No Guys in 2018: The Beauty in the Break-up- Week Six

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This past week I was a part of a pretty cool award ceremony in my community that recognizes 4 leaders who are under the age of 40. After over 75 nominees, I was selected as one of the 12 finalists. Being a finalist was an incredible experience, especially going through it with my best friend as a finalist, as well. I didn’t end up winning one of the four spots. It’s tempting to feel inadequate, not enough, or disappointed. Because you saw something that was a possibility but others received it instead. It’s in those moments that I realize perspective is one of the biggest keys to happiness. Instead of looking at what we have, we oftentimes look at what we lack instead. It would be easy to forget the beauty and honor of being a finalist if I was only looking at the four winners. And unfortunately I think we do this in the dating world, as well.

Do we value our past relationships?
Do we value the love we gave or received?
Do we value the beauty in the break-up?

When we look at our lives, our lives as singles, do we see the hidden blessings God has given us? I fear sometimes we see the married, happy couples instead. The ones dating. The ones just getting engaged. And the married ones announcing another baby is on the way. And we look at these lives and wonder, “why not me?”

But I pray you look at life so differently. I pray you look back at the relationships you’ve had and appreciate the love you’ve experienced. And if you’ve never experienced being in love, maybe you’re meant to experience that beautiful feeling with only your future spouse. Maybe God is guarding your heart. Protecting it.

If you’re going through a break-up. A hard break-up. Someone you thought you’d marry. I pray you’ll see sooner than later how God has something so incredibly better planned for your life. Because while you might not see it now, I know you will. Instead of God keeping something from you maybe He is preparing you for something so much better. Do you trust Him? Like seriously, do you? Because if you do, you’ll know this hurt is but a fleeting moment. That this pain is not without purpose. God is molding you into the beautiful creature He created you to be.

We are so tempted to look at our lives and question the heartbreak, the loneliness, the timing instead of seeing the freedom, the possibilities, and the steps God has laid before us. Just waiting for us to take. For us to trust in His goodness, His love.

Take those steps. And most importantly, look at those steps and see the beauty of the life laid before you.

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I wish for you a different type of heartbreak this Christmas

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Most of my heartbreak, most of my blog seems to center on romantic heartbreaks. Feelings of rejection, loneliness, a loss in expectations… I hate these heartbreaks the most- not because they are so sad, not because of the pain, but because they are so focused on myself. Isn’t life so much more than myself? So much bigger?

It’s when we pull the mirror down, it’s when we look around the world and see others that we become alive. See things as they were meant to be. See people for who they are instead of through the lens of what they may offer us. Maybe we need to take off the glasses that make us see others as our source of pleasure and put on the glasses that cause us to see into the soul of others… all the pain, hurt, insecurities, and doubt.

I was out doing some last minute Christmas shopping the other night. Some call me a procrastinator; I prefer the term prioritizer;) And I ran into an old friend…

“Hey, how’s it going? Merry Christmas, etc. etc. etc…”

I forget most of our conversation. I was too distracted. He had a tattered piece of paper, with scribbles written on it. It was a grocery list in his hand. A list of items, prices all marked out. Things are certainly tight in our family for various reasons and we are very intentional with our spending but I couldn’t get this guy and his list off my mind for the rest of the evening.

Milk… $3.59
Bread… $1.29
Eggs… $2.19

A hard working guy, just trying to provide for his family. Living paycheck to paycheck. Doing the best he can with what he has. I think sometimes we forget others, I think we don’t care to see their struggles. It’s just easier to look away. Because then we can convince ourselves we don’t have to feel guilty. It’s like we push any goodness we have aside.

But my heart broke that night. And I can’t explain it. I wish I could. But sometimes I just feel I see right through people. Sometimes I feel I see their most vulnerable parts. It is the most painful, yet realest feeling I’ve ever felt.

Maybe that should be how we pray. Maybe we should pray to see things, to see people, the way God does. But if we do, we can’t be afraid of having our hearts broken.

Because I can promise you this, it will indeed break. But it will be in the most incredible way ever. Though there will be pain, you will feel alive.

