Stop “Waiting” for Your Boaz

I’ve taken some time off due to school and life, but I’m happy to start writing again! My goal with this blog is to really tackle contemporary issues from my perspective as a Millennial and to also touch on biblical truths in regards to those issues.

There seems to be a battle between what a lot of churches teach their young youth group girls, and what the girls actually experience. I know that has been definitely true with my own experiences.

It’s very easy to get swept up in the “wait for a man to pursue you” and “the treasure doesn’t do the chasing” type of principles. We need to be careful what we are telling these young girls and women, simply because (in my opinion) it’s not fair to put all the pressure on our young men so as to say they aren’t a treasure as well or aren’t fit to be pursued.

I’ve seen the “I’m waiting for my Boaz” shirts and websites and sometimes I can’t help but shake my head. Yes, Ruth waited and she was patient. But God prompted her to pursue HIM! She was the one making the moves to be married, and he had to think about it! She got her man by going after him. Same issue with churches telling young women they need to find this type of man and don’t settle for this type of guy and this is wrong and blah blah blah…

During my season of singleness and complete restoration, I bought into it. In fact I was at a point where I didn’t even want to think of dating a man. I was prepared to spend the rest of my life single, and I was okay with it! I had accepted that, I was prepared for it,  and I couldn’t even picture myself in another relationship. It was at that point in my life, that I would meet the man God had been preparing me for, that I would fall so deep in love with in a way I’d never experienced before, at a time when I wasn’t going to settle for ANYONE! And guess what? I pursued him. And I’m so glad I did.

You see, what most leaders in churches today don’t seem to understand, is that women are not the only ones being hurt in relationships. Women aren’t the only ones who have guards up, and we shouldn’t be so blind to think that a young man might have been heart broken and deceived so much in his past, that he literally can’t trust a genuine woman thinking she’s going to break his heart. And that’s a reality and a subject that I think is severely missed by the church.

So much emphasis on the men doing everything to lead, and pursue, and cater (which are all great), but God doesn’t have the same story for everyone. And that should be celebrated and talked about too! I read somewhere a long time ago that said God is WAY too awesome to be giving everyone the same love story. It’s really diminishing to his power and greatness to compare our stories and say “well this is how it happened to us, and that’s how it should happen to you!” NO! Just because your pastor and his wife met on some magical evening on a cool winter night, looking at the stars, and he heard God whispering her name so he knew she was the one and they lived happily ever after; doesn’t mean that’s going to happen to you. And it doesn’t have to. And it shouldn’t. And that’s not what you should expect either.

God prepares you in so many ways, I think we usually miss His lessons and don’t realize what He was doing until long afterwards. We go through things that will set us up for something in the future. We endure things to make us stronger. We date the wrong people, who in turn teach us major lessons as well.

I’m not saying you should settle for just anyone, but I am saying you should listen to your heart and pray consistently about it. I had a strong connection to my boyfriend from the moment we met (which was exactly 2 years ago), and I kind of brushed it off not wanting to be with anyone. And then he came around again a few months later and this time I couldn’t deny I was being pulled into him. When I heard God speaking to my heart about him is when I was like “okay”. And there have been struggles, I focused a little too much on him in the beginning and not enough on my relationship with God, I had severe insecurities based on my past…but everyone has struggles. Some more than others; but I believe those struggles make you stronger as a couple and project you forward especially when you bring those struggles to the Lord together.

The years I dealt with certain things in my past, definitely prepared me for my relationship today. I read somewhere “if you can love the wrong person that much, imagine how much you’re going to love the right person.” And that could not be more true. There’s nothing that makes me feel more loved and in love, than when my man takes my hands to pray with me and we talk to God together about each other. And let me add, it took us a year to get there!

My purpose here is to encourage you, and to maybe raise some discussion about what the church leaders are telling you, and what you’re actually going to experience. Because for me, I did what I felt in my heart was right. And I’m so glad I did! I have no idea where I would be, had I not taken a step in faith to go after and fight for my man. And I had to fight for him hard! And I STILL fight for him, and he fights for me too! And to be clear, my definition of fighting for someone is not against another person lol. It is against each other’s pasts, it’s fighting to choose each other amidst life’s challenges, and it’s mostly fighting spiritually against the enemy who tries to tear you apart.

