Saturday, March 15, 2014

To be fortified.

I’ve been thinking on a lot lately.  Challenged.  It’s both good and oh so very humbling. So much is going just how I would want it to in life. School, the hardest class by far of my college career (don’t know it’s so much the class as the teaching myself in the online course-that’s just not how I learn)…I’m one week away from that A! I have earned every point of that baby and I’m determined to keep it.  Work is going so much better than it had been pre-core training. I’m so thankful and way less stressed, plus I feel confident, then there’s being single…

For the first time, I think ever in my life I am content with my singleness. I enjoyed my single life post college and pre marriage (I say this time-frame, because prior to that I just didn’t really care too much about dating, there were way cooler things going on in life and I was not confident and even a little shy when it came to romance) but I wasn’t ok with it. I was so expectant and hopeful of something great. I thought about it and planned an unknown into my future as though it were going to happen.  I don’t think I knew how to deal with my first real heartache and I honestly think I rushed getting married. There are a lot of lessons there that are not the point of my thoughts tonight.  Regardless, I’m here now and it looks a lot different with so many lessons behind me.

After I went to see Son of God (by myself in the theater…He’s good y’all), I was walking to my car, still sobbing and it was one of those moments where you just feel so small. Not small in a way that’s unimportant but small in a way that realizes how vastly important you are and how little you are doing with it sometimes. I tend to focus on the best things anymore and let the little things go more easily than I did there for a while. I wish I had learned that sooner, I think my marriage would have been better.  As much as I got angry at Nick for, I certainly had my faults as well. The positive is that I’m certain he and Kendra will have something awesome for the lessons we both came away with…and I pray his hurt from those lessons heals as mine is.  It sucks to know someone has had time walking around earth with a heavy brokenness that you contributed to.  Thankfully my God is bigger and He’s re-teaching me His greatness.  It’s so much more grace than I deserve. Gah! I digress again, He’s good…it’s easy to get sidetracked.

So, I walked out, wind crisp but warmer than it’s been in a while, feeling small, salty cheeks from crying and I got a challenge, “Mindy, if being single is what I have for you right now and on my time, am I enough?” It literally made me stop for a second, I stood there, took a deep breath of that springtime renewal in the air in and made that next step intentionally.  I’ve missed being a wife in so many ways. Parts because I know that I would do so much better, because I’m better.  It has hurt to think of an indefinite time-frame where a dream just lives and doesn’t come true.  Ya know, that’s somethin’ though…to have a peace about just being me. I am coming to better understand that He is enough because although that dream lives, it doesn’t consume me with some sadness of loss.  That can happen when there’s uncontrollable variables. (Like school, I am confident that if I put the work in I will get the A, losing weight, I’m confident if I find the self-discipline I’ve lacked as of late, I’ll lose the weight that I hate so much…I can control these things, they are easy to trust in because I know how to make what I want happen.) 

Relationships aren’t that way, maybe that’s why they can be hard? You know, when I was dumber I think I thought that there was an idea of something that I wanted and that Nick looked like that idea and it was easy to think this as we dated long distance and never lived in the same city before getting married (PS, don’t ever do that. It’s just…not smart in my experience.), then when we married and things didn’t align it was upsetting, I wanted him to look like the thought of him I had and when he didn’t it was ugly.  This is why I sometimes say I didn’t love him like a wife needs to love a husband. I didn’t know him, I knew what I wanted him to be. I’ve learned better what it means to love someone for who THEY are.  It’s a way cooler kind of love…I think it’s cooler pretty much in every part of life when we do something beyond ourselves. That’s why I need Jesus. He does things through me that I didn’t know were possible. I can love more people just for who they are, not for what I see they could be (although, I’m a cheerleader in life by nature and I’m always going to root for people to do and be the best them that they can), not for what I want them to be, but for who THEY are and who they want themselves to be. The side product of this is that I get that same grace too. I think sometimes I wanted to be what Nick wanted me to be, I even think (in part, absolutely not in whole) I put more blame on him for that change than I should because I did wanted to make him proud…but the person I thought he wanted was not me. I didn’t align with a lot of thoughts and I didn’t want to dress this way or that and a multitude of other rules types of things that in the end rumpled me and left a shell of something not cute at all.  Maybe that’s some weakness in me at the time…maybe, but there is some part of trusting the man as a leader that allowed a bit of change as I think it should.  Not just any man, my husband whom I married with full faith of character.  Again off track…

So, I was challenged. I was challenged to start thinking differently, really, to think more selfishly in some ways.  How is my life going to be more fulfilling without the unknown in the equation?  What do I want to do and go and see and be?  Can I let Jesus care for me with all the love and awesomeness that a “someone, someday” could?  I think so.  It’s cool to have the challenge of figuring out what I want. Of saying no matter who comes into my world, me and God are making this story and I’m really content with it.  I’m happy to have a date or whatever if they come along and I’m interested. Overall though, this new thought process is more exciting, it’s like…God knows the desire of my heart, I don’t have to factor that in, I can let Him be in charge and whatever happens, happens. If someone is interesting, cool, follow my gut, if not, follow my gut. We’ll see how this goes over a longer period of time…I think it’s going to be pretty amazing! So, this new thought process has given me the travel bug. Relationships make me happy and I want to see those I love and get hugs that I don’t have to let go of until I’m good and ready (those don’t happen much in your adult life unless you’ve got a special someone…and those are really important to me).  ((****Special thank you to Chad Hilligus whom I got to (see) hug for the first time in about 7 years and immediately became all teary and he just let me keep hugging and said, “Awe, don’t ever let go.” That filled up so much for me.  I needed a cry hug that didn’t have a timeframe…he was a gracious friend and all those old, college buddy, we did life together every day for so long, things fell right back into place although life is so very different from where either of us left off last in a face to face catch up.****)) 

You guys, I’m going to be ok. I’m not just saying this until I believe it…like I have been for quite a while…I’m going to be ok, for real. Opportunities are going to keep happening to make me the best me and challenge who I am in Christ and grow me and stretch me and help me trust so many things I don’t right now, including God himself and the certainty of such.  I’m excited about losing weight, not because it’s fun…it still sucks and I hate running because I’ll always be a fat kid at heart that would rather have a book and a beach than some winded lungs and legs that weigh a million pounds from lack of oxygen as I pound them on the pavement or treadmill with a couple hundred pounds of force. Hahah, for real, can you tell I love it so much? (Insert sarcasm there) I don’t love it but I didn’t last time I started running either and I grew to 5 miles a few times a week out of sheer desire…and THAT? Well, that I ended up both loving and missing when I didn’t do it…I’ll get there again, and maybe even farther? I have something to prove to me about discipline in a lot of areas, food and working out are only one.  When I meet someone again, not having sex is another (also a reason to not really care who comes along…that ain’t gon’ be easy y’all. I’m honest, I like sex…I’m just saying.) I’m absolutely being reminded of the value in my body, regardless of the fact that I’m not a virgin and I won’t have what I gave Nick to ever give another man.  Sex and the value is not a topic I really even want to delve deeper in with er’body because I’m a lil’ bitter in that topic still for various reasons and well, that’s just something I’m working on. I think the only way to get beyond that is to know in a relationship that a man values me enough to wait, without pressure but with a clear desire…if that makes any kind of sense.  We want to be desired, huh? Okay, maybe if you’re a prude you don’t.  I do and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I want to know that a man is attracted to me and as a woman, I want to be pursued.  I’m learning how to have that look more balanced than it has. 

Yowsa this is long, way longer than I anticipated as I really should have gone to the store for fruit for breakfast…Meh, tomorrow will have to have a different plan, it’s late and I’m so happy to go to church! I started this whole thing because of the moment coming out of the movie yes, but also because of the verse this week for “She Reads Truth”.  I’ve been thinking on dry bones (a bible study Judi and I did one time) and how we’re weaker with dry bones till we break and die…I don’t want to be weak and I’m doing things beyond myself (because I just can’t, not by myself…I think it’s strong to admit that) to be strong spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally. Isiah 58:11,
 “And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” 
How perfect is that for where I am? #thankful #humbled #blessed

This may be my favorite place yet, although it’s much harder than the easy place of faith in my youth, it’s…dirtier in a way that give new life like fresh soil. Amen that He makes ALL things new.     
Oceans- Hillsong United ('s completely my favorite...)
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior


I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine