One of the greatest gifts I have received in my life is the challenge of becoming a strong, independent female fending for myself. The grind, the hustle; it never stops. Now, I am not saying I am the only one who has it tough: I see you, single Moms. Moms juggling kids and their own College education, Moms of four homeschooling while hubby is grinding all day making sure he has enough to provide for the family. It is exhausting. But one thing is even more so: being single, alone, a small circle, and going home to no one after a long day of battling the daily trials in this dog eat dog world. Alone, with only myself to rely on when I need encouragement, a pat on my back, and a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes I proudly flaunt my strength. And yet other times, I buckle down and cry in the silence of my small world. Broken, afraid, and alone. And I cherish those intimate moments too. Moments with my thoughts and my soul. Meditating on things Higher. That is where I find myself again, and regain the strength to dust myself off and keep moving forward. Here’s to all the strong women in my life and in this world. I see you, I applaud you.
I have made many mistakes in my life
And hurt others along the way
With my insensitivity and lack of the Love I profess.
I am not perfect, I humbly confess.
I am doing my best.
Seeking what is good for my soul,
Purging all the rest.
It Is a process
and God is not finished with me yet.
It is His Grace that keeps me aright,
That lifts me up when I stumble and fall.
If not for His Grace, I would not be here at all.
Only by His mercy, am I fulfilling the call.
In His love toward a wretched sinner
I have a Hope that resides in me
Taking the wrong course terrifies me
I cling to Truth that sets me free
Stumbling along the way
Yet tomorrow is a new day
Renewed in Mercy
Oh Lord, have Mercy
I don’t really want to write this. Perhaps it is because opening up and being vulnerable is new territory for me. That path is unbeaten, fresh, and ready to be walked. Yet I hesitate, for I do not know where it leads. Are there dead ends? Are there monsters lurking behind the corners? The monsters of fear, insecurity, doubt? It is a scary thing; vulnerability. So I will do my best to express my thoughts without fear of retribution.
This morning, I woke up feeling rested, fresh, and ready to conquer the day. I was thankful for a new beginning, a fresh start, and the sunrise peeking through my window. The extra hour of daylight savings as well! What a morning! But just as suddenly as I opened my eyes, and relished in the moment, that moment vanished and was replaced with dread, fear, feelings of failure, and my motivation to get out of bed dissipated as memories of the previous night returned like horrific flashes of light, invading my head space with thoughts of regret and negativity. Suddenly, I did not want to go to church. I began making excuses that I was just unworthy. My actions are hypocritical and I had no right shining out there, while the deeds that I am committing are breaking my Lord’s heart. I was distraught. Yet I got up, and decided that regardless of my state, I will run, run, run to Jesus, begging Him for forgiveness the whole way. I will refrain from sight, from service, and from anyone else because I am an unworthy servant. I will go in, repent, leave, and cry and repent some more.
So with my plan set in place, I head to church, head bowed down, avoiding the glances of people off of the serving team, of which I take great delight in and am honored to be a part of. I try to make my way to the cafe for a cup of coffee, and stop short in my tracks when I see someone whom I felt like avoiding that day, standing directly in the way of my path. I quickly swerved from that direction and headed straight into the congregation, irritated that I could not have a warm cup of fresh brewed coffee that could at least offer some kind of solace to my already shot morning. As I walk into the congregation, I practically run into the serve team gathered around in a circle, preparing for the next service. I thought to myself, “ I cannot bypass these people, it is unnatural and unacceptable”. So I joined in the circle, almost sheepishly, hoping no one would notice the guilt and shame written across my face. I hung out for a moment, almost hoping I could somehow escape. But I lingered, I prayed, I set my belongings down, gathered my name tag, went to get a coffee, and took my post at the door to greet all the incoming worshippers of Christ.
I did not even know how to properly stand. I felt so awkward and out of place. Yet I stood there, and something happened. As if something clicked inside of me, and I decided that I will release all my fears and inhibitions, and just go for it. Just keep on going. So I confidently took my stance, coffee in hand, smile on my face, and greeted incomers with a genuine smile, and a heartfelt “Hello, welcome in”! It was beautiful. It filled my heart. It touched my soul. It changed my perspective, it renewed me.
The rest of the church service, including a conversation I had with one of the ladies that I was serving with, left me overwhelmed with joy and encouragement, and a reminder that yes; the Lord does love me inspite of my flaws. I hide, like Adam and Eve hid in the garden. Yet God: He goes seeking, calling “where are you”? Unrelenting, unwilling to give me up. His Love it surrounded me today. He stopped me in my tracks. I tried to run, I tried to hide. But He did not let me get away. He has a plan and a purpose for me. And only He can make that perfect plan come to fruition. He is a perfect God that is so intimately in love with an utterly imperfect human. I am a beast. I am a worm. The most unworthy of servants. Stumbling through life, begging for forgiveness every day. Wondering when I will stop and be more like Him. Relishing in His love and forgiveness. For only that allows me to forget my past, and move forward.
