Blurring the Lines

Day Count- 79 down 287 to go.

So, I’m back from the road trip with my mom and sister.  And let me just say, there are some major stories to tell.  And I will get to those later.  But for some reason I feel like this takes precedence today.  I’m not sure why… just something that’s been weighing on my mind for a few days.

A couple of years ago, when I had just moved home and had pretty much given up on a ‘good guy’ ever being interested in me, I signed up for a Christian dating site.  I figured it would be a good way to get back out there without much room for major disappointment.  Boy was I wrong.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  So here goes-  I signed up for this dating site just to kind of see what was out there.  I was kind of leery about the whole thing to begin with.  I had been majorly burned by men in the past, most of them taking advantage of my vulnerability after my relationship with Voldemort (he-who-must-not-be-named… i.e. really bad ex).  The problem was, even the ‘Christian’ guys that I knew were playing on my emotions to get what they wanted.  I was in a pretty bad place, but I resolved to see what else was out there.  Living in a small town, it’s hard to meet good people that I didn’t know in high school and I thought that a dating site might be the answer.

This particular dating site had chat rooms for different age groups.  And despite the 20-somethings being filled with people that acted more like highschool cliques than anything else, I managed to make some friends.  And then Texas Boy came along.  He was a major flirt- especially with me- and we really hit it off.

And he lived in Texas.

That might not be so bad…. if I didn’t live in New York.

Despite the distance, we became fast friends.  We chatted most nights, we played games online together, we texted during the day.  To be honest, it was more than a friendship.  But it was also less than a relationship.

You see, Texas Boy made it very clear that he didn’t want a long distance relationship.  But that didn’t stop him from flirting with me, from spending most evenings chatting and having fun and growing into a deeper friendship.  This went on for a good eight or nine months.  We really got each other, in a way that I hadn’t felt a connection in a long time.  He was a ‘Southern Gentleman’ and an all around good guy.  I was convinced that somehow, some way, we could make things work.

He told me about how if we lived closer together he would ask me out on a date in a heartbeat.  I thought that maybe our circumstances would change.  After all, I had other friends that lived in Texas and surrounding areas.  Friends that had told me on numerous occasions that I should move down there.  I didn’t have much holding me in New York.  My family was there- but I had lived away from them before.

I visited my friend Courtney in July of that year.  Texas Boy and I had been texting and chatting online for about 6 months.  I was there, in Texas.  I was a mere 8 hours from where he lived.  My skin tingled as the airplane touched down on the runway in Houston.  “This is it,” I kept thinking to myself.  “He’s going to want to get together.”

And there were a few nights where we talked about it.  But when he told me that he had to work and couldn’t get out of it, I knew that it was never going to happen.  I tried to resolve myself to just be his friend.  To stop thinking of him as a potential boyfriend.  But it wasn’t easy.

You see, by the time I made that resolve, we had already blurred the lines.

I’m reminded now of a song by Jeff LeBlanc.  Ironically enough, the song is called “Can’t Love You“.

The bridge says:

 Ready to run, still holding on, we just blurred the lines.  Gave all we could, took all we need, we just wasted time.

Man, oh man, how I wish Texas Boy could have heard this song.  And before any of you yell at me that he told me he didn’t want a long distance relationship, trust me… I already know.  Because 2 months later when he stopped texting me, and then his relationship status on Facebook changed to ‘in a relationship’, the fact that he didn’t want a long distance relationship became abundantly clear.

And even though I knew that he was never mine, I still felt a pang of loss.  Because it was then that even the potential became null and void.

Throughout my life, there have been several other instances of blurring the lines.  Friendship, relationship, right and wrong, it doesn’t matter what it is.   Blurring the lines always seems like a good idea at the time.  But when you give all you can, and take all you need, Jeff LeBlanc is right that all you do is waste time.  Texas Boy and I both wasted our time.  I wasted my time with what I thought could be.  We both needed to feel special to someone.  We both took that emotional intimacy when we needed it most.  And the end result was a feeling of loss and a pang of regret.  It left me with the persistent and unanswered question of what could have been.

It’s so hard to think that for the better part of a year, he was one of my closest friends.  And then he got a girlfriend and dropped me from his life, further solidifying the fact that we blurred the lines to more than friends.

The sermon series in church over the last few weeks has been about guard rails.  What they are tangibly and how we can insert them into our own lives to protect us from dangerous situations.  I think I’m starting to realize more and more that doing what I’ve always done- especially in blurring the lines with friendships- does way more harm than good.

