Who I’ve Become; A Rant on Self-Love, & a Trip Down Memory Lane

Our world is rather obsessed with self-love at the moment. Be who you are, be authentic, love your flaws, don’t change yourself for the approval of the world.

Those are all rather neutral ideas. But they can easily be abused, I think they need to be updated to fit a more biblical standpoint…

Be who God created you to be, and who He is making you to be.

Love the way God makes up for your flaws. Your flaws allow Him to shine through you.

Change yourself for the approval of God even if that means loosing the approval of the world. Or, rather, let God change you into something He approves of, and don’t worry what the world thinks.

Let God’s love shine authentically through you.

Over the last three-four years, I have gone through some major changes that have helped me realize those things…

November. 22, 2014, my mom passed away at age 47.

March 2015, I began a new career in Ophthalmology.

June 2015, I met Peter, and…

March 2016 …soon after began my first courtship with him, which lead me on many wild and exciting adventures of travel, self-discovery, and fear-facing. Car crashes, long talks about marriage, delved so deeply into who I am with the help of a truly amazing man by my side.

April 2016, my dad got remarried to a really lovely lady who is now, obviously, my stepmom. And I gained two step siblings.

September 2016, Peter broke off our courtship, which was extremely difficult, as the last 6 months of our relationship had gone amazingly and the only reason to end the courtship was that he felt he was meant to live a life of celibacy. A calling he has felt most of his life, but he sought God through our courtship to see if he was meant to marry me. He felt he was not. But we have remained very close friends and still love one another deeply as such.

December 2016, I obtained two certifications in Ophthalmology. OSC & COA.

January 2017, I moved from the house I grew up in into a house with a roommate.

July-ish 2017? I began developing a friendship with Jonathan, a lovely fellow I’ve known as long as I’ve known Peter, but had never really sought to spend one-on-one time with. He’s my adopted little brother now. He’s a gem. I love that guy dearly. ❤️

December 2017, Got my first tattoo. A memorial for my mom.

June 2018, Got my second tattoo, a reminder that Jesus has paid my debit in full and my battle is won by His blood.

And now, here we are, June 30th, 2018, and I am just a day short of one month away from being 25. In among those above dates are countless road trips, hours and hours of laughter, tears, literally thousands of dollars worth of fuel and fast food, moments of fear, moments of joy, dashed hopes and hopes turned into realities, and lots of good music. My heart aches to be able to go back in time and relive the moments of discovery I’ve had over this stretch of time. So many good memories, woven together with so much pain. Growing pains that have lead me to where I am now. Stronger, wiser, more confident, freer than I have ever been.

I still struggle hard sometimes with things. Temptations, fears, laziness, etc. But I love the person God has made me to be. I love the heart he has given me towards certain people and certain struggles, I love the adventures He’s taken me on, I love the risks I’ve taken and the way those risks paid off in my life…

I feel that now, for the first time ever in my life, I can say that I honestly do love myself. Not for what I’ve accomplished, but for what God has accomplished in and through me. I love the way He’s used me to love and provide for people. I love the way He’s dashed all my fears against the rocks and sent me out into the ocean of His love to drown. Dying to who I thought I was, and coming back as someone far, far better than I thought was possible.

As I sit here today in a very weird rocking chair (seriously… it’s strange..) typing this, with my tattoos and my Oklahoma shirt that I got in the airport years ago on my first solo traveling adventure, I cannot wait to see what God’s going to do next. I still have fears, and insecurities, and doubts, but the excitement far outweighs it all.

Anyway, all this to say… Love yourself. But not in the way the world tells you to. Keep going on adventures. Keep being spontaneous. Never stop exploring. And let God lead.

 

 

 

 

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I Lived

 

Dear Future Husband,

After seven years of saving, I’ve got enough for our trip to New Zealand now. Kinda ready for you to show up. There are so many adventures to have together, just waiting for us to seize them! Come join me in this crazy thing called life.

