Little Light Bulbs…

I’m in the process of creating a “class” aka “bible study” aka “girls small group” for whatever girls decide to join at work. It’s for my beautiful teen girls, and the basics of it revolve around purity. Purity in thought and actions, and my goal is to help them understand truly what they are doing to themselves when they make certain choices or allow themselves to think in certain ways.

In an attempt to help me I went to the store and looked through easily 100 books trying to find things that would give me words to tell them… I found a bunch, but settled on 2 for now. “Lies Young Women Believe: and The Truth That Sets Them Free” and “Wait For Me.” I’ve just begun going through them, but I just thought I’d post the beginning and we’ll sorta see where this leads to as I progress through these books in the next month preparing for this class for these precious girls.

My hope is that not only can I reach them and cause a little light bulb to go on in their minds, but also to find my sweet Jesus more in the midst of this. I truly hope that regardless of their pasts they can see how much value they truly have, and that they will choose that value instead of acting on the lies Satan tells them.

I pray little light bulbs go off in their minds and hearts as we spend Summer Monday’s doing this. 🙂 Please remember them in your prayers.

Theirs Become Mine…

So, I have some of the most amazing friends in the world (no really, it’s ok to be jealous). I was talking on the phone to one of them yesterday and she was checking in on me to make sure I was ok, and that nothing eventful had happened since we’d talked earlier. I began after a little prodding, to tell her what was wrong and how I was feeling because she very quickly was able to tell in my voice that I was not having a good day.

She listened and heard what I was meaning more than what I was saying (it takes a special friend to be able to do that). I began detailing out for her my frustrations, and how much it bothers me when I feel helpless or as though I have nothing productive to offer. I hate that feeling, and it grates at my nerves to no end.

But, then she sorta giggled at me and explained how it was no surprise to her. She explained to me how I without even realizing it take people’s problems and I carry them as though they were mine. Sometimes I offer advice and help (which is usually what I aim for), but most of the time I do whatever I can to make the problem at least partially mine also so they are not alone.

I guess I never really thought about it before, and I don’t really know how or why that is my chosen method of showing my caring and compassionate side… All I do know is, that’s exactly what I do. She couldn’t have been more right, and I didn’t even realize that’s what I do. Or, maybe I did and just do it so naturally that I just don’t pay attention to it.

She went on to explain how because that’s what I do, everyone views me as “their person,” they come to me to vent because I am stable, always available, and always wanting to be there and help. I never once viewed it that way, and I’m not sure what to make of that observation… I guess maybe, but I don’t really think of it I guess.

She then explained that currently things are so hard for me because not only am I attempting to take on the problems and hurts of others, I am trying to muddle through my own issues that are taking up more time than I am used to or that they should. So, essentially here I am trying to juggle more than I know what to do with, all with intensely high emotions involved… Awesome.

All I know is, when I woke up this morning my first thought was “Lord I’m so empty it’s not even funny.” (How’s the for a good morning thought!?) I’ve spent the majority of the day reading my Bible.. because I’ve been ridiculously slacking on that lately… And, what I know is that what I need right now is Him. I need His love and that’s about it right now. I don’t need people (WHOA!.. if you know me that’s significant.), I don’t need anything but Him, His time, His face… I need my Savior because I need to feel not empty inside anymore.

Man has this week been taxing.

The Fear That Grips…

So, I’ve found myself in a situation recently where I am.. in plain simple words fearful of what could happen… The situation itself is not new, and in fact has been going on since October… it’s just getting progressively more odd and the individual that it involves has been getting progressively more erratic. Up until recently none of the situation scared me, I saw it for what it was, realized the potential danger, the consequences, and the reality of certain aspects if I did or did not respond and act in various ways. I decided I would draw whatever I could and cause/allow it to slowly fade away when I did not nurture the situation.

Essentially what happened is, I was the first to get attention, then it faded when I did not respond, then others began getting it and it was worse, so I drew the attention to get it away from them since.. lets be honest I’m more capable of dealing with certain situations given my background and experience. So, I took the brunt and it worked well for a while. Especially when guy friends stepped in and decided I was NOT under any circumstances going to handle this on my own… ps I love my friends. So, things were going well. Things were under control. It seemed like they were fading away again and this time it would stay away… I’m naive what can I say I guess…

Then, suddenly out of nowhere it got a whole lot worse than it had been before. I decided after not much prodding, and several very concerned guy friends that I would take what I had to the proper people who could actually use what I had. Although, it was all surreal and a little on the odd side, I remained un-phased by the scariness of the whole situation. I realized what had to be done and that is more important than anything. Staying focused and keeping the task and the goal as priority in this situation was more important and took precedence over any and all emotions I had about the matter. I needed to keep my head on straight to help those around me that were nervous, worried, scared, etc..etc.. from getting worse. My perspective was simply that regardless of what the outcome was.. I would take it, good, bad, worse, indifferent.. I would rather anything that could happen happen to me, I serve a bigger God and I am well aware of that.

