Saturday, January 21, 2012

Day 73: Goodbye

I finally cried. Last night was great and I think we uncovered some major things for me and I teared up a few times. There were times when I wanted to just curl up in bed and cry myself to sleep. But I didn't. Because I'm stubborn. Because even those these girls know my most vulnerable weaknesses, there is a voice inside me that says "stay strong. don't break down." so I didn't cry. And then this morning when they left, I drove to my parents' house to see my family and then went to the Memphis game with my dad and just kept going and didn't stop to think about anything. But then I finally got home. I was sitting on the couch and I got a text from Jamie about meeting later to go through some scriptures and the tears came. Tears of sadness. Tears of joy. Tears of frustration and anger. Because, let's me honest- I'm pissed!

Whenever I'm sending a patient home at work, I always go in with their prescriptions, discharge instructions, and a band-aid. And I give them their paperwork and talk to them about all the important stuff while I take out their IV. Nine times out of 10, they wince as I begin to peel up the tape and I without fail always tell them, "I know. I'm sorry. The tape is the worst part." And even as I have been doing this dating fast, I've been holding on to control. The past two months five years, I've been trying to tape the pieces of my heart back together. I wrote about it a while ago, but it's still an issue. And I feel like right now, God is piece by piece taking off the tape of my heart so that He can heal me. But as each piece of tape comes off, I feel like I'm crumbling. And I'm trying to remind myself what I've told my patients so many times--that the tape is the worst part. But I feel like I'm cutting through years of scar tissue and doing painful therapy just so I can use my hands again- and it sucks!

So this is it. This is goodbye. Not forever (I don't think) but for a while. Maybe I'll be back. Maybe I won't. But I need a break...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 72: #girlsnightin

Right now I am lying in bed with all the lights out trying to get rid of a migraine before the night begins. It's girls night in and it's becoming a fairly regular occurrence these days. And I can't wait! Yes, there will be a little bit of alcohol and some inappropriate dancing and lots of ridiculousness and random statements (that I will later tweet totally out of context). But what I look forward to most is the community. The transparency and vulnerability. The intentionality and accountability. Ever since we sat on the floor in Jamie's kitchen and I asked her, "so what do you struggle with?" we knew there was no going back. I love that we can pray with and for each other. I love that we can encourage each other and hold one another accountable. I love that the other night Jamie was able to hold me accountable with just a look! I love that we can call out each other's sins. Because we know each other's sins and struggles. Yep, I love these girls! And I am super excited for girls night in.

But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:13

I tried to find a picture of the three of us, but I don't have any. I guess we have too much fun to take pictures...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day 69: Escape

Before I talk about this weekend, let me give you a little glimpse into my world... First off, let me just say that I am neurotic. Seriously. I think this is the fourth time I've said that today. Maybe the fifth. But it's true. Warning: Crazyville ahead... Exhibit A: Today, my mind was racing so I did what any crazy person would do. I sent a text (Yes, I'm totally putting you on blast...) that said "Tell me you don't like me." He responded (as a normal person would) that it sounded like a setup and he wasn't going to answer. To which my mind immediately went somewhere along the lines of, "he doesn't want to respond. does that mean the he does like me? why won't he just tell me what I want to hear so I can get over this conversation. he's not helping. this is frustrating. what does all this mean? ugggghhhh!" Like I said, Neur.O.Tic.  

Anyway, back to what this post was really going to be about- this weekend I got to spend the weekend in the mountains in North Carolina as the camp nurse at a Young Life camp. With around 400 kids and leaders from the Memphis area, I was in charge of all the bruises and bandaids. My duties really just included carrying a walkie-talkie and being available if anyone got hurt or needed anything. I went to all the meals and club but other than that, I was kinda on my own. As much as I wish Jamie had been able to get off work and come with us, I think God knew I needed some time away just me and Him. And it was wonderful! Sweet time with my Savior. So, here are a few pictures:

This is where I stayed. Yep, it's a chalet...
The view when you first walk in. Gorgeous!
The kids room- that I walked into just long enough to take this picture
My bedroom for the weekend
The kitchen that I used-never
Where I spent most of my indoor time. Lots of reading and praying went down on this couch
My view from the chalet. Well, from the rocking chair on the porch
And the infirmary 

