Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I may just flirt with every boy.

Counseling was great today.  We had a chat about where I am and I got some good nuggets to remind myself of.  So, there’s this guy that has been talking with me for a couple of days on OK Cupid…it’s been fun, but I still have a lot of hesitation and anxiety about the whole thing.  We talked about this today in counseling.  I realized it’s ok to be where I am.  I don’t need Charles to pick me, my heart’s settled that it isn’t going to happen.  I’m settled that I need to move on.  It’s funny though, because although I’ve accepted this, there’s this whole other part of life that ya know had like started blossoming over the last few days.  The conversation back and forth has been nice, he seems like an ambitious guy and his picture is handsome.  I mean, it’s an online profile, you can only assume so much.  Anyway, today he hasn’t sent any messages and we are supposed to hang out tomorrow.  The way I know I don’t need this to be a date that is like a “date”…I haven’t cared less about this guy not chatting it up all day.  I haven’t been sad that he’s not sent a message…like at all.  I sent him a note tonight to clarify that if we were to go do something tomorrow as planned I wanted to be clear that I’m not seeing it as a date because it’s just not where I am.  It’s just so not where I am.  I would be happy to have someone new to spend time with that knows nothing about my life, but I really don’t want to date someone.  My heart is still broken.  My counselor and I talked today about how I’m not over Charles and how it’s ok to keep the door open to possibility, yet at the same time to let myself be sensitive to me.  I know if I were to call this a date or there were some “datey” expectation I wouldn’t be myself.  I would feel awkward and I would not be open to another date.  I can’t imagine even trying to actually date someone.  No.  It’s not fair to me still.  I still think of Charles and all the little things often and although I have settled that he’s just not going to choose us and I need to accept it, I can still see a future with him in it.  It’s going to take really getting to know someone in a non-dating setting to be open to a date.

I’m content where I am, I’m content to not force life to do something I don’t really want it to be doing.  I want to meet this guy (Ha! If he messages me back, lol.) 2 seconds of time pass. (Life is funny…he just messaged me back.) I want to go have a great time and meet this new person and build a friendship and like if I get to know him (or anyone really), THEN let it naturally become a date down the line.  I just am ready to be slower and more intentional.  I want to be married again someday.  I want to know who I am marrying when I do and I want to have a great foundation for a healthy lifetime kind of future.  A friendship promotes this way more than a date and it keeps the expectation for any physical what have yous at bay…and I want that at bay because I’m really, really not there.

I like where I am.  I like feeling like I have control and at the same time I’ve got no control…if that makes any sense at all.  I have this peace that God’s got this.  That He knows the desire of my heart and my future goals.  I can have a happy, healthy, passionate marriage, it’s possible and it’s not some far off dream, it’s like a real thing that will happen.  My bills are in order, I’m on track financially, I’m grounded spiritually, I’m investing in others again beyond myself, I’m reading and running and writing and doing all the things I love most.  I feel like me. Whole.  Perky.  Ready for life.  I’m feeling ready and focused for school to start again and I’m excited that Christiana and Winston will be moving in.  I like having someone else around here and I really don’t need two bedrooms.  Plus, that’s only going to help the savings grow! J Yay!  I’m honestly thankful that Charles and I have had time apart from any relationship.  I think heartache was what I needed to stop the tailspin of chaos.  It’s given me focus again and I’ve gotten grounded in who I am.  The girl that’s been lost for so many years is back and that’s a gift bigger than the hurt.  Confidence in myself is coming back.  My counselor was cautioning me today to try not to think of Charles while I’m out with this guy.  He was like, “Mindy, you have a great head on your shoulders, remind yourself you’re good enough just how you are.  You don’t need to go out of your way to do “extra” in order for someone to like you.  You’re easy to talk to you, you’re kind of a Man’s woman…you like to talk about sports, you are light hearted and spunky…I’m sure that’s contagious.”  I gotta think like that. 

We all have insecurities.  I get insecure that although I’ve got all these great qualities and am grounded…maybe I’m too clingy, maybe my psoriasis on my ankle is too gross, maybe I’m not attractive to some guy because I’m overweight, maybe someone I meet is going to be really cool but when they see how gross I can look in the morning and eventually how not cute this body is naked…well, anything good that’s started will change.  We do that don’t we?  We sabotage things before they have a chance to start because we let our insecurities hold us back.  I’m over that. I’m going to start focusing on all the good things I have.  I’m not going to go into marriage stuff, but I’ll say that hearing someone else’s view of me that was not as cool as my own view of myself for so many years certainly changed my self talk.  I’m claiming back the confidence I used to have.  I’m even cooler now than I was when my confidence was better.  I know that confidence is one of the most attractive qualities a guy can have…I need to have that too.  I need to not care if someone doesn’t want me.  I don’t want to be in a relationship where I have a firey love and my partner has a flickering love.  I am ready to be slow and intentional and not go on dates but just start new friendships and if something develops cool and if something doesn’t develop cool.  I don’t need a guy to buy me dinner; I can buy my own dinner so maybe we can just enjoy the dinner and not the stress?  That’s like, so where I am.  I’m there and it has mostly nothing to do with Charles and everything to do with keeping sight of what I want my future to look like.  Knowing what I want sets me up to “begin with the end in mind”.  I want intimacy and authentic, deep, relational soul connecting sparks.  I don’t care how cheesy that sounds.  I’m a romantic.  I want romance! I want to find someone that is passionate and be passionate together!  When that happens, I won’t be the only one who knows that things are right. 

