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10.08.2013

Identity Crisis

identity - noun
     1. the fact of being who or what a person or thing is (emphasis mine)
     2. a close similarity or affinity

Identity has become a big part of my journey.  It's such a strange thing because one day you're grounded and the next day you don't know who you are. Or is that just me?

I remember when I graduated college I felt completely lost. One day I was in school and the next I just wasn't. The very thing I had hoped and dreamed of had finally arrived and with it a lackluster finale of 'what am I doing with my life?!' ensued.

For years my identity had been wrapped around this whole student thing. I didn't have to decide anything because it was already decided for me. What do I do with my life now? Go to school. What do I do with my life . . . now? Go to school. In fact, did you even think those 'what now?' thoughts? I sure didn't . . . it was just the plan. (Thanks, 'Merica.)

And being a student gives you a lot of permission. Permission to . . . dream, wear sweatpants everyday, mess up, not have it all figured out. Being a student gives you permission to dream, keep dreaming, change your career path, eat Ramen everyday, and to pull all nighters. Being a student gives you permission to believe you can actually change the world. 

And then all of a sudden I just wasn't. So harsh! Like everything I once knew to be is just snatched right out from under me. And so instead of everything I am, I am suddenly aware of everything I'm not.

It's like I could only begin to understand my identity when it no longer was.

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10.06.2013

Where I Am

It has been one of those weeks/ends where in baring singleness is not pretty and definitely not fun. And I don't have the pretty word pictures, metaphors, and stories that typically flood my mind at this hour.

It's my thought that when we are on The Path, His path, it's not going to be easy and there is going to be resistance. It's funny when the very thing you are excited for becomes the very thing you're terrified of. 31 Days of Straight writing...... On being single..... WHAT?

A good sign to continue pressing on, I'd say. 

But I don't want to write under self condemnation and yet I don't really want that stupid Devil to win tonight either. 

So in a full blown effort towards redemption, I'd like to share some treasured moments of gratitude in my single life these days. 


This cat, my tiny companion. 


Fall with friends. 


This show: amazing. And if you don't know me... Just observe the main character and you'll have a pretty good idea. 


Thankful for little life sweeteners such as these.

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10.03.2013

Boundaries


That one time I met a cute guy, we had coffee the next day, and I didn't give him my number.

I know right?!

I thought we might have chemistry, and I knew that I wanted to get to know him, but I also knew that I wasn't ready for anything to progress more seriously. All or nothing Jordan would have assumed coffee was off limits, but the free spirit in me kept saying: "it's just coffee...right?!" So I entered the date with one rule: "Whether this goes good or bad, you are not giving him your number."

A simple lesson in setting boundaries...and it worked!! I listened to my wiser, more experienced self, instead of the somewhat desperate, flattered, and attention wanting other self and I did not give him my number. 

Consider it a personal victory in the world of: Jordan Does Singleness. So much so, that it has kick started my ability to begin caring for my heart better.

Because I believe the key to single living is guarding your heart.

I used to view boundaries as death because they caged me and stopped me from being what I thought was f r e e . Like self denial only to an unusual degree where I don't get to do anything I want and how am I ever living authentically that way? I would wonder.

However, I've come to realize that boundaries are so much more than restrictions but protections. It sounds so common sensical as I type it and yet it isn't. Because when I set boundaries for myself I'm really respecting myself and my season. When I set boundaries, I'm giving myself permission to be human, to do what I want, to take a risk, to try something new, but in a healthy way that doesn't involve sacrificing my health.

Now that I understand the true definition and purpose of the word boundary, I no longer limit myself in the ways that I used to and I no longer subject myself to the things that I used to. Instead, I go where I have peace and rest.

24 and single - I am mine. No longer a child, under the cover of my parents, and not a wife, under the provision of my husband. And what better way to prepare for the next season than by learning to love yourself well? Sometimes you just don't have to learn things the hard way in order to grow.


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10.01.2013

SEPTEMBER


My life: similar to September.

September: When Summer happens upon Fall, our sundresses are too bare, and the black knee high boots are too heavy to stand on their own.

Each morning greets: "What to wear?" And I'm puzzled by the longing for days spent in my bathing suit mixed with the anticipation of crunching leaves and chunky scarves.

                                To be cold again

September so unique as the two seasons take their turns; mourning the loss of Summer's end, welcoming Fall's whispering greeting. The two distant relatives share a bed.

And so goes my life in the good riddance of one season to the next. The pain of the old, more comfortable ways, for the stretching of the new, growing ways.


How can life be much sweeter than summer?
                                                                     

                                                                        Until I found Fall.

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9.12.2013

On Being Single

This is the first time I've been so inclined to write on the topic of singleness. The reason being because I've likely never been "single". (Gasp!) I've otherwise been classified as "in a relationship" or "heartbroken". The latter being the least appealing so I am wearing my singleness as a badge of honor.

I am 24 and single.


New things will be happening for this little online space I call home and with it, a new me! It's always been my goal to write authentically and vulnerably, navigating my way through the storm instead of only writing the epilogue or lessons learned. And while singleness may not be a full blown STORM there are certainly some tornados and never ending thunderstorms that pass through these sometimes barren lands.

Heck, who am I kidding, it's just a plain storm at times!

