Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 169: Heaven Has Another Angel

There's so much I want to say and don't have the words. I know that she is sitting at the feet of Jesus with Chardonnay and M&Ms :) This was the last post on her caringbridge. Visitation is tonight and the funeral is tomorrow. Just pray. Pray for peace and for comfort. Pray for a celebration of her life. Pray that her passing, like her life, will draw people closer to God.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 164

A wise person once told me that women cry more than men because women have shallower tear ducts. Take that as you will, but don't believe everything you hear. :) Anyway, I'm pretty sure my tear ducts are shallower than the average person- male or female. I have cried more this week than I have in a while. I have been physically, mentally, and emotionally drained and I feel like at any moment I could just start crying. And so that's what I've done. During conversations, at home by myself, in church this morning... So thanks friends for being understanding and not thinking that I'm totally crazy!

Aside from being a basket case of emotion, this week has been amazing! It's funny because I've posted about being excited about the end of the challenge and about wanting to be present in the moment because I knew that I still had time to go and didn't want to look to the future and miss what God had for me. I wanted to make the most of the last month and not miss anything. But I have no words! I think God has done so much in me in the last week or two than I saw in the first five months. He has given me unspeakable joy and revealed so much to me about myself and about Him. He continues to pursue me daily!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 161: Anxiety

It all started on Tuesday Sunday. How it always starts. And I'm trying to be calm. I knew that I had to work Monday and that would keep me busy and honestly, I didn't think anything would come of it. There was no reason to be stressed over nothing.

Then Tuesday came and I was off work so naturally I was reading some blogs and gchatting with Megan when it came. And I'm glad I was. It allowed for immediate processing and her making me take deep breaths and not think crazy thoughts. And I have to say that I did surprisingly well! My sister came in town Tuesday night and we spent time with friends so my mind was elsewhere.

Wednesday I worked all day, went to dinner with friends, and then went back to spend time with family and friends. By the time I got home it was 11pm and I was exhausted! And I knew I had to wake up for growth group at 5:30. Which means I went straight to bed and didn't have time to think about anything.  

Last night my text conversation went something like this:
Her: I will be sending prayers in your direction! Anything you're hoping for? Or just strength and peace?
Me: I have no idea what to expect. Just pray for peace. That I'm not anxious about anything.
Her: I know what else that means! I'll be praying for some sleep tonight too! :)
So thankful for godly friendships!

Today I was praying as I was brushing my teeth (it was 4:30. my growth group should just be happy that my teeth got brushed) and God gave me Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." And with that I had an overwhelming peace. I was able to go into it with no expectations. (But let's just say that Megan and I did not win a free trip to Disney!) It was great though. Just like old times. The good old times. Even though my mind was in a few places at once and I occasionally had to remind myself to focus on the words. Sorry! But this morning was one of those moments where there was no doubt that it God was working. There was no other explanation or reason. Left to my own devices, my mind would have been racing and my anxiety level off the charts. BUT GOD calmed my heart and my mind like only He can! He never ceases to amaze!

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! Psalm 139:23

**Update: After I posted this, I realized the timeline matched up perfectly with 2 different conversations. Choose to believe this post is about whichever one you want...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 159: Revelations

Huge revelations have been and are being made. As I talk through things out loud with other people, I am getting a whole new perspective on things. These are situations that I have played out in my head hundreds thousands of times but I am seeing everything so differently after talking through them with others. Man, imagine how far along in this process I would be if I had opened up to people a long time ago! But I am grateful for the lessons. And the journey. God never ceases to amaze me!

Tomorrow is Wednesday. In an effort to live in the present and not dwell on the future, I just needed to remind myself of that.
I'll leave with this quote that I found on Pinterest today because I love it! How many times have I compared myself to others and felt insecure? But how many of those other people had I really let into my life to see the good, the bad, and the ugly? Gentle reminders!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day 156: Are You Married?

