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Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

What is commitment? Does anyone know these days? Here’s what the dictionary has to say about that.

1 a : an act of committing to a charge or trust: as (1) : a consignment to a penal or mental institution (2) : an act of referring a matter to a legislative committee b : mittimus
2 a : an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; especially : an engagement to assume a financial obligation at a future date

 b : something pledged
 c : the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled <a commitment to a cause>
A commitment does not have to be a signed formal contract (not that those last long in this century), it can be a spoken word, a written message, or a non-verbal understanding.
This week I’ve witnessed two acts of non-commitment. A friend left his wife because, as he said “she has issues she needs to work out”  (though he does too…) and another friend was cheated on for the second time. The first instance is sad because a husband (or wife) should be committed to their spouse no matter what.  In sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or for worse, as long as you both shall live. ‘Til death do us part! Nowhere in this verbal agreement does it say, “I get to leave you because you have issues.” The second instance is sad because within days of saying “I want to be with you” to my friend, this guy was with another girl. After he had already been forgiven for cheating on my friend once, he was with another girl. What is wrong with these people?!
1 Corinthians 7:10-11: “But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not [d]leave her husband (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not [e]divorce his wife.”
Malachi 2:13-16 tells us that God does not accept the offerings of those who are unfaithful to their spouses: Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer looks with favor on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. 1You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.

Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.[c] So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,”[d] says the Lord Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful. 

The Bible says that God hates divorce. Why? Because it tears apart something that he has designed to function as one unit. We were created to be married and partnered with someone for all our lives.

“Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)

I know that ending a relationship is not nearly as serious as ending a marriage, but it has the same effect in this day and age. It used to be that people did not have an intimate emotional relationship until the point where they were engaged or married. In our society we have a serious intimate relationship before we are married, often with physical affection attached. When these relationships end abruptly, they can be just as painful as divorce (even if they’re less complicated legally).

All this is to say PUT ON YOUR BIG BOY PANTIES AND DEAL WITH IT!!!! When you commit to a relationship you are in it until you have a seriously good reason to end it. “I met another girl” is not a good reason, nor is “I’m bored” or “you gained weight” or “you aren’t as perfect as I thought you were.” If there’s a logical reason to end a relationship, be honest and just do it. If you’re married, just deal with it. Get counseling, talk to a pastor, and stick with it. There is NO good reason to end a marriage, even if you think there is one at the time. Deal with it.

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,that He might present to Himself the church [q]in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she [r]respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:22-33)

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An article I found on http://www.marrywell.org The website had lots of useful articles and other resources, maybe you should check it out! I originally shared the article on Facebook and then stumbled across it again today as I was sharing a new “note” on facebook (the poem “Creed”, by Steve Turner). Enjoy!

Growing in Biblical womanhood

by Candice Watters

 In our culture, it’s become accepted that men, by their nature, are brutes, jerks or buffoons, while women, by their nature are loyal, smart and admirable. Men, bad. Women, good. That’s the underlying worldview of the majority of the entertainment, education and even public policy (laws) that surround us. So it’s not surprising that even Christians believe men — even Christian men — have to become biblical while women who know Christ already are.

The reality for both male and female is that we were created different (Jesus said, “Haven’t you read … that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’”), we are all sinners (“all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”), and we all have the potential to be redeemed (“whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”). Accepting Christ’s gift of redemption is a decision that begins the process of sanctification. It’s this process — this pilgrimage — that requires both male and female to actively work at becoming who God originally created us to be.

It’s not enough to have the body parts. Or even to be saved. That’s where it starts. But biblical femininity requires first, understanding what God designed woman to be and second, deciding to become that woman and living it out.

Several years ago I studied the Bible through a course called Five Aspects of Woman by Barbara Mouser. It not only answers the question — What is biblical womanhood? — but also gives lots of practical applications for being a biblical woman. Far from the stereotypical head-covered, docile, kitchen-bound caricature the media so loves to spoof, this is a serious study that embraces the complexity, creativity and beauty of God’s design.

 The Five Aspects, as described in the study, are:

 Mistress of the Domain (Genesis 1) — Woman, like man, is created in God’s image and has authority from God to rule, subdue and be productive. Because of sin, however, she both “abuses and abandons” her call to stewardship (characterized by manipulation, pride and domination, biblical example: Jezebel). As she is sanctified, she reclaims, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the areas of responsibility God has given her (her home, her studies, her work, her marriage, her children, etc.) to God’s glory (characterized by humility, hope and productivity, biblical example: the Shunammite woman).

