The New Has Come

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In the two and a half months that I gave up writing, I chose to really focus on figuring out who I want to be and how I was going to get to that. I worked on being a good, responsible mom to my puppy [Winnie]. My boyfriend [Jeremiah] and I spent time getting closer through fun times and hard questions. I went on an overwhelming yet wonderful adventure traveling to four states I had never been to. I met people who will undoubtedly be my family one day and they treated me, essentially a stranger, with more love and kindness than I could have imagined. I grew to appreciate my family more. I learned even more of what it means to be a true friend. I claimed my faith and have begun to accept God and the grace he so freely gives.

So my break was great, but I couldn’t help, but miss the community here and the voice that I have. I had all of these words and ideas all jumbled up in my head, but had nowhere to put them. I am also so humbled by the response that my last post received. I was sad to go, but I am in a better place now, so I am choosing to come back and be heard.

I heard a song on the radio last night called Let It Fade by Jeremy Camp. As I listened, I just felt this sense of peace. I could finally breathe realizing that everyone makes mistakes, everyone loses their way, everyone falls down. I wasn’t the first or only person to screw up royally and feel that there is no way back. In the song, he asks some questions:

Have you helped yourself to everything that’s empty?
Have you been looking for a place where you belong?
Have you been holding on to what this world has offered?
Have you been giving in to all these masquerades?

The answer to all of them was yes. At first, I was thinking wow… I can’t believe all of this describes me… how could I have gone so wrong? But then he goes on to say:

You can rest, you will find rest.
Let this old life crumble, let it fade.
Let this new life offered be your saving grace.

I did have a way out. I don’t have to be defined by the mistakes and choices I have made in the past. I am not chained down by them anymore. They happened, but I am washed clean. God gives grace, so we can move on and start again. We are going to mess up. I am going to mess up, but that fact is inevitable, so I am just going to give every day my best shot and ask forgiveness when it is necessary, but keep going and not let mistakes and failures hold me back. 

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.
-2 Corinthians 5:17

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You Should Always Feel Like A Somebody

Everybody is a Somebody

Have you ever been with another person or a group of people and felt invisible or inferior? This happens to me a lot, but at the same time I know I am guilty of making others feel this way. It is a bully complex- making those around you feel like nothing in order to make yourself feel like something.

It makes me sad to think that I behave this way, because I am insecure with who I am. Lately, I have been learning about real, genuine friendship. I have been having to accept that people cannot be everything you need or want, but they also cannot fill the places where you feel empty. If I don’t want people expecting me to be perfect and put together then I can’t expect that from them.

One thing I have realized is that I have the power to be an amazing friend. Through experiencing so much true friendship in the past few weeks, I feel so loved and accepted for the reasons that make me, me! I have decided that I want to make everyone feel like that, because everyone deserves to feel like that!

I feel that I possess so many qualities that I can funnel into being a person who makes everyone feel important, because they should know that they matter. Whether that is just giving someone the time of day, smiling at a stranger, or giving a friend some tough love. I don’t want to sugar-coat my relationships anymore; life is just too dang short.

So it doesn’t matter if you have hurt me in the past or we have gone our separate ways or we are growing apart… whatever the situation, I don’t care. I am over holding all of these negative feelings against each other. I’m not perfect. They aren’t perfect. I want to spend time getting to know people and really, genuinely caring about them. I want them to know I am there for them no matter what (and mean it!).

Here’s to cultivating good, deep, genuine friendships!

❤ Lauren

It’s All Good Until You See Her.

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Earlier this year I was stuck in a frustrating situation involving me, a good guy friend, and his girlfriend. If you don’t remember, click here to refresh your memory.

Basically, my good guy friend and I were supposed to grab coffee after my class one night as a belated birthday get together for me and just a regular catch up session, because we hadn’t seen each other in a few months. It was no big deal. Well girlfriend threw a fit and wanted to come, but I was firm that we didn’t need a babysitter. We had it out in a series of text messages and phone calls, but in the end I was impure for hanging out with him, because I was single and he was not. He assured me that this wouldn’t be the end of our friendship, but that they just needed some time.

Needless to say, our friendship has never been the same and since all this went down, I am still not over it.

