Not Quite a Fairytale

This that I am about to write is so honest, so real, and in fact, I’m not quite sure I should share it with you. I want to start out by saying that I am not the person to come to for advice on faith, life, in fact, I’d probably come to myself last for advice on anything. But with all of this being stated out front, I’m going to do the one thing I never thought I’d ever do. So hold on, I’m not quite sure where this is going to go.

Growing up, I was always inside a church, somewhere. Whether it be church with my parents or grandparents or friends, I was always there. This didn’t change a bit either when my parents got divorced, in fact, I believe we ended up in church more after that point. Both of my parents made sure I knew about God and grew up knowing what a church is. I learned all about Jesus, the 12 disciples, Adam and Eve, Jonah, David, Abraham, Moses, The Ten Commandments, etc. But most importantly, I learned about God’s love for His children and His unwavering mercy toward each of us. It was nothing that I ever struggled with growing up, I just knew it was real.

And I still know that its real. But I, nonetheless, have had hard, trying times and have struggled in my faith. I kinda feel like April Kepner during this last season of Grey’s Anatomy. If you watch the show then you see she struggles with her faith after Matthew, her former fiancé, loses his wife due to some complication after giving birth, but she eventually finds her way back to God before the end of the season. (I know this is probably some terrible analogy, because Grey’s is definitely fiction and all Hollywood, but just hang with me.)

I will say that over the last 3 years of my life, I’ve hit some major highs and some serious lows. When I first moved out on my own, I found it extremely difficult to find a church in Oxford that felt like MY church, not that anyone made me feel unwelcome, but they never felt like home. And I worked almost every single Sunday, which didn’t help things. But I cannot blame anyone but myself for my lack of church during my time in Oxford. And I’ve come to realize that during this time, I let the devil win more times than not. I struggled with making decisions for myself, for having the faith that I needed to realize that God had a plan for me, but it was HIS plan and not mine. One thing that anyone close to me will tell you, she is a planner. I don’t have a planner to write it all down, but I had a plan for my life. I’d be married by 21/22, have a flourishing career by 24, be a mother to some awesome kids by 27, etc. (We can all laugh now because well, life isn’t going quite like that.)

Well, during most of my time in Oxford, I never felt so alone, especially during my first year there. I was 20, had no plans to ever marry because I couldn’t find someone that I had that connection with, most of my friends had gone to different areas for school, and I struggle with making new friends (I have a hard time opening up and letting others in). I had the hardest time because I felt as if God just left me in pain and agony.  And during this time, I found a Bible verse that has become my favorite.

“I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord.” -Isaiah 66:9. 

Although school and work were going fine, I felt myself falling into more and more pain, and I remember just clinging to this verse, hoping and praying that I could handle the pain long enough for the new to come. I knew deep, deep down that God was doing something to me. He was working on me. And then, I finally met Catherine, who is now like my sister from another mister.

I will say she was the main reason I stayed in Oxford and finished school because before I met her, I was seriously considering withdrawing and moving back home. I remember praying for weeks to God for someone to come and impact my life in some way, make me feel as if I’m needed or in fact wanted. So that’s how Catherine plays into my story. She introduced me to so many of my friends and I’ll never be able to thank her. And things got back on the up and up for me. I was happier, I was actually enjoying myself and my time in Oxford. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I wish I could move back. And then I met Chase.

Oh Chase, how do I even begin to describe the impact that he has had on me? Let’s just say that He has helped me to see that I can be loved in the romantic sense. He even made me see that I can and I am capable of loving another human being so much more deeply than I ever thought possible. And I won’t go into the mushy gushy of our relationship because not everything should be displayed, but I will say that my relationship is one of the best things I’ve ever had the privilege of experiencing.