I think that’s another reason why this year means so much to me.  It’s a guard rail of sorts- keeping me away from potentially dangerous situations.  And while this ‘guard rail’ of no dating isn’t something that is especially Biblical, it IS something that I need in my own life to keep me on track.  I could live my life blurring the emotional lines between friendship and relationship.  But what good would it do?  Why would I want to continually put my heart through that?  It’s no better than jumping from one relationship to the next.  And if I’m blurring the lines that way, what’s to stop me from doing it in other areas?  Once you start saying yes to something, saying no to the next thing becomes that much harder.  It’s like a snowball on a downhill slope.  As the situation gets bigger, so does the consequence.

Ok.  So, that’s my story of Texas Boy.

I’ve still got lots of writing to do about my roadtrip. 

Stay tuned
and
Be Brave,

 

 

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Dare You To Move

I’m almost two months through this year challenge.  I’ve greatly enjoyed focusing my time and attention on spending more time with God, my family and my friends.  But I think it’s time to stop focusing on the inward, and start turning my attention to others.

As I mentioned before, during this year, I’ve also decided to read the Bible through in a  year, which is something I have never done before.  Our entire church received a “Life Journal” at the end of the year last year as a way to keep track of our reading, journaling and prayers throughout the year.  So far, I’ve read through Genesis and Luke.  I’ve also gone through part of Exodus and Acts.  A lot of the stories are familiar to me, in both the Old and New Testaments, but I’m also finding a lot of passages and stories that are new.  It’s been so interesting to me, reading back over the verses that have stuck out to me.  So many of them that I’ve journaled about concern God’s faithfulness and his love for His people.

After my Valentine’s rant, post last week, I read two different passages about God fighting for us.

Exodus 14:14
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Acts 5:38-39

38 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”
 
Sometimes it is incredibly difficult to remember that God fights for us.  As humans we constantly try to do everything ourselves.  We don’t care enough to give our troubles to God, or we think “I’ll save him the trouble of this one.”
 
God’s will is greater than us.  He has a will for each and every one of our lives, and we like to ignore it or run from it or think we have a better plan in mind.  I spent so much time living like I had a plan that was better than God’s.  I spent years running from what I knew was right because I wanted something different.  And I’ve found that it is so much easier to live in the center of God’s will, rather than fighting against it.
 
God has proven time and time again that he has my best interests in mind.  I know that they say that hindsight is 20/20 and that is something that I have seen in my life over and over again.  I don’t always understand why something is happening at the time it happens, but sometime down the road, I’ll look back and see how God used that experience or trial to prepare me for something.  I feel like all of my experiences are culminating for something, and even though I’m not sure why, I know that it’s for God’s glory.
 
The last guy that I dated was kind of amazing.  And the relationship for me was kind of a big deal.  He was the first guy that I dated that I really felt was an amazing Christian and a man that feared God.  I don’t really want to do the whole name thing, so let’s call him Handy Man.  So, on our very first date, HM and I went to this sweet little restaurant and can I tell you I was nervous?  My goodness, I’ve never been so nervous in all my life.  And I don’t think it was because I was nervous about meeting him… I think I was nervous about the kind of guy he was.  Good, strong Christian.  And I was so new to it all.  Because even though I had grown up in the church and had always had the ‘right’ answers, I’m not sure I really let the faith be my own.  I was one of those kids that knew right from wrong and went to Church every Sunday.  I believed, but I didn’t have the life experience to back up my beliefs.
 
My three year hiatus from the church and the life that God set forth for me did a lot of damage.  On my life, my friends, my family.  It did a lot of damage on my head and my heart and I finally understood what it meant to be saved by grace.
 
Anyway- back to the story.  So HM and I are on our first date.  The conversation is kind of awkward and nervous at first, but then- somewhere between the coffee and root beer floats, it just felt right.  It felt natural.  It felt like I had known this guy my entire life and I couldn’t imagine how I could have ever not known him.  Our experiences with church and straying were so similar.  Our hearts longed for the same things.  (And I don’t just mean a meaningful relationship.)  We both had a heart for young adults and wanted to start new ministries to reach out to people in our age group who were like us- who strayed or who never knew the saving Grace that we can have.  We each had this picture in our mind of this ministry and it was so similar, so focused and exact- that I knew it was from God.
 
