Waiting For Happily Ever After

Sister, did you cry on Valentine’s day?
Me too.

Did your heart maybe say some ugly words as you walked past the couple staring lovingly into each other’s eyes while you were getting your coffee?
Me too.

Did you laugh and smile when they said it’s also “Happy Single’s Awareness Day,” and pretend that it was all okay?
Me too.

 Pieces // Steffany Gretzinger // From the album "Have It All":
photo via Pinterest

I was hoping that this Valentine’s Day I’d be happy and carefree and proud to be single.
But no.
It was hard to see my best friends that evening and know that they had a romantic date to get to yet that night while I was headed to a café to eat alone. And go home. Alone.

And not have a boy that you love to give you a hug and tell you that he loves you and he hoped you had a fabulous Valentine’s Day.

If you’re there too,

Sister, I feel you. Join the club.

We just want our Prince Charming to come riding up today, DANG IT.

We so easily get trapped in that feeling of loneliness that is so hard to climb out of. The enemy knows how to keep our hearts captive by feeding the lies that there will never be a boy to love you and everyone thinks you’re ugly and you’ll be alone for the rest of your life.

The enemy is quick to point out all the cute tumblr couples and sappy Instagram posts and perfectly posed Pinterest pictures that are all great on their own, but lead to comparison so quickly if we let them. We want a boy to love us NOW.

But is that what we really want?

Do we really want to skip these seasons of our lives and go straight to the end? This time of year hurts for many people, but the Lord has a big plan through it all. Maybe this wasn’t the Valentine’s Day that you were hoping for and the movies and cards and sappy Instagram posts made you cry, but it’s not over yet.

This season is contributing to your happily ever after.
It’s all part of the real-life fairy tale, and the ending will be oh so much sweeter if you let the Lord do His thing, and not force a relationship that isn’t His best for you.

It is so easy when you’re lonely to be so desperate for someone to love you that you are willing to throw your heart out to the first boy who will pay attention and tell you you’re pretty.
It’s not worth it.

You’ll know when it’s HIS best for you, and please don’t settle for anything less.

 

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Be Gentle With Yourself

Completely unrelated picture, but ya’ll this Starbucks drink is the BOMB and its only $1. Does it get any better? Nope.

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Sometimes, we forgive others for things we don’t forgive ourselves for.

Extending to that other girl grace and patience and forgiveness while I hold myself to a standard I would never force anyone else to meet.

Unrealistic standards.

Cruel standards.

Be perfect, sit up straight, look perfect, talk quietly, don’t let them see the loud and messy. Say this, hold back the tears, make sure they think everything is okay.

We live through days of tension. Always on edge, waiting for the next moment where we have to prove that we are okay, and we are good enough.

We have our parents who accept us unconditionally and friends who tell us we’re beautiful. So why is there still that tugging on your heart? Telling you that you aren’t good enough? Telling you to not take that risk because it might put you in a position of vulnerability.

Don’t live like that .

That’s not where you were meant to live. Relinquish those chains that you bind yourself with. The devil wants to tie you up with intimidation. fear. uncertainty.

Our Lord wants to break you out of prison with grace and love.

Breathe in. Feel that? That beating heart? That’s a result of grace. So breathe it in as if you can’t live without it. Because you can’t. God extends bucket loads of grace for every moment, so grab it. Why would you hold yourself to a standard that doesn’t allow you the thing you need the most?

Maybe extending grace to yourself means unfollowing that person on instagram that makes you feel “less than.”

Maybe extending grace means quitting the comparison, and getting your joy back.

Maybe extending grace means giving yourself permission. Permission to be vulnerable and admit that you aren’t okay. Permission to say no. Permission to say yes.

Maybe extending grace means being gentle with yourself. Knowing that you are going to mess up, but that’s okay. Knowing that God’s grace can cover any mess up or failure. Knowing that God doesn’t expect you to be perfect, so you shouldn’t either.

 

It’s getting real.

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“Self Protection: the self-centered commitment to act without courage, compassion, boldness, and tenderness for the sake of the other.”

“Self-protection is the intentional, though usually unconscious disposition that offers the other anything but the heart.

Self-protection can be dressed either in codependent maneuvering that lacks self-identity, freedom of choice and strength, or in counter-dependent distancing that alienates through self assertion, demanding control, or intimidation.

In either case, in extreme or subtle form, there is a failure to offer both a tender and a strong heart.” (from the book Bold Love, by Allender and Longman)

I do not want to be a woman who self-protects her heart. I want to be a woman who is authentic. Who is REAL to everyone she comes in contact with.

So right now, I’m gonna be super real, and share with you all something I wrote in a journal on a night that impacted my life.

