Trusting God

I’m a planner. When I drag myself out of bed every morning and crawl into the shower, my brain wakes itself up by making lists of things that need to get done or plans I need to make. This list starts with the very small and mundane (go to the store, grade research papers etc.) and by the time I’m out of the shower I’m alert because I’ve worked my blood pressure up to a boil planning out my future. Left too long in my own head, I end up ten years down the road planning out every detail of my life. There are many versions of my future life. Sometimes I go on to get my masters and then (if I’m feeling good about myself) my doctorate, winding up as a professor in a university somewhere across the pond. Other days I continue as a high school teacher but add acclaimed author to my resume. If I’m feeling burnt out by school, I marry a very nice rich man and we travel the world together. Welcome to my brain everyone, where everything is made up and the points don’t matter.

 

As someone who likes to know what to expect in her life, I have always had an issue with the idea of God’s plan for my life. Now, hang with me for a second. Remember the other day when I wrote about my fear of missing out on life? This plays into that. My head knows that God has a plan for my life that is bigger and better than anything I could imagine in a 10 minute shower, or even a whole day of dreaming and scheming. My head knows the Bible offers many assurances of God’s ultimate control in my life (Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 3: 5-6, Psalm 37:7, Psalm 27:14 to name a few). My head has been taught all of the church appropriate answers for dealing with stress about the future.

 

It’s all in the Lord’s hands.

 

But, you see. My heart has not gotten the memo. My heart starts running around in circles when friends ask about my career plans. My heart rocks back and forth in the corner trying to process the many different paths ahead. My heart does not even like to consider life past age 30 because it can only take so much stress dealing with what might happen tomorrow. Platitudes like “It’s all in the Lord’s hands” or “Just trust God and He will show you the way” don’t comfort my worn out heart, they just add a heaping side of guilt.

Great, so not only do I not know where my life is going to take me but now I’m also a bad Christian for not trusting God.

Over the years, I have had several pastors and leaders teach me that waiting on the Lord doesn’t mean sitting on my hands and passively letting life happen. In Dr. Henry Cloud’s book, How to Get a Date Worth Keeping, he illustrates this point by saying if a single person is waiting on God to deliver the perfect partner to his or her doorstep, that person better be prepared to marry the mailman. Another way to think about it is this: If I want a job, I have to go in, ask for an application, fill it out, return it, and then go in for the interview. I can’t sit at home and wish for an employer to randomly call my number and offer me a job. I can’t even walk past a “Now Hiring” sign and pray that God gives me the job. I have to go in. I have to do a lot of the work to make something happen. My mother once shared this analogy with me:

There was a man who was being told to evacuate his home because a nearby river was going to flood that area. He refused to leave and said “God will take care of me.” Policeman came by and offered to help him leave and he said no. Later, as the water level rose and the man took shelter on his roof, rescue boats offered him help and he refused. He said, “God will rescue me.” Finally, a rescue helicopter flew over and tried to save him but still he refused. Unfortunately, the man died and when he got to heaven he asked God, “Why didn’t you rescue me?” and God said, “I tried! I sent the policeman, the boat, and the helicopter!”

This humorous little story reminds me that God requires me to be active even in my waiting. This way of thinking calms my heart and spirit because I like to have control in my life, and activity or busyness creates a sense of control. However, I begin to feel like I’m balancing on a tightrope between taking initiative and action in my life and putting God in the backseat (or heck, leaving Him on the curb). If left unchecked, I will take a lot of action in my life and cling to the idea that it’s what God wants me to do, even if I have totally hijacked His plan.

In my small group, we are studying the story of Joshua and the idea of following God’s plan has come up a lot. Recently, we were reading the part where God leads the people to the Jordan River and asks the priests carrying the ark of the covenant to put their feet in the water. Just their feet and then God takes care of the rest. He parts the river, two million Israelites cross on a dry land, and the journey continues. God fulfills His promise and takes care of His people. We discussed how putting our feet in the water was like taking that first step, being active in God’s plan. But what if they waded in further, just to be sure? Would God chuckle to himself and continue on with His plan? Or would He would wait like a teacher in a noisy classroom for His people to obey?

I have all these unanswered questions about how to follow God’s will. My biggest question overall is actually a gigantic general “HOW?” And not in a metaphorical-you just do sense- but in a step by step sense. How do I know when I’m following God’s plan and not just doing what I want? How do I know what He wants me to do? How do I separate what I think is right and what He is telling me is right?

