16 June, 2014

"If You Liked it Then You Shoulda Put a Ring On It"

Wait, what?

Today I have decided to write a little blog entry about bein' sangle.
Or being single.
However you might say it, THIS is written about ... IT.
[note: 'it' is to be said with disdain, and aversion...

Over the course of the last few months, it has come to my attention that there are a handful of people  [not one, not two....but a handful] who seem to be far more concerned about my singleness, my lack of being in a relationship and/or married...than I am.

Many have said the same old cliche phrases, such as...

“Your standards are too high.”
“You don’t try hard enough.”
“You’re too good for him. / He’s not good enough for you.”
“You’re intimidating."
"Let me teach you how to flirt"
[and my personal fave] "You'll find love when you least expect it."

Some have even gone so far as to infer that I should be far more distressed about this topic, than I am.

A few have even projected that something is wrong with me for not being 'on the look-out' or desperate for marriage - as if I am missing out, as if I am lacking ... as if I am not whole - being single. 

This, to me, is crazy. 

I would like to say, to begin, that I know that I do not have to justify [show or prove to be right or reasonable] my life to anyone - especially not in an area as such as this.

Yeah, no.

However, the truth is that there are many girls who love God, are single and are content with that...and thus, I will use this blog as a rebuttal to all, on behalf of myself - and all the ladies [or even dudes] who experience this. 

First and foremost - in case you weren't aware...I love God.
And when I say that, I am not saying "I love God when in church, but do whateva I want everywhurr else."
No, in fact, my life and my life’s foundation is based upon the Word of God - I mean, I strive to live that out.
Obviously, being of flesh and living in this crazy world - I am not perfect, or even close to it.
Yet, my goal is to walk in truth, in right standing with God, and in purity. 

Obviously, this puts me in a position where dating isn't easy.
I mean, this girl has some convictions [fixed or firm beliefs].

I have standards, y'all, and yes, they are high - but they are not unattainable.
I realize that to many people who may not live life as I do, my standards may seem crazy and impossible.
But, I can tell you story after story proving that they are not.
It IS possible to find a man who loves God, and puts Him before you and the relationship.
It IS possible to date a man who is respectful, who desires purity (also) and cherishes you.
It IS possible to have a relationship with healthy [physical and emotional] boundaries.

These are not ridiculous standards. 
And they are something that I am not willing to bend on. 

Sorry...not sorry? 

And because of these standards, obviously I am not going to go out to the club or the bar and sit back with drink in hand, scouring the joint for a hottaaaay. No, no....my experience has been that I am not going to find the type of man I want to marry in those kinds of places. Just sayin'. 

Also - get ready for this - I am not frantic to be in a relationship or get married.
Again, sorry, not sorry ...I'm just not desperate.
And I am not lacking or incomplete because I am single [I wanted to say, "I don't feel like I'm lacking or incomplete..." but that would indicate a possibility that I could be, thus I say with confidence that I am NOT].

In fact, it is simply egregious for anyone to insinuate that I am. 

Believe it or not, ladies and gentlemen...I am content with being single for as long as the Lord would have me to be. 
And there are things that I am working through...that I know I must work through before I could even enter into a serious relationship.
I want to walk into any future relationship healed, whole and ready.

And, personally, I believe that my future husband will be thankful that I did. 

*Side-note...do I even NEED to bring up all the powerful people in history, or [duh] in the Bible who were single?
...I didn't think so.  

But seriously, y’all, come on.

Do I want to get married?
Uh, is the grass green?

Am I willing to settle?

Am I willing to lower my standards?

I simply want to glorify God in all that I do ...even in dating. 
I desire to be righteous in whatever I do.

“And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.” Isaiah 32:17 

I think that at this point, I would encourage you - if you find yourself to be one of these people - to ask yourself a few questions: 

   -Why am I so concerned with so-and-so's singleness?
  -Do I find too much of my identity and security in my relationship - thus projecting it on others?
  -Is what I'm about to say helpful, beneficial or encouraging?
  -Do I even have the place to speak into this persons life?

Just some food for thought. :) 

And finally, my friends, I will end with this:

14 May, 2014

The Throw-Away Girl.

What is a "throw-away" person?

I'm sure that if you Googled it, there you would find a photo of yours truly.

At least, that's what I've always thought, subconsciously.

And that, my friend(s), is the truth of the deepest, darkest hidden places of my heart.