It was a great time away. A wonderful time of silence and solitude. A sweet time of pray and refection. Clearly it didn't stop the neuroses but I am so thankful for the time! I needed the escape.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Day 68: You Find Out Who Your Friends Are

Somebody's gonna drop everything. Run out and crank up their car.
Hit the gas. Get there fast. Never stop to think "What's in it for me?" or "It's way to far."
They just show on up with their big ole heart. You find out who your friends are...
-Tracy Lawrence

Just got back in town from a fabulous weekend escape and I'm exhausted, so I'll write all about that tomorrow. Tonight I'm writing about something that I didn't think I would have to deal with. I don't know why. I should have expected it. Friendships change. I'm not talking about female friendships. I have great friendships that have stood the test of time and others that have been "for a season, for a reason" friendships.

But I'm talking about my friendships with guys. Friendships that I naively thought were solid. Friends that I haven't talked to in about a month and a half. Yep, do the math on that one. I think some of these friendship were taken away by God to rid me of a security blanket. But others, I think just showed their true colors. I guess it's better that I saw it now...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day 66: I Pray For You

Often. Not every day but a lot. I prayed for you this morning. I thanked God for your friendship and for what you've been in my life. But I also prayed for me. That if you weren't going to be my husband that God would take away these feelings. I prayed that I could love you as a brother in Christ with no ulterior motives. I'm not there yet. And it's hard. When I'm lonely, I hate that you won't talk to me. When things are going well, I am thankful that you care about me enough to respect this process and what God's trying to teach me. I am thankful for you. But I'm ready to move on. This is goodbye.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Day 62: The Ex Files

Nope, not that kind
More like that...

Sometimes I sit and listen to the stories from the other girls doing the challenge about the guys they've dated. About how they were jerks or did something unforgivable. New Year's Eve I walked into a party and saw 4 guys that I had been on dates with. (More about that in a future post about why I'm doing this.) But seeing those guys in a room together made me think about some things. 1. I need to hang out in different circles. 2. This fast would be a whole lot easier if I moved away. 3. I have dated some really great guys.

So this post is about them. I've been thinking about it for a while now, and have started writing it once or twice but I always get side-tracked or feel like I need more time to put into words how I feel. But I'm kind of excited about it. I have grown from each relationship and taken different things away from each guy. So here it goes...

*Disclaimer: These are not in chronological order. Or alphabetical order. Or any other order at all.

Number one was fun. We stayed up all hours of the night talking and laughing. We had fun together and grew together. But we also grew apart. We were young and were still figuring out who we wanted to be. The more we learned that, the more we realized that it wasn't with each other. But we stayed friends. Not the kind of friend that I talk to everyday, but I know that if I ever need anything, he will be there. He taught me the importance of friendship in relationships. That having fun and enjoying spending time together is priceless. I wouldn't trade that lesson for anything.

Things started out so right with number two. So different from previous relationships. And I think that's why I wanted it to work so much. But it couldn't. I wasn't ready. We were too different. Timing wasn't right. The list of excuses reasons goes on and on. But I was able to be myself around him. I was able to be goofy. There was a comfort in lying around in sweats and talking or just doing nothing. From him, I truly learned the meaning of unconditional love. I pushed him away so many times and he continued to pull me back. In the end, the differences won but I am so thankful for our time together.

We were young, in love, and could make it through anything- or so I thought. In reality, we didn't really know what love was. And because of that, it was a tumultuous, emotional relationship. When things were good, they were better than I could ever have expected. But they weren't always good. Even through all that, I never felt more secure and protected than when I was with him. He was my security blanket that allowed me to feel the comfort and confidence to try new things. Without even knowing it, he taught me what it looks like to submit. He was a servant leader and didn't even know it. Our time together was invaluable.