 

How do I trust God?

 

I’m not asking this because I have any reason not to. I have no reason not to trust God. I’m asking this because I have been trying to hear God, listen for Him, and trust Him for about 14 years and I don’t seem to be getting the same results as everyone. So either everyone is lying to look better or I’m missing something. As a person who likes to be good at things, and who likes to know what’s going on in her life, this is a very frustrating feeling. How do I get the things I know to be true in my head to travel down and rest easy in my heart?

 

*Previously posted on Debunking Debacles on 5/18/2014

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The danger of a book

I’ve recently been on a reading rampage. One of my resolutions for this year was to watch less television, so with this free time I’ve been diving into books on my reading list. Most of it is young adult lit right now because that’s what my students talk about most and it’s the easiest to consume while balancing lunch duty, track practice, musical practice and you know…the whole teaching thing.

For the past two years I’ve heard so much about Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I even remember hearing about it when I was in high school. It was recently made into a film so I thought it was about time I understood what all the fuss was about. The letter format and simplistic writing style, as well as the mysterious main character, made this a 24hr adventure. I kept trying to view it from my students’ perspective to figure out what would make this dark and depressing story resonate so much with them.

And unfortunately the answer is because with every description of substance abuse, verbal assaults, and physical molestations, I realized my students were able to come to terms with some of their deepest fears and horrific memories in the comfort of a book. They could read their pain and know they were not alone. Hopefully, some could even bring themselves to seek help to mend the brokenness caused by the dark selfishness of human nature.

Daily, I interact with kids struggling to keep it together, to hide, to blend in. Some are better at hiding it than others who wear it right on their sleeve. I’m overwhelmed by my inability to help them. I’m so thankful for the power of literature and the power it has to step where no one else can. This is why I make it part of my mission in the classroom to expose students to literature that may not contain an unlikely teenage protagonist with the very specific talent that can undo the dystopian society no one else can seem to topple. I’m not hating on that- trust me, I eat that stuff up. I want them to read books that burst their bubble of self-centeredness. I want them to know so much more than what adults think they can handle.

Currently, there’s a popular video floating around on the Internet of an angry father being arrested at a school board meeting. I was obviously intrigued and watched it. The video was not at all interesting, the man said nothing profound and was not removed for what he was saying but merely that he had broken protocol. Not nearly as scandalous as the description made it seem. However, the reading passage in question is definitely a brow raiser. I’m not going to get into the debate about whether or not this material should be taught in schools. There is an appropriate way of going about handling inappropriate material in the classroom, and there is a way that doesn’t address it at all. I’m sure the teachers involved had no intention of creating parent outrage- trust me, we don’t try to poke the bears.

But for all of you aghast at this small passage in a much bigger book with a much bigger story, do you think this is the first time 9th graders have heard a description like this? Do you think they haven’t seen sex in a much more graphic nature on television or in a movie? Heck, that scene was detailed in a much better way than what their buddy in the locker room is explaining. Why not have them experience this in a safe setting where they can ask questions and even question the author’s choice to include it in the book? Why not allow them to take control of things like that as opposed to letting them be controlled by it? There is a great opportunity to learn through fiction invaluable lessons about the imperfections of life.

I want to teach them Junot Diaz, Margaret Atwood, Don DeLillo, Toni Morrison and Ian McEwan, along with many others.  These writers though are considered too mature for high school juniors and seniors.Young men and women struggling with identity. Trying desperately to find their place in the world with too many voices shouting too many directions at them. So instead they self medicate with drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, gossip, self-harm, and isolation. Diaz writes about the realities of the urban latin american teenage experience in a mesmerizing way that could entrance students and open the narrow scope that white rural suburbia has to offer.  However, explicit language, drug use, and typical teenage sexuality outlaws the use of this incredible writer and his magical stories. DeLillo’s White Noise confronts the issue of how we obtain knowledge and how media affects our views on death. He questions how we know information and how the source of information skews the very material. He highlights the slow creeping influence of media and how we become mindless consumer machines.

I could easily get carried away with explaining the influence contemporary literature has had on me and what it could do for my students. I do what I can to point them in those directions but there are so many things I’m not allowed to say or can’t say for fear of retribution. But what I do tell them in as many ways as possible is this:

 

Knowledge is powerful.

