But Don’t Let That Burn You Down

Ben Rector is one of my favorite artists. The first time I heard his song “Wildfire”, I was jumping head first into a relationship I knew was a major risk. It was one of those songs that put into words what  I couldn’t.

“I am learned that you’re not perfect,
And that sometimes the one you love can burn you…

When you love someone
They’re gonna hurt you,
When you love someone
They’re gonna burn you,
But don’t let that burn you down.”

-Ben Rector

Recently that relationship ended, and the lyrics above have stood to be true. I’ve learned a lot, I’ve felt a lot of pain and anger, and I’ve come out a stronger person  – because it won’t burn me down. The hard part about any relationship, especially dating, is that we have to learn we are the only part of the relationship we truly have a say in. We cannot control what another person says, does, or feels. We cannot force someone to live up to their potential. We can’t instill strength where someone doesn’t want strength to be instilled. I’ve learned that I cannot carry a relationship all on my own, especially if the other person doesn’t want to be carried.

I’ve also learned that a relationship that actually wasn’t a bad relationship at all, tough – yes, bad – no, can end terribly. I’ve learned that someone who actually has a really good heart, can make decisions that can rip your heart out. I’ve learned that you can stare in the eyes of someone and see just how much they care about you, and learn that they do not have the strength or capacity to carry out the actions to prove it. I’ve learned a lot, and for that I am thankful.

As the details started to come out and all the sudden things I couldn’t make sense of before, now started to make sense. As the realization that the whole truth had not been told to me settled in, and my heart began to break, I chose to walk through the pain. I got mad, I got angry, and for someone who doesn’t cuss, I cussed up a storm. As yet another downpour started in this, what feels like never ending, stormy season of my life, I sat there in the pain. I let the reality and truth of what happened settle in. I don’t know all the details, but I don’t want to, I know enough.

And as I sit here on the other side of {most of} the pain, I can reflect back. I’m thankful for the good times, because there were a lot of them. I will cherish the memories. The pain lessens each day. I don’t regret the relationship, because any relationship is a risk, and every relationship will hurt at some point or another if it is real. I choose grace and forgiveness. And I choose to hope and pray for his future. My prayers are that he some day lives up to the man I know he can be. That he heals from his past. And that he forgives himself. I pray for happiness, joy, strength, and wisdom to abound in  his life.

And as I step into life stronger and with more wisdom as a result of this relationship, I choose hope. I choose grace. I choose to believe that letting go of the anger and bitterness will be better for everyone involved.  And I cling to the promise that my God is with me, and for me, and that He has a plan in all of this for each of His children. He doesn’t waste the pain or hurt. I will cling to the fact that “Sometimes God does not change the circumstance but instead changes us in the circumstances.” (Meredith Andrews) That pain is part of my purpose on this earth and that I need to be “more brave tomorrow than I am today”. (Shauna Niequiest) Because as Brene Brown says in the image below, “The broken-hearted are the bravest among us. They had the courage to love.” I choose to continue to risk my heart for love of all kinds. I choose to not let the hurt and pain define me.

I choose HOPE.

I choose JOY.

I choose FAITH.

I choose FORGIVENESS.

I forgive you.

The Year of 30 – Fear Facing

This morning I was sitting at my desk going through the stacks of cards I received for my birthday.

I hate my birthday, bad things happen, and this year was no different. As I reflected on this stack of cards, but more importantly who they came from and the words inside, I’m thankful. Often, when things are imploding around us, we tend to forget that we matter to people.

I had a really, really hard time turning 30. It felt like I was no longer “young”. I felt like I had accomplished so much between 20-25 and not so much between 26-30. I mean when you graduate 3 times in a 3 year span, it is kind of hard to beat such accomplishments again. 

So as I was turning 30, I reflected on the goals/aspirations I had that had not yet been obtained. My dream of being a nurse practitioner (yes, more school), has not yet been obtained. My dream of being a wife and mother has not yet come to fruition. I hadn’t traveled as much as I had planned. In many ways I still felt unsettled, a lack of stability. I also reflected on what the last half of my 20’s was, and what it was surprised me. It was a lot of healing from damaging relationship of all kinds in my early 20’s. It was also a lot of making a career for myself, which included surviving the night shift and the endless hours of anxiety a new nurse goes through. They were years of self discovery and self reflection. They were years that have brought me to where I am today, and for that I am thankful.

So last week as I faced turning 31 and parts of my life were in shambles around me, I actually didn’t struggle. Because if I’m honest, my 30’s have been off to a great start with loads of adventure. Also, I trust that my dreams will come to be when the time is ready, and with the right people and the right school programs. I have a peace about trusting in the timing to be right, and less of a need to get everything accomplished NOW.

Over the past year I went to Costa Rica and faced my fear of heights by jumping of the side of mountains to go zip-lining  and I would do it again in a heart beat.