 Helper-Completer (Genesis 2) — “Woman, from the man and for the man, completes him in his person and his work. As helper, she provides partnership in work, fellowship in body and spirit and membership in marriage.” In our spirituality, at the foot of the cross, man and woman are alike. Both are in need of a savior, both able to accept salvation and find fullness in Christ. But in our humanity, male and female are different. Under the curse of sin, we are competitors. Once redeemed, we are complementary: a man, by God’s design, needs help. A woman needs to give help. We fit together like pieces of a puzzle.

 Lifegiver (Genesis 3) — God created women uniquely to literally bring forth new life. The ability to bear children is the obvious mark of His design. Women are also designed to nurture (this includes married and single women). Marred by sin, women despise, neglect or smother their children. The extreme example being abortion. The redeemed woman “does all she can to alleviate the suffering of others … and eagerly seeks to have children, both physically and spiritually.”

 Lady of Wisdom (Proverbs 1-9, 31) — “Wisdom is the body of God’s creation principles.” In the book of Proverbs “she is personified as a woman.” As created by God, she is the “inviter and hostess, reprover and teacher, counselor, protectress, patron and friend.” In our fallen state, women model not wisdom, but folly. They deny Truth and do what feels right, rather than what is right (biblical examples: Eve, Delilah, Potiphar’s wife and the Proverbs woman of folly). Once redeemed, women can become wise by mastering skills and studying to develop their minds. Skillful and intellectual women are in a position to influence their world for God’s kingdom (biblical examples: Proverbs 31 wife; Ruth; Esther and the wise woman of Abel).

 Glory of Man (1 Corinthians 11, Ephesians 5) — As created, woman “glorifies her husband and her heavenly King with submission, adornment, purity and love. She emulates the Church’s membership, as her husband emulates Christ’s headship.” In her fallen state, woman makes her beauty an end in itself, leading ultimately to ugliness (shame, lust, pride and sexual perversion, for examples; see Isaiah 3 and Ezekiel 16). Once redeemed, a woman is free to use her beauty for the benefit of her heavenly father and when married, for her husband.

 Because this trait is so interdependent on created man, a godly woman must “find a man who commands her respect and wins her love; to please, be beautiful for, desired and cherished by such a man.”

As you can see, becoming godly is no less a process of learning and practice for women than it is for men. In summary, we must as men and women, strive for spiritual strength and maturity, “full of the basic virtues, if we are ever going to be a glory with the opposite sex…. Masculine authority does not limit [a woman’s] giftedness; rather it increases the effectiveness of [her] labors.”1

NOTE: Quoted material, other than Scripture verses, are taken from Barbara Mouser, Five Aspects of Woman, (Waxahachie: International Council for Gender Studies, 2002).

Copyright 2007 Candice Watters. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.

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It’s amazing how the things that happen in our lives that seem like negative events are often things that make way for our lives to be better. God has a better plan than I do, and He can see the bigger picture. I just have to have faith that he will fulfill His promises and that He knows best.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7

Most of you who will read this blog know that I had a music teaching position last year for 6 months, in lieu of a teacher who had to suddenly leave. I was not selected to continue in the position, as there were other more qualified and more experienced people who were interviewed. I also was passed over for another position for reasons that I believe were less than legitimate. I was rather frustrated with this for a while, really wanting to be able to help my husband in payment of the bills, his college loans, and general savings. I also wanted to be able to have some fairly decent health insurance, and have a better standard of living than I had been able to in the early years of my life. I was somewhat depressed by the turn of events; I had been so looking forward to having a full-time job!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Now I realize that God has put me in a wonderful position in life! I currently teach music lessons twice a week; I have about 9 students total, and I am clocked in for about 6-8 hours a week (depending upon the lesson schedule). I also substitute teach every week, usually averaging 2 days per week, though sometimes I get longer jobs for teachers out on illness, vacation, etc. I have the opportunity to practice my teaching skills in varying classrooms and I am able to experience different teaching styles through the lesson plans given me by the absent teachers. I use the time that I am not working to keep the house looking neat and clean, run errands, cook/bake, study scripture, practice music for church worship team, exercise, pay bills, manage the mail, grocery shop, and do laundry. I am able to spend time with my sister occasionally, and help her with college tasks. I have time to develop skills needed to care for my husband and be a good and loving wife. I nearly always have the house cleaned up and smelling nice, dishes done, and dinner on the table when my husband gets home from work. He doesn’t have to do anything! Once a week I usually attempt some form of new culinary or baking venture so that my husband has something delicious and different to eat, and isn’t stuck with the same foods every day. I also enjoy making healthier foods (I made fresh bread!) that aren’t processed or canned. And the best part is that I can just spend time relaxing with my husband when he gets home — neither of us have to be stressed or rushing around to get things done in the evening because it is already finished. I love being a part-time worker and full-time housewife!

