Jealous No More and Other Thoughts

I’m going to be honest.

I used to be jealous of happy couples.  I would almost feel pain when I saw their affectionate interactions.  I wanted that connection, I wanted that companionship, I wanted that love.

But, now, I don’t feel that longing, that overwhelming feeling of solitude.  God finally got it through my thick skull that I have something better.  I still feel that I was specifically created to be a helpmate and wife, but I have peace that I can get by without being in a relationship of that type because my fulfillment comes from serving God, not being someone’s significant other.

Plus, I don’t want someone else’s relationship.  I don’t want a relationship just to be in a relationship.  I want a God-planned, God-centered, God-timed romance-partnership that we call marriage.  When God wants me to enter into that kind of commitment, He’ll make it happen.  Until then, I content my heart in Him.

I need to be truly content, not, “I should be focusing on God, so there. *foot stomp*”  but, instead, “I rejoice in my Lord because He has my heart.  When He wants to give it to someone, that’s His call, not mine. *true smile of inner peace that passes understanding down in my heart*”

I just noticed this culmination of growth in myself last week, so yay for self-evaluations! 😆


This epiphany leads me to another evaluation, this time of what main points God has been showing me over the past year of my life, ones that I think have led up to this realization. (Milestones often evoke this type of reflection in me, haha).

The 17th year of my life (when I was 16… think about it) (2016-2017) was one of the most painful — but most rewarding — years of my life. I am almost a completely different person than I was because God has taught me SO MUCH.  Unfortunately (?), I had to learn most of the lessons the hard way after I tried to do things my way.

I’ve learned… (NOT a comprehensive list, which should give you an idea of the scale of character growth that went on this year)

  • To cherish relationships, but also to not rush things.  Let God work on His timetable and no one less people get hurt.
  • God has a much better plan for me than whatever I could have dreamed up, even if I don’t see how in the world! it is better for me.  And I don’t mean “better for me” like broccoli is better for me than ice cream, I mean that it’s better for me because I discover that I really like carrots, which are a way better snack than Skittles for my body.  Please tell me that made sense.
  • To let God have His way in me and through me and not to try to do things MY way instead.  Letting Him initiate things has 100% of the time worked better than when I try to push my own agenda.
  • How rewarding putting time into relationships can be, and how amazing it is to have God-centered relationships, whether it be with my parents, friends, or even guys.
  • That God knows.  I was going to make that a longer, more specific sentence, but I think it stands alone.  He knows what it’s like to be in charge of a group of people who can’t follow or listen to instructions without being told 4 times (#rabbilife #counselorlife).  He knows what it’s like to pray because you have no other, no better option.  He knows what it’s like to have people depending on you, and you cannot let them down.  He knows what it’s like to love the outcast.  He knows what it’s like to be the outcast.  Guys, He. Knows.
  • To high-five strangers.  Yup.  So many times…
  • That people don’t really notice you as much as you think they do.  But also that they care much more about you than you could ever imagine.  Weird, but true.  Thus, you can be yourself: When I am bored, I like to wiggle my arms like Henry the Octopus sped up like The Flash doing the arm breakdance thing where you start with your hand and it travels to your shoulder… you get the picture.  So, I do that thing.  At camp, the rest of the staff knew about my dancing problems that I did this, and sometimes one of the other counselors, Desiree, would do it back to me like a secret code for “I acknowledge you and I sympathize.”  Yeaaaahhh.  She didn’t like me less because I was goofy, she just took it in stride.  That’s how you know your true friends.  (They can just smile back too. 🙂 )
  • God doesn’t make mistakes.  Ever.  Everyone I met this summer was put in my life for a purpose.  Even the things that went “wrong” were for a purpose to accomplish good in my life or create great memories. (funny how that happens…)
  • Sometimes hard decisions aren’t so hard if you are willing to follow God’s prompting.

Hopefully you can resonate with at least one of these points, or that one encourages you. 🙂

-Syd the Squid

 

Screenshot_2017-07-24-14-37-33-1
The amazing (if I do say so myself) summer staff of Camp Gilead 2017, who God used to facilitate a lot of my growth (hence most of this list of points) this summer.  ❤ ❤ ❤

 

I’m Content!

I’m content.

I’m laughing, I’m crying, I don’t know how to respond.

It’s been a long time:

11 years.
I don’t want anything to change,

Yet it all could

And I’d feel the same.
The things that I still want so much

Mean so little

As to be ignored and 

Forgotten

When life is so big and 

Important.
After all that I’ve been through,

All that I’ve felt.

I’ve come to this place, here

My heart wants to melt.
I’ve found my place,

In line with God’s plan,

And that’s where’s best:

In the palm of His hand.
One of my earliest memories is being 5 and telling my mom in my adorable little voice, “I’m content.”  I really was content, and I was happy about it.  

After the divorce a couple years later, I didn’t ever think I could reach that level of contentment again.  

Last night, I realized I have.  Even the things I would change don’t matter enough in the grand scheme of things to change my contentment.  I’m leaning on the everlasting arms of God.  Hallelu Jah!

Squid

Haiku: The Best Night

The best night ever:
Ginger ale and pouring rain
While working on posts

Listening to fizz
And plastic keyboard typing
Happily alone

A good book waiting
And with no bedtime in sight– 
No school tomorrow

Not quite accurate…
Probabilities arise
In my math homework.

Enjoying stillness
#ambivertliving
While family sleeps

Fine. Time to turn in.
But first, one more chess game and
Dragonvale checking.

Goodnight, sleep tight and
Don’t let the bed-bugs bite you
Ow! (Flushed Away ref)

Wait! New email from
Summer camp with instructions:
Be: Sanctuary

Squid

Joy As Strength?

Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

(Nehemiah 8:10b NIV)

      The joy of the Lord is my strength.  We hear that a lot in the Evangelical Christian community, but do we really understand what that means?  I started working on this post on July 23, when it hit me that we don’t often categorize joy as a “strength”.  The joy of the Lord is to be my strength?  I would think that the power of the Lord would be strengthening, but no!  The verse says joy!  Why?  What is so special about joy that somehow gives us strength?  I decided to explore that.  

Dictionary.com defines joy as: the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation

Jesus’ love for us as displayed through his death gives us joy.  How?  We know that he cared enough for us to die.  For us.  And now we will live in heaven with him forever!  Paul explains this as the reason for the apostles’ endurance through hardship in Hebrews:

There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.   These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

(Hebrews 11:32-40 NIV emphasis mine)

The early church had strength.  Where did this strength come from?  I believe it came from their faith in God’s promises, which gave them joy!  The martyrs sang praises while being led to their death.  Why?  Because they are joyful.  They rejoice in God’s goodness, knowing that they will receive their reward in full.  Paul and Silas are great examples of this, although they were not facing immediate death.

After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.   About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.

(Acts 16:23-26 NIV emphasis mine)

That’s the power of joy!  They rejoiced in their suffering, and God came to their rescue.  And look at this; the Holy Spirit is the one who gives us joy. 

You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

(1 Thessalonians 1:6)

You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

(Hebrews 10:34-35 NIV emphasis mine)

Recently I’ve been struggling with contentment, wishing God would give me this or that, and there’s a big problem with that.  When I’m focusing on what I don’t have, then I can’t be thankful and joyful for what I do have; eternal life with Christ, forgiveness instead of condemnation, the love of our Creator God, and so much more!  So, I’ve decided to try extra hard to be thankful for all of my blessings instead of focusing on the things I somehow lack.  And with contentment comes joy, and that joy will strengthen me throughout my trials.  When we focus our eyes on him, how can we not be joyful?!
God bless,

Squid

%d bloggers like this: