Dear All Single People

It’s no secret that I have been single for a while now, and it is no secret that I am a slight loner. I was in a relationship with the one I thought I’d marry for a year and a half, and I did enjoy the companionship I had with that person. I won’t lie to you, some days, I do miss it, while other days, I know it ended for the best. I will admit that I miss having someone to go on random road trips with and be silly with. But as I’ve said, I’ve been single for a while now, and I would like to share some of the amazing things I have learned with all of the single college girls and guys out there watching every other person fall in love/ get engaged/ have families/ whatever else it may be.

1.You Are Fine.

So many people believe that something is wrong with them because their relationship failed and they aren’t dating in college. First, the relationship not working out is not all your fault, and do not think it is. You are worthy of love, and many people just grow apart. It happens. Relationships end for all sorts of reasons, and it is okay if it doesn’t work out. It is okay if the one you felt was your future turned out to be your dead end. God had a plan for that relationship in your life, and trust me when I say all relationships teach you something about yourself. Relationships teach you to love another person for their imperfections, to make up with another person after a fight because you care more about them than being right, and it teaches you how to place another person’s wants and needs above your own. If you aren’t dating in college, that is no one’s business but your own. Date if you want, focus on school if you want. Just because you don’t date doesn’t mean you are messed up. It just means that you have your priorities in order, and you know your self worth.

2. Respect Yourself.

The worse thing you can do to yourself is not love yourself. Your body is yours to do what you want with it. Do not sell yourself short just to keep your guy around. If you have to give away pieces of yourself for someone to love you, then they will never love you. Remember that.

3. Do Not Settle

Waiting around for a guy that will love you for who you are and not what you look like in a little black dress may suck, but I can tell you when Mr. Right does pop into your life, you’ll be glad you didn’t settle. You will thank yourself for not wasting time on someone lower than the expectations you have set for yourself. Someone lower than your standards will not fill that void in your heart. They may be fun, but they are not forever, and in fact, they will cause you to lose yourself. You, are a smart individual, find someone who will push you to accomplish your goals and live your dreams with you. Trust me when I say you will be glad you did.

4. You Do Not Need Someone

You are independent, bold, and beautiful in every way. Do not believe you need someone else to live your life. You don’t need anyone but yourself. Remember that.

5. Your Time Will Come

God has an amazing plan for you. Whether it is marry an amazing person or live out his mission for your life, you will figure it out, and God is 100% behind you on whatever you do. God has your life planned out according to His plan. Until the time comes and you know what you are to do with your life, be patient. Enjoy life. And live your life.

6. Be Yourself

Make sure that you do not change who you are to impress another person. There is someone out there who will love you for who you are. Life is way too short to try to be someone that you just were not made to be. Personalities were made to  make us all different, so own who you are. And remember the words of the amazing Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

7. Enjoy This Time

Admit it, being single is not the worst thing that has ever happened to you. In fact, being single gives you time to heal from a previous relationship, focus on your goals, and find what you want in life. You have the time to improve yourself for you. You have the time to hang out with your core friends. You have time to find yourself and love yourself. Remember, no one else can love you if you do not love yourself.

8. You Are Loved

I know that you may have some days where you are in a room full of people and you feel totally alone, but know that so many people love you. You have a family that loves you, friends that love you and want the absolute best for you. You are loved by God. God wouldn’t have put you here, where you are right now, if He did not love you. And I know it is hard to see now, but know His love is real. Embrace it.

9. Let Them In

Let down your walls a little bit. Know that not all people are out to get you. There are so many people who would kill to get to know you. You are a strong, independent, confident, individual, and know you can read people better than you think. You can learn a person’s intentions in minutes. If a person is pursuing you in all the right ways, letting them in may not be so bad. Who knows what a simple hello could lead.

10. Stop Looking (For the Ladies)

Okay, ladies, I may sound like an old lady, but you are a woman. It is not your job to pursue a man. Sit back, and enjoy doing you for a while. Many people say that love will find you when you least expect it, and that is totally true. The right guy will have to find the courage to introduce himself to you in God’s time, which is the right time. The moment you put things into God’s hand is the moment that things start to go right for you. Let go, and let God handle it.