In the beginning it was extremely raw and I knew that if I even saw her out on the sidewalk I would snap and lose it. But I very rarely ever saw her, so this wasn’t really an issue. I took certain precautions and separated myself from their “group” because I didn’t want to see her and I didn’t really like them anyway. He and I exchanged a few texts and Facebook messages here and there, but we never know what is “acceptable” and I don’t want to get him in trouble (although I do wish he would get his own life and stand up for himself).

I thought that the summer was enough time to heal and be ok about the whole situation, possibly gain a little bit more understanding. I really had thought my hurt feelings had dissipated, but during the first week of school I was manning the checkout line at the bookstore and turned around and saw her smiling face and literally all of these feelings and memories came flooding into my head. She tried to talk to me, but all I wanted to do was slap that stupid smile off her face, so I told her she could go to line 2 instead.

The rest of that day was rough. I was thoroughly shaken from seeing her and all of the repressed feelings of being inadvertently called a slut and losing one of my really good friends occupied my mind and I wanted to lose it all over again. A couple months went by without seeing her and I was doing better or just having meltdowns about other things, but then it happened again…

For the first time ever I was early to my Archaeology class. I went in to claim my seat, but there were still students from the previous lecture milling around. I was waiting at the end of the aisle for the student in my seat to leave and then she made eye contact with me. I dared to look up and of course her stupid smile was plastered across her face as she asked how I was doing. I awkwardly looked down and softly said that I was doing well. My seat was finally empty, so I just went to sit down. Thank God she took that as her cue to leave me be.

As much as I didn’t like her from the start then I disliked her even more after the situation with Bing and I, but then for her to ask me how I was doing… Seriously? How does she think I am doing? Even is she doesn’t keep tabs on me on Facebook (as in reading my posts to my blog on beating my depression), how would she expect someone who was called impure and then lost a good friend to feel? Obviously, she is the last person I want to see or be honest with.

It is so weird how just seeing a certain person can bring back so many memories or feelings or thoughts. She is just associated with such a negative situation and I don’t think I ever have or will forgive her. Now when I see her, it initially freaks me out, but then instead of having hurtful thoughts toward myself, I just kind of feel loathing toward her and how she made me feel in the first place.

I’m still hoping Bing and I can repair things, because I don’t want to give up on my friendships so easily, but she doesn’t make it easy.

❤ a girl

Let The Rain Wash Away

Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday.

Starting today, North Texas is under a flash flood warning. They are expecting us to get 18 inches of rain in the next few hours and it is supposed to keep coming. As I sit at my balcony door and look out the window at the flood that is starting to gather, I can’t help smiling.

The past two days have been really good. I have been busy, but calm at the same time. I have gone to sleep without tears and have dreamed with hope. Just having good days doesn’t erase the disaster that was Monday, but seeing this rain reminds me that you can always wash your slate clean. It’s only stained if you want it to be.

so you can doubt
and you can hate
but I know, no matter what it takes

I am not perfect. I can’t be. This is hard to get through my thick skull. I make mistakes. I am human. But I also look up and look forward. I am going to beat this. Some doubt that I am trying. Some hate what I have done. Although that is a difficult truth to come to terms with, I am not going to let them hold me back. I will keep going and not look back.

I know my kingdom awaits
and they’ve forgiven my mistakes

No matter what I have done or lies I have believed, I know that I am not alone. My “kingdom” consists of people who support me and love me regardless of who or where I am. They forgive me and help point me in the right direction. To these people, I say thank you.

Still far away
from where I belong
but it’s always darkest
before the dawn

I won’t be “cured” from my sadness in a day. It is a long journey of learning to believe and love myself as well as having confidence in the truth than the lies I constantly dwell on. Having a bad today is just the prequel to the good day that tomorrow will bring. I just have to keep my head high and not let the doubt in until eventually the bad days slowly disappear.

❤ a girl

Overdue Apology

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I’ll sit and laugh with my friends at what we’ve been through, but I still catch my breath when someone mentions you. – Unknown

In sixth grade, I met Michelle. It was a friendship that started, because I told her I liked her shirt. It was all so juvenile. We met at church. We had our mom’s meet each other and that was that. For the next five years we were best friends.