 

Whoever controls the information and the distribution of information has the most power and so they must always beware of why they think what they think. I urge them to seek out information from many sources and not to believe everything they read online. I try to pull my seniors away from young adult lit and help them put their toes in the pool of award winning authors.This is usually where they look at me like I’m some crazy conspiracy theorist. But hopefully, in a place they won’t admit to because it’s not socially acceptable to agree with the teacher, they hold on to this warning and begin to look at the world around them differently. Hopefully, they begin to seek out challenging texts. Hopefully, they find themselves in the most unlikely of stories relating to the most unlikely of characters feeling at home.

Reading has the power to swaddle us in the comfort of relatable characters but it also has the ability to thrust us into uncomfortable and challenging situations. It teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. We must continually seek to learn more and read more or allows ourselves to be led like a donkey chasing after a carrot on a string, creating tunnel vision about only satisfying our self-indulgent nature. 
Grab a book and pass it on.

 

*Previously posted on Debunking Debacles on 5/9/2014

Blessed are the single?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

This is how that verse reads in the New International Version. However, I think that sometimes people read it like this.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future *and for you ladies that definitely means a husband so wait patiently for my plans to unfold*”

Several of my close friends and family members have made the big leap into marriage in the past several years (quite a few got hitched only last year!). With the invasive social media, it’s very easy to congratulate a happy couple and of course stalk all the photos from that joyous day. However, I have noticed a trend in the congratulation messages a couple receives. Or more specifically, the congratulation messages a bride receives. Immediately before, the day of, and immediately after I see people writing things on a bride’s wall that congratulate her on her patience and assure her that the best part of her life has just started. They repeatedly use the term “the Lord’s plan” in their congratulations.

“You patiently waited on the Lord and he provided.”

“Congratulations, the Lord has truly blessed you.”

“We are so happy to see the amazing things God is going to do in your marriage.”

I am not debating the truth of these statements. I believe that God blesses us in many ways and that he does use marriage to enrich our lives and, if we are following Him, to better the lives of those around us. My issue with statement like those above is that I only read them on the bride’s wall. Oh sure, people congratulate the groom. But those comments are mostly jokes about how lucky he is and how he is never going to be “right” again in his life (a topic all on its own).

There seems to be a trend within the Christian community that associates marriage with the start of a woman’s life. Her life is only blessed because she waited and finally found a husband. God can finally use her because she is married. She’s doing the Lord’s work and fulfilling his plans by becoming a “Mrs”. What happened to all of her accomplishments while she was single?

What about the degree she got while also holding a full time job? What about those loans she paid off on her own? What about the job she secured for herself and became successful in? What about the small group she led? What about the volunteer projects she dedicated her time to?

Those accomplishments are seen as things that women complete while they are “waiting” on the Lord to supply them a husband. Those jobs, tasks, and accomplishments are just used to keep us occupied so we don’t spiral into desperate loneliness, right? Instead, we should see them for what they truly are. Accomplishments that the Lord has also blessed. Pieces of His plan that we are already actively taking part in, man or no man. What bothers me so much about those statements is that it seems to invalidate all other parts of God’s plan that took place before the marriage. I remember reading a comment that said, “Enjoy your first birthday as a Mrs!” As if somehow this birthday was better than the rest. As if all other birthdays before this one were inadequate. Like this girl has been waiting for the day that she could celebrate HER birthday as a Mrs. I’m sorry, but it’s HER birthday. It really has nothing to do with whether or not she’s married, unless she shares a birthday with her husband and then it might require her sharing her cake.

I realize I’m going to lose some people in this argument because sometimes I wave my feminist flag too high. But. A girl does not become a woman when she is married. A young woman is not validated by a ring on her finger. Her successes and accomplishments should not be measured by whether or not she has changed her last name. A woman can be patiently waiting on the Lord’s plan and not be waiting on a husband. A woman can be following His desire, will, and plan for her life and accomplish great things through Him, without being engaged or married, and those successes still matter. She is still working towards the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 19: 11-12- The Message

But Jesus said, “Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn’t for everyone. Some, from birth seemingly, never give marriage a thought. Others never get asked—or accepted. And some decide not to get married for kingdom reasons. But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.”