All this is to say, when God closes a door for you he has another one open somewhere that he wants you to go through. It may not be open yet, and you may not recognize it when you walk through it, but have faith and patience and you will see that God has everything under control. 🙂

” Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31

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I’m sitting here in a little coffee shop in downtown Safety Harbor with my boyfriend, looking out the window at the still-lighted trees and watching all the passers-by in the fading twilight hours of a rainy Florida day. I felt inspired to write what I have been thinking about; how two souls, with two very different personalities, can come to be one.

The Bible says in Mark 10, “…at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” While we all know that this passage, in its most basic form, refers to the sexual (and also emotional) union of a husband and wife, I think there is certainly more to it. In our society, where we spend so much time with our significant other before marriage, we become far more connected and “one” with each other before marriage. The time we spend together, talking, praying, attending church, snuggling, kissing, etc. brings us close together and helps us to form a very unique and tight bond, that we will never have with another person. This is one of the reasons why we are told to guard our hearts above all else, because our heart is the wellspring of our life, everything we do is affected by it. (Proverbs 4:23)We must be careful that we don’t become too emotionally attached before we are married to our sweetheart.

While we need to be careful how close we get, I have been realizing how wonderful it is to have that person to connect to, and how wonderful our differences are. My boyfriend and I are very different in many ways; we have differing backgrounds, tastes, preferences, mannerisms, dispositions, and ways of analyzing things. As we go through our lives together I realize that, because of this, life can be twice as beautiful and twice as sweet. I get to see beautiful things and hear wonderful music through two sets of eyes, and two pairs of ears. Things that I may notice and appreciate in a passage from a book or a portion of a sermon may be different from things that my boyfriend notices, and we both benefit from these insights. When we eat together, we try different things that may be unusual to us, and we often share the meals we eat; this makes the world so much more delicious and twice as sweet. We learn new traditions and share our unique cultural heritages–the world is twice as colorful. Through two pairs of eyes, two minds, and two hearts we experience the world together as one, and it is so much more sweet, and beautiful, than it would be alone.

Two souls, two eyes,

One heart, one mind.

Beating, blinking,

Loving, thinking.

Sharing all the earth,

Sorrow and mirth.

Two hearts, four eyes,

One love, one life.

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“for love of You
i’m a sky on fire
for love of You
i come alive
it’s Your Sacred Heart within me beating
Your voice within me singing
(out for love of You)
it’s all for you”

It’s amazing to see what we will do for the love of our most beloved one. A popular country song by Faith Hill says, “I’d go and capture the moon/That’s what I would do/Just to hear you say that you love me.” It a beautiful sentiment, and it touches my heart deeply; there are days when I cannot listen to that song without crying, because I love Justin so much. In every love song there is an echo of God’s love for all of us; every precious promise to always be there, each tear shed for a loved one in pain, and every heartbeat that longs to be near the one it loves. This is how Christ feels about us. How deep the father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure, that He would send his only son to make a wretch his treasure. If only we could love Him as much as he loves us.