Today was the opening day of wedding season. Today marked the first wedding for me of seven. In the next twelve weeks. A little ridiculous? Yes. But it is clear that love is in the air. And it's exciting to see friends proclaim their love and to celebrate with them.
And today only one person asked me when I was getting married. I laughed it off. But wanted to respond with, "Well let me just whip out my crystal ball and tell you." Well, technically I guess two people said something about it. If you count the friend that joked that I was next in line. I'm sorry, but if you're waiting for me to be next in line, you'll be waiting a very long time.

But the "Are you married?" question is one of the most frequently asked question. Probably second only to various forms of the question "What are you?" But asking if I'm married is a close second. I get asked at work all the time. By patients, other nurses, lab, physical therapy, etc. I should probably say that 99% of the time, this question is asked by older women just being curious and not by men trying to figure out my marital status.

And the question doesn't bother me. I mean, I do wear a ring on my left hand. It's the questions that follow it that make me crazy. "Well do you have a boyfriend?" Or my favorite: "But you're so pretty. Why aren't you married yet?" I want to say something along the lines of "You're right. What am I waiting on? Why don't I just propose to the next guy that walks by?"

I am well aware of the reasons why I'm not married yet. There is no need to push my insecurities. And yes, I want to get married. It is a definitely a desire of mine. But I am perfectly content to wait for God's timing and trust in His will. I just wish everyone else would be too.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Day 155: Texts From Last Night

Today at work I had the back of the hall. I haven't had the back in a while, but it was kind of nice. It's sort of in its own cubby hole so I was away from everyone. I was able to hide in a corner most of the day and still see all of my patient's room. Hiding in the corner also meant some much needed worship, Pandora style. And some about 2 hours of gchat with Megan (not all at once. This was in between meds and dressing changes and checking on patients). I am so thankful for her and for our friendship! It was much needed venting and therapy and filling her in on the 33 texts that I sent her last night. Oops!
But she listened and she asked the right questions and she made me get down to the root of the emotions and the issues and she listened to me overshare most of the time. She puts up with a lot of my word vomit. Sorry, Meggie!

I also took a lunch break today. It was the first time all week that I've gone to lunch but it was very much needed. Not to eat. Just to sit. By myself. And think. And get my act together. And it worked wonders. I came back from lunch feeling so much better and was actually able to interact with my coworkers.

There was a time when I just wanted to go home and cuddle up with a movie. (It's times like that when God reminds me exactly why I'm doing this challenge) But by the time it was actually time to come home, things were so much better!

And then Megan called me on the way home to chat. Because 2 hours of talking didn't even scratch the surface. There were 33 texts full of exploits and expletives. I wish I could say that I just put that for dramatic effect, but it's 100% true. Like I said, she puts up with A. LOT. She is definitely in my life for a reason and she is a fabulous Barnabas!

Today the past 24 36 hours have been filled with lots of ups and downs, but they have also been sweet times to turn to Jesus. Nothing like sitting at a computer, listening to Tenth Avenue North, and crying at work to put things into perspective.

There really isn't a good ending to all this. I mean there is. I've learned a lot. But nothing that I'm going to write about here for multiple reasons. Just being cautious. But if you want to know, just ask. I would love to talk about what God's doing in my life!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 152: Just Friends

"You know that means that we'll never talk again." He asked why and I responded that girls and guys can't be friends.

We were silent for a split second and then we both started to laugh. Because of the irony of it all. And because we knew that it was true.

Girls and guys can't be friends. At least I can't. But maybe that's not true. This challenge has been about changing my paradigm. And that includes changing what friendships look like. And I'm okay with that. Don't get me wrong, I'm still hurt by the friendship(s) that ended as soon as I started the challenge, but I also recognize that friendships change. They evolve and that's okay.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Day 150: Looking Back

...on the memory of the dance we shared 'neath the stars above. For a moment all the world was right. How could I have known that you'd ever say goodbye...

Garth Brooks, anyone?

So, yeah, this post has nothing to do with that song. Or with dancing. But it is about looking back and, well, that's just where my mind went. Earlier today, being sappy nostalgic, I watched Water for Elephants- just like I did a year ago. And then I sat and reminisced about how things have changed over the past year.
This time last year (as in this exact moment almost), I was "playing the Easter bunny." And the only person that would get that joke doesn't read this blog, but suffice it to say, foolish decisions were made by all.