So, I urge you. If you feel like you’re being pulled towards a man, and you’re praying about it, but he’s not pursuing you like the church says he should; go talk to him! You do you, girl. And don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re doing something wrong when you’re following your heart. If you have God on your side, you’re gonna be just fine, I promise. There’s no secret recipe to find your soul mate. There’s no “finding your mate for dummies” guide (well I’m sure there probably is). Don’t listen to your friends’ stories of how they met their men or even how perfect their man is (cuz I can tell you they ain’t, none of us are). Love is not easy, but it is SO worth it. Quit “waiting” around for your Boaz to come get you on his white horse…go out there and get him!

Ruth 1:16 – “But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.'”

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Keep On Keepin’ On

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Life has a funny way of repeating itself. We sometimes can find ourselves in similar situations over and over again. The main theme of my life I’d have to say is heartache. And I don’t mean that in just a romantic way. Heart ache through betrayal from friends, enemies, even people I don’t even know – lies, conniving, plotting – just to see me fall. And throughout the years of being broken down and praying and crying out I always come back to the same word…WHY?

Why would God allow these things in my life? To teach me a lesson? Why am I continuously drawn to people who are waiting for me to turn around so they can stab me in the back? Why do people tell lies and get away with it? Why are they doing this to me? And what did I ever do to deserve such treatment?

In the past I’ve festered over these thoughts and feelings over long periods of time. But as I’ve grown in my faith, I’ve been able to accept it and KNOW there’s a purpose. There’s a reason. And while I do need to learn to not give my trust so easily, being a good person to people who end up taking advantage of that are suffering far more than I am. And rather than seeking revenge, I know it’s already been taken care of. Not necessarily by something bad happening to them, although I can’t deny it’s definitely crossed my mind wanting someone to get what they deserve, but I’ve learned that God’s timing is impeccable and perfect.

I could go on and on about the situations I’ve been in. From “friends” talking about me for no reason, to being pre-judged by people who don’t even know me, my ex’s entire family hates me because of a lie their family friend told about me, I’ve had people steal money from me, and others throw me under the bus to make themselves look good. I’m not sure if God is trying to make my skin thicker or what His plan is, but I do know for a fact I haven’t suffered in vain.

From an early age my parents and teachers at school would always say: “Do unto others, what you would want done to you.” Treat people how you would want to be treated, act with integrity, don’t lie, don’t do something that will hurt someone or their reputation, be kind, be generous, be loving, be genuine – at all times. I don’t understand why everyone hasn’t been taught these vital morals in life. I’ve even had self-proclaimed “Christians” do things against me and use me. It’s unbelievable and I’m constantly in awe of what people are capable of. My mom always says, “Don’t ever be surprised because everyone is capable of doing anything.” It’s true. It’s a sad truth, but I can’t let that keep me from continuing to do what is right.

There’s been only a couple times where I allowed someone to make me lose total control. Which I could have avoided easily, and regretted immediately after that I allowed someone to get to me like that. Most of the time though, since I wear my heart on my sleeve, in situations where I should be fuming in anger I end up crawling in a ball and sobbing. It hurts. I just can never understand.

Whether I’ve been left to celebrate my birthday alone, have had a “friend” try to get with my boyfriend in front of me, or been humiliated when I’ve never done anything wrong to anyone; rather than letting that make me bitter I’ve just learned to let those people go. I will never be afraid of letting new people in because that’s just where my heart is. I love having relationships with people and while I’ve had about a hundred different circle of friends so far, those who are true have never left and I’m ever so grateful for those few.