Japanese Cherry Blossoms

So, it’s been a grand total of forever since I have blogged about… well… Anything. So, allow me to give you a brief update (be aware I did not read my last post and don’t remember what I have or have not already told you all) :

I am 24 now! *gasp* SO OLD.

I live in a house with a roommate and no longer in my childhood home or with my Dad. I have real adult bills like rent and utilities and renters insurance now. Yup. Life.

I am a COA, OSC (Certified Ophthalmic Technician and Ophthalmic Scribe Certified) now, as of Dec. of last year (so I am sure I must have told you this… hopefully.)

I am STILL SINGLE. Or really single now. As I was in a courtship with my best friend, who is still my best friend, who I am still madly in love with, but who has chosen to spend the rest of his life with Jesus and be celibate. (But still my best friend, because friendship should not end just because the courtship didn’t end in marriage, fyi.)

I have made a NEW FRIEND, who has the most awesome testimony ever and I love him dearly, he is super cool. He is an excellent adventure buddy. ^_^ In fairness I’ve known him for quite a while but only recently have gotten to know him really well.

As of Dec 2nd, I am getting my first tattoo! Japanese Cherry Blossoms, which symbolize the beauty and fragility of life, and “Matthew 25:21” beneath them, as a memorial to my mom. November 22 will be three years since she went to spend forever with Jesus. My tattoo artist has been doing her thing for 27 years (longer than I have lived) and is super mega skilled. I am stoked. And terrified. It’ll be great! Pictures to come once it is all healed and ready to be seen by the world.

Let’s see… Anything else? I have an iPhone now. That’s not really news. I joined the cult. I’m sorry. I regret nothing. I am enjoying it. Sorry, Android lovers. I was once one of you, but I have moved on to bigger and better things. 😛

Anyway, guys and gals, I really really am sorry I have left you all hanging. Since my courtship ended, I have had less that really inspired me to blog. Yeah, he’s still my best friend, but it’s hard. There was such a beautiful dream, such a precious love, and it is still there, it just cannot grow into anything else, and that’s hard. Please pray for us. Pray for me, that I am able to move on, and pray for my awesome guy, that he would change his mind and marry me. (Just kidding!!… sort of.) Okay, for real, pray for guidance for him, for clarity, and that both of us will continue to be lead by God into whatever future He has for our lives. And that no matter what happens, we remain close friends. His friendship is so valuable to me.

Alrighty, I must be off. But thanks for reading, and thanks for the prayers.

~TQG

One Flesh, and Reflections

So, tonight as I am listening to the rain and doing some reading in scripture, I thought I’d share a recent realization I had.

I was thinking back to some memories from my childhood, and my parents, and how they used to laugh and carry on, and I said, out loud to myself, “Man, I miss them.”

My dad is still alive. I see him at least once a week. It’s my mom that I miss… right? Then I realized… My parental unit was just that, a unit. Two people, yes, but joined together by God, one flesh.

6“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

~Mark 10: 6-9

I still have my dad, yes. But, God took my mom home. And my dad is now joined with my lovely step mom, Polly. He is the same man, but also, different, his other half has molded and changed him and they have become their own unique unit. One that I admire and enjoy, but it’s not my unit. So I do miss them. I miss my parents. Both of them. I miss what they were, and what they meant to me as I grew up. Their marriage was not perfect, they had some struggles, but almost 25 years and they were still totally in love. I remember the day my mom passed away, we saw it coming. We watched her O2 levels drop.

70%

65%

60%

and my dad leaned down and kissed my moms forehead and said “Liz, I love you, dear. I love you. Stay with me. I love you.”

To her very last breath. Till death do us part. I pray that the Lord brings me a man who will love me like that. When I have nothing to give. My mom was too ill to cook, or clean, she was not able to be sexually available for him, she was barely able to put on her own shoes. But he loved her. And he painted her nails, and shaved her legs for her so she would feel pretty and feminine even though she was unable to go anywhere. He cooked for her, and cleaned, and brushed her hair. And he never once complained. He cared for her the way Jesus cares for us, His Bride. We have nothing to offer, but He treats us like we are precious, and irriplaceable.

