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.

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Fish Love 🐠 ❤️

So I was talking with one of my super awesome dude friends late last night after we had a fabulous adventure day at Carowinds Season Passholder Preview Night, and he shared a super cool thing. He gave me permission to share it with you all.

There was a Jewish man who once saw a guy eating a fish, and he said:

“Oh, enjoying that meal are you?”

and the man said, “Oh yes! I love fish!”

“You love fish? You love it so much that you killed it, skinned it, cooked it and ate it?”

So much of what we call “love” is fish love. We love something because it gives us gratification or pleasure. We don’t actually care about the well being of the person, place, or thing when we say we “love” it. What we are actually saying is that we love the feeling it gives us. If we really loved the fish, we would care for it, provide for it’s needs, give it a good place to live with fresh clean water and food. And then we would be both satisfying it’s desires and needs as well as our own, because if we really loved it, our satisfaction would be found in the act of providing for it.

You cannot separate love from Jesus. Real, true love, is the desire to provide for, satisfy, and care for the object of our affection regardless of how we feel or what we get in return. Only Jesus can sustain that type of love within us, because He is constantly pouring His selfless love into us from the moment we accept His forgiveness.

This is why so many marriages and relationships fail. We are shown through TV and movies that love is that spark, that “love at first sight” moment followed by romance, sex, and falling “madly in love”, where your passions are so strong you just can’t stay away from one another. And that is not love. That is lust. It’s the love of ourselves, our own gratification, and the feeling of being accepted and adored. Sure, it’s consensual and both parties are equally taking advantage of one another without complaint. But, a few months, a few years down the road, when desires and passions change and fade, and things start to become less like a thrilling rollercoaster ride and more like a long trudging journey uphill, suddenly “the spark is gone”, “I’m just not in love with you anymore”, and heartache, divorce, affairs… Suddenly they start seeking the feeling of “love” again elsewhere, thinking they perhaps married the wrong person, or just that “the love is gone”. No, dears. The lust is gone. The gratification is gone. And since, though you refuse to acknowledge it, you were in it for the thrill of gratification, you aren’t really interested in sticking around for the long haul. You were in it for the fish love. And well, there are plenty of fish in the sea.

Jesus doesn’t love us because we have so much to bring to the table. Actually, we bring absolutely nothing to the table. We come to the table with empty stomachs and dirty hands, hoping for a few crumbs. And Jesus cleans us up, dresses us in His own clean clothes, sits us in the seat of highest honor, and serves us humbly the best of the harvest. He his satisfaction in us is to care for us. Our satisfaction in Him is to serve Him, and our joy in Him is to share His love with everyone we meet. Because why let a lost world sit in rags, begging for crumbs, when we have a Savior who longs to take us under His wing?

One Single Thing (Me)

March 4th, 2018. This is the year I turn 25. The year I wanted to be married by. Had my previous (and only) relationship worked out, I’d be just a few months away from celebrating our one year anniversary. But, alas, here I am. Single, living with an older lady from my church, spending my days working at an eye clinic and going to the gym, primarily.

I gotta be real with you all. I’m frustrated. I’m lonely. I am NOT desperate, ready to fall for any guy who looks my way, however. Quite the opposite. My best friend/man I almost married is still my closest friend and continues to be such a fabulous example of what I desire in a spouse. Just yesterday we were watching a movie and the characters were talking about failed relationships, he turned to me and asked, “Do you consider our courtship a failed relationship?”

No. I don’t. We did everything right, our relationship was and is still healthy, God honoring, and we would have made an amazing couple had we gotten married. The only reason we did not is because he feels called to be single. Our courtship did not end in marriage, but it was not a failure. We both sought God, learned about one another and ourselves, and when it ended, we continued to honor God by maintaining a love and respect for one another that I have not seen between “exes” before.

Because of that, my expectations, hopes, dreams, requirements, and standards for a man have gotten higher. Now that I know there is such a thing as a man who loves Jesus more than me, who loves me selflessly and choses to protect my heart over satisfying his own desires, I cannot and will not settle for less.

And I am frustrated. Because men like that are so rare. Or at least, it appears that way. My heart aches to share life with someone, to have someone to snuggle up in bed with after long day and just be with.

Someone who enjoys going grocery shopping on the weekends and considers that a fun day out together.

Who loves to cook with me, and doesn’t get frustrated with me when I can’t remember what ingredients I just read on the recipe and have to reread it a dozen times.

Someone who knows how important snuggling is to me, and knows that when I’m mad or frustrated with life, cuddles are always the answer.

Someone who randomly starts singing in the car even when he doesn’t remember the real lyrics, and the radio isn’t even on.

Someone who knows more scripture by heart than I do, and doesn’t act superior because of it.

Someone who doesn’t mind me sending him texts throughout the day about inconsequential things that I thought were interesting (That in hindsight aren’t actually that interesting).

Someone who sets boundaries and sticks to them no matter what, honors his commitments, and doesn’t make empty promises.

