Early this morning while at work (still on the graveyard shift) I started an extremely uneasy feeling about my past. Specifically the sexual abuse.

Even though I went through therapy for it last summer and consider it to have been 110 percent helpful and a giant leap in the right direction, my main goal was to face it for myself. It may seem like nothing, but it was the first time I actually said anything about it out loud. It was hard, but I did it. Unfortunately what was a giant leap for me is also a small ripple in the ocean that is the problem I have with it.

Anyway, I met someone…sorta…kinda…(lol)…and thinking about him is what triggered my sense of uneasiness and panic. Would I scare him off? Would the emotional strain of hearing about sexual abuse be a basketful of issues he wouldn’t want to touch? One of the many reasons why I’m not interested in telling my family what happened to me include having them feel as though they’re should carry some sort of burden for me or act different. Hearing about others’ sexual abuse can even be uncomfortable to me, and it feel like it would just give me more to stress over.

Ugh.

Anyway, I’m writing this because I randomly went to Boundless.org today, a Christian website with articles on life as an adult and relationships, and saw something I didn’t expect:

Today’s leading articles are about telling a significant about past sexual about.

Like, WOW.

The author was nervous about his girlfriend about the abuse a little over a month into their relationship. He’s since married her, but at the time he thought she would dump him on the spot. I still don’t know what’s the best time to bring something like this up, but I’m comforted to see it the topic posted to prominently.

*Sigh*

Edited to add…the link. (oops!) — The Right Time to Tell My Darkest Secret

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain

So, I don’t remember the former, but I recently figured out the latter. Oh…and for me it’s three–the day I became a daughter of God. 

One of things that’s always weighed a little heavy on me is having a particular talent, but not really knowing what to do with it. I’ve always loved art and an interest I inherited from my parents and grandparents. Since they’ve never been successful with their craft, I’d always assumed it was just something nice to have. 

I was wrong. 

Not only is it my path, but I’ve taken it all along without realizing it. 

I am a creator. 

Not *the* Creator, of course, lol, but if you were to put something in my hands and bet it wouldn’t be something else five minutes later, you’d lose! The crazy thing is as much as I tried to avoid being an artist since it considered an empty profession from a practical perspective, my current career is filled with the need for creativity. It’s also why I’ve been in mental agony since I was placed in another position within my company–I am no longer allowed to create anything. 

So, I have the day I was born down. That was the easy one (though, probably not for my mother, lol). I haven’t yet figured out why, but it has something to do with me being who I am, and that’s a creator. The third I remember vividly, and I thank Jesus Christ with all that’s within me for the privilege of being a servant of His. 

I haven’t written here in awhile…but not because I haven’t tried.

I actually have dozens of drafts from over the past few months, some are complete posts and others with just a title or a word or two. It’s also why I titled this post “Take #537″, lol. There aren’t literally 537, but there might as well be!

This blog is nearly four years old now, wow! I started it in one of the seating sections at a Starbucks I went to everyday out of loneliness. It didn’t “fix” the loneliness, but being around other people did numb it somewhat.

Anyhoo…this post is making the cut because I’m seeing my singleness a bit clearer now. I’m realizing I not very good at all at gauging if a man is interested in me. Not that anyone likes me, or at least I don’t think so, but I sometimes read their behavior as liking me when they don’t…aaaaand I sound like I’m high school again!

Sorry.

I guess my superpower is getting male friends only…

Okay, so I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here but I can’t believe there’s just six weeks left in the year. Wow!

‘Tis the season for when singles really start feeling left out, especially those of us who don’t regularly date/have prospects. As I get older I’m getting better at reconciling the loneliness part of it, but it’s the questions that can make this time of year not all that great. I’m also disappointed my church’s singles ministry, and for the same reasons I started getting disillusioned before–we’re not taken seriously, so much so that the return of singles from summer break was pushed back despite this being such a crucial time of year.

What I mean by not taken seriously is not that I don’t believe the church doesn’t care for or want the best for us, no, not at all. The best description I can think of is a child who is so enthralled with their future profession–let’s say a doctor–that they mention it everywhere, read and research everything they can about being a doctor and ask their own doctor a million and one questions about their typical day during a check-up. When it comes to talking to talking to their parent about it, they simply give a weak smile and pat on the head, and essentially tell them to chill out. Yes, I do believe some singles should indeed chill out (wooooosah), and the same time I also believe we’re kept on the back burner because since our future selves are inevitable, it’s simply not a pressing matter. While I admit to being emotionally invested in this topic, as an evangelist this scares me since it’s a crucial time in the hearts of those truly searching for Jesus. Though single without help isn’t quite like Jesus’ ordeal of 40 days of complete fasting, it’s similar in that many of us ultimately give in to eating the bread (i.e. having sex, settling for less, ect…) without some TLC. I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit holding me together because I would be a complete mess without Him.