All the nervous energy I felt when HM and I first met wasn’t simply because I was meeting someone new.  It was because I was finally yeilding to God and what he wanted for my life.  HM was a good Christian.  Strong in faith.  He had a good heart and a strong family and I saw a future with him.  I saw a God centered future with him.  And that thought both thrilled and terrified me.
 
Anyway- I do have a point for explaining all of this.  You see- that very first conversation HM and I had, the one about the young adult ministry?  Well, that played a bigger role than I expected.  HM and I continued talking about it, and I had conversations with my dad about it, who was also beginning to feel that same yearning for this ministry.
 
The difference between HM and I and my dad was, my dad was in a position to do something about it.  And he began talking to young adults about what they were looking for.  Turns out- there are a lot of people out there searching.  There are so many young adults looking for a place to belong, a place to meet people, a place to make friends.
 
There’s a quote in this article by Chuck Swindoll that I think says a lot about church and community and what people are looking for.  From the article, I’m not sure if he wrote it or came across it.  But anyway, here’s the quote and where it’s from.

“The neighborhood bar is possibly the best counterfeit that there is to the fellowship Christ wants to give his church. It’s an imitation, dispensing liquor instead of grace, escape rather than reality-but it is a permissive, accepting, and inclusive fellowship. It is unshockable. It is democratic. You can tell people secrets, and they usually don’t tell others or even want to. The bar flourishes not because most people are alcoholics, but because God has put into the human heart the desire to know and be known, to love and be loved, and so many seek a counterfeit at the price of a few beers. With all my heart,” this writer concludes, “I believe that Christ wants his church to be unshockable, a fellowship where people can come in and say, ‘I’m sunk, I’m beat, I’ve had it.’ Alcoholics Anonymous has this quality-our churches too often miss it.”

 
Because where can you go to church and feel confident telling someone your deepest darkest secret and feel secure in them keeping it?  What church opens their doors, their seats and their lives to the broken-hearted, the beaten, the bruised, the unemployed, the addicts, the depressed?
 
 
Unfortunately, I noted some differences where I wished our churches were more like bars.
  • People went because they wanted to be there, not out of duty or obligation
  • The singing was celebratory and sometimes therapeutic
  • Greetings were heartfelt and welcoming
  • Everybody had a seat waiting for them, if there wasn’t room, someone gave up their seat
  • Everybody got a chance to play, but you didn’t have to play if you didn’t want to
  • People notice when you stop showing up
  • Nobody puts on “airs” and when they do, they get called on it
  • Thus, nobody expected anybody to be perfect, and nobody pretended otherwise
  • If you make a mistake, you get called on it
  • If you admit your mistake, you get forgiven
  • It was a great place to go when feeling lonely
  • It was a great place to go when feeling sociable
  • It was a great place to go when feeling down
  • It was a great place to go when feeling up

This young adult group that we’re starting, I’m PRAYING is more like a bar in these areas.  Is that a weird thing to pray?  It probably is.  But regardless- we’re designing it to be a place where people can gather and feel accepted, because we’ve known rejection.  A place where people can feel loved because they’ve known anger, hate, lonliness.  A place where people can be forgiven because they themselves have been wronged and done wrong.  A place where people don’t expect or pretend to be perfect, because we’ve all messed up.

God is still fighting for his people.  And it’s time we start joining in the fight for the lost.  It’s time we reach out to the broken hearted, the hurt, the bruised, the addicted, the wronged.  Because we’ve all been there, and pretending otherwise is just putting more fuel on the fire of those that call us liars and hyporcites and out of touch, holier-than-thou Christians who put salt in wounds instead of healing.

I’ve known those Christians, and truth be told, I’ve probably been those Christians.  But the trend stops here.  It stops now.  It stops with me.  I don’t want to be an out of touch Christian who does nothing in the fight to bring souls to Christ.  I want to be an instrument in the fight against evil.  I want to stop being the problem, and start being a part of the solution.

I know that this young adult group is what all of my past experiences are culminating for.  I know that God is going to give me opportunities to share my experiences with people in this new group.  I just hope that I rely on His strength to take the chances.

Be Brave,

Regrets

Do you have something you regret?  Big or little- minor or severe- most, if not all of us regret something in our lives.  For me, the one thing I always wish I could go back and ‘do over’ was walking away from my family, the church and most of my friends… for a guy.

