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Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

This New Year is already shaping up to be very different than I had thought it would be! (And that is not really a bad thing!) A few short weeks ago, I brought in the New Year with some awesome friends, staying up way later than I have in a long time. I knew in my spirit that things would be different for me this year, a strong sense of expectation filled me…knowing God was doing something (I know, He is always doing something!) A day or so later, I got a very unexpected, yet welcomed message from someone I have known for quite a while.

So here I sit, now “officially” in a relationship (cue friendly joking comments about my “official” relationship). But this post is not about all the details or gushing about him, or bragging about my new relationship status.  It’s about what God can do when you step back and trust Him to work things in His time.

This all did not happen because I planned it or he planned it. I know that in my own life I had so much to work through in these past few years. I had to learn to trust what God was doing, especially when it came to relationships. Had he decided to ask me out when we had first met, or even last year, I am not sure what I would have said. I was in such a different place in my life and Lord knows I would have screwed up somehow because I hadn’t dealt with a lot of my junk.

There were plenty of times over the past couple of years where I questioned what God was doing and what I should be doing. I also didn’t have the right motives for being in a relationship. But time and time again He lay on my heart things that would not leave me alone: I knew I was not to manipulate to get into a relationship, it would be someone I was friends with first and served with, and someone who would take my standards seriously. No matter how I tried, God kept reminding me to keep trusting Him and serving Him and He would handle the rest.

Now, even in this early part of our relationship, there is peace and trust that God is writing this story. Things are just different, and it’s been absolutely awesome so far. My biggest struggles remain in my mind…like the struggle of what God says about me and what I say about myself. Given what I been through in my life, I do also struggle with fears that creep up. I keep holding on to God’s steadfast love, trusting in Him thought all of this. I know that wherever this may lead, it’s all in His hands.

Know that you can trust God in everything, including relationships. Trust that He does have your best interest at heart. Be honest with God, sometimes you have to yell and scream, and He is ok with that! Be patient knowing He will do a far better job than forcing or manipulating your way into a relationship. Focus on working on your own heart issues, building friendships and serving and loving God.  There will be plenty of times where it will be difficult, but in the end, no matter where He leads, it will all be worth it!

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It turns out I have been running away, I didn’t even realize it.

I have spent the last few years on a journey with God to heal and grow. I spent much of that time hurting over the circumstances that forced me to change. To be honest, even recently, anger would rise up every time I see or hear my ex and his fiance. As much as I claimed to be in the process of forgiveness and acknowledged how things are so much better now, I felt  the twinge of hate and bitterness towards them for what happened. Everyone tells me how much I deserve to feel this way, and that it’s all ok. I would nod along in agreement, allowing those feelings to continue to grow. I would say how I prayed that they would both just love God, and grow closer to Him…all while I secretly hoped they would be cursed for what they did. The whisper I heard in my spirit…”You hypocrite!”

I have spent many nights crying to God (and there have been a few moments where I screamed it out).

“WHY!!!??!?!?!”

“I didn’t deserve this! I didn’t choose this!”

“It’s not fair! They get to have each other, and here I am…alone… Yet again! Its not right!”

Of course, in real life, there were far more words and tons more weeping, but you get the picture. During the day, I would pretend everything was great, all was forgiven and that loneliness didn’t exist, because that is what “good” Christians do.

It’s been quite some time since I have had a night like that. This year I finally had started feeling at peace over where I was at in all of this, diving into working, serving and such. Much of my anger was diminishing, and as much as possible (since we have child) , I kept an “I don’t care” attitude about my ex and his life. I was feeling relief, thinking that I had finally made it to the point where I had an acceptable amount of forgiveness, all things considered.

Apparently God had something else He wanted me to work through. Denial.  My reaction: Wha?! (looking around at the imaginary person behind me) What do you mean “denial”? Seriously?!