It’s astonishing to me to see what I do to show my love for my sweetheart, and sometimes it’s things that I do that help me love him, even if he doesn’t see it. I try to maintain a good appearance, and attitude, and do things that will bring joy to him. I have been on a diet and exercising, to lose some weight and be healthier in general. Before I go to see him I make sure that I am wearing something cute, and that my hair and makeup look good; I particularly try to wear things that he has said that he finds attractive, and I avoid wearing things that he dislikes. I always try to keep a positive attitude and be cheerful for him, particularly when he’s down. I try to encourage him daily, telling him the sweet and uplifting things that every man likes to hear their woman say. I pray for him; for his specific needs, for me to be the best girlfriend I can be, and for our relationship to honor God. I study the Bible, and try to develop good womanly skills like cooking, sewing, encouraging, and making my home a welcoming and peaceful place. I also try never to say or think anything that will tear us apart…many women get into the habit of bashing their sweethearts to their friends, in public, or mentally, and then they become bitter and stop treating their husbands/boyfriends right. Justin deserves better than that; all our men do.I thank God for Justin every day, and that in itself is a form of blessing. When I worship and praise the Lord, I also think of Justin, and I praise God for the wonderfulness that He has brought to me in our relationship. 🙂

Justin is a very busy guy, he does a lot with school, work, and the musical he’s working on, in addition to spending time with me. I know that simple things can bring pleasure, so I try to do things like bring him dinner at school (sometimes I get to stay and eat dinner with him), bring snacks when I know he has late night ahead, run errands for him, and sometimes I’ll leave a frosty (his favorite treat) in the fridge at his work so he can find a yummy surprise when he goes in to an overnight shift. When I see him and I know he’s had a long day, I make sure I: let him take a nap, cook dinner for him, give him a massage, talk to him, and let him pick what we do that night (movie, puzzle, video games, etc.). I try to do things in my life that will honor him: not get too close to other guys, do things that will help ME love him more, etc. Communication is very important too; I wish I could have him close to me always, or at least be able to talk to him whenever I wanted (I am very sad when I don’t hear from him all day). Sometimes I leave him letters at school, and messages on facebook, to encourage him and help him through the day. I always try to tell him what’s on my mind, to help me think clearly, and to keep him from having to guess at what I need in the relationship (boys aren’t always good at that. lol.). On those days when I do get to see him I am so excited I can barely contain myself; when we’re finally together I don’t want to let him out of my sight!

If we do all these things for a flawed human being, doesn’t God deserve even more? What if we thought so much about what God was going to see us wearing? Would he see an attractive and modest girl who wants to look her best and protect the eyes of the men around her? Would he see women and men who want to take care of their temple (their body)? What if we desired to be in contact with Him daily; if going a few hours without talking to Him would bring us as much sadness as not talking to our sweetheart does? Maybe we wouldn’t be able to sleep until we said goodnight, or couldn’t make a major decision without talking to Him first. Or perhaps we would change how we talked (and thought) about God and about other people; we would keep a closer watch on our words and keep profanity and perversity from our lips. Would we make everything an offering to him? Our time, our money, our talent? Would we share the things God has given us with others, as we do with our lovers, or would we keep every good thing for ourselves? It would be wonderful if we were always excited to be close to Him, if we would hate to be away from Him. Imagine if we loved God as much as we loved our sweethearts; the world would be a better place. Just a thought on the parallels of love.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17b-19

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My boyfriend Justin is so wonderful, do you want to know why?

Justin is sweet, romantic, and dorky. He whispers sweet nothings in my ears and tells me cute things. Justin is a very handsome man, tall and slender, with beautifully sad green eyes. He leaves me sweet texts and messages on facebook, tells me I’m beautiful, and he picks flowers for me for no particular reason. 🙂 One of the first sweet messages he sent me, while he was working overnight security: “Good morning fair maiden. I kept watch over your kingdom during the night, now the day is yours and I must rest. Go forth and bless the land with your grace.” *sigh*

He is very protective of me, and is always wary when it comes to other guys. I really appreciate his protectiveness and slight jealousy over my attention; it makes me feel valued. I feel safe when I am with him, when I’m wrapped in his arms…there is no place I like to be better than snuggled up close to him, safe and warm. ^.^

He is a strong Christian and desires to please God with his actions. He is also a prayer; he always prays before meals and he often prays with me. He also prays for me when I am not there, and I really like that a lot. He is trustworthy and honest, a man of his word. I have no fear when I talk to him; when I ask if something is wrong (or whatever) I don’t have to worry that he is holding something back from me; if there is something he needs in our relationship that he isn’t getting, he tells me. I also know that I can trust him around other women…he keeps his mind clean, and doesn’t even pay attention to anyone else. Communication is highly important in a relationship, and I think that we communicate very well. If there is something bothering one of us, we can talk about it easily. Whatever it is, we’re comfortable discussing it because we want to keep our relationship healthy. I think it is very refreshing to have someone who can be so honest and open with me. We are also going to start doing devotionals together soon; just another step to keep our relationship strong and God-centered. 🙂

Something fun about Justin is that he is Jewish, or as he would say, “Jew-‘ish’.” He uses random Yiddish phrases fairly often and it makes me giggle. He is very funny! He likes puns a lot and will often go off on a long string of them. He is a drama kid, does some amusing impressions, and frequently writes comedy with his roommate. The two of them are hilarious together!