With all that being said, I will say that I know God sent those people to me. God was always there hearing my prayers, watching me the nights I cried in my bed alone, the days I honestly saw no point of going on, He was there. And He’s still there with me now. Because let me say, when I graduated from college and moved back home, its been an even bigger challenge than when I left home. I’ve struggled with my career, because let me be honest, it isn’t what I thought I’d be doing being that it has absolutely nothing to do with my degree that I worked so hard for. I’ve struggled with feeling isolated, again because although I have some many family members living here, its still hard when you don’t have friends near that you can see and talk to regularly. Chase and I have both struggled with understanding why God placed us here because although my hometown is a good place, it just is not where either of us want to stay. I struggle with where Chase and I are in our relationship because I’m constantly asked, “When are y’all getting married?” Ummm, we’re not even engaged, which I want, and that is another story for another day, but I can say that I feel God with me every step of the way during this crazy life. Although I sometimes lose my footing and I get angry, He never leaves me, and He somehow calls me back to Him.

“At the end of the day, faith is a funny thing. It turns up when you don’t really expect it. Its like one day you realize that the fairytale may be slightly different than you dreamed. The castle? Well, it may not be a castle. And its not so important happy ever after, just that its happy right now.” – Grey’s Anatomy 

 

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Body Shaming

Body shaming. I never really felt much on the subject until here recently. Mainly because I’ve never truly experienced it and what all it can do to someone’s self esteem. But trust me when I tell you, it hurts. Regardless of if its just one person or a million people who have an opinion on how you look, the hurtful words hurt the same. Let me explain.

I’ve never been anorexic or bulimic, and God bless all of those that have gone through that and survived, but I am what I classify myself as an “emotional eater.” When I’m down about something, I eat. All day long. And throughout my college days, I gained a good bit of weight. No, I’m not obese or anything, but I am overweight. I carry my weight well, and I’m #blessed because of it, but to be honest, I wish I didn’t gain all that weight to begin with. And since I graduated, I’ve been working on making a healthier life for myself. Exercise, eating healthy, the whole 9 yards. And I still don’t feel beautiful or healthy. And getting back into shape is harder said than done.

But I’ve slowly but surely started seeing results from my hard work. Not as quickly as I’d like, but still seeing it. Anyway, I ran into one of my family members in town. He’s always been kinda arrogant, cocky as all get out, but I still love him. I mean, after all, he’s family. As I’m speaking to him, we begin to walk back to his car, and he makes the comment about my size, basically that they would have to make my shirt out of his bed sheet because I’m that big. Ouch, that one stung. And this has been days ago, but of course, it’s stuck with me. And I’m sure he was kidding, but I can’t say that for certain. And I’m not writing this to make him feel bad or anything of that nature, because that isn’t my intention.

But I do write this to say, we don’t know what another person is battling with inside. We don’t know how our words can make another person feel. Eating disorders, self-hatred, low self-esteem, etc, are typically not something a person expresses about themselves until its too late or they’re knocking on death’s door. So why do we continue to let body shaming be an issue in our society? Why do we choose to say negative things about one another and how we look? And honestly, why do we let a number define what is healthy? I could be a size 2 all day long, and I still wouldn’t be healthy.

God made every single one of us different for a reason. We all are made in His image, no matter what size you are. Healthy is the most important size. And I’m grateful for my journey to healthy. I’ve had more encouragement than I have had negativity, but that is not the case for everyone. So for those that are battling body shaming issues, know that you are beautifully and wonderfully made.

I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that fully well. -Psalms 139:14.

 

 

The In Between Stage

So I thought when I started dating Chase, the long distance part of our relationship would be the hardest part for me. Man, if only I would have known that would be the easiest time of my relationship. As our relationship has progressed, I’m learning that the most difficult time is the here and now. You see, we’ve entered into this unmarked territory known as the, “I wanna be engaged but we’re not,” territory. Although we’ve only been together a year and a few months, I would marry Chase tomorrow if we had everything settled.

And, of course, we’ve had our share of fights, arguments, and differences of opinions, and we’ve grown closer than I ever imagined possible. To be honest, this time two years ago I would have sworn to you that I was going to die beside my 47 cats in a tiny house, (thankful God has other plans, right!) But seriously, I see myself growing old with Chase. I see myself having children and building a house and a life with Chase. And I know he sees it too. But here we are, no ring of a promise to this life on my left hand.