I had never actually put my finger on that notion until this last weekend when nationally known speaker, Lysa TerKeurst, told her story of feeling like a "throw-away person" growing up. In that moment, I squirmed a little because I thought "Man, that's a great way to explain that..." And simultaneously, heard a small voice in the back of my mind say, "That's exactly how you feel....admit it."

So there it is. That is the truth, as I see it.
This is how I have felt for as long as I can remember. And it hasn't been one isolated incident that had caused this belief to take root in my heart - but a series of circumstances over the last 30 years.

Recently, I have realized that I have a tendency to hold onto relationships. In those relationships, I truly believe that I am choosing to be the 'faithful friend' [and I am, to a point], however, in reality ...it gets to a place beyond 'faithful friend', where it morphs into me actually choosing to be naive and give grace when grace is no longer due - all in an effort not to face this. So I don't have to face the fact that I feel worthless. I do it so I don't have to acknowledge the fact that though I very much value this person...it is no longer reciprocated. Maybe it never was. And I find myself in a place where I am constantly being hurt, because I blindly hang on. It sounds crazy to admit (definition of insanity anyone?) that it's easier to deceive myself than to admit that I am not wanted...that I am not valued...that I am not cherished.

Even in this moment, I can think of 3 common scriptures that tell us not to do this:

Matthew 7:6 AMP says, "Do not give that which is holy (the sacred thing) to the dogs, and do not throw your pearls before hogs, lest they trample upon them with their feet and turn and tear you into pieces."

Proverbs 4:23 AMP says, "Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life."

Matthew 10:14 AMP says, "And whoever will not receive and accept and welcome you nor listen to your message, as you leave that house or town, shake the dust of it from your feet."

These three scriptures would indicate that my choosing to deceive myself and continue to lay my pearls out there...is wrong. I am only asking to be torn apart when I do this. Surely there is a reason it says to guard the heart with all vigilance.

I feel like Paul when he says  "Why do I do the things that I do? Ohh, wretched man that I am!"

So, in the midst if this...I am trying to learn that just because someone else no longer sees my worth or value doesn't make me worthless or unworthy of being cherished.

Because I, too, am a faulty and broken person....solely saved by grace.

Drill that into my heart, Oh, God.
Show me truth in the midst of the lies.

28 April, 2014

Toothe Ache.

Depression can be such a taboo word within the church, and yet, it proliferates.

C.S. Lewis said:
"Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.”"
How true is this?

Let's play this out from point of view of the one with the aching heart:

When Thaddeus (ha) walks by me and says, "Hey, how are you?" as he keeps walking, I recognize that this is simply his way of greeting me, rather than desiring a genuine response.

But, if Thaddeus stops and says, "Hey, how are you?" and waits for a response, at that point I am quickly evaluating our relationship and whether or not he desires [or can even handle] an honest response. Most often, my response is a quick, "I'm fine, how are you?"

And occasionally, Thaddeus may respond with, "Fine? Just fine? What's going on?" At this point there are sirens going off in my head, screaming "Can you be honest?! Surely you can't be honest...he wouldn't understand. You know you'll just get the 'pat Christian answer' that makes you want to punch him in the face..." so, at that point I simply respond with, "It's a rough season...but, it's fine. <insert tired smile> How are you?"

And truth be told, I'm really good at [bad at] down-playing things in my life.
I tend to gloss over so much, and am never really honest.
Not because I like to lie, but because I grew up learning that things should always look better than they really are.


And so truth be told, it's not fine.
Presently, nothing feels fine.

I mean, truthfully, at this point in this season, the only thing I know - and need to be reminded of, if I'm honest - is the fact that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Christ Jesus is my firm foundation.

That He is my Strong Tower.

I mean, when the rest of my foundation [from childhood up] and the world around me is crumbling, it simply gives way to show me the steely assurance of my faith [or lack thereof] in Christ.

Because truly, if I don't have Christ, what have I?
If my foundation isn't found in Him ... what would I have to hold onto?

When my world spins out of control, I will run into the Strong Tower, even if it's all I can do.

13 February, 2014

How long.

My heart is utterly broken.

There's so much right now.

I trust the Lord...I trust the Lord...

Yet, trusting the Lord doesn't stop grief.

How long, Oh Lord, until you return?

How long, Oh Lord, until you right what's been wronged?

How long, Oh Lord, until you turn the hearts of your wayward sons and daughters?

How long...