Someone who knows that showing emotions is a sign of strength, not weakness, and loves people openly without shame.

Someone who calls me beautiful, and loves me for who I am as a person. But also calls me a hot chick, thinks my body is a treasure, something to be respected and appreciated, and refuses to indulge it in until we are married.

Maybe my expectations are too high. But I know one man who meets them. And I’d rather be alone than settle for less.

 

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

Fifty Shades

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and that means Singles-Awareness jokes, lots of pepto-bismol pink, fluffy things, chocolate and, as TV adds, media, and probably your coworkers won’t let you forget, Fifty Shades Darker.

This post is to all my Christian followers, and those who are curious about Christian’s standards on entertainment. I will be the first to admit, I am preachy when it comes to this subject, but for today, I just want to offer some biblical advice to my Christian brothers and sisters who are curious about this series of movies/books and are trying to rationalize their way into going to see it.

I will be careful to live a blameless life—
when will you come to help me?
I will lead a life of integrity
in my own home.
I will refuse to look at
anything vile and vulgar.
I hate all who deal crookedly;
I will have nothing to do with them.
I will reject perverse ideas
and stay away from every evil.

~Psalm 101 2-4 (NLT)

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

~Ephesians 5:3&4 (NIV)

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.

~Psalm 119:9 (ESV)

Don’t tell yourself those rational-lies. Keep your way pure. Keep your heart and mind free of the sin of this world and pursue true, honest, gentle, and guiltless love. What you put in your mind effects you, fellow believers. Don’t give Satan a foothold.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

~Philippians 4:8

Need an alternative movie night idea? Here are two great titles! Both available on DVD.

“Old-fashioned”

“Priceless” (Available Feb. 14th on DVD)

Happy Valentine’s Day! Let true love win the day!

Only you

No idea what the title of this song is, nor the rest of the lyrics. But, I love this part.

“If the whole world were watching, I’d still dance with you.

Drive highways and biways to be there with you. 

Over and over there’s only one truth,

Everything comes back to you.

You still make me nervous when you walk in the room,

Those butterflies, they come alive, when I’m next to you.

Over and over there’s only one truth, 

Everything comes back to you.” 

~TQG

Being An Empath

I had my heart bruised last night. Not broken. Just really badly bruised. So, riding a roller coaster today. It coasts along at a semi-conversating state, then dips a little into the emotionless dead air zone, before diving headlong into the tears-that-just-won’t-stop drop that leaves you feeling like your heart wasn’t able to handle the speed and just got left back on the tracts somewhere.

As with a several fellow Empaths I’ve met, when we hurt, it changes the way we receive the emotions of others. Some temporarily lose their ability to feel others emotions because their own are too strong. Other’s still feel them, but can’t discern them well or find their origins. Usually I am of the former variety. But today, I experienced something new. I felt more. My own pain left me wide open to feel others pain, or happiness, or cruelty, or kindness… I felt like I was feeding off of them.

Also, I became extremely aware how different it must be to not be an Empath. Almost no one noticed that I was struggling. And I’m not a great actress. Not that I needed or wanted to be noticed or acknowledged, but it amazed me the lack of … awareness, that people have for the emotional states of others.

I’m an INFJ, we’re naturally Empathic, and generally fall into the “HSP” (highly sensitive person”) category as well. Meaning our nervous systems are often wired in such a way that we react more strongly to things and feel things more intensely than is “normal”. We tend to have low pain tolerance, to dislike temperature, sound, light, or people extremes, (too hot, too loud, too bright, too crowded, etc). For example, I hate florescent lighting. It just grates on my every nerve. I work in a building with almost entirely florescent lighting, so I often sit in the dark without lights when I can. Drives my coworkers crazy. Sudden noises make me jump even when I see them coming. Also, emotions are strong. There’s no such thing as half-way for me. I either like you, or I don’t (required to love all people because Jesus does, but I don’t have to LIKE you), I trust you, or I don’t (though I will discern at times what degrees of trust should be allotted and trust people with certain things but not  others).  The words “I love you” are weighty to me. Very strong. Very important. Difficult for me to use with many. But once I’ve said them, it’s set in stone. Yes, I’m required to love everyone. But love is a verb. When you find someone who you also love with your emotions as well as your actions, it is so much more intense and binding and… wonderful. And painful. And terrifying. And incredible.

I know, this is random and disjointed and makes no sense. Welcome to my world, as it is for now. Pray for me. I have a deep ache in my heart and I’m confused and I need comfort and understanding.

Four Days

Not going to explain my title. You can just wonder your little heart out. It’s a mystery! (Oooh!)

I have spent more time devoted to pray in these last 3 1/2 days than I have in years. Also, I’ve spent more time in my bible per day than I ever have. I’ve done some reading during breakfast, while on lunch break, and right before bed. I’ve spent more time seeking counsel from people whom I trust to be solid believers that I have in…. literally forever.

