Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 21: Friendship

I've been thinking a lot about friendships lately. With guys and girls. I don't want pointless friendships. I want friends that know me inside and out. Friends that will hold me accountable. Friends that will pray for me and encourage me in my walk with the Lord.

I have realized that I share different things with different friends. That I am open about different things with different groups of people. I think part of it is self protection. But I think part of it is good. I feel like there are  things in my life that I don't want to share with people just for the sake of exchanging information. When I am going through tough times, I want to talk to people that I know will intercede on my behalf. People that I know will encourage me through scripture and godly wisdom. And there are some friends that I don't feel like will do that so I withhold things from them.

But if I'm not being open with them, then what's the point? What are the friendships for? Time to reevaluate...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 20: Progress

So, today was interesting. It was his birthday. Everyone says this shouldn’t affect me anymore. And maybe it shouldn’t. Most days it doesn’t. 98% of the time I’m fine. I don’t think about him at all. Then there’s that other 2%. Those times when I see a truck that looks like his or I drive past a place that holds a lot of memories. But today wasn’t as hard as it could have been. Or as hard as it has been in past years. I thought about him. And about us. But it was more about reminiscing on the past and thinking about the good times. Yes, there was some wondering about what could have been and there was some regret. But there was no bitterness or hatred. There were no tears. Progress.

After work tonight didn’t go as I had planned- at all. But instead of beating myself up about it, I thought about how far I had come. I thought about what this night would have looked like a year ago- even a few months ago! And despite everything, I am excited and proud that things are different. Progress.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 19: Reconfirmation

I'm trying to be positive. Tonight just reconfirmed why I'm doing this. I'm frustrated and discouraged. And only at myself. This morning at church, Bryan talked about faith and how it involves both trust and risk. He also talked about how God loves us to much to just let us get by. And that God will continue to allow us to face the same storms until we can pass the test and trust in Him.

I feel like I am continually getting the same tests. And that I am failing over and over again! And I know it's my fault! So frustrating! I want to trust God with this. I want to pass this test so that I can move on, but also so that I can grow. I'm tired of feeling like I'm on a carousel that keeps going around in circles but never gets anywhere.

I'm trying to be optimistic about all of this. I'm trying to use this as a reminder as to why I'm doing a dating fast in the first place. I'm trying to think about how things are going to be different in May. But I kind of just want to move to another city and start over.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 18: Goodbye

The most painful goodbyes are the ones that are never said and never explained.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 17: Placekeeper

I'm tired of being a placekeeper. I'm tired of filling in and keeping you comfortable until something better comes along. I'm tired of being jealous when you hang out with other people and I'm tired of our relationship holding me back from other friendships.

I can honestly say that I want what's best for you. I can now say that I want you to be happy. I know that's not with me. You already know what you want. Go after it! But don't drag me along with you! You’re moving on and that’s fine. But let me move on too!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 16: Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving!

As hard as these past 2 weeks have been, I am truly blessed. And God is teaching me to be thankful- sometimes by throwing it in my face over and over again. I have been told to read the book One Thousand Gifts for a few months now and haven't done it yet. Then I went on a retreat where we focused on the book and the fact that Eucharisto is made up of joy, grace, and thanksgiving. It was all about learning to give thanks in all circumstances. Receiving grace is a large piece of truly being thankful and experiencing Eucharisto. And then at church on Sunday, Ben preached about being thankful. Clearly sometimes God has to continue to throw things at me multiple times before I get it. Third times a charm and I am learning to give thanks continually.
So here goes the list of things for which I'm thankful (This is a real list. Not like 2 years ago at Thanksgiving dinner when we went around the table I said I was thankful for text messages):

I am so thankful for my family. Even through all our craziness, I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world!

I am so thankful for my sweet New Rules girls. For Katie, Lacey, Paige, Faith, Tracy, Lauren, Tabria, Roz, Angela, Lindsay, Egypt, Savannah. You girls were such an answer to prayers! And it so nice to not feel totally alone in all this.  For Danielle and Jamie and Sara who are battling singleness with me! And it is a battle- every single day.

I am so thankful for my DTR group. You guys are way better than a steak! :) For Becky and her putting up with all of us and pouring into us (even when we are a sinking ship) For Rosie and her sense of humor and wit. For Holly and her compassion. For Suzanne and her persistence and passion. She does more in 10 minutes than I do all day! For Christy and her genuine desire to follow the Lord. For Ale and her sweet spirit. For Amy and her ability to keep us on our toes.