All my life I have been told that good things are coming. That: “you just wait, and the right thing will come around!” Okay sure, I do believe that good things come to those who wait. But, how long do you have to wait until you actually start doing? Must we just sit there patiently and wait for things to fall from the sky for us??
So patience is a virtue, right? Right! It is also a fruit of the Holy Spirit. One that for me is a great challenge producing (help me Lord!). But it is good to practice being patient with others, patient with yourself, etc. etc. I think it is out of context that when people consider waiting equals sitting idly and expecting something to fall out of the sky, in the meantime, wasting life away. I have realized, finally, after 10 years, that time is of essence, and life is meant for living, NOT WAITING!!! What are we waiting for?? The future?? Don’t worry, it’s coming! And it’s coming fast! so put down your “over thinking caps” and put on your cape, and let yourself live. Laugh a little. Cry if you need to, but by all means, please stop pitying yourself while waiting for something to happen. Go out, get busy, and you will see how rapidly things will fall into place! The doors that will burst open for you, the friends you will make! LIFE is meant to be taken advantage of, not the other way around!!
With that being said, I hope you can hop off your device and go outdoors and see the opportunities that await!
Bye, off to go living!
If you asked me what I am doing, I would tell you I am sitting here being angry. Angry at the laws and rules and regulations that society, culture, religion make for us. How they shape and mold and condition our mind. Predict our future and what to expect, then throw us into the winds of this world, barely able to fly, and watch in disdain when we crash and burn.
No one told me reality has no mold, no law, no regulation, no limit, and no regard for my conditioning. Rather, it threw life into my face; whether I was ready or not. I was completely caught off guard, trying to juggle all the curve balls while maintaining a balancing act upside down, on one arm, with the audience of the whole world watching pitifully as I struggle. And that is a modest picture. But, the show must go on. So what do we do? Who can give us the answer? Or even a clue? What is life? How do I live it without screwing it up even further?
What I have come to realize is that Life is not something anyone can prepare for. Life is a gift. Yet unfortunately, we receive this gift with bias, skewed perspectives, dread, misconception, etc. etc. We blow through our twenties searching for meaning and purpose; while committing the most sins possible, and running on mercy and grace, repenting every Sunday morning. We near our thirties, anxious about the fact that we have not figured life out yet, only to realize; life doesn’t turn out the way we have expected! Life did not turn out the way it was supposed to be, the way we were told! And with tear streaked faces, we slowly come to terms with the realization that we may never receive what’s “expected”. Whatever that is, anyway. We may never figure life out. We may never please culture or religion. Society is always changing its fickle mind. Life is meant for living. In the here. In the now. Day by day. One step after another. This is life. It should be championed. Cherished. Lived! This is what I wish I was told when I reached my 20’s.
How many of my fellow introverts find dating to be quite exhausting? Anybody else out there or am I the only one who actually avoids it due to the constant need to explain to others my need for space, my love of being alone and indoors. That quiet solitude is a total norm for me, and no; I’m not mad at you, I do like you, and yes! I am having a lot of fun! What does an introverted girl need to do to keep the love coming, but also keep it at a safe distance until further notice?
Okay, I do have game, and I have no problem snagging a man. But as an introvert, I have a tough time opening up and letting people in. And I mean friends too. New friends. Sure, I am super bubbly, outgoing, and extroverted whenever the feeling strikes. But mostly, I am quiet, calm, collected, and always juggling several different thought processes in my mind. But I do enjoy having you around, even if my lack of enthusiasm often times throws you off.
What are some ways I can perhaps relay myself better so that I don’t come off as cold or rude? Which to be quite frank, I intentionally become thus when people try to barge in on my personal and/or private space. Boundaries people, boundaries! Also, as an independent female, sound, and completely okay fending for myself; how do I resist falling into a bit of panic or get overwhelmed when I’m met with someone who is extremely needy, clingy, and constantly needs my attention? How best can I tackle these issues as an introvert who truly wants to be your friend, soul mate, whatever; but also someone who really needs to take their time before diving in?
Thoughts, tips, comments?
Goals are an interesting phenomena. We set them based on our skills and strengths. We set them to overcome weaknesses by presenting ourselves with numerous challenges. Then, we dip into our prowess to make dreams a reality.
Why do we goal set? Easy; to get a head in life, right? I hate to ask this, but have you ever compared your effort with someone else’s? I have. I have. I had to take a step back and have a pep talk with my inner self to reassure myself that we all grow at our own personal pace.
