Have you ever been in love?

I don’t know about you, but love is all I can really think about on Valentines Day. I don’t know if that was the original intent, I thought the whole day was probably set up to make you think about flowers and chocolates for the one you love. But either way – you win. Here I am, February 14th and as I already spend a great deal of time thinking about flowers (best friend is a florist) and chocolate (addict) instead, I’m thinking about love.

I sort of wish that I wasn’t you know. Even as a fairly secure single Christian girl it’s still not ideal to spend a lot of time thinking about love. Especially if you’re not in love, hence your singledom. It’s a strange vicious cycle. Either way, I can’t avoid it, love.

I’ve been sitting here thinking about love and trying to figure out why it is that I don’t really want to think about it. I’ve been sitting here thinking about how singles fear and dread February 14th. I mean, it can’t be because we all really want flowers in our home or to eat that delicious Cadbury Popping candy chocolate – because you can fairly easily attain these things. It can’t even be because we are afraid of being alone. I mean maybe that’s it for some people, but mostly, you can find a bunch of other single people who don’t want to be alone on Valentines Day and then you’ve got yourself a party. All this thinking and I think I’ve put my finger on the painful part.

It’s not the chocolates, or that we’ll have to spend a random Thursday night in. It’s that February 14th is this yearly reminder that nothing has changed. It’s like a terrible score card that singles can check off and say ‘yep, still hasn’t happened’.

I think we don’t want to be reminded about love.

Because, love is like the most important thing right? It drives everything. You know it’s what you want and you know [sort of/hopefully] that God has it all under control, but in order to save yourself from stress/pain/worry, you spend all year trying to avoid love. You spent the whole year being good and being content with being single and then February 14th rolls around and you’re like, damn. Unavoidable.

Valentines Day messes with the worst most dangerous emotion or feeling that there is. And it isn’t loneliness – its trust. Valentines Day messes with your trust.

Do you trust God?

I think that’s the hardest question of all.
It’s a fairly easy one to answer – just say yes silly.
It should be easy because 98% of the time, we do. We trust that God will provide. We trust that God has our best interests at heart. We trust that God’s love never fails. It’s that tricky 2% of the time when life challenges your trust.

If the question was simply, do you love God? That would be easier.
I think I always love God. I sometimes fall in and out of intimacy, but I always love God.
Trust though? Do I trust God?

Valentines Day falls into the icky 2%. It’s when stats and flowers and loneliness all combine to test and challenge the rest of the year when trust was easy.

This year, make a choice to trust God.

Maybe you struggle to trust God with love, but maybe it’s with something else. Maybe it’s with your finances, or your hopes to have a family one day, or to be successful, or just to be happy. If you’re in that hard place where every thing is screaming “give up, He doesn’t care” – then push back and say no.

Take yourself out on a date and say no.
Apply for another job, assume you’ll get it. Say no.
Try again, even though you feel like it’s all done for and tell that doubt, no.

Sometimes trust feels whimsical. Like believing in fairies or something. You put your faith in crazy important things, but trust seems a little foolish at times. It seems like a wishy washy weird concept.
It’s not. Trust is hard. Trust is gutsy. Trust is for the strong and not the weak.

When it feels hard, give doubt a punch in the face and say no. Tell that 2% that you choose trust.


What the Water Gave Me.

A while back I went to the beach for a much needed spontaneous getaway with my dear friends. On the first night at around 11pm we decided we all felt like the sound of waves and the feel of sand between our toes so we wandered down the little pathway that led us straight to the beach. As often happens at 11pm, you do crazy things like decide to go swimming even though the current is fierce and its pitch black.

At one point I sort of wandered off on my own to just think for a moment. There’s something about the beach that makes one reflective. As I stood there in the ocean and let my eyes adjust to the moonlight, I slowly waded further in. The waves were just a little bit more intense than I would normally swim in and I couldn’t make it too far without being punched in the face with water. You know the kind of waves where you literally have to plant your feet on the ocean floor for fear of toppling over.. and even while planted, nature still has the ability to uproot you and force you to eat sand and skull salt water.