If you’re finding yourself in similar situations or feel like you can’t handle another person causing you pain; rest assured your pain has a purpose. While it may not seem so at first and sometimes things will get so hard you feel like your heart can’t take anymore, God’s plan will prevail and someday you will see what He had in store for you all along. This doesn’t mean that you won’t ever suffer, we’re all human and even those you love will let you down, but as long and you’re living in the Lord’s truth, you’ll be able to pick yourself up, give grace, and keep on keeping’ on.

Truth For Today

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” – Galatians 6:9

“Do what is right and good in the LORD’s sight, so all will go well with you. Then you will enter and occupy the good land that the LORD swore to give your ancestors.” – Deuteronomy 6:18

To be Flawed, is to be Human

We’re all flawed.

Whether it’s physically, emotionally, spiritually or characteristically. We’re flawed. Every single one of us. With no exceptions. I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, if you wear Loubiton’s and drive a Porsche I can tell you right now, we have at least one thing in common. We’re flawed.

Physical flaws I feel like are the most difficult. You can cope with your emotional flaws. You can go to God and have your spiritual flaws wiped clean. You can evolve in character as you mature and become more wise. But physical flaws, you have to accept. Sure, some things can be fixed, but I think the first thing that needs to be worked on is the spirit.

I was born looking like a normal little baby girl. I had 10 little fingers, 10 little toes & I could persuade anyone with my baby blues. As I grew, a bone in both feet decided not to grow like the rest of me. When I realized that my feet were not “normal”, I would try to hide them. I have a short fourth metatarsal in both feet. Meaning, my fourth toe is stunted and not normal sized. It looks funny, it’s not cute (to me), and I have a hard time finding shoes that don’t bother it.

Growing up was tough enough as I battled being overweight for most of my adolescent years. Now not only was I “fat”, I had weird toes too. I never wore flip flops, I always would either wear tennis shoes or find sandals that covered the front part of my feet. I never wanted anyone to see them.

In middle school, I had to do a project with some classmates that I had just met that year in 8th grade. We rode home with one of the kids and his mom’s rule was you weren’t allowed to wear shoes in the house. I had worn some sandals that day to school and suddenly was faced with this dilemma of having to take my shoes off and expose my feet. I did so nonchalantly and acted as if nothing was out of the ordinary. We went out on the porch to sit and discuss our project when one of the boys noticed my odd looking feet. “Oh my gosh! What happened to your feet?!” I played it off and started laughing. I took my foot and wiggled it near him. He immediately jumped up acting as if there was a snake attached to my leg. It became a joke and I literally chased him around the house with my foot. It’s astonishing how some parents can allow their children to become so ignorant.

In high school I continued to hide my feet. At that point, I had never owned one pair of flip flops. I just didn’t like how my feet looked in them. I didn’t like how my feet looked period. When I’d wear sandals that were open toed but covered the front you could only see my first three toes then dead space where my fourth toe should be. I had a guy friend at the time my freshman year point out that it looked like I had “ninja turtle feet.” Thanks dude.

I think it was finally in my senior year that I decided I was ok with showing my feet and wearing flip flops. When I was a camp counselor at a church we took the kids to a water park and one of the boys thought my feet were the coolest things in the world. Another little girl asked, “what happened to your feet?” I said, “nothing baby, God made me this way.” She said, “God did that to you?!” I laughed it off and walked away. The curiosity of small children is endearing. My youngest niece is four and when she visited over the summer she asked what was wrong with my feet and that they looked weird. I explained to her that God made me have special feet so that I could be different. After that she proclaimed that nothing was wrong with them and that I was special.

The first time I ever got a pedicure I was so nervous. I feel like they’re just staring at my feet the whole time. Most people say they’re cute, some ask what happened, and a lot of people just stare. I was leaving a restaurant earlier this year and the hostess (who was an older woman) looked down as we passed by and continued to stare as I walked away. My friend and I couldn’t help but explode into laughter at her rudeness. Just this past weekend I was trying on shoes for my pageant and a man who was at the store with his wife stared intently at my foot as I walked around with one shoe on. Take a picture, it’ll last longer.