I dated guys that are completely out of my normal and learned a great deal and have great memories as a result.

“Leadership isn’t a skill you have, it is a skill you learn”

After a great deal of wrestling over the decision and praying, I took on a management position at work. It hasn’t been easy, actually far from it, but as my wise little brother told me “Leadership isn’t a skill you have, it is a skill you learn”. And everyday, I am learning this more and more. But, I have to say, when someone says “my boss” in reference toe me, my immediate response is “that’s not me!”… and then I realize, actually technically, yes it is.

I faced a lot of fears this past year both personally and professionally. I feel like my word(s) for the year of 30 was fear facing and as I enter 31, grace is what resonates. Grace for others. Grace for myself. Grace for where I’ve been and where I’m going. But most importantly sitting in the beauty of the grace from my Heavenly Father – knowing that I will never be enough but through His grace, He is enough for me. There is a freedom in knowing I can’t reach the state of perfection I’ve longed to reach for so long, but in Him I am fulfilled. My job is simply to walk in His grace and be the best me I can be. So 31, let’s do this.

 

 

Letting Go When it Wasn’t Bad

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on dating or singleness, but I feel like I want to share my current struggle just in case there is someone else out there wondering if they’re alone in this struggle. Online dating is hard. Really hard. For every 1000 messages you get, maybe 1 of those is good. There is a lot of comic relief in there and plenty ones you read one or two words and you delete it and need to wash out your eyes. Dating is hard. Singleness is hard. Life is hard.

For every 1000 messages you get, maybe one of those is good.

There are plenty of people out there that date for the one night stands or are okay with little to no substance in the relationship. I’m not one of those. I’m also one of those people that can get an idea pretty quickly of whether or not the guy I’m on a date with is a good match or not. I’ve been told I don’t give guys enough of a chance, and maybe I don’t, but I think I’m just able to read people pretty quickly.

Timing is everything

Last May I told God I would message every guy on Bumble (it was my first week on this app) that I matched with and if nothing worked out with any of them I was done with online dating for a while. During this week I met the guy who I’ve been dating for the last 3 months. Pretty much instantly I liked the guy. There was something about him and still is something that I was just attracted to. A lot of somethings actually. And let me tell you, the three months were really good. I was pretty scared, because I actually liked the guy and he seemed to like me back – which isn’t always the case when I finally think a guy is worth my time.

Pretty much instantly I liked the guy. There was something about him and still is something that I was just attracted to. A lot of somethings actually.

So for 3 months we dated, we talked, we had great discussions, we had fun, he pursued me (what a concept), and he was part of a season of extreme healing. It’s been a season of walking through past hurts and pains and truly digging deep and healing. A lot of this healing I couldn’t have done without this really good dating relationship showing me something different form the past.

Then a few weeks ago I could feel the distance growing. Then late Saturday night it ended. Some differences he couldn’t get past. He wants to be friends and I’m not certain I can be. The main reason? Because he really is a good match for me. It really was a good relationship. I still really like him. And the differences he couldn’t get past do not make him a bad guy. The struggles he’s walking through do not make him a bad guy. The core of who he really is is a really good guy.

Then a few weeks ago I could feel the distance growing.

So I’m faced with the question of how do you get over a guy when it was all really good? When even the bad parts of the relationship weren’t actually bad? How do you find a reason to let go when all you keep thinking about is the stupid ways that they match you?

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure. But I’m going to try and focus on the fact that there will be a guy out there who matches me just as well,  and maybe even better. A guy who the differences will be able to be worked past. A guy who is ready to date. And until then I’ll cherish the memories and try my best to be thankful that I got to experience something that is hard to figure out how to let go.

And let’s be honest, timing is everything.

So my single ladies, there are good guys out there. We just have to find the good guys who also match us and are in the same stages of life as us. And let’s be honest, timing is everything. So I’ll cling to the promise that I serve a God who loves me and hears the deepest desires of my heart. And I hope you have something to cling to as well. Because when life doesn’t make sense, we all need something to cling to.

When an Ex Ruins a Passion

I love fitness, health, nutrition, and the joys of watching someone transform their lives. I love this just as much as I love working with cancer patients. So why for the last 3 years have a done this minimally and from a distance? Part of it was that I was getting my nursing career underway and I allowed the excuse that it took up all my focus to get away. The real reason I ran away? Because for a year straight I was in an on again off again relationship with a man who shared this passion and interest. So much so that he spoke with me many times of us working together and we spoke of sharing the same dreams I’ve had since I was a teenage girl. That dream incorporates a place where I can both serve and love on people and their families with cancer and those desiring to live a healthier life. But I let that dream disappear. I stopped chasing it because for a long time it was far too painful.

There are far better thing ahead than

 

Continue reading “When an Ex Ruins a Passion”

Single During the Holidays – It Really is OKAY

Today I had the privilege of taking care of one of my favorite patients. He is an older gentleman and often forgets what he asked me the week before. As a result, some of his questions repeat themselves, including his advice. It is a regular question to ask me if I am married and when I answer no, if I am dating someone, I then say no again. His response is always “and that is okay!”

