaries. You remember why specific dates are important and what happened on that day in history. You may not exactly want to relive the past but you know why it’s a significant date and worthy of remembering.

I sometimes wonder if things fall on certain dates or milestones and it’s just a coincidence and me trying to connect everything or if God’s the one in control.

Again it’s always really good timing when the message at church seems to correspond with both posts I’ve written about recently or ones that I’m getting ready to write. It makes me feel like God is tracking with me and helps me to hear what I need. This past week in church, our pastor talked about how “For better or worse, human character always impacts history. But divine character, led and influenced by the Holy Spirit, always impacts eternity.” He talked about things can happen and we can just classify them as being just a coincidence and brush it off or is it something much more significant and important than that?

There are certain dates that are upcoming in the near future that to the average person aren’t important and could be written off as just coincidences. And to be honest, sometimes I question why I feel so strongly about these dates. Is it nostalgia? Sentiment? Wishful thinking at trying to make everything fit? Or are they all part of God’s bigger plan and I’m aware that I’m a part of it?

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I really don’t try too hard to make everything connect together. It’s not like I’m sitting here trying to find the tiniest little thing that matches up with something else. But when things DO fit together and you look back at them, sometimes there’s just nothing else you can say but how it’s totally a God thing. There’s no other explanation. I’m not trying to manipulate the circumstances at all.

I talked about last week about how the die has rolled a certain way in my life and I was meant to be in a certain timeline. Sometimes I question why because it just seems like everything can feel pointless and am I really making that much of a difference. But then I’m reminded that sometimes all I need to really do is just plant the seed and God will take of it and he’ll do all the work. Even if I never see what comes of it this side of heaven, I just need to do what I’ve been told to do.

So as these anniversaries go by, I don’t have to make a big deal of it. I don’t even need to recreate everything that happened in my mind and relive those memories. But I also don’t need to constantly ponder if these things happened for a reason because I know that they did. I know that God purposely planned out everything and even if I can’t see or understand it now, I just need to trust in Him. He’s used me and he’ll continued to use me as he sees fit. He’s placed me in THIS timeline for a reason.

“And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b)

Life is so complicated. But God calls us to trust Him. To rest in Him as He holds us in His hands, as He fulfills His promise to work the details of our everything together for our good. http://shereadstruth.com/2013/08/08/wob3day4/

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A Late Bloomer Finally Gets It

Last week I talked about wearing masks and believing the lie that God could never love us. Here’s the second part to that series.

We’re so afraid that the dream can’t come. That if someone actually knew the real us, saw behind the mask, before the makeup that they would walk away. Our fear is to be known and be rejected. And when those things that we fear keep us from being loved and they are held in front of my face, we believe every bad thing about us.

It’s really funny how there’s a fine line as to how much Christians will take when it comes to openness and authenticity. We constantly talk about how we need to be real with other believers and that it’s important to share our problems because we shouldn’t face things alone. And that it’s good to do this in a safe environment with those we trust.

But at the same time if we see someone publicly talk about their struggles, we say they are being too open, over sharing, and some things are best left private. And then we start judging them, condemn them, and even try to shame them for acting this way and sharing it with the world without offering any help at all.

Thus we then repeat the cycle of never sharing anytime we’re going through something tough in life because we need to keep it all together on the outside because as Christians we’re supposed to be able to trust God in everything and never worry.

We can’t have it both ways can we?

Are we afraid to see struggles in other people’s lives because it brings out to light the ones we have in our own? Do we see someone having struggles and feel “blessed” because we don’t have that going on in our lives? Do we just not want to deal with anyone else and their problems because we have our own mess to deal with? Do we place perfect pictures on Facebook of how great our lives are because we are genuinely happy or because we want to brag? Is the intention to make someone jealous or just to show a happy moment?

The last five pics on Facebook I posted are

  1. a screenshot of Josh Groban retweeting me
  2. Me and my friends’ adorable baby
  3. A pic of my move in a tabletop game where I die.
  4. My friend and his baby making the exact same face
  5. All the flights of beer my friends and I were about to sample.

What were the reasons for me behind posting these? Well honestly, either out of sheer excitement at the moment or the baby being so darned cute. I don’t go on trips to photographic places, I don’t have an awesome boyfriend/husband who cleans my car AND cooks me dinner, I personally don’t have a very cute baby, and I haven’t recently had a major life event that I can share with everyone. Therefore I don’t feel like my life is anything anyone would be jealous over. Even IF I wanted to impress anyone, the people I would want to see “how awesome my life is right now” don’t follow any of my social media and therefore have no idea what is going on in my life at the moment. I’m not trying to get likes on these photos to make me feel validated. And let me tell you, getting a billion notifications is not fun either. I experienced that with my Josh Groban retweet. It makes me not want to ever be a celebrity. That was not a humble brag for the record.