Now, to be honest, he wasn’t a normal guy.  He was an extremely manipulative, controlling, abusive guy.  And there are times when I thought that no matter what, I wouldn’t have stood a chance.  But I can’t blame everything on him.  I made the decision to be with him.  I made the decision to let him have control over me.  And yes, he was a master manipulator, but the initial decision to be with him was mine and mine alone.

For as much as I desperately want to regret my decisions and all of the time I spent with him and everything I did, I can’t regret it.  Because as terrible and horrible as it was, it taught me so much.  First and foremost, I think I truly for the first time began to understand forgiveness, and unconditional love.

There was so much to forgive after everything that happened.  My parents forgave me more times than I can count.  I had to beg forgiveness from God, my family, my friends.  I had to learn to forgive myself.  And the big one that I’m still struggling with- I had to forgive the guy.

Going through traumatic experiences in life teach you a lot about the person that you are.  It amazes me to hear the stories of people that forgive the killers of their loved ones.  And while my experience may not have been that extreme, I still had a lot of healing and forgiving to do.  And I don’t think that the point of forgiveness is to fix everything and go back to what you had before.  It’s not about letting a situation define you.  It’s about letting it teach you.  Forgiveness is finding healing and strength in the face of things that tear you down and knock you out.  Forgiveness is learning that no matter what a person does to you; their offense is never as bad as the offenses that you’ve committed against God.

That last line, I can’t claim as my own.  Several months ago I went and heard Joyce Meyer speak.  She talked about the characteristics of a perfect heart and for some reason, that line is something that has stuck with me ever since.

Regrets are something we all deal with.  They’re something that we all have the option of.  But why worry about something that is in the past and can’t be changed?  Wouldn’t a better use of time be to figure out what you can learn from the experience and use it?

During this journey, I’ve decided to read through the Bible in a year.  It’s something that I’ve never actually done before and I’m really excited by it.  During just the last few days a culmination of things happened.  And I am convinced that God wants to use this to teach me something, and so I am going to share it with all of you.

The first thing that happened was I read through the story in Genesis of Joseph.  For anyone that doesn’t know- the story is about a boy who found favor in his father’s eye which caused all of his brothers to be jealous.  So jealous in fact- that they thought about killing him.  They didn’t actually go through with the plan however and instead sold Joseph in to slavery.  Crazy you say?  Yes, you read correctly.  They sold their own flesh and blood into slavery.  Talk about jealousy.

Anyway- what happens next, you ask?  Well, you see- Joseph pities himself and gives up.

I’m kidding.  The truth is MUCH more impressive.  Because years go by, and one thing leads to another until Joseph becomes the right hand man of Pharaoh.  As in- ruler of the land.  So here’s Joseph- the man who was sold into slavery and then thrown into jail for a woman accusing him of rape, he interprets the dreams of the ruler of the kingdom that no one else has been able to interpret, and Pharaoh makes him second in command.

Talk about impressive.

Okay- so I read through this story the other day, and it really got me thinking about regrets and circumstances and how God can use all of these things.

Onto the second thing that happened to me.  This morning, I went out to breakfast with a friend.  We were talking about reading the Bible and how sometimes the stories are hard to read, and I mentioned my thoughts on Joseph and how God uses the strangest things for his Glory.  Just like Joseph.  We talked a little bit about how it always seems to amaze us- the way God uses people.

The third thing that happened to me also happened this morning.  And here’s the kicker- and why I’m convinced I need to be writing about this right now.  Sitting in church this morning, my dad is talking about how God gives us all opportunities to shape us.  He mentioned David and Goliath.  How David had been faithful to God before Goliath.  In fact, the Bible says that David killed both a lion and a bear to protect the sheep that he was entrusted with.  He learned to stare danger and adversity in the face and attack it head on.  He had been faithful in those areas.  God knew that David would be faithful again.

And then, my dad mentioned Joseph.  Oh Joseph.  This guy is starting to seem like a real pal to me these last few days.  (And hey, as a sidenote- this is my year without a man…. I’m not supposed to be giving men this much thought… even ones that lived thousands of years ago).  Anyway- Pastor (it sounds more official than ‘dad’) talked about Joseph and all of the things that he faced in his life.  His own flesh and blood sold him, a woman accused him of rape, he was thrown in jail where the jailer gave him responsibility over everyone in there, and then once he had used the opportunity that God had given him, God gave him another one.