But today he went on to tell me more. He went on to tell me how he has 2 daughters and that he always talked to them about waiting for the right one, no matter how long it took. He was encouraging me as he told me his one daughter had to wait until she was 30, but for both of his daughters how he couldn’t find a better guy for each one of them even if he had interviewed guys for 100 years straight. He didn’t make me feel sorry for being single, he didn’t tell me I was doing it wrong, he just encouraged me that waiting for the right one is the important fact. He assured me that where I am now as a 28 year-old-single women, is okay, in fact, that there is nothing wrong with it. He didn’t make me feel like less of a person or less interesting because I have no husband or kids at home yet.

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Some day I hope to have more than just my own feet, but I’m beyond thankful for this time of growing and learning as a single woman.

Continue reading “Single During the Holidays – It Really is OKAY”

And one single remains….

On Friday I had the privilege of celebrating my little brother’s engagement! It is hard to believe he is old enough to be headed toward marriage, but he is. With his official proposal that means I am the last child and the last cousin single. I’ve always been the single one. I’ve dated some, but the majority of my life since I became of dating age has been single and honestly, I’m thankful.

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I called to talk with my aunt yesterday because she has some medical issues going on and my aunt being my sweet aunt she is asked “how are you doing with the engagement?” Tears filled my eyes, not because I’m single, but because I know my aunt. She loves me where I’m at and is okay with me being single, she just wanted to make sure I was okay with it. The hardest part about being single for me is when other people aren’t okay with me being single.

Let me be honest (confession here), my biggest dream is to be married and have a family, but its not my only dream. I’m incredibly grateful for this time being single. I’ve obtained 3 degrees, 2 certifications, 1 license, lived in 3 new states, gotten to develop my own decorating taste, continue to figure out more of who I am, had time to volunteer… the list is endless.

And now I am checking another thing off the list, I am getting a dog (which has been an adventure in and of itself!). I don’t want to not live because I don’t have a significant other. I am planning out finances to buy a place because I don’t know when or even if that person will walk into my life. But I do know this, I was created for a purpose and my purpose is not any less because I don’t have a significant other.

So let me be honest, I am perfectly okay with where I am at. I am excited for what I can do in this season. It isn’t always easy, but I want to make the most of it so that when Prince Charming does walk into my life I can say I’ve spent my time well and I am the best person I can be for him.

Let’s be thankful for the different stages of life together!

Great blogs on this recently:

1. http://convergemagazine.com/26-unmarried-and-childless-8736/

2. http://shaunaniequist.com/significant-without-significant/

In the Land of Internet Dating

Recently, at the encouragement of my friend Cara, I decided to join Match.com. I have been single for a little over two years now. In that time, I have done a lot of “adulting”. I purchased a car, started paying car insurance, checked my credit history, considered buying a house, and ultimately decided to rent a place instead. So, now that my ducks are less crooked, it seemed like it would be a good idea this Internet dating thing. But let me tell you ladies, it is extremely difficult! Here are some things I’ve noticed and hopefully helpful tips about online dating adventures. First, lets talk about how sifting through profiles makes one feel like a horrible human being 90% of the time. I’ve always been a visual person. I’ll admit that I’m often more concerned about physical attraction than compatibility. So, imagine how I feel when I have to reject some of these men? I’m sure they are nice, but ultimately, if I don’t feel that spark then I move on to the next profile. My tip, visit these sights for no more than five to ten minutes in a given setting. The longer you’re on the website, the more pessimistic you can become. second, um ladies are you typically one to initiate conversations with men? yeah, me neither. But I find that I’m more prone to do so on Match. And while that may seem cool, yeah, for destroying gender stereotypes Emily!, it is also incredibly nerve wracking. Will he respond? It’s been 24 hours. How long do I wait to respond back? How do I phrase this? I want to sound flirty but not too flirty. Honestly, I can appreciate what guys must go through a bit more. My tip, talk it out with your friends in relationships before you respond…they did something right, perhaps you can learn a thing or two young dating grasshopper. Third, the actual dates are so awkward. Eventually, after the initial five minutes of playing awkward turtle, they go well, but those first three to five minutes of deciding how to open the conversation are just tough. Oh, and it’s especially more difficult if the guy that you’re meeting is much more tall, dark, and handsome than you could see on his profile picture 😉 and the end of the date is always just as awkward. This is especially true if you’re a lady that takes things slow. My tip be prepared for an awkward hug or high five. In the best cases, hope for a good night peck on the cheek…this seems most respectable and the least awkward of all options. That’s all I have so far, but tune in next week. I’m supposed to be going on date number two with tall, dark, and handsome? Did I mention he was Italian? Have a great week in dating land ladies 🙂

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