I think sometimes I use social media simply just to make sure I’m not alone in how I feel and to see if there is anyone else that can validate my thinking so I’m not weird. I realize that not everyone will be excited about the things I am interested in. I’m not out for universal approval. If I were I’d be failing like a champ because I’ll never get it.

“Really Hagrid, if you are holding out for universal popularity, I’m afraid you will be in this cabin for a very long time”

And yet…

Right now I’m at a point in my life where I fully enjoy all the interests that I have. It’s taken me a while to realize and accept this. I’m a late bloomer. I know this. I’m sure there are many of you who figured this out the day you were born.

I’m going to tell you this though. It’s hard. It’s really hard when you are excited about something, either an interest that you have or something that you’ve accomplished, and NO ONE can share in your excitement with you. Either they simply don’t care or they don’t share the interest so when you try to explain it, they don’t get it or understand why you’re so excited. And then someone else will come along with something everyone else can relate to and you’re just left alone in the dust.

For example: there are many times when I like something and I’m literally the only female in the group of people I hang around with that does. There have been many times when I’ve been considered one of the guys when it comes to shared interests. It’s great fun during that specific time period because I enjoy stuff like beer, tabletop gaming, and comics. But then they go back to their significant others who are the complete 180 of me and I’m left alone. And it makes me feel like I have to be something/someone else in order to have that too. That there’s something wrong with me where I’m cool enough to do one thing but it’s not enough to have everything else.

It’s hard to watch all my female friends go through the process of being single to being a girlfriend, wife, and mother while I’m left behind. And now that I’m literally the last one of my girlfriends to be single, it’s sometimes hard to not think if I’m doing something wrong or if there’s something wrong with me. There’s also the Christian side of this that tells you you can’t pursue and you need to wait. And also the view that if a guy wants something, he’ll go after it. Well with that logic, what happens to all the women who are never asked? Does this mean they are never wanted? What’s going on here?

I believed it was my fault that no one wanted to go out with me and that the responsibility for it rested squarely on my shoulders. If I were more spiritual, or more beautiful, or less opinionated guys would be into what I was selling.

But I know that it’s not true. I know that I can never be what I’m not. God has made me into the way I am and while I can tweak and work on things, I’m ultimately the person that I am.

Something I’m trying to accept: Even if no one else I know personally likes something I do, it does not mean that I am doing something wrong or that I am so weird and must change myself.

I’ve always felt like an outsider and that something must be weird with me because no one else likes what I like.  No, I don’t think I’m some sort of special snowflake that is so incredibly unique. When I really think about it, even though I would have liked to have been part of what everyone else does, I’ve always done my own thing. I’ve always gravitated towards things that the majority doesn’t really go after – from types of food I like, to TV shows, to books I read, even down to celebrities I like. Almost everything I like, the majority of people I know won’t be into it because I discovered it on my own. It suits me fine to have my interests but it would just be awesome to be able to share in the excitement with people you actually know. There’s always the internet but when you’re with friends, it feels odd standing out.

But I’m learning to accept that it’s ok to be different. I mean I wish people wouldn’t put me down for the things I like even if they don’t like them. That’s actually something I’ve never understood. If someone is genuinely excited about something and they tell you about it (in a non bragging way, but still) why on earth would you shoot them down with a “Why do you like [certain thing]? That’s so stupid.” There are many things that many of my friends do that I have no interest in. It doesn’t lessen what they do just because I don’t.

There are hard days. Yes. I look at many Christian women who are strong believers, awesome at what they do, are gorgeous, and yet they are single. I’ve read or heard them say they struggled with it because they didn’t/don’t really want to be in that situation.I can’t figure out why in the world they are single. And it makes me wonder if THEY can’t find anyone, what makes me think that I can have any hope?