Number 4 and I just connected. I would say from the beginning, but it wasn't. It took some time- time for us to grow and get to know each other. We are similar in so many ways and yet in other ways we are total opposites. And because of that, he understood me. But he also stretched me and challenged me. He was encouraging and comforting, but wasn't afraid to give me tough love when I needed it (which was probably a lot more than I would like to admit). I wanted to be a better person because of him. From him, I got to see what it truly looks like to be washed with the Word. And that is a lesson that I wouldn't trade for anything!

As I said, I've dated some pretty great guys. And writing this out has made me realize a lot of things- not just because of the things that I wrote, but because of all the things that were going through my mind as I was writing. These men truly demonstrated qualities that I will look for in a future husband and I trust that God put all of them in my life for a season to point me to Him. Don't get me wrong, there were problems with each of these relationships too and reasons that they didn't work out. Most of those problems being me if I am really honest with myself. And so that is what this six months is all about- me. Well, me and God- growing in intimacy with Him and developing total dependence on Him. And my future husband. It's a little about him too. Because he deserves the best me that I can be!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Day 60: Celebrate

Too often we look forward and see how far we have to go to get to where we want to be, but we don't look back at how far we've come. So that's what today was all about for me. Today I celebrated 2 months on this journey. And I got to take time to reflect on how far I have come and everything that God has taught me thus far and is continuing to teach me. It's been a crazy journey so far, but I'm trying to enjoy the ride.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Day 59: Mixed Emotions

It's been months. Four to be exact. And I didn't know how it would feel. I got nervous as I got closer. I sat in my car for a while and then I almost bailed. It still amazes me how much things have changed in a few months- how much I have changed. Tonight I got asked (yet again...) if this was wise or foolish-if I was supposed to be there. My flesh wanted to say, "leave me alone! I can do what I want to do!" But I also knew that my mind would go wild and my imagination would race with "what-ifs."

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
Jeremiah 17:9

Not that my mind didn't race some. There were still crazy thoughts that popped into my head every once in a while. But knowing that other people are carrying this burden with me makes it easier to bear. I am so thankful that people know my struggles. That they can hold me accountable and call me out when needed. I am thankful for the laughter and jokes. But even more, I am thankful that I was able to have more than one intentional conversation with people that love me and were able to encourage me!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Day 58: You Don't Know Me

Apparently there is a horrible rumor going around that I am holding a gun up to people's heads and making them read this. So let me just dispel that rumor now! You don't have to read this. I'm writing this for myself to record my journey through this 6 months dating challenge.

That being said, this is exactly what these posts are documenting--how the dating challenge is going and what my thoughts are on it. This isn't my whole life. There are other things going on in my life besides me not dating for 6 months. Thankfully, I'm not that one-sided, even though some people apparently think I am. Dating wasn't my whole life before and so now not dating isn't my whole life.

I get frustrated because things like this make it easy to revert back to the old me. It's easy to turn inward and put the mask back on. But I'm not going to do that this time! Love me or hate me. This is who I am! I love the quote above. If you don't want to read this, then don't. But don't think just because you read my blog you know me or what's going on in my life!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day 56: Girl Time

I just got back in town from Nashville. I got to spend the day babysitting my nieces. 1. Kids are hilarious! 2. Being a mom is hard work! But how can you not love these two??
 So the time with the girls was short and sweet. The time in my mind was long and excruciating! Knowing bits and pieces is hard. My mind always seems to fill in the blanks with the worst possible scenario! But I think it's getting better. And by "better" I mean it only took me like an hour to calm my mind and finally fall asleep. But that's progress--slow progress, but progress. And maybe one day, this won't phase me at all...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Day 54: Get Real

I wasn't drunk! I've never been drunk. I don't like the idea of not being in control. But I do like to dance. I like to hang out with friends and have fun. I'm kind of a spaz!

I got 2 different responses last night/this morning. From the people that don't know me, I got a lot of "how are you feeling?" "hope you drank a lot of water" From the people that do know me, I got "I'm glad people finally got to see the real Jillian"

So this is in response to all those people that don't know me: I wasn't drunk. You just got to see a glimpse into who I really am when the mask comes off and the dancing shoes come on! As I said, I'm a spaz. I'm fiesty. I'm theatrical. Get used to it. The mask is coming off in 2012. It's time to get real!