*Sigh*

Sorry if it seems like I’m always complaining, it’s just this is where I come to release my thoughts, lol.

Anyway I’ve been doing a lot of growing and I’m so happy for the opportunities to do so. I wish learning didn’t have to be so painful at times but it’s better than not learning the lesson at all. Grace is amazing.

Human emotions.

They screw up EVERYTHING don’t they?!

My primary issue with my emotions is they let me venture into the realm of expectation, a realm that hasn’t treated me very well for 27 years.

I’m just a few days shy of 27 to give you an idea of the scope of the issue.

I’m talking about my perennial deep sea dive into the abyss known as having a crush. Yes, I’m talking about the bike guy for anyone wondering.

Not only does this one feel different, but there’s the added torture of knowing we have something in common quite literally barely anyone else has. I’m sitting here wanting to call him and ask if he’d like to do said-thing-we-have-in-common but that would be pushy/weird/stalkerish/annoying, ect. The crazy thing is I never gave him a second thought before seeing him out and about with his bike about a month ago. I’ve known him for a couple years and have even been introduced to him, but, nothing in the feels department.

I’m crazy, yup.

Thankfully my crushes always pass on eventually. I’ve gotten used to not being on anyone’s radar, though not necessarily okay with it overall. For women, there’s something in us that wants to connect with someone, a someone who thinks enough of you to actually pursue you for your attention. I have God for that (thanks for holding me down, Dad!) of course, but…human interaction is nice too.

In the meantime I guess I’d just stay busy, like I always do. It’s funny, single women often get flack for being so busy with careers and such, but truthfully I believe we’re so yearning of a family our care has to manifest at somewhere. I guess work and side projects are it.

Anyway, please pray I get over this thing. I’m hoping by Christmas…my emotions tend to tank around the holidays. *sigh*

Ever watch that movie? You should, it’s hilarious. For a quick, not non-spoilerific synopsis, the movie is about a super villain who adopts three girls in order to pull off his latest heist–shrinking and stealing the moon. The story centers on how the girls soften his heart and ultimately make him much more non-villainish.

I know, I know…I can get a tad too deep when it comes to movies but I can’t help it! For whatever reason it popped into my head (need to get the DVD!) and I realized we tend to treat ourselves like the super villain…especially singles.

Over the weekend my church brought back what is essentially a cross between a Bible overview–not quite a study but more like an interactive devotional– and group discussion. Our first lady just released a book and one of the women on the panel noted each chapter began with a quote. The very first quote was about looking at yourself in the mirror. You know, the real you. Even though I didn’t show it on my face, when began discussing it I kind of squirmed on the inside. Even though my viewpoint on what it means to be Becoming the Right Person has done a 180 degree turn, I still find myself zeroing in on the places I’ve failed. For singles especially, we can see ultimately getting hitched as a direct correlation to getting our proverbial ducks in a row despite it being impossible to do so. If it were possible, the gospel wouldn’t be necessary!

Okay, so rewind.

This *doesn’t* mean we aren’t required to do the best be can, no no no. What it does mean is I especially can do a terrible job of giving myself grace. I worry about being a blessing rather than a hindrance to a family that doesn’t exist yet. I worry about anything that could possibly leaving a bad taste in my mystery husband’s mouth. Despicable. That’s Me.

Ugh.

One of the things I love about Hebrew culture is that your name is literally who and what you are. There’s so much significance in a name, and why God outlined Jesus’ name and other attributes well before He was born. A favorite-yet-annoying person of mine in the Bible is Gideon. He was minding his own business when God called him mighty man of valor. He went on to become a war hero, but fell under his own pride and ignorance. What makes him annoying is he could have done an about face and walked in who he was at any given time (though, of course, he would have still had to sort through the consequences of his actions). God never “uncalled” him a mighty man of valor! In the same way while God’s patience is amazing, He can’t none too pleased that I’ve essentially called myself less than in any way. He calls those who follow Him friend, the righteousness of God, servants, ect…Nothing despicable about any of that.

Wow…I can really find a message in anything, lol.

Anyway, that’s my latest task…not being so hard on myself. What’s done is done, and quite frankly if it weren’t for the hard times I don’t know where my maturity would be at this point. Talk about coming a mighty long way! :)

*Very* eventful week, I should say.

This past Tuesday I really learned some things about myself–good things. Since I’m doing this journey on my own and don’t ever intend to stop, it’s really, really difficult to gauge my progress. In the three years or so I’ve had this blog I’ve written about things I’m doing/have done, but Tuesday I got to put it into practice.