Life is all about opportunities.  Sometimes it’s hard to see them when we’re so focused on all of the things that we think are going wrong in our lives.  And yeah, I’m sure Joseph had some hard times.  I’m sure he had some days where he didn’t feel like getting out of bed in the morning.  But that doesn’t mean he didn’t make the most of the opportunities he was given.

For me, this year is an opportunity to focus on things outside of me.  It’s a time to take opportunities, no matter what shape they make take.  I’m not sure I’ll take it quite as far as Jim Carrey’s character in Yes Man, where he HAS to say YES to EVERY opportunity that comes before him, but we’ll see.  If the opportunities are from God, than who am I to say no?

Besides, if I’m faithful with the little ones, who knows what’s just around the bend.

Be brave,

P.S.  It’s my birthday today.  Leave me a little note? You’re all the best! ❤

Alone Vs. Lonely

Have you ever had a day that was just horrible from start to finish?  A day when you felt so alone that all you wanted to do was wallow in it?  I don’t have these days often, but yesterday was definitely one of those days for me.  It came following a long, stressful week of work, and personal trouble that just hit one thing after another all week long.  And despite attempting to make the best of it, Friday just really hit me hard and all I wanted to do was sit at home and wallow in the fact that I wasn’t just alone- I was lonely.

Loneliness isn’t something that visits me often, despite the fact that I am often alone.  I have always thought of myself as an introvert- drawing energy and calm from being alone.  But I’ve recently discovered something about myself.  It’s much easier to be an introvert surrounded by people, than to be an introvert in the house all alone.

Several years ago now, I dated a guy.  I won’t go into all of the horrible details (the ‘cancer’ relationship I mentioned last time)- but the point is that we lived together in a place that was 400 miles away from my family and friends.  During that time, he was really the only person that I had.  And despite being with him every single day, all I wanted on a daily basis was to be alone.  I always felt like I was missing my ‘alone’ time.

Skip ahead a little bit.  I moved home (and not just to my hometown… I’m talking after seven years of being ‘on my own’ I moved back in with my parents).  I’m not resentful of this decision, the truth is very much on the contrary.  It was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.  It allowed me to get the perspective and distance that I needed in order to start healing.  And it also gave me something that I had for so long desperately craved.  It gave me a chance to be my own person.  To do my own thing.  Alone.

And even though I was around my family, I still had the ability to coop myself up in my bedroom with a movie or book.  I could do anything and everything I wanted behind my closed door.  And even though I was alone- I wasn’t really alone.  I was still in a house full of people.  Oddly enough, it made being an introvert that much easier.  I still had that daily connection with people that love me, and people that I love.

Last summer my parents bought a house.  In November I moved in to that house as a tenant.  And while I do enjoy the time that I get to spend by myself doing my own thing, sometimes it gets lonely.  Not always, but sometimes.

It makes me reminisce about my best friend in high school.  Have you ever noticed how the most quiet girls always seem to make friends with people who are crazy and offbeat and incredibly LOUD?  Well that was me in high school.  My best friend was crazy and wacky and pulled me from my shell more than she will ever know.  For anyone that has read (or seen the movies) Anne of Green Gables, she was my bosom friend.  The one person in the world that I could tell anything to- no judgment.  And sure, we had our arguments, what hormonal teenage girlfriends don’t?  But at the end of the day, she was as close as a sister, and I would have done anything for her.

That’s not to say that she was my only friend in high school, because I had a wide circle of friends back then.  Even in college, I made some amazing friends.  But as we grow up and move on- as our lives change and circumstances change- sometimes we lose touch along the way.

And ever since I moved ‘home’, friends are something that I have been severely lacking.  I don’t admit this to elicit pity, because that’s just not me.  But as a general rule it seems like people after college meet in one of two places, work and bars.

My workplace isn’t exactly conducive to meeting people my age and the bar scene isn’t really mine.

So where does that leave me?

Especially when my main interests are reading and writing.  Not exactly big friendship builders there.  Not when you live in a small town and go to a small church with an almost nonexistent young adult population.  There’s not much in the way of book clubs or writing groups- both of which I have looked into starting in the past and couldn’t generate the interest.

