Category Archives: Relational

Relationships in all formats–romantic, friendship, familial, animals…okay, maybe not animals.

It Takes a Village

This past weekend, I moved from my first “adult” apartment of two years into a new one. It’s a bit closer to my work, and it’s a fresh start. This week has been a lot of unpacking, donating, rearranging things to fit into a slightly smaller space, breaking down boxes, all while battling a stuffy nose.

There was a moment during the moving process when I sat in a half-circle with my friends, all of us with beers cracked open in our hands, when I realized these are my people–this is my village.

It takes a village to do anything well. “Well” is my operative definition. I will be the first to tell you, that we can do a lot of things on our own. We can shop by ourselves, and eat by ourselves (which is healthy independence). We can move homes by ourselves and refuse to ask for help. We can keep our own secrets, and we can keep our pain to ourselves (not so healthy). Ultimately, we, as humans, can survive on our own–but we are not living well.

But there is such a beautiful grace in vulnerability and asking for help.  I will also be the first to admit that asking for a helping hand is really hard. It reminds me of my shortcomings, and makes me realize that while I am a good survivor, I am still learning the art of living well. And the importance of creating a village is a topic I will probably write about later, but for now, the focus of this is recognizing your village.

This past weekend I had to move, and I had to ask for help. I had to trust that my friends would come to my aid when I asked–and they did. They came (one of them even showed up after three margaritas), and they drove (the one who drank didn’t drive), and they loaded and unloaded. They opened my bottle of beer, and sat and laughed with me and encouraged me when I felt the anxiety of relocating.

And that’s when I realized–when I took a moment to look up from survival mode to life-savoring mode–I had my village. My village of imperfect people, doing wonderful things.

village

I say imperfect because, ultimately, that’s what people are: imperfect. I can tell you some of the moments these people have hurt my feelings with their words, and in the same breath, I can tell you the moments their words made me feel like I could be irrevocably brave–and that’s what it is to have your village. Your village is the ones who are with you, growing you to be a better person and loving you each step of the way, even when it’s difficult.

Your village will be imperfect. They will be people full of faults, just like you. And they will be the people who will love you and help you when you give them a chance by giving yourself a chance to be vulnerable and asking for help.

It takes a village to do anything well. When you’re stressed, your village will hold you up, and when they’re stressed, maybe they’ll know they can turn to you, too.

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Filed under Mental Health, Relational, Uncategorized

Three Words

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

This time of year has always been the most important time of year to me, even more so than New Year’s. The end of December/beginning of January never really felt like much of a transitional time. Growing up, it was a time to attend a ton of church services, having to say no to friend functions (for the church services), and family gatherings (that often followed stomach-clenching guilt–but that’s another story for another day). As an an adult, New Year’s is more of a time to see friends, drink something bubbly, and watch the ball drop more out of habit than excitement.

Instead, this odd window of time between Summer and Fall feels the most renewing, as if anything between now and next summer can happen.

Perhaps this feeling comes from the back-to-school rush, as I’ve always been excited by fresh school supplies and the new school year, because to me it mean relationships, learning, and new memories. Or maybe I started to love it when I left California for the first time and my mentor, over coffee on a hot San Diego day told me “you can go to Washington and get a fresh start and be whoever you want to be.”

Either way, the end of August, the window between Summer and Fall is as good as holy ground.

Three years ago, two very important people introduced me to the author Shauna Niequist who I highly admire and respect. Niequist, in a blog, penned the idea of four words that she hopes to focus on for her New Year (find that blog here). The idea would be that these words would guide her throughout her year.

As for me, my new year always starts in August. And, instead of four words, I have three:
Dare. Savor. Honest. 

1. Dare
This will be the first time in my academic career in which I will no longer be a student, as I finished up my Master’s Degree this July. Earning that degree was probably the hardest thing I have ever worked on or achieved. In doing so, I had to say “no” a lot. No to friends wanting to go out because I had to study. No to being with family for the holidays because of my tight school schedule that interfered with the days I could work. No to taking care of myself because my anxiety dictated that school mattered more than my physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. Also, my anxious tendencies often result in me saying no to the things I’d love to try.

