It’s gonna hurt because it matters.

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Yes, that is a John Green quote.

I am so sad because when I made this blog I had no idea that all of my posts were going to be so depressing and focused on the idea of pain, suffering, love, hardships, etc. But I’m not really sorry for all of the cliche’ quotes and declarations of love because this is my life and this is what life and loving is like. This is what heartbreak looks like when you spit it out onto a virtual page. If you read these posts and you roll your eyes and think I’m extreme and dramatic and wonder why I’m not over it then that’s fine, I invite you to go. Or to continue to do so behind my back. But I want you to know that these feelings are hard. Loving, trusting, that’s hard shit to do. And as an existing human they’re nearly impossible to avoid. One day you’ll take your stay in the heartbreak hotel too.

I’ve been sitting in this hell hole for about 3 months now. That is not to say that I haven’t made the most of it. I’ve been having a good time with the opportunities that I’ve been given. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t hate the lonely time before I fall asleep where my mind is ravaged by the same depressing thoughts that build up during the day every. fucking. day. I want out of here. I want it to stop hurting. I have that thought so many times. And my mind keeps saying back “so what are you going to do about it?”

I’ve been wanting to do something about it. Some days it’s an urge to do something dramatic and awe-inspiring. Other days I’d barely be able to muster out a whimper.  But I came across this John Green quote again this evening and it reminded me of why I have such an urge to do something…

“Maybe there’s something you’re afraid to say, or someone you’re afraid to love, or somewhere you’re afraid to go. It’s gonna hurt. It’s gonna hurt because it matters.”

Damn straight, John Green. GUYS, he’s so right. My heart hurts because this matters. And it’s not finished. I know that because every time I pray all I get is a ‘wait’ and all of these quotes about patience keep crossing my path. I know God is speaking to me. He’s telling me that He understands that it hurts, and that it hurts because it matters.

So if you’re going through a struggle, and if the holiday is re-emphasizing the literal ache inside of your body, remember that it matters. That you matter and that there is a purpose and something to be gained. Only God knows what that is and sometimes He doesn’t like to share right away.

I have never in my life felt the way I do about this one person. I have never been more convinced of something, except maybe of my calling to be a teacher. Over 3 months have passed and every day feels the same. Because it matters.

That’s all I have to offer right now.

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Wounds.

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James 1:2-4 tells us: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance and perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

I don’t think that James is saying that we have to jump up and down and clap our hands and shout thanks to the heavens every time something unfortunate happens to us. I think that he is encouraging us to do some soul searching. When we have hard times, it is easy to say “why? why me?” and that’s a bad attitude that I think many take. WHY NOT you? You’ve got some perseverance to build up, my friend.

As one of my previous pessimistic blog posts already informed you, life sucks sometimes. It’s not easy and there are a lot of hard things that make us want to throw our hands up in defeat.

But no matter what you’re going through, whether it’s a financial crisis, relationship meltdown, medical emergency, or even just a bad day, I want you to know that there is a purpose for your pain.

You may be wounded but guess what- one day you are going to be okay again and you’re going to be better for it. I draw your attention to the quote that I posted along with this. I love it because it is so true. How many times do we see people that have been hurt, going around sharing their testimony and saying “yea, it was unfortunate, but if I can help one person with my story, it was all worth it”? Their life and their hurt is their ministry.

We are being prepared for greatness people!

So, while I do still think that it’s a struggle to “rejoice” and find “pure joy” in the midst of a trial, it IS possible. Because God is preparing us for something greater. And knowing Him, it’s going to be pretty freaking awesome.

Hang in there. Find some joy and don’t let go of it.

Why I hate break ups.

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If you’re looking for an angsty teenager post about break ups then I invite you to please go away now. Because believe it or not, this post is not about how my ex is an asshole. And I’m not going to bore you with the details of the expiration of our love story. They’re too sappy and the only one who cares about them is me and frankly, I’m getting pretty sick of the whole story myself.

Because I’m a creature that incessantly pins quotable quotes to my designated Pinterest board daily, let me introduce one that suits this topic of discussion beautifully: “When a person does something wrong, don’t forget all of the things that they did right.”