I’ve made some goals for myself in this friendship building phase of life.  First, I won’t be misleading…thus the reason I laid it all out there with ‘ol Maverick…if he isn’t down with giving me some time then, he’s likely not real compatible with me anyhow or, is possibly not as respectful as he seems so far.  I will not go above and beyond…I’m not going to play the role of girlfriend…I’m going to play the role of friend and know that the extra efforts I’m happy to put into a relationship should come when that’s where the relationship is.  I don’t need to do those things to help propel a relationship forward.  Those things come with time because love has developed.  I will keep my “me time” and my “serve and love on others” time.  I won’t let myself get lost in something…this will be easier in the friend phase than it would in a dating situation.  One of the things I’m most excited about in this is that the pressure is so much less and like, if things never progress to more, I’ll have a new friend and a new friend with no physical history…just a friend.  I’m really happy about the respect and trust this sort of beginning can build and I’m pumped about the confidence I’ll have knowing I’m a respectable, virtuous woman.  That’s who I like me to be best...and helps me find a guy who is the same, without really "looking".  This is some real Jedi Mindtrick shit.  Men expect women to be ready to jump into relationships and beds.  You know what, when that happens the appeal is gone…it changes everything.  I’m totally going back old school where they go “What the…?” Yep.  The men, they’re gonna want me.  For all the right reasons, and I’m just gonna have my pick when I’m ready.  Now, that’s obviously an ideal…I may be so friend zoned I never meet anyone…that’s cool too.  LOL.  I like the thought of a man pursuing me and I like the slow pace of a natural progression.  I’m more confident just getting those insecurities out there and having some goals…

I’m not one to date several guys at one time.  That seems unfair and weird.  I am one to make a slew of friends though and not feel one tiny bit bad because I’m leading no one on.  It’s going to be unfortunate that so many men will want me but can't have me…that’s how it always goes.  You always want what you can’t have. Right now, I’m so excited about this revelation of where I am that even Charles couldn’t have me…not that he wants me, hahah, but I’m just saying… I want to be single and mingle platonically until something develops and I am less curious.  I didn’t think I was curious.  This is where I’ll say Charles was maybe right.  I was ready to commit to a long term, could get married kind of thing with him.  I was and it wasn’t a lie.  Even yesterday it wasn’t a lie.  I don’t know that it would be a lie now…but now, I know that the timing isn’t right.  I didn’t know that before and I didn’t understand what I wanted.  I am so settled where I am.  I’m not gonna lie, I cried a little tonight after I saw Charles because I was dreading the “date” knowing that I would be thinking of him.  This leveling of the playing field, setting my own rules and marking off the boundaries I want…this has changed everything and I’m giddy! I’m freaking giddy!

And you know what…Ol’ Maverick is already gaining points by being straight forward, respectful, and cool with hanging out as friends.  He’s still not feeling well so we aren’t going to go out tomorrow, but I was bold and clarified “Is this a I just don’t feel good, maybe later.” Or is this a “I don’t think I really wanna hang out anymore, ever.” It’s a “I just don’t feel good still.” J  He’s so normal, you guys! Yay! I think I’m way more excited and have zero anxiety about a new friendship.  This is where I’m at, ya’ll and I’m gonna kill it!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Lets talk about sex, baby.

I have wrestled with this post for about 3 days now and thrown out two other fully written, just “not quite right” expressions of what I want to say.  It’s funny.  There’s this unsettled feeling when I write and it’s not “right” for what I want to say.  We call that conviction…you know this little voice that speaks to your depths and says “Really?”  I’m thankful to have that voice back.  More thankful that I want to listen to something outside myself because it’s this refining process that is getting me back to the better me. 

He’s good ya’ll.  So very, very good.  Let’s talk about purity.  Before I get on some soapbox about where I am and want to be…  I confess that I have not practiced purity in the last year.  I don’t by any means want to come across in a way that ignores where I’ve been.  Now, I also am fearful that saying this makes everyone conjure up some list full of random men…also not the case.  I was curious, not dumb.    I also want to tell any teens and young adults out there that I’m 33 years old.  I spent my youth investing in friendships and didn’t worry about dating or the pressures of purity and romance…and I’m thankful for that, do that if you can.  It’s biblical (1 Cor. 7).  Preserve yourselves and learn who you want to be in life.  All those other things will come in time.  If marriage is not a thought in your world, don’t bother with sex until it is…read what Corinthians has to say about when to allow sex to enter your world.  (Now I also want to be sensitive here…I know some of you had no choice in where you are sexually.  Something was taken from you, stolen a piece of your innocence to all of this.  Know that you are worthy just the same of all the blessings that should come in right relationship concerning this…He doesn’t only bless those who “feel” worthy.  He died for each one of us to BE worthy.) 