Marriage is not guaranteed to us, and we don’t need it to be.  Many single women and single men are living in the many blessings of God, and are blessing others in return. God knows the plan he has for each woman and each man, and it is a plan to give each one hope and a future.  Who knows if that plan includes marriage? Let’s sit in awe of and celebrate what God is doing in the lives of those single men and those single women, now. God isn’t waiting to use them, so let’s not wait to celebrate His work.

*Previously posted on Debunking Debacles on 4/3/2014

Strength and Dignity

I have this problem when it comes to reading scripture. Well, I have several problems when it comes to reading scripture but I will just focus on one for now. After reading a passage or verse on my own, I often get this feeling of “Now what?” I’ll sit in bed, with my journal out, devotional in my lap, waiting to be struck with some kind of divine inspiration, and I will read a verse and think, “What’s that got to do with me?” Growing up attending Sunday School, VBS, church camp, and plenty of youth conferences I understand the importance of studying the scripture and “arming myself with God’s word.” It’s supposed to guide me through trying times, comfort me in sadness, and divulge the greatness of God’s love for me. In terms of a book review, that is setting some pretty high expectations.

And I love to read. I consume stories with a ravenous hunger for passion, adventure, and intrigue. I was one of those people who would stay up all night finishing the latest Harry Potter book as soon as it came out. I’m currently in the middle of reading three books, one of which I have read before but wanted to go back and read again. This is outside of the reading I do in preparation for my job. As an English teacher, I can appreciate the beauty of passages from Psalms and understand the poetic structure of Proverbs. I have a passion for language and understand the impact it can have.

I say all that so you can understand that I’m not just a product of a generation so immersed in technology that I can’t sit still for 5 minutes and focus on a text in front of me. I can and I enjoy doing so. I also really enjoy learning and love when a pastor or author takes a verse and breaks down the meaning of individual phrases. This is why Beckie and I work so well together. I benefit so much from her diligent study and research of the scripture. But more often than not, reading on my own is unfulfilling.

Now, I said this was going to be about Proverbs 31 so let me bring this full circle. Last summer, I participated in a bible study about Ruth developed by Kelly Minter. In this study, Minter theorizes that Proverbs 31 could actually be about Ruth. Currently, I’m in the middle of reading Beth Moore’s So Long Insecurity for the second time. In this book, Moore breaks down one specific part of Proverbs 31. I believe it’s only because I have read this chapter twice and participated in the study on Ruth that this verse finally struck a chord with me.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity.” Proverbs 31:25

This has become my new mantra. When I start to feel anxious, I repeat the terms “strength and dignity” over and over again. When I think about tweeting a passive aggressive message meant to jab at a follower, I repeat “strength and dignity”. When I find myself in a frustrating conversation, on the verge of a biting remark, I repeat “strength and dignity”. When I begin to feel my anxiety overwhelming me, I repeat “strength and dignity”.  Now this doesn’t always mean I make the right choice, but it helps remind me of an important part of my identity in Christ.

I am covered in strength and dignity. I have power to make the best choices because God has empowered me to do so. I don’t have to be nervous when I meet new people. I don’t have to give in to my sinful spiteful nature.Think about Ruth, if this section of Proverbs is truly about her, let’s consider what that means for defining strength and dignity. Ruth vehemently disobeys and disregards her mother-in-laws’ plead for Ruth to leave and return to her home village. She actively chooses to take on a life of hardship and pain. In accepting this, she doesn’t curl up in a ball of self-pity, wasting away thinking about all the opportunities she’s missed. She goes out and scavenges leftover grain, accepting the state-sanctioned welfare of the day. She then, on the advice of her mother-in-law (I mean, this she listens to) brazenly exposes herself in the most vulnerable way to a man that she can only hope will accept her and help her.

I don’t know about you, but if I find myself hiding at the foot of a man’s bed, waiting for him to stagger home after a party, hoping he will accept to be my husband…I’m not feeling very strong or dignified. Her position was the LEAST dignified a person could take, lowering herself to the behavior of a prostitute. And yet, through all of those impossible decisions we can go back and see the strength behind her actions. The strength she has in God. Her belief that He would be faithful, that He would provide, gave her the strength and dignity to behave in such a scandalous way. I want that. I want to constantly remind myself that God has created me to exude strength and dignity. In times when I start to believe the lie that I am not enough, that I don’t have what it takes to be successful, that I won’t be accepted with all my faults and weaknesses, that not even God could love me in my lowest moment, I cleave to strength and dignity.