So, for this year, my word is dare. Dare to say yes. Say yes to being a twenty-something with a new full-time job, but reconnecting with old friends. Dare to take the chance on a new job (which ironically keeps me on the August-June school calendar as I will be a school-based therapist!) and leave comfort behind. Dare to be honest about who I am and who I am not and sharing my heart. Dare to do the things I only dreamed about. Dare.

2. Savor.

The past two years of my life have been strictly scheduled because of Grad School. With that schedule, I operated in a fast-paced motion of “go, go, go”, constantly working on a new project, paper, study guide, or getting chapters read for the next class…on top of working full-time (year one of grad school), or work and internship (year two). Eating was done while catching up on paperwork, and meal prepping was done while reading a textbook, and unfortunately, life flew by.

So this year, I’m focusing on savoring the present moments. Of enjoying every last minute of this life I get to live by being around people I love and doing the things I love. And for the difficult times that I know will happen, because life isn’t gumdrops and rainbows, I still hope to slow down and allow myself to be present in the moment, wholly committed to living the life I have been given, because, as Gretchen Rubin one pointed out: the days are long, and the years are short. Too true, Gretchen, too true.

3. Honest.

I want to be honest with myself and my feelings. I hope to be courageous in facing my limitations and acknowledging the things I am gifted in. I hope to show the people I love that I love them with honest action instead of keeping the words rolling around in my heart. I want to be honest about my responsibilities as well as hold people accountable to their own responsibilities. This year, I hope for more honesty, both my own and the people around me.

This will be a very big year for me, and I hope to see the words dare, savor, and honest, play key themes in my story.

What words do you hope will inspire your year?

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Filed under Christian Life, Memoir, Personal, Post Grad, Relational

Grief and Loss and Peace

I write this with vivid images in my head.

With images of the time I was in high school sitting in front of a loud boy with a purple shirt as he and his friends made nipple jokes because this boy likes to wear particularly tight shirts that always seemed to show off his nipples.

With images of the first time I left the United States for just south of the border–to seeing prostitutes standing along the wall of a shabby building, dressed like school girls, calling out to men to make money for the night.

Again to “nipple boy”. Now we’re at our first semester at community college. He’s still wearing tight nipple-showing shirts, and I’m still wearing black, and he’s walking around campus with me on a warm afternoon. We talk a little, but there’s also a good silence. And I think that this boy, this popular, football team and wrestling team boy spent free time with me, a girl who wore heavy black eyeliner and listened to screamo, teaching me that people are more than their stereotypes.

Another image to when I first left North America and went to Europe. When the man next to me rolled up the window blind in the plane and I caught a glimpse of the clouds–and suddenly my large world became so much smaller in the best possible ways.

And these images collide into today. Today, “nipple boy”, Frank, is no longer with us. Energetic, endless prankster, open-soul Frank passed away earlier this week. My beloved large and small world, full of cultures and lands I yearn to experience, hurts as humans decide hatred is bigger than love. I am grieving. I am grieving, I am grieving, I am grieving.

One day you’re 16 with a whole world to see and experience, and the next day you’re 24, you’ve seen things, you’ve loved things, and my God, you’ve lost things.

This post is about that grief and loss. That aching hollowness in your lungs and stomach and the undercurrents of anger that make you want to shout to God that none of this is fair.

And this post is a beg to consider love. Love things fiercely and passionately. Frank and I were never “true” friends. Perhaps we made each other feel a little more seen and a little less lonely for brief periods of time. And the foreign lands I got to travel will always be such fond memories. Love the people in your life very, very hard–the ones who you’ve known for years and the ones who are your “just for right now” people. Love the places you come from and will go to. Forgive others who wrong you–but if you can’t forgive, instead, empower yourself to be better than those who wronged you and live life–because honestly, the ones who hurt you aren’t think about you as much as you think of them.

