When I moved to Dallas, it was a difficult transition. I didn’t know a single soul and the decision to move to Texas was, I’ll admit, an impulsive one. But it was a decision that I am so thankful I made. I also have the best parents who have always encouraged me to make mistakes. Yes, you read that right. I am also thankful that we have a Heavenly Father who gives His grace freely. God turned my impulsive decision into the best decision of my life. And that is only because I opened my heart and prayed for a miracle.
For as long as I can remember, my biggest prayers in life have been to get married and have great, supportive girl friends. In my mind I have had these “expectations” of what I have wanted these relationships to look like and when I would have relationships fail, I would question our God and ask Him why? I would then start to internalize and think that something was wrong with me even though I truly felt that I would be the best version of myself in these relationships and couldn’t understand why God wasn’t allowing anything to stick. It’s funny how He knows what we need, isn’t it? God is NOT a genie. He doesn’t give us what we want, He gives us what He knows we need.
When I moved to Dallas, Jesus decided it was time to rock my world. I joined a non-denominational church- the first time I was stepping away from the Catholic Church and I was not even sure why. I just remember feeling Jesus giving me a little push, ok, a big push into the unknown. Jesus can be so bossy! I knew I wanted to be obedient, so I decided to go through membership at Watermark Community Church.
At the membership meetings, they talked a lot on the importance of community and being involved with a group of women very intentionally. This meant that we would meet weekly and pour into each other’s lives spiritually. FINALLY! This is what I have been praying for for SO many years, and it’s happening! I am currently co-leading a group of 10 amazing women and I see how God has changed my impulsive decision into an answered prayer.
As I mentioned earlier, I have also prayed FOREVER for God to bring a Godly man into my life that I can love and do life with. I am not using the term forever loosely here guys, I seriously mean it. Ok ok, maybe not forever, but since the day I decided I didn’t want to be a nun (I have pictures dressing up as Mother Teresa-gasp!), I have been praying for my future husband. I even have a prayer journal that I want to give to my husband on our wedding day. Surprise! I know that relationships are hard work. I know there will be differences. I would like to call these differences, “growth opportunities.” We are constantly learning how to navigate life together and how to learn from one another.
Through these relationships and answered prayers, I have learned a lot about myself. Relationships take A LOT of work. I mean sometimes I just want to hide on an island by myself, pina colada in my hand and of course, my sweet golden retriever by my side- are you with me people!? However, hard times are inevitable. In those hard times, I have to ask myself: Am I trying to prove that I am right or do I want to improve the relationship? I know that when I feel safe with someone, such as my parents, I know that I tend to act out-I am not calm. But with others, I am the calm one. However, with the people I love, I can get a little feisty. I have learned that whenever I decide to prove that I am right, I am simply reacting out of a place of hurt and anger and probably end up saying things that I will regret later. ON THE OTHER HAND, if I act in a way where I want to improve the relationship, I seek to understand the other person’s view, where they are coming from, and fight for the relationship. I make the decision to pause and let the Holy Spirit redirect my first impulses, and as you know, I am impulsive- Jesus, help me. But then it makes it easier to tackle the issues calmly and not the person. Amen?!
Like I said, relationships take a lot of work and because we are human, we have flesh. We have feelings and our emotions can drive us all to do crazy things. Sometimes, these feelings lead us to hurt other people. What I strongly believe in is that feelings are indicators, they are not dictators. Your feelings can indicate where your heart is in the moment but that doesn’t mean they have the right to dictate your behavior. Our feelings should never hold so much power that they boss us around. God intended us to have feelings and emotions so that we can enjoy life, not destroy it. Isn’t it such a beautiful thing when we choose to offer love in situations when most people would choose to scorn, ignore, be rude or judgmental!?
This past weekend I went to visit friends with some of my closest girl friends, Rachel and Shandley. We had such a great time! Between eating so much that my yoga pants are too tight, getting sunburnt, laughing until we cried, watching Ben’s soccer game, and asking Jesus to be present in every moment, I am one tired girl. Point blank, exhausted. I think at one point in the airport I caught Rachel asleep as we were moving our way through security. But I wouldn’t trade the memories we created for the world. On top of a great weekend, surpirse, I had some struggles I had to face. There were tears and hurt feelings. But if I have learned anything from this trip, and I pray you hear this, it’s this: The more joy and love I pour into other’s lives, the more I experience this in my own life. The more my heart is centered in a place of thanksgiving and joy, the less room I have for grumpiness.
After all, life is meant to be shared. Life is better with great friendships and loved ones who want to share in your life with you. In the words of Jack Johnson, “it’s always better when we’re together.”
With grace and love,