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Daily Archives: July 1, 2017

Journey 

Life and Love are like destinations on the map.

You look at the directions to the right road it it takes you to the desired location.

On the map there are freeways, highways, routes, but only the road that matter is what you have to stay on.

There are shortcuts but it doesnt show your patience in achieving what you truly want. There are stops you could find to lay back and take it easy, but you only take a small rest to get back on the road otherwise too much time has been wasted and nothing more was accomplished. When your unlucky you take the wrong turn and hit a dead end, you have to start all over and drive from there.  Take the wheel. Position the Stick on Drive. Press your foot on the gas pedal softly. Be Patient and take the directions from the map, dont cheat and use shortcuts, dont lie to yourself and waste time, dont speed the car otherwise the map wont be there for you when you drove too fast and missed your turn. For those who read the Map correctly, you made it, you found Love at last.  Now read the Map again and your next trip awaits for when new surprises await after Love and which you have started your life. This is only the beginning of something special, take the keys, drive the car, start your Journey. Life and Love are like destinations on the map

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Posted by on July 1, 2017 in random thoughts

 

Life Is Scary, Be Vulnerable Anyway

I just spent 45 minutes staring at a blinking line on my computer wanting something, anything, to come out, but I’m filled to the brim with emotion and unable to pour it out onto a page.

But, I’ve learned a lot about myself lately, and I can tell you that it’s fear that is holding me here staring at a blank page.

If there is something else that I am learning in a real and deep way recently it’s this: When life is scary it’s easier to hide.

It’s easier when faced with the choice of having to talk to people you haven’t talked to in a long time about why you moved back to your hometown after years abroad to avoid it and hide.

It’s easier to not go to places where you might run into people and be forced to talk about what your life is like, while trying to put on your best “I’m fine” face when you’re crumbling underneath.

It’s easier to stay in the shadows, isolate yourself, because talking about how you’re a complex human being, full of light and dark, just seems like too much. Too exhausting. Too scary. Too shameful.

It’s easier but it’s not better.

You know what is better? Vulnerability.

There is a lot to unpack when you talk about vulnerability and it feels so counterintuitive to everything we are taught about how to survive in the world. All you have to do is watch Planet Earth and watch some unsuspecting antelope meet its end at the merciless hands of a prowling lion (Or tiger or hyena or cheetah. I mean are antelopes at the bottom of the food chain here? Goodness.) to know that being vulnerable is seen as a liability not an asset.

It’s funny though, isn’t it? Maybe sad is a more appropriate word here. In hiding what we’re essentially doing is trying to protect ourselves, because life is scary!

You can put your heart out there and get burned. You can lose your job. You can get cancer. Someone you love can get in a car accident or make destructive choices or know just the right words to use that will send you spiraling either into a fit of rage and an abyss of sadness. Sometimes you can even hurt yourself.

And so, we protect ourselves from rejection, sadness, grief, and other emotions that cause us pain. We do this because we think in moving away from vulnerability we are making ourselves strong. Nothing can hurt us if we make ourselves strong. Strength is a highly valued attribute in our culture. While, I won’t argue that it’s a valuable attribute, I will argue that what makes someone strong isn’t their ability to not be emotional.

I’m reminded of this great C.S. Lewis quote from his book, The Four Loves:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

Lewis is talking specifically about love here, but he makes a wider point about vulnerability. Without it, we cannot experience the things we want from life.

Joy

Fulfillment.

Creativity.

Belonging.

Love.

They all happen, truly happen, when you risk. Vulnerability requires risk, but we are all familiar with the idiom that with great risk comes great reward.

Many of you may already be familiar with Brené Brown’s research on vulnerability (and shame. Honestly that could be a series of posts in and of itself.) from her brilliant TED talk. She’s a wealth of information, a great writer, and gifted storyteller. In her book Daring Greatly, she says this:

“What most of us fail to understand and what took me a decade of research to learn is that vulnerability is also the cradle of the emotion and experiences that we crave. Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.

Does showing up to be with someone in deep struggle sound like a weakness? Is accepting accountability weak? Is stepping up to the plate after striking out a sign of weakness? NO. Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

Friends, being vulnerable is one of the strongest things you can do with your life. And the reality is that it is the gateway to meaningful connection. Something every one of us desires.

I’m by no means perfect at it. In fact, I’ve spent a lot of my life hiding behind lies and not reaching out for help a long time ago when I really needed it. I still need the help. I’m not there, yet, but I believe that the weird, awkward, scary, sometimes (basically always)uncomfortable, even painful feelings that come with being vulnerable and being truthful, letting down your walls and being real with who you are, all the light and dark that exists within each one of us, is always better.