Sometimes, however, I cannot fathom how some people are just blessed. Blessed. And I mean BLESSED with something I am working so hard to attain. Almost as if that came so effortlessly to them. They were given it. Born with it. Or got lucky and have that which I yearn for. Which I pursue with such vigor; sometimes wearing myself out to the point of exhaustion but always picking myself up again and persevering. I have been told all my life that “life is not fair” but in all honesty, that does not even begin to justify this phenomena. It is quite unfathomable to me. I cannot in my mind come to terms with this reality. How is it that I can put in all my time, effort, invest so much of myself into one or two particular goals, anticipating a specific outcome, only to come up with nothing? Yet I look around and see others practically flaunting those things so nonchalantly..it causes me so much wonder, almost to a point of anger. How is this possible? And why are my seeds taking so long to sprout?
A few days ago, I stumbled upon a great quote comparing and contrasting people in all stages of life and the end result/outcome. The bottom line was that everyone is going at their own pace. We cannot mock or envy those around us, because they are running their race at their pace, as are we. As am I. I found solace in that, and was greatly satisfied to stumble upon something that agreed with what I have been thinking on, and what I have eventually come to terms with. I no longer feel left behind, forgotten, although difficult at times. I have decided my race has been outlined specifically for me, and I would never be the amazing woman I am today, had I not gone through the challenges life presented me. I am continually growing and developing, achieving and failing. Learning and pressing on.
Who were you meant to be? What is your destiny, and what is it that you are so desperately searching for? Almost in a frenzy, frantic and anxious. Seeking, searching, crumbling, neglecting. What is it? Where is it? Who is it..? If that’s even an option. A garden, overgrown and unattended to. Weeding was never something one wants to do. But there’s a certain reward aspect to the process: hoe in hand, breaking up the dry ground, sifting through the top of the soil, sweeping away the weeds. Breaking, uprooting, sifting, cleaning, clearing, new soil..clean soil, allowing room for new blooms to blossom. Growth; the process.
We’ve all been there. That shattering, gut wrenching feeling of a broken heart. Crushed, used, abused, and left alone to put the pieces back together. Tear stained eyes, soaked pillows, countless nights of cries. Rejection, failure, loss, torn apart, a broken heart, hurt.
It’s true, what they say, that in dealing with loss, one of the stages is denial. All the signs are there, but you cannot accept it. Cannot voice it, face it, register it. These things happen to other people, surely it will not happen to me! I am too great of a person, I have so much to offer, so much potential, I have been doing all the right things, sure I may have slipped up here and there, lost my temper, said some things I didn’t mean. But we got over it, right? We worked it out, hugged it out, loved it out. What happened. Why are you ignoring me? Why did you leave me? Why did you HURT me?
And so it goes: woe is you, and nobody knows how to console your aching heart. No one has the answers, and you’re left mourning for the loss of something you could not hold on to; try as you might. And you wonder, what went wrong? You’re angry that you allowed yourself to get so attached, to get swept into a situation out of boredom, loneliness, curiosity, or just mere bliss. Whatever the reason, you did not expect your heart to latch on this strong. Resulting in feelings festering inside, emotions running wild, a zest for this person so fierce, it’s hard to explain, even harder to contain. A situation you meddled with for fun, turned into your worst nightmare-and it’s only just begun.
And the nights, they linger, and you long for rain to match your blues. But it’s sunny and warm, and life waits for no one. So you’re forced to continue marching on, accepting the bitter reality, and realizing that you; even you, are not impartial to heartache, heartbreak, rejection, loneliness, hurt.
Sometimes we do the hurting too. It’s a phenomena unexplained. A vicious cycle uncontained. How do you protect yourself from this horrible pain? By guarding your heart; as the ancient writer of Proverbs says. Good advice, I would say. But like Eve, the forbidden fruit is always tempting, no matter the pain that lies ahead.
The things we do: struggle with, cannot overcome, the things that control us. What if most of our problems are our own undoing? What if we are to blame for our mistakes? What if the core of our problem is our own self? A bad habit, for example. Why do we fall back to this? Is it because it’s comfortable? it’s safe, provides some sort of relief? Although destructive, we continue that habit for temporary self-gratification.
Now I am not that naive to imply everything bad is our own fault. That is far from what I believe. Rather; I strongly believe culture/society, religion, social status, education, and most importantly, childhood rearing play a large role in shaping and developing us into who we become as adults. How we perceive the world around us and how we respond to challenges. Tracing back to the home will lead us to the genesis of our transformation. From the caterpillar to the butterfly set free to roam the world. This is where we learn emotion. How to handle it, receive it, resist it, learn to control it-or indulge. What you were shown in the home, becomes the model for your life until you realize that some things just weren’t up to par. That you have the ability to change the way you see things. I think it is very important to discover who you are at the core, and break down walls that have caused you to close yourself in; and mark boundaries that have allowed destruction in your life. Learn who you are. Trace your steps backward, inward, deep into the crevices of the heart where it’s a little eerie. Where things are kept safely hidden away from the world to see, even yourself. But these are precious things, this is you. And You are worth discovering.