And I have my answer. It’s firm, it’s supported by my mentors, my family, and most importantly, by scripture. My heart is a peace with this answer, totally. Every time I pray, every time I seek Him, every time I read (and I’m not selectively reading what I think will support my desires, trust me), I become more and more assured of what God wants for me. I’ve gone on walks and prayed out loud to God and been reassured. I’ve prayed in my head while I’m working up patients and been reassured. I’ve sang worship songs in the shower and been overwhelmingly reassured and comforted and wrapped up in God’s love.

I am not anxious, or worried, or fearful. I’ve never been so sure about something in my entire life.

However, I’m not the only human mind in this decision. So, I am restless. God has been so good to me, He has blessed me with frequent encouragers, kind coworkers, and good sleep (a very important gift!) as I have been fighting this restlessness. So ready for the conclusion. As encouraged and reassured as I have been about the outcome, I still won’t be totally at rest until I see it for myself. *sigh* Faith is hard. Leaning on God is hard. Not because of Him, but because of me. He’s proved me wrong in my worrying every single time in my life up until now, why I can’t just leap off the cliff and trust Him to catch me, I may never know… I guess thats a part of being human.

I’m running out of edge though. I’m slowly sliding off that cliff. He will catch me, but that doesn’t mean I won’t get an adrenaline rush on my way down.

My First Love

As I look back through my almost 23 years of life, I see all the people I’ve loved and lost, from dear friends who walked out of my life, to my mother who went to be with Jesus long before those of us here on earth were ready to let her go, I see something amazing.

With every loss, He brought something amazing out of it. Through each loss, He pushed me closer and close to Himself, and closer to finding a body of believers I can depend on, who will come alongside me in times of trouble. I am so extremely blessed.

Recently I was looking through some old letters written to me by people who called themselves my friends, but in reality proved to be just chapters in my life story, meant to fade away when the pages turned and the plot twisted. These letters used to make me cry every time I read them, and now, for the first time, I was able to let them go. I put them in a box and set it by the curb to be collected with the trash. I no longer need to revisit those memories.

God has brought me to a place of comfort in His love that I have never had before. He has brought me back to Himself. He is my first love. And though I still struggle with self-doubt at times, He never fails to provide me with perfect reminders of His love for me.

Today I fasted from solid foods (my hypoglycemia requires that I at least have protein shakes so I don’t literally pass out 😛 )  and spent more time devoted to prayer than I have in a while. I’m praying for a situation in my life that is very dear to my heart and very important to me. But no matter how this situation plays out, I have come to realize something. I cannot lose my first love. He will always keep me near to Him, He will always be true to His word. He has chosen me as His pure bride. He is all that I need.

Does that mean I cannot be hurt by circumstances? No. Honestly, though I feel I know what His will is for this situation, but if it ends up hurting me, I will survive. I will move on from it. Yes, it will be painful, but He will see me through. I am earnestly seeking His will now and asking that I do not have to go through that pain.

“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
~John 14:13-14

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
~Matthew 18:19

“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
~Matthew 21:22

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
~Mark 11:24

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
~John 15:7

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”
~John 15:16

“In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
~John 16:23-24

” But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways”
~James 1:5-8

“and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.”
~ 1 John 3:22

I have sought counsel of older, wiser believers, and I have petitioned my King to give me peace about this if I am acting within His will. And I have complete peace. It is all in His capable hands, the same hands that knit the universe together. He holds my heart. I am safe, I am loved, I am chosen.

Boldly, I approach the throne of my Lover and make my request.

Thank you, Jesus, for being approachable, for caring about my heart, and for answering my prayers in ways I never would have imagined. You have outdone yourself time and time again, and I know this will be no exception. Only you are deserving of my praise. You are big enough to handle my hopes and dreams, loving enough to handle my heart with tenderness. I am forever in awe.

~TQG

The Best Is Yet To Come

A lot has happened since my last post…

Chiefly, the friend I went on the “Great Salsa Adventure” with is courting me now. We’ve discussed so many things and spent a lot of time talking over our pet peeves and expectations and opinions on things, it’s been amazing. And now, though he is waiting until June 2017 for God to give him assurance that we are supposed to be married, we are planning on attending pre-marital counseling to see if they can help us figure out if we’ve missed any important topics of discussion.

We take a lot of long walks and mini adventures together, spend many an evening cooking wonderful meals together and watching quirky anime shows and movies I’ve never heard of. We laugh until we can hardly breathe, tease each other, and over-all just have a fantastic time together.

All these years, praying for a Godly man, I never thought God would go so above and beyond my expectations. I feel so honored, respected and loved. And I can’t wait to see what He has in store for us as we continue our adventure together.

For those of you waiting for your knight in shining armor, stop looking. Just let him come. He won’t be what you hope for. He will be far, far greater.

Also, my Dad got remarried, moved in with his new wife, and I am living alone. Trying to find a new place to live so when the house sells, I’m not forced to move in with my stepmom’s house with her two kids. Introvert me does not want live-in siblings. 😛

Anyway, yes. Lots of changes. ^_^

~TQG