Where Was God?

For those of you who don’t know, I lost one of my very best friends in a motorcycle accident last Friday morning, one week ago exactly.  Even though we hadn’t gotten close until this past summer, Tyler changed my life. … Continue reading

End of Semester Update: Transferring Regrets?

A few months ago, I transferred from a small, private school two and a half hours away from everything I had known, to a slightly larger state school way closer to home. This decision was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make in my college career thus far because of the fact that all of a sudden, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted. I couldn’t give a definite reason for leaving other than the simple fact that I knew I wasn’t as happy as I could be somewhere else. So I did it, I made a big girl, grown up decision and turned my life around in the hopes that it would change for the better. Since then, I’ve gotten a lot of questions, are you truly happier now? Do you ever wish you could go back? Any regrets? And for awhile, I fell for the skepticism people were throwing at me. Was I really happier? As soon as I moved I lost quite a lot of friends and one of the most important people in my life . . . I did sometimes doubt whether I had made a good decision or not.

But let me tell you the truth, because I’ve done a lot of thinking about it: I am so happy now. I make my own choices now and I never regret them. My friend group has proven itself and I know who will really be there to stick through everything with me until the end. I have a better understanding of who I am as a person and what I value in other people as well. I’ve grown so much closer to the people around me and absolutely love waking up in the small town I call home every single morning. Sure, I’ve had my rough days and dreaded moments being on my new campus, but compared to how I was before, I don’t have any regrets. It’s so freeing to be able to make the choice to be happy, and I recommend it to anyone who needs to make that choice as well. You’re never trapped anywhere other than your own state of mind. As soon as you start choosing happiness your entire life will just transform.

So yes, I do have an answer for those who ask me. I love my new school. I love being closer to my family and friends. I love the decisions I’ve made and most of all, I love myself. I love being happy and you should too.

Internal Struggle: What It Was Like Dating An Atheist

{I wrote this post in late August/early September last year, we aren’t dating anymore, but I wanted to share what I felt at the time. I should have known then this would be the reason things changed.}

He looked over and told me the three words that completely changed me: “I’m an atheist.” My world went into slow motion as I tried to comprehend what I just heard. God is the most important person, concept, believe, everything in my life; how was I supposed to accept the fact that one of the people I’m closest to doesn’t even believe that He exists? Thousands of questions and comments filled my head….How do you explain babies? What happens when you die? What’s the point of life? How do you explain the beauty in the sky right this very second? You don’t have God moments every single day? I wanted to ask them. Every single one of them. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t open my judgement, I couldn’t scare him away from opening up to me for the first time ever. Other than the repeated “wow” as I thought, the one solid phrase I knew was true was that I was so sorry. I didn’t know how to respond to anything, but I knew I was sorry. Sorry that he doesn’t feel like he is loved SO MUCH by God every single day. Sorry that he doesn’t know that God grants even his littlest desires – like the surprise tomatoes in his garden that satisfied the craving he didn’t even know was there. I am sorry that he didn’t have something he could really believe in, someone to comfort him when no one else could. I am sorry that he didn’t think life really had a purpose and that it just seemed so sad.
He feels like his questions don’t have answers that can be explained. He doesn’t think people have souls. He thinks that when you die, the world goes black and it’s all over, there’s no point in anything. You were dead before you were born, and you are dead afterwards. Emotions are just different nerves and chemicals inside of your body and the colors in the sunset are just gases and pollution in the sky. It just sounds like an awful way to view the world, and it’s so hard to try to see his perspective on things.

Everyday is a battle for me. I’m the kind of person who likes to argue until her point is proven, but I know I can’t do that with him. I’m not sure why, but there is a reason this is all happening. I struggle to avoid topics I know will make me upset and I try to not come off as too strong in my faith. I would be lying if I said there weren’t days where I find myself deep in thought about him and struggle not to cry while thinking about it all. I just wish he could see. I wish he didn’t think that his doubts about some things completely shut him off from everything else.