And then Easter day came and it was full of friendship and naivety. Or maybe it was just denial. But either way, it was a simpler time. And sometimes I wish I could go back to that time. Back to a movie theater with friends where we could enjoy a show without a care in the world. Back to a time before everything changed.

But then I remind myself of the other changes that have happened since that time. Friendships that have left or changed, but also friendships that have grown and blossomed. Relationships that I have put behind me and moved on from. Relationships that have been restored. The growth and healing of my heart that has happened and is continuing to happen daily. The stretching that I'm going through. The learning and recommitment.

And so I wouldn't go back. And I wouldn't trade this past year. Because like it says in the movie, "Life is the most spectacular show on Earth."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 147: Focusing on the Present

Only 34 days to go. Wow, the end is really almost here! And I didn't think I would be at this place, but I am. I'm excited about it. Let's be honest, my life is probably going to look no different on May 9 than it will on May 8. But I'm still excited to see what the future will hold. Little things along the way have gotten me thinking about the possibilities. The changes. The differences that I've already seen and know that I'll continue to see.

But I don't want to constantly look to the future. I want to be in the now. I want to continue to focus on the present and make the most of every opportunity. I don't want to be so focused on the future that I miss out on what God has in store for me right now. I pray that I will seek God in everything and that I will rely on Him in the day to day! I know that there are many more things for me to experience before this challenge is over and I look forward to every one of them!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Day 145: Fighting Idols

I had a whole post written out (in my head, of course) but then something came up that caught my attention. So now I'm attempting to combine the two topics into one post that I think is going to end up being about why I'm doing this whole dating challenge in the first place. Notice I said "think," sometimes most of the time I just start writing and have no idea where I'm going to end up.

Occasionally, and a few times recently, people comment on why they think I'm doing this whole thing. I often get comments about how I must have just gotten out of a relationship or it sounds like I am getting over a breakup. Well, to clear the air from that: I hadn't been in a real relationship for about a year and a half when I started this challenge. So there is not this one person that I'm trying to move on from or get over. This 6 month challenge has been and still is about changing my paradigm on the past 10 years of relationships.

Which brings me to my next point: people that kinda know me or think they know me often try to guess who I'm writing about- which I personally think is hilarious! Funny because these people usually have no idea and are totally wrong. Or because the things I write about aren't necessarily about a specific person, but a compilation of multiple people. Different hurts. Different heartbreaks. Different struggles. All rolled into one. But for those of you that do try and guess... ha! Thanks for playing.

I'm guessing that even Megan would only be able to guess who I'm blogging about 95% of the time. That is if she were going to try to guess. Which she isn't. Because she doesn't read this. In her mind there is no point in reading it if I'm going to tell her everything anyway. And I do. Tell her. She puts up with the mundane and the dramatic. The unabridged, unedited, uncensored version of my day to day happenings. I'm pretty sure she deserves some sort of trophy for that!

Anyway, I digress. A. Lot. So with only 37 days left to go, I guess I'll write about why I'm doing this whole thing in the first place. The short version is that I don't know how I like my eggs! If you know the reference to that, then you probably know exactly what I mean and don't need to read any further. But in case you need more explanation, I'll elaborate. I know there are a lot of people that don't like dating. I was never one of those people. I like dating. I think it's fun. I like the awkward getting-to-know-you phase. I like the comfort of knowing someone well and just hanging out and being myself. So that all seems great, right? Where's the problem? Addiction. Idols. Affirmation. Worth. Pride. Control. Dating was becoming an idol in my life. Not a particular relationship, but the thought of a relationship.

And I think that has made this whole process so much harder. If it had been about a boy or a bad relationship, I could have ended the relationship, taken 6 months to move on, and be okay. But how do I separate myself from my own sinful thoughts and behaviors. The past 5 months has essentially been a time of breaking up with myself. A time of moving on from my own past. A time of remembering who I am in God. Falling in love with Him again and again. And letting Him pursue me and romance me as His bride!