But whatever God wants to happen will happen. I don’t know His ultimate plans but right now I do know that I’ve enjoyed becoming the person that I am now. And while yes, I can always work on some things, I am happy with how I turned out. I am who I am. I come with quirks, flaws, and baggage. I think my laugh sounds too loud and my sneezes weird everyone else out. But you know what? I’m happy. I’ve reached that point in my life where I’m not going to change myself just to get someone else. I’m not going to try pretend to be someone I’m not just to keep and maintain any sort of relationship. If someone wants me to be something I cannot ever be and doesn’t allow my true self to be appreciated then you’re not meant to be in my life in that particular way.

I’m no longer hiding behind any more masks. This is me.

And me is awesome.

We have some pretty big ideas of how our lives should go. We feel pretty strongly about what we don’t want to happen, and we’re perfectly willing to spend our entire lives fretting and fussing and not trusting that—whatever it is—God is for ushttp://shereadstruth.com/2014/07/15/please-thank-2/

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When Someone is Mad at You and You Don’t Know Why

There’s something that has been bothering me as of late. It’s not really a huge thing. And I know that I will eventually just get over it and move on.

It’s that nagging feeling of when someone appears to be mad at you or stops liking you and you have no idea why.

Truth: I have trouble trying not to be a people pleaser. I’ve gotten a lot better about it than I used to be in the past. Yes, I worry about what people think still but now I realize that I cannot make people happy all the time.

But it’s one thing when I make decisions because I know what’s best for me and if someone doesn’t like it, oh well. It’s completely another thing when apparently you’ve done something to offend someone and you have absolutely no idea why.

It’s really hard to comprehend the sudden 180 degree change in behavior. When someone goes from treating you like family or like a very close friend and everything that comes with that type of relationship to acting cold and distant and ignoring you whenever you try to talk to them, it can be really hard. And it hurts. A lot.

I spent weeks racking my brain trying to figure out what on earth I could have done wrong and I came up with nothing. Did I say something offensive? Did I do an action that was considered rude? Did I make a promise and forgot to keep it? I even tried to chalk it up to maybe they were having a bad day that one time. I know fully well the world does not revolve around me so perhaps it wasn’t my fault that they reacted differently that one time. Maybe there was something going on in their lives that time that was more important than anything I had to say.

But then it kept happening again and again. To the point where the relationship just completely fizzled out. And I still have no idea what on earth happened.

I did try to find out. I sent texts. Called and left messages. Even mailed cards and letters. All my efforts went unanswered So I gave up.

It felt and still feels horrible. I may never know what happened.

The thing is I know that I’ve done everything I can possibly do. If someone truly has become so angry or disgusted with me but they cannot tell me this, then I know it’s on them and not me. If I knew what offense I have done, then I would apologize. But the thing is, I don’t know what it is or even if there is anything to apologize for. Maybe I did do something horrible and am just completely clueless about it. Maybe there is mistaken assumption and in time it’ll be cleared up. Maybe the relationship just ran out its course and the other party just didn’t feel like publicly ending it and this is the only way they know how.

I just don’t know. But what I do know is that I feel like I’ve done everything that I can do. Even though I feel uneasy about this I’ve tried to react in love and show grace towards them. If space and distance is what they want, then I’ll give them that too, though not in a passive aggressive attitude.

I hope in time I’ll understand what happened and that the relationship can be fixed. If there’s anything I can do to clear things up, I hope God shows me my mistakes and what I can do. If it’s truly not me, then I hope that in time, things will become clear and everything makes sense. I also am prepared that the relationship may never be fixed and I may never know this side of heaven what caused the rift in the first place.

Basically all I can do now is just wait (yay) and just see what happens. I can’t force anything.

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I Can’t Wait to Have Patience

One of the warnings you’re always told in Sunday School growing up is “Don’t ever pray for patience!”

Because what ends up happening is that instead of God giving you the patience to deal with things that are happening now, you instead are giving new situations where you have to figure out how to handle them. One usually walks away feeling severely stressed out.

I’ve talked before about how I feel about waiting. Being patient is not my strong suit.  When I get interested in something, I dive in headfirst almost immediately. Sometimes I feel like I get in over my head. Instead of checking out my surroundings and observing first, I want to make things happen as soon as I can. I think part of it is a fear that once I become aware of something, I want to make it happen because I’m scared that something else will happen. That it was disappear or something else will take it away.

I’ve mentioned before how I feel like I’m a late bloomer. And it seems like I’m finally learning that it’s going to be ok. I could spout out all that clichéd stuff about “Good things come to those who wait” and how “God isn’t going to give you something until you’re ready for it.” But that’s not always what you want to hear when you’re in the middle of the situation.