Since this past March it’s been heavy on my heart (I know…borrowing from my Baptist roots with that phrase, lol), to get into nonviolence philosophy. Before this year I was aware of it, but it didn’t become my thing until now. Some months ago I found about nonviolence week in my state and contact everyone I knew of influence for help in creating programming for it…and no response. Well, at least nothing I thought would lead anywhere. One person I was able to get a hold of fairly quickly is a city councilman who has made curbing violence his political approach to things. While it disappoints me that his interest has a bit of an agenda, it doesn’t bother me in that he actually pushes the community and city to invoke actual change. Anyway, he called me and I mentioned my plans, and he liked it. A few months go by and I’m not able to garner any support, so I abandon my plans on a temporary basis. Fast forward to about a month ago and he calls me back and says he’s planned an entire summit on addressing gun violence in our city. When he rattled off some of the people he invited to speak, many of them were people I tried contacting before with no response and then some. When he mentioned my pastor who I’d contacted as well to no avail, I was speechless. I mean, completely blown away! He said he wanted to tell me about the event since I gave him the idea, and encouraged me to register for it.

Fast forward to Tuesday.

I go to the event, and after introducing myself he seems disinterested and says my name sounds familiar. I was a bit put off by this because no one ever forgets my name (it’s…different, lol). I didn’t add before that when he contacted me about the event, he was still looking for panelists and I volunteered to be on the panel for my expertise in my job industry. He declined, and even though I was disappointed I was still fine with that since there’s an abundance of perfectly capable professionals in my city that could volunteer as well. Besides, I’m shy. :)

So again, I get there and it’s like I don’t exist. No mention of me or anything. I would have tried to hide or something anyway if I had indeed been mentioned as the person behind it all, lol, but still, I was stunned.

*BUT* (had to put that in caps!)

I also felt another emotion while I was there, the same one I felt when he called to say he used my idea…albeit a tweaked version. :)

I FELT JOY. Not just happiness, but JOY.

In my heart I want nothing more than to see lives change and to spread the gospel. Even though I always say the gospel don’t need no help, if you’re mentally preoccupied with violence in your community it gets really hard to concentrate. I care deeply about both our physical and spiritual hearts.

But again, just joy. It makes me sad that I don’t really have anyone to share progress with, at least on a deeper level, but I’m just so happy that my first inclination on hearing about the summit was to cry. A few short years ago I would have just gotten upset and refuse to participate at all, but it’s not about me.

So…yeah. Very interesting Tuesday for me! It carried over into Wednesday a bit when my pastor mentioned being invited to speak during Bible study, and I was still in awe.

Speaking of Wednesday…

I spoke to the guy from church I saw at the store several weeks ago about starting a cycling team. Now, before anyone rolls their eyes I want to say that I’m being completely genuine–I really do want to ride with others, especially others who look like me. He says he likes the idea so hopefully we’ll find more teammates soon.

…aaaaand Thursday…

I finally finished going through my sexual abuse therapy at the Rape Crisis Center. I can honestly say it’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. My primary goal was to be able to talk about it without completely balking if it were to ever come up. I can honestly say I’m more comfortable with the idea of doing that with those I trust, but the therapy revealed deep, deep scars from my family that actually ran deeper than the abuse itself. One thing I wish for now is that my head and heart would come to an agreement that I’m not damaged goods, and I’m useful for more than just something another person uses for his own gratification. I can’t help but wonder if the reason I’m alone now and have, for the most part, always been single. I still don’t attract anyone in particular except for old men or younger, unsaved men, which led me to seriously consider being “forever alone” as they call it. Even though marriage rates are all over the place there have always been a subset of people who never marry for whatever reason. I don’t think I’m special or except from the possibility of being one of those people for a myriad of reasons, despite really desiring marriage.

Fast forward to today…

I feel so vindicated even though I’m not completely out of the hold just yet. I received a few hundred dollars in the mail today from a settlement related to one of my credit cards. Part of reason for my money troubles was how financial institutions were going about doing business, which, as many of you know, in not usually in the best interest of customers. While I didn’t get everyone I was due back to me, I’m happy that what may look awful about me on paper was/is an error. I still have to fix my past mistakes but this is a start. One of my greatest fears is my future husband being resentful of me because of my debt, which wasn’t acquired out of greed or anything like that. I’m just a girl from the poor working class who fell through the cracks, but a good thing about cracks is you can crawl back out of them. I believe this is my come up. :)

I’ve been back in Ohio for 3 years now, and after a couple short months in Dayton, Ohio, I walked out of my job after another long night on a cool Friday morning, hopped in my car, and didn’t stop until I was home. I even passed my apartment on the way there and didn’t pick up what little I had until around three weeks later.

I was unofficially homeless at that point–I’d been coming to my mother’s house on the weekends and stayed there unannounced (lol). No job, no sense of permanence or peace, no clothes except for the bag I usually packed for the weekends. No money…and my phone was going off nonstop. When I received my last check for one week’s worth of work, I felt a weird mix of relief and despair–how would $400 sustain me? I began trying to come up with ways to make my money stretch as I tried to fix my employment situation.

One week stretched into two…then three. I’d left my job in late November and by mid-December my heart was at a simmer. The funny thing about God is He never lets you go, but He’d done so much for me at that point I didn’t know how to feel now that I had nothing. Christmas was approaching, and even though my family no longer gives gifts (long story!) we decided to head to the mall anyway. While there I heard God say to my heart to tithe out of my last check and I figured, hey, why not? A couple days later I saw a job opening at my current workplace, sent the head boss my resume, she literally called me five minutes later, I interviewed a day later, was offered the job the next day and accepted the job a couple days after that.

A whirlwind, yes.

I walked away from a job with zero prospects in sight, and got a better one with more money and better hours three weeks after. All of the places I’d considered working throughout the years are in the middle of laying off their workers.

I didn’t know at the time that my troubles were still very present, but I’m thankful. Financially I’m still not doing as great as I want to be and things got extremely bad before even getting better, but I couldn’t trade what I’ve learned in three years for any earthly thing. Things even took a turn for the worse at my current job, but it’s helped me become someone God would be proud of, or at least I hope so.

I know I’ve said this time and time again, but when I started this blog I was very shortsighted in my approach, not realizing that Becoming The Right Person had everything to do with eternity. It’s not something we’re to stop doing eventually, but elevating to new places. We’d be absolutely be blown away if God were to reveal to us the very depths of Who He Is. In coming home, He helped me understand who I am which, in turn, helped me grasp the slightest sliver of Who He Is. I tear up just thinking about it, just knowing how undeserving of His grace I am.

I still have several questions over my life, but more than anything I simply want the presence of God. I’m amazed that He allows some of us to back into that desire–I had no idea what I was getting into nearly 20 years ago when I first heard the gospel told in a way my little 7-year-old mind could comprehend. I walked away wondering if I was supposed to feel something, only to become one of my school’s nerdiest Bible students (eschatology was/is my fave!). Even though I have specific desires of my heart, simply having the opportunity to spread the good news of Jesus Christ would suffice. That’s not to say I won’t ever think about what it would be like to have a husband and little ones running around, but with my life feeling as though I’ve been on earth for eons now even though I’m just shy of 27…I guess I could say I just want to see lives changed here on earth and then those same lives continue in the joy of the Lord into eternity.

Even though we’re not in heaven yet I’m so thankful for home–the one Jesus went away to prepare this time. :) Make no mistake, I intend to stay right here on EARTH for quite some time, I’m just so glad He tapped me on the shoulder as a 7-year-old and has never stopped pursuing me since.

Hi again. :)

I’m working on a reading list of books to keep in my personal library long-term, namely general ones since I don’t know anything (re: nothing) about my future husband. I won’t be able to collect those books for the foreseeable future, obviously, but once I get to know him on a deeper level it’s only then I’ll be able to get material that caters to his personal strengths and weaknesses (and mine too as it relates to him and our relationship).

As for the general stuff, I spotted a book called Grace Filled Marriage at church that I plan to get soon. Anything that is specifically geared toward affirming men and husbands is perfect, but the problem is not doubling up content wise and figuring out which authors aren’t too fluffy. I love my Christian brothers and sisters, I truly do, but it seems like over the years a lot of books seem to be carbon copies of one another in terms of content. I may a diamond in the rough sometimes, but not often enough to be very optimistic. :-/ Ugh, loll.

Soooo dear lurkers (yes, I’m talkin to y’all, thanks for visiting!), if they’re are any good titles I should check out please do forward the info! I’m calling this my “long term” list since I plan to get extra copies to give away like I do with some of my other favorites books, and also use to teach my own children should I have any when the time comes for them to choose their own spouses.

Thanks lovelies! :)

My previous post was a few days in the making…and ultimately never posted, haha! Pretend like the date says something more akin to September 20th or so and it’s all good.

Ahem.