The practice of sex and the things that lead to it are sacred and have value.  I didn’t give them the value they have in every situation this last year.  What I learned though is that when someone I love entered my world and these things happened it was both beautiful and tainted.  The relationship we could have had was not all that it could have been because we allowed sex to be a part of what we were building when it really had no place there yet.  Worse, convictions were ignored.  I have always been the type to learn from others mistakes.  I didn’t need to make my own mistakes to get the lesson.  This was different, I made my mistakes in the last year and I’m thankful for the lessons, however I do regret in some instances that life experience accompanies these lessons in a way I wish only learning from others still did. 

I heard a quote from Billy Graham the other day that has been resonating with my soul and settling me back into a comfortable place with purity.  You know, at 33 and after having the experiences I’ve had in life, it would be easy to think it’s not as important as it used to be.  I detest that thought process though.  I, nor the person I could be involved with is no less significant than I was prior to these experiences.  Future experiences are not either.  Fight lies, ya’ll.  Fight the selfish nature that lets us rationalize things when our souls speak otherwise to us.  Ol’ Billy said “We continue our intimacy with our eyes.” There’s something amazing about the thought of that.  To have a love so richly founded in the right things that when sex is no longer as readily available or possibly not an option at all, there is this bond that goes beyond the physical. That kind of thing only happens when we take the time up front to build something bigger than the physical. 

Man, it’s overwhelming to think about that kind of restraint…c’mon.  Let’s not let the vision be too rose colored.  We are people created with desire…thankfully, the more I know Him again, the more I trust him in myself and in others (seriously this is not an easy task).  The more I trust Him outside of myself and who He is in someone else, the more that this actually seems it could be a reality. There are men out there, even in their mid 30s who want to honor the gift as well.  The fishin’ pond shrinks yet again, however the catch certainly is more worthwhile. 
I’m so happy about all that is becoming settled in me that has been stirred up in the last month or so.  Many of you knew the “this me” prior to where my life went over the last 7 years.  I’m happy to feel like myself again. Happy to understand my value again, to feel beautiful and complete where I am.  Thanks for sticking with me through the journey. I’ve got a lot to tackle yet with resentment and the burden of anger, however I’m confident in the God I serve to continue burning away the things that aren’t important and don’t add to making the world a better place for Him.  We’ve got so much more than what we see available through the Kingdom of God.  I’m so, so thankful to rest.  As this mornings Facebook status said,  “Be still, my soul be still.  Wait patiently upon the Lord, be still.” 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

His body broken for me.

It’s funny how the things that are supposed to circle around in life seem to if we give them the space and wiggle room to figure out the kinks and get back to the true place our hearts want to be. 

I took communion on Sunday for the first time in probably 2 years.  Communion.  This has always been (for me) something to take serious.  If my heart isn’t right with God, I’m ok to pass on communion.  I don’t feel awkward as some might while the plate passes me by.  Respect for things is important in life.  I respect God and the idea of God regardless of where I have been at different points in life.  This respect also yields to the divine, sanctity of communion.  I think it’s this weight and understanding of what I’m doing through communion, what I’m accepting and laying down that brings me to tears nearly every time.  May it always be so.  Each time I take the elements with the body of Christ, fellow believers who have their own stories, scars, and guck, I humbly am reminded of things that only God is able to speak into my being.  I'm oh so humbly aware of the clean that He washes over each of us and how infinite His love echos.  This time in particular was unlike any other time.  After not only being away from the church, but completely turned off for anything to do with God over the last year or more...to accept the ultimate gift and also offer my whole, bruised, broken, angry, joyful…everything heart to Him, confessing where I’ve been and admitting that I suck (we had a moment that no one on earth could ever give me).  Redeemed.  Grace.  Peace.  None of those really even skim the surface of my heart of that moment, they are as close as I can likely come though. 

The act of communion itself was different just because because of the way Rock City did things.  When you went in you got your lil’ “fast food” communion cup…you know, the one with the wafer on top of the juice all sealed up and you just peel it open for the wafer then peel back the next layer for the juice.  So funny to me. (I digress.)  Then the message, followed by the worship team playing “How deep the Father’s love” and then you just take it when you're ready.  Whoa.  I was in some intense worship and never more clear or regretfully had I sang,

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders

Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that left Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I belted “Ashamed I hear my mocking voice...”, tears flowed, there was peace.  I don't need to feel shame.  He knows where I've been, what got me there and the only important part is that I'm coming back.  Not because I have to but because His love calls me to himself and I want to be there.  I want to be where that kind of love takes over and makes me the best version I can be of myself.  This is where I want to be.  God may not be for everyone, but I am going to tell people of His goodness because even good people need Him.  I need Him.  It’s easier to understand the grace and love that is available when you’ve received it in such a way.  Communion.  I’m filled up and poured out and so, so ready to see all the details this journey has yet.  I’m amazed at the way life just keeps working itself out to be what brings peace my way.  I'm content just where I am, me, Mulligan and My Jesus, chillin' in this awesome presence I've missed.  This intangible but almost tangible weight heavy and light all at once.