There are times I hate them. I just wish I could wake up with normal, pretty feet. I see pictures of families with their toes in the sand, my sister-in-law has a picture of her feet and my nieces feet with the same color polish, and pictures of couples sitting on the shoreline with their feet being tickled by the water. Sometimes I think the reason I’m still single is because guys are freaked out by my feet. Although I’m more comfortable with them and honestly don’t give a crap about what anyone thinks or says about them, I’m still hesitant especially when I first meet people. I still insist on wearing close-toed shoes on a first date or a first outing. I cross my ankles a lot when I don’t have shoes on to sort of mask the fact that my feet look weird.

Last year I went to a podiatrist. The only concern my mom has is that as I grow older, my toes will keep turning. My pinkie toe is already tucked under and my third toe leans to the right to sort of fill up the gap. The podiatrist was nice, he gently touched my feet and even when he was talking to me after taking my x-rays he continued to rest his hands on my feet which was nice considering I’ve never really had anyone just touch my feet like that. Except for my parents of course. He explained the bone in my fourth toe is very thin and even if I had surgery to correct it, it still won’t look normal because they can only extend it one centimeter. Not only that, but I would probably have to do one foot at a time, and have an apparatus sticking out of my foot that I would have to turn manually to extend my bone. And the fact that my bone is already so thin, it could weaken it even more which will make it more prone to break easily. His other option was amputating it and just cutting it off. My mom was furious that he would even suggest that.

I left with my spirits down, and fought back the tears. The reality that I had to live with odd-looking feet for the rest of my life dawned upon me, but after a few days I didn’t give it any more thought. This is me. This is who I am. I’m flawed, and I’m ok with that. This defect gives me character, and I think it has in a way made me a more tolerant and accepting person of people’s differences. It’s made me want to be an advocate for girls who maybe have the same or a different defect. It’s made me want to design comfortable but stylish shoes for women like me.

Sure, sometimes I feel like my feet reflect me. I feel like I can’t compare with the “perfect” girls, or I’ll just stare at someone’s pretty feet wishing mine looked like theirs. Don’t get me wrong, my feet are clean and I keep them looking right. You will never catch me without polish on my piggies. Sometimes I worry I’ll meet the man of my dreams and then when he realizes I don’t have cute feet he’ll skedaddle as fast as he can. But I KNOW the man of my dreams will really accept me for who I am, whether I have supermodel feet or not.

We all have flaws. We all have things that make us feel insecure. My challenge is that we embrace and start accepting our defects. Your flaws are not who you are. YOU are who you are. Your heart, your character, and your spirit is what will make people want to be around you. Not whether you have a hollywood smile, the perfect tan or long thick luscious hair (which is another thing I want haha). Just accepting who God made us, and admiring his creation. It’s easy to fix a crooked tooth, a lot harder to fix a crooked heart. Be warm. Be gracious. Be humble. Be generous. Be loving. Be true. Be YOU!

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– Here they are! My flawed little piggies 🙂

The Underlying Issue with Domestic Violence

I literally just heard a woman on national television talking about the Ray Rice scandal saying, “If a woman hits a man, she deserves to get hit back.” A fire started rising in my chest. WHAT? I seriously don’t understand that concept or why this seems to be a common thought across the board. I don’t care what a woman does whether she entices or provokes a man or not, a REAL man wouldn’t lay a finger on a woman. Period. Not even in a joking matter.

In the past I’ve been “man-handled”, not in a violent way so I can’t say I’ve been there, but I have a zero tolerance attitude towards it. Luckily I’ve been trained and know how to defend myself, but my first thoughts are that I shouldn’t have to. I had a “friend” who wanted to “get my attention” in a loud place and while I was walking away he grabbed my ponytail and pulled me back. You don’t even want to know how angry I became. He seemed so confused that I was so angry so later I explained I am a woman, NOT a dog and that he had no right to lay a finger on me. For any reason. The correct way would be to actually move your feet and touch my arm.