For me, I’m learning that I live a lot in my head. And sometimes I just need to stop thinking. I’m realizing how much of a temptation it is for me to just sit there and try to over think a situation to try to find out every possible scenario. I try to not to talk about it too much with my friends, just enough to get their opinion and then I journal. But I’m also learning that it’s not healthy to keep rehashing things over in your mind because if you keep doing that, you’ll just keep finding ways to beat yourself down.

So instead, I’ve learned to acknowledge whatever it is I’m waiting on, let out the initial emotional outburst with those I trust, and then put it aside and wait. Hopefully what happens in the wait is that my emotions become controlled, things settle down, and I just see how things proceed naturally vs. forcing things to happen.

Wisdom waits. Wisdom is patient. Blurting out or acting on your feelings in the bloom of their creation is a tempting but foolish thing to do. “Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” (Proverbs 29:20) – from The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas

2

The Impossible Girl

The past few years I’ve had themes to describe how the year went for me. The name of the year has a geeky reference but it also perfectly describes how I felt throughout the year.

In 2012, I was “The Girl on Fire“. Much like Katniss, everything was going well for me that year. Other than a couple of weeks where it just kinda sucked, I was having the best year of my life. Almost everything went the way I had hoped and I was the happiest I had been in years.

In 2013, I was “The Girl Who Waited.” Like Amy Pond, I sat there and I waited. I was waiting on God, I was waiting on people, I was waiting for things to happen. I felt a lot of times like I was forgotten because I had been waiting for so long.

It’s taken me several months to figure out what this year was going to be. Obviously I had to wait to see how the year goes before I could categorize the year. Five months in and I think I’ve figured it out. 2014 is the year of me being “The Impossible Girl.”

For all you non Doctor Who fans out there, The Impossible Girl is referring to Clara Oswald, one of the Doctor’s companions. To make a very long and complex story short, Clara shouldn’t have happened. She’s basically born to save The Doctor. It’s impossible for her to exist and yet there she is.

(Picture credit: http://ambrixmuse.deviantart.com/art/You-are-my-impossible-girl-372965800)

So how do I take that and have it refer to me? Because right now, I feel like I shouldn’t exist. And yet here I am. Everything I want for my life hasn’t happened yet. Everything I hope for keeps being out of reach for me. I don’t understand it. I feel like nothing that should be happening is. And I’m getting frustrated.

It’s like everything I want, God keeps putting JUST out of reach for me. He keeps allowing me to have hope only to take that hope away from me. And it’s very easy and tempting to start becoming angry at God. People (and myself) keep saying that if it hasn’t happened then it’s because it’s not the right timing for it. That God has a reason for this and I need to just trust in his timing.

Truth:  I’m tired of this. I’m tired of getting my hopes up repeatedly only to have them crashing down. I’m tired of hoping anymore because it HURTS when things don’t happen. I’d sometimes rather just not have the hope at all. I feel like my entire life has been pointless, yes even with everything that I’ve written about here on my blog. Because what is the point of hoping when things NEVER come through.

There are two things in my life that I really want. Two things that every person in this world wants at least one of. And for whatever reason, God keeps withholding those two things from me. And right now, I don’t know why. I know everything you’re going to tell me. That it’s not my fault. That God has his reasons. That the timing isn’t right. That something better is ahead. And I believe all this. I know all this is true. And I have to fight all the doubts and insecurities that are trying to creep in right now. I know the promises that God has made. And I believe that he will keep them.

But in a moment of complete vulnerability, I do feel like I’m not good enough. That something MUST be wrong with me. That I keep either getting rejected or passed over or ignored. And I feel like I have done everything to better myself and it’s still not working for either case. And at this point, I don’t understand why God hates me and keeps rewarding everyone else instead. Because that’s exactly what it feels like. It’s like because I want these things so badly, that God doesn’t want me to have them for some reason. And I wish that he would just remove these desires so that I could do exactly what he wanted me to do instead of hoping for things that will never happen. And people who don’t even want these things keep getting them over and over again. So I just don’t understand why God keeps making everything impossible for me.

PAUSE

Ok funny thing: I wrote the above section earlier in the afternoon when I feeling very low. Obviously you can tell based on what I was saying by my emotional writing. I then remember vaguely praying for the Lord to help me and then just sort of forgetting about it and just wanting to get through the rest of the night. And then God answered my prayer in a way I wasn’t expecting. In fact he went far and above what I was expecting. To the point where I feel maybe not 100% better but at least 95% better than I did this afternoon. I was actually smiling and laughing tonight.

