Monday, August 20, 2012

"plans to give you hope and a future"

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

these words have been heavy on my heart the past few days...for reasons that matter none to most of you reading this; yet chances are decent that if you stop and really read them you will find some relevance.  i have them on a sticky note attached to my computer, always visible, always a sign of reassurance when i need them.  a very good friend has them tatooed on his arm, a simple reminder that there is something bigger than this very moment...that God Himself has laid out a plan for us greater than anything we can imagine in our darkest hours.  i think i love this verse for a couple, i love the idea that there is some sort of plan for me...that God cares enough about me to lay out a roadmap for my life - one that, if i somehow figure out how to follow it, could be amazing!  and, two, i love the words "plans to give you hope and a future"...see, there have been times...yes, times - plural...when i've had absolutely no idea where to go next, what steps to take, what direction to turn; and ultimately saw no future because i felt so completely trapped in the moment i was presently experiencing.  was i depressed?  maybe a little.  heartbroken?  for sure.  scared, confused, exhausted, guarded, uncertain of nothing other than the desperation i felt in those moments?  yes...all of those things and more...  but, it always got better, always.  no matter if it was a mess i created myself or one that was thrown at me with zero warning; i somehow always came out of those moments stronger, wiser, and with a greater appreciation for the good days.  i have to believe that it's those plans, that will of His for my life, that LOVE He somehow so graciously gives me (even when i can guarantee i don't deserve it) that shows me hope and gives me strength to see the future I am trying very hard to trust He is laying out for me.  do i understand it?  no.  do i need neon flashing lights?  uh, yeah.  do i shake my head on an almost daily basis trying my hardest to figure out just where it is that He is leading me?  more than i'd like to admit.  there are some things in my life right now that i'm trying hard to figure out...funny, i've been told that i have the gift of discernment (the ability to grasp and comprehend that which is obscure)...yet, not when it comes to my own life.  frustrating beyond belief.  i just can't understand what He's trying to tell me right now and i feel like i'm some sort of detective puting together clues and there is one missing...of course, it's the most important one.  but, maybe that's why i keep hearing these words "for i know the plans i have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future"...maybe that's His way of telling me to be wait Him out...that in His perfect time He will show me those plans and only then will i be ready for them.  *sigh*  so much easier said than done.  but, i'm trying.  until then...i'm focusing on plans...hope...future... 

Saturday, August 11, 2012


what causes us to have a connection with someone?  be it a physical or emotional one; i find that those connections happen almost instantly with some people and may never happen with others.  it's been said that i can talk to anyone, that i am easy to open up to...strangers tell me their life stories, sometimes sharing details so intimate that when the conversation ends and we part ways i feel like i've known them my entire life.  yet, there are times with people i should be able to connect with...people who i've grown close to over time, that those intimate moments and conversations never come.  i tend to internalize those things, tend to assume it's something wrong with me because "everyone can talk to me"...but, the reality is, sometimes a deep connection just isn't possible...mostly because of where one or both of us is at that point in our lives.  just one more example of the immense damage created by our pasts, and the weight of scars we try so very hard to keep hidden from even those we are close to.  frustrating for sure, beyond simple explanation and without reason or justification to those who haven't lived true heartbreak...but, for those of us who have, understandable. 

on the rare occasion that we make a connection with someone, it comes at us with such force we are almost always taken by surprise.  it's a look, a touch, a word, a smile...often so small, so simple we don't even realize it in the moment; but we are changed by it none the less.  i honestly don't know why we are able to make these connections with some and not with others...i mean, i get the physical part of it - either we are or we aren't attracted to someone, that's simple enough.  but, the emotional part is harder to rationalize, more difficult to wrap my brain around.  i know enough to see that i'm stimulated by different things, that even something so simple as a person's voice is a turn on or a turn off; but i still can't believe that there isn't more to it than genetics...which goes back to my hard and fast belief that everything happens when it's meant to, that we meet the people we're supposed to meet when we're supposed to meet them; and, perhaps most importantly, no matter what our connection to them, we only get them for a certain amount of time.  i think we each serve some purpose in each other's lives; that we enter relationships based on when we need something specific that only that person can give us (and vice versa).  the really difficult part of all of this is recognizing what we have to give (and what we ultimately need from) those in our lives and to then find a way to let go if we must.  life is just that - a constant give and take marked most by compromise and a search for middle ground...and hopefully few disappointments when it's all said and done.

honestly, i wish i could connect with everyone...wish i could give constantly, that my heart was always full enough, my self-worth high enough; that i never needed anything from others.  but, i'm fairly certain that's not possible.  a friend of mine once said that a group of friends works like this:  we are all in a circle and at any given time, one of us is in the center - surrounded by the others because in that moment she is the one who needs the most and throughout our lives we each take turns sitting in that center spot depending on who's needs are greatest at that moment.  i kinda love that gives me strength just picturing my friends as we surround each other in our moments of weakness.  maybe the best lesson i've learned over time is that i can't force a connection...either it's there or it isn't and that's okay...hard to accept sometimes, but okay none the less.