Saturday, May 16, 2015

It Still Hurts

You know how you think you're finally over something and then....well, you discover you're really not. Three months ago, my heart was broken into a million pieces. It was much worse than any heartache I'd ever experienced, mainly because the person who did it was a person I thought I'd be spending the rest of my life with. I'd never experienced anything like it before. I left a whole world and entered a new one for something I thought was going to be forever.

When you want to believe the best in someone, you will do whatever it takes to prove they are being honest with you. And when you leave something behind that you loved and cherished more than anything else, you will do the same.

I'm still trying to make sense of it all. I don't know if I ever will or if I'm supposed to.

In the midst of my hurt, I've started to take account for things that have happened that might not have happened had all of that ever occurred.

- I get to see my niece as much as I want
- I've made new friends in Jax that I could've never met
- I've seen old friends more often than I think I would have
- I've lost 21 lbs

And I would say I've grown closer to God, but if I'm completely honest, I've been frustrated with Him. Angry is probably a better word. And as someone once told me - "You might as well tell God you're mad at him because he already knows."

So I'm sitting in this. All of it. The hurt with a person who deeply wounded me. The anger and frustration at God and wondering why He had to use such a drastic move to do whatever He's going to do next in my life. The huge hole in my heart that misses my kiddos and my friends in Germany.

If you're a regular reader, please pray for me. I'm just really sad right now and feeling a lot of emotions that I'm trying to work through. I know it won't all go away in a day, but perhaps soon I'll start to see a small glimmer of light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Oh Yeah, I Won

That 8 week challenge I mentioned a few weeks ago?

I won!

20.7lbs and 4% body fat are gone!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

In the Middle of What?

Six months ago if you'd asked me what I thought was going to happen when I got back to the States, I would have never dreamed in a million years that I would be sitting at my parents house, recovering from a broken heart, and trying to figure out two very different kinds of transition.

I don't know what's happening next. I have no clue. But I think, for me, that taking it a day at a time is all I can do right now. 

Maybe I'm just meant to take a year off from teaching next year and finish my Masters, maybe start a new one. Maybe I'm meant to live life in the same city as my family for once and discover what that's like in my thirties. 

I. Don't. Know.

And I think it's OK that I don't know.

We're all living out a story and I'm tired of comparing my story to yours or hers or his. When I do that, I'm only missing out on what my story is telling others.

This has been the hardest two and a half months of my life. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Are You a Bear or a Goat?

No, I'm not talking about Chinese New Year.

On the retreat weekend, we watched this clip by nursing scholar, Brene Brown. It literally takes about a minute or two to watch and speaks volumes.

If you're just lazy and don't feel like getting in touch with your visual learning side, I'll sum it up for you in a nutshell -

The clip shows a fox and a bear with the narrator (Brown) talking about the differences in empathy and sympathy. It shows the bear going "down in the dark hole" with the fox and simply just being there. It then shows a goat representing sympathy coming down and trying to "silver-line" the situation. In the end, the bear just puts his arm around the fox, signifying empathy.

In the last two months, I've had a handful of friends who I would consider the "bears" in my life. They've gotten down in the hole with me. They've listened, they haven't talked and tried to tell me everything will be ok. They've let me cry on the phone, let me cry on their shoulder, and curse and vent about it all. Some of these "bears" include Tammy, Lindsay, Heather, Laura, Brie, Ashley, & Bridgett.

There have been a few goats. They mean well, but really, they don't know what to say so they just make up the first thing off the top of their head that is automatically supposed to make me feel better. I don't think the "goats" read my blog but I'm not going to list them, regardless.

So, are you a bear or a goat? It's ok if you're a goat. I'm pretty sure we've all been goats plenty of times because let's face it - when life gets hard for people we love, we want to make it better.

But in the last two months, to be completely honest, the best way to make it better is simply to just shut up and be there for them.

Monday, April 20, 2015


This weekend I got to attend a women's retreat hosted by Coaches Honor, a ministry started by my aunt and uncle. I was apprehensive about going. I knew about 2 other people going and even though I like meeting new people, my heart hasn't exactly been in a warm spot lately.

The theme for the week was on the Prodigal Son. If you've read Tim Keller's Prodigal God, you know that the story isn't about the wayward son, but more on the father's heart for his son. In each breakout session, we talked about which son we were - the older or the younger brother.

We also shared stories. Lately, I've discovered that I'd rather get to know someone's story than be surfaced and this weekend provided many opportunities to hear other people's stories. It made me see that in the midst of the crap and uncertainty I've been walking through, that it's just a part of the story I'm telling.

This quote from Paul Miller was on the back of the t-shirts for the retreat and pretty much sums up life for me today:

"Often when you think everything has gone wrong, it's just that you're in the middle of a story."

I hope one day that all I've gone through with an unforeseen break-up, living in the middle of confusion, and transitioning back from another place will be helpful to someone else going through a storm of their own. Everyone has a story. They're all different, but we all struggle with pain and rejection and wounds that are deeper than we'd ever let anyone else see.

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Story of Loss (in a good way)

Six years ago, I started working out with Kim. I lost a total of 70 pounds in a year 1/2. In the last three years, I put 40 pounds back on due to stress of seminary, then moving to a country whose main diet consists of bread, cheese, potatoes, and beer. Not to mention desserts and pastries from the local bakery.

When I came back in December, I wanted to start getting fit again b/c my fat jeans had turned into jeans that hardly fit anymore. I struggled in Orlando because I couldn't find a rhythm (though I know why now) and then when the break-up happened and I moved back to Jax, I decided I needed something to keep my mind occupied.

Kim was glad to have me join again and three weeks ago I started with boot camp and personal training. My goal is to lose a total of 70lbs once more. Originally back in 2009, my goal had been 85lbs and I was only 15 away from that but sadly, that never happened. This time, I'm not quitting.

I've lost 14lbs so far and I'm so excited about this. It might not seem like much, but last week I was able to get a dress from Ann Taylor Loft and I haven't been able to shop in a store w/o plus sizes for three years now!

There's a reason for everything. I don't think if the break up had ever happened I would have taken weight loss seriously again. But I'm doing this for me. Nobody else. I can't wait to see what the final outcome looks like.

Sometimes loss can be a good thing. As much as I'm still mourning what was, I am coming to realize what I gained in the aftermath.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

She Brings Me Joy

My counselor told me last week to seek things out that bring me life. It didn't take me long to list the three things right now that are life giving and joy-full. I applied for my last seminary course to be started in May and I'll FINALLY Have my MA in Educational Ministries in August. YAY! I also applied every and anywhere that was hiring for a theatre teacher or where I felt I could best use my gifts. I've heard back from a few, mostly 'thank-you-but-we're-hiring-from-the-inside', but still. At least I know where I'm not supposed to be. And God has opened my heart to new directions. I want to be closer to my family for once in my life. More or less because of this baby here:

I'm probably biased, but my niece is the most beautiful child I've ever laid eyes on. And I've gotten to spend so much time with her in the last three weeks. She always makes me smile and is the happiest baby in the world. It also helps that she thinks I'm hilarious. It doesn't take much for her to laugh at a silly face. I can have a horrible day and when I go over to visit, my whole world is made better.

Lauren brings me joy. And I need a lot of joy in my life right now.