It is difficult for me to personally connect with scripture. For anyone having this same problem, I encourage you to seek multiple mediums of this verse. I’m not speaking solely of reading multiple translations (although that could also be helpful), but find sermons online that preach on the verse, look for blogs where others share their views, ask a trusted counselor or friend to give you their connection, or even conduct a whole study on the verse. It took a span of three years for me to connect to one verse. But I’m really glad I stuck it out. Like so many things in this life, understanding God’s word is not easy, but it is worth it.

*Previously posted on Debunking Debacles on 4/20/2014

Compartment Confidence

The other day at lunch I was recapping my latest dating tragedy to some friends I work with. We were trying to get to the bottom of my disastrous encounters. My friend Julie was asking why I am so uncomfortable and awkward. She was baffled when I said I lack confidence around guys. This is usually because when I meet someone who I think is worth dating, I have a hard time believing they would be interested in me. It’s a truly vicious cycle. I make a bad joke, laugh too loudly, realize I made the bad joke and see that he knows it was a bad joke, then I begin to doubt myself and try to overcompensate and the whole thing spirals horribly out of control.

I leave the night feeling like this:

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Then my two friends said the most amazing things about me. They couldn’t believe that I would ever be anything but confident. They reminded me that I have a lot to offer. That I’m a strong woman who has her life together and is accomplishing her goals. Julie even said she couldn’t imagine what I would lack confidence about.

I was totally flattered and encouraged by their kind words. I was also totally confused. How can I feel this out of control insecure and yet have others perceive me as confident? Then I considered my environment. I was at work, talking with two women who see me in what I like to think of as my natural habitat. I compartmentalize my confidence, relegating it to areas where authority and control are more clearly defined in my favor and separating it from areas where vulnerability is key.

Since I decided I wanted to be a teacher (which was in 5th grade) I have never once doubted my choice. As a high school senior answering the never ending stream of “What do you want to with your life?” I proudly said, “Be an English teacher.” I was then looked at sadly and was reminded that I would never make any money. As if that mattered. My junior year of college, teacher bashing was the popular thing to do. With laws like Senate Bill 5 jumping from state to state, I was encouraged by other teachers to get out. From my friends majoring in zoology and political science, I was looked at by someone who was less than, someone who was looking for an easy ride (HA). Even now, I hear a cycle of jokes from my friends with “real” jobs about how they would like to not work for three months and get paid all year. On a recent holiday when school was closed, someone legitimately asked what it was that I actually did. Mind you this was while I was having brunch with my distance athletes after coming from working with another student on a personal project of hers, on my “day off.” (Oh and for those of you interested, this is what I do). In the face of all this opposition, I smile politely and continue to read my books, write my lesson plans, and understand better ways to connect students to literature.

I know that teaching is exactly what I should be doing and what I want to be doing. These women see me as confident because in a classroom talking about literature, discussing best writing practice, I am. I love my job and I feel completely comfortable in a classroom- even when I spell something wrong on the board (happens all the time, thanks a lot autocorrect). I love school and I love learning. Unfortunately, there is no real class on how not to be awkward around men. This is one thing I can’t study and study and then ace the final exam. Each time is an experiment, a process of trial and error. The best way I know how to enter into a new dating situation is based on my past experience. However, a lot of my past experience isn’t great. In high school, I was easily manipulated by guys as I followed them around like a pathetic puppy dog, waiting for them to treat me right. In my first ever long term relationship, I was clouded by my feelings of love and let my better judgment be swayed and again manipulated. If I’m looking at past experiences, I’ve learned that in a dating situation I am not often true to myself. I know this is due to insecurity. My logical side allows me to see very clearly where my behaviors are breaking down and creating unhealthy relationships. However, my insecurity usually overrides my logic. I make decisions or choices based on the emotional temperature of others, not what is necessarily in my best interest.

In this dating experiment, I am not comfortable with so many unpredictable variables. Which is ironic since every day at work is unpredictable. Just last Friday, I had three girls coming into my room crying for various reasons. During a production, there is no way for me to predict what will happen on stage (no matter how many times we practice). For as confident as I am in a classroom, directing, or coaching setting, I go back to feeling 16 and helpless when a guy I like gives me attention.