The ocean is sort of a funny game to me. I sort of stand there and watch the waves come and depending on their size, I adjust my stature and response to equip myself for the wave. If the swell is large enough, like it was this night, you will hear my squeal in mild fear even anticipating the wave. I squeal before it hits – I most definitely work myself up to it.

At a certain point during this spring evening, I decided to turn around and face the shore and let the waves take me by surprise. Maybe I have done this before or maybe even hundreds of times but I doubt I have ever stood and thought so intensely about what I was doing.

Somehow, facing the opposite direction was less scary.

Not at first. Of course at first it’s downright freaky. You just stand there and you have no idea when the wave will hit or how big it will be. I hated it initially and then after a few waves I found myself enjoying it. Preferring it. I let the wave take me and I let my body respond how my body naturally responded. After all, this is nature – who I am to try and control it?

While there’s something to be said about preparation and placing your feet firmly on the ground when life throws you a curve ball – there’s something special about making a choice to turn around, and simply trust.

Its funny how facing the shoreline, I never squealed in fear, just in delight. Sometimes the wave was bigger than it sounded and it sent me under, but sometimes all that came was foam around my ankles and I realised I’d freaked out about nothing. We are way too good at working ourselves into a state of worry, a place of fear. Sometimes I think the best course of action in times of stress or heartache or confusion is to simply fix your eyes on Jesus, on the steady and constant shoreline and enjoy the beauty you still see around you.

If a wave comes, it might throw you off balance. But it also might turn out to be nothing at all. Actually, it might even be beautiful. You might even enjoy it.

Don’t focus on the pain and the problem. Enjoy the small things. Learn to appreciate the beauty that lies in surprise. Life is there to be lived, not anticipated.

Turn around, take your eyes off the waves. Go on, I dare you.

I let the water take me. Florence & the Machine.

Five is a Four Letter Word

While it’s quite obvious I pay more attention to my other blogs than to this one, tumblr is a great post inspiration tool. I follow mostly fashion blogs, a couple of blogs that post about tv shows I like, and anyone who regularly posts nice images (and of course people I actually know). But in the midst of the great posts, you can get some kind of awful ones. The ones where the blogger decided to actually post their real thoughts (people think ugly things) or the EMO type posts. I saw one that got me to thinking about a five letter word that I think is really difficult to deal with.

I think LOVE is a hard word for a lot of people to say. But for me it’s probably not so much, love, as is it TRUST.

If I really think back to the root of any kind of pain I experienced, it wasn’t from a lack of love, or unreturned love or love necessarily gone wrong. Almost all pain, can be traced back to broken trust.

Divorce. It’s broken trust.

Abuse. It’s broken trust.

Gossip. Broken trust.

Failed economy. Trust again.

Relational breakdown. Broken trust.

No matter what the hurt or pain, at no point in my life, do I believe I forgot how to love, or that I refused to let love into my life or that I became afraid of love. If anything, because of the pain, I give away love to the wrong kinds of thing. Love isn’t the issue. Trust is. I don’t trust people. I’m afraid of people breaking my trust. I withold the most important parts of myself until I feel like I can really trust people.

If you don’t trust, then you don’t hope. You don’t put your hope in things because of the fear of having your hopes dashed. A life without hope isn’t really a life at all.

Life shouldn’t be lived like a blind fool where you trust everything. I wouldn’t let just anyone borrow $2,000 off me and TRUST that they would return it. But a live lived hidden because of pain, an inability to trust, is a sad thing indeed.

People will let you down. Life let’s us down. I can’t think of anyone who hasn’t been at least slightly bruised by life and I know far too many people who’s life wounds are deep and painful and raw. But I’m slowly learning to put ALL my hope and ALL my trust in someone who never lets me down. I’m not as scared of trusting others because my trust is ultimately in my heavely father.

The key to heart issues is often trust. We think we need sort out our ‘love’ issues, when really we need to ask God to heal us and help us with our issues with trust.