And then, I got an email at an address that shouldn’t have been found, and would have required more than just some casual searching. The contents were blatant lies… but, the person claimed I had said these things to them… At this point the un-phased part of this situation stopped being a part of my thought process… I felt myself slip into irrational thinking and fear and I was powerless to stop it.

So, what I really want to talk about is fear that takes over… I felt myself slipping into an irrational fear, I felt my mind going into my pattern thinking type of process, and I began to not be able to explain in any sort of linear fashion. I was scared and I knew it. Not really because of anything other than the possibilities of what could happen. Where do they end? I had a hundred and some odd “what if’s” playing in my head… I knew exactly what was happening and I realized I didn’t know how to feel. Angry? Sad? Scared? Confused? Frustrated? Mad? Worried? Indifferent?… Or was this what I had been planning the whole time.. pull this towards myself so it wouldn’t be some other girl. I couldn’t think straight enough to decide what I needed to feel. I forgot who my God is. For a brief moment I felt alone and as though nothing and no one would solve this problem….

“what if….”

How terrible of a place to be.

And then, I sought out first one friend and then the second because I couldn’t think straight enough to think of anyone else who would be able to protect me in this situation. They both validated my feelings, and then began helping me figure out what steps I needed to take.. Linear in fashion of course, because I couldn’t think through what to do. It was like my mind became fuzzy and loud. I was having a hard time even processing what they were talking about, so they both had to step by step me because that’s about as far as I could go. If they gave me a whole bunch in a row I couldn’t keep straight which needed to get done when.. Like I said, my brain went pattern, fuzzy, and loud. Then, they both began helping me see the humor in the situation, which is exactly what I needed because I needed to find something tangible that would help pull me out of my thoughts. Each of them explained how they would help, both using humor to exaggerate the situation… And, once I began to calm down inside I was able to see my situation for what it is… Someone who God has to save, and regardless I am His, I am His child and He loves me.

I need my God. Nothing’s changed. I am in a world full of “what if’s” and I have two basic options… choose fear or choose God. Every situation I struggle with is based off those two basics.. Choose fear and allow Satan to pervade my mind or choose God and allow Him to cleanse and calm my mind. The reality is fuzzy and loud are what happens when fear takes over… and then when I realize it and ask God to come back into my mind and take over I get clear and sharp again.

Currently I’m bouncing back and forth… I’m worried because there is a very real possibility that things could go badly, and I really don’t want to deal with it when it does… But, I find myself not fearful of it at the exact same time because I would rather it be me than another, my God is bigger, my friends aren’t just gonna sit by and watch, my Savior will save, and regardless this will be another step in my journey that God has laid out for me.. It will all be worth it if I can use this later.

So, while I’m worried I know in the end the good guys win.

Resonating Truth…

I was talking with a friend today who is going through an incredibly rough and trying time. I made mention to this friend of the fact that they don’t realize what they mean to those around them, and the response was interesting I thought.. They said that most people don’t realize (touche), and that if learning what we mean to others becomes our focus we’ve lost what our focus is supposed to be… Which is God… which is depicted in Galatians 1:10… I thought that was really interesting, and obviously a good point. But, we continued and I pointed out that sometimes it’s important for us to know so that we can almost get a glimpse of who we are to God and how he sees us. I can think of all kinds of times when I had a view of myself, a bad day/week/month/year, a misconception of what others thought etc..etc.. and someone or a couple people completely changed my view because they saw what I didn’t… And, I’m not talking physical qualities, although those are always nice to hear 😉 But, I’m really talking about deep down core.. Who I am.