I am so thankful for sweet friendships like Jamie and Eryka and the time we spent together yesterday. For the laughter and jokes, but also for the conversation and transparency. God has placed these women in my life at exactly the right moment!

I am so thankful for my growth group and the time we have spent together. I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for us in the next few years!

I am so thankful for friendships, old and new. For Sara and her constant encouragement and prayer- even when I'm a horrible friend. For Sally and her honesty and new perspective that she gives me. For Megan and her ability to know the worst about me and still not judge me.

I know there are people I left out and things that I am truly blessed to have. I am thankful for all the women on the Sardis retreat and getting to know their hearts. I am thankful for the people that have encouraged me through hurt and rejoiced with me through good times. I am thankful for you!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 14: Temptations

God is funny (and nice...) So, I was thinking that maybe God trusted me a little more than He should have. (Not really. He is sovereign!) But I was concerned that He had more confidence in me than I had in myself. My second thought about the whole "supersingle"* situation was that I wish God didn't trust me so much. So Monday, I get another message this time from God-through someone else. The actual words aren't as important as what God said through it, which was basically, "You can only see a finite amount into the future. I can see the whole picture. You were overwhelmed by the thought of resisting this struggle for the rest of your life. I just wanted you to rely on me in the moment- to give me the struggle for the day. I knew you could handle one day at a time. You were faithful one day at a time for three days. Well done. Now I will take the temptation away." And just like that, it was gone. It's still hard, sometimes harder than before. It still occupies my thoughts at times, but it's getting better...

I reached 2 weeks! This is like a milestone. Baby steps...

*Supersingle may or may not be my superhero name :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 13: Rollercoaster

My day started horrible. I don't want to talk about it. But by 8:30 this morning I had cried in the closet at work- twice. Yeah, bad day. But then work got busy and I got distracted/ distracted myself. At the end of the day, I'm leaving work and I get a text that says "Margaritas waiting for you!!!!" Perfection! Best way to end what started as a terrible day! Met my DTR girls at Las Delicias for great food and drink, lots stripe spotting, and even more laughs. I'm so thankful for friendships!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 11: God Trusts Me

Today I am emotional. Nothing has happened. It's been a pretty average, nothing out of the ordinary day. But, I went to bed mad and woke up mad and have been kind of in a funk all day. Let me rewind. Yesterday morning, when getting on the elevator at work, I almost literally bump into an ex-boyfriend's dad. No big deal. Not going to let it phase me. I just laughed and thought, "you're funny, God." Then I went about my day at work and it was cra.zy. Super busy and I felt like I was running around all day! After work, I was driving to dinner trying to think about what to post. I had nothing. I was really thinking that the day had been pretty uneventful and that it was going to be a short entry.

After work I went to dinner with some of the girls in my Bible study (and 2 of the other girls doing to OYC). It was just a fun tonight of fellowship and good mexican food :) At one point, I look down at my phone and notice I have 2 new notifications from facebook. I was intrigued and tried to open the app, but my phone was not cooperating so I tucked it away and went on with dinner.

After dinner, they went dancing. I went home. I was exhausted! Driving home, I decided to blog about dinner and how thankful I was for sweet friendships and encouragement and accountability through all of this. I thought it would be nice to write a happy post after crying my eyes out the night before. Then, I got to a red light and remembered my phone. So I open facebook and my mouth drops. I am speechless. Okay, technically I wasn't totally speechless. I may have said a choice word or five. I couldn't help it. I was shocked. Suspense killing you yet? Staring back at me from my screen was a facebook message from an ex that went something like, "just wanted to see how you were doing..." Back story, we dated. For a while. Broke up and he broke my heart almost 4 years ago. We haven't spoken in about a year. (If you don't know the story, don't do the math on all that...) Was never expecting to talk to him again. And then I get this. Totally out of the blue. Oh the frustrations! So I called a friend and vented to her and then almost had to laugh about it. If you've been reading a doing the math, that 3 exes that I've accidently had contact with this week. Three!

First thought: 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
Second thought: God, I'm really glad that you trust me and know that I can bear this temptation, but sometimes I wish You didn't trust me quite so much...
Third thought: I kinda feel like Job. I know my family is dying and I don't have boils. But I can picture the spiritual warfare that's going on. I can imagine the conversation where Satan says, "What about this? Can I do this to her?" And then God responds, "Yes, I'll allow you to do that to her. I know that she is faithful and can handle it."
Wow! And now, I'm tearing up. Next time you're tempted, imagine that conversation in your head. It's much harder to sin when you actually picture God telling Satan that he has faith in you. And then I imagined me (I may or may not have been a little kid with a superhero cape) saying, "I can do this, Dad! You can trust me with this!" And that's what I'm going to do. Eleven days in and this is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. But I'm going to do it. I have to. It's going to be hard, but God's power is made perfect in weakness!