I hope that you who are grieving with losses find peace. My heart is for you. I hope that you who are filled with anger  also find peace. My heart is for you, too. It is my prayer that you live passionately and love wholly.

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Filed under Culture, Personal, Relational, Uncategorized

Mess Is Mine

table

There have been two important times in my life when I was invited “to the table”.

The first time was when I was still in San Diego, and the college group I attended launched the idea of “The Open Table”. It was a place for college kids to meet and hang out with other college kids who loved Jesus (and eat food). Even if a person didn’t love Jesus and was simply searching for something to believe in or something to be a part of, the heart of the Open Table was this: that’s okay, come as you are. We want you here.

The second time I was invited to the table was during my year as a resident assistant during my undergraduate years. A few days before the housing residents arrived, I sat under the shade of a large tree in the Pacific Northwest amongst other resident assistants. It was there that our Resident Director read to us from a book that would quickly become among my favorite books. She quoted from Shauna Niequist’s book Bread & Wine (Shameless plug: If you haven’t read this book, please do!). 


“We don’t come to the table to fight or defend…We come to the table because our hunger brings us there. We come with need, with fragility, with an admission of our humility. The table is the great equalizer, the level playing field that many of us have been looking everywhere for. The table is the place where the doing stops, the trying stops, the masks are removed, and we allow ourselves to be nourished, like children. We allow someone else to meet our need. In a world that prides people on not having needs, on going longer and faster, on going without, on powering through, the table is a place of safety and rest and humanity, where we are allowed to be as fragile as we feel.
Come to the table.”

Reflecting on these two significant moments, especially after Bread & Wine, I realized that living a life of inviting people to the table, and being part of a table, is exactly how I want to live my life–I never had the words to convey such emotions and desires until recently.

In recent days, I’m seeing a great divide in the world around me in big and small ways. Christians are becoming divided over issues to the point of slandering a certain population. Countries are at war amongst each other because differences are seemingly too great to overcome. Religions, and lack thereof, contend each other for who is right and who is wrong. Friends and family refuse to speak to each other over hurts. The list goes on. Many people seem to be in this mindset of “fend for yourself”. Overall, the act of living is extremely messy and when things get rough, we have the tendency of shutting down to everything around us, not being the open tables we need to be.

I will admit that at times I have not been the table I needed to be. There have been times when I’ve been so incredibly messy that I believed I had nothing but crumbs to offer to the people around me. Some days, that is still very true, but more often than not, it’s an excuse to keep from opening my heart to the needs around me as well as recognizing my own needs.

I’ve always been excited for Autumn, as this season has always represented new beginnings to me. As this Autumn slowly rolls around, I will be starting internship in a couple weeks. My second year (and last year) of grad school will consume my life, and I am entering this season with a heart that feels like such a mess. I am tired–working and studying within the helping profession leaves me drained in ways I never thought possible. I am navigating the waters with a friend I’ve been in a long-standing  stubborn squabble with. I’m learning to push through my natural inclination to shut down after a strange situation with an even stranger boy that abruptly ended. Finally, I am figuring out how to let the “real me” come through when all I feel is a deliberating sense of anxiety and low moods around the people I come in contact with–friends, family, and new people alike. And in spite all of my silly mess, I want to offer grace.

In spite of it all, I know I have a table to offer. At my table, I will not hide my mess and offer others the sacred safety and room to do the same. Regardless of the divides I see in the world in me, I want offer grace to allow people to come as they are and be nourished. I want to be a place where pretending doesn’t have to happen, trust can be built, and a place where both the people I love and the people I encounter can come to receive nourishment without judgement.

I strongly believe that the act of living involves messiness, and among the most wonderful things about living is that we never have to carry our messes on our own. Coming to the table should mean coming to a place of grace in which we carry each others burdens and receive nourishment for weary hearts regardless of backgrounds.

Come to the table.

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What I Learned Working in Mental Health

“That’s what associates do,” she said with a smile, her blue eyes crinkling at the corners, making her look carefree, “they form memories and become friends.”