“It’s gonna be hard, and it’s gonna hurt. Coming before God with all of my messiness. He is so HOLY, and I’m so…….me. Messy, controlling, self-conscious. I self-protect my heart instead of fully giving God room to come through for me and show Himself faithful in the hard times when I had to step out and be brave. He’s not going to let me down, because He is faithful.  But I have guilt. So much. But He covers that with love & grace. We sing about freedom, but do I feel free? Or do I feel bound by shame? What would it look like to be real? unedited? open? intimate?  I am messy. He is not. He is worthy. I am not. Jesus is willing to meet me in that messiness and show my His goodness. Am I…..Can I be willing to fully surrender & be open to Him? He wants to pick up the scattered pieces. He wants to break the chains and set me free.”

After I wrote this, I was super pumped to go out and be brave. be bold. be totally open with people and my Lord. and then I was like, wait, how do I actually do this?

I don’t know about you all, but I get super excited when I hear an inspirational message, and then that excitement dies down because I don’t know how to actually live it out in my own life. what exactly does it look like to have a heart that doesn’t self-protect? what does it look like to be brave?

To me, not self-protecting my heart means I’m going to mess up. Hundreds of times.

Let’s be honest, probably hourly.

Not self-protecting is going to take time. I’m going to have to start over. Because the only person who got it right every time was Jesus Christ. Being bold is a process. It doesn’t happen all at once. I don’t want to pretend I have it all together and create this vision of perfection that other people are jealous of. Because on the inside, I’m probably falling apart. Christ doesn’t expect us to have it all together all the time. He just wants us to be honest. He wants us to reach out to others.

He wants us to talk about Him every. single. chance. we. get.

And sometimes, people might hate you for it. You won’t be everyone’s best friend. “Not everyone is going to love what you say, but it won’t matter when you are more focused on impacting people than impressing people. That’s what matters.” (Jordan Lee from “The Soul Scripts”)

We need to start meeting people where they are. People are often intimidated by someone who seems “perfect.” They won’t want to open up because they afraid they will get judged or looked down upon because they don’t have it all together.

You will do your best impacting when you share your story and your hurts and your struggles. When you strive for purpose and not perfection.

So can we start a revolution? Of being real? Being non-perfect? Being bold with our struggles and stories and how Christ has changed us? Yes? okay cool.

So be bold. Be brave. Share your story. Start impacting people for Christ.

goodnight loves.

 

for the girl without a man

 

via

Growing up, I always looked forward to being a part of the youth group in my church. Every Sunday, watching all the gorgeous girls and cute guys walk down to sit in the bench, I would wonder what it would be like to be “that old.”

I had so many unrealistic expectations. I was sure that I would have enough money to afford the cutest clothes, and be able to go wherever I wanted, always have perfect makeup, have perfect grades, drive the coolest car, and have a boyfriend.

Basically, I would have my life figured out by that point. I was in my awkward stage (whichhhh is pretty much where I still am), and I thought that I would reach a certain point where I would become “cool.”

Story time:

February is always a pretty big month for the youth group. We always have a Valentine’s banquet-and the guys are supposed to ask the girls. As a 12 year old girl, I couldn’t wait to be asked out by the guy I liked. The first year I was in the youth group, I was asked out by a guy. We had fun!

But the second time the Valentine’s banquet came, I wasn’t asked out. I waited for forever. It got closer and closer to February 14. I still wasn’t asked. I had several friends look at me pityingly (is that even a word) and a few asked me how I felt about going alone.

Of course, I gave them a confident smile, and said “Oh, it’s cool. I’m chill with going as my confident, single self.” But inside, I was disappointed. I didn’t feel confident at all. Or beautiful. During the banquet, I felt excluded. I sat a table full of friends laughing with their dates. I didn’t have any fun that night.

All I wanted was to be one of the cool kids. To be noticed. To be asked out for that one date a year.

Maybe that’s how you’re feeling. 

Maybe you feel like the one girl that has never and will never get asked out. You’re watching the popular girls get all the attention, and you wish someone would notice you. You feel like the only girl your age who doesn’t have a boyfriend.

To my single girls. My girls that feel un-confident and un-beautiful because they have never been asked out by a guy. Let me tell you something.

There’s a Man who loves you more than any man on earth ever could. A Man who wrote you a love letter that says more than “I think you’re cute.” Instead it says, ” I created you, and you are beautiful and perfectly made because you were made in MY image. You are treasured and loved.”

You deserve a Man who would die for you. And each one of you can have a personal relationship with someone who DID DIE TO SAVE YOU.

He is in pursuit of your heart, and He will bring far more joy than a date ever could. He is the ultimate Prince Charming-He is the Prince of Peace, the Prince of the universe, and the Prince of your heart.

He loves you to death…..literally. He died to save you 2,000 years ago because He loves you. What guy on earth would do that?