It wasn’t a perfect friendship. When you become friends as kids, sometimes it is harder to let them go. Michelle was a very dominant person. She was one of those people that was so insecure that she made up for it by being so incredibly outgoing, likable, and memorable. She was the cool, pretty, new girl from California. There were days when I felt like she just took over the people that I was supposed to be friends with. Everyone liked her. To say I wasn’t bitter about it would be a lie.

For the longest time I let it slide. She was my best friend after all. It was who she was. It was who she needed to be. She needed to feel loved, accepted, wanted… I get it. I didn’t then, but I do now.

But it was hard for me. It was hard for me to be pushed aside. To always come second. To be the back-up plan. To never get the guy. To never feel like I had friends; they were her friends who tolerated me. I was always there for her no matter what, but that wasn’t always reciprocated. Most of the time she was all talk and no action. She would complain to me about her life and her family situation, but never had time to hear about what I was dealing with.

It didn’t bother me at first. I understood that her life was worse than mine. In her eyes, I had the perfect set-up, but she never really listened to how I felt about it. But I didn’t care. Michelle was my number 1 and she claimed me as her best friend, so I wasn’t going to give that up. I needed her. Everyone needed a best friend. Right?

As I got into high school and started meeting new people, I went through friends like wildfire. They would get sick of me or I them or we would drift apart or have a disagreement. To say I didn’t care about them wouldn’t be true, but they weren’t my best friend, so how they felt toward me didn’t matter to me as much, because I had my best friend.

Well my best friend started getting into bits of trouble. She was doing things that I didn’t understand. I was extremely sheltered. After awhile, I just chalked it up to her being a drama addict. She needed something to complain about, something to make her different. Honestly, to this day I still don’t know what made her do all that.

Around junior year of high school, some little things went down that weren’t a big deal, but to me they were and Michelle didn’t understand how her actions were affecting me. I felt like our friendship was one way. I did everything I felt was expected of a friend, but got fed up when it was never reciprocated. I was going through a rough time emotionally and there was this one event that I thought she would be there for me no doubt, but she ended up practically stabbing me in the heart.

For a long time I never got over it. I held it against her for years… literally. At that moment I decided I was done. I didn’t want to be her best friend. She didn’t deserve me. She wasn’t there for me. Honestly, I despised her. I avoided her at all costs and just couldn’t handle being reminded that I wasn’t worth it to her. I graduated and went off to college and pretty much detached myself from anything related to her. I even took pictures out of frames in my room, tore them up, and threw them away. When I say I couldn’t handle it, I was being serious. We weren’t social media friends and I got rid of her number. It was like a horrific breakup.

[In regards to the above quote] Although I told myself over and over that I hated her, I still couldn’t push all of our good memories out of my head. There was a time when we really were best friends and couldn’t imagine a life without each other. After I rid her of my life, I felt lonely. I would hear people talk about her and I would act like I didn’t care or say something nasty, but really inside I just wished I had been worth it. I just wish she missed me.

Apologizing does not always mean you were wrong and the other person was right. It just means you value your relationship more than your ego. – Unknown

The day before New Years Eve, I was cleaning out my room and came across an old journal that Michelle and I used to pass back and forth. I sat down to read it and tears sprung to my eyes. I couldn’t handle it. I forced negative thoughts about her in my mind constantly, but honestly I missed her.

I wanted to text her, but when I got out my phone, I realized I didn’t have her number. I immediately checked Facebook and at some point we became friends (probably to creep on each other) and I messaged her. I admitted to her that I knew we hadn’t been speaking for a long time, but I was officially over it. I wanted to stop hating her. So we talked for a little while. Then we exchanged numbers.

After texting back and forth for a few days, I recognized that we were different people. A lot can change in a person from the time you are seventeen to being twenty. She lived in a different state with her Grandma and I was in college making questionable life choices.

We decided to give friendship another shot. A long-distance pen-pal type friendship. We understand that it will never be like it was, but that’s not what we want. We want to re-get-to-know one another as the women that we are now.

When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future. – Bernard Meltzer

❤ a girl