This friend and I began talking about that and how it’s so easy to point to God and say “It’s all Him”… and that’s true, but I think what makes it “ours” at the same time is that when we allow God to use us, shine through us… etc.. etc.. we begin to act and express things in a way that “rings true” to those around us. We act or say something and we do it in a way that only we could have, which allows us to reach someone in a new or different way then anyone else around us… Then, the more they get to know us and get closer to us the more we point back to God as the source.. and it just clicks with them in some way… It resonates in only the way that it can when God’s there. 🙂

I wish I had the time to sit here and detail out all the many ways those around me have effected my life, pushed me closer to God, helped heal my heart, added joy to my life, created a safe place for me, whatever… But, the reality is, I know too many phenomenal people haha 🙂 I am truly blessed to have found so many in every place I’ve moved to. I really hope that I am conveying the same thing to those around me wherever I go…

To The Hurting…

I know I already posted today, but my heart has more to say… So, here I am.. saying it.

I don’t know why but recently.. well ok with in the last year or so. I’ve begun to see a marked change in the way I look, view, feel, operate when I’m around people who are hurting… I used to really be like “oh I’m so sorry” and that would be the end or I’d adopt this “I’ll fix it for you” kinda attitude, but I never really felt anything towards them… My heart was rarely moved.

Recently, I’ve begun to truly feel for them, hurt for them, ache for them, and it’s caused a marked change in my prayer life for sure. I used to offer the typical “Lord help them” kinda prayer… And now, I find myself talking less with actual words in my prayers, and sorta just offering up my heart and the feelings my heart has towards the situation. I figure He knows what I mean because he created it.. So, I focus on just showing Him my heart and telling Him I need Him to do something about it, fix it, help them, comfort them, give me words, actions.. give me a way to convey how much I care.. to show them Love the way I should.. to reach them in a manner they need in order for the greater good and for God’s plan to come to fruition…

But, I cannot accurately express how much I hurt for the people I care for who are hurting. Especially when, I see them go through the process as it’s happening. I mean sometimes people come to you at the end and they give you the whole story and you sorta just take it all in, processing what they’re telling you.. and other times you get the play by play as it’s happening. The play by play sinks into my heart and it becomes an ever present ache in my heart that stays there until it’s solved or until God takes it from there.

Yesterday a friend called and vented about a saga that’s been going on for a month or so now. I’ve pretty much known everything either as it’s happened or before it was gonna happen. Yesterday though was different, this friend’s attitude on the whole issue was just one of pain and hurt instead of the normal pain with a hopeful attitude. I’ve never had this friend vent in the manner that they did, and I’ve never heard the hurt so deeply in their voice. My heart just broke, and I had no words to help. I had nothing. All I could do is say over and over “I know, I’m sorry” and when I explained I had nothing to say beyond that, they said they understood.. But, I hate that all I could do was listen, all I could do was say the same thing over and over.. and the pain that was being expressed brought me to tears. I knew the pain and the rejections my friend was going through, and it hurt to my very center… If I could I would take all that pain back and return there so they didn’t have to. I know in the end they will be stronger, better, closer to God, but my heart aches so badly for them, and the worst is that I could do nothing to ease their pain. Nothing… I did the best I could to talk with this friend, and at one point my friend just yelled/vented at me for all the mistakes others have made… for all the frustrations that others have caused, and for every irrational friend they’ve encountered… All I could do was take it because I had nothing else to offer. So, I stopped trying to push my friend, and just absorbed whatever they needed to dish out, I tried to be whatever kinda friend they needed.. I ignored the painful things said, and I ignored the way they said what they said to me because it really has nothing to do with me… But, I still feel like I failed at being what they needed…

I know I know “you were there for them, that’s what they needed” or “you just listened, that’s the best you can do”.. but that’s not enough.. I feel like if I could just share the pain with them it would lessen the pain and hurt, and it would make it more bearable for them.. That’s what I want. I can’t do that, but I wish I could.

I wish I could make things hurt less for others… I wish I had the perfect words.. I wish I had the worlds best hug, the kind that would make their pain less just by a hug. I wish I could absorb some of their pain and then allow God and I to sort through it… But, I can’t… All I can do is watch and hurt with them while they go through whatever they go through. I hate that.

To those who are hurting, I am serious when I say I’m praying for you. I may not have the words… and I may not even have the words when I’m praying… But, God and I are talking and we are communicating and I am pleading to Him for you. I don’t say it flippantly, and usually I pray right away so I won’t forget… and other times it pervades my thoughts and stays in my heart until it’s over. I’m truly sorry you’re hurting, all I can offer is the assurance and confidence that it WILL get better, in the end you will not regret it, and you will see God’s hand through it if you let Him help you.

Home To Me…

How do you know you’re where God wants you? I dunno if this is true for everyone, but it’s where you feel home is. When I was thinking of moving to VA for this job, they took me up to the city I’d most likely be living in, and while we were driving through the city I kept thinking “what would I do if this were my home now?” Nothing about it felt particularly grabbing… or foreign, and yet I felt like “ok, well if this is it, I can do it if You help me.” Well.. ok I didn’t actually say that, but my heart said it to God as we drove..

When I went home this past weekend to visit my family and be in my roomie’s wedding it was so completely familiar… Smelled the same, looked the same (except the yellow they painted!!), same people, same sounds.. it was all the same. I felt the love and caring that is a trademark of my family.. and yet, it wasn’t the same anymore. I think this weekend I realized how completely in the center of God’s will I am in being where I am. I am exactly where I’m supposed to be, as chaotic, hectic, and fast paced it is.. As much as I miss my family, and wish they were closer… As much as it kills me to not be able to be around to fix problems on a daily basis… I am where I’m supposed to be. I am Home here. I am where God has placed me… I don’t know completely why, and I don’t know for how long, and I’m not even sure if I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing to the degree I’m supposed to be doing it. All I know is, I’m following my heart, and I’m allowing my natural flow of actions and reactions to take over… because otherwise I become frustrated and lazy. So, home is here now. I’m not really completely sure what that means, and part of my heart feels like that’s sad because that means home is no longer where my family is… But, I am not drawn to their mission like I used to be, I do not desire to change things that we were involved in like I used to… In fact, while I was there I kept thinking “what opportunities am I missing at home?”… which was my first clue.. and then I kept thinking “I wonder if so and so was able to…” just wondering if things got accomplished, if someone was there to care for them, if someone showed them love… It also became increasingly difficult to explain what I’m doing, what I love, who different people are, and why they are so essential to me right now.. I had a hard time explaining the places I’ve seen God work, and the things He’s done inside of me.. I hate that.

So, while part of me is now sad that I no longer feel like I need to be at home with my family.. part of me is relieved because I can focus all of my attention… which really is a misnomer because “all” really doesn’t mean everything haha 🙂 It really means “the majority” because I can never just stop reconnecting with people I love at places I’ve been… I can never just stop trying to help them… It’s just different when you realize you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to… exactly when you’re supposed to..

So, for all the good and bad implied.. Home is where I am right now, and I am thankful and grateful for it. I do however wish all the other people I love so dearly who don’t live here.. would move here.. Ok, the end. 🙂

The Mix…

So, I’m at home this weekend for one of my roomie’s from college’s wedding. She and her now husband are perfect for each other, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for the two of them. She is so happy, and knowing her heart and the conversations we have had over and over for months upon months before he was even in the picture… it’s just so nice to see those all come through, but only better then either of us had imagined. She is one of several girls I’ve prayed pretty seriously to find “the one,” and either know for sure he’s the one or get married before me… I’m thrilled she now is :)… 3 more to go 🙂

But, in the mix of all of the happiness and the laughter there is always the twinge of “when will it be my turn?” No worries, nothing big, and nothing like I used to feel.. but you see it and it makes you wonder about your own story… When will you find him? How will it play out? How long will it take? When will I get to be the most beautiful to someone?… And then, almost on cue you begin doubting it all.. as though some how you are less than every single other girl who has ever gotten married… That somehow it will escape you. Stupid, we all know it, but the thought is still there.

I was talking with someone last week… or the week before, and we were talking on this topic. When she brought up the idea that we sorta just assume God will bring us what we’re “ok with” like we won’t get the best… but we will learn to “deal with” whatever he brings us. As though we’re the forgotten child who lives under the stairs… How sad, and how limiting of my God.

That idea got me thinking… Do I do this? Sadly the answer is yes, all the time. I see something and my attitude is “I can make this work..” or “I can work with this..” which right away should be a clue that it’s not the best, but I begin taking things into my own hands and I start trying to plan, plot, and execute my own idea of how something will or will not work. But, I don’t even just do this when it comes to guys, I do this all over the place. I assume for whatever reason that God’s plan is for me to have second rate.. How sad. Especially when I look back on the pages of my story so far, every single thing has been exponentially better than I’d planned for it all to be.. So, why do I assume second rate is not just ok, but the plan?.. I have no idea. I’m an idiot I guess.

So, in the mix of being so completely happy and thrilled for my dear Ash, who is now on a new adventure… I’m dealing with a mix of how do I rely on the idea that I’m not going to get second rate?.. I dunno, but I’m gonna have to work on this for sure.