I smiled to myself as my heart warmed and all feelings of my earlier apprehension faded as I watched this interaction between two mental health patients.

Yes, mental health patients.

For a little over a year, I’ve spent my time working at a mental health and behavioral hospital. Primarily, I work with adolescents, but in recent months, I’ve had the opportunity (often times, much to my dismay), of being moved around to several different units throughout the hospital—everything ranging from patients detoxing from drugs and alcohol to severely psychotic adults. As expected when working in the helping profession, I have had very high highs and very low lows throughout my job. In a few short weeks, due to a busier schedule which will involve interning as a therapist and full-time grad-school, I will be transitioning from working full-time to per diem—meaning I will pick up work shifts whenever I can.

It is a bittersweet feeling to know I will be spending less time at the hospital where I learned so much in such a short amount of time, but I know this change will be good for me. As I reflect on my time, I’ve decided to share what I’ve learned both from my co-workers and my patients as a mental health care provider.

mental health

What I learned from my patients:

  • People will be brutally honest. If I have learned to love anything, I have learned to love honesty. Working with mental health patients (specifically acutely psychotic adults), some days a patient will tell you that you look like a cow, and other days a patient will tell you your eyebrows are gorgeous. When working in mental health, you simultaneously learn to grow thick skin and to expect the unexpected.
  • Self care, self care, self care. If there is anything I have learned this past year while both studying to be a therapist and working in the mental health field is the importance of taking care of yourself while taking care of others. When you give most of your time to making sure that others are safe and well, it takes a lot of energy from you emotionally, physically and spiritually. If you expect to do a good job while taking care of others, always remember to take care of yourself. 
  • Some people don’t want to be saved. One of the hardest lessons I learned was this very lesson, and I am still learning it. I have a hero complex, I have come to realize, and I want to save everyone. Sometimes there have been patients have have reminded me of certain brown-eyed heroin addicts that I have loved with my whole heart, of past best friends that have attempted suicide, and of a very critical father I lost at a young age. Other times there are patients that have simply gripped my very soul and it became my personal mission to save them. However, you can’t help those that aren’t ready for help. Putting in more effort than your patient/client only exhausts you in the end. Instead, I have learned to remind my patients I am for them, but I will not do the work for them.
  • Boundaries. Directly related to the above bullet point, I’ve learned the importance of remaining empathetic while distancing yourself.
  • Humility. I have a degree in Psychology and I am in graduate school to be a therapist. Even so, there have been times at in which a patient divulges information and I have no idea how best to help that person. And when I expressed my loss for words, some patients have simply thanked me for listening and caring.

What I learned from my co-workers:

  • A job is just a job for some. During one of my lunch breaks, someone from upper management sat and chatted with me. She has a job in finances within the hospital. I asked her what interested her in the mental health field, and she told me that she does not have an interest in mental health, only her position. I guess, no matter where you are, for someone people, a job is just a job and nothing more.
  • Teamwork. I have learned what it is to be part of a team that works together cohesively and there is always support. Sometimes support looks like staff jumping in front of another staff member when a patient becomes violent. Sometimes it looks like letting another staff member cry on a particularly difficult day and letting them know you’re on their team. Sometimes a team looks like laughing together until you cry because you’ve been through so much and the only thing keeping you together are the people you work with.
  • Courage. Quite simply, I have learned courage. I have learned to have the courage to stand up for what I believe in, and the courage to try something new, knowing I may fail…or succeed.

Overall, I have learned the bittersweet beauty of humans as well as the ugliness of humans (the latter from other coworkers more often than patients…). I have learned both humility and strength, and I am truly grateful for this bittersweet experience.

 

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Filed under Mental Health, Relational

On Trust & Scars

After being away from the ocean for nearly half a year, I dipped my toes in the cool blue Atlantic ocean, and I was centered. Although it wasn’t the Pacific ocean that I grew up with, being among the waves was inexplicably cathartic. Around me, waves jaggedly broke across brown sand, and the sounds of laughter and voices calling from the group I was with filled my ears on a hot, Dominican day.

