Finding Love in an Unexpected Place | Journal

“Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” Proverbs 19:20-21

I would categorize myself as a hopeless romantic – one who believed that someday my prince would come. I know I sound like a Disney princess movie, but that was my view. Those movies had a very large impact on my life, okay? Yet reality is so much different than a fairytale. Throughout the years of never having a boyfriend or never holding someone’s hand in a romantic way it had an effect on me. Every single Christian girl can vouch for me when I say I’ve heard all the remarks from older generations on marriage and “the one” and I was sick of it. I was immensely tired of hearing that my time will come, or that there are plenty of fish in the sea, or something along those lines. Well, he wasn’t really coming in my timeline at all. I was supposed to be married three years ago with at least a little one on the way by now. Reality had a cruel way of showing you that life isn’t a movie, and social media also has a way of letting people pretend that they’re perfect and happy, giving you the feeling of loneliness that amplifies into untruths. I have a love-hate relationship with social media.

I wanted a relationship so bad for so long, I eventually gave up hope if I’m being completely honest. In January of 2017, I threw in the towel and wrote a letter to my future husband and to God, saying that I was done looking. I was fed up with my own failed timeline creating doubt and disappointment. I was finished with feeling sorry for myself and painting false ideas on myself that I wasn’t pretty enough, or outgoing enough, or just plain likable. If I claimed to be a child of God, it was time for me to start acting like one.

I did a lot of soul searching, and found that I was not ready for a relationship with someone when I wasn’t strong in my relationship with God or myself. I leaned on what God said I was, and started to finally place my worth in what He said versus what the world said a young twenty-something girl should be. (I could go on about how social media is a blessing and a curse to society, but that’s another soap box that I need to not step on, otherwise I could go on forever.) Let me tell you, it’s hard changing your mindset. The beauty of serving a mighty God is that it didn’t take very long for me to be free of those untruths. It starts with talking to God and telling him your fears, your concerns, your failures, and just giving them up. It also means finally being okay with HIS timeline.

I wrote a post on here a few years ago proclaiming that I was done with dating (I’ll link it here if you’d like) and while for the most part I stuck to this, words are easier said than done, because after that I still struggled. Just being completely honest. Yet who knew that I would meet my husband eight months after truly declaring, by myself at night in my room, that I was handing it to the Lord. Also, who knew that the internet/social media was the way I would meet him. I know, I just went on a little tangent about social media, but remember I said I have a love/hate relationship with it? Well I found him on none other than ChristianMingle. Yes, you read that right. At first, I was skeptical of trying it. I thought and prayed hard before I started and during the whole process. I kept my mindset pure and on God. At first, I felt like it wasn’t right for me to give my dating life to God and then turn around a few months later and look for him myself on an internet dating site of all places. However, I prayed a simple prayer, “I’m going to try this for a little while, and if it’s not what you have for me, God, then shut the door.” Surprisingly, he didn’t shut it.

I want let this phrase sink in, because it is so true: God’s timing is PERFECT. All those years of wishing and crying and wanting someone taught me to trust in God’s plan. If I didn’t, I would have never met my husband, because all this time he was 1,000 miles away from me until he moved to Michigan in June of that same year I gave it all up to God. In August, we had our first date and talked for hours. By our third date, we both knew that this was it. We had found our soulmates. In December, he asked me to marry him, and I said yes. In August of the next year (two months ago) we made the most important covenant between a man and a woman official. I’m telling you, when God is in the mix, things just happen. I look back at all those “wasted” years of being single as a lesson. I put the word “wasted” in quotations because they were not wasted at all. All those years of saving myself and growing into the person God wanted me to be paid off. We each other’s firsts in everything. And that is something truly special that I thank God every day for. When we do relationships and marriage God’s way, it is truly beautiful and the most romantic love story of all.

I want to say this as a sort of disclaimer – God’s timeline for everyone is different. I know I would read these types of posts and say to myself, “Okay, if that’s how it worked for them, I’ll try the same things and see if they work for me!” It never did. If you’re struggling with singleness and all the other issues that come with that, I understand your pain. I was right there with you for many years. Remember this: a girl should be so lost in God that a guy needs to seek him to find her. That way the struggle is easier, and the waiting doesn’t seem like an eternity. I hope my story resonates with someone, and if it does, then my goal is made. I will see you next week with another blog post (I’m determined to keep this thing going)!

With love,

Emily

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Busyness: a New Disease | Journal

I usually like to write about what I am going through at a particular moment in my life. I am going to school (yes I am almost twenty-four and still in college – that’s a testimony for a later post lol) and working full time. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my job and I love being back in school and getting a higher education. I will say, though, it comes at a cost.

I have found that I hardly have time for anything anymore. I get up early, go to work, come home, and go to bed. On school days I get up early, go to school all day, go to a coffee shop to get my homework done, go home, and go to bed. That is my routine five days a week. I forgot to mention: I also have photo sessions on the weekend. I have no time for a social life, and I feel that I have no time for me. Yet I feel that I have no choice – I have to have so many classes in order to not be in school forever, and I have to work so many hours to pay my bills and stay afloat.

Remember when you were a kid and could not WAIT to be an adult and make your own decisions and have your own car (insert anything you wanted as a kid, but could not have)? Yeah, it is not what it is cracked up to be. In fact, it is downright awful.

