Rejection or God’s protection?

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I feel like I could marry anyone. I really do. If I make up my mind that I am supposed to marry someone or I feel like someone is the one God has planned for me, I will commit to make it work. Through all the good, through all the bad. There have been several exes that I would have settled with. I realize the word settle may be a bit harsh but I don’t mean a settling of someone less than me, I mean settling for someone other than the one God has picked out for me. Some will argue God doesn’t have anyone picked out for us or that He isn’t even really all that interested in our love lives- it’s up to us to make our decisions and then ask Him to bless the relationship. But I think that is silly. Of all the things God can do and does, what makes us think He wouldn’t care about our love life? He cares about everything because He loves us so much.

There were several guys I had thought may have been “the one.” Honestly, every time I start dating a guy, there is that hope. Some of these relationships it became quite apparent they were not the one for me. Other times, my stubborn side came out and I was determined to try and make it work. It was during some of these times, I have been rejected in ways that would make anyone feel less than human.

I was talking earlier this week and someone was shocked to hear that I have been rejected. Of course I’ve been rejected. Jason, Shane, Mike, Dan, Patrick, Josh, Alex, I could go on… And their opinions of me didn’t make it any easier. Not fun enough. Not sexy enough. Not wild enough. A prude. A goody-goody. Too spiritual… Words that sting. Words that make you doubt your worth. Why do we begin to feel worthless if we aren’t wanted? Worth and want are not synonymous.

And it took me awhile to finally come to the realization: Not everyone will like me… and that’s okay!

It’s a hard pill to swallow. Because my pride takes a hit. Feeling like I’ve been rejected by rejects. People that I now wouldn’t give a second thought to. In the moment though, longing for someone else to come along to make me feel worthy. Someone to make me feel valuable. To tell me that I am desirable. That I matter.

Looking back, I don’t view it as rejection anymore. I see it as God’s protection. God stepping in. God intervening. God willing to watch me suffer a little pain of being rejected rather than watching a lifetime of pain married/joined to the wrong one. I broke up with the ones I didn’t see a future with, and God allowed the others to break up with me so I wouldn’t look back in regret. Because rejection is so much better than regret. God, being the best father possible, protecting me when I was too distracted to protect myself.

My life amazes me sometimes. It’s funny how the guys that have once rejected me always seem to find me again. A random text. A Facebook message. Wanting to meet up. Wanting to date. Wanting to try again. But things are different now. My rose colored glasses have been lifted. My worth not coming from their want. And I realize God knew what He was doing all along.

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Concern versus control- 25 ways to tell the difference

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I’m finally able to finish and wrap up my posts centered on abuse. For some reason I couldn’t finish but now I can. This one is hard to learn and navigate because I’m so independent. How do you know if someone is genuinely concerned for you or is just trying to control you?

Getting out of an abusive relationship can be difficult and dangerous. You sure you didn’t do something to make him mad? He looks so sad. Forgive and forget. When you love someone- you stay with them through the bad stuff and you know why they do what they do (their childhood, etc.) so you excuse their behavior. We forget it’s possible to forgive and still leave. We forget it’s possible to still love and say no more. You don’t allow yourself to keep being abused.

A simple internet search shows us signs of abuse. Does your boyfriend act in ways that scare you, does he act jealous or possessive, does he try to control you or need to know where you are at all times, does he check your email, phone messages, or texts? Does he tell you what to wear or make you change your clothes? Does he call you or text you excessively or insist that you answer his calls within a specific frame of time? Does he shove, hit, or kick you? Does he blame you for the hurtful things he says or does?

Concern for your well-being is good; control is not. Sometimes it can be very difficult to tell the difference because the difference may be in motives and not necessarily actions. Here’s 25 ways to try and help you navigate:

Concern wants to make your life better; control wants you to make their life better

Concern encourages your own identity; control gradually steals your identity

Concern wants you to pursue your dreams; control finds reasons for you to pursue theirs

Concern helps you to seek God for answers; control tells you they already have the answers

Concern wants you to be happy; control wants you to be only happy with them

Concern convicts; control condemns

Concern is protective; control is suspicious

Concern feels pain when he’s hurt you; control feels empowered

Concern feels bad for mistakes made; control tells you we all make mistakes

Concern guides you; control guilts you

Concern helps to bring out the real you; control suppresses the real you

Concern cares about your convictions; control cares only about theirs

Concern is open and direct; control is secretive and vague

Concern talks rationally; control talks in extremes

Concern protects; control threatens

Concern accepts responsibility for their actions; control excuses their behavior and twists it back to put the blame on you

Concern is humble and looks for ways to improve; control highlights their strengths

