Tag Archive | genuine relationships

And So We Wrestle

I log onto Facebook to scroll through the latest pictures of new babies, wedding plans, engagements and engagement pictures, updated last names, and kids in the backseat doing something cute.  Most of my feed is full of ECU demonstrating their excitement from their huge win this weekend over UNC and in true fan fashion, UNC fans posting their “wait until basketball season” comments.  I laugh at E-cards and hope that this brief escape will allow me to slip away from the wrestling that is my heart and apparently the heart of so many I love lately.  And then I come across this jewel:

where today

And I share it.  And a few of you liked it.  And I wrestle again.  I wonder what our family will do and where we’ll end up at the end of this seemingly endless match.  Though, to be honest, I already feel a little whole lot defeated.   It’s hard not to let it consume our every conversation lately.  Will they change?  Is our staying only making harder to move forward?  How long does “give it a chance” last?  Can we make it until then?

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“What is it I’ve always told you girls?  When you don’t know what do to next, just stick with the last thing you KNOW the Lord told you.  Pray about it, girlfriend.  It’ll work out.  This too shall pass.”

I can’t stand when she tells me that.  I’d much rather she just tell me what to do.  Doesn’t she know that’s why I was calling in the first place, to find out what she really thinks?  My mom knows better than to do that though.  She knows there is learning in the wrestling and would never rob us of the opportunity to learn it.  Instead, she listens to me wrestle with it and I hang up with more questions than what I called with and my heart is lighter but distracted by it still nonetheless.

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We lay across our bed each reading or playing Word Chums.  I’m about to turn my phone off when it buzzes with a new e-mail.  I read about the wrestlings going on across town and I’m drawn to read the end of it again.

“Then, I remembered yesterday’s Life Little Instruction Book calendar quote.  I have attached for you to see.

Is this a God thing?”

image

So, we’ll continue with the wrestling.  And I’ll be thankful that our God’s heart is good and that I can trust Him even when I don’t understand what He’s doing.   And I’m thankful that we aren’t alone in this wrestling; we have good friends that are willing to be in it with us.

If we should cross your mind, please pray for clarity and discernment for us and our friends.  And maybe a spoonful of boldness to move in whatever direction we’re supposed to, when we’re supposed to.  And thank you, because I know you will.  🙂

“Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,[a] because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”  (Genesis 32:28b)

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When Grace Sneaks In With A Face

I hadn’t given it much thought until I got asked about it last night.  How had I previously written it off and not considered it?  Could I get beyond it if it turned out to be true?  And why on Earth was I dignifying any of it with this kind of physical response?  It doesn’t even matter, right?  Right?!?  I kept waking up all night feeling literally sick to my stomach as confusion and disappointment from the Enemy continued to close in on me.
 
Even as I sat at my desk today, my mind kept wandering as I thought about how much consideration this whole ordeal should even get from me.  Is that something you can just come right out and ask?  Does it matter?  Would it change things?  It’s not something you’d just bring up in casual conversation, right?  Right?!?  Or can you?!?
 
And then she snuck into my office, all smiles and glowing.  She who travels in humility and patience and joy.  We shared in celebration that, not only was it Friday, but it was a three day weekend too!  As crazy as this week had been, we weren’t sure it would get here.  And then she did it.  She spoke Truth with a ton of Grace and reminded me that when God said He could make all things new, He meant ALL things.  She was able to remind me that He is not the Author of confusion and fear.  And she encouraged me to take heart because it’s coming.  It won’t be my definition of “soon”; that’s been obvious in how slow it’s all been moving up until now.
 
So while my Newsfeed is blowing up with what people are thankful for on this ninth day of November, I am so thankful that sometimes Grace sneaks in with a face…

Virtual Reality

Remember the days of AIM?  We could sit at our computer and let our fingers do the chatting.  We could be in our pajamas with no make-up and hair pulled up, chatting with the boy from fourth period and still seem really cute.  I think that’s where it started; this idea of communicating (don’t get me started about miscommunicating) without ever having to actually talk to each other.  And Facebook (back then MySpace) gives us the power to display our lives in pictures and status updates and yes…. there’s even a chat option! And then there’s Google Chat.  Heaven forbid we get up from our desks and go talk to someone when we can just message them.  We can “chat” on our phones with text messenging.  We never have to actually pick up the phone and call anymore or get in the car and stop by their house.
I’m guilty!  In fact, I could easily be the most guilty.  I answer the phone all day long at work, I’m not dying to talk on one come five o’clock either.  I too am I fan of just texting “running five minutes late” instead of spending those five minutes calling and explaining myself beforehand just to be ten minutes late instead.  I like that I can edit what I say multiple times before hitting send.  Maybe I can filter things a little better that way, right?
The thing is though, as convenient as living in that virtual world can be sometimes, it’s not reality.  The reality is, I meant that text sarcastically and you took it seriously.  Or you meant it matter of factly and I felt like you were yelling.  All because the tone and facial expressions aren’t present.  The reality is, we aren’t building genuine relationships with each other anymore.  We’re letting Facebook tell our good news instead.  Someone just got engaged– shouldn’t we all be jumping up and down, squealing with them?  It’s your birthday and your phone’s blowing up with text messages.  Wouldn’t you rather hear “Happy Birthday” sung off key by your closest friends instead?  Your grandmother passed away and I missed it.  I missed it because instead of being in your world lately– I was counting on Facebook to keep me updated and it didn’t.
We get in the same room with people that we claim to be really good friends with and when it’s all over– we wonder if anyone heard a word that was said because everyone was texting someone else or logging online with laptops, ipads, and cell phones.  Maybe we never actually replied to the folks texting us, but we were at least distracted by the buzzing in our pockets or the chime from across the room and the person on the couch next to us is fighting back tears and we missed it.  My fear is that we’ve allowed ourselves to be so busy with a gamut of things, that we’re losing the ability to genuinely be in relationship, in community, in daily life with each other.
Many of you have messaged me lately wanting to know where I’ve been with my blog posts.  I love that you are faithful readers!  I look forward to the day when  I meet you face to face and autograph my first book for you.  Wouldn’t that be fun? 🙂  Ha!  Seriously though, there’s a part of me that really wants to write the thing that changes someone else’s world; have a book published that does more than serve as coaster.  Most of me though, would really rather slide in a booth across from you and really dive into your world.  And let you into mine.
I’m afraid I’m losing the ability to be really honest with the people that I’m sitting in front of, because I’ve either already said it in a blog post or Facebook status.  Or the opposite.  I haven’t fleshed it out with a keyboard, so I can’t possibly be ready to tell you about it yet.  I need to sort it out, organize my thoughts, and then “talk”.  Sometimes, the most honest moments, are the ones that aren’t well thought out.  I’m attempting to scale back on texting too.  If you know me, you know that’s a big deal!
We were created for relationship.  For this girl, that means quality time and physical touch.  So the reality is, virtual relationships don’t work for me.  I struggle to believe you really want to be in my world if aren’t near each other.  (I know, I know… but I’m busy.  It’s easier to text with you while I’m cooking dinner or in between plays of the game.  Why can’t we make more time for each other?)  And I struggle to speak gifts, words of affirmation and acts of service (for those of you that aren’t fluent qt/pt people) when it doesn’t feel real.
So… that’s where I’ve been.  I don’t want folks to use my blog (or Facebook or texting) as a substitute for being in genuine relationship with me.  And I don’t want to replace you with the virtual world either.  I’d rather we actually know each other instead…