BUT! That’s very soon going to change (I hope).  Of the young adults that ARE in my church, along with some other interested people and my dad (who is a pastor… I don’t think I’ve mentioned that yet… anywho!) we are starting a young adult thing.  I only call it a thing because I honestly feel like it is going to be so much more than a church service, although that is the initial plan.  I really want it to become this massive group of young adults that do more than just hang out at bars (which will not be on the itinerary).  And it excites me because in my normal day to day life, I really don’t have a ton of interaction with people my age, and I’ve grown to just have this ache for it.  For that sense of community, for the relationships.  I don’t necessarily miss high school or college, but I miss what they do.  I miss the community of diverse people that those places bring together.

That kind of brings me back to my whole alone vs lonely thing.  Because I have an incredibly hard time believing that just because I am single means that I should be lonely.  And as I said before, it’s not something that I feel very often, but when it hits me, it seems to be like a punch to the gut- stealing my breath and my resolution to do much more than wallow.

I think that part of the reason why it is so hard to distinguish between alone and lonely is that we were never really meant for either.  In the Bible one of the very first things God said about men was “It is not good for man to be alone.”  And so, out of Adam he created Eve.  And there they were- the very first love story.

Down through the years family relationships have changed dramatically.  It used to be that a woman would live at home until she was married.  And often even after she was married the family ‘clans’ all lived close to one another.  Women cooked and baked and sewed and had all of these bonding activities to do together on a daily basis.  Women back then did everything together.  They had that closeness, that bonding.  And then somewhere over the last 100 years all of that changed.  Women started leaving home during adolescence.  Going to college and having jobs outside the house.  There was a dynamic shift in gender roles.  Women became progressive.  We became strong.  We became ‘equal’.

And while there is nothing wrong with equality (trust me, I have no desire to revert our society back to what it was in earlier centuries) we as women have lost something along the way.  Remember when I said that we as women have an intense desire to have another person ‘get’ us in a real and deep way?  Well, why does that person have to be a man?

Let’s be honest here for a moment.  There are jokes and songs and movies up the wazoo about how men just don’t ‘get’ women.   You’ve got:

What Women Want
Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

A woman is mystery
A man just can’t understand
Sometimes all it takes to please her
Is the touch of your hand
And other times you gotta take it slow
And hold her all night long
Heaven knows there’s so many ways
A man can go wrong
-Billy Currington ‘Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right

Men, on the whole don’t understand what makes us tick.  They don’t understand the mood swings or the emotions.  They can’t comprehend the desire to be thought of as beautiful, or why we change our minds and our hairstyles so frequently (which I sometimes don’t even understand myself, to be honest).

But where does it say that a man has to be a woman’s everything?  Why does he have to be her husband/boyfriend and also best friend, confidant, lover, therapist?  When we rely on one person for so much, it’s no wonder they don’t understand what we want half the time.  No person can fill all of those roles all of the time without a mistake here and there.

But having someone to lean on, a ‘partner’ throughout life, is definitely something that can be achieved.  But not without a little help from our friends.  As women, we need to learn to trust our female friends.  We need to be careful what information we give out to people.  We have to invest our time in people, but that doesn’t always include giving them our hearts.

And this is the problem that I have always seemed to have in the past.  When it comes right down to it, despite the fact that the Bible tells us to guard our hearts, it is something that I so infrequently do.  I’m not talking about being overly emotional (although I am that too often) I’m talking about letting the walls down for every person that shows an interest.  And those walls can be physical, or they can be emotional.  I think a major problem in our society today is not only that women so freely give their bodies away, but also that they so freely give their hearts.

The heart of a woman is sacred and special.  It deserves to be cherished and protected with as much fervor as her body.  There is a reason that our hearts are tender.  We shouldn’t let society and enemies and hate harden our hearts, because if we do that, we lose something so special.  In Matthew 5, Jesus said “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

Being alone isn’t an excuse to give ‘the goods’ away for free.  And again, this applies to physical and emotional goods.  In the past, I would definitely categorize myself as someone that holds on too much, I invest far too much into people that don’t return my affections.  I give my heart when I should guard it.  And in the end, I get a broken heart and a feeling of such intense loneliness, that I don’t think anything will ever be the same again.  And while the feeling dissipates, there is always a part of me that misses that person.  Maybe that’s what this year is really about for me.  Not only just taking a break from men, but finding a way to guard my heart through a sea of uncertainty.  Because not every story has to end in heartbreak.  But somehow, I always manage to let it be that way.  So here’s to a year of being on guard.

Touché!  (yeah yeah, lame I know.  That’s just me. Nerd and all.)

Be brave,