Why do men feel it’s ok to do this? Why don’t women speak up more in defense of themselves? There’s a combination of problems here. It’s not just one side, it’s both. Men aren’t being taught how to respect and have reverence for women, and women aren’t defending themselves. No matter how insignificant the situation may seem, even guys who I’ve dated that have “playfully” been rough with me, I have always said, “I am a lady. I’m not a boy, so don’t treat me like one.”

A woman is delicate. A woman is a jewel. She is beauty. Proverbs 31:10 says, “A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.” No matter what, that’s how EVERY woman deserves to be treated. She can be arguing, she can be disrespectful, she can be accusing, she can even be physical; but the true test of a man, is to be just that. A MAN. Walk away. Get yourself out of the situation. Anyways, a real man would never be attracted to that kind of woman anyways. And a good woman, would never accept that type of behavior.

This is something we need to address so that the generations behind us know that violence is not the solution to anything. If we teach them to surround themselves with good people, respect others, and treat everyone how they want to be treated, then it’s possible we could see a change being made. If it’s broken down to them that way and addressed at an early age and reinforced as they mature, I think it’s definitely something that will resonate with them for the rest of their lives.

Waiting For God’s Best

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It seems as I’ve gotten older, I continue to refine and be more specific as to what it is I’m looking for in a partner. If anything, a majority of my past relationships have taught me exactly what I’m NOT looking for. 

From my experience, a staggering number of men pretend to be what they are not. They want to end up with a good woman, so they play the part. But it’s all fake. They fake being cordial, they fake being a gentleman, they fake having respect for you, they fake having any sort of values and most of all they fake caring about you at all. Not just as someone they’re dating, but as a human being. If you can’t care about someone on a level of them being your brother or sister in Christ aside from being attracted to them, then there’s a problem. 

I’m holding out for someone special. Someone who will accept me for who I am, won’t judge me on past mistakes, and who has standards. Someone who challenges me to be the best version of myself (sometimes I lack motivation) and he will probably be someone just as picky as I am. I think it was Jefferson Bethke who said when he came to Christ he then started seeing all women as his sisters, even those he wanted to date he treated them as he would a sister.

Although it’s not easy waiting for someone worthy to come along, I know it will be so worth it. The time I spend in life groups, furthering my education, my career and focusing on volunteering opportunities rather than going on dates, will pay off. It seems as though when people try to “hook me up” with guys they rave about how successful he is and financially stable and whatnot. But that’s not what I’m looking for. What I’m holding out for is stability of the heart; a partner to not go through life with but enjoy life with, someone to laugh with (sometimes at), will hold me at my weakest and will be immediately calmed by the touch of my hand. Someone who doesn’t focus on material things, who looks at me as if I’m the only girl in the world, and will be ok with the fact that I MIGHT be better than them at some sports. Specifically ping pong. I realize no relationship is perfect no matter how good two people are, at the end of the day, we’re all human; but I know God’s best for me is out there somewhere. We just haven’t met yet…or it might be possible we have…

 

 

 

 

 

Every Behavior is LEARNED

I was just browsing Facebook and came across an article one of my friends posted about the Calhoun prom sexual assault atrocity. What in the world? What is going on, and how can we end this?

As the victim of attempted sexual assault as well as my run-in with men who seem to have no grasp of respect for women whatsoever, this is something that needs to be addressed and taken care of – immediately – At the Miss USA Pageant 2014, one of the final interview questions addressed the hidden epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses and the contestant, (who ended up winning), Nia Sanchez spoke of how women should be equipped and know how to defend themselves against such attacks. But what about the MEN??? I don’t care if you’re a 4th degree black belt, if you weigh 115 pounds, and four 200 pound men are grabbing you and assaulting you, there is NO WAY you are going to be able to fight them off. This is something that needs to be addressed to men and what they’re learning from a young age.

