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Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

Hold out, hold on, don’t give up, and don’t run.

I’m going to wait for the one who is for me.  I’m going to stand firm in the faith that Christ gave me.  I won’t abandon the hope that I have.  I won’t flee or cower when love finally finds me.

I have learned quite a bit about myself this month.  How capable of love that I am…but also, how capable I am of easily going down the wrong path, tripping over God’s examples, and making a mess of good relationships.  I hope that I am capable of learning from my mistakes and really making the best out of some awkward, painful, and ridiculous situations.  This month has been trying, but then again, I have had other months that have been the same way.

Colossians 1:26-29:

This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.

Two more days of February left…..

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Wow.  I feel like so much has happened all in one day.  I am so very thankful for this amazing group of women that I have been able to call friends.  They have shared some things that are very close to their hearts, and have shared shortcomings that they wish to change with the help of the Father.  It’s so humbling and so very exciting to be able to take part in their weekend of refreshing by leading them in worship…IT’S SUCH A PRIVILEGE to be a part of their lives for just one weekend.  I am full of joy.

I’ve had a lot of moments to think about the love that blossoms from relationships, namely friendships.  I have come to value so many different relationships that I have in my life, I fear that sometimes I take them for granted, and sometimes do not give them the time, effort, and energy that they deserve.  For others, I feel like I may smother them and therefore suffocate.  The relationships that I long to smother and suffocate are the ones that are usually feeding me the most nourishment that my soul needs, however, sometimes I think that I have become a glutton with regard to how much I feed off of that relationship.  Does that make sense?  I overly long for/crave more and more of that relationship.

In my walk through scripture today, I came across Isaiah 30:15 (NIV) – “in repentance and rest is your salvation. In quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”

I also came across Job 13:15-16 (MSG) – “Because even if he killed me, I’d keep on hoping.  I’d defend my innocence to the very end.  Just wait, this is going to work out for the best—my salvation!”

Lastly, my life verses are Psalm 73:25-26 (NIV) – “Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

The first two verses seemingly have no relation to one another, however, for me, they speak volumes with regard to my walk as of late.  You see, I have been fighting to do more, to be more, to just be everything I want, in order to find peace of mind. No, I haven’t stomped on people’s dreams or said spiteful things, but I have stopped caring, really caring, about a person’s soul and how important it is to God.  I have not taken the time to remember how faithful the Lord is with our hearts; how wonderful He is in remembering the needs of His people.  I haven’t taken the time to really say ‘sorry’ to the Lord, to be quiet in Him; still (Psalm 46:10).  Because of this, I truly am weakened because I have not spent that needed time just listening and waiting.

When I really think about it, the second and third verses reference do go hand in hand in my eyes.  I really do realize that I have nothing else besides God and His love.  There is nothing else left, and there is no where else that I could go.  He is my hope and stay, and nothing can take me away from Him.

So why do I do things apart from Him?  Why have I been taking my own life and wasting it away, for lack of a better description?   I don’t have a really great answer, however, I get the feeling that it is wrapped up in being very impatient regarding God’s timing.  I crave an answer from Him, however, I want it a certain way; I want it in one amazing moment, an amazing sign, a beautiful tribute.  The problem is, that is a very ‘me’ mentality, and the Lord ain’t havin’ it.

I have been talking about loving well for about 20 days and how I strive for it, but I can’t even love and trust my God well enough to let that love from Him flow into me to flow out to others.  I am realizing that the problem I have begins with me and not with how to do it unto others.  I was sitting in one of the sessions, listening to my mentor, and just remembered some of the conversations from the first night.  I was so moved by these ladies sharing their hearts, praying over us, just being servants to Him.  I then realized that there was an amazing amount of trust going on…but it wasn’t necessarily them trusting me with hearing some of these sensitive topics, it was the trust that they had in the Father that allowed them the freedom to share.  I am always so fearful of sharing my life with others sometimes, that I miss the opportunities to love and befriend people.

I have a long way to go….and it’s time for me to close my eyes and sleep tonight, but yes, it’s that time of realization that faith and trust in the Father go such a long way in dealing with earthly relationships.

PSALM 146:3 – “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men who cannot save.”

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This is the blog entry that I have kind of been dreading.  Now remember, I am not necessarily offering the absolute correct answer.

I know that all of us have had people in our lives that have done wrong to us and that we have done wrong to.  I know that sometimes the wrongs done to us can be almost unbearable to the point where we feel that we can never talk to that party again.  And for a while, it really seems like we never will again, however, there are times when I believe our spirits soften toward them, if only for a moment.  When that happens, I would hope that each one of us would consider the act of forgiveness.

Last year, I went through a time that I never thought would happen.  I cannot go into extreme details, but it resulted in me settling for something temporary and something that wasn’t right.  I’m pretty sure that reveals more than I intended, however, as a result of my misstep, I ended up having to cut someone out of my life.  I am having a problem forgiving them for what they did, and while I know they still love me, I feel that I was taken advantage of.  These things are now being shared to perhaps benefit those that may be going through something similar.  Because I feel like I was taken advantage of, I am having a hard time loving this person through the hurt I am going through.