Without it we cannot experience the deepest desires of hearts to be loved, to be known, and to belong.

Yes, life is scary, but don’t hide! Be vulnerable and discover that in this counterintuitive act of leaving yourself exposed you find you make room for the best parts of life. Especially love.

 

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2017 in random thoughts

 

Guys Are Looking for Love Too

Girls get so caught up in romance and our hearts and finding love and if “he’s the one” that we forget about the other side of the equation.

We aren’t the only ones in relationships. It really does take two to tango, you know?

I never really thought guys dreamt of their future wives or hoped for that perfect soulmate or even cared about love at all until I met someone who made me realize it’s not all about the girl.

So many times, girls have been so hurt by a guy (or guys) that they see every single guy through the lenses of a generalization rather than for who he is as an individual.

I did that and still do that. I catch myself not believing there would be any way for my fiancé to really love me the way I love him because guys just don’t love like girls.

That is very wrong and, really and truly, unbiblical. God never said, “these people love more and harder and better than these other people.” We are all called to love and we learn true love through the love of God.

After finding a guy who really knew what it meant to love God and be loved by God, it became clear to me that he had the desire for love just like I did.

It comes across in the way he puts me first, in the way he does special things for me, and in the way he plans cute little things for us to do. At first I thought he only did romantic things because I like them and he wants me to be happy, but I started to realize that it was satisfying a hunger for him too.

Who are we to think, as girls, that guys don’t long to be loved? God made us with the desire to be loved. Girls may show that differently, in a more open and sensitive way, but that doesn’t mean that men are not desperate for affection too.

A woman can’t leave the man out in the pursuit of a relationship because that’s when she makes it all about her.

If we are so focused on them making us happy and buying us flowers and cooking us dinner and planning us dates then we turn this into a one-sided deal that was always meant to be 50/50.

If we are searching for all the love for ourselves, what love are we giving them?

I have found myself taking advantage, unknowingly, of what an amazing guy he is because I’ve never had that kind of love before. It initially felt like a dream and the fairytale I’ve always wanted, but then it became real. Relationships can give you butterflies and all that cute stuff, but at the end of the day, they are very real. There are real fights and real emotions and real problems and a real purpose as to why you have been joined together.

We cannot look for relationships for ourselves but for the glory of God. Have you realized that? Because I sure didn’t. I was in it for me. I wanted the butterflies and the cute pictures and fun dates and someone to hang out with all the time but it didn’t cross my mind that it was for something bigger than me.

When I first started dating my now fiancé, I wasn’t fully on board because I was all about being single. Just when I was pretty sure I wouldn’t continue the relationship, I listened to a podcast about “why you should date.” I have referenced the podcast a million times and always will. He basically said, if you’re dating someone because you think they are cute or fun or a good time, you’re really wrong. You should be with someone because, together, you can further the kingdom of Christ. Out of all the moments I think back on when I say I “knew” he was the one, that really was it. That was God knocking telling me I found the one HE wanted for me to do HIS work. Point blank. No other questions asked.

And the same goes for him. He wants love and loves to love me and enjoys having me to hang out with (I think), but that’s not the main goal of him pursuing me. He pursued me for my heart for The Lord because it matched up with his. He hasn’t been dreaming of a trophy wife to do the dishes, he has been longing for someone to walk beside him while he chases after God. We walk together through all the victories and all the struggles to, and that’s what love really is.

So, yeah, maybe guys aren’t all about all the “hype” of being in love, but they are hopeless romantics in the sense that they desire a connection with someone who will love them for who they are no matter what  for the rest of forever. They may not say it or write about it or post about it or scream it from mountaintops, but they let us know with their quiet words or loving actions or selflessness.

Girls aren’t the only ones out there looking for “the one” and getting their hearts broken. Guys are going through it too. Good men are still left in the world and they are on their pursuit just like women.

We can’t think of all men like we think of that one guy who wrecked our world just like they can’t think of women like they think of the girl who dumped them for another guy.

Every person, male or female, deserves love and deserves a chance, despite the actions of their predecessor.

Girls, let’s stop being selfish in this pursuit of love. Let guys in on the fun and remember that they have hearts too. They aren’t robots with no feelings; they are made in God’s image, and God is love.

And the one who did break your heart, he wants love too, but he wasn’t right for you. So, just pray he shows that to the woman he will spend forever with while you pray that for your future husband.

We are all running toward the same eternity, and we all want to be loved along the way. Men need love as much as women, just in a different way, so let’s recognize that and respond.

We aren’t the only ones dreaming about that wedding day and a lifetime of happiness, ladies, so scoot over and let him enjoy the love too.

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2017 in random thoughts

 
 
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