Occasionally, he goes to church with me on Sundays. He’ll ask questions and really challenge me in my faith. I know that I’m the only really religious person he has in his life right now, but I can only do so much. I never want to force him into doing something he doesn’t want to do, but I wish that I could at least plant the seed. Sometimes people can’t physically do anything to help others, but I’m slowly learning that prayer is so powerful. This is a constant burden on my heart, but I do know that God is looking out for me.

Prayers are always appreciated.
~E

Being Downgraded To A Sexual Object By A Man

To all the ladies out there who have ever bought any type of lingerie . . . Have you ever had a man ring you out and comment on your choices?  Specifically telling you that “Wow, I can just picture you in this right now.”  Any of you get offended?  I know that I sure do.  I get offended hearing about this happening to friends, to family members, to women that I don’t even know.  No, this hasn’t happened to me specifically, but I work in a sporting goods/hunting store, and we sell camouflage lingerie.  Yeah, it’s absolutely hideous and we joke about it, but some people are really into it.  When we sell any of it, everyone always notices.  But it’s typically that someone just bought it, not anything about the actual woman who purchased it.  But imagine my surprise and absolute disgust when, after ringing out the first woman who bought a matching bra and undies set, my male coworker turned to me to comment on it.  Let me tell you something first, this is the same coworker who asked me for pictures a few months ago so I already don’t think very highly of him.  After the woman left he turned and looked at me and said: “Man, that entire time I could not stop picturing her in that.”  Excuse me? What was that?

Am I the only one who finds this absolutely downgrading? Women are SO MUCH MORE than boobs and a butt!  We are created and designed for so much more than just a sexual objects or eye candy for men!  What’s worse? This was a few weeks ago . . . and tonight it was MY boyfriend who sold a set.  Of course he thought it would be necessary to tell me because we joke about how many we sell, but just the way he told me hits the same nerve that was hit before.  “I wanted to remind her that it’s common courtesy to dress for the body you have, not for the kind you want….” Excuse me? Again? I thought better than you! You should NEVER judge a woman on her body, especially if you don’t know her story.  Maybe she was buying new lingerie to inspire and motivate herself to make it become her size eventually, but that’s absolutely none of your business.  And you know what? You shouldn’t be looking her up and down judging her body anyways.  Oh wait, my bad, you’re just “being a dude, sorry.”  Yeah, me too. I’m sorry I thought you could control yourself better than you obviously can.

Maybe it hits more home with me than it should because I just assumed that Rico didn’t look other women up and down everyday judging and imagining what their bodies look like.  Yes, I’m a virgin and he’s not.  Maybe that makes my worries MY fault and MY problems, but it shouldn’t.  I should be able to trust and confide in him and know that he respects and treasures me.  I hate the idea of being compared to his imaginations and past relationships, and that’s such an awful feeling.  Maybe he can’t help his initial thoughts because he is a guy, but he should at least be trying to stop himself.  Not only do myself and the women around him deserve more, but he does as well.  The entire thing just makes me so disappointed.

It’s okay to appreciate a woman’s beauty, but that appreciation should be limited to how beautiful God created her to be, not letting that appreciation seep deep into the imagination.

That’s all, rant over.

