So, I decided to try to lose ten pounds. Just ten. Not a big deal. Not a ton of weight. Just enough to make my jeans a little less snug and perhaps make me feel a little better about myself. Not that I think I’m fat, but I have an ideal weight I would like to be at, and I intend to do something about it. Read more
“I thought you canceled this.” She said pointing to one particular line printed on my paycheck. I took it from her and and looked at the line for a few moments. “I thought I did too.” I responded confused and suddenly panicked when I realized how much money had been take out of my paycheck for health benefits I assumed I had canceled.
Instantly I felt like I couldn’t breath and had a panic attack. Read more
Lately, I have been dealing with a bit of anger against God. Not that I would ever stop believing in Him, or accuse Him of being an unjust God, but he kind of anger that causes you to wonder what part of the plan it was supposed to be and how it was supposed to be used.
I have written about my struggle with my breakup, and how it was very difficult to have the kind of loyalty I did to my relationship, but to be the one who had to make the call to end it. I’ve noticed after some reflection, that every time I have been through a breakup, with only the exception of two, I was the one who was forced to call it off. I find myself upset about it. Mainly because it’s extremely wounding to the nature of my desire to remain loyal to those people. I am also angry that it wasn’t the other effected party who had to make the call. Why me? Read more
“I think I need to love myself and let God love me before I’m in a relationship.” She said as we began our 45 minute drive.
” I agree. I totally agree.”
Finally. After almost 2 years of friendship she was starting to get what I had started saying to her from the beginning. It wasn’t often we had breakthroughs, and much of the time I wondered if they were breakthroughs or if she was just saying what she thought I wanted her to say. She had been abused as a child. Her tendency to people please at the expense of what she truly felt was more likely. I would take it. At least I knew she had heard me out. Once at least. Read more
I find it fascinating that most dystopian novels seem to toy with this idea of control by means of manipulating or lessening the intelligence of the population. I understand it completely. In an age where people fear not knowing the truth, it would make sense that we would write things about the very world we fear to live in being a world where ignorance prevails. However, I do wonder why we spend so much energy on the fear of not knowing, when knowing too much could very well be just as terrifying? Consider this: A society without secrets. Where you knew everything about everyone on public record, and filed away in a database for anyone to inquire about it. Every lover you have ever had and the web of their relationships in connection to yours. Every time you sneezed recorded by number and date. Every meal kept track of. Your commutes in miles, location, and time spent. Every time you did anything, down to the very breaths you take accounted for. Every. Single. Thing. Kept track of. Read more
I closed the door. I wasn’t ready to listen to it again. Another shouting match going above and beyond the normal debate of fighting, and into the name calling and scathing comments about each others intelligence. I couldn’t take it. I wouldn’t take it. So I closed my door and turned up my headphones as I usually do in these kinds of situations. Then I began typing this.
I am a person who is not afraid of conflict. My family is full of stubborn people. We are always in conflict over something. If we aren’t in conflict we are poking jokes at conflicts we don’t want to resurrect or trying to make a conflict seem dumb enough to avoid it. All of it seems like damage control. My life is constant conflict, but I am becoming worn out on the volume of it. The audio volume that is. With his many strong personalities in one place the amount of conflict that goes on is going to be number out….let’s just be realistic….but when ever my parents fight it gets much louder than the usual loud. It wears and your brain and mind considerably. Like a bomb blast that rattles your brain and causes post traumatic stress. Yes you survive it. Yes it was far away. No, you didn’t come out of it without scars.
Since my previous relationship I have spent a great deal of time evaluating what kind of person I want to be with, if God plans for me to be with anyone (still a little painful to say). I pray about it. A lot. Probably more than I should…. Or maybe just as much as I should. I don’t know. The point is, I pray I don’t treat my future spouse as badly as my parents treat each other sometimes. That he doesn’t treat me as badly either. I have been in relationships with yellers. I don’t want to marry a yeller, but rather someone who would rather talk it out with me and let me cry it out instead of antagonizing me into a shouting match. I know yelling is going to happen. Sometimes it cannot be avoided when two people are wounded enough, but I don’t want someone who’s first reaction is to yell. I don’t fight to antagonize. More often than not, I fight because I am more upset by not understanding, or I am hurt and want someone who doesn’t understand to try to understand. I argue to be heard, and admittedly, I don’t always hear in return, but I try to as well.