                                               So welcome to the single side of my life :)

I'd like to think of this season as having some kind of purpose, but often times I find myself playing "victim": feeling out of control, like I didn't choose this for my life, feeling jealous, and lonely, etc. I mean . . . what a long list of feelings there really are. It depends on the week, the moment, or even how much "girl" is in my system ;).

And I hate those moments when I find myself reacting to the hand-me-downs of life instead of acting because life is really what you make of it. (How cliche, I know.)

The truth is: I'm not in control, but I do have choice.
The truth is: While I would not prefer to be single for all of time, I did choose it for right now (refer to the beginning of the post at the mention of heartbreak ;).
The truth is: God's heart for me is reflected in the lives of my loved ones when they date, marry, and have children. That is my same God.

And the truth is: This is awfully empowering.

Gosh it's good just to write that friends.

So hi singleness, and welcome. Can we be friends? Please stay for as long as the story of this season is unwritten. I don't mean to rush you (but then won't you just get the hell out!). I welcome your processes, your lessons, your growth, your strength, and your gifts.



Singleness? Meet my life. Life: meet my singleness.

It's so nice to have you acquainted.

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7.31.2013

Pain & "presents" power

Pain's source is often times over past regrets and future worry. Regret over what we did, and what we should have done. Worry over what's to come, and wonder if it never will. I've found that the greatest solution to pain is remaining in each moment, experiencing the present to the fullest. 

We preach this to one another in the hard times but it is the hardest to live out. Hope so elusive, so evasive, it's sometimes hard to latch onto. 

We are searching for joy in the present and seeking the desires of our hearts. And the desire of our heart is joy. 

So we hope in these desires: friendship & community, relationships, careers & success. These things fail us and the pain slowly creeps in. The very same things we were created for. 

And yet there is One creator of hope and One creator of joy. The One who waits to hold our hope and the desires of our hearts in the palm of His hand. 

There is hope that never fails. 

So tonight, I'm thankful for present joy. For time as mine; Time with my sister, time to be silly, time to dance with my roommate, and time to love my new kitten. I'm thankful for a cozy home and for time spent on my front porch, the traffic and rain as my music and silence as my companion. 
 
These gifts I count as present joy, as Gods heart towards me. I leave the past behind and the future ahead because the present is too good to miss out. How many gifts do we miss because we are behind or ahead? 

So tonight, may we remember 'right now'. May we hold to the promise of 'I am'. Because we are walking with our God in this moment and He is blessing us right now with the gift of joy in our Present. 

6.26.2013

Mundane days and unexpected Glory


The day started out like any other bad day: early morning, alarm snoozing, dread, anxiety, and a daunting, looming, blank slate. What would the day hold? It was the anxiety that was eating me. And the anxiety led to frustration and annoyance, which led to self-deprecating and . . . you get the picture.

It was 8:30 a.m. and I was quickly digging a hole that I didn’t know how to get out of. . . . . . . starting at 8:30 a.m. Why?!

The day went on and work was work. Clients were clients.

And at the end of the workday I got bad news that could impact my future – for better or worse I don’t know yet, but let’s be real – (at this rate) I was assuming the worst.

The bad news birthed connection and conversation, people gathering together to support one another; lending insight, encouragement, and comfort. The person who needed the comfort, giving it. The person needing the encouragement, providing it.

How did I become THAT person? The one on the receiving end when all I could see was the need to GIVE.

He said to me: “Remember that day when I found you doing _______?  **Of course I remembered, but I was hoping that HE didn’t remember. (One of THOSE moments, you know?)* . . . People are going to see that as a weakness, but I see that as one of your greatest strengths. Because you CARE. So keep doing what you’re doing. We need that.”

Wait. What?

It stopped me in my tracks because I felt so understood, known, “enough”, right in my very own skin.

HE

SAW

ME

That was all it took for freedom to rein, to flush out the anxiety that had hopped up on my lap and made a comfortable home in my heart. I was seen for who I am and who I am is good in the eyes of another.

Sometimes isn’t that all it takes?

We can be our worst enemy or our best friend, and I was NOT on team Jordan this morning. Don’t we just want some teammates?

The simple reminder impacted my heart so strongly and I drove home in tears. Calling a friend to process, and lying on my bedroom floor as soon as I got home, basking in worship music.

I wasn’t able to write words to the tune of my emotions until later – after my somewhat solo worship party, and my contrastingly busy bible study.

But let me tell you, I’ve been content ever since.

And as I’ve grown in my walk with Him (I reference “Him” as God, Jesus Christ, the Creator of the universe), I’m better able to recognize His pursuit of my heart. Because it took one conversation, one sentence even, one man’s opinion, to change the direction of my day and the direction of my heart.

It took one sentence for my view of myself to change.

It took just one conversation for me to remember. For me to return home. And for me to find freedom.

I don’t know about you, but that’s the hand of the Almighty to me, at work in the details of our lives, of my life. Caring enough about the direction of my days, which leads to the direction of my journey, to intervene and to CHANGE it for the BETTER.

He works for our good, right?

There are so many conclusions for me to draw from this just swimming in my head. And sometimes it’s difficult for me to write and to hit “publish” without one simple conclusion, but for tonight my hope is that you experience these moments too. However small or grand, the kind of moments that draw you back home and that leave you with life left over and love to share. A healing sort of thing.
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