I don’t know what will happen next, but I do know that God has been ever present during my misstep, during the after-affects and consequences of my sin, and during my healing and moving forward.  I know that at some point, I will let this person back into my life as an acquaintance and not a friend, and I know that while the relationship may be strained at times, it can still be one that honors God.  These aren’t necessarily the best answers, however, I know the Lord desires that we do live at peace with one another.  He knows that we are not perfect like Him, but I believe that’s why He gives us Himself so that we have the Perfect One to lean on and trust in.  The Lord has never taken my heart for granted, He has never sent me in the wrong direction, and He has always loved me perfectly.  I’m the one that comprised and chose the wrong path, but at least He made a way for me to get back to the right one.  I have to confess, truly, it is SUCH AN AMAZING THING when we let the Lord take hold of the reins of our lives and He guides us through.  It brings an intense joy and a wonderful peace, and it has made me glad that I could return to Him.

How do I love the person that hurt me?  I can’t.  I can’t love the person with the love that I have; it’s just not good enough.  The extension of the Father’s love will have to cover it all since I cannot fully love this person any longer.  This might not be the world’s greatest entry about love and forgiveness, but it’s the honest one.  Sometimes sin does considerable damage.  The Lord can restore, though, and miracles can happen.

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Over the past decade, I have sometimes forgotten who I am.  I really don’t know if I am at home with the person that I did become.  Did I become someone that I really wanted to be, or did I compare myself with someone else in order to become like another person?  Who is the real me, anyways?

Over the past few months, I have definitely had some ups and downs; I have been able to easily see who I am in a sense, and, in a sense, of who I am not.  I have been able to say ‘no’ to some things that I know will not benefit me in the long run, and closeout the relationships that hurt me.  I guess in essence, this blog would have to be the example of how to love oneself.  I really don’t have any solid advice about how to go about getting there 100%, however, I have some thoughts….of course:

FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU WANT TO DO AND BE…AND THEN DO IT. BE IT.

If you have figured out what you like to do (that is something you can make a living off of), I think that you should start to pursue that as a goal.  It has taken me most of my adult life to become cognizant of the things that I enjoy doing and would like to continue to do, but it has caused me to start in a direction toward a goal.  In that, I feel like I am able to have a face, to have a reason for existence (for lack of a better description).  In that, in a sense, I can face my next task, my next hurdle, knowing that I am heading down a track/road that isn’t necessarily easy, but I am content in, knowing that’s for a certain purpose.  All of that, leads to a sense of having a little bit of a “chin-up” moment; a moment when you realize that you like what you are doing, and therefore can push yourself knowing you can love who you are while working towards that goal.

There are a lot of bad voices out there; too many to really name specifically, however, they say sometimes that you aren’t good enough to do what you want, or be who you want to be.  Sometimes, the voices say that the world is better off without you in it.  I can tell you that these things are not true, that your life most definitely has value; the people around you really don’t want to lose you, but, YOU have to make that decision of belief for yourself.  These voices can stay with you hours, days, weeks, months, years after you have originally heard them.  I think sometimes I have stayed so busy in an attempt to block them out.  That could be true, however, the people that have stayed around me, have had to constantly tell me that they enjoy spending that time with me; that I’m loved.  I’m still here, haven’t left town or the people that I love, so I guess it’s me deciding that I do indeed trust and believe what my loved ones are saying.  It’s up to each person to decide if they desire to trust.  For the parties getting the negative vibes, etc.:  do you really trust your friends and family when they say that they love you?  Sometimes that is the key to being able to stay in a town, stay in a lifestyle, or staying alive.

To come to a conclusion of sorts, friends, what you say to others and how they respond to you is very important.  You are helping each of your friends and family members determine how they feel about themselves; you’re letting them know they are worth the time and effort to know; that they can be loved.  As much as I’ve absorbed over these last 33 years, the one thing I’ve taken closest to heart is the people in my life that haven’t changed how they feel about me and the life path that the Lord has chosen for me.  Those people are sometimes are the reason why I love myself and what I do.

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What is it?  How come we cannot really define it? Is it meant to be defined?  Is it meant to be accomplished in this life? Can we really do it well?  Will we truly ever find it?  Can it be the one thing that keeps us all sane and alive?  Can we stop it?  Can we be in love with it?  Is it a requirement for this lifetime? Can I be free of it?  Must I constantly run after it?  Can it be the same as the type as everyone else has?  Does it have to be with just one person?  Will it ever one day be just like it is in the movies?  Will we ever want it as bad as the feeling of lust?  Does it have the power to break us?  Can we really be forever changed by it? Can it one day have the power to save us?  Can we mend others with it? May we spread it all around? Can we allow it to help us live well?

Really?  Love, tell me, is it possible?

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The Sixth.

