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

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.”

If I Told You That You’re Beautiful…

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If I told you that you’re beautiful,
What would you say?
Would you tell me I’m crazy?
Or just laugh and turn away…

If I told you that you’re perfect,
Would you believe me?
Or do you believe the comparisons you make
With the women in magazines and T.V.

If I told you I’ve been where you are
Experienced the unkind words
And whispers of the kids in the halls…

Would you then trust me,
When I tell you you’re pretty?

I’ve been through the pain and tears of not feeling pretty,
Standing in front of the mirror,
Asking God, “Why me?”

If there was a way that I could make you see,
There’s hope for your future
And you can be whatever you want to be.

You are a princess,
You are a gem,
You can be a beauty queen,
And somebody’s very best friend.

Once you see yourself for who you really are,
The inner changes transforms the outside
And with that knowledge,
I know you’ll reach the stars.

When you focus on the truth,
And stop believing the lies.
You’ll start seeing the beautiful girl in the mirror,
The one seen through God’s eyes.

So stop comparing yourself,
And obsessing over what you need to fix.
You are perfect,
You are loved,
You’re a treasure,
You are His

Most Friendships Aren’t Meant to Last

 

Recently I was going through photos on my Facebook and realized how many people have come in and out of my life. It’s a lot. Like an entire football team’s worth at least. Maybe TWO. I find the main turmoil of growing up is in fact, when you lose friends. Usually it’s for the better, but that doesn’t make it any less painful.

When I speak of losing friends I’m mostly referring to female friends. I grew up going to private school so throughout the years up until the 8th grade, I was with pretty much the same kids every year. Even when my best friend moved to another state I still kept in touch with her. But then as we age, sometimes we can grow apart from people.

I’m at the age now where everybody is starting to find their pair and getting hitched. Girls that always said I’d be their bridesmaid found an excuse to not even send an invitation. My best friend growing up who moved to another state when we were little made me her bridesmaid 3 years ago. I felt so honored and excited to be a part of her union. Unfortunately, the wedding was canceled a week before it was supposed to happen, she’s now getting married to someone else next month and I can’t even get her to text me back, let alone send me an invitation.

I’ve always been a relational type of person. I like having friendships, I give a lot in my relationships with others, more than most I think. It’s hard to find people who you actually can relate to and also know how to be a good friend. For me personally, good-hearted people were hard to find because I was willing to accept the not-so-nice friends and kept the company of people who hurt, deceived and took my friendship for granted, out of not wanting to be lonely. My mother always (and still tells me) that I’m too sweet and people like to take advantage of that. I never said no to anyone, I was always willing to drive people around, buy things for people who didn’t have money, lend my clothes, I even let a friend live in my parents’ house one summer after her parents kicked her out. It’s sad to think that I don’t have friendships, let alone any type of communication, with any of those people anymore.

If I explained why I’m no longer friends with these girls, you would either laugh or say “WTFrench Toast?!” It’s just ridiculousness I don’t even want to get into. I saw a counselor for a few months not only for the breakup I went through, but I was having a hard time with the friends I was losing as well. For years I kept thinking, “Is it me? Am I the problem? What am I doing wrong?” It was so comforting to have a professional tell me that it wasn’t me. That she thought I couldn’t have done anything to salvage any of the friendships and that there are so many women who experience the same thing. One of the girls who stopped talking to me recently (after she praised me for being such a good friend to her for so long), threw in my face how nobody knows how I “really” am, that I scare people into being my friend and that all the girls I’ve lost throughout the years have been my fault. If she would have said that to me prior to seeing the counselor, I would have taken that VERY hard. I’m the type of person that takes things to heart but when she said this to me I took it with a grain of salt. First off, if you’re my friend and reading this right now, what she said should have you cracking up right now. Secondly, someone has to really be going through something personally in order to attack someone who has done nothing to them. When someone says something nasty to you, it is not a reflection of you, but a reflection of them. When I told her I wish her the best and success in life she told me she didn’t need my good wishes. Alllllrighty then, so much for trying to be nice.

Life goes on, and you learn what types of friends you need in your life. The types of friends who are going to stand by you on your wedding day, who will be called “Aunt” by your kids and are willing to put as much into your friendship as you are. I’m not the same person I was two years ago…I don’t even hang out with the same people I did a year ago. That’s insane to me. To think I’ve grown that much in such a short amount of time. But, there’s a reason for everything and I’m grateful for the girls that have stuck by me (you know who you are) and even the ones I’ve began relationships with most recently have been more of a friend to me than other girls ever have that I’ve known for years.

You don’t need people who will bring drama to your life, you don’t need people who will judge, or take advantage of your kindness. You don’t need people who only talk to you when they need something, or just to gossip. You also don’t need the ones that are willing to throw your friendship away over petty things or start a fight over nothing. Life is too short ladies. I think it had been a year since our friendship ended and I was still tagged in a photo and one of the girls decided to make a nasty comment about me so of course I got the notification. I responded that it was very sad that she would harbor such feelings after such a long time and that I would pray for her. She laughed at me, but I was serious.

Just like in relationships with men, it’s not worth staying in friendships with women who do nothing but bring you down. Whether you’re in the same stage of life or not, true friendships remain no matter what. Whether you talk every day, every week, once a month or every few months; the important thing is that you’re there for each other in the times you need it the most. We need relationship with other women because they’re the only ones that can truly understand us. It’s awesome how sometimes I’ll think I’m crazy but then my friend confides she’s the same exact way and it brings a sense of relief to know someone is right there with you. Cherish the women in your life, keep the ones that are faithful and have always been there for you. Sometimes I seriously think our true soul mates are our girlfriends. Make it a point to be a good woman, one that lifts others up, is there when someone needs you and never has a bad thing to say. Live in such a way that if anyone were to say something negative about you, nobody would ever believe it.