Doesn't this look like me?! I wish I had a monkey sidekick. Maybe a guardian angel, in the body of a monkey??

Things are already looking up. At least my perspective is changing. I went to bed mad. I woke up mad. And writing this put everything into perspective and reminded me of truths!

**I just looked over to my right and saw the most gorgeous view. I tried to take a picture but the glare from the window didn't do the image justice. And you could see my patient in it. HIPAA, anyone? So no photo. But let me just describe it... The clouds are so calm and look so serene and the sun is starting to set and so the sky has a nice orange glow to it and I can see the streaks of sunlight through the clouds. Beautiful! I'm pretty sure it was God smiling at me...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 9: Broken

The only thing worse than crying in the shower is wanting to cry, going through all the scenarios, and feeling nothing. I've had those nights. Tonight, was not one of those nights. Tonight, the floodgates opened. Tonight, I sat in the shower and let the water wash over me. Tonight, the tears came. And they just wouldn't stop. I arrogantly didn't think I would get to this point. I thought I had already grieved past relationships. I thought this was going to be a time of growing. I didn't know I would feel so broken. I didn't know I still felt so broken.

And I'm mad. I don't get mad often. It's not polite. I get frustrated. Or angry. Or disappointed. I can name off a list of more appropriate synonyms than mad. But right now I'm pissed. I'm mad at the people I've dated for treating me the way they did. I've mad at the people I haven't dated for mistreating me. And I'm mad at myself for letting it all happen!

I'm mad that I had him first. I'm mad that it was just a competition and a game for him. I'm mad that I was there when he was lonely. I'm mad at the pity apology. I'm mad that he shows up just when I'm moving on to get stuck in my head again. I'm mad for thinking he was trustworthy. I mad for letting it go on for too long. I'm mad for being the other women. I'm mad that he lied and cheated. I'm mad that he cared. I'm mad that I wasted all that time. I'm mad that he made excuses. I'm mad that he moved on so fast. I'm mad that he couldn't move on. I'm mad that he interfered. I'm mad that I opened up to him. I'm mad that he's still in my life. I'm mad that he made me cry. I'm mad that he didn't protect me. I'm mad that he broke my heart.

People always think a broken heart looks like this...

But what if it looks more like this. Smashed in a million pieces that don't all fit back together?

And so I cried. Out of anger and frustration. And I yelled. And I thought back to all the things that had happened. And then I prayed. The songs that kept running through my head while I was in the shower were Into Marvelous Light and Lead Me to the Cross:

Sin has lost its power. Death has lost its sting. From the grave You've risen- victoriously!
Into marvelous light I'm running... Out of darkness, out of shame.
By the cross You are the truth; You are the life; You are the way.

Lead me to the cross where Your love poured out.
Bring me to my knees. Lord, I lay me down.
Rid me of myself. I belong to you.
Lead me. Lead me to the cross.

And then I heard these words... In your presence, God, I'm completely satisfied. For You, I sing; I dance. I rejoice in this divine romance. I lift my heart and my hands to show my love!

That's what I want! A divine romance with God. A God that loves me more than I can fathom! A God that will never let me go. A God that will never disappoint me. A God that will never leave me. A God that will completely satisfy me! A God that will take all the pieces of my broken heart and not try to fit them back together, but will give me a new heart that is made complete and whole in Him!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 8: Restoration

Confession: I feel like I've been cheating. And I know that I'm only cheating myself. It all started yesterday. I was out and the first person I see is an ex-boyfriend. Seriously?! So of course, my mind goes crazy! The good news is that I'm starting to recognize my behaviors. I can catch where my mind is going to go sooner and try to rein it back. But yesterday threw me off. I was able to take some time and pray and read back over the things I had journaled from the past few days.

This weekend I wrote about the lies I believe that I'm not good enough and how it plays out in every area of my life. I feel like I've been the "but" girl. Guys like hanging out with me, BUT they don't want to date me. Or someone will want to date me, BUT when it's time to get serious and get married, I'm not that girl. Then Monday night, when we talked about the inner vows we take, I realized that I have taken a vow that I'm not going to get married. I never would have done this on my own! But I think subconsciously, I've been thinking that for a while. So now I'm working on renouncing the vows I've made and learning to believe who I really am in Christ. I want this 6 months to be a time of restoration and growth.