Denial about my singleness. Denial about being a single parent. Denial about this part of my life. It’s not like I was pretending to be “taken” or that I was still married. God pointed out I was avoiding associating with anything that could label me as such. Earlier this year, I (VERY reluctantly) went to a single moms event . I loved the ladies from our church, but felt ashamed of my circumstance. I tried to find Lifegroups that were a mix of everyone (single, married, young, old, etc) to avoid anything remotely “single” or “divorced”. I didn’t want to accept it, probably out of the “It’s not fair” thinking. Heck, even on Facebook, I refused to put “single” or any status! I didn’t choose it, so I didn’t have to accept it. (God reminds me that’s a victim mentality…) Then my mind goes into thought-process-geek-out-mode: tied to all of that is a fear that stepping into a relationship would then validate my former status as single which should have never happened because it wasn’t my fault. (deep breath)  o_O

Ok. God, I get it. I have to accept my singleness and my past. I have to quit playing the victim. If I ever want a healthy relationship I HAVE to accept, let God heal me and give me COMPLETE peace. Its all part of living in truth…self truth, the kind He reveals to help us grow. In that truth, I am able to go a little further in forgiving others and myself. Thank God, He loves us too much to let us remain the same… (and I will be changing my status to reflect my acceptance, not that I am actively “looking”! LOL 😉 )

 

 

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So this week will begin the flood of posts on social media about Valentine’s Day. Some will be talking about their plans with their sweetie, while others will complain about how they wish they had a significant other so they could celebrate it (and I can tell you 98%+ of both of these posts will be made by women lol). All of it causes me to laugh a little, because of what little I know of the real story of St. Valentine and how we as a society let certain businesses think that buying a bunch of their stuff will show our love… ::shaking my head:: Its kind of sad when you think about how that happens at just about every holiday.

Anyway, back to what I am really wanting to talk about… It always was kind of annoying to me about people being all “anti-Valentine’s day” or “Singles Awareness Day”. I understand why those feeling surface, but they seem to be laced with desperation (“I NEED to be with somebody!!!”), emptiness (“I am incomplete without a partner”) and envy (“It’s not fair, that I am alone, and everyone else has someone”). I think Valentine’s Day just amplifies what has been lying inside all the rest of the time.

During this period of my life, I have found myself feeling those same feelings at different times. Over this past year, things have changed and I have found myself in a better place, a more content place. I can only credit God with that, because if I am not focused on Him, then I find myself slipping into the “poor single me” attitude. If I find myself focusing on that, then I know I am not trusting Him in that area of my life. I have to trust the He has my best interest at heart, and at the right time He will bring the right man along. If I am constantly complaining that I “NEED” to have a boyfriend or how I don’t know how long I can stand being alone, then its another way of saying, “God, I love You and all, but You have no idea what I am going through, and Your timing is not perfect.”

So this Valentine’s Day, I won’t be complaining (except for maybe the whole commercialization thing lol). I will take joy in my friends’ excitement over their relationships and do my best to show love to my single friends who maybe struggling with the loneliness. My prayer is that Christ will be the center, so those feelings will be overcome by His love. His timing is perfect, and He does know what we are going through.

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My little break from social media is almost over. On Tuesday, I can get back on Facebook and Twitter, and I have been pondering on the roll it had and has in my life. All I know for certain is that I shouldn’t let it become the thing I need to fast from, if that makes sense.

It makes me angry at myself for even letting take any priority in my life, but unfortunately society doesn’t make it easy. It wasn’t enough for all the info in the world to be interconnected, but we had to create ways to be social on the internet too. I am not saying it’s all bad, but sometimes it’s the only “social” thing people do. We stay at home, on our computers “interacting” with people. As an introvert, I admit I think I have an easier time with socializing on the computer (or text for that matter lol), but I also recognize it’s not healthy either.

It seems that true social situations and gatherings are becoming less and less frequent. We claim we don’t have time to do this or that yet we can spend hours on social media and other stuff that isolates us from the rest of the world. Honestly, it hurts a lot less to hide behind a screen to talk to people. We can feel more freedom to either be who we truly are or pretend to be someone we are not.

We wonder why subsequent generations seem to deteriorate and wonder why people seem to have no interpersonal skills. Take a look at what our children are observing. Are they seeing us interact with others in real life situations, are they seeing social cues and how to react to them? Are we telling them to go on because we have to finish something important….you know like responding to a FB post or writing a blog post (OUCH!).