~E

Why I Choose Not To Drink

Newsflash: not everyone drinks in college. As crazy as that sounds, I’m an example. Sure, the idea of letting go and just having assisted fun for the night can sound appealing, but I’m just the type of person who likes to be able to control what comes out of my mouth. No one told me that I shouldn’t drink, but a lot of people have told me that I should; it made me start thinking, so I asked myself a question: why don’t you want to drink alcohol?
After a little (or a lot) of thought, I’ve come up with my answer. I come from a reallllly big family who likes to party. Some of my earliest memories growing up deal with being surrounded by alcohol at these parties. I remember that when I went to my very first wedding, I had just gotten a brand new Vera Bradley bag. I (obviously, that thing was, like, golden at the time) never let it out of my sight. That is, until my lovely uncle came and sat next to me on the bench I was sitting on. He put his filled-to-the-brim cup of beer next to me and reached over to give me a hug. And guess what happened? While he leaned he knocked the entire thing on my less-than-24-hour old bag, and guess what, folks? The discussing smell of beer never came out of that glorious bag. Man, I don’t even remember what pattern it was before it was drenched. But in that moment, I swore it off, telling myself that that would never be me.
On a less humorous and more personal level, I remember the very first time I witnessed someone absolutely gone because of the amount of alcohol they consumed that night. At another family wedding (yeah, big family, big weddings) I remember watching one of my favorite aunts stumble around the room gathering up her things while a group of relatives collected in the corner whispering about what they should do with her. As the responsible mother of the five kids she brought to the wedding alone, they weren’t sure what to do with her and her kids. The next thing I remember is that I was in my mothers arms as she stood next to the driver side window consoling one of my oldest cousins. This was one of her first times behind the wheel, getting pushed into DD for her mother for the night, and she was crying hysterically. As I peered around my mom’s shoulder, I could see my aunt through the back window, sprawled out practically unconscious in the back of their mini van, as four other sets of eyes met mine looking equally terrified. Of course, I was just a kid, my memory probably doesn’t give any justice to what actually happened, but that fact that those bits and pieces are formed together means something to me. I would never want to get to that point, and never want to hurt or scare the people I love like she did that night. I think I may have associated alcohol and not safe together from a young age, and I can’t just take that back now, soooo here I am today.
Sure, why would my past mean that these circumstances always happen? It doesn’t. But once I got to college and was given an opportunity with a choice, I only needed to see a few more alcohol-involved instances to realize that drinking just wasn’t for me, it was dangerous and could hurt people. The girl laying with her head in the toilet as I walked into the bathroom in the middle of the night to pee my freshman year, my RA and paramedics gathered outside the door waiting to take her to the hospital. The stupidest decisions all of my friends make every weekend, the way it’s changed some of the people I’ve been closest to and how it’s made more than one of my friendships fall completely apart. It saddens me to see the effects it’s had on me in my life, and I don’t ever want to worry the people who worry about me, because I really respect when people worry about me, worrying about them. And it’s just a decision I’ve decided to make.

~E

Do You Know How Much You Are Loved?

Yesterday I realized that I probably tell my roommate I love her more times a day than I tell my own mother. Love is a word that’s just thrown around now, but at the same time, it’s just so powerful. Sure, I love Katie and would do anything for her. And yes, I’m going to tell her that even if I’m leaving the room for .4 seconds to go and pee and come back. My point is, we typically let the people who mean the most to us know that they do.
But I have a question: Most people don’t “see” God everyday and don’t always feel like He is there with them in their struggles, so how should we always know that He is? God’s love for us is hard to understand. We’re all taught that He loved us so much that He sent His only son to die for us. Yes, I can spit that back out at you any time of any day, but how well does that transfer over to life outside of mass? Can you just walk outside and smile because you just know God loves you so so so much? Or when the sun hits your face do you take a second to thank God for His love? On sunny days I try to, but over the past few days it’s been raining and storming. How do I know God is there for me during those storms?
Once upon a time someone told me something that really made me realize His love for me . . . do you know the feeling you get when your favorite song comes on the radio? That new one that’s hardly ever played? The dance party you throw for yourself in your car because of it? The happiness it gives you? Yeah, God’s love for you is greater than that. Take that in . . . isn’t it crazy?
Last night I was in tears watching videos of Taylor Swift’s fans meeting her in the 1989 Secret Sessions she’s been hosting. Each fan was hand picked and invited to her house for cookies and a preview the new album. As they entered her house one by one, she knew each one by name even though she’s never actually met any of them. I cried and cried watching these fans because I was just. that. happy. And you want to know what’s insane? What made me cry even more? Knowing that the love I felt for each of those people, a love so strong it came in tears of happiness, the complete love I felt for each of those strangers, was nothing compared to God’s love for me. That’s so crazy. No matter what, God loves you that much. You can turn your back and deny Him, but He’s always waiting to bring you back home, because that’s what love is, forever.
~E