I want things to be different. And for that to happen, I have to change things. So as of tonight, I'm unfollowing people on twitter and defriending them on facebook. I'm deleting numbers and texts from my phone. I'm starting fresh! (Things were a lot easier before all this technology...) But I'm excited to see what happens. No distractions. It's me and God!

Day 8: Responses

I thought I would take a break from my own crazy thoughts and lighten the mood a little bit. So, here are some of the responses I've gotten from people when I tell them about the challenge:

-I hear you're not dating for 6 months. That really shortens the time for you to get married next year.

-Are you going to have like DTR withdrawls?

-Boy: So are you seeing anyone right now? Me: The exact opposite actually!

-You're like the singlest person I know!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 7: Take Every Thought Captive

Outwardly, I'm doing everything right- kind of. But inside I'm going crazy! I feel like I have been keeping myself busy and successfully distracting myself most of the time. Or facing things head on. This past weekend I was blessed to go on a mini-retreat to Sardis Lake with some women from church. It was a great time of fellowship, but we also talked about sharing our story and lamenting parts of our story in order to really heal. It was such a sweet time with God and really taking the time to hear what He wanted to say to me. And then I got back Sunday night and went to the group that started it all-the singles group. We were able to laugh together and cry together and open up about how the group had been an answer to so many of our prayers! Last night was DTR group. We talked about the inner vows that we take to feed the lies that we believe and how to renounce them. All so good, right? Great encouragement and insight!

But then the sun goes down and everything changes at night. My mind races. (Remember when I didn't sleep for 8 months?) My imagination goes crazy and I think about everything that could be happening and all the things that I could potentially be missing out on. Logically I know that this is ridiculous, but it doesn't make things any easier. So my goal for the time being is to take every thought captive!

I am so grateful for the people that have been around me this past week to encourage me and give me tough love. Like my favorite text that I've gotten... "Did you text that dumb boy?" Yep, nothing like that to bring me back to reality. :)

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5

"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

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

See You in Six Months

Not the blog- although this once a month posting thing isn't really what I had in mind, but sometimes life isn't! So what's happened in the past month? Way too much to catch up on. I'll try to give updates more frequently- more for myself than the 2 poeple that read this.

But... to get to the point of this blog, first i have to go through the back story. I went to the singles class at church. I didn't think I was going to go (mainly because of the name), but I decided to give it a try. The first class was good, but I felt like it was a lot of people who were new to Memphis or new to Fellowship and were trying to get plugged in and get connected. Great concept, but I already had that. So again I thought about not going back, but I did. The last week, we split the class girls and guys to talk about relatioinships. It was really good! Things in my life were kinda crazy and I felt like my mind raced 8,000 miles a minute at all times so it was nice to know that I was not alone in all that.

After the class ended, one of the girls decided to start a group to go through Andy Stanley's video series "The New Rules of Love, Sex, and Dating." She told us about how after seeing this series, she broke up with her boyfriend and took a year off from dating. My first thought: wow, that's awesome! My second thought: I could never do that! At the first meeting, another girl in the group had also decided to go on a dating fast. I left that night and couldn't stop thinking about it. God kept gently tugging at my heart asking me why I couldn't do it and why I wasn't trusting Him with every aspect of my life. To which I replied, that it's probably not that I couldn't do it. I just didn't want to! It would be hard. And I'm getting old and I want to get married and have kids and a year is so- long. This was my discussion with God. Yes, as I type this out I know how ridiculous it sounds and that my arguing with God sounds like a small child whining to her parents, but that's how I feel sometimes...

So... nothing happened. I went about my life and then went back the next week. And another girl announced that she had joined the fast. And then God says "''what are you waiting on?" and I proceed on with a long list of excuses. (Do you see a pattern yet?) But I had been thinking about it more and more. God kept putting situations in my path and He kept whispering to me, "Give this to me." Thankfully, he is a persistant God that puts up with all my stubbornness and loves me through it! So last night something happened. And I guess it was the final straw. It was just bad. And sad all at the same time. So I went home and prayed/ fought with God for a while.

And now... I'm here! Taking a 6-month fast from dating. Day 1 of 183! Now that I finally committed to it, I'm excited, and relieved, and a little nervous. But mostly excited! I'm excited to not worry about things, to fully trust in God, and to see what journey He's going to take me on in the next few months. I'm excited to learn and to grow and to continue to appreciate the wonderful women that God has put in my life. And I'll try to document the journey here!