what 2011 taught me about myself

I'm a lot stronger than I originally thought, but only when I lean on Jesus. I've always known I was tough, but there's a big difference between tough & strong. Being tough meant I could withstand, make it through, endure. But I was broken, and constantly hurting and aching for something more than always being "okay". It wasn't until I learned how to let go of the reigns that I started being strong. Being strong means you move forward. Being strong means you do more than endure, you thrive. Being strong means you can put others before your well-being because it's how Jesus would do it. "For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe." {Psalm 61:3} I'm not the strong one, He is strong through me. But it's so much better than just being tough. {read the post on this here}

I've never had a real standard as far as dating goes. Which is just crazy talk since I had the greatest model of love and marriage sitting in front of my face from my parents my entire life. I'm not sure I'll ever understand why I went the dating route that I did. But I dated a bunch of selfish idiots {sorry if somehow one of you is reading this. But I mean....} Not to say I was perfect by any means, but c'mon girl, you've got to draw the line somewhere. But I never did. I bought into the widely accepted dating philosophy of if he loves Jesus then he meets all the criteria. Um...no. There's a blog post on this in the works, but if you're reading this and realizing that you view dating this way, please email me. We need to talk. Because the biggest heartbreak I ever went through was caused by someone who loved Jesus, and could've been avoided if I'd been holding the men I allowed into my heart up against Jesus for comparison. It wasn't until after that heartbreak that I began to realize that something needed to change, and started searching the Bible for examples of righteous men that I wanted my future husband to look like {a la Solomon, David, Paul, Joseph, etc.} and how they mirrored Jesus. And then I found him :) {read the post on this here}

I'm not great at slowing down and really enjoying life. This is a recent discovery. Flying down the interstate, writing a note of reminders, eating dinner, on my way to have coffee with a friend, it just hit me. Oh my gosh, you're that girl. I do everything at a million miles a minute. And by everything, I mean from the second my feet hit the floor in the morning until I turn off the light at night, my brain never stops. I have to remember to breathe most the time. I'm 23 years old and I already work through my lunch hour half the time. Go go go go, do do do do. It has to stop. So for now I'm taking rational steps towards peace. I gave myself a whole minute to wake up this morning rather than flying out of the bed. I just laid there and thanked God for the day and breathed. When I feel myself getting all amped up, I make myself stop, close my eyes, focus on my breathing, and talk to God. "Be still and know that I am God" {Psalm 46:10} quickly gets lumped with all the other verses I learned in bible school, the ones that get over-looked because they're so widely known. But how much am I missing out on when I make it through and entire day without taking a moment to really be still and let it soak in that I am the beloved of the one true God?

I may have a quick recovery rate, but if something knocks me down-it takes me out of the game for a while. This one reared it's ugly head around July. Did you read in the beginning about being tough instead of strong? Back then I was still being tough. It takes a lot to knock me on my butt, I like to think I'm fairly resilient. But the stuff I went through in July was knock me out of the game, can barely get out of bed, fighting back tears all day, heart broken bad. It had been a really long time since I'd been that sad. That destroyed. And even though I quickly took it to God, that didn't immediately mean that the constant tightness in my chest dissipated. I was in pain for a while, but I can look back and see that every step of the way, God carried me {cheesy, but true}. I'm thankful for a God who uses bad situations to grow us and stretch us and turn us into the servants of Him that we were meant to be. I'm thankful for a God who makes me strong when I shouldn't be, and who really understands when I tell Him I feel like I can't go on, but knows I can.

And then there are the smaller, more light-hearted things I learned about myself:
-I really was meant to be with a country boy. Plain and simple.
-I have an affinity for keeping track of important dates and times. Bordering on obsessively. J tries to pretend it's cute, but I know it's annoying sometimes.
-There are things about me that are just me, that are never going to change. And that that's okay.
-Since I started doing awkward + awesome Wednesday, I've come to learn I'm a lot more awkward than I would've originally thought....
-I'm actually kind of funny. Kind of.
-I can watch the same DVD every day for about a week before I get sick of it. It's ridiculous.
-I'm a total sap. I've fought this for a really long time {I was tough, remember?}, but I just can't anymore. I cry all the time. At everything. And I love it.

1 comment:

Chelsea said...

This was an absolutely beautiful reflection and I'm so glad you've shared this. The part that really touched me was when you said God uses bad situations to grow us, to stretch us. He does make me strong when I shouldn't be. I have no idea where I'm headed in life but I know and trust that He does. He's created my path and He knows me better than I know myself :)

Again, thank you for this :)