I sometimes have nightmares about that night. The sounds the body makes when it literally suffocates are other worldly, and horrifying, and when those nightmares come they last for several nights. But on that night, without being invited, or told what was going on, no less that 6 close friends of my family came to visit my mom. As I was being ushered out of her room so the nurses could attempt to keep her breathing, my friends were walking in. One of them, my good friend Jese, stayed the night with me. Her awesome husband brought her pjs, and she slept on my couch, let me sit numbly without talking to me and was just… there. I didn’t sleep. I just sat. And I didn’t sob. I just let the tears roll down silently. In the morning she made me gluten free pancakes and vacuumed our house, and cleaned our kitchen, all of which had fallen to ruin during the week we had spent practically living at the hospital. She also arranged for a full course Thanksgiving dinner to be cooked for us, as this all happened on Nov. 22, 2014.

Since my mom was taken home, I have seen the fruit of my suffering. God has used me to reach out to people in ways that I would not have been able to, had I not experience this pain. Empathy is such a gift. Anyone can say I’m here for you. But when someone can come along side you, and cry with you, and feel your pain with you, that is truly a gift.

Anyway, all that to say, the marriage union is truly, miraculous, and beautiful, and the best picture of Christ’s love that we can find on this earth. And that is why Satan attacks it with such vigor. Kind of eye opening, isn’t it?

~TQG

Cliché but True, “New Year, New Me”

Timelines of my life in the last… gosh… two weeks-ish? Seems like so much more than two weeks…

Mid December:

Found out that the house I was living in (which was on the market) had a contract on it and was due to close on Feb. 3rd.

Dec. 28th-Jan. 1rst:

Went to Faithwalkers East, which was AMAZING. Later, on a night when I have more time, I intend to type up some of my notes from the seminars I went to and post them. So stay tuned! But until then, let me just say… Wow. So awesome to spend several days just seeking God, having Godly fellowship with other believers, and having hours upon hours of time away from the stress, temptations and weight of the world. I went hiking up a crazy steep North Carolina mountain, and we spend New Years Eve night into New Years Day dancing swing, shag, and line dances, finishing up with praying in the new year!! I don’t have enough words to in my vocabulary to properly express how much I enjoyed it. I highly recommend it.

Jan. 2nd-6th:

Found out that the closing date of the house was moved up to Jan. 23rd, AND the only bathroom with a functional shower had to be ripped out and replaced prior to Jan. 23rd. Time to move out. Now.

Jan. 6th-present:

Moved out successfully over the weekend. Still working on organization and feeling settled. But so far, so good. I’m pleased with how things have turned out.

Currently, my area is having a cold spike. It was 19 degrees this morning on my way to work. Windchill made it feel like 13…. I live in the south, we aren’t used to this. I don’t even really own winter clothes. I’m frozen.

Anyway, just though I would give you all an update on my life. It’s crazy. But it’s good. Looking forward to seeing what this new year has in store for me. Or, more accurately, what God has in store for this new year. 🙂

 

I did it!

Apologies for taking such huge breaks between posts. I have had a lot going on! Such as:

  • Ever present possibility that I have to move suddenly (I live alone, but it’s my dad’s house, and it is on the market).
  • Going through some difficult times relationally.
  • Full-time job
  • Studying for my COA (Certified Ophthalmic Assistant) exam.

BUT I HAVE GOOD NEWS! I PASSED MY COA TEST! I am officially, Moriah, COA, OSC.

I am super excited about it. I wanted to share something interesting that happened while I was preparing for the test.

One afternoon, I was studying and feeling very overwhelmed. So, I prayed, and I asked God to please help me stay calm, remember what I was studying, and help me pass the test.
And he gently nudged my heart and says;

“You ask for an awful lot from someone you never spend time with. How about you put Me first, make spending time in My word priority, and then, we’ll see.”

I felt kinda convicted. So, I began reading at least one chapter of scripture and spending time in prayer daily before I would allow myself to study. I still studied, but devoted time to both studying ophthalmology and the bible. And I passed my test. 🙂 God is awesome.

Prayer request for you all! My best friend has to move on Dec. 20th. He still does not know where he will be moving to, but so far his only option is 45+ minutes farther away from his jobs (he has four jobs… yeah…), and farther from me (super-sad face emoji). Please pray that God will provide him a place that is closer, more convenient, and in a good price range. Preferably with a roommate that can split the costs with him.

Anyway, I’m off to do some reading before bed! TTFN!

~TQG

It’s not over yet.

Heard this song on the radio for the first time about two weeks ago. Absolutely love it. I’m surprised I haven’t busted my cars speakers with this one.

God is doing some fantastic things in my life. I’m officially a member of my church, which is something I’ve never done or wanted to do until now. I’m making new friends, trying new things, expanding my world tenfold, and loving it. It’s scary, but so worth it.

Work is stressing me out some. I sometimes miss having a job that didn’t require studying and certifications. But, I am still enjoying my work, so that is a huge blessing.

Anyway, there is a quick update for you. Maybe more later. I have to get ready for bed, and decide which of three books I have to read will actually be read tonight. We’ll see how it goes.

 

~TQG

 

Next Chapter Of Adulthood

Less than one month of 2014 left, and today I started the somewhat daunting but also exciting task of becoming my Dad’s personal accountant. Together we are delving into the dark chasm of bills and debts and setting up a special bill paying schedule for me to work from, so that I may take on my new role as payer of the bills. Though this is a pretty big task, I’m actually happy about it. It’s something I’d have to learn to do eventually, but this way I’m learning it while I still have someone to help crunch numbers and build budgets. Someone who actually knows how.

The last.. two weeks? Has been quite a roller coaster. Lots of family and friends in town, dropping food by, spending time with us, keeping our minds busy. But this week we are mostly (but not totally!) alone as far as company goes. Which is good, we aren’t very good company when we’re trying to pay bills. (Paying bills can make one a bit gwumpy.)

My parents and I have always had a very close relationship. And now that we’re missing one, my Dad and I have stuck close. Both of us have been having dreams lately, dreams that try and convince us that Mom is still alive. Mine often include Mom showing up and saying the doctor’s lied to us, and that she survived, and when I wake up, I feel like I’m still dreaming. It doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t feel real.

So often I see or hear of something really fun or cute, and my first thought is “I need to save that and show it to Mom!”. Or I’ll get dressed, and want to ask her opinion on my outfit. But I can’t. And every time my brain makes that subconscious suggestion, the reality of her loss hits me again.

She was 47. Way, way too young to spend her last week of life in a hospital bed, getting stuck with needles multiple times a day. I held her hand for some of those needles. And I was there, in the room when she died. Every memory of that night sits at the edge of my mind, nagging at me. Threatening to show up while I sleep.

The first three days next week, I’ll be home alone for most of the day. I’m intending to go to the gym a lot, read a lot, do laundry and clean. But even so, neither my Dad nor I have any desire to be alone right now. We’ll see how it goes…

 

When Life Gets Real

Brought my Dad to church with me, and then to lunch with the group I usually hangout with. Always enjoy doing that, letting my friends meet my dad and vice versa. Afterwards we went to Petsmart and I got two gerbils, both males. Henry and Oliver. Back in my middle school/high school days, I bred gerbils. So they’re a fun, familiar little pet. They have big personalities.

Last night I became possessed with an idea, one that I need to pray about and meditate on a bit, an idea inspired by a Skype chat I had yesterday with my best friend. Something to do with my future, especially education wise. I’m excited about it.

Beyond that, honestly, I am stressed. Unemployed and sick of job hunting and tired of the workplace drama. I wish I had more money in savings, so I could take a break from it all without worrying about money.

I didn’t get enough sleep last night, woke up at 5:30am and couldn’t get back to sleep. That may be one cause of my current attitude. Even so, I’m struggling so hard with being frustrated over life right now.

I need a word from God right now. I’d love it if He would just tell me what to do.

~TQG

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