So I hope your heart breaks. Not for yourself, but for someone else. Because that will be when you truly find yourself.

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I can make the bad guys good for a weekend

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And so can you. But is that really what you want?

He will go to church with you.
He will do some cute devotionals with you.
Pray with you.
He will wait to have sex after marriage.
Whatever you desire spiritually.

But the key word here is “you,” not him. Not what he truly wants or desires. Been there, done that. You do not want to know what I’ve tried to make work. But he wants us so isn’t that good enough? I wish it was but that never works long term. There are too many internal struggles and a whole lot of resentment. God’s grace and a changed heart are the only times I have seen it work out and there were many problems in between. Respect for him is what is lacking and respect is what we want most.

I was listening to the radio and people were calling in to say what changed about their spouse once they got married and the only two mentioned had to do with a wife (now ex-wife) not realizing how religious her husband was prior to them getting married (she says he changed) and another saying after getting married to her husband in a catholic church and him attending church with her while they were dating, she found out he was atheist. Who do we blame? Is someone really at fault?

We either dumb down our faith for the sake of who we think we want to be with or our partner will amuse us by doing, attending, thinking, saying what it is they think we want. I wish I was immune to this fatal trap. An amazing personality, good looks, intellect… They intrigue me and I convince myself they probably have a good heart deep down. And maybe they do. But that doesn’t mean they are the one for me. And it doesn’t mean they are the one for you. I think there is something empowering about feeling like we impacted a guy. They changed their ways because of us. This is how we can quickly become the cause of our own destruction. Because at the end of the day, while you may make the bad guys good for a weekend, they are still bad guys.

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Read this when you’re going through a break-up

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You never want to have this feeling again. It hurts and you feel there is nothing you can do about it. There is no quick fix to relieve this pain. Among all the feelings of anger, sadness, relief, guilt, shame, I think disappointment describes what you feel most. Disappointed things didn’t turn out how you thought they would. There were so many great times. So much potential. So much hope. But it was all shattered. All smoke and mirrors. So many ‘what ifs,’ so many ‘if onlys.’ But while you are dealing with a whirlwind of emotions, let me remind of a few important things you already know while you work on finding yourself once again.

Sever the ties for now

Clean breaks are the best. Don’t kid yourself- you can’t be friends…yet. Unless of course you both didn’t really care about each other, then in that case it would be fine. But you need some time. Time to realize who you are. Time to heal. Time to remember what you really want. And time to understand and know you are okay without this person. We all want to be loved. Desperately. So when the feeling of love is taken from us we naturally grasp for it and want it to return. We think that some feelings (even if they are unhealthy) toward us are better than no feelings at all. But that’s not true. You broke up for a reason. It wasn’t the love you want. Wasn’t the love you are looking for. So wait. Be patient. Control your emotions and don’t let them control you. Because they will change. You know this. And you know this is the best thing for you right now. Even if it doesn’t feel like it.

Regret certain choices but don’t regret the love

You made the choice to love knowing this pain would probably happen. I shouldn’t say probably but you went in knowing it was a possibility. A possibility that was worth the risk. The risk of this now pain. But remember what you know. Love is what makes you alive. And the only way to avoid this pain is to not love. To stay in your box. Closed off to the world. But that’s no way to live. You had lots of good memories. You enjoyed the present without letting fear of another disappointment paralyze you. You made a difference. You gave someone else love. Love they will always remember. At your own expense. Own up to any bad choices you made, but never regret the love you gave.

Turn to Christ

You’re not going to feel this way forever. You’ve been down this road before. I’m sure this relationship was different but the end result is the same. You will get over this person if you want to. But it takes time and it takes action on your part. Ask for forgiveness if you need to. Choose not to grow bitter. You have to choose not to let your love turn to hate. And you have to allow God to come in to heal your broken heart rather than thinking you can do it all on your own. Your Band-Aid approaches of going out more and rebounding may appear to work temporarily but all they are doing is masking the pain. Yes, go out, have fun, continue to live but don’t pretend this pain isn’t real. Allow God to give you clarity, allow Him to help you grow. It’s amazing how He will change your feelings. How He’ll change the way you view your ex. The way you view yourself. Let Him fill the empty void in your heart so when this pain comes, it hurts you but it doesn’t control you, doesn’t destroy you.