A neat thing is that he also likes the Medieval and Renaissance time periods; we actually met at a Ren Faire (through a friend), and have been back several times together. Of course we went in costume! I wore a medieval dress and he wore his kilt! 😀 (The first text he sent me was a picture he took while in Ireland…we want to go there someday together.) When we visited his family up north over Christmas break he showed me his sword collection, and we brought back his little gaming figures that he had painted; he did a nice job on them. They are from Lord of the Rings! He really likes LotR, and Princess Bride, and things like that. We often use quotes from our favorite fantasy epics and science fiction shows. We both enjoy sci-fi television shows; we watch an episode of Stargate every time we get a chance. (I haven’t seen very many of them, so we’re working our way through the seasons.) Next up: Star Trek!

Something that really makes Justin stand out from other guys is his sensitivity to my needs and desires. He is always checking on me to make sure that I am ok, that I have what I need in our relationship, and that I am provided for in the ways that make me happy. He often buys gasoline for me, goes places with me when he’s had little sleep, helps me eat healthier food, and makes sure that he has paid enough attention to me. On those days when I’ve overtired or feeling hormonal he takes very good care of me too! He knows how to calm me down when I’m stressed out, and can always cheer me up when I’m feeling sad. And when past memories make me emo, or I’m bothered by some guy, he is very understanding and patient with me.)He always knows the right thing to say, and his hugs and nuzzles make everything better! ^.^ He is also very observant of things that I need or want. For my birthday he bought me a wooden pennywhistle. I had mentioned once somewhere in the beginning of our friendship that I would like to have one someday, and he got it for me! 😀 For Christmas he bought the third book in the Eragon books, and also got me some plastic eld ears. I know it’s silly, but I thought it was cute!

It’s rare these days to find a guy as responsible and hard working as my love is. He works long hours overnight doing security at his school, and has worked twenty-four hour shifts before, just so he could have off to go somewhere with me. He always takes pride in his grades, and works hard to make sure that he gets all his school work done and makes good grades in his classes. He keeps a schedule, and doesn’t just do things willy-nilly and irresponsibly like many college guys do. And even when he has a lot of work to do, he still makes time for me to meet my needs as well. He’s amazing!

I really appreciate that Justin is also very willing to do things that I ask him to do; like sing, or cook. He’s not a musician (I am a music education major) but he has a nice voice, and he likes Renaissance/Folk music almost as much as I do. I’ve asked him to sing more often, because I like it, and so he does. 🙂 I also think it is a good thing that he learn how to cook, and he agrees that it is a necessary skill, so he always helps me in the kitchen and is very willing to learn how to cook yummy food, so that someday in the future (if we marry) he will be able to take care of me and of any children we might have. Lately I’ve been trying to lose some weight and get in shape; a few times a week I go walking/jogging with some friends in the morning. Justin often goes with me because he is very supportive of anything I really want to do; he’s always been that way. He is encouraging in my efforts to be healthy, he supports my work as a composer, and keeps me from feeling too down when music stuff at school is irritating. He attends church, family gatherings, and random events that I ask him to go to. He comes to church picnics, my sibling’s concerts, and whatever it is that I ask him to go to. He’s so wonderful!

It makes me happy too that he gets along with my family. He and my father have theological and intellectual conversations, and my siblings always jump on him and give him a big hug when they see him. It is reassuring to know that my family really likes him. I think if I don’t marry him that my dad just might! He enjoys spending time with them I think, and I feel comfortable enough to leave him alone with my family. Hehe. 🙂

I know it’s silly, but I like the fact that he is nerdy, and very intelligent. We find sci-fi to watch, video games to play, and nerdy things to download. He is very good with computers and internet stuff, and is so very smart. We discuss interesting hypotheses about things and have fun being dorky together. We also talk about theology and history and music. It’s nice to have someone smart to talk to who is always willing to listen to whatever silly thing you have to say.

