Wednesday, August 30, 2017

36.....on my way to 40

I never in a billion years would have thought that 36 would come so quickly.  It seems like just the other day I was celebrating my 29th birthday in Thailand, expecting some great things to come into my path in the next year.  Here I am still awaiting some of those, while other dreams have been fulfilled.  To say this last year has been difficult would be an understatement.  It has brought me to new places that I never thought I would even have to touch.  It has taught me who I am and who I want to be.  It has also taught me how much I am willing to give up of myself for someone else.

As a Christian I sometimes walk a fine line between what I believe to be the right thing, and what I actually want to do.  Standing up for myself has always been hard for me.  I am strong, but I also absolutely hate other people to be upset with me, or to think for even a second that I have hurt someone's feelings.

A year ago something happened that changed that in me a little bit.  Actually it changed that in me a lot.  I kind of stopped caring.  I stopped caring about hurting others, and I started looking at what was right for me.  It wasn't meant to be in a selfish way, but looking back now I kind of think that is what it turned into.  I put my own feelings first just about every single time, because I was afraid of being destroyed again.

I let this thing that had happened take over me.  I let it consume me, and I let it change me.  I allowed someone else's words to become my truth, and my value.  I allowed one circumstance to allow me to give up on who  I knew myself to be.  It almost destroyed me.  It almost made me crawl into a shell and never come out again.

I wish I could say that I ran to Jesus during that time.  I wish I could say that my faith grew so strong.  But it didn't.  Instead I hid within myself.  I became the person that second guessed every single friendship I had, thinking that none of them were real, and that I was surrounded by people that were only waiting to stab me in the back.  It is literally the worst kind of feeling to have someone that you have known for 20 years tell you everything that they have always found wrong about you, and basically what a horrible person you are.  And then feel like everyone you meet is going to do the exact same thing.

So, here I sit a year later.  I just spent a night making crafts, drinking fun drinks, and sharing laughter.  It wasn't one of those crazy nights.  It was just nice.  It was nice to know that people were there for me because they wanted to be there.  It was nice to spend time with people that were ready to make sure that I felt valued and loved.  Did my heart hurt for those that weren't there that I wish would have been, of course it did, but you know what?  I am going to stop wishing this person or that person would allow me into their life.  I can no longer put my worth in the value of others.

It is a process, one in which I will continue to grow in for the rest of my life.  But it is such an amazing process.  I don't spend my life wishing ill of others.  I will never be the person that wants others to fail, or the minute a person steps out of the room I am saying everything I can against them.  I don't play games, and I don't compare myself to what others think or do.  But I love hard, and I let words change me.  I will continue to do those things because that is who I am.

I love deep and hard, once you are my friend... it is usually for life, unless you push me away.  I don't put up a fight if you push me away, because I am a worthy friend.  I may not be the prettiest friend you have, or the skinniest, the funniest, or the most athletic.  But I guarantee you I will always be there to pick you up whenever you need it.  I guarantee you I will always drop what I am doing if you have a family emergency and need someone to be by your side.  I will be the first to take off work if you need someone to hold your hand because of a death in the family.  I will laugh with you, and make the most of the time we get to spend together, on those days when the sun is shining bright.

So, for this next year, I continue to learn how to love well. I continue to learn how to be the person I was before I got broken.  I continue to let people leave that want to, but hold on tight to those that want to stay.  I continue to be who I feel called to be, and I make it my goal to spend a little more time reading and praying than I did last year.

I am so thankful for the gift of time and friendship.  So thankful that there is always going to be growth.  Mostly I am thankful that I get an abundance of grace and mercy on a daily basis.

Here's to 36... may it be the year that I develop more love for those in and out of my life.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Why I choose to stand....

This week has brought a lot of tears.  Some of them due to the fact that I am an emotional wreck on week's like this.  Others because of my actions or the actions of those around me.  The thing is that I could easily find myself hiding in my room away from everyone and everything.  Just going out into the world when I had work or stop by the store for this or that.  I could keep quiet when I see posts being made that I don't agree with.  I could live my life not impacting anyone or anything, just going through the motions day in and day out.

That's not how I believe that I was meant to live my life.  That is not what I believe that I was created for.  I see so much hate in this world.  I see so much making fun of this or that.  Labeling all republicans this or all democrats that.... and it makes my heart hurt.  Labeling all people with certain skin color one way, and all people with certain skin color another way.  People sharing posts that are talking about how great the confederacy was.  How the confederate flag was a Christian symbol.  I just can't do it anymore.  I can't sit on my computer and be okay with all of the hate.

Here's the thing you don't have to agree with everyone.  We won't actually ever all agree.  But to claim that people need to just be okay with how things are in the world, that a statue is history, and tearing down a statue is going to somehow damage that history?  What?  Claiming that black people shouldn't be upset because of a confederate flag or statue.  Frankly you are wrong if you think that.  And here's why....

There was a time not too long ago in our country when white people thought they were superior.  Do you know what?  There are actually still people who feel that way.  There are also black people that have had to deal with the bruises, and damages done by their ancestors having spent so many years enslaved just because of their skin color.  The statues of confederate men, mean nothing but making a hero out of someone that believed owning another human being was okay.

Are we really going to teach the generation coming up that we can't take down statues of people that should not be heroes, because it is going to ruin our history?  Are we really going to teach them that our white history is more important than the good of our country.

Our country is bleeding.  There are people so angry right now that they are willing to do whatever it takes to get their voices heard.  You know why that it?  Because we haven't been listening.  We are stuck in whatever world we think we live in, only trying to take care of ourselves.  I'm done letting my country bleed, letting my neighbor feel like nothing.

Do I think that there are people of every color with hate in their hearts?  Ofcourse!  But you know what, there are also people of every color with love.  There are also people of every color waiting to be heard, waiting for you to reach out a neighborly hand and listen to how they feel.

My goal is to be a neighbor.....and to not get on FB as much.  It's just breaking my heart to see the hate that people don't realize they have.