It's weird.  The atmosphere of a home.  It's interesting to me to know my home's atmosphere just Mulligan and I...and to know it now.  Nothing has changed as far as being alone in this place...yet, everything has changed.  Not gonna lie, I'm a little misty writing this because I'm so thankfully in awe at the condition of my heart.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Oh to yearn again!

I find (often) lately that I just don’t have words for things and I have lots of things I wish I had words for.  This makes me think I could just go on living in solitude words free (YEAH RIGHT…I think we all know me better than that.)…there’s some truth to this though.  There’s like this…settling in my soul.  I don’t need words. I crave intimacy.  Not in some tangible physical way, in the real, authentic presence…of people and of God.

I took communion for the first time in a VERY (seriously don’t remember the last time that I had it…possibly a year, maybe almost two ago) long time.  It was intimate.  So much of finding my way back to faith and God is unexpected.  I thought it would be harder.  I thought that I’d be more resistant and that there would be all this bitterness to rinse out of my mouth still.  Nope.  It’s just a hungry and unquenchable heart again for things of Him.  It’s just this simplicity that is overwhelming.  It’s old lessons understood better and new things challenging me to fight the sneaky spots that could be bitter.  I’m kinda in awe, I’m not gonna lie.

When I was a little girl I knew Jesus.  I found him in a red bible that I earned for learning the King James Version of John 3:16 at a Baptist church where the girls wore dresses and the pastor had an affair, & got a church member pregnant although he and his wife weren’t able to have a child of their own.  Ha! I found Him there…because that’s where He was.  We left the church after that happened…Mom kind of went her own way and life got crazy…but you know what, I had Him.  I was renewed in Him riding the caravan to Chapman as a little girl.  People were woven in and out of my life back then when church wasn’t consistent.  My Dad has never been much of a church goer and yet sometimes I think he’s one of the best examples of Jesus out there.  He is a hard worker, he does what’s right, he forgives for wrongs and loves me fiercely.  I am fortunate to easily understand the concept of an unconditional Father’s love.  My Dad has by far not done everything “right” in life, love or parenting, but he did the important things.  He taught me you can’t hide from life.  You can’t hole up in your bedroom and ignore shit you don’t want to talk about.  I found Jesus there on the couch sitting for hours, trying not to talk about the shit I wanted to ignore in my bedroom.  He was there.  I met Him new in High School through Chapman and Indian Lake.  I understood the everyday differently through those experiences.  I found Him consistently in the refuge of my friend’s homes where He was the focus.  I took that to college at Olivet and I yearned to know it more personally.  I lucked out being a “Boone’s Homie”.  When I say lucked out that doesn’t even kinda cover it.  Momma and Papa Boone nursed us along for four years.  They challenged our thoughts and the ease of our relationship with Him.  They strengthened our resolve and loved us through some very real, raw places in life.  They let us be just who we were, where we were and showed us how to seek hard after Him when nothing made sense or when we were so exhausted we couldn’t even think.  Refuge.  I grew into a leader at Olivet and I lived the many roles of that title well because of who I was in Him.   I got married…and divorced.  I’m not ready to deal with those dots in between yet, so we’ll just settle it there for now.

I lost my Jesus.  It’s funny because I think that throughout life in the church we learn that if we aren’t doing things perfectly we’ve lost Jesus.  Bull shit.  I’m not made perfect, I never will be until He calls me home.  I’m called to be new…that means there must be some old stuff going on that needs renovating, so all this malarkey about being next to perfect now is just…confusing and doesn’t seem real Christlike to me. It’s my story, that’s how it looks.  In those times when I made choices that weren’t “Nazarene” I felt like I maybe wasn’t a good enough Christian.  That I didn’t do enough of something.  That I wasn’t praying enough or meeting the checklist quota of “right things” to be done.  Uh, double B.S. called on that one right there.  This is the reason people in our generation are fleeing the Nazarene church.  It has become a box that keeps the “good” in and the “bad” out.  Last I checked, Jesus loved everyone…even a bigger ephiany…He CREATED everyone…so any dumb ass keeping his kids out of the house of God or the Kingdom of heaven…whoa, I pray mercy on your soul.  The Kingdom of Heaven is not a clique for the cool kids that match up to some standard set by man.  He is good when there is nothing good around, people.  Get it?  I’m gettin’ fired up on a tangent. That’s not the point…the point is this.  I hadn’t lost him in those times.  I hadn’t even strayed from him. My heart was earnestly seeking Him…and, shocker here…I was still having a drink once in awhile.  I know.  I was drinking and loving Jesus and I wasn’t “backsliding”.  I wasn’t “in a dark place” because my checklist came up short.  It’s not essential.  Inconsequential.  Not important.  I'm not telling everyone to go out and drink.  I’m saying you work out your own faith with fear and trembling and don’t put your own fears in my faith.  Those are YOURS.  Don’t belittle my faith to a box that checks off drinking and smoking and not having sex but walks by the hungry, spits on the single mom, doesn’t hug the smelly kid.  You have your priorities and I’ll have mine.  Mine will never be about the dumb things.  I would get lice for hugging the smelly kid, I would give up my Friday night for that single Mom, I would gladly give food to the hungry and company to the lonely. You know what, I’d even share a beer with the beggar while I share Jesus with him too…because sometimes Jesus is in the bottom of a beer bottle.  Sometimes mental illness doesn’t allow people to have the life that you think they should.  If I give a beggar $5.00 and he meets his need with alcohol, so be it.  Maybe that alcohol numbs the pain no one else is helping him bare.  I mean, seriously people.  There are way, way bigger things and ideas and life situations that never cross our tiny minds because we have never had to fathom such atrocities in our own world. 