10. Start Pursuing (For the Guys)

Okay, guys, women love being pursued. If you find a woman super attractive, think she has a smile that can light up a room, and has an amazing personality, pursue her! Don’t think that she will pursue you. Most women won’t. Pray about it and go get her! Who knows what a simple introduction may do for you. And who knows, your overwhelming confidence may just be the one thing that makes you stand out among all of the other guys. Place all of it in God’s hands, and He will lead you in the right direction.

Be patient, be still. Be accepting of the plan God has for you. God will never fail you. Until God reveals His plan to you, know you can handle the world without a significant other.

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It Is a Sin Problem

Today, the United States woke up forever changed. Yesterday, there was another mass shooting in Oregon, and I won’t go into the details of it, but I will tell you I’m praying for all involved and this nation as a whole.

And let me just add, I lost massive amounts of respect for President Obama because he took this tragedy and used it to push his political agenda called gun control. Dear Mr. President, this is not the time to push your political agenda. This is the time to stand behind the victims, make this all about the victims! This is not the time to say that gun control laws would have saved American’s lives that day. We don’t know that, nor will we ever know. I can tell you what all Americans know: The United States woke up with a heavy heart today. The United States will be forever changed. Everyone within that community college and that community had a life altering event happen to them. They will be forever changed due to the acts of one person…and all President Obama cares about is pushing his political agenda.

But Mr. President, how can you say gun control laws will stop mass shootings within our nation? I can tell you that taking away guns from good people will not prevent the bad people from getting guns. If a bad person wants a gun, they’ll go get one. So, I hate to tell you, but guns are NOT the problem at this point. The problem is sin. Man’s fallen heart causes people to do things such as this, and the only way to stop this is to go to God and ask him for His healing.

Over the last decade, God has been taken out of schools. As soon as a tragedy happens, school systems want to hold candlelight vigils, and people say, “Where’s God?” Maybe, if He wouldn’t have been pushed out and rejected, these violent acts wouldn’t happen again and again.

And I say this all because I know my God is the Ultimate Healer, Merciful Redeemer, God of Grace. He heals all things broken. And maybe, if they were not as many broken people within this world, mass destruction would not happen. So, I say let God back in. Let Him heal this country the way we need to be healed. I know God exists. I know God heals all wounds. Day in and day out, I find peace within my life due to God’s healing power. I pray daily for God’s hand to come over this country and heal us. And I will continue to pray for this country as long as I live.

Citizens of Roseburg, Oregon, and students of Umpqua Community College, people within this nation are continuously praying for you, and we will continue to pray for you with the coming days ahead. God is with you, and healing is coming.

The Dirty Truth

Every single person on Earth has something to hide. No one can just expose their secrets to the world. That’s how people get hurt. That’s how people hurt other people. Each individual has to make a decision on how much they share and what they keep as their secret. This can be hard to do. I’ve learned first hand the embarrassment that comes with sharing too much information, and I’ve also been on the other end where not enough information was shared and I got hurt by it.

It’s human nature to keep things from others if we know it is going to hurt them, and it is human nature to keep things from others if we know it is going to hurt ourselves. Its just how we’re wired. We want pleasure over pain. We’re happy to not reveal all of our secrets because maybe we’re in love with that person. Maybe we open our hearts up to be broken. Maybe it allows us to, “have our cake and eat it too.” Or just maybe, we don’t want to own up to doing people dirty.

At the end of the day, fear is what makes us hold our secrets back. I mean after all is that a bad thing? Is it bad to hold back? Probably so. But it helps to be a little sneaky, a little protective, right? No, it doesn’t. Because even though you are trying to protect yourself from the negative effects your dirty little secret has on you, it doesn’t protect them. It only protects you. It’s okay to be selfish at times, but when it comes to breaking people and trust between people? You should be the one to own up to your mistakes. People say that it’s not safe to blurt out all of your secrets. People can’t just lay all the truth out there and expose themselves to God and everybody. What we seem to forget time and time again is that the truth has a way of setting itself free, exposing itself to the world no matter how dirty it is.

And no matter how the truth is revealed, no matter if you tell it or if it tells itself, you have to face it. We have to deal with the raw emotions. We have to deal with the disaster it brings. But once the truth has been set free, once the disaster has been fixed, it won’t matter how it all came about. It will only matter who set the truth free. It will only matter if you were brave enough to be honest no matter how dirty your secret was. And who knows, once the truth is revealed, you may just be lucky and get a happy ending.

Boundaries

Boundaries…the things we make ourselves to limit the people we have in our lives. And these boundaries are all fine and well, but if people want into your life, they will get in. Because, you see, boundaries don’t keep others out. They just fence you in. They just make your life boring. They make you that “anti-social weirdo” at the party. Or, better yet, they keep you from the party.

So at some point, you have to make a decision. Are you going to cross that line, go all the way. Or, are you going to stay fenced in, waiting on some great opportunity to pass inside your fence of comfort. Waiting on this, though, could be a whole lifetime, or it could not happen at all. Are you willing to take that chance of waiting and never doing? Are you going to waste time drawing the lines?

And I hate to tell you, but in case you didn’t know, life IS and WILL ALWAYS BE messy. It’s just how we’re made. It’s been this way since the fall of man. And it isn’t changing. So draw lines, or live life crossing them?

And I must admit, there are some lines in this life that are too dangerous to cross. But people do it all the time. Sometimes it turns out to be a beautiful ending, and other times, well…it ends like placing your finger in a blender and hitting the high button. Let me just tell you, that is not pretty.

So, play it safe or be dangerous.Those fences you make for your own protection may be what keeps you away from the things you want most out of life. Here’s what I do know for certain: if you’re willing to take a chance, the view from the other side, well…it’s spectacular.

The Game of Mercy

As a kid, I remember playing on the playground with all of my friends. There was one game in particular that I remember. We called it the game of mercy. A friend and I would lock hands, count to 3, and then try to snap the other person’s fingers off. You hold on as long as you can, hopefully longer than the other guy. The game is over when one of the two screams ‘stop’ or cries mercy. Needless to say, this game was one of my least favorite.

But, the game stops when one cries out and the other one listens. I wish life was that easy now. But life isn’t a game, and I’m not a child anymore. I can cry mercy in this life all I want, but is anyone listening? Or am I just screaming into a void of air?

I like to think someone is listening. In fact, I know someone is listening. My God is listening. People say time and time again, “God gives His biggest wars to His strongest soldiers.” Now, I think about this statement all the time. Why would God give the biggest war to the strongest soldiers? Look at the story of David and Goliath. If this statement was true, how did David win this fight between Goliath? David turned to God for help. This is how David won the fight.

Maybe God gives us more than we can handle sometimes so we will turn to Him for help. Maybe life is complicated and hard so we turn to God for guidance and direction.

So, when I cry out mercy, it definitely is not being heard. God hears me, and I can scream all day long, but it doesn’t mean a thing if I don’t ask God for help.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, God may gives some of His biggest battles to the weakest soldier so you go to Him, you lean on Him, you trust in Him, and He can and WILL show you His mercy, love, and grace.

What Does Fighting Solve?

Fights have never been something that have bothered me. Like ever. I believe that fights make relationships stronger, at least for the most part, but what about that fight that throws things over the edge? The ones that change your relationship forever. The ones that make you reevaluate the person you have that relationship with. What do you do about those? We don’t exactly have a rewind button. We can’t go back and unsay what we said. Those words are the stones that can be the size of boulders that break down every building of trust you have with that person. Those words are what change your relationship with that person forever.

And trust me, I truly understand being hot tempered. My family and close friends can even tell you that. And my siblings know every dang button to push to send me into a rage of fury. In that fury, I say a lot of things I should not say. I say things that I know break the soul because I know it will hurt them. But why? What good does this do me? Will I ever get full satisfaction from this?

The answer is no. It does me no good to fight, and I do not gain any satisfaction from this. It, in fact, is pretty pointless. Fighting with family is pretty pointless. I know it is sometimes necessary, but most times it is unnecessary. Because at the end of the long day, or maybe several long days later, you make up because at the end of the day, family is truly all you have left. And yes, I do fully understand that sometimes all family is not there for you, but the ones that are happen to be the only ones to matter. It might be later on down the road in life, but you realize it eventually.

To be honest, it took me about 18 years to realize that the family that didn’t want to be there for me didn’t have to be. The ones that stuck around were all that mattered. My biological father is not my favorite person on the planet, and he does not play a big role in my life because he didn’t want to. So I finally realized that if he didn’t want to be there, why should I try to fight him to be? I shouldn’t. Life is too short to be begging people to be in it that didn’t want to be.

And eventually, I stopped losing sleep over it. I eventually used this method with all of my relationships. I’m still this way, I don’t want you in my life if you don’t want to be. And yes, this may be why I’m a loner or why I only have 5 friends, but at least I’m happy. I no longer deal with the drama that goes along with fighting. I no longer go with sleepless nights because I’m so worried about my friendships and relationships. And why do I have this attitude?

Honestly, it has to be because I learned very early on that people are in your life for a certain amount of time. People outgrow people. People die. People decide that your life is no longer important to them. So with all of this in mind, I don’t fret the amount of time I have with people in my life. God has a plan for my life and every life on Earth. God uses people in my life to teach me things. He uses them to show me that no matter how much adversity I will face, and yes, I will face it, I can deal with it calmly and rationally. I can come out stronger. I can come out with a slightly positive change in my life. I can manage to put a smile on my face after all the pain subsides. I can make it through the pain because God is with me, and pain is temporary. God has a plan for my life and the relationships in them. This understanding causes the attitude I have toward relationships. So at the end of the day, maybe God dismisses you from my life because I’ve helped you all I can or maybe because I’m dragging you down. I can say I honestly don’t know, but I have faith in my God to lead me the right way and take out everyone that doesn’t need to be in this crazy, beautiful life of mine.

Somewhere in my Car

We all remember our first car. Mine was a black 2007 Ford Escape fully loaded. I thought I was something great because I had a nice ride with a sunroof and six disc CD player. I had a lot of memories in that little SUV including the day I almost killed myself and two other people, but that’s beside the point. We all don’t remember the car strictly because it was our first one, but because of the memories that were made in it. Those memories are what we hang on to the rest of our lives because eventually the car dies (or you slam it into a tree after having it six days). The people you made the memories with eventually leave you because either you outgrow them or your lives go in two different directions. Whatever the reason may be, at the end of it all, the memories are all that are left.

Since I didn’t have that Escape for too long, maybe I should say that my 2002 Toyota Camry was my first real car. It had a sunroof and a tape player. I was ‘styling and profiling,’ which I was lucky to be doing anything because I did just total a car and didn’t deserve a new one. But anyway, this car had too many memories for me. From joy rides with my girlfriends to the first kiss with my first serious boyfriend, they all were made in that car. I drove to Jackson in that car. And that was one hectic trip with my mother. Ha, but I guess the memories of friendships and relationships are what that car truly summarized to me.

I reminisce over all of my relationships. I look at why things didn’t work out between the people in my life at that time. I wonder if it was always me. I wonder if I’m just too crazy for folks to handle, or maybe I was just too mature for some of them. Were our lives just going different directions and it was just easier to part ways quicker rather than later? I guess you could say I over-think everything on Earth. But do we all truly know why every relationship ends?

The answer to this for me is no. I have no idea why some of my friendships ended. I have no idea why some of my romantic relationships ended. But if your not the one to end the relationship, does the other person state why they can’t do it anymore? In most cases, the answer is no. As humans, when we have these events happen, we want to be so direct there is no confusion at all. And even though it hurts like hell, we’re extremely thankful at that time for the directness. But as the sting begins to subside, we wonder what we did to that other person to make them feel we were no longer worth it. Why didn’t they fight for the relationship like you did? Where you ever that close? Were you so blind you didn’t see this coming for months? Most of the time, we take all of these questions and put the blame on the other partner when really we need to take some credit for our mistakes in the relationship too. This is where my downfall lies. I’ve always been one to eventually admit I’m wrong, but if someone ends any type of relationship with me, I automatically assume it’s their fault and not mine. I never think about how from time to time I’m hard to deal with. I don’t deserve the good treatment from others sometimes. But eventually I wake up and realize its my fault as much as theirs.

So why do relationships end between people? Well, I guess a number of factors play a role in it. But I guess a major issue is the lines of communication have been broken. All relationships function on two key factors: communication and trust. If you have one and not the other, then the relationship fails. If you have none, then the relationship is a failure before you get any form of emotion involved. So I guess these are two major factors that can cause relationships to end. And yes, I totally understand that each and every relationship is different, but each must have these two factors. But at the end of the day, everyone in our life comes and goes. It’s a part of life’s grand circle, and we have to embrace it.

