Thursday, November 27, 2014

An Ounce of Prevention: 'Take the Focus Off of Them and Bring It Back to You'

Being that this is the time of year when...

A lot of people who are already not thrilled about being single tend to get even more stressed out, I wanted to share a couple of excerpts from an article from my girl that Baggage Reclaim entitled "Take the Focus Off of Them and Bring It Back to You" in the hopes that this can be more of a self-reflection time than anything else:

Our relationships romantic and otherwise, give us a window into understanding who we are and where we need to step up for ourselves. When we find that we’re experiencing the lather, rinse, repeat of the same type of person in a different package and the Groundhog Day of yet another situation that leaves us feeling and thinking a certain way, it’s time to ask:

What am I missing here? What am I overlooking?


If we keep telling ourselves that something that represents loss of self, pain, and an unhealthy dynamic was the “right” thing for us, life will throw more opportunities for that dynamic to come along, either with us going back to a person or taking up with new version of them in a different package. We can’t expect that we will see, appreciate, and ‘get’ somebody or something that represents a different, healthier outlook while on some level insisting that the people, dynamics and things that represent the loss and pain are where we need to be at.

It’s very easy to focus on what another person is doing but use that information to point you to where you can understand and support you better. Take the focus off them and bring it back to you.

Yep. Some relationships were never designed to be anything more than standard setters and lesson learners.

Here's praying that each and every one of us will become wise enough to know the difference.

(And yes, check out the article in its entirety when you get a chance.)



Sunday, November 23, 2014

"On Fire". 'A Man' or 'THE ONE'?

This past week...

I read two articles that had quotes that have stayed with me ever since I read them.

Now before we get into the statements themselves, it would be irresponsible to not mention the fact that in *God's perfect will*, original married partners are to remain with one another until death parts them (Malachi 2:16, I Corinthians 7:10-11). I needed to state that because both of these women are/were married to someone other than their first spouse.

That said, the reason why I still believe it's important to share some of their statements is because, prayerfully, it will remind us all of the standard we are to set---the first and only time.

One set of statements came from an article that I read on US Magazine's website about Michael Nicols and Diane Sawyer. He recently passed and so the story was paying tribute to their marriage:

"I knew before he spoke, I knew before he was walking across the room," Sawyer told Harper's Bazaar last year of their initial connection. "I knew something was happening, and maybe it's that beautiful hallmark. Cue the violins? But I knew my life was changing."

"When you wait as long as I did, Mike is a kind of miracle," a newlywed Sawyer told the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1989.

Diane said that her late husband of 26 years made her feel like something was happening between them before they even spoke. That she knew her life was changing just by being introduced to his presence. Some folks may choose to look at that strictly from a chick-flick-romance perspective. However, what I liked about it is how the first sentence complements the second one so well. Her husband Mike was not only about to change her life, but in a miraculous sort of way. Perhaps she only meant that he was "extraordinary" to her (one definition of miracle). However, for the sake and purpose of this blog, let's go with another definition: "such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God".

Ever since the first biblically-documented marriage inside of the Garden of Eden, we have gotten wind of the fact that marital covenant is God's doing. *God's doing*. And so, when it comes to who the Lord has for us, we should want him to bring us to our beloved (Genesis 2:22), we should want the journey to be as pure as possible (since God has no darkness within him-I John 1:5) and we should want to allow our love story to unfold is such a way that we know it was nothing but the Lord. In the context of marriage, this is a part of what it means to "delight in the Lord" so that the "desires of our hearts" (Psalm 37:4) can come to be.

Personally, I also like that Diane said that she waited; that waiting brought her to her miracle. *Man, a lot of single women to hear that*. The Amplified Version of Proverbs 21:5 says "The thoughts of the [steadily] diligent tend only to plenteousness, but everyone who is impatient and hasty hastens only to want." So many folks, because they did not wait on the Lord for his best in a spouse (Romans 8:22-26-AMP), they ended up not getting all that they wanted---shoot, all of what God desired for them to have as well. *Waiting can be a real blessing. A miraculous one in fact*: "For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth." (Psalm 37:9-NKJV)

The second quote was from Solange Knowles as she was thanking people for their sentiments about her recent nupitals (and killa wedding pictures!):

"I'm now one, with the one."

Just yesterday, I was having an email conversation with someone who shows basically every single sign of being a relationship addict (click on that link sometime if you're wondering if you're one too). As I was listening to her talk about how much she desired to have a husband and yet referenced several guys in one email string, I thought "This is about being with 'a man'. It's not really about being joined to 'the one'". She's not alone, though. A lot of women are so lust-filled (not sexually so much as overly-consumed) when it comes to having a husband that being joined to the right person is like third, fourth or fifth on their list of priorities when it comes to marriage. They want to be married. They want kids. They don't want to be lonely. The one? That's a bonus.

The reality is most of us can marry a lot of different folks. *The one*, though? The means "used with a qualifying word or phrase to indicate a particular person, object, etc, as distinct from others". Therefore, the one is a particular person. Not only that, but the one is a person who is distinct from all others. When Psalm 33:15 tells us that the Lord fashioned our hearts individually, a part of what that means is that he made us distinctive. This means that we have our own "special quality, style, attractiveness".

I am special.
You are special.

Special doesn't get with just anybody or anything.

Special links up with special.

And so, your special is just as...


As you are. By design.

It's so that when God brings the two of you together (please allow God to do the work), you two can be another definition of special to one another: "particularly valued".

I look forward to the day when I can say "I am the one with *the one*." Not just some man. With *the one* God had in mind for me all along. The one who will change my life---miraculously so.

Here's hoping (Romans 5:5) you feel the exact same way!