Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Journey: Part Two

Over six months ago I wrote a post about 2014.
December. Oh December. You were good to me. One of the most challenging years of my life ended. The first year of the greatest adventure I have ever been on came to a close.

2015. I welcome you. I welcome restoration. I welcome your resting in the assurance that God will fulfill every promise. I welcome the hope and life you will bring to my heart. Already you have been wonder-filled. Already, you have amazed me. Twenty fifteen, I face you with courage, knowing that you won't be easy, but I can rest. God will fulfill every promise, I can rest.
 These words were written back in January. I read them now and can't help but giggle.

Let me rewind and tell you a little about the whirlwind that has happened in the last six months.

Some time back, I decided to jump off the cliff and give online dating a try. I signed up for Match dot com and paid for a three month subscription. I didn't have a whole lot of success for the first three months. I talked to a guy or two, but no one I was really interested. My subscription was supposed to end right at Christmas and I was going to go ahead and cancel my subscription before I was charged for another three months. I was thinking about giving another dating site a try, but wasn't sure yet.

On my way home for Christmas I got stuck in the airport for around 10 hours. Because of the chaos of being bounced from flight to flight, I totally forgot about cancelling my subscription. A couple days go by and I realize that I had forgotten and had already been charged for the next three months. Frustrated, I decided to keep it for the next three months since I had already paid for it.
Unbeknownst to me, I would end up cancelling my subscription before those three months were up anyway.

December 27th I got an email from a guy named Alex. He was pretty cute. It was easy to keep an email conversation going back and forth with him. I still wasn't sure though. I wanted to move slowly because to be honest, I was a little freaked out about meeting up with someone I met online.

December 31st I decided to meet up with him at a Starbucks I went to often. I chose that Starbucks because I was a regular and I new that I had friends who worked there who I could trust to look out if need be. I also brought and set up my work laptop so that if things were awkward or went poorly, I had the excuse of needing to get some work done.

The computer and the friends were unnecessary.

Over the next couple months, Alex became my best friend. We laughed. We were serious. We cried.
We sat in silence. We laughed some more. I began to fall in love. I fell in love with my best friend.

Here I sit. The month is June. Almost six months to the day that we began to talk.
There is a pretty, sparkly ring on my finger.
Save the dates are sitting on the table next to me. I talked to the florist this morning.

I will be married in  just over four months. Wow.

I met the love of my life in December.
I realized he was the love of my life shortly after.

Oh, this journey is a good one.

Letter series: To the girl who was raped

One of the most vile things I can think of. 

One out of every six American women 
has been the victim of an attempted 
or completed rape in her lifetime. 

1 in 6.

In a college class of 60 women, 
10 have been raped. 

In the coffee shop I am sitting in right now, 
2 have been raped.
2 people I am less than 30 feet from.

1 in 6. 

That is 17.7 million American women. 
Every 107 seconds, another American experiences this horrendous trauma. 

Precious heart, Brave soul,

Hear me.
Please, oh please hear me now.
You did not deserve it. 
It was NOT your fault.
You did nothing to deserve it.
You weren't raped because of where you were. You weren't raped because of the number of drinks you had. You weren't raped because of what you were wearing. You did nothing to cause yourself to be raped. It was in no way your fault.
Dear heart,
even if you invited the man into your home, even if you consented to one thing,
The moment you said "No" it was rape.
Even if you didn't say "No"... If you didn't say "yes"... it was rape.

You didn't deserve it.
Even if you led him on, you didn't deserve it.
Even if you invited him in.
Even if you went to his house.
You didn't deserve to be raped.

Brave girl,
You are not worthless.
You are not damaged goods.
You are not wasted.

You are a survivor.
You don't have to let him win.

You can report him.
You can choose to not report him.
You can choose to not go back to him.
You can choose to go back to him.
(Please sweet girl, if he is unhealthy for you, make the brave choice to stay away.)

You have power. You are not powerless.
You have control. You are not out of control.
Your world is shaking, but it doesn't have to crumble.
Your work is crumbling, but you don't have to fall.
You can fall, but you don't have to stay down forever.
You can proudly stand up.
You can move forward.

Your story is not over.

Dear heart, hear me, 
You deserve kindness.
You deserve tenderness.
You deserve true love.

It may hurt like hell now, but you are a survivor.
Your story is not over.

You are loved.