It made me realize that even though I really don’t know why things happen/don’t happen, God does. Not only that, but he also provides what you need when you need it and even if you don’t think you need it. Just like today for me. Even though I hate having my hopes crashed, it is good to have hope and the Lord gave me hope again today. I have to be careful how I handle that hope but at the same time I am able to hope again.

So back to me being “The Impossible Girl” for 2014: I feel that there are things this year that just seem impossible and I’m going to trust God with those impossible things. Because he has told me time and time again that I need to trust him. And he has made promises to me and told me that I need to just let go of all anxiety and fear. I need to just believe that he is fully capable of making those promises, no matter how impossible, come true. And even though it seems like it can’t happen and it shouldn’t happen, because I know they are promises from the Lord, they WILL happen. But if I don’t trust or believe, if I let my faith become shattered because of my doubt then everything is a lie.

God is passionately and intimately aware of every detail that you’re going through right now. He’s paying attention to your every breath. Nothing misses God’s attention. You may not understand why you’re going through what you’re going through, but you need to say this to God: “I know you’re good; I know you’re loving; I know you’re powerful; I know you notice the details of my life; I know you’re in control; I know you have a plan; I know you will protect me.” Then, you need to trust God — no matter what. Whatever you’re going through, tell God exactly how you feel. He can handle it! Accept help from others. Stop asking “why,” and start trusting God for the things you don’t understand. (http://purposedriven.com/blogs/dailyhope/what-to-do-when-it-makes-no-sense)

I’ve said before I want God to use me and my story. And I believe that he will take my situation, these seemingly impossible situations, and use them for His glory. I am The Impossible Girl this year because to everyone else, these things shouldn’t happen. But to the Lord, nothing is impossible with him. Just hang in there. Wait. Trust. And it will be good.

If there’s a passage in Scripture that can sum up how 2014 is and will be for me this is it:

Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (Hebrews 6:17-19a)

2

Want. Ask. Receive?

This past week I was watching my favorite miniseries of all time, Jesus of Nazareth. Even though I own it on DVD, I was super excited to find out that it was on Netflix. But then I got really irritated because for unknown reasons, they chose a version that is edited a lot, like over an hour of stuff missing. Luckily, I happened to find another (legal) version online. If you haven’t seen it, it’s magnificent. There are so many classic movie stars that have guest roles and the actor that plays Jesus is spectacular. The movie keeps very close to Scripture, though there are some changes and they do leave things out, but I don’t find this a problem at all. And fun fact, the Monty Python movie Life of Brian used the same sets when they filmed their movie.

Anyways while I was watching, one of the scenes seemed to jump out at me. It involved Jesus speaking to the crowds basically telling them this passage:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-11)

So that got me thinking. The Lord gives us what we ask for, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to get everything that we want. I’ve reached the age where I now have several friends who are parents and I’m watching them handle their children. Even when their child is yelling and begging for something, the parents don’t necessarily give it to them because they know what’s best for their child. Sure it might make the kid hate the parent for a little bit and be very angry at them, but that doesn’t mean that they have to have it at the moment. There are many reasons why they weren’t given what they wanted: it wasn’t time yet for it, it wasn’t meant for them to have, it’s not safe, they weren’t meant to have it at all. The parent, because they are wiser, is making choices that is best for their child even though the child doesn’t realize it at the moment.

And that’s what happens in the rest of our lives. We can pray and beg God to have something happen because we really want it to. And we’re convinced that it’s best for us and surely God can see how getting this will be absolutely beneficial to everyone. When we don’t get it, we get angry at God because he didn’t allow it to happen.

There’s been many times in my life when I just get flat out frustrated with God because I don’t understand why things aren’t going the way I want. I have many questions that I ask him. “What will happen? Why am I going through this? What do I do? What do you want me to do?” And I can’t understand why he’s making me go through certain things. But as the Scripture says, if a parent who is imperfect knows what is best for their child, shouldn’t I trust that my Heavenly Father who IS perfect knows what’s best for me? If I’m going to place my faith and trust in him, then I should understand and realize that my wants and desires may not always be what God knows that I need.

The hard part can be when it’s not clear at the moment why I can’t have that desire but eventually “peace comes not from knowing what lies ahead, but knowing that God is the same before, during and after whatever it is.” (http://www.boundless.org/faith/2009/god-told-me)

And who says movies are only good for mindless entertainment and don’t get you to ponder things?