How do I transfer my confidence? How can I be strong and not condescending? How do I learn to carry myself as the strong woman I know I am in every setting (and not scare away a potential date)? Am I the only one who seems to have this “split personality” issue?

*Previously posted on Debunking Debacles on 5/1/2014

In Repair

I’m at a point in my life where it would be embarrassing and silly to post lyrics as a Facebook status or Tweet. If I can’t directly name my feelings then maybe I shouldn’t be blasting them on social media to the annoyance of my few followers. But there are many times when lyrics just seem to perfectly capture what I’m feeling. It’s part of why we connect to music so much. If we couldn’t attach ourselves to some part of the song, it’s unlikely we would continue to listen. It’s the same theory of falling in love with a book- some part of it resonates deep within you. Whether you relate to an experience or see yourself as one of the characters- reflection of our hearts, minds, and souls is what makes us connect to art in any form.

Over the past year, I have ventured out into the scary world of dating. “Scary” being used not only in the horror movie sense of the word (ever had a date invite himself to run errands with the host of the party – a person he met merely 30 minutes ago and then uncomfortably REFUSE to leave?) but also in sense that fear can be combined with excitement and adventure (saying yes to a date with a person you didn’t know existed until a week ago).

I’ve learned many lessons in this year but one has especially hit close in the recent months. The time for healing after a heartbreak is essential and difficult.

After my first major break up, I jumped right into the dating pool. I went out with my girlfriends on the weekends, experimented with Tinder, and became involved in my church. I was trying to make myself open to meeting new people. And I did! I had several dates that didn’t go past date one but that was okay! I was having fun and that was great.

Then I met someone who I started talking to on a regular basis and went on several datetype things with. I was totally lost on how to be myself and still capture this person’s attention. Even more so, I was still clearly rattled by some qualities of my last relationship because, when I couldn’t find my footing in this no-clear-definition dating landscape, I completely lost my cool in a most embarrassing way. It was clear my insecurity and confidence had been hit harder in my previous relationship than I thought.

After several more casual dates, I thought I had a better handle on things. Until I met someone else and I immediately gave away too much of my heart too quickly. I was so guarded with the guy earlier in the year, apparently my strategy was to behave in the exact opposite way. Surprise ending: It didn’t last long.

Both instances left me more upset than the ending of my serious relationship. How was that? I barely knew these people. Then one day, while crying out my heartbreak in the car like any sane person does, John Mayer’s “In Repair” came up on shuffle. And it dawned on me that I hadn’t take the time or care to repair the broken pieces of my heart. I let it get tossed around, trampled, and dragged through the mud only to pick it up and say “Toughen up and get back out there!”

There’s so much pressure to be together all the time. My own stubborn pride of not wanting to accept help coupled with people trying to figure out why I’m single or who to hook me up with helped me mask the real root of my problem.

As Mr. Mayer put it: “Oh it’s taking too long, I could be wrong- I could be ready. Oh but if I take my heart’s advice, I should assume it’s still unsteady. I am in repair.”

I was ready to post that to every social media venue I could think of (why? because apparently that’s what my generation does). It was what my heart was saying all along I just wasn’t listening.

I wanted to be unaffected by these men. No one wants to be the friend who can’t get past a heart break. I certainly didn’t want to be the girl crying on people’s shoulders. But it’s what I needed most. Anne Marie Miller’s book Lean on Me came at the perfect point in my life. I was very much pulling an Elsa (“conceal don’t feel- don’t let them knowww!”) when I needed to be more like Anna (“wanna build a snowman?!”). Going through this book- twice actually- broke through my prideful broken heart and opened me back up to the possibility that I have best friends for a reason. It helped me see that I need to rely and trust on those around me.

So, one night at dinner, I confessed to two of my dearest friends that I was not well. That I was heart broken and couldn’t figure out how to move past it. I sat there nervous, waiting for looks of pity, and was relieved to find love and listening ears. Just the simple act of falling into their open arms made the days better and I quickly climbed out of the funk that held me captive for months.

I’m still taking the advice of the song though. I’m in repair and that’s okay. I don’t want to rush my heart into another relationship without the proper protection and healing. It’s not a weakness. It’s not a flaw of character. It is simply where I am right now. I’m thankful for those around me for their prayers, love, and patience and now I just need to bestow some of that same grace to myself.