You may have heard of the book, The Five Love Languages, by Chapman. It’s a really interesting read. There are five main love languages, and if you can figure out which ones you and your friends identify with most it is very helpful. Justin and I share the same top three love languages, though we all use all five of them; quality time, physical affection, and words of affirmation. He is very good about spending time with me, telling me things that make me feel loved, and he is very affectionate. He is so sweet and tender, sometimes just a kiss on the cheek can make me melt. :’)

Justin is such an amazing boyfriend, and is my best friend. I love him so very much! We are coming up on our eleven month-a-versary in a few day, and I hope that we can be together for many years to come. He is such a precious gift from God. Thank you, Jesus, for bringing us together. Thank you, Justin, my handsome sweet prince, for being so wonderful to me. I love you!

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This year has been quite an interesting one for me, though it shouldn’t come as a surprise, my college life has been one big adventure so far. I’ve had many things happen to me this past year, a lot of them very good, and some of them very very bad…

I’ve had my heart broken, my trust betrayed, my kindness and friendship taken advantage of. I’ve been disappointed, in myself and others. I gave my heart to someone who couldn’t take care of it. I’ve lost friends, and discovered that people who I thought were my friends, really weren’t. I’ve been lied to and manipulated, by those I loved dearly. I’ve been taken for granted. I’ve watched my friends argue and fight and end their friendships. School has been intense too. I don’t know what I want to do with my life. I thought God wanted me in music, but I’m not so sure anymore. I’ve discovered new depths to my fear of being alone. I’ve been to two funerals in the past four months, and they were only two weeks apart. One of them was a young man who I never really knew, but the legacy that he left with my friends is a testament to the wonderful man that he was. I will miss him, because he so strongly affected my friends. The second was one of my dad’s old friends. He was my parent’s best man, he went to college and later taught school with my dad (they even had the same laugh), he was one of my teachers in middle school, and eventually taught at my high school. I attended both his wedding, and his funeral. I’ve seen my father’s health deteriorating, and know that finances in the family are not good.

BUT.

I’ve also been in love, which is a wonder in itself. I’ve known the joy of being close to someone, of being held in the arms of a man who loved me…who would kiss me softly and tell me that everything’s going to be ok.  I’ve made friends who think I’m amazing, who tell me I’m beautiful, and I know they love me and will be there if ever I need them. I’ve gotten closer to my girl friends…mostly Deanna, Erin, Kat, and Heather. I never thought that Kat and I would be that close, but I am so very glad we are. I’ve had friends comfort me when I was down and hurting, when I wasn’t able to be strong anymore. I’ve met some wonderful Christian guys in this past year, like Tom, Brian, and Ben…guys I can talk to who will encourage me to Christ…I am very thankful for them. I’ve gotten closer to some of my older friends…Travis, Justin, Jennifer F., and a few others. I’ve made random friends out of the blue, who I feel like I can truly trust…like Kristen. I’ve seen other friendships grow and blossom, people I introduced to each other becoming good friends. I’ve been to one wedding, seen multiple engagements, and have weddings to look forward to in the near future. I’ve seen children growing up and laughing. I have friends who have gotten married, and I see their love for each other grow; I see their children being born. My sister and I are getting closer. Actually becoming what sisters should be. We have had a couple “girl talks” and  I am excited for the time when we can really be friends and trust each other…we’ve NEVER gotten along in the past. My father’s health may not be the best…but he’s ALIVE. And the doctors often tell him that he shouldn’t be. My brother is growing up and doing great things, and I am so proud of him.

My life is changing…my thoughts and emotions are being rearranged. My hopes, desires, and dreams are not the same as they once were. The way I view people and the world is getting scrambled. How I interact, how I love, how I care for others…it’s all changing. My future is uncertain, this is true, but it’s also true that GOD IS IN CONTROL. He’s changing me, molding me…the things that happen all have a purpose. If I’ve lost or gained friendships, it’s happened for a reason. All the hurt and frustration that I’ve gone through, though less than some, will teach me things that I need to know. I’m learning how to trust again. I’m learning how to show love, and be vulnerable. God is good. I don’t know what exactly he’s doing, but I do know that he is good, and only wants good for my future. I may have to go through some things before reaching the mountaintop…but I know that I am not alone as I walk through the valley. Thank you Jesus for your great grace and mercy…and love. I thank you Jesus for your love.

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