Showing posts with label #IntrovertAlySteppingOut. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #IntrovertAlySteppingOut. Show all posts

Dating {Part III...I guess}

Sunday, December 14, 2014

You know what I don't like doing? Flossing.  
I dislike it so much that I may or may not only floss two weeks out of the year.
Naturally, if I floss the week before I go to the dentist, my hygienist won't realize that I don't floss the other 50 weeks out of the year. I work with people who stash those little flossing sticks in the their desk drawer and after lunch they get to picking. Kudos to them but it is just not my jam. Why? I have no idea but it's not.

That has nothing to do with this blog post other then to talk about my recent trip to the dentist.  But, aren't you glad to know such an interesting tidbit about me? 
No? Then just erase that from your memory.

Ok, back to the dentist. 
I have been going to the same dentist for the last five years. Same dentist with the same hygienist. So recently when I checked in, I was perplexed when the receptionist explained that my hygienist is no longer with the office and that I would be getting my pearly whites cleaned by someone else. 

It is always rather odd when they ask questions that require more than just a simple yes or no with your mouth wide open and that blessed floss being strung through your teeth. Nonetheless, the new hygienist was asking the basic 'get to know you' questions. 

Job. Kids. Marriage status. Oh how I love these questions. 

She appeared to be around my age and I was pretty proud of her for asking such bold follow-up questions after my surprising answers to her basic questions. When I answered that I was divorced, she was bold enough to ask why. Most shy away after my answers catch them off guard so when she was brave enough to dig deeper, I shared. Knowing that I was there for my teeth and not therapy, I spared her all the details but I gave her an honest rendition of how my past two years unfolded. And after I did, I thanked her for being bold enough to ask. I don't know why it made such an impact but it did. I just really appreciate honest and real conversations and that we had (or I could have just been stalling and hoping she would skip a few sections needing plaque scrapping).

The conversation continued and she asked about my dating life.
I explained how I went on one blind date and one second date with a really nice guy and then promptly retired from blind dates. Perhaps I will have to come out of retirement at some point but this girl is still holding out for my future spouse to show up on my doorstep already knowing my story. Friends, I believe in miracles more than the Mighty Ducks did. It is scary to sit across the table from a complete stranger. I mean really scary because the truth is it leaves me vulnerable to how they embrace my story. So tap your hockey stick against the ice, together let us form the 'v', and in unison quack...quack...quack.

I am at peace with where my life is at the present. I have pulled my floundering fins from the mound of brokenness that once felt all consuming. I feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and oh so redeemed. Perfect, completely whole, freed from all difficult days? Certainly not. And I don't think I ever will be. Because even when I am 80, there will still be triggers. Moments when I vividly remember kissing the lips of my lifeless child one last time. There will be moments when that familiar drop in my stomach hits as I am reminded of a fond memory that is no more. Those triggers will come next week, next year, and all the years to come. Forever. 

But those pings are a beautiful result of a love so deep. And I embrace them as a reminder that I am a momma who did the best she knew for her child and as reminder of the innocence of a sixteen year old dreamer who had yet to fathom the complexity of life.

When there were no spaces left to floss, the hygienist whom I had met a mere 52 minutes before asked if I would reconsider my retirement from blind dates because she has a brother. Oh Lord.  If not now, she assured me she was going to ask again when I come back in six months.

I smiled as I walked out of the office at the way my life has played out. 
This isn't how it was supposed to be. This isn't how I envisioned it. 

But this is me. This is my story. 
Once so deeply broken yet being so faithfully mended.
Tis' great redemption that leaves me surprisingly excited to see how life unfolds from here. 


Dating {Part II}

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Let's just call this Part II of my rambling series on dating, of which I know nothing about. Thanks for coming along!

Before I went on my a fore mentioned first ever first know the blind date of all types...I spent a lot of time rediscovering who I am. I thought I had me figured out but my vision came crashing down not once but twice. Where I thought my life was headed, what I dreamed to be my future, and my image of being a wife and raising my daughter were stripped from my core. 

Who was I when suddenly my last name was a remnant of a former life, when my in-laws were no longer legally such, and when my home was occupied by only me? What did I believe? What were my passions and my dreams? What was my reality? 

Suddenly, I had no idea who I was anymore. 

So, Year 28 became my year to rediscover who I am. To reconnect with friends, explore hobbies, to soul search, to refuel my spirit, to prove to myself that I could still stand, and to began to mend the pieces from the shattering of my world.

Before ever bringing someone in, I want to be certain of who I am. So, when "dating' went from being 'in the future' to 'Thursday night,' {after nearly having a panic attack}, I got out a piece of paper and a pen and wrote out my standards. Pillars of sorts that when pondering a future husband were nonnegotiable. They stem from who I have become and perhaps things that looking back just didn't work in my marriage. 