Carefully, I stepped over thousands of tiny rocks, going deeper into the Atlantic, pausing to hop over a wave as it crashed into me. Quickly though, I stopped wading into the water because of one ridiculous reason alone: I can’t swim. You’d think between growing up in Southern California and my insatiable love of the water, a girl like me would be part mermaid, but nope. I don’t know what happened there. It’s quite tragic.

So I stopped in the worst place possible–the place where the waves grow before they crash. Even so, every thing within me longed to go out further where my friends were–to the space beyond the waves, a place I’ve never ventured out to due to my inability to swim.

At one point, two friends swam back and offered their hands. First, they offered their hands reminding me that I was stupidly standing in a danger zone (but not dangerous for individuals who can swim), and secondly, they offered me their hands to take me to the space beyond the waves–to uncharted territory.

To these two friends, I don’t think they quite realized the gravity of their actions. To them, perhaps it was pity for a friend who couldn’t swim. But for me, it was a trust fall.

I don’t trust people very easily. More often than not, I don’t trust individuals–even those that have been in my life for years. It’s an issue I’ll be working on with my therapist, I’m sure, but for now, it is what it is. And in that moment, when those two friends came back from me, it was a do or die moment.

Standing in the middle of the Atlantic, beneath the Dominican sun, with two hands offered to me to take, what looked like a few passing seconds was agonizingly long for me internally. In that moment, my heart pounded as I hesitated, watching them carefully. My heart pounded as my mind raged, telling me it wasn’t a good idea to trust these people. My mind screamed that they would let me go, that if something bad happened, they wouldn’t help me. My mind screamed that it’s safer to go back to the shore than let these two people whom I haven’t known for a long time take me to where I want to go. But my heart whispered otherwise.

My heart whispered, “do or die. It’s now or never.” My heart grew bolder and said, “you’re going to have to trust some time. Trust them. If you want to change, start here.” And so I did, tentatively placing my hands–my life— in their hands. And I didn’t get very far. I might have ventured out a few more feet, but fear won over and I let go, deciding I didn’t need to die in the Dominican Republic. Even so, what matters to me are the few more feet I went deeper, and these friends didn’t let go.

And I think, that’s what trust is. Trust is, not knowing what will happen, but taking the outstretched hands that want you, trusting that they will take care of you as you would do for them.

Somehow, the waves that were breaking at chest height became bigger, and eventually too big for me to handle. Before I could make it safely to shore, there was a wave that was as tall as I was, if not taller, and it took my under. Realizing what was happening, I swore and held my breath hoping for the best. The force of the wave knocked me back to the shore, but I was lost in a swirl of blue saltwater, unable to regain my footing. As I was tossed back to shore, my legs and feet roughly kissed the thousands of small sharp rocks. Ouch. As quick pain pricked my legs, I inhaled a large gulp of water, still couldn’t gain my footing, and my legs scraped again.


(Excuse the bloated feet. My feet decided they needed to be bloated after traveling -__-)

Eventually I was able to get up and make it safely back to shore, away from the tiny rocks of death that also managed to attack other people who were taken by the wave.

Above is a picture of my scraped up legs and bloated traveling feet. Since then, my scabs are starting to fall off and I can see my ankles again, but I think I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience. 1. I need to learn how to swim and be a mermaid. 2. Trusting people may result in scars, but those scars will sometimes be worth it. 

Perhaps, if it wasn’t for the two friends that came back for me, I might not have put my legs through the trauma. As terrifying as it all was for me in those few minutes, the terror, today, gives way to monumental forward action.

I think I’ll be grateful for a very long time to the two who came back for me. To them, it might have been a small action, but for someone like me, in that moment, it was everything. Today, it gives me the courage to continuously say “now or never, do or die”.

My inability to trust others is incredibly painful, as I know that it not only hurts me, but others around me as well. The decision to put my hand in another’s, allowing them to walk beside me in spite of fearful uncertainties, is among the lightest feelings in the world. Sometimes trusting people will result in scars and pain, and you may cry from it, but it shouldn’t harden your heart. In fact, it should only make you wiser about whose hand you take, and the pain shouldn’t deter you forever.