Most days, I find myself thinking a good bit about our futures together and wishing for it to just be here already. And the more I wish for it, I find the more I learn. I learn that any time with Chase is valuable. I learn about more food he doesn’t like to eat (which I thought I knew it all), the things that he did as a kid, the things that he loves about me, and I learn something else about him that I just love. I knew when I got in my car outside of his old high school after our first date that it wouldn’t be our last, and my love for him has only amplified over the course of our relationship. There is no doubt in my mind that Chase is the one that I will grow old with. But there is the waiting. Waiting on stability, waiting on the right time, waiting on careers, waiting on just about all there is to wait on. And this takes understanding. Lots of it. Most importantly, it takes trust. Trust to know that we are in this together and that we both want the same thing.

And I won’t say that the understanding, trust, and acceptance are easy, because most days, its not. But it will all be worth it. Because he is worth it. Every argument, talk, difference of opinion are things that help us to grow closer than imaginable. I couldn’t live every day without him by my side (well I could, but I don’t ever want to). And I won’t say that I won’t wish for our married life to begin already (because I will still wish for it occasionally,) but I will begin to enjoy this whole in between stage a whole lot more.

Gratitude Within the Struggle

I saw this older gentleman in my community the other day digging in the trash cans for aluminum cans while I was pumping gas into my car. I watched him for a while, and I saw the excitement on his face when he found another can to add to the collection on his arm. That excitement got me thinking about my own life.

Here lately, I’ve been more upset with how my life is going that I haven’t spent any time thanking God for His faithfulness and His plan for my life. I always expected that when I graduated college, I would use my degree and maybe move home for a few months, but I was never going to make it a long term situation. Here I am, almost a year later, still living in my hometown, and not using my education to the best of my ability. And, in my relationship, I thought I would be engaged by this time, and I’m not.

So, I basically assumed I would have my life together by now, and it turns out I don’t.

Shocker there…but you know what? It’s all apart of God’s plan for me.

And I should be grateful for all that I do have. But when I think of gratitude, appreciation, giving thanks, however you put it, as being happy. But gratitude and happiness are not the same thing.

Just because I’m not happy with where I am in my life right now does not mean that I shouldn’t be grateful for all I have in life right now. I have a Bachelor’s degree, a nice house, food to eat, a great job, a wonderful family, two wonderful pets, and a wonderful boyfriend who loves me. I have the energy to get up every day and admire the struggle it takes to simply be human. And I’m even more grateful that I have an awesome, compassionate God, who is always faithful.

The Lord’s loving kindness indeed never ceases, For His compassions never fail – Lamentations 3:22-23. 

 

 

 

 

20 Things I Would Tell Myself At 20

 

  • The friends that you make in college will be some of the best people you will ever meet.
  • If you can count on more than one hand the amount of people you trust, think again.
  • One failed exam does not make you a failure at life, regardless of what Hall tells you.
  • For the love of all things, wash your face twice a day! You only get one skin, so take care of it wisely.
  • The friends that you started out with in college may not be there physically at the end, but they are always one number away.
  • You will not be the crazy cat lady when you die. The right man will come along, just be patient.
  • Learn when you are being a selfish idiot, and STOP DOING THAT.
  • Your plans will not always work out. Don’t worry when they don’t.
  • Take care of your twin sister and STOP ARGUING WITH HER SO MUCH. She’ll be your best friend when everything else goes to s**t.
  • Pink lipstick…no.
  • Do not be ashamed that you love to write.
  • Do not be ashamed that you aren’t as fast when it comes to boys, trust me, you’ll appreciate it.
  • You can buy the same jeans at Target as you can at American Eagle for half the price.
  • Its okay that you don’t have your life together.
  • Call your mother…often.
  • Call your Bebe even more often, she’ll love you all the more for it.
  • Spend as much time with your family as you can, they won’t all be here forever.
  • Guard your heart a little.
  • Enjoy the silence, that’s the time you learn the most about yourself.
  • Enjoy every moment…regardless of how painful that moment was. You learn so much more from it.