I know right now you feel you can never love another the same way again. But you will and it will be a better love, a deeper love. You are questioning whether all the time and investment is really worth the pain because you don’t want to go through this again. But it is. I’m sure you will go through these emotions again. Take time to reflect on what you liked, what you didn’t, and what you learned. So when the next person comes around, you’ll go into it with a little more understanding of who you are and what you’re looking for. But don’t change. Love and love freely. The right one deserves the real you. Not the jaded you. So keep moving forward. Keep putting yourself out there. And keep loving. The right one is more than worth it.

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I could be the perfect girl and still not be good enough because I’m not her

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While I want to be mad at you, I’m really mad at myself right now. One, for letting this go on longer than it should have. But more so, for letting my pride and vanity get in the way of something much more important. You see, I should have known early on when you would mention your ex way too much. But I’m sort of naïve when it comes to this I suppose. I mean why would you be talking to me if you were in love with someone else? But you did. And you continued to. As I look back it was never about seeing if I actually liked you but seeing if I could get you to fall for me because I didn’t want to accept the fact that someone could be better than me. How noble was I?

Maybe I deserved the way you treated me then because can I honestly say I was any better? But the way you made me feel- it’s like an abused victim who keeps going back for more beatings. I had hoped you’d change. That one day I would be pretty enough. One day I would be smart enough. One day, maybe you would think I was good enough. It took awhile but I realized that day was never going to happen. I read a quote on Instagram from @thegoodquote and it hit me like a ton of bricks:

“At your absolute best, you still won’t be good enough for the wrong person. At your worst, you’ll still be worth it to the right person.”

And it was at that point I realized I was done trying. I’ve never had someone make me feel so bad about myself in my entire life, yet you do it under the guise of “I really do like you, Sarah.” What?! I’m not sure if I should feel bad about being treated so horribly or bad for you since you think there’s nothing wrong.

So what exactly makes them the wrong person? Why can’t they be the right one? Why is it then that some of these guys can’t seem to get over that one girl? I’ve still struggled with this. And so has my vanity and pride. Why am I not good enough? What makes her better than me? But you see, many of these stories involve “the one that got away” aka the one that rejected him. The one where he thinks he could have had something great but he messed it up and now is left wondering. And therein lies the root of the problem if we really face it dead on.

The truth is I know how the guys in my life treated their exes and I don’t think it was ever true love. They miss how that girl made them feel and their own pride and vanity was hurt when she left for whatever reason. He was in love with the idea of her and what she represented. Remembering the good, forgetting the bad. I hate to say this but I’d be hard pressed to find a girl that would leave a guy who was truly in love with her. I’m not talking about lust here. Not talking about like or obsession either. True love, in love. A girl knows when she is truly loved and it’s rare to find a girl who would leave that.

I heard a quote once that I enjoyed- “men are like taxi drivers- when they are available, the light goes on.” There is so much truth in that statement. It has nothing to do with you because they don’t even see you yet. You could be the perfect girl but if the guy isn’t (emotionally) available he won’t see it. And he isn’t available because he’s distracted and dependent on that feeling again. He’s obsessed with it. But we won’t call it love. Because if he was really still in love with her he wouldn’t be talking to me. And he wouldn’t be talking to you. No, what he is missing is the love and attention that he was used to and until he gets over himself he’ll never be able to get over “her.” And be careful because you may be next. Remember when he comes crawling back or attempts to chase you this time, it won’t be about you either. It’ll be about him and the way you made him feel and the cycle continues yet again.

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50 notes-to-self regarding relationships

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While I have mixed feelings about checklists, these notes-to-self serve as reminders and guidelines to help me remember truths I have learned from past relationships.