I watched all the priorities in the church shed not light but hypocrisy into my world and I stopped wanting church or a God that would be so self-serving.  I lost my voice with censored blogs and my spirit was stifled.  I was hidden in the box. God did not make me to fit in any box.  I gave up on the idea of God because it no longer made sense to me.  It did not make sense to live for this being outside myself that seemed to really be an excuse to be selfish in so much while claiming the opposite.  I wanted nothing to do with the name of Christ if people saw me as part of this group.  Christian’s are evil.  I mean, we’ve all got our own stuff, regardless of any label we subscribe to…I figured I could have my own stuff apart from this label and be better off.  This is when I didn’t find Him.  I didn’t find Him in my lonely nights after the separation.  I didn’t find Him when I came home to a dark, empty apartment filled with hostility and anger.  I didn’t find Him while I was finding myself.  I did get some sass back.  I snatched my voice out of the dark pit it had been shushed into and I spoke brash and unashamed.  I was angry.  I’m still angry, I’ll be honest.  I’m angry about a lot that I’ll never probably share in this blog.  I’ll say that I left my marriage a much, much different and less joyful person than I went in as.  My faith became religion and my spirit nothing less than crushed.  I took that back in the last year.  I took back with swift, mad, hard, pushes of some things and pulls of others and I hurt people and I hurt me and I hurt…I just hurt.  In my anger I hurt.  I was joyful again in so many ways because I was free to speak, I was free to wear what I wanted to wear and to convince myself again that I was still pretty.  I took back the ability to look myself in the face and smile from a place that was real.  I didn’t have God, but I had me.  This is a process.  This is the time I didn’t have God.  I didn’t find Him because I didn’t want him.  I can honestly say I’ve had God my whole life and I’m sick that anyone ever made me question that over something so stupid as drinking or swearing or any other minuscule, unimportant marker of “faith” that’s really not at all a marker of having or not having God but is rather judgement.  I had him, heffers! I had Him!  You told me I lost something and you do that…you tell people they are lost, you pray for them from this dumb place that’s all “Oh Father, may they return to you.” NO.  There’s no returning because I hadn’t left yet!  You know what I learned the last year?  I learned that I didn’t have Him anymore because He let me go.  He let me let go when I wanted to so that I could be here now…finding this on my own.  Finding our love again.  He let me go be the “good” person I’ve always been.  He let me see that I’m still good without Him because I care genuinely about the important things.  I’m not holier than thou, I’m just saying that there are some lessons to be learned under all the makeup and painted on smiles in the church.  Reality.  That’s where we should live.  Not in prayer chains that are gossip circles.  Not in homes that focus on “being good” but couldn’t care less to be uncomfortable and take actual time to go outside those walls to a place where people need more than an idea of a loving God…they need loving people.  You realize God is not loving when there is no one who loves you.  God is not loving when there is no one willing to be uncomfortable to meet your need…of a shower, a meal, a roof over your head.  He doesn’t love you when you don’t have safety.  We can preach all we want that He does, that He is love, but reality…the real bottom line is we have the riches of belief because we have all of those things easily.  So, in the last year…I found that.  I found I’m still the person that cares about these things.