Choose Kindness

I had an experience last week that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. Let me set the stage for you.

My boyfriend and I went out last Friday night as our date night. As we sat, our waitress delivered our drinks as any waitress would, and then she spilt one all over my brand new $54 sweater that I had only worn once. As she patted me down with paper towels, trying to dry my dripping wet sleeve, she apologized profusely to me. My first reaction was to holler at the waitress for ruining my sweater, but instead, I went to the ladies’ room to try to clean the mess up. My friend that was with me told me that I should go tell the waitress how terrible she is at her job, but I couldn’t do that. And I’ve been thinking about this comment since then.

I don’t know why I didn’t choose to make a scene about the whole thing. Maybe I felt bad for this waitress because I could tell that she was new. Maybe I knew that accidents happen. Maybe, just maybe, I thought that choosing kindness is more important than being ugly to someone who had an accident.

I think that most days we are so focused on what is good for us, what makes us feel good, that we lose focus of what’s most important, and that, my dears, is kindness. Think about it with me, kindness is what we as humans crave. We love kind people. People who are kind tend to be happier, and let’s face it, when you’re kind and positive, its easier to make it through a day. Am I right?

But in this situation, I couldn’t help but think of WWJDWhat Would Jesus Do? All I could think was be kind. Jesus is the ultimate example of kindness. I mean, I’m not going to say I would lay my life down to die for every sinner to make sure we all have eternal life…but Jesus did. Jesus, the Son of God, became friends with sinners and saved us all. Now I’ve never heard of a better act of kindness shown.

I say all of this to say that this world is cruel. Choose to treat one another with kindness. I can say that if I wouldn’t have chosen kindness last Friday night, I may have ruined our whole date night and the night of our sweet waitress. But lastly, I want to leave you all with this,

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32.

Advice for a Future College Student

As most know, I’m about to graduate college. And although this moment is bittersweet for me, I can look back on this experience, and I can tell you that I’ve learned more than I ever imagined possible. I learned more about myself, my relationship with God has been tested, and I”ve come out stronger thanks to my college experience. I could tell you a million things all future college students need to know before they pursue this adventure, but I’ll limit this to just 5 of the most important things I learned while I was in college.

5. You are now responsible for yourself. 

Yep, that’s right. You are now the one who decides when you go to bed, if you do homework or not, if you go out on a date with that cute individual that asked you out, and you are even the one that decides if you go to church on Sunday morning or not. I say this all to say that your parents are no longer responsible for the decisions you make or the consequences you face for making those decisions.

I say this knowing that most of you had many decisions made for you. And whatever decisions you made, regardless of if they were the right choice or the wrong one, you very rarely received the full consequences of those choices. Sure, you got grounded or maybe even had to pay to fix the bumper of your car, and some of you were probably forced to go to church on Sunday morning regardless of if you wanted to or not, but now all of those decisions are up to you. For the rest of your life, you can do whatever and whenever, and listen to me when I tell you, you will want to make God a priority in your life. I’m not saying you need to be in church every Sunday or you’ll be damned to hell by any means, but you will need God to help you navigate through this transition period of your life, and you can’t do that if you shut Him out.

4.  It is okay to not know it all.

I remember when I started college, I thought I knew everything plus some. And I soon came to realize that I didn’t know it all, and that it’s okay. I’m not just talking about school work either, but I’m talking about the big stuff, you know, like figuring out who you are. See, you think you know who you are, what you’re meant to do, and there are a few fortunate ones that know all of this exactly, but if you are anything like me, you have no idea. College was the time I took to learn who I truly am, and what all I stand for.

Living in my household, I won’t say that it was hard to have different opinions on different subjects such as political views, but it wasn’t easy. It’s hard to go against all you know. I lived in a small town with many people believing the same thing, and I didn’t know there were different kinds of people until I left home and went to college. I learned more about the differences of people within my college years than I ever did in my first 18 years of life. With that being said, there was a good bit of stuff I didn’t know, but college was the time for me to learn about them. And I still don’t know it all, but that’s okay. I’ll learn what I need to know in time.

3. Your parents still know a lot more than you think they do.

Most young high school seniors won’t admit that their parents know a lot, and back when I was a high school senior, I wouldn’t either. But as I started college I learned very quickly my parents knew better than I did most times. When I first moved out, I would call my mother for virtually everything from what kind of laundry detergent I should buy to random dating advice. And I can still say, my mother knows more than I do.

I learned throughout college, that although I didn’t need my mom’s financial help too often, I still needed her for other things. She helped me make important decisions just by listening to me, and giving me advice. And sometimes, I think this is why God gives us parents. They aren’t there just to give us embarrassing sex talks and show horrible baby photos to new boyfriends, but rather to help guide us on the next chapters of our lives. I know my mother will always know more than me, and for that, I will forever be grateful to have her.

2.  College is full of challenges; this is the time you either turn to God or run from Him.

Now this one is hard for me to discuss. I can say once I moved out of my mother’s home, away from her rules, I went a little crazy. I did not know what to do with the freedom. I went to parties, made new friends, and did many questionable things. For the first two years of my college career, I can say that I was less strict on myself about spending time with God, and I, in all honesty, threw God to the side. I always said I would work on my relationship with Him later. And this thinking caused the Lord and I to grow apart, for me to fall apart. When I started attending my university, living in an apartment on my own, I hit rock bottom.

Although I had great grades and amazing friends, I wasn’t happy. I was doing things that weren’t right. I was dating the wrong guys, and I knew I was slipping away and the devil was winning. I found myself faced with challenges that I had no idea how to deal with. I found myself in situations that I shouldn’t have allowed myself to be in, and it took me a while to realize that God was calling for me, but I was refusing Him. And it took me a while after I realized this to open the door God was knocking on.

But once I did, things got better. I was no longer placing myself in situations I didn’t want to be in. I wasn’t allowing myself to be unhappy with who I was, and that’s all because I chose to listen and work on my relationship with God. And let me tell you, if you one day find yourself in that situation, the Lord will and does fight for you, everyday. All you have to do is lean on Him and let Him help you.

1.It is okay if you have no idea what your purpose is when your college ride is over.

I’m fixing to graduate, and let me tell you, I have no idea what I’m called to do with my life. I started my studies in my degree for a career I thought I wanted to do, but throughout this last year in my college career, I’ve questioned if this is what I am called to do. And in all honesty, I still don’t know. And that’s okay.

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

You will face many challenges, and you will sometimes wonder if you chose the right  career path for yourself, and it is okay to question it. Just remember, the Lord has a plan, and sometimes it may not be what you wish for, but it will be beautiful and wonderful for you.

Enjoy your college years, because they fly by fast. You will learn more about yourself than you imagined possible, and you’ll make memories that you’ll be thankful for. It will be an amazing journey, and just remember, God will always be with you.

What All I Learned This Election Season

Well you guys, it is over.

The election has come to a close, and we have a new President-Elect, Mr. Donald J. Trump.

And before I continue on, let me just say that this is an election that will go down in history as one of the most shocking results ever.

And this won’t be recorded in history just because there were shocking results, but also because Donald Trump’s campaign manager is the first female to ever run a successful presidential campaign. So congrats to you, Mrs.  Kellyanne Conway.

So, I guess now it’s time for me to get the good food recipes back on my Facebook newsfeed. #hopefully

But throughout this election, I’ve seen people show their true colors. And to be honest, it’s a little sad. I’ve seen people be degraded, humiliated, attacked, etc. all because they support one candidate or another.

And no, this is not a post designed to tell you how you should have voted. Your vote is your right, and I would never tell anyone how to vote, but what I will say is that before you cast your vote, I hope you prayfully considered your choice.

But, as I’ve walked away from this election season, I’ve learned a thing or two.

