“God is Hilarious Like That”

As I sat with one of my girlfriends, sunbathing by the pool and having girl talk; her response to what I was saying was, “God is hilarious like that.

Have you ever thought you had everything figured out? Like you could see your future unfolding and thought that you KNEW exactly where God was taking you and WHY he was taking you there?

I was there. In fact I was just there a few months ago.

The first time I applied to jobs out of state was in November 2013 and it just so happened that exactly a year later I found myself again applying to jobs out of state in November 2014. I felt I needed to re-invent myself and experience life outside of Florida.

I had just started working at a University as an Admissions representative that August and although it wasn’t my dream job by any means; I met some amazing people. Before I felt complacent in the job, I threw some applications out here and there in states like Georgia, South Carolina & North Carolina. All bordering Florida so I wouldn’t be TOO far from home, but far enough to feel a difference.

I was doing well, had found a church that I loved with amazing pastors & people, joined the worship team, I had an awesome roommate who was like a sister to me, I wasn’t feeling lonely like I did when I lived by myself for two years, and everyone I worked with was a joy to be around. I looked forward to seeing my co-workers, and assisting students in reaching their goals or sometimes I was just an ear on the other end to listen to them. I felt I had purpose.

In December I received a phone call from ESPN telling me they wanted to set up a phone interview. It went pretty well I thought, they said they would be getting in touch after the holidays since it was really close to Christmas. Until then, I was playing the waiting game.

Later that week I received another phone call from ESPN informing me they wanted to fly me to Charlotte, NC for a personal tour and interview to work for ESPN-U and the new SEC Network. It’s so exciting when you feel like you’re going to be doing something not only related to what you have your degree in after so long, but to be living in a gorgeous state and thinking of all the cool people you’re going to meet.

After my flight & and picking up the rental car that was provided, I had lunch in a Sports Grill of all places. On all the tvs was every ESPN channel and I was so pumped to be part of something so huge.

Arriving at the studio, I was greeted by my supervisor and given a tour of the studio. Everything seemed so perfect. Even my interview didn’t feel like an interview. The question came up about re-location and adjusting and I said I would be fine. I’d have my dog with me and I was ready to get out of Florida. My flight was delayed back home so I was exhausted by the time I got back to my apartment after midnight.

I was told that I would know by the end of the week if I got the job and my supervisor called me himself that following Friday to ask me if I wanted the job. I couldn’t contain myself and silently celebrated with a few co-workers about my new position as an Associate Content Editor for ESPN.

The job I had at the University was full-time with benefits and the whole nine yards. At the new job I was getting paid five dollars more per hour, but it was part time with no benefits. Even though I was told they would schedule me as much as possible and I’d be able to pick up hours.

After being offered the job there were quite a few red flags that I saw but ignored because this was “the chance of a lifetime.” During my interview I was told I would be helped with relocation, but then learned they only assist with those who are full-time employees. When I found out, my supervisor asked if that would be a problem, and I said “no.” He told me that he would gladly help and round up some other males to help move my things into storage and then to my apartment. But on the days we needed him, he bailed and my mom and I had to do everything on our own with the help of my sweet aunt.

I was flown to CT for “rookie camp” orientation to learn about the company and go through all their policies. Got to see the home base of ESPN and all the big studios you see on TV.

My first day observing I thought was going to be so cool and exciting and I was gonna learn so much. We sat there most of the time doing nothing. And when there was something to do, it wasn’t anything exciting or challenging…at all. I thought to myself, “Well, things are bound to get better. The more experience I have I’m sure.

But they didn’t.

My first few weeks I spent in tears when I was “home”. It didn’t feel like home. And even as I unpacked the following weeks, I kept the boxes in a corner “just in case.”

The people I met were great, don’t get me wrong. A lot of older men, and the females were friendly but not willing to go out of their way to be your friend or invite you anywhere.

I won tickets to a Chicago Bulls game which I ended up attending by myself. When I was working I sat in an edit room for hours at a time, sometimes doing nothing, and not enjoying what I was doing at all. My schedule is all over the place, not consistent so it’s virtually impossible to get another job. And after I was told they were going to get me as many hours as they could I found myself with 6 days in between shifts, having only two shifts in a week. I felt stuck. I felt alone. I felt sad and like I had made a HUGE mistake in thinking this was the right thing for me. I was so SURE God wanted me here. I was so SURE this is where I was supposed to work and retire from.

But God KNEW what He was doing the whole time. And He NEVER once, let me stray.

One of my best friends from my home town texted me one day in May asking how everything was going and how I was liking the job. She works for a physical therapy and home care company. Last summer, I had started school again to pursue a career as a Physical Therapist Assistant. I asked her about the job and she was telling me if she could that she would go back to school in a heartbeat. She was telling me the PTAs that work in her company all LOVE their jobs, get paid really well and still have time for their families.

After thinking about it for a few days, I decided I was going back to school indefinitely. I don’t want to waste another minute contemplating, I know that what I love to do is work with people, helping others and I honestly think this is a career I would love and do well in.

Since I live out of state and have only been in NC for a few months, I can’t claim residency so going to school there would be outrageously expensive. On top of having a job that can’t even cover all my bills and being away from everyone I love, I decided I was moving back home to Florida.

So here I am ready to move again after being in NC for five months which have felt like five years. I’m going back home, to start school; this time with fresh eyes and a new perspective.

In a way, I took for granted all that I had, thinking I had to be in search of something more. What more could I need? Great friends, amazing family, living in paradise, finally feeling like I found the right church for me…and I moved 500 miles away for a job that looks cool on Facebook, sounds cool when you tell people what you do; but that you dread each day you have to sit in a room by yourself staring at a computer screen for eight hours.

I prayed for God’s guidance to get here, and guide me He did. I think sometimes he allows opportunities in our lives, not because they are definitely meant for us. I think he likes for us to determine what’s right for us ourselves, instead of asking Him all the time what He thinks and what he wants like he’s some magical genie. I was meant to move to NC. To get the itch out of wanting to live in another state, so I could see how much I really did love living in FL. To see that, yes, I studied and have my bachelor’s degree in film production; but at the time I had no idea what else even interested me and maybe it’s NOT the career for me. And now that I’ve grown, although going back to school is something I said I would never do, I see it as a chance for growth and to have stability. Meanwhile, I can still do what I truly love on the side which is photography.

So indeed, “God is hilarious like that”. You think you know where you’re going, but you really have no idea.

He has everything in the palm of His hand, and He can send you down paths you think are paved in gold, but He just wants you to see what’s underneath the gold. Only then, can you choose. He also likes to throw people in your path when you least expect it too 😉

Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep praying. Never cease. God loves you too much to let you get away.

In the times you think He’s abandoned you, are the times He is most near.

“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you…” – James 4:8

Advertisements

Waiting For God’s Best

Image

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…

 

 

 

 

 

If I Told You That You’re Beautiful…

Image

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.

 

 

 

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.

Image