Concern cares about your desires and needs; control has to have their way

Concern makes you feel safe; control makes you look for ways out

Concern makes you feel free; control makes you feel in bondage

Concern brings clarity; control brings confusion

Concern leaves you with peace; control leaves you in denial

Concern is always honest; control lies if it’s in his best interest

Concern respects your boundaries; control looks for ways to invade them

Concern loves you, control wants you

Because some of these do have to do with motives and not actions, one of the best things on your side is time. Does he do what is right to avoid negative consequences, to maintain his image, or for admiration or is he motivated by Christ’s love? Don’t refuse to look at all angles of a person or take the time to observe their behavior objectively because you are afraid to face the truth. It’s easy to watch their behavior when everything is going great but what happens when you disagree? What are they like under pressure? If there is something they are hiding, there is something they haven’t dealt with yet. And if they haven’t had time to heal, they will attempt to go through the healing process at your expense. A person needs to be complete in Christ or they will end up abusing you in an attempt to find wholeness.

Honestly, at the end of the day, concern doesn’t even look like control. Not when you take the time to step back and look at it objectively, putting your emotions to the side. Concern will feel like love. A love that puts you before themselves. And control will not. So if you’re already questioning, you already know.

– the virgin heartbreaker

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Single but not alone

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I’ve been wanting to write this post for awhile now but life has a way of creeping in and stealing ALL my motivation. However, I think this weekend is the perfect time to get these feelings out. Around this same time last year, I wrote a post entitled “4 months, 4 holidays, 4 ever alone” It’s funny how things can change over the course of a year. I remember thinking last year how crappy it is to be alone during four of my favorite holidays, two of which are very romantic, in my opinion. I was also sick last year during Thanksgiving so it’s possible that contributed to my sulking, as well:p.

I feel like God has been ridding me of anyone and anything lately. I’m not the type of girl who always has to be in a relationship but I am the type who always has to have a potential. A prospect. Someone that could be “the one.” This year is different though. I wish I could put into words how I feel. For the first time, in a long time, there is no one. And it’s a strange feeling. I keep getting these reminders, these quotes, these scriptures. Reminders there is something bigger than my future husband. It seems so silly when you write it or say it out loud. But isn’t that how we live? Pinterest boards. “Dear future husband” letters. Going out. Staying in. Dating sites. If we were honest with ourselves, if we took a good long look at our lives, I think we’d be surprised how much of our time, how much of our lives are centered around a person we have yet to meet.

It’s funny how we hold onto to the hope of at least one. Because then our hope is justified. At least there is a possibility. I’ve lived a majority of my life like that. “Well, if it really comes down to it, I could always marry <insert name-of-guy-who-has-been-friend-zoned here>.” Why do we do that? Because the unknown is terrifying. We like to plan, we want to feel we are in control of our lives. So we make up stories in our heads to comfort ourselves. Sounds crazy when you write it down but it’s scary how true it is.

But this year, I have no one. No one as a back-up. No guy I could make it work with. No guy worth settling for. I’ve let go of them all. I don’t think my circumstances have changed too much. I think I’m just better at accepting reality. Actually not just accepting but embracing reality. Coming to terms with what I really want and desire most. I’ve seen a lot of relationships and marriages that have made me appreciate my singleness more. I think all too often we take our singleness for granted, as if its sole goal is to search for someone. But this time has allowed me to grow closer in my relationship with God. I’m reminded of when Paul is talking to the Corinthians about having an undivided heart. And I now understand. There is such a peace and freedom just in having Christ. I never feel “alone.” God’s love has filled me in ways I can’t begin to describe.

Sometimes I miss the good morning and good night texts. I miss knowing there is a guy thinking about me. I miss not having a date to certain functions. Instead I get awkward conversations. I’ve gotten everything from the “don’t worry, he’s out there” to “enjoy it” with the look of ‘I’m miserable in my marriage so please enjoy your singleness for the both of us.’ So many people say singleness is a gift but it doesn’t feel that way when you desire to be loved and have kids. I know it’s hard at times. And sometimes you start to lose faith, start to lose hope because you can’t see. You can’t see your future with anyone you know. So it freaks you out. You start to doubt and start to wonder if you’ll be forever alone. But do you know what hope and faith mean? They reach beyond what we can see and they trust. They trust God. And it is in those moments I’m reminded of the things I love. Things that make me not miss it all. Do I still hope to someday get married? Absolutely. But hope is not hope if you have a plan of how to make it happen. Hope is waiting for the unseen, the unknown, with excitement because you know that whatever God has planned for you is far greater than you could ever plan for yourself. Hope is letting go and trusting in something greater than you. There is no need to justify being single because while you may be single, you are certainly not alone.

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