Today (as well as in general) I am trying to figure out how to love well.  I am trying to think of how to balance out all of the relationships that I have with so many people.  When I was in college, it felt like it was so much easier to make time with the people that I cared about; mainly because they were all around me and we did so many things together as a crew.  Today, we have graduated and have taken different paths that have led us to different counties, cities, states, and continents/countries.

When I was first out of college, I was attempting to make it my mission to reach out to everyone that had had any impact on my college life.  I wanted to let them know that I hadn’t forgotten about our friendship and what it meant; that they still meant something to me and that I wanted to keep in touch with them because it was important.  I found myself constantly disappointed with the results because it became increasingly difficult to reach out to so many people and not get the response that I was hoping for.  A lot of friends didn’t really reach out to me as much as I had reached out to them, so I began to get discouraged about the whole attempt.  Part of me began turning inward and getting a little bit discouraged and bitter because they didn’t respond the way I wanted.  I was beginning to think that perhaps it was something that I had done during that time when I was in college with them.  Wouldn’t they have told me that something was wrong?  I just wanted re-live and remember some really great times…

I think during my attempts, Facebook wasn’t one of the biggest things out there yet, so I was still relying on snail mail, emails, phone calls, etc.  Either way, I wasn’t hearing back from people.   I kept going back and forth about whether or not I should continue reaching out, when I started to realize that it was draining me.  It was no longer a search to reconnect with people, it was this tireless mission that wasn’t yielding any real result.  I stopped, sought counsel, and asked some other friends that were close by to see if they had encountered something similar.  I wasn’t alone, it was increasingly difficult to try and manage past relationships as well as present and then entertain future ones.  Overall, most of my friends had the same thing to say, it’s a matter of picking out those relationships that you know you really want to commit to.  It’s not about trying to keep in touch with every person; it will never work.  Me being the people pleaser that I am, didn’t want to exclude anyone, however, I found myself excluding many because I would never hear back from them.  Those that I did hear back from, I would visit; spend time in their homes; some even had kids that I got to meet.  Others lived in different countries, however, I was able to email them, get updates from them and find out what I could pray for.

For those that didn’t reach out…that I sorta missed?  If I was friends with them on Facebook, but never really got a response, I would simply pray for them.  That was easy enough to do.  I missed the old times and would find it really easy to reminisce, however, everyone has something different to face in their current lives.  That’s not to say that they are trying to be mean, however, they are trying to balance life just as I am.  Sometimes I internalize so much and think it’s my fault, but that honestly….is a bit vain and selfish on my part.  I have been learning to put myself own dealings with life aside to think about what others could be going through.  When that has happened, it’s easier for me to see what may be going on in the world….outside of me.

As a result of all this, I have been able to keep in touch with the friends that really meant the most to me.  Facebook has been extraordinarily helpful at finding everyone whom I wanted to keep tabs on, however, the people from my past that I wanted to be in a deeper relationship with, I am, and I’m grateful that I sought counsel and prayed.  I think that as the Spirit and time allows, I can reach out to others to let them know that I have been praying and thinking about them, however, I know that it has been the Lord that has guided me on which people to love and reach out to.

About the loving well part?  I think we’ll save that for the seventh day….as well as a guest post from Sadie.

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Love, Day Two.  Ahhhh, Sadie went back to her private blog.  She may come back later in the month; she is so honest, scandalous, and blunt; love her.  Since we are on the second day, and I’m not exactly sure where this month could take me, I would like to discuss the subject of unrequited love.

Unrequited love is when one party has strong feelings for another party that doesn’t return those feelings.  To me, unrequited love is living in a constant state of false hope and torment.  It is sometimes where some of us like to dwell because we don’t know anything outside of it.  I have lived in its torment for many years, sometimes wondering why and what I could possibly learn from it.  If anything, I have learned that I cannot escape this state without a healthy relationship with others, and being honest and open about feelings.  This isn’t such a simple thing.  I know it’s really hard to share emotions and feelings with others.  You don’t know what they will do with your heart; you don’t know if they are trustworthy; you don’t know what they are thinking about you.

But…to be the victim of unrequited love means that you have to walk this earth with such an extreme unneeded and unhealthy burden upon your heart, that you feel that you can never be truly happy, that no one will really ever be the right one for you because you never had the one that “got away”.  You live your whole life wondering “what if”, when you never had to face such a question.  I never really thought about this until fairly recently in these last few weeks.  I have come to terms with the fact that some men in my past aren’t for me, and I do have to learn to let that go, but I cannot let my future groom (have mercy, Jesus) suffer in our relationship because I held on so tightly to something that wasn’t promised to me.

UPDATE:  An article that I just read today really does my entire blog entry justice, so I’m adding it.  It’s from Relevant Magazine contributor Marielle Wakim:  http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/relationships/what-do-when-it’s-complicated

This is what I am learning of love is that you have to be able to make room for it, you have to be able to accommodate it, not it accommodating you.  You cannot live in torment because your plans failed…if we all did that, over 95% of the population of the earth would never get out of bed in the morning.

Love is a stretch, but it’s a good stretch.  Love is different, but it’s a good different. Love is a challenging change.

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