  1. Avoid any physical aspect for as long as possible in a relationship; this will ensure you really like them and not just those feelings.
  2. Ask yourself if it’s him you like or just the idea of him.
  3. Try your hardest to not default to guys you know like you to feed your ego during a break-up. Use this precious time to run to God.
  4. Trust those gut feelings (Holy Spirit) and be brave enough to walk away when you know something doesn’t feel right.
  5. Be strong enough to not make excuses; brave enough to acknowledge red flags.
  6. If talking about God pulls you apart rather than bring you together, run!
  7. Be with someone that truly values and appreciates your best qualities.
  8. You shouldn’t have to talk yourself into it…
  9. Respect and trust for him will either increase or decrease- watch for this and adjust appropriately.
  10. Wait for someone who can love, support, respect, and challenge you and knows how to balance the four correctly.
  11. Love is and always will be the most important thing. You’ll be able to recognize it; he’ll either have it or he won’t.
  12. If he views it as a sacrifice, it isn’t love; love trumps all.
  13. Be with someone who doesn’t give you the option to say no to something he knows you really want/desire.
  14. It will be easy for him to give you attention in one-on-one settings; watch how he treats you when you in groups.
  15. Be with someone who loves you as Crist love the church; after God, and because of God, you will be his #1.
  16. Never be with someone who demeans, belittles, or judges you.
  17. He must have a personal relationship with Christ.
  18. He will never attempt to question your relationship with Christ or come between it.
  19. Wait for someone who is humble. Genuinely humble, not just says he is. Always desiring to learn, grow, and be better than he was yesterday- together.
  20. There is a difference between doing things out of love and out of obedience.
  21. If I don’t feel loved, I’m probably not. Excuses do get old.
  22. Be with someone who cares about my feelings, even if they aren’t always right.
  23. Wait for someone who is proud of me and who I am proud of.
  24. Be with someone who could live without me but will fight and do whatever he can to make sure he doesn’t have to.
  25. Be with someone who enjoys being with me.
  26. He will know what Ephesians 5 means.
  27. He will understand that one of the greatest things he can do for his kids will be to love their mother/his wife.
  28. Wait for someone who gets excited about God with me.
  29. He will be someone I want to submit to.
  30. Don’t rush the relationship. Wait. Watch. And enjoy. Time will tell.
  31. Can I see him being my best friend?
  32. Wait for someone that will encourage me to lead and teach and do what God is calling me to do.
  33. Don’t be with someone who is legalistic but does have strong morals, values, and convictions.
  34. The thing he will love most about me is my heart for Christ.
  35. He will love me as much as I love him because we will both have Christ’s love.
  36. He will fell like the luckiest guy in the world to have me and I will feel the same.
  37. Wait for someone that will challenge me to be better but love me no matter what; love is unconditional.
  38. Watch for someone who is proactive and offers to help and solve problems before you even realize you needed help.
  39. Never judgmental but pushes you to grow in love.
  40. Wait for the one that truly believes that you were worth the wait.
  41. Don’t let anyone abuse you- physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.
  42. You will have fun with him no matter what you are doing.
  43. He won’t have any unhealthy bromances.
  44. Always step back and wait to see if you really like him or you are just emotionally attached; there should be definitive things you like about him.
  45. In the beginning you will see actions; in time, you will see motives.
  46. Time heals. God heals. Sometimes you’ll have to wait for God to mend your heart. Sometimes you’ll have to wait for your feelings to catch up with what you already know deep down.
  47. Wait for someone who initiates and sacrifices.
  48. A real man will use his power to love.
  49. He will value godly things above worldly accomplishments; he will understand God’s heart.
  50. I won’t have any doubts and I’ll just know.

-the virgin heartbreaker

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6 signs you don’t like him as much as you think you do

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So have you ever looked back at a previous relationship and realized you never really liked him as much as you thought? I think for us girls, we tend to like the idea of a guy more than the guy himself. At first, they seem so great so we embrace the relationship but time always tells; don’t get so caught up that you turn a blind eye to definite red flags. Hindsight is 20/20 but here are some clues I should have given a little more weight to in the beginning in order to avoid the heartbreak later.