Maybe they are obvious but friends, this dating thing is seriously foreign to me so it made perfect sense to my Type A self to have a list to help guide my heart. They are things like ambition and dreams and a desire to raise and be surrounded by family. There are shared interest and shared core values. But of those, at very top is a shared passion for a shared faith.

When I was 16, we shared a fervor for Jesus but over the course of the 12 years, our beliefs in creation diverged. I never stopped believing but having different beliefs, I didn't pursue Jesus. I prayed and went to church on holidays or when visiting family but I had no church to call home and no community in which I was fostered. I never stopped believing, I simply stopped growing. I had become complacent with life as I knew it and quite content waking up on Sunday mornings with the only thing on the agenda being the sous-chef in the construction of breakfast.

When I began working in my current job, I quickly befriended the only nurse that was around my age. If I can be totally honest, sometimes I rolled my eyes at her passionate pursuit to live a Godly life. While I had become content, she was anything but. When my perfectly planned pregnancy began to be filled with hard choices and uncertainty, she began praying with all her heart. There were cards and notes left on my desk, in my work bag, and in my drawer. There were texts and emails with scripture, encouraging words, and reminders that she and her people were praying for me and my Addy daily. She sent me sermons, songs, and books that she thought might encourage me. When I returned to work after my leave of absence, she had a way of reading my mood as I walked through the door, could anticipate triggers before I had to face them, and has a memory that includes the date of every one of my milestones. And there were Reece's, lot and lots of Reece's. She exemplified the love of Jesus to me consistently for two of the most difficult years in my life. And never out of pride, never being overbearing. She simple lived what she so deeply believed.

She sent me the link to the song "Worn" but Tenth Avenue North and told me to listen when I was ready. I filed it under 'someday' and then forgot about it until I was driving to work one day. It was October and I was consumed with how I was going to overcome the grief of Addy's passing and the devastating end of the marriage. How was I going to pick up the pieces, how was I going to mend my heart, how was I ever going to feel whole? As I listened to the words of the song, I wept. Big, ugly tears streamed down my face. I will never forget that moment.

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn
I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I'm too weak
Life just won’t let up
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left
It was one of the two most defining moments of healing for me. Hearing the words brought this overwhelming sense of relief. I had long tried to understand how I was going to overcome all the hurt, sadness, grief, and devastation. In the course of that very song, relief came as I realized that healing was never going to be through me. So I cried out with all that I had left and asked Jesus to begin to heal me in ways that I couldn't heal myself. I cried for rest and a song risen from the ashes of my broken life. It was in that moment, that for the first time since Addy's passing in March, that knew that I was going to be okay. Someday I would be okay.

Since, I have been pursuing my relationship with our gracious God and there is peace within me that I didn't know could or perhaps would ever come. And though I still have hard days and days of hurt, sadness, or even some of anger, good has come. 

So at the very top of my 'future spouse non-negotiable standards' is a shared passion for a shared faith. A shared love and desire to pursue a God who redeems. 

Dating {Oh dear Jesus, save me now}

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Can we talk about something that makes me sweat, want to crawl under a table, and continuously need to pulse check? What could be that bad? If you guessed 'dating,' those party poppers are for you, so welcome aboard this adventure. Oh dear Jesus, save me now.

When it comes to dating, I am a fish way out of water. Not only did I never envision it to be a part of my world but I don't really count my first ever "first date" as such.  You see, it was my 16th birthday and he joined my ENTIRE family for dinner to celebrate. That was it.  Signed, sealed, and delivered, my heart was done for. He was it. But that thing called life happened. And that little 16 year old girl could never have prepared for how that story would end. But it did. And so here I am. Embarking on a new chapter.

I was recently sent on my first date...and a blind date at that.
And let me tell you, he was super nice and totally sweet but he knew nothing about me.
I left feeling overwhelmed by feelings that I didn't even know I had yet to deal with. Things like confusion for how to get to know the depth of someone and they of me, a fear of letting my guard down, and a surprising anger for the reality of being 'single' after once vowing forever. It wasn't anything he did or said, it simply is me coming to terms with where I am in my life.

I feel like there should have been a little warning flag waved  a giant billboard alerting him...

Aly comes with wounds. There is a segment of the city she avoids like the plague, she has a great fear of being hurt, a very tender heart, and a deceased child whom she will grief forever. Not just for another year or two but for forever

That is a lot. 
But I do want to share my life with someone.  And someday, I want to be able to hear someone call me momma.  That's my dream, just as it was at 16, and 23, and 27, and still at 29.

So I've secretly created a fairytale in my head. It's quiet simple. If I could click my ruby red slippers together, my future husband would appear and say, "I know your journey and someday, when you are ready to share, I would love to hear the depth of your heart. But for now, just know that I know and I embrace you."  I would fist pump bigger than any Jersey Shore party you ever did see. Ha. Who am I kidding? I would probably cry. I would cry like a baby at the thought of him already knowing my story and yet hearing him say he embraces all that I am. 

I know when the timing is right, it will be right because He hasn't failed me yet. 
Back to the here and now.

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