As for me, I have a long way to go, but this is the first step. The next time I’m in the ocean, I’m likely to go into the water again–and hopefully I’ll be able to float beyond the waves. And the next time someone offers me their hand, hopefully I’ll take it in spite of the uncertainties ahead, as there are far better things ahead than the ones that hold me back.

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Filed under Personal, Relational

Regardless

Regardless (adverb): despite the prevailing circumstances.

One of the most beautiful words I know to date is the word “regardless”. Beauty is not found in the letters that make up the word, but rather what the word stands for. “Despite the prevailing circumstances“.

I’ve recently come to love the quote “it’s a bad day, not a bad life”. When working in the mental health field, I have really come to believe this not only for myself but for my patients. It’s okay to have bad days. It’s okay to have those heartbreakingly bad days where you don’t want to try anymore, where sleeping until the world ends feels like the best possible answer, and it’s hard to motivate yourself to do the little things you love.

I strongly believe it’s okay to have those days. Having these days doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It doesn’t mean you’re weak or a waste of space.* It means you’re feeling. It means you’re absolutely human and you’re having a tough time. And I want to make it abundantly clear for everyone to know it’s okay to have these kinds of days; God knows I’ve had many of them quite recently. However, it’s just as crucial to remember the importance of rising again, regardless of how painful your situation is, and know who your “regardless” people are.

Regardless people are the ones who remain in spite of the circumstances. They are the ones who see your bad days and love you unconditionally. They are the people who have seen you at your very worst by circumstances of chance or circumstances that you’ve put yourself into and decide to stay, regardless of the circumstances.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have many of these people, but the ones I do have mean the world to me. On days in which I feel like I might literally break, the reminder that I have people who love me, regardless of my situation, are enough to keep me pushing forward with hopes that I too can be a regardless person in return.

*While I strongly believe it’s okay to have bad days, I encourage you to evaluate your days. If you find you are chronically having feelings of deep, lingering sadness and lack of energy to do the things you usually love, seek professional help. If you are experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide there is still hope yet. Please call 1 (800) 273-8255 any time you feel as if you need help. 

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Filed under Mental Health, Relational

To Be A Counselor

Since I started Grad School, this has been my hashtag for any picture or blog post regarding Grad school: #tobeacounselor. I know it’s juvenile to hashtag stuff, I mean, I’m 23, but I like this hashtag. One day I’m going to look back and see all these posts and all these pictures and remember all the tears, anxiety attacks, and exhausted weeks will all be worth it.

One of the big projects I have this semester is having a practice client, and I just want to say: sitting and listening. It is exhausting work to track and pay attention. It is exhausting to not speak.

However, the vulnerability, the sacred space of counseling. It’s a beautiful thing. I am in love with every part of it. I quietly listen to my client, I am right where I want to be. I could do it for the rest of my days.

I’m so glad I was called to be a counselor.

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Filed under Post Grad, Relational

Catching the Bouquet

The sun set quite eloquently behind tall trees with changing leaves. The air was warm–almost unusually so at this time of year in the pacific Northwest. Sounds of merry laughter filled the courtyard as people hugged, took selfies, and hashtagged the joyous celebration. Glasses of white and red wines reflected off the light, making the deep purple tablecloths even more elegant.

There are few things more exciting to be a part of than a wedding.

My dear friend Danielle looked radiant in her sparkly off-white wedding gown, and Zack looked every bit the gentleman with his freshly trimmed beard and hair. It has been a beautiful journey watching Danielle grow into a wonderful woman of faith (I’ve known her longer than I have known Zack–by a couple months haha), and it was an even more wonderful memory to celebrate her marriage this past weekend. Of course I cried at the father-daughter dance, and of course I toasted with gusto at every speech and kiss.