I am not a yeller by nature. I am a debater. A compromiser. Yes, also a cryer. I would much rather be quietly upset, or cry my feelings away than yell them out. Talk about how I feel, with someone willing to listen to how I feel, and vice versa. I only yell when antagonized to, or when the quiet words aren’t working anymore…and oh can I yell, but to be the yeller can hurt just as much as being the yelled at. The aggression doesn’t go away. It isn’t released just because you “let it all out.” It doesn’t really leave. Yelling is a survival skill that helps a person (and most animals) prepare for an attack or to kill. It hypes up adrenalin and causes the situations to escalate. I don’t want situations to escalate. What is the point of escalation? What is the point of making the other person more angry? That’s antagonistic. It gets people nowhere.
The tool I have personally developed to help me in arguments with people I love is to stop the argument to tell them I love them or to walk away and pause the argument to calm down before I start yelling. It doesn’t always work to the benefit of the situation. I wasn’t looking to hurt anyone. I didn’t want to fight with them, but arguments often are the only way two people can come to some kind of compromise or understanding, and often it is because someone has to at one point or another, be willing to admit they’re wrong, or agree to disagree. Often times that act of taking a moment to pause everything and quiet yourself and them can even stop the argument…not every time, but quite a bit of the time.
I want a future that is loud in the happy way. Silly comments and tons of laughter. Like my family can be in happier moments. Fake fights where we can yell compliments at each other as if we are angry. I want the house loud with intellegent conversations and games. Debates and a few parties here and there. That’s the kind of loud I want in my life.
“I’m really struggling with understanding it isn’t wrong for me to desire romantic companionship, but also trying to remain content in my singleness. In my mind there is an gap. A disconnect.”
It was one of the fist steps in being vulnerable with my Bible study girls. Confessing that the “strong independent woman who doesn’t need a man” really wanted one. It was embarrassing almost. To be the one who took such “strong initiative” (as it was being said of me) to break up with someone who wasn’t right for me (even though I did it out of love), but to feel so weak. So discouraged. There was a disconnect. I am a person who doesn’t deal with ambiguity very well. Abstraction is okay with me. But ambitiousness? I had to decide and commit to either one or the other. Either I was going to be bound to singleness or to bound to seeking a spouse. I was too wounded to live in that shadow of not knowing. Of not deciding. Of not having some kind of loyalty to one cause or another.
I’m a very loyal person. So of course, my automatic reaction after the break up initially happened, was to assume I was going to die alone. To convince myself I should. If I couldn’t be with this one, then I shouldn’t be with anyone. Me and relationships just didn’t work. I was too broken. Too messed up by too many things. Too emotionally damaged to be in a relationship. So I took on the world those few days after being hardened by the situation. Carrying an air of apathy, and calling it confidence.
Inside, I was scared, and upset, and angry with myself mostly, and a little with him too. I found (and find) myself constantly wondering who could love someone who was so willing to break the trust of another human being. I thought this last relationship had been it. I thought I was all in. Marriage was the finish line and everything was heading that direction. Then I realized I wasn’t heading in that direction. The relationship I was in had changed. Circumstances weren’t right anymore. Both of us had some growing up to do. It was overwhelmingly devastating. I felt like my loyalty had been betrayed because of a difference in character. Like I had bent over backwards to make it work and he didn’t. It felt one sided.
In actuality, I was not betrayed at all. We were just different people at different points in our lives, and one of us was ready to move on. So, when I recognized that something was not right, I had to take the responsibility to do something about it. What made it hard was how selfish it felt. I had to make this change for me, because I was the one ready to move on while he was trying to figure stuff out. Not that I have everything figured out, but I am finished with school and have a job. He isn’t finished with school and was unemployed for two years. It took me some time to do some self talking. To realize it wasn’t wrong of me to make that decision for myself. I had to switch my loyalty from Him to me. I clearly felt what I was feeling with a good reason, and I had to respect myself enough to recognize that I wasn’t being unreasonable. Of course, I asked wise council from friends, male and female alike. I felt my ex was asking me to put my life on hold for him to figure out his own. Which I had been willing to do within reason, but found myself constantly adjusting what “within reason” meant. That wasn’t right for either of us. No one should ask so much of a person and no one should compromise so much when they have already made so many accommodations wight he other party having made so few. In turn, I was asking him to deal with my emotions while he put me through it, and at times I knew I wasn’t kind nor was I being completely honest with him or myself about what I was feeling. That wasn’t right either.
Ultimately it comes down to this: I may be loyal , but I’m a fixer too. A realistic one. If the situation was broken, and if it was possible for me to do something about it, I had to do what I could to fix it. In my dedication and loyalty to the relationship, I would do everything in my due diligence to find ways to make it work. We had it good. We had it bad. I tried and I don’t doubt he did too, but things weren’t working. I just had to call it quits.
So there I was in Bible study with a burning emotional lump in my throat as I tried to swallow, breath, and not cry (talk about multitasking). I hate when other people see me cry. I’m emotional enough as it is, but to have people see it is more embarrassing than admitting I wanted to be loved and to love in return…which shouldn’t have been embarrassing at all. The girls nodded of course. They didn’t criticize or condemn me, not that I was afraid they would. They understood. They got it. We’re all single women who just want the kind of love we can touch.
In my search to bridge the gap between wanting a lover and being content with singleness, I have begun watching a sermon series on Song of Solomon by Tommy Nelson from 2005. I don’t intend to watch all of it, because I am not married and much of it concerns that aspect of relationships, but I am watching the sections on Attraction, Dating, and Courtship (which is in two parts). I even shared it with the women in my Bible study, since we are all in the same boat of singleness and desire. It’s been helping me understand things a little more, not because it tells me to feel bad about wanting a spouse, nor does it makes me want one more, but because it encourages me to hold out and discern the character of potential spouses better. In turn that is helping to make me more content with singleness. To be more willing to wait for God’s best instead of living with so much worry and concern about who will love me next.
What God asks of me right now is to switch my loyalty. To be more dedicated to Him, and finding what He wasn’t from me rather than being loyal to my own desires to be a wife. It’s a journey, but I’m getting there. Pray for me. It’s gunna be a doozy.
I opened my eyes
And oceans poured out
Causing the quay to bleed into
Those hollow places
The sea fairing ships
Casting anchor beyond
Those wild hills where we could
No longer climb to safety
They float in the sky now
Polishing the stars above my tired head
My weary and restless mind
Those little boats cast nets
In the watery tendrils of my curls
As they dry my eyes
While dewy and painful mementos
Clutch my lashes in desperation
I can’t think with such watery thoughts
I drowned far too easily
Falling into this cavernous oblivious
Where the nets can’t reach my falling body
I can only sink now
With a heart as heavy as this one
Anchoring me to the dark places
Beneath those glassy waves
Those little boats above me
Floating on the surface
With their evening lanterns lit hopefully
From down here I cannot breath
But I would be just as breathless
Looking at the night sky
Because from down here those little lanterns
Could almost be the stars
This piece was inspired by a prayer request from one of the girls In my Bible Study, and it is a sentiment I think every human being can resonate with, including myself. I mostly wrote it because I needed to make these words more real to myself. I needed to hear them. I share them because I know I am not the only one.
Beloved follower of Christ,
I have been praying for you as you have asked of me. When you mentioned your desire to be reminded that God truly wants the best for you, I found myself completely resonating with you. I was reminded of this when I read this passage today.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:3-9
Life is full of trials and doubt, and not everyone sees “God’s best for us” at first, but even in this life of toil and trouble we are constantly shown it is in our eternal life that is ultimately the best. I find that I sometimes feel like its a cop out answer. I usually want to see the results of God’s best for me immediately, or I wonder if I had missed my chance. Then I remember that God doesn’t allow us to miss His best if we are faithful. Then I find myself wondering when His best will come, and in waiting I often doubt because so many things seem like the best for me and I wander into them only to be hurt by them. It is the truth of Scripture even when my heart does not want to be told the truth. As Ecclesiastes speaks to, everything else in life is meaningless without the pursuit of God. The lives we live seem so finite in comparison to eternity with God in Christ. Everything good we get in this life, is only an added blessing to the Ultimate Good…Eternity with God. The only being that understands our misunderstood and broken state.
As long as you pursue a relationship with Him you will only be given His best. Even in the trials of life, He will use them for His will in your life. The Enemy has no say in the outcome of the attacks he makes on you if you are faithful to God through Christ. You are only made better through the fire. Your need to be reminded of Gods faithfulness to you is one of many trials you will face and it is a blessing to test you and help you grow in authentic and fierce faith. Do not be discouraged by it, but only encouraged completely and fully knowing God seeks to make you more than what you are in this struggle.
You are created in the image of an eternal God. Value yourself to wait for His perfect timing. You are loved.
“She’s limping a bit more.” My mother commented sadly.
“That bulge thing isn’t doing well either.” My dad commented absently as he continued to type something on his desktop.
“I think it’s a tumor.” I told them.