The more freedom you have, the more responsibility you have. That also pertains to your spiritual walk with God. No one holds your hand anymore. Your parents do not make you go to church anymore. YOU are your own responsibility. It has to be YOUR choice to shimmy in some time with God, no matter how “busy” you are.

I am not afraid to acknowledge that I have been lacking in my spiritual walk. I really detest the “holier-than-thou” attitude, so I will not be one of those people. Every one has ups and downs in his or her spiritual walk. I believe we should not be afraid to admit our faults for fear of judgement, rather confess our weaknesses to seek support and help. Yet busyness is a dangerous place to be in your life; I am learning this right now.

What happens when you do not have time for God?

Confessions of a Maid of Honor: Five Tips to Rock the Job

Recently I was given the “honor” (see what I did there?) to be my best friend’s maid of honor at her wedding. I was absolutely ecstatic! We have been friend’s our entire lives, so this is one of our daydreams coming true. Little did I know everything that a maid of honor entails. There’s so much more to being a maid of honor than giving a little heart-warming speech at the reception. Coming from a now experienced mindset, here are five tips that I’ve come up with to help those new maid of honor’s who are saying, “What did I get myself into?”

  1. Plan Everything Ahead of Time

I can’t stress enough how vital it is to plan everything ahead of time. You are there to make the bride’s life easier – especially when it comes to planning. Your duties are the bachelorette party and the wedding shower (before the wedding – shower is optional depending on the bride). Coming from a true procrastinator, it will make your life so much easier if you plan on a theme and games and prizes ahead of time – and that means more than two weeks prior to the event. Even if you’re not a list person, they help tremendously! Lists make things more manageable and you can focus on one thing at a time, as opposed to looking at everything you have to do and become a huge stress ball. Another suggestion is to enlist the help of your fellow bridesmaids – they are there to help you and can come in handy! If your all far away and can’t get together as often, enlist the help of a close friend. Remember, you don’t have to do everything on your own!

2. Give Options, Not a Million Questions

Your bride to be is already stressed out with a million wedding details; not to mention everything else she has to worry about like the honeymoon, where they’re going to live, etc. Instead of attacking your bride with a million questions as regards to her taste and wants, give her options. She picked you for this special position for a reason, so obviously you know somewhat of what her taste and style is. Instead of asking, “What centerpieces would you like for the shower tables?” Try asking, “I’ve looked at a couple options for a centerpiece for your wedding shower tables. Which one do you like best?” Get planning and researching as soon as you can, because it comes up faster than you can blink. If a plan falls short or something needs to be changed, have backup options. One thing I’ve learned is that sometimes you don’t get everything you want or planned – things happen. Be prepared with options she will love, ask for the go ahead, and get going!

3. Calm and Collected are Your New Names

With everything that’s going on, you are the solid rock your bride is leaning on. Don’t forget that you are there to be for her, but not just for the wedding details. Everyone else is bombarding her with those questions. Make sure you ask how she’s feeling and try to take her mind off of things once in a while. Bring her back to reality and when things were a lot less hectic. Let her vent, cry, laugh, or get out whatever she’s feeling at the moment. If you’re a person that can’t handle stress well, remember this: this too shall pass. The months leading up to the wedding won’t last forever. Word of advice, the last two weeks leading up to the wedding are the most stressful weeks of her pre-wed life – so that’s a good time for getting her mind off of things.

4. Tips for a Clean Bachelorette Party

As a Christian, bachelorette parties are very tricky these days. I had next to no luck searching for clean bachelorette party ideas on Pinterest. So I basically had to make up a theme, find classy decorations, and come up with clean games. With the enlistment of my fellow bridesmaids and a close friend who is a great host, I came up with a spa themed party; complete with facials and mani pedis. Party City has pretty nice bachelorette party decorations if you’re in need of a place to shop (I don’t know if they’re everywhere in the US, I’m from the midwest). There are a ton of games that you can turn into a clean game. Just swap out dirty questions for clean versions, or trade out alcohol for something else. One of the biggest hits was a game called how well do you know the groom, where the bride has to answer questions about the groom and when she gets a question wrong, instead of taking a shot of tequila, she puts a marshmallow in her mouth and keeps it there until the end of the game. It was a hilariously funny game – especially when she turns into a chipmunk and is trying to get out the answer as clearly as she can. A clean bachelorette party is more work planning-wise, but totally worth it and is just as fun!

5. Wedding Day Duties

Ah, the wedding day. What all the months of planning and preparing was for. This day is the most crucial for a maid of honor. You have to help your bride get ready, keep her from having a panic attack, have everything she would need, hold her bouquet, make sure her train looks good on the stage, remember how to tie the bustle, keep everyone in check for pictures, sign the marriage license, remember your speech for the reception, and remember to breathe. It is a very stressful day for you, but your duty is to make sure the bride has as carefree a day and you can manage. You want to make sure she remembers this day as the happiest day of her life. It’s a long list, but it goes so much faster that you’d think. Remember: you’ll have time to relax after your speech. Then it’s time to party! I would suggest you bring some Tylenol for your head and aching feet. Don’t forget to drink water and eat something prior to the reception meal – it wouldn’t be ideal if you pass out before then. I know because of the adrenaline you don’t feel hungry or thirsty, but trust me. Once the adrenaline is gone, you won’t feel so hot. Make sure the bride is hydrated as well! When you look back at the day, if the bride is happy, that means you did well. :]

Photo: Pinterest