I also found, in my relationship with Charles that I’m not trusting, I’m not kind with my words and I am quick to point out a fault and quick to find a prickly place to keep my soft spots safe from a love that could get through that thorny place.  I’m quick to puff up and spike out (you know like that one fish). I become ugly and inconsistent, conditional.  That’s me in a relationship. I needed to see that I’m ugly like that.  I am never going to be perfect, I’m always going to have things that puff out the pokers and likely push away those that I’ve let in the most when they do something that doesn’t react how I expect.  You know what I have also learned again though…that’s not who I want to be.  I want to love bigger than I can on my own. I believe in marriage again because of the way that Charles loved me and I believe in God again because of who I found myself to be on my own. If I had Jesus, I know that I would have fought through for our relationship because it was important.  I would have had grace bigger than me.  I didn’t want Christ because I think He’s for weak people.  You know what I learned…I’m weak.  I suck on my own.  I earnestly wish I could have learned all these lessons and still have Charles here with me as I get stronger.  He said he knew he loved me the morning we listened to church and I made breakfast and we were just “us”, resting in a safe spot in life.  I knew I loved him as I watched him sit in his car and think the first time we broke up.  I saw the steadfast, forgiving, graceful part of him that he doesn’t easily display.  I felt it when he hugged me.  I knew.  Damn it, I knew that I loved this man and I broke his heart and I gave him a reason to think that I would leave for good.  I did that.  ME.  I am so so angry that this is how I learned the lesson that I suck…that I need my Jesus.  I found Him in the quiet nights in my apartment filled with memories.  I found Him when it was dark and I didn’t want to crack the door open to that lonely again. I found Him…in all the places He wasn’t before, I found Him.  I found Him and there’s still love there.  A steadfast love that understands deeply just how much that man means to me.  I honestly don’t know that I would have encountered God this way had I not experienced such a loss.  I wasn’t expecting that Charles and I would end when we were back together after the first time.  I don’t think he was either and there’s part of me that understands why he doesn’t just come back…because how can you put your heart out there again like that when you thought this person was protecting it last time and they threw it out? How can you just hand it over again like a fool? You know how…the same way that I found Jesus.  Because the love didn’t change. It didn’t go away with the choice to end us.  It was there and it is there and it will be there.  I understand unconditional from Charles like I have only ever understood from my dad.  One day he was rapping to me in the car, being silly and he said “Mindy, I wanna love you like your Dad.” He got it like no one ever has.  This was on the same trip where we worked through some fight at the time. We fought and he kept loving and working it out.  I didn’t intend to have anything about Charles in this post.  I can’t separate the two though. I mean, I can in that I know My Jesus isn’t going anywhere.  I know He’s mine and I am his because I want that, because I chose to run to Him and He wasn’t standing there waiting…get it?  I didn’t have to run so far back to get to him. He was chasing me!  He pursued me in the shadow while I ran the opposite direction.  He didn’t just let me go.  He let me go as far as I wanted and He RAN to keep up with me.  I run folks.  I run in the shadow of this new girl after this man that I love because he gets it and he’s precious to me and when he turns around I don’t want to be so far away. I want to be right there and I want to hug him and have no condemnation about where he’s been or what may have happened in this time.  I want to have “us” and never look back.  So it’s real hard to separate the two because I understand that which is most important because of thIs man who loved me like that.  The man who trusted me after I hurt him once.  I rest that God has this now.  If Charles and I never ever come back to dating one another I’m still going to be there in the shadow of wherever he is in life.  He’s part of my life forever because he’s that important to me.  If we aren’t to date again, God will work out my heart on that.  If we are, He’ll work out Charles’ heart on that.  It’s ok no matter what, at minimal he’s part of the smallest circle that I’d do anything in my power for and always will.    

I want him back because he loved ME people.  He loved the ugliest me I have known myself to be in life.  I want for him to get the raddest me, the one that has Jesus and is secure and bold and certain.  It’s funny how a post goes.  I was going to write much of this and at the same time none of this.  I was going to write about communion and about purity…guess that’s another day. It’s late and I’ve gotta be up early to finish studying and get my final taken.  I’m in a good, strong place, not in me, in Him…and I’m happier for it.  Not because the last year has been so dark.  It hasn’t.  It’s been fine, but because I recognize how much better I am with Him.  How much lovelier I am…and able to love, able to trust and able to reflect qualities that I myself don’t possess on my own.  Peace and sweetest dreams, friends. Amen.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Everyone will hate this post...but I just love it. :)

I say, “I love you.”…easily.  If we are good friends, you likely hear it from me on the regular and you know how deeply I mean those precious words.  Maybe that’s from understanding the reality of death as a part of life from a very young age, maybe it’s from knowing the blessing of love easily in my own personal experiences? Who knows, regardless, the point is it’s important to let people know you love them and how you love them.  The English language sucks for this. We get one word for such a big thing…and it has so many different meanings depending on the relationship.  I mean, I love Moon, My Brantly and my DGB girls.  Friendships filled with and built upon love are so graceful and solid.  The place I want to be when life gets crazy.  There’s that awesome friendship, always there, always available, always ready to offer comfort, correction, or advice depending on the situation…love. 

Let’s talk about “Love”, Love though.  Like romantic love.  I'm much less quick to say something is love because I've so rarely found it in life.  It’s this thing we are hard wired (in most cases) to desire out of life.  To find the complement to our world and wrap up so much in each other that we can’t imagine days, pssssh…minutes without that person “there”.  I think we meet several “Loves” in life.  I know some lucky folks who met their best fit soon in life and have been with them building an awesome life for years and decades. I also know some folks like myself for whom their story has great highs and lows of love found and lost.  I don’t know honestly that one is better than the other.  There is much to be learned in both situations and honestly, learning and growing is the most amazing part of life really.  To be able to change and become new based on new information, what a gift!  To have courage and heart and move in the direction of your dreams, knowing you’re confident in those motions, that you’re growing into the best person you can be.  This is something I’ve learned in time.  I used to care so much what other people thought of my life, how it looked to them, how my actions impacted their life, etc.  (I still care how my actions impact another, we should.  No Sociopaths here!)  I have learned though that I have to be connected with myself.  I don’t know if that makes sense.  I’ll try to explain…