As the formalities of the wedding trickled to a close and we would soon dance the night away, there was only one thing left to do: toss the bouquet. As Danielle glided across the courtyard, a vision of class, I jokingly told her, as I tell every bride, “remember to aim for me!”, as do all the other single ladies. I took my place amongst all the other eligible bachelorettes, somewhere in the middle, hiding behind very tall people (because I am fun-sized, even in heels), expecting not to catch the beautifully crafted (and heavy) bouquet.

One, two, three. Danielle flung the bouquet behind her back and all hands were in the air. Six pairs of hands reached for the bejeweled prize, and somehow, my hand was the one that gripped the tightest. For the first time, I had caught to bouquet.

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I stood there laughing with my friends as I held it up victoriously before I sent a picture to several other friends. For the remainder of the night I carried my prize with me, enthralled by the creativity put into it, and slightly afraid someone would steal it.

Which brings me to the main topic of this post. Though I jokingly tweeted “I caught the bouquet, you know what that means….” in the deepest corners of my heart, I am so tired of being single. Since I was 20, I have been invited to at least 10 weddings, and know countless more friends who have gotten married. I have been single for a very long time. I will not lie that my heart has been emotionally compromised many times since I’ve last kissed a boy.

And I am tired of being single.

There, I said it. Out in the open. I am tired of being single. I’m tired of my heart being mangled and bruised by countless infatuations, because I don’t know how to separate my heart from desire. I am simply tired of “waiting for God’s perfect timing”. Every winter and summer has looked the same since I turned 20. Couples getting engaged then getting married. Now, all of my married friends are starting to get pregnant.

Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled so see Jesus continuously weave the most amazing love stories, and I am excited to see where He takes all these beautiful people. But I cannot deny that part of my heart that breaks a little knowing that I still have to wait. Being in grad school right now, you’d think the wait would be easier–as I am working full-time and going to school full-time. In all honesty, I probably don’t have time for a significant other right now, because I barely have time to put on mascara in the morning before I have to rush to work or class.

Either way, I am tired of the wait. I know there are young women out there, many of which I get to call friends, who are honestly very happy with being single. While I cherish my time with my beloved girlfriends and living with a roommate, and learning more about myself, I want to do all these things with my plus one. Not just anyone else, mind you. But the someone to end “the someones” and nights when my heart is so heavy I swear I can hear the sound of my heart breaking.

Overall, this post is just me being honest. Because for a long time, I strongly believed it’s weak for a girl to want to be married so badly when she can be her own heroine. But I have come to learn it’s not weakness. It’s okay to desire marriage. If you’re like me, I want you to know it’s okay. I hope and I pray that I’ll one day get to embark on a journey to make Song of Solomon’s envious and raise a whole tribe of children, and I hope you do too. I really, strongly hope and pray I get that. Until then, I’m moving forward. I’m recognizing my wants, and I want to actively leave them at the feet of Jesus everyday, because I’m learning to be a heroine in my own story still. I’m learning to be brave and move forward and believe in the beauty of my dreams.

Also, for those of you curious, here is the happy couple, me, and a couple of our friends. <3

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Beauty Is.

It seems to me there is a battle waged on the idea of beauty.

In one tribe, there’s this group of people that promote positive body-image. An example of this would be Meghan Trainor’s song “All About That Bass”. In the other tribe there are people who are intent on shaming anyone who does not fit into this “small size = right size”. This is something we are all familiar with and is portrayed in media every day.

And here I am, discontented by the constant debate of beauty.

I am frustrated by the act of body shaming, yes, and I applaud anyone who promotes a positive body-image.

Even so, I am disappointed by the war.

I want beauty to just be

Beauty does not need to be analyzed by size and shape and color and smell and whatever else we can possibly rate beauty on.

Because just is.

As it goes, a flower does not wish to be another flower. A flower is beautiful because it was made beautifully the way God intended it to be—it’s as simple as that.

Maybe I’m just adding to the war on complicated beauty, but I stand for beauty being simple. If someone is beautiful, I see it resonating in every aspect of their life, from their physical appearance to their heart. If a sunset is beautiful, it’s beautiful because God made it so.

Beauty is.

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Filed under Relational