So, I guess what I’m saying through my whole rambling of relationships is, enjoy the ones that you have in your life today. They can walk out or can be taken from you in the blink of an eye. Make memories that you will want to share with your kids and grandchildren. Have adventures in your car (cautiously), but most importantly, know that people are placed in this life for a reason. We don’t know why, and God doesn’t exactly give us the answer. But with a little faith, we may just find the relationships we’re meant to have for the rest of our lives. And know, that some of these wonderful relationships might just start with a ride home in a 2002 Toyota Camry.

What is the Right Sexuality?

How many times a day do you wonder about another person’s sexuality? Do you walk up and ask them if they’re gay or straight? Or do you just leave it alone? You realize it is none of your business and if they wanted you to know, they’d tell you. But no matter how hard you try, you still can’t let the question go. So eventually, if you’re brave, you ask that person. Most of the time, they try to beat the hell out of you, and if they don’t, they’re better people than me.

But when did homosexuality become such a big deal? When did society decide it was unacceptable to be a part of the LBGT (lesbian, bisexual, gay, transsexual) community? Who said it was okay to be straight? Who decides this? And yes, I am a firm believer in God, and I do understand that it says in the Holy Bible that homosexuality is a sin, but where in the Bible does it tell me that I can judge another person’s sexuality? Who said it was my job to make these people social outcasts and criticize their lifestyle choice? The God that I worship, know, and love tells me that it is not my job to judge the lifestyle of others, but it IS my job to love everyone. It is my job to show God’s bright light through my daily life. And I will not lie to you, I struggle with this daily, and I will continue to struggle with this as long as sin is among us, but I can tell you I do not judge other individual lifestyles. That is not my job. So at the end of the day, I will accept people for who they are.

So why is homosexuality judged? I don’t see homosexual people running around telling us straight people we are wrong for being straight. I don’t see them saying straight people are damned to hell for being the way they are. In fact, I see homosexual individuals praying for those that judge them. They don’t even pray for themselves, and they live a life that most of us could not live. And I know for fact I could not live a life like they do because everywhere they turn they hear, “You’re damned to hell.” I couldn’t deal with that. So, I question quite often why people want to live this life.

And the only answer I come up with is that they are happy with who they are. They love who they love, and they truly enjoy the relationship they have. At the end of this day, we can’t help who we’re attracted to. We cannot help that our sexual preference is what it is. We cannot go through and heal gay. This is not a disease. It’s a way of life, and if it makes you happy, who can argue that its bad? My answer: no one.

So is homosexuality unacceptable? I believe this question is a matter of personal opinion. My opinion will always be do what makes you happy. If you want to be homosexual, go for it. If you want to be bisexual, you have more of a field to choose from. If you want to be straight, go ahead. No one can truly stop you. So be who you want to be. Screw the ones that won’t accept your lifestyle because they are too close-minded to realize that you are different. At the end of the day, your life is yours. Do you, be you, enjoy you.

Gratitude.

Gratitude. We hear this word all the time. We’re supposed to be grateful for our friends, family, just the plain fact of being alive…whether we like it or not. And we’re supposed to be happy, right? But what about if we aren’t? People say time and time again being alive is the biggest blessing. And most days, I believe them. But some days, I honestly don’t see the point of being grateful for anything.

No, I’m not depressed. I figured I better go ahead and clear that up for anyone who thought I was. But let me explain. Do you ever see something everyday that you just want? Like that piece of chocolate cake in the bakery window, but you know you can’t have it because you’re too busy working toward that summer 2k15 body. And you know if you could have that one bite you would be SUPER grateful for it. But instead, you walk right on past the window pleading that the cake won’t be in the window tomorrow. Okay, well I’m not sitting here wanting a piece of cake, but there is someone I’ve had a crush on for months, and I’ve been so far friend-zoned that I’ve come to the conclusion that I should just give up. But I can’t. Why? Because he’s that dang cake in the window…just sitting there…staring at me…looking oh so beautiful. Okay, enough on that…I’m sure you get the point. I want him, and I can’t have him. And sometimes, I’m okay with that because we’re friends. But then there are other times when I just want to go run into the bathroom and scream because I’ve fallen so hard for him and he doesn’t even notice. And if he noticed, I’d be FOREVER happy because we might would be together…or at least he would know. And I would be happy if he knew. But what about if he isn’t supposed to know?