Thought I’d Share……

Just scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed a few moments ago I decided to click on an article Project Inspired put on their page today. I couldn’t get through this video without knowing that I really needed to share it.

http://www.projectinspired.com/girl-to-girl-talk-i-will-wait-for-you-spoken-word-future-husband-qualities/

Have a great Wednesday!!
~E

Jealousy

This word, this word. Such a powerful emotion that can overtake your goals and desires if you don’t catch it. Jealously can motivate people to do things they regret, it can keep you up at night with worrying and wondering. Jealously effects everyone differently, and can be triggered in a thousand different ways.
About a year and a half ago I was talking to a guy who really taught me what jealousy was. It wasn’t that he was ever jealous, but that his actions forced me to become jealous. We were never anything exclusive but we “hung out” every weekend….and for awhile I believed that it was normal, I assumed we mutually agreed that we had a relationship without a title. After a few months I realized what was up: I was a pawn in his game, a card he could shuffle through. I had to wait my turn in a rotation of girls he would choose between to spend time with each day. I would see the pictures he posted online with them and wonder how he was able to do that to not only me, but all of us. I had thought that what we had was unique but looking at how he acted with these other girls, I began to doubt myself. I began to experience jealousy.
And from there it soared. Even though so much time has passed since then, I still notice it. And do you know what? It’s not my fault. I can’t help worrying about the other girls in someone’s snapchat best friends list. As much as I try I still can’t let go of the fact that I’m not in someone’s profile picture. You liked someone else’s status and still haven’t liked mine? What’s going on? You don’t feel the need to update the world saying that we’re hanging out? Why not? Who don’t you want to know? Are you embarrassed by me? Are you worried that another girl in the rotation will see and become as jealous of me as I am of her? How awful is that. That’s not the way my thought process should go as I scroll through my Facebook newsfeed. It’s awful that I feel the need to compare myself to people I don’t even know. It’s horrible that, as much as I want to trust someone, what they say and do online really affects my thoughts on how they view me. Uploading a picture you took with me on a date shouldn’t be the official proof that you liked spending time with me, but for some reason that’s the way I now view it.
Past relationships and influences really have changed me as a person. I can’t help that I’m a worrier or get jealous over the littlest things. But after being dragged along as much as I have been, can you really blame me?

~E

Welcome To My Mind: Falling In Love Scares Me

There are so many things in our world that you can be afraid of. Some of them make sense to everyone, but only a few people understand less common fears. One of my biggest fears, besides getting raped and then murdered (duh), is falling in love. I don’t know if it’s the self sacrifice that comes with loving someone or the emotional trauma that comes when you decide that you shouldn’t be with that person anymore, but I fear the entire process. I’ve had a boyfriend tell me he loved me before, but deep down I don’t think he meant it. I know that in the past I would have claimed to love some people, but I think I continuously confuse falling in love with falling in love with the idea of love.
Being in love sounds scary. You can’t predict what’s going to happen in the future and can’t prepare your heart for it. You can never tell if you’re giving too much of yourself or not enough at all. Falling in love is just like it sounds….you fall. With the leap you take declaring your love, someone can either reject it and let you shatter on the ground or they can catch you and love you in return.
On a more personal level, I worry so much. About the future, about the past, about things I can’t even change. I worry about it all. One of the things I’ve always worried about is falling in love with the wrong person. What if I take that leap and end up on the ground broken because I’m not caught. What if I am, and the guy I love ends up dropping me in the future? What if I’m the one who drops him?
I worry so much about my future marriage. Almost every married couple I’m close with has been through a divorce, and I don’t want to go through that too. I worry that I’ll bring too much baggage to my husband and feel guilty about it years after we say I do. I fear that loving someone I don’t end up marrying will effect me so much emotionally and that’s why the idea of falling in love scares me. I worry that I secretly won’t approve of my husband if he comes into our marriage after declaring his love for numerous women before me. I know it’s good to have expectations for your future, but sometimes I wonder if mine are too far out there. So welcome to my mind, just a little insight about what keeps me up at night.

~E