#1: Honesty is always the best policy.

No matter if you’re a senior in college, a 30 year veteran, or running for the greatest office in the land, the truth matters. Lying covers things up for a little while…but the truth always comes out. Regardless of how you feel about it.

#2: Everyone loves a good scandal.

From Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails to Donald Trump’s All Access Hollywood Tapes, these campaign were full of scandal and mud slinging. And these scandals ruined the images of both candidates in my opinion. Donald is viewed as a racist pig, while Hillary is seen as an untrustworthy individual. Both are not good images we wanted the world to see as possibilities of our newest leader, but here we are.

#3: What we put on the Internet is something that lasts forever.

Yes, I’m talking to you, Donald Trump. I’ve seen your tweets. And Hillary, I’ve seen your shady communication skills…but it’s none of my business.

But in all seriousness, for my Facebook friends who have posted some crude, vile things as comments to someone who supported the candidate opposite of you, just know it’s there forever. Even with this cool thing called a delete button, it still manages to be somewhere on the Internet. Remember that next time you try to hit the ‘reply’ button on your Facebook page.

#4: Never underestimate the power of a good slogan.

Seriously, for days, all I’ve been thinking about is, “Make America Great Again,” and, “Stronger Together.” So, I know if you didn’t walk away from a night of politics with anything else, you at least knew a good slogan.

#5: Hate solves nothing.

I have seen more friendships destroyed in this election due to hatred. Trump supporters bashing Clinton supporters and vise versa has happened this whole election, and some of it has been the most crude crap I’ve ever read. That’s all I can say. But where did the hatred lead us? NOWHERE.

In fact, if I’m being honest here, I could say that people based their votes on which candidates they hated less. When is that EVER acceptable?

Bsut now, here we are: over half the nation pissed off because Mrs. Hillary R. Clinton is not our President-elect while the other half couldn’t be anymore thrilled that our President-elect is Mr. Donald J. Trump. And most of the ones who are happy with the President-elect are telling those that aren’t happy to pack their bags and move to a different country. And then the people who are pissed about the President-elect are saying they won’t respect our next President. But you guys….it’s not that serious.

And it may just be because I live in the South, but the amount of racist comments that have been stated since this election are ridiculous! Like, what happened to voting on policy? Or better yet, what happened to not discussing how you voted at all? I miss those times…and I’m young. Like young enough to not remember what it was like to not discuss who you voted for.

But anyway…

#6: Our role models sometimes forget they’re role models.

This is most definitely for Hillary and Donald. Both candidates exhibited vile, inappropriate, and inexcusable behavior. They’ve both demonstrated behavior of what not to do. And that, well, its just not a good role model. I hope and pray that as both move away from these campaign, they each find ways to become the role models these children deserve. And for the time being, both candidates have been humble since the results. And that’s a great thing.

#7: Life is always full of curveballs.

This whole election has been full of curveballs. If you would have asked me back in January who I thought would be the Republican nominee, I would have told you either Marco Rubio or Dr. Ben Carson. But never Donald Trump. And here goes the curveball. The curveball named Donald J. Trump. And now, he’s going to be the 45th President of the United States.

And to say that Donald J. Trump is our next President is a curveball in itself because if we were all honest, we’d say that we all thought Hillary R. Clinton had it in the bag. (And I’m not saying that you wanted her to win, but think long and hard for a second, most Republicans were nervous on election night.)

#8: No matter who is President, God is still in control of this country.

God has never left me or failed me, and He’s never left this nation. There is a reason why Donald J. Trump won the election. I have no clue what that is, but I know it will one day be revealed to us all. Like I’ve said time and time again, I have to trust the Lord and His plan because that plan is better than any plan I could have for myself. I believe the same goes for this nation. We have to trust the Lord’s plan for this nation even though it may be different than what some of us wanted.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”-Isaiah 43:2.

So I leave you with this, this election was one that will go down in history for my children and their children to learn about. I know most are not happy about the results, but we, as a nation, have to find peace in this and make the best of it. We cannot become unified if we refuse to work together. If Donald and Hillary can set aside their differences to work for the better of this country, we citizens should too.