Because see, what about if gratitude has nothing to do with happiness and joy? Maybe, being grateful means recognizing the relationship that I have with him for what it is. Appreciating the conversations we have together. Appreciating that he comes to me with all of his problems…even if they are women problems. Maybe gratitude has to do with admiring the struggle I have to be in the same room as him sometimes. Admiring the struggle I have to not let the “L-word” slip. Admiring the struggle it takes to sometimes be myself when he brings a pretty girl to hang out with all of us.

Maybe I should be thankful for the familiarity I have with our friendship. Maybe I should be thankful that our friendship has gotten super strong in the last year. Maybe I should be thankful that I don’t know what being in a romantic relationship would be like because it might mess up the relationship we have now. Maybe that kind of change is something I should be grateful we haven’t embarked on.

But at the end of everyday, the fact that I can continue to text him and have my relationship with him is a good reason to celebrate. The fact that I have the courage to continue to listen to him with his woman problems is reason enough for me to celebrate.

Fairy Tales vs. Reality

As a child, I always wanted to be grown. I wanted the freedom, the driver’s license (which my parents later realized might not have been the best idea), and most importantly, no rules. What adults failed to tell me, once the bills start to come in and decisions must be made, being that little 10 year old on a dirty blue bicycle with muddy boots is not so bad after all. No one would tell me about the expenses that come with being an adult. And no one dared to mention that one decision could totally affect the rest of my life. Instead, I lived life rushing on into adulthood. And once I reached adulthood, I was stuck there. There is no turn around, no redo, and there is no fix that would take me back to childhood.

Don’t get me wrong, adulthood has its perks. I could do what I wanted. I could date who I wanted. I didn’t have to answer to anyone…until one day I realized, I have to answer to myself and to my God. And let me tell you, this scared me to death. What about if I mess up? What would I do then? I would have no one to blame but myself for my errors. I couldn’t call my mama and blame her for what I did. I could only blame me, and this scared me. It wasn’t that I didn’t have the tools to live the Christian lifestyle that my mama taught me to live, but I had to take these tools and apply them myself, and that scared me. What about if I couldn’t do it? I definitely didn’t want to be the 35 year old cat lady that lives with her mother because she had a nervous breakdown in her early 20’s and never fully recovered. But what about if this happens? This is still a serious possibility.

What about if the plans I had for my life were not the ones God had for me? I know we should not question God and His plan for our lives, but I catch myself doing it time and time again. What about if God’s plan didn’t match up with my fairy tale? And yes, I have the Cinderella fairy tale dream, okay, maybe the lost shoe at midnight was not a part of it, but finding my Prince Charming, marrying him, and having 4 exceptional children is. But what about if the guy, marriage, and children are not a part of God’s plan? What would I do then? To be quite honest, I have no clue what I’m going to do if this is not His plan for me and my life. It’s so easy to say that changing and adjusting to live His planned life for me is what I would do, but come on. Who on Earth wants to change the dreams they’ve had for themselves for years? I can answer that, no one! But I just might have to, and I know God has a way of making this stubborn child do as He will.

So yes, changing my dreams to match my Father’s would just have to be something I would have to do. Every one believes God promises every single one of us a soul mate, and I’ve found this to be very much so untrue. Look at Peter, he was a disciple of God, and he lived without a soul mate. He lived to serve his God without a marriage or a family. What if I was to be like Peter? Well, I guess I could be like worse people. There is always the Miley Cyrus route? But seriously, I would love to be like Peter. I mean don’t get me wrong, I would be highly upset with God for taking away my dream of being a wife and mother, but if it is something I might just have to agree with God on one day and move forward. There is no greater person to plan my life than the one the created me. He has a plan, and it’s a great one.

So I guess what I’m saying is that with growing up comes responsibility and worries. Maybe the dream I have for my life that includes the handsome husband, pretty mansion, and 4 children may not be the plan God has. His plan may just be for me to have a great male friend, a pretty one story house with a white picket fence, and 4 cats. Who knows? Only time will give me the answers, but I know that no matter what, my life cannot fail if I have God with me guiding me through it.