When I chose to take a break from social media, it was a tough one. I knew it would mean a sort of isolation from my family, friends, and rest of the world. I made sure I posted a couple of times that I was taking this break, knowing that the likelihood of hearing from most people would be low. I have had a couple of friends text me, but other than that the only time I recall talking to others is at work and at church. Now for the most part I can deal with that, but there were days where I felt a little lonely or “out of the loop”. It was those days that impressed upon me that I should be seeking to fulfill that part of me with God and reach out more to others outside of the internet.

I want my kids to see how things are supposed to be done from me, and not what the media tells them. I want to have more meaningful relationships with other people, deeper than what they had for dinner or the long line they are standing in. I want to be able to see others as Jesus sees them…and that can be hard to do through the computer screen.

Like I said, it’s not all bad. We just need to be more aware of what is going on around us. We need to be able to be plugged into real life enough to see others…that way we can share life with them too.  Just doing that can change our hearts and in turn change so many others.

 

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I have been wanted to write a post on serving for several weeks and after all the reflecting I have done this past week, it’s high time I write it lol  My mind has been going in several directions on this topic, so hopefully I won’t jump around too much.

This week, while emotionally challenging (for various reasons), has brought about an awakening inside me that I wasn’t sure ever would happen. My battle with depression and anxiety had taken such a toll on me mentally, that even after God healed me, I was left with a feeling that I had lingering “damage” from it. I cannot do the situation justice in my description, but I felt “slow”, numb, and having to re-learn how to deal with emotions in a non-depressed state. I felt wholly inadequate in my job and serving, and felt guilty for not having a passion for something.

A few weeks ago, I was serving in Toon Town, and had to FIGHT with all I had not to run out in tears (which honestly may have been because I was sick that day lol). There I was trying to lead a discussion with some little girls, and it was going nowhere fast. I felt like such a failure! I used to work so well with children in classroom settings and the like, and I couldn’t even get the tiniest bit of interest out of these kids! I was so frustrated and felt like maybe I shouldn’t be helping. My prayer since then has been for God to restore my mental/emotional capacity, and I hadn’t really paid attention to what He was doing in that aspect until now.

Conversations with various  friends  and fighting through a week where I was STRONGLY tempted to isolate and give in to depression knocking on my door has helped bring in clarity (which will be fine-tuned even more when I go through Chazown and actually finish it lol) The one passion I have is serving/helping in any way I can. Serving has played a HUGE role in my healing from depression and divorce.  It helped me get my butt up off the couch and get the focus off myself.

The more I serve, the more I see people for who they are and more aware of those in need.  There are so many people going through things I can’t even imagine, and there are far more people who share in my struggles that I thought.  God has done so much for me in the past couple of years (and my life!!!) that the least I can do is give back to Him by showing others His love.  My prayer now is for God to refine that vision further. I have no clear direction (career-wise)  and I am believing for provision so I can go back to school (if that is the path He wants for me!)

Along with all that “processing”, I have given some thought about relationships and serving. I have been a follower of Christ for quite a while now, and have seen things that just bother the heck out of me (and in almost every church I have been to!) Time and time again I have seen people get involved at church and everything seems great….well until they get involved with “Mr. or Miss New Relationship”.  Then suddenly serving and ultimately their relationship with God gets put on the back burner. I am not saying everyone who has a boyfriend or girlfriend does this, and there are times when they maybe choosing to go to the other’s church or whatever. All I am saying is if you are single, be aware that you could find yourself in a similar situation. Set your standards NOW before all that lovey-dovey stuff blinds you! lol I should add the following to my “dating standards” blog post (If I haven’t already lol) : —–> Serving God and going to church is important to me…I will not stop those things just because we are dating. I have no problem serving alongside you or going to church together, but I will not stop everything and put you before my commitments to God. If you have issues with that, then don’t bother asking me out  😉

To sum it up, my faith in God is my life…He is the reason I press on.  Serving is something that pours out of me because of how much I love Him. He has done so much for me, and I see what He is doing in those around me…I can’t help but do all I can. My life is so much more than sitting around and doing what I want. If I am going to be on this earth, I might as well do everything I can to give love and hope to those hurting…because God has sent others in my life when I needed.

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1 Peter 4:10-11  As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:  (11)  whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies–in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Galatians 5:13  For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

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