Peace.

 

Feelings.

Facebook is the only way I keep up with people all around the country. I see political debates, photos of friends, statuses, memes about being a crazy cat lady, engagement and wedding announcements, and of course, baby announcements. You never know what you’ll get every time you open up Facebook. Will I burst out laughing, cry, or do the serious, almost left my eyes in the back of my head eye-roll? Just spin the wheel, you’ll get something.

But sometimes, Facebook can catch me off guard, like it did last night.

A photo. One photo of my best guy friend that I’ve wanted to be more than a friend for years. We’ve never had that friendship full of romantic undertones, but I’ve been in love for a while now.

But this photo had me at, let’s just say, my jaw is still on the floor. Feel me?

But I’ve given up on being with this guy after I got the beautiful you’re my very best friend and I’m so thankful we’re friends text message that just let’s you know you’re #friendzoned forever. So my feelings have been moved to the “will never happen” part of my brain right beside my thoughts of Martin Henderson and Patrick Dempsey.

And I’ve written about him a good bit, mainly of my hoping of wanting what can never be.

But this photo struck a longing in my heart…but before you get the wrong idea, it wasn’t that kind of longing.

But it’s a longing to have someone to love, or even more so someone to love me. I’ve come to the realization that I have a lot of love to give, and I want to give it to someone who can love me back with all of my dark and twisty being.

And I’m not one to cover up my feelings, but I’ve been hurt enough to know that I can’t wear my heart on my sleeve. I like to wear the strong face, and let people think that I have it all together, which to be quite frank, I don’t. But why not let people think I do?

But sometimes, when no one I know is around, while I’m swimming through the sea of humanity on the Ole Miss campus, I like to allow myself to just feel.

I turn on my jam (How to Save a Life by the Fray), run, and cry a little bit. And I can’t lie, it feels really good to just let go for a little bit.

But during my run last night, I came to some realizations in my own life.

I have a hard time trusting God’s timing. I can be open and honest about this one. And my doubts about God’s timing have become worse since my sister’s engagement. She’s getting married and about to start a family of her own, and I can’t even find the one my soul is supposed to love. And don’t get me wrong: I hate questioning God’s timing because I know I’m supposed to have faith in Him and His plan, but this is where I fall short in my faith.

But God has the right man for me out there somewhere. God has someone out there for me to love that can love me back. Every deep, dark and twisty flaw I possess. Someone who can love me the way love is spelled out in 1 Corinthians. For a while, I was in a dark place. Unable to truly love someone else, unable to let someone love me. But over this past year, I’ve grown. I’ve decided to spend my time working on me. I’ve been answering the question “Who am I, really?”

Because I began writing a blog, I’ve been able to work through a lot of things I’ve held on to. And I won’t say that I’m done, because I’m not, but I’m getting there.

Last year’s Jayme was no where near ready for love, but this year’s Jayme is, and God will send the right man to me in HIS time, not mine.

No man will solve the deep longing in my heart. The deep longing I have in my heart is for a spiritual connection, and the only person that can feel that longing is Jesus. 

An earthly man can provide satisfaction for my relational desires, but the only one who can feel my deep longing for love is Jesus. So while I am still impatient and want to show a man love and affection, get married and have all his children, the man I should give that love to first is Jesus. I need to spend my time as a single woman devoting my time working on my relationship with Jesus.

And I realized that it is okay for me to be angry with God and His timing. No, I can’t be mad everyday. But it is okay to cry for time to time. Acknowledge that these emotions exist, feel them, and move on.

And maybe, just maybe, I should keep away from Facebook and Instagram for a little while because let me just say that photo has me well…I’m still drooling.

It isn’t my job to rush God and His process. He is shaping me to make me able to accept love from someone else. It is my job to trust and to not get all carried away with the hottie that is on my newsfeed.

So for now, I will continue to work on me and my relationship in Christ. And wait on the love that I deserve. The love God has planned for me.