We took the dog to the vet a few days later. She did very little about it. Never took an X-Ray. I sat in the lobby because my mother doesn’t like to have too many strong opinions in the office with her and the dog. I played with a string on my coat watching the secretaries busy themselves between phones and gossip about the animals and their owners. It’s a tumor I thought. It’s definitely a tumor.
“Her hips are bad,” My mother said. “They’re slipping out of the joints. It’s why she is limping and that bulge is growing.”
“No. It’s not. It’s a tumor. I felt it. I know what I felt.” I said adimately.
“Shut up Em. You aren’t a vet.” My mother spewed at me venomously.
I did what she said. She couldn’t be told anything against what she already had assumed. I figured she had probably spent more time convincing the vet our Kandy had a hip problem rather than asking the Vet what she thought it was. I wasn’t satisfied with the result. It’s totally a tumor. I know it.
A few months had gone by. My mother kept commenting about what she thought was a symptom of the dogs alleged hip problem. I kept telling her the dog wasn’t having symptoms. “She can’t have symptoms of a slipping hip. It’s a tumor.” I kept saying. Mom had tuned me out by now. “I should get an X-Ray done on her. Just to see how soon we should put her down.” She commented while I continued to empty the dish washer. Like she hadn’t even heard me.
A few days later I was sitting back in the waiting room. The same girls gossiping about a new set of pets and their owners. This time I had no coat strings to play with. The man next to me was quiet, but told me when he sat down “You may pet him if you like.” I never even had to ask. I befriended the dog of the man who sat next to me. A breed I had seen in books but couldn’t recall. A handsome creature with soft fur.
My mother peeked out the office door and summons me as I was just beginning to cuddle with Clyde (the dog). So I reluctantly got up from the waiting room floor and walked in the room. It smelled like dog and alcohol when I stepped in.
“Vet is getting the X-Ray.”
I paced a little. Anxious to know what was going on, and trying to distract myself by reading the informational posters on the walls. One was a diagram of the tick populations in the US. I tried to find it fascinating. It wasn’t. Thankfully the vet returned with Kandy, who was doing her happy dance she has done since she was a puppy. When she knew a treat was coming, and before we trained her to sit and stay when a treat was in our hands, she would wag her tail so hard her whole body would flail. Now it’s her anticipation dance. How you know she expects a treat to come. Her dance was rewarded as she sat and gently took the treat from the Vets hand. “Come on back, I’ll show you the pictures.” The Vet offered cheerfully as if she was still speaking to the dog. We obeyed, well trained as we were.
There it was. Plain as day. Knees a little arthritic. Hips….completely intact. But just above the hip bone? A huge tumor. “If we had caught it sooner we might have been able to remove it.” The words stung a little when I had heard them. I found myself upset.
“What are our options?” My mother inquired.
“Keep her comfy until it seems like it’s getting too big or she starts to wither away.”
We got back in the car. We were silent. The dog laid quietly in the back seat. My mother watched out the window for a good long while. I tried to refrain from saying “I told you so” or calling the dog “Cancer Butt.”
Now we all call her Cancer Butt. Kandy is pretty cool about it. She likes our sweet voices as we say it. She does her happy dance wiggling every part of her body including the ever growing tumor feeding off her hip. Another has developed on her stomach…and we suspect another on the opposite hip area. She isn’t long for this world we know, but my mom is having a hard time making the call to put her down. So we wait a little more. Saying things like “This is her last bag of food,” or “This is her last bag of bones.” Measuring the dogs life in kibble n’ bits. That’s what we’ve reduced her to. That and calling her Cancer Butt.
I regret the name. I regret uttering it. In a moment of poor tasting humor I have reduced a creature God created that we brought into our family as nothing more than a bad joke. Not that Kandy cares. She has had a good life. Eating and sleeping. Playing in the yard with us. Chasing stray animals that came into the yard. She never had it so good. Now, her deadline is only days or weeks away, and the reality is too much. I pet her more and more now when I come home from work. Every time I let her outside I give her an extra treat for her return. I sneak pieces of grissel to her when no one else is looking. If it wasn’t so obvious, I would start letting her come into my room and sleep on my bed.
Who would be my sun bathing buddy? Who would come with me to my trips to the Bank for money and a treat…and eat the second hamburger when I decided to sneak through McDonalds on the way home? Who was going to go to the river with me and get so full of ticks it would take me hours to clean her off before mom found out? I dont know. I can’t think that way anymore. All I know is it is very difficult to emotionally disconnect from her. Even with calling her Cancer Butt.