Kids spend most of their time in school, not at home. Parents have the weekend and evenings to spend with their children, but from 7am to about 3pm Monday through Friday, these kids are in the care of their teachers and schools. What are these schools teaching? Science, Math, English, Social Studies…but what about subjects of value? Things like respect for others, respect for women specifically, tolerance and character development that will change the course of their lives forever. How many of you remember what you learned in First Grade about science? A large number of children are living in broken homes, poverty and are not getting the moral nourishment they should be. Parents are so busy with work, projects, family or even just trying to make it so their kids don’t hate them. I was blessed to have a Mom that was able to stay at home to spend time with and who taught me a lot of ethical values. Not everyone is this privileged and I think it’s time to implement a new way of teaching in our schools.

If this would be able to happen, imagine how that could change the course of our future generations? If women were taught to have respect for themselves, if teachers paid close attention to certain characteristics of troubled children and addressing them instead of ignoring them, to teach the boys how to treat others and how women are not objects but should be treasured and valued. If everyone did their part in investing just a little time into molding the younger generations, I really think we would be seeing a change.

 

2 Corinthians 9:6 – “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

Jesus is My Boyfriend

I’ve been feeling compelled and empowered lately. Ironically, I’m feeling this way as a single woman. A newly single woman I might add, when normally after a break-up I’m sad. Ususally I’m still reminiscing, still looking at old photographs, trying to see what he’s doing…but I’m not. Not this time. It might have something to do with the fact that I KNEW he wasn’t right for me. But even then I think I was just grasping for a reason to stick it out. But then, God embraced me, and I let it go.

I was lied to…yet again. I was blind…yet again. I was believing in things that weren’t there…yet again. I absolutely believe in the quote that says “God allows people to enter our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime.” There’s something we can learn from everyone, every person we meet is not an accident. I admit I was a bit desperate to find love at the time. I went as far as joining an online dating website which I where I met my most recent boyfriend. Although I was talking to Him more than ever and actively pursuing God, I still really wanted to be with someone. And I needed to learn that I need to listen and not pursue anything that doesn’t glorify Him. I had feelings in the beginning that didn’t feel right with this guy, but I didn’t listen because I felt maybe I was being too picky, but I wasn’t. God revealed so much to me about this guy, He spoke to me and I finally believed that the bad feelings, were absolutely right on.

For the first time ever after I’ve been dumped or betrayed, I’m OK. I’m not looking for someone. I’m not grasping on for the life of me. I don’t want to go out on dates. I don’t want to put my identity into a relationship with another person. I want my identity to only be defined by how I live my life, what I stand for, and the most important relationship I will ever have: which is the one I have with Jesus Christ. That’s it.

So many young women make the grave mistake of not being content. Of fearing that they’ll never find anyone. Holding on to toxic relationships and tying themselves to people who are not for them. I challenge you to try something. Attach yourself to God. To Someone who is and has always been there and has never left you. Even when you think He isn’t there, He is. Most of the time he gives us ways out. He allows things to happen, he allows us to bear witness to things that SHOULD allow us to escape and realize this is not someone for us. But most women stay. They stay through the abuse, they stay through the disrespect, they stay through the unloving words and actions, they stay through the most horrendous things and don’t realize that God is trying so hard to lift your chin up to remind you of your worth. He’s trying to tell you “you’re beautiful”, He’s craving for you, He wants to dance with you in the moonlight, He wants to kiss your forehead goodnight, He wants to be the one to hug you when you’re feeling at your worst. You’re praying and waiting for the guy you’re with to do that for you, when you know they never will. A lot of women have that man, but if you don’t, why not let God be that for you until He allows the RIGHT man into your life?

I am so incredibly blessed. I have a wonderful, loving family. My few real friends are amazing and I feel more loved than ever. That’s because for the first time, I’m letting Him love me the way He’s always wanted to, but I ignored for so long. I don’t NEED a man to be happy. I don’t need to be chasing or pursuing anyone but Jesus. I have friends in bad relationships tell me “I’m not as strong as you, I can’t just let him go.” I’m going to tell you right now, I’m not strong. God is strong. Philippians 4:13 says “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.” It took me a while to build up courage, but He provides that. He’s my support system and He can be yours too. All you have to do, is let Him in. He’s waiting for you. Open your heart and let Him love you.

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