The Missionary Dater

I learned something about myself the other day.

Allow me to set the stage for you.

Thursday night aka Thirsty Thursday. I’m out with all my friends, because after a long week, who doesn’t love a good drink. With that being said, let me just say I’m not a drunk, but I am a social drinker, and I only have 3 drinks, whether its beer or a vodka/sprite. Because I know my limit…and well, I believe in maintaining my dignity.

As we are all enjoying our drinks, talking and laughing about the past week, I began discussing the guy I had met and gone out with within this past week. Of course, I thought this guy was pretty great. Except for the fact that he was not a Christian. But that was okay. I could help him find Jesus soon enough. Of course, as soon as I said this my good friends all look at me like I’m slightly off my rocker.

Then, one of my sweetest friends, announces that I’m a #missionarydater. I mean its even mentioned in our group text message. It’s become a running joke.

But anyway. I couldn’t believe I had said this. It was like uncontrollable word vomit. Word bullets as I call them. But why?

I had become one of those girls. You know the one. The girl who honestly believes that she can change a man.

Can I just say that once I made this realization, a facepalm moment occurred.

I mean seriously, Jayme. Like seriously.

And this thought has sat with me for a week now. The moment I became labeled as a #missionarydater has replayed like some horror movie in my head. Over and over.

It replayed in my head while I was sitting in church. Church, y’all! The time I should be paying attention to my Reverend and listening to the beautiful voices of the choir, I’m stuck in my own head listening to myself admit that I’m a missionary dater. Then, during the middle of the closing prayer, it dawned on me. Is this really what I want? That I want to date someone that is broken to fix them? 

And that afternoon, I spent a long afternoon taking a deep look at myself. Future spoiler alert: what I found was quite ugly.

I have always told myself that I do not deserve to be with anyone who is all “put together” because well, I’m simply not. I have no idea what I’ll being doing in a year. No idea where I’ll be living. No idea what kind of job I’ll be working. No idea if I’ll be in a Master’s Program at a university somewhere.

The uncertainty of all of this has made me question whether I should start a relationship with someone because who wants to start a relationship if I might have to move in a year?

But there’s a plot twist: I don’t want to be alone. I’ve always said I would be better off alone because if I fall in love with someone, and it all falls apart, I’m afraid I might not make it. It had nothing to do with my happiness. I just always thought it would be easier to be alone. (Yes, I can say that I sound so much like Meredith Grey it hurts sometimes. Meredith Grey= a fictional me.)

But that’s beside the point. I fed myself with these lies that love is something I cannot survive.  I also fed myself with the lie that I do not deserve someone who has it all together.

I learned that in order to stop the missionary dating and gain the love I deserve I have to stop feeding myself  these lies and replace them with the actual truth.

And of course everyone has a different truth, but my truth is simple: I deserve a “put together” guy who can love me for me, and that I can survive if things do not work out.

So let’s fast forward to Thursday, September 29, 2016, weeks later, and I’ve realized something- I’m a missionary dater because I do not believe that I deserve any better.

So, maybe its time for me to redefine my dating criteria. Maybe it’s time for me to stop settling.Or just maybe I need to realize that missionary dating will get you nowhere.

There are problems with missionary dating:

1) I cannot save people who do not want to be saved.

2) People will not change for you, they will only change for themselves.

Trying to convince someone to love Jesus just because they are in a relationship with me will never be okay. I know God said, “Go into the world and preach the gospel to all creation,” (Mark 16:15) but I don’t think he meant to do this by being a serial dater. And I’m not telling non-Christians that they can’t date Christians. All I mean by this is dating someone in order to make them one day love Jesus will not work. It just won’t. People have to want to know Jesus in order for that to happen. And no one can do that for another person. It just can’t happen.

So today, I choose to be honest with myself. Thanks to my good friends and the realization they have offered me, I have to end things with McCutie. Which is for the best.

Anyway…I hope you all enjoy Thirsty Thursday as much as I do.