I have to be willing to look at any given situation and ask if it is genuine.  This is like, a wicked hard thing to ask, but it’s seriously even harder to do.  You know, we have these desires out of life and it’s easy to move along and let people, places, situations…thought processes turn into something they aren’t because of the idea that we want.  These pictures perfect somethings that we’re told are out there.  Nothing is picture perfect people.  (I might even say artists and carpenters know this best…it looks good, amazing even to so many people, but the author knows where the “mistakes” are.  You know the points of frustration that you came through in creating this tangible thing people admire as “perfect”…you know that it is not even close to perfection, yet you are proud of that work none the less because you put your best into its creation.)  Personal growth is rad because you become less concerned with the things you’re taught and told are how life could or should look and more concerned with what you want out of life.  It’s not about how life “looks” it’s about the authenticity and true value available in life. 

So, how does this relate to “love”? I know that I love Charles. I know that even saying this causes the hairs on the back of my friends neck’s to stand on end and some of them to clench their jaw and ball up their fists…because their idea of what my love should look like is different from what they see.  They see the struggle; they see his indecisiveness and ability to move forward easily, they see his hard places and they see the way I am hurt at times, they see immaturity in some of his words and actions.  All reasons I would also offer caution into my friend’s life given the same scenario.  What I’ve learned beyond this though?  There are some things you can’t explain to other people because they just rest in your soul and there are not words…giving words to these places devalues what is there with justification.  This happened with the divorce, no matter what I would have said for “why” would never be good enough for some because it wouldn’t meet their expectation of my life.  I’m so content with that decision because I know myself better. 

I’m not so na├»ve to think that there is no truth in the thoughts of my friends or that Charles being in a new relationship is not possibly exactly where he wants to be…it very likely is.  Very likely all the things that I think on my end are just that…one sided.  On my end and that’s it.  That’s part of relationships…one person is often in a different place or a little out of sync from where the other is.  I know people in my life are sick (after of month of being broken up) of hearing Charles’ name because he’s not what they want for me and they hope that I will just move on to better things.  That’s the thing though, how does anyone but me know what better is for me? I mean, so many people thought Nick and I were picture perfect, they were shocked when I wanted a divorce.  No one was shocked that I broke up with Charles…but me and him and possibly some of the folks in his life who saw us together.  I’m still shocked ya’ll.  I’m still fucking in shock.  We fought.  He said and says still dumb things that are hurtful.  You know what though, it was real.  There was a real, authentic, this is amazing, who cares what anyone else views this as quality that I will not even try to give words to because you just will never understand. 

Two weeks ago my counselor asked why I miss him.  He asked what it is that would make me want to have a relationship still.  You know what, we talked about those things…and had talked about the shitty stuff everyone sees as well, and he still validated what I can get no other person in my world to do…those reasons, that are mine and Charles and no one else’s…they are of worth and value for wanting a relationship.  It’s not a lonely need, it’s not a desperation or company or touch.  He challenges me to be a better person and opened a place in me that was ready to explore faith again…something I thought would never happen, especially from a man, a man in a dating relationship, double no.  Why am I even saying all this? It’s over right? Meh. Maybe.  Maybe it really is and maybe soon I’ll start dating again.  Really though, I say it because it is not at all what I was looking for.  It didn’t fit the mold I wanted to think was “best” for me based upon life experiences up to this point and I was really resistant to a lot of it.  I wasn’t trusting and there was a ton of our relationship that just needed work, possibly professional help because of our own separate life experiences and how they collide with each other.  So many people were able to quickly size up what they saw and say it was disposable.  To say that their own experience says love shouldn’t be like that.  That love would be “prettier”…well you know what, he’s a strong guy, he’s hard to love and some of that comes because his life up to this point wasn’t “pretty” so you putting an expectation on what we have to look some way that resembles the white picket fence you were afforded is wrong. 

I could see myself happy with him, even if we had nothing more than macaroni and cheese to eat, no t.v. keeping us busy, no money to go “do” something.  The times I miss most are not the night we went to Wicked and had some opulent, awesome evening…though that was great…I miss laughing in the car with him.  I miss the way he has crumbs on his mouth when he eats and doesn’t ever notice.  I miss the way he wraps both arms around me for a hug and how my head fits perfectly into the notch of his neck.  I miss him in every way, even the stuff that is annoying, even the fights and his reactions to things that seem so wrong, I miss figuring out life WITH him.  I miss the comfort in his eyes.  He may be a lot of things people don’t understand, but you know what else he is…a lot that I’ve never understood because I’ve never had a man provide that.  Steadfast, self-aware, ever seeking to grow into a better person, a complete example to me of who the person of God could be…I was ugly at times in our relationship, he kept on.  There is something there that I can’t explain and I don’t need to.  I want that back. 

