Saturday, January 21, 2012

Thanks Kris (Stella)

I've been dating my boy for about 3.5 months now. I'm past the scared feelings (I think), I've passed the stage of waiting for his personality to change and I'm arriving full speed at the could this be it station.

Noticing that several of the original contributors to the blog are now married I decided to do a little research into their final blog posts and see what words of wisdom I could find about this feeling that has been driving me crazy. I found one by Kris titled My Issues. At this point Kris was starting to figure out that her sweetheart just might be THE ONE and was surprised to find herself freaking out. She so perfectly wrote all of my fears including the misguided notion that Heavenly Father must not want her to be married - (why else would He have made her wait so long?) Another post even discussed the guilt one feels when looking at other single friends who hadn't yet met their sweethearts - survivors guilt as it were. Something tells me that might be a future blog post so I'll leave it alone for now.

Through her post I found words to feelings that I hadn't found a way to express quite yet. There it is - "Fearless" Stella who has always prided herself in jumping into life with both feet is finding herself exactly where Kris did over 3 years ago. No announcements to make yet but realizing that the fear of the unknown needs to be acknowledged. Calm down Stella, Heavenly Father loves you, His perfect plans will be realized in His time and it's okay to be a little scared.

I've never met Kris - but if you still read this blog thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing those thoughts so long ago. Your words were a much needed life saver for me, a validation of my experience, and the perfect reminder that just because I've had to wait longer then many doesn't mean that wasn't the perfect plan all along.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jumping In (Anne)

After the last relationship debacle with the Boy of Summer, I swore off online sites. That system is just not for me. If it wasn't going to work out with him, it wasn't gonna work out with anyone.

So I settled into my school routine, and still missed him every day.

Then last Sunday my visiting teachers came and offered the obligatory “do you need anything?”

And I mustered all the humility I could and said, “Well, a husband. More specifically, prayers for one.”

We shared a lighthearted laugh, but I explained that if my own pathetic prayers aren't doing the trick, I might as well enlist the help of people with more faith than I have. One of my visiting teachers asked if I was opposed to being set up, even if they didn't live in town.

“Why not?” I said.

So here I sit, 10 days later, and an email arrives from a friend of that visiting teacher. In normal circumstances, I would feel a combination of fear and excitement. This time, I felt a combination of fear and sadness. Because engaging in communication with this person feels like I've closed the door on the Boy of Summer, a realization that clearly I was not prepared for.

I had left that door half open, hoping every single day that he would change his mind. He's clearly not, but at the same time, I'm not sure I'm ready for a rebound.

Even so, I mustered all the humility I could and wrote an email back. It might not go anywhere (let's be honest, I don't have a whole lot of faith in my track record), but I'm jumping back in. Opening my heart, making a friend, and trying to not hold the past against the future.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Trials and Tribulations (Stella)

First off - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. I hope that everyone made it through the holidays with happy memories and fun experiences.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the trials and sufferings we experience during our mortal journeys. How different our struggles are. How tailor made they are for our strengths and weaknesses, personalities and fears. How your trials would have little effect on me and mine would seem simple to you.

Have you ever wondered why you have the lot you have? Why you struggle so hard with a particular hardship while others don't seem to have a care in the world? Over the years that I've read and participated in this blog I have often felt anger boil up in me at some of the comments that have been left to various posts. Until one day it hit me - that most of those comments were not meant to be cruel or unkind. Most were simply made of ignorant bewilderment. How in the world could this experience of single-hood in this day and age be a source of such great pain that you actually formed a support group and write about it?

Single hood is not a death sentence. It is not even close to the very worst thing that could happen to a person however if this is your trial then you know the ache that lives in your heart on a daily basis. If this is your particular cross to bear then you know how bleak and dark the future can look and how desperately hard it sometimes can be to focus on just today. If this is your mountain to climb then you know what it feels like to be able to almost see those who are missing from your life. To see the children your arms ache to hold, to see the spouse you desperately wish you could talk about your day to, to almost be able to taste the family dinners that go uneaten night after night. If this is your trial then you get it and I don't need to explain further.

If this isn't your trial then I ask you to think about the thing that keeps you up at night. Maybe it's a health issue, employment or the lack thereof, your children's happiness, financial security, personal safety, sins or regrets you would undo in a second if you had the power to. Maybe it's wondering if you will ever have the opportunities you've worked so hard for or having the secret dreams of your heart realized. Maybe it's feeling like you have no worth or value or doubt where you fit into the world. This thing I know - we all have them.

I had a pastor once give the following analogy: Imagine that your individual struggle is a cross that you wear on your shoulders all day. Now imagine that we are all given the opportunity to put that cross down in a room. We leave the room and re-enter to choose a cross more to our liking. We would all pick up the cross we had sat down in the first place. Interesting thought isn't it? I have no doubt that it is true - there are things that others go through that I wouldn't want to deal with for even a moment and if I'm truthful there are things that others deal with that are so inconsequential to me I wouldn't be challenged in the slightest.

I understand on some level why this is my trial. I need people more then I need air. I need love and others to love. I need relationships and connections and am motivated to change only when I know it will benefit someone else. That makes me sound more altruistic then I am but to say that I'm people orientated is an understatement.

What better trial to give me then the withholding of the most important relationships? The most important connections? To prove and try my faith, my belief, my strength? To see if I will endure all things the Lord sees fit to put upon me and stay true to Him? If I had to design a cross just for me I can't imagine one better fit to my weaknesses or one that will better push me into becoming a queen in my Father's kingdom.

In closing I guess what I'm saying that if you've come here to visit and what we say doesn't seem so important to you it's okay. Your struggles are different, your needs are different and your plan is tailor made just for you. I hope there is a blog out there for your particular need because for me on the tough days, this is my haven. My Cheers (alcohol free of course), and one of the few places I know I'll always find a kindred spirit or two.