Thursday, May 30, 2013

Holding on to boundaries and character

I saw this on Facebook today and I just love it... It perfectly describes where I am right now.

Dream of what you might accomplish for God. Expect that He will test your character and resolve.

"Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph's character." -Psalm 105:19

Today an ex tried to friend me on Facebook.

I nicely told him, "No."

He called me "bitter."

I told him this... "Not bitter at all. Just moved on....Honestly... I don't want to look at my future husband and say... 'Oh that facebook friend? Yeah... he's seen me naked too...' I'm getting much better at boundaries. .. we don't need to interact every day on FB to prove we aren't bitter."

Why am I blogging this? It's not really a big deal, right? I mean, he did some awful things to us... not the least of which was orchestrating a scenario where I walked in on him with another woman (while I had been making dinner for the rest of the family upstairs)... So who would EVER add someone like that as a friend? Who would give them an opening where they could try to wiggle back in to my life?

The old me. The one who was more concerned about hurting other people's feelings than standing up for herself. Thank the Lord she is gone...

I've been failing that character test for too long. Not because I don't have a good character, but because I haven't been using it correctly. I wrote this today because this is what happened today, but since something started changing in my heart several months ago, a few other exes have attempted to come back into my life.

When this all started, I was still feeling the empty loneliness that I used as the excuse to make bad decisions in the past. I was praying that God please not let any exes hit on me because I wasn't sure that I was strong enough...

It turns out that I am.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

If you're reading this

If you're reading this, you most likely got here one of a two ways...

You might be one of my friends who I told about this journey and then later, the blog. I knew I was going to need to be held accountable... and I thought bringing you in on this would help me with that.

If that doesn't describe you, then I am choosing to believe that you have been directed here for another purpose. I don't know what that is for you... maybe you are working through something difficult yourself and need to see that conquering a seemingly impossible challenge is possible.

Maybe your past is a bit a like mine and I can be an encouragement to you.

Maybe you are bored at work and just need something read and you like the color purple...

Whatever the case is, I want to encourage you to leave a comment from time to time. Become involved in the conversation here. If I am going to bare my soul here, it is in the hopes of giving this over to God and letting Him use my mess for good... Let Him.

You never know if sharing this blog with someone or leaving a comment will be what encourages someone else.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The right song at the right moment...

I heard this today and it was such an encouragement to me... I can't get bogged down in the hurts of the past and I can't let myself be pulled down by the memories of my bad choices. Because while God wanted me to do better, He is willing to take my choices and experiences from the past and turn them into something great...

Jason Gray

The hurt that broke your heart
And left you trembling in the dark
Feeling lost and alone
Will tell you hope's a lie
But what if every tear you cry
Will seed the ground where joy will grow

And nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

It's from the deepest wounds
That beauty finds a place to bloom
And you will see before the end
That every broken piece is
Gathered in the heart of Jesus
And what's lost will be found again

Nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

From the ruins
From the ashes
Beauty will rise
From the wreckage
From the darkness
Glory will shine
Glory will shine

Nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

From the ruins
From the ashes
Beauty will rise
From the wreckage
From the darkness
Glory will shine
Glory will shine

Monday, May 27, 2013

Jesus is loving Barabas...

I downloaded the CD of this today... I really love it. This one really touched me...

I love how he makes a point to say that we are no match for Satan... It tells me that it isn't a failing in me that I haven't always backed away from temptation... It isn't that I am a bad person. It isn't that I am not strong enough.

The problem is that I wasn't relying on Jesus.

Now I am.

The CD is a project by City Church featuring Judah Smith
Definitely worth listening to!

Facing my fears...

Starting this journey is scary for me on so many levels...

     The "what if"s are innumerable...

The negative consequences whether I fail or succeed are hard to swallow.

What if there really isn't anyone who is willing to go on this journey with me?

What if there is but he sees a woman with four kids and two exes and whatever else... and says "She is totally not worth the trouble..."

What if I do find him... and we get married... and I find out that the reason it was so easy for him was that he just isn't a physically affectionate person? That thought is the scariest of all...

Beyond that though...

What if I tell people and they laugh at me? Normally that wouldn't matter... tell me I can't do something and come hell or high water it will be done... I can be a bit stubborn at times. But when we talk about one of my biggest weaknesses... I don't know...

What if, by admitting that this is one of my biggest weaknesses, I am looked at differently by some people? Women aren't supposed to have these issues... and while it is a very emotional issue for me... the issue at hand is still sex...

                 For men it is a "natural weakness"... for women is it a character flaw.

                                He is "just being a man" ... She is "just being a slut".

What if I tell people what I am doing and then I fail?
     What kind of example am I setting for my daughters if that happens?
            Will they say "It's just one more promise Mommy didn't keep..." I hate to admit that there have been quite a few. From promising not to let a particular ex break their hearts again... only to take him back and see him do it all over again a year later... To promising that I would never live with anyone I wasn't married to... and then making that one exception that ended up turning our world upside down for a year...

I don't want this to be just another broken promise.

What I have to remember is this: God is in control. I gave Him control over all of this. He knows what I want and what I need... and I have to believe that He will follow through for me... because He loves me, and because He has a better plan for me...

I just have to remember...

Psalm 56:11
"In GOD I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

Still... besides sharing this blog with a bunch of strangers... (who are we kidding... nobody is reading this) and a few close friends... should I tell anyone else? Should I wear it like a badge and tell everyone I know? Or keep it a secret because it's a taboo subject to bring up?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The first step...

God has been working on me for awhile. He has probably been trying much longer than that... but I was too scared or bull-headed to listen.

I've finally taken the first step... and here it is.

I've never been great at being single. I've made some really dumb choices for the sake of "love" when I was really just running from something... usually being alone. I haven't been in a serious relationship in over a year now... and I haven't been on a date in months.

I still don't like being single... God didn't create me to be single. I know He didn't. But at the same time, I know He is keeping me from being in a relationship. He won't let it happen. I know why too... but I didn't really know what to do about it.

Everyone has weaknesses. Everyone has issues that they struggle with. That's why I know, just like He knows, that if He had allowed me to be in a relationship before this, I would have screwed it up. I kept wondering how I would ever be able to have a relationship... because this is who I am. I need physical affection to know that the relationship is real... to know the he really loves me...

Then the thought hit me... the problem is, they didn't love me. Not the way He loves me. Not the way He wants me to be loved. My feelings were a mishmash of emotion and illusion. So, how can I have a relationship and REALLY KNOW that it is real?

I know the answer. I kind of wish I didn't!

I need to have one of those relationships that people think are reserved for idealistic Christian teens... the ones who don't have a physical relationship while they are dating... the ones who don't do anything beyond holding hands... or maybe a hug... the ones who wait until their engagement or even their wedding day for their first kiss. Is it even possible for a mom with four kids? Do men who want a relationship like that even truly exist? Are they the kind of guy I'm looking for in all of their other ways? I don't know.

But, today I told God that I am ready. If He will tell the man who loves Him so much that he has made God the same promise... that I am the one he has been waiting for... then I will stick to it.

With God's help we can do it... whoever he is... we can work it out... and frankly, he better be awesome because I don't take promises like this lightly... lol.

I'm still not "looking" ... God will send him when he is ready... but I feel like I'm clarifying for me what I want and need. Am I being crazy? Am I going so far in the opposite direction of the past for no good reason?