This can be true of forgiving anyone of a wrong deed, whether it directly affected you or not. I am applying this quote to my break up, call me a cheese ball if you wish. Throughout the process of the past few months, people have said to me things like “he’s an ass, you deserve better” or “someday you’ll find a nice guy that puts you first” (don’t even get me started on that one!) or “he didn’t even treat you like he loved you” (isn’t that a kicker?).

I don’t know if I can possibly articulate just how much these kind of “encouragements” piss me off. While they are coming from a place of good intentions, they are total BS.

GUESS WHAT: Yes, I had a break up- old news. Yep, the old ticker is still broken- but slowly on the mend. Yes, I did want to hate him for a while- but I don’t. Yes I did love him and yes I still do. Yes I thought he was the greatest and yes I do still think he is a great person. And NO that will not change just because of something that went wrong.

I loathe when people are so “in love” with a person while said person is doing everything for them and being nice to them. But the second things go sour, they get berated with a full account of every wrong thing they ever did, every flaw, and every name in the book. It’s just not fair and honestly, it’s stupid. If you love someone, and I mean the kind of love that cares deeply and unselfishly about them as a quality human being, then you do not hate them just because they changed their mind, made a mistake, or hurt you (because news flash- that’s what humans do and that’s the risk you take when you love a human).

Instead, in the midst of the angst, I would invite everyone to take two logical seconds to remember that this person has made a mistake but that they have done a lot of things right.

Think about those things and be thankful for them. Show them grace for their mistake or their change of heart. Forgive them as soon as you can and let them know that they’re forgiven (it’ll be best for everyone). And then try your best to heal from your brokenness and learn something from the experience.

Right now, that’s all I’ve got. But this is my campaign to end the business of hating exes.

Avoiding beauty

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When I was a little girl, and even still sometimes today, when my incessant chatter became nearly unbearable, my dad used to say “shhh, listen.” And the times that I actually did listen, I didn’t think I heard anything. But now as an adult (or as a teenager pretending to be one) I realize just how valuable it is to just stop and listen to silence and what it has to say.

It is always compelling when someone encourages you to think in a way that you never have before. My Civ. Arts professor this semester has done just that and I cannot express how much I appreciate it. Perhaps I didn’t even fully appreciate it until this morning.

Just before I went to class I was enjoying the silence of the morning alone in my dorm room. I am surrounded by music from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep.  My roommate always has some kind of background music on. There is always music playing on the radio in the bathroom. Our neighbors on the hall like to share their music whether we want to hear it or not. The student union always has music playing from somewhere. Even in the library people have music playing quietly on their computers or they are plugged into their headphones. Every store has music playing from the speaker system.

I love music as much as the next girl but sometimes I feel like it is numbing my thoughts. Sometimes I just need silence (especially when I’m trying to study). This morning I was wondering if maybe this is a problem- the constant listening may actually be preventing us from truly listening.

When I got to Civ. Arts this morning the professor was talking to us about how non-Christians, and sometimes even Christians, numb ourselves to God’s glory. He said that we also do this in our everyday lives. He started focusing his discussion on our free time and how we use it. We listen to music that reveals nothing to us and has nothing for us to enjoy but a bass rhythm and generic lyrics. We retreat into the world of Netflix and Hollywood movies or video games. What are we as Christians doing with our time? Why are we spending it in the same way as those who are muting the beauty of God?

I thought it was interesting and kind of ironic that this lecture came at the same time as I was deliberating this very thought myself. I guess my Civ. Arts class has affected me more than I gave it credit for. I am not about to sit around listening to only classical music and I’m not willing to give up my New Girl watching sessions. But I do think there is something to be said for being aware of what we are doing to ourselves and being mindful of falling into the same pattern that the world is. Constant stimulation is not necessary and is actually causing us to become numb to the beauty that is around us.

Let us, as Christians, be chasing after the beauty and glory of God with everything in us. Let us take quiet moments to just let our minds wander and let Him speak. As my professor so articulately put it, “all Christians must understand, thirst for, and delight in beauty and run to God’s truth.”