The other day I got a text after posting about missing him on his birthday…it said “Mins, I love you but you have got to pull it together with the public displays of affection for Charles.” I loved it. I knew the heart it came from and I love the protection my friends want to give.  I also saw a post about how lovely Charles’ new girlfriend is and how she’s so much of everything he’s ever wanted.  I absolutely don’t care about sounding stupid, maybe months from now I’ll look back at this very post and laugh at how dumb I am right now…I just don’t care though.  We must live authenticly (which is a word I made up).  We must follow our convictions.  I don’t even know how biblically sound some of my convictions are, I don’t care. I don’t care about semantics and systematic thinking. I care about God, I care about my relationship with Him and I care about how that impacts other relationships…and you know what, that care keeps me here.  It keeps me in a place that wants to fight for a man that no one seems to understand but me.  It keeps me in a place that wants all the people I love to speak their mind…and know that I’m still going to do what is best for me; no matter if it matches up with what their best for me looks like.  We have to live people!  We have to be willing to stop listening to the outside voices that tell us what things should or shouldn’t look like and we have to stop making decisions based upon those ideas!  Listening to “should” only got me a failed marriage and a heart that was so far from anything I wanted.  So, I will do what I see fit concerning Charles.  I will draw the boundaries I feel convicted to draw and I will let my heart move or stay wherever I see fit. 

I needed to vent from a real place because I find myself saying things I don’t mean.  I find myself saying that I’m moving on, or I find myself outwardly looking like I’m giving up the fight.  I’m not.  I’m so fucking not giving up the fight. I want to go to church WITH him, I want to pray over OUR meals together, I want to have all the chatter we can about life and love and I want the quiet silence holding each other on the couch that doesn’t need words.  I want the laughter and the passion and the ability to be 100% myself like I’ve never found before.  You know what, if I described my dream, if I described the person I was looking for in life years ago…it would look nothing like him.  He would be a tall muscularish, white man who always has himself together with style, who likes to dress up like I do, who matches the way my world has always looked and who has some great job and great car and awesome family and goals for his future, wants to be an amazing dad (maybe…I mean, I don’t even know for sure I want to be a mom).  What I found though are qualities beyond what I would’ve “asked” for things I wouldn’t have known how to articulate and things that are good for me in life although they make me uncomfortable at times…because that’s what happens when we let go of the familiar and head off into the unknown.  He loves Jesus outside of any box that the church or society puts Him into and that sparked the Jesus in me that loves like that too, and he loved me in a way I’ve never known, ugly and all without trying to change me, he has taught me to know how to love truly like that as well…those are like a million times more important than some idea of what I think or thought I wanted.  It’s not about being his backup plan; it’s about giving him the freedom to realize that he has all these same things going on in his own heart and allowing him to choose me because he has realized he just can’t see living without something so great. 

I’m not sitting around waiting on him to come to this realization; I’m not like putting life on hold.  If someone great were to walk into my life right now, I’d give them a chance…I would because I have learned so much and I just know that nothing happens until it should and everything happens for a reason, I am able to listen to my heart “forcing” something or not.  If someone came into my world and I kept thinking of Charles still, forcing something with this new person, I’d let that one go…because it’s either going to be him, or it’s going to be a man that is so amazing I don’t think of him…maybe “we” never should happen? Maybe he’ll be going about life one day, in a relationship or not and decide that he can’t get me out of his head or his heart and he’ll show up like a movie and grab me and kiss me and tell me that we have got to figure this out because it’s bigger than love and bigger than us and worth fighting for and he sees it too? You just never, never know.  It’s not just movies, I have friends that happened to.  It takes courage to live your life like that, to not pretend but to face the scary things and walk when your legs weigh a million pounds. 

The morning I went to his house to tell him we needed to break up I sat down the street and sobbed for an hour, called my boss and sobbed to her, got to his house, almost threw up, got my million pound legs to move, walk up the drive and up the stairs and at the end of the day, it was done…the thing which I thought I could not do was done.  I know I would not be this me…the me that I want to be again with my Jesus if I didn’t take the time to do that outside of a relationship.  Well, maybe I would have become that eventually, but my heart was running to Jesus reluctantly because I was worried it was for Charles, not because it’s where I was.  Listening to the need to break up allowed me to run with reckless abandon into my faith again.  Now I know, I know He is the Jesus of MY heart and with that all the other details have a chance to work out.  If I can do that…anything can happen, because I knew all these things then, I knew what I was letting go of to get myself back to a better place.  And, honestly, I want a guy who's willing to live like that authentic & bold, and fully in the moments that matter most. So if Charles never has the epiphany that I'm amazing and he can't live without me, I'm totally happy going about life on my own, doin' my thing until that day happens with some other awesome man...it's going to happen you know.  Some man, someday is going to be equally as awesome and authentic as I think I am and together we are going to be bold and make that giant step with legs that weigh a million pounds together and the tragic fairy-tale of love will start anew...maybe to never end and that my friends is my happily ever after.

That’s the great thing about love.  It doesn’t have to be anything but what it is.  It just has to listen to the quickening in our heart and run to truth, take heart in the safety of the things words do nothing for.