So…despite my prophetic dreams, I always have tons of questions and uncertainties that swarm my head. I’m used to running to what seems to make sense, a back and forth between the “logical”, and all it’s done was make me weary. Even though I’m in a tough place I stuck it out and am truly 150 percent grateful for the crash course in character checking. I’m now more concerned with making sure I use grace in all that I do and seeing the beauty in differences (to a point, of course). I don’t think I was a monster or anything like that before, just clueless in a very scary way. I still believe God led me to Him at a very young age because I would have been epically lost without Him, and it was His way of making sure I had at least some sort of guidance. That’s just one personal experience among though, obviously.

One thing that’s been on my mind has been hitting the road again. I’ve even half-heartedly submitted my resume for a position in New York City I have no doubts I would enjoy. Funny thing is, my pastor brings it up every so often and tells all of us wanderers to sit our behinds down. The primary reason I haven’t gone anywhere is God hasn’t released me to do so, and for whatever reason I can’t even get hired anywhere else locally even though I’m very much qualified for the positions. I’m genuinely baffled, so much so that I know it could only be God keeping me put. I came to the realization not too long ago that God is making me strong for something I have no clue about yet, but I’d be lying if I said this here bootcamp for whatever it is is a walk in the park. If I had a towel, I would have tried to throw it in years ago–and to no avail whatsoever. :) God’s sense of humor is limitless. :)

We’ve been going through Colossians for Bible Study and the verse Pastor used today really jerked me into paying more attention (truly a feat, since as a third shifter I’m always dead tired and fighting shut eye when I get there–hope he’s not offended, lol). Anyway, we were in Colossians 2, beginning at verse 20. It really reminded me of how this blog morphed into something entirely different than what I’d set out to do. When I began, I didn’t know the basics of relationships at all and definitely nothing about men. I focused on becoming domestically savvy, which I do continue to do, but didn’t expect the extent of this heart transformation. I’ve said this countless times, but Becoming The Right Person for a man won’t get you anywhere–it’s all about striving to become the “right person” for the Lord. When I finally felt at peace with creating a “list” of what I sought in a husband, the very first thing is a man who is fully committed to Jesus, even more so than me. Why? Because someone who doesn’t want to break Jesus’ heart will do his best to follow His commandments, including the ones set aside for how a husband and wife relate to one another. It’s a walking journey, not a running one, and why I’m so appreciative of learning all I have the past few years at what seems like a snails pace. Any quicker would be super intense!

Soooo…walking it is. Not rushing into what appears right is what best honors God, at least for me. Also I’ve been going back and forth in my head about mentioning this, but since it’s an anonymous blog I don’t see why not–but a day or two after my dream a guy I know from church caught my eye. Now I’ve learned not to venture any further than that since my love life is literally nonexistent and having no expectations works well for me, so I’m filing it in the mental note category. *But* I do admit this time is…interesting. I’ve known of him and was even briefly introduced to him about a year or so ago, but there was nothing there at the time. Even though my church has a lot of singles and engaged folks, I don’t see it as a place with prospects and thus adding to my thoughts on possibly moving again. The night I saw him I’d made a split decision to go to the store to look for a rug (still searching for one, ugh! lol). I parked my car and was making my way inside when he drove past, and we briefly held a gaze before I noticed his bike in the back. I just kept walking and made a beeline for the housewares since it was kind of late and I didn’t want to hear that dreaded 30 minute warning to hurry up. While walking around looking at eeeevrything, and thus killing any plans to keep it quick, I spot him in the same section looking at things (and a couple glances at me I think, but I was avoiding eye contact at this point..yep, I’m weird) but within sight of me. [Insert part where I get annoyed with myself] When I spotted him, I began to feel nervous. Like, REALLY nervous, lol. I don’t know what it is, but something about seeing his bike sort of changed things for me. I may have mentioned it before, but I am an avid cyclist–but a very lonely one too. It’s often kept me from registering for events sometimes out of self-consciousness and embarrassment even for a few reasons. I guess I felt a mix of, “I REALLY need to get to know this guy!” and “It’s nothing, you may have just found a kindred spirit and that’s okay…”. I don’t know what it is really, but I’ve gone from not thinking about unless I see him in passing at church and even then it’s fleeting at best, to…I don’t think I know. I hate crushes because they’ve always taken a lot out of me mentally and have always amounted to nothing, so I won’t quite call it that yet. He certainly has my attention though. I soooo wish I could turn my attention off. Even though I’m more or less okay with my singleness in that I know God has my back, I still falter more than I’d like to. I’d rather feel nothing at all, and that realization makes me sad. I left the store not too soon after I saw him, went home and did some cleaning…and thinking.

I haven’t stopped thinking. I really need to, especially with the holidays approaching.

I think I need more hobbies…yeah, that’s it…

:)

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