1) You will tell people some of the bad stuff, but not all of it

I am notorious for this. There is a lot of good in the beginning and you are so infatuated that you don’t want to come off of that high. We tell people all of the wonderful sweet things he does like sending random texts to let us know how he is thinking about us, remembering something we liked at the mall and going back a day later to get it and surprise us with it, or something that showed us how kind and thoughtful he is. The problem with this is in the beginning we only see actions; after time we start to see the motives that are behind them. But we hold onto those actions when clues and red flags start to become visible. And we know it’s wrong which is why we can’t bring ourselves to tell others. Doesn’t the good outweigh the bad? Time will tell but it is imperative to find people that you can tell everything to and who will give an honest, objective opinion if you want to end up in a healthy, loving relationship- even if there are things you don’t necessarily want to hear.

2) You make excuses for him or try to justify his behavior

So those things that you are holding back from telling people about- you know exactly why they are doing them. And you don’t dare to tell anyone about them because they won’t understand like you do. Gag me. We are so dumb sometimes. “He had to deal with a lot in his childhood so it’s really tough for him to show how much he cares,” “he was made fun of a lot while growing up so it’s just that he is insecure.” We should win freakin awards for how creative we become at analyzing and coming up with the reasons our guys do things we know they shouldn’t. You should never have to make excuses for your guy; this will get old fast. We all have things we are working on and need to overcome. Unless your guy admits what he is working on and growing and improving, those traits are probably not going anywhere. Watch him objectively and be open to the truth. It is one thing to be understanding and seek to know your boyfriend’s perspective versus being taken advantage of and abused.

3) You aren’t free to truly be yourself around him

I am a pretty free-spirited girl. I rarely care what people think, seek to make a difference in the world, and try to enjoy life to the fullest. I am very silly by nature and love to laugh and make others laugh. I’m a dreamer and an achiever. Few things excite me more than thinking about all God has planned for my life. Because of these aspects of myself, some people have told me I am intimidating. Well unfortunately I have dated some guys that have seemed to squash the joy right out of me. I’ve felt judged so I held back. I’ve had guys ask why rather than why not. Your guy should bring out the best in you, not the worst. Never get so caught up in a relationship that you lose who you are.

4) You don’t feel that he really loves you

I believe that the most beautiful girl is one that knows how much she is loved. While I still think this happens best when you know how much God loves you, being loved by your man definitely influences your life. Christ commanded husbands to love their wives like Christ loved the church in Ephesians 5. This is not just a simple “I love you, babe.” It’s hard to write a how-to on that because love is something you either have or you don’t. Women who are loved are free to be themselves; women who aren’t start changing their behavior because they are seeking that love. It’s awful and heartbreaking to watch or go through. You start to hate him for not loving you and you start to hate who you’ve become as a result.

5) You doubt their relationship with Christ

This one is crucial. If you end up getting married, you will become one with him. Knowing they have a solid relationship with Christ is imperative, as he will be leading your home. This shouldn’t scare you because if he really knows Christ, he will also understand the importance of loving his wife. This will be comforting and not scary as you will grow in your love, trust, and respect for him. But if you don’t trust their relationship with Christ, you could be putting yourself if a very dangerous situation. Many people say they are Christians and play church very well. But watch their actions and watch for their personal relationship with Christ. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

6) The thought of marrying him scares you more than the thought of breaking up with him

This one is the toughest to come to terms with but really shows where your heart is and what you know down deep. No one likes breaking up. But the harsh reality is every relationship you enter into either ends in a break-up or a marriage. Really puts things into perspective doesn’t it? Few things are worse than being stuck in a marriage with someone simply because you were lonely and just liked having someone there. Wait for the one you can’t imagine living without; the one you are willing to say no to every other guy for. Sometimes we get scared that we won’t find someone better but that should never be a reason to be with someone. God has the best for you. Don’t settle. You will know when you find him.

-the virgin heartbreaker

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