Road Tripping

Today I spent 10+ hours in the car. 5 to an undisclosed location, 3 hours at the destination and then 5 hours back. Gas & food breaks were on the go but it’s just a long day. I was with 2 couples-remember, I’m single. Table for one. 5th wheel. Separate bill for this girl. Lol. NEVER do I feel weird with my coupled friends. I love them so I’m definitely just teasing. (Although my dating life was a topic.)
The trip there was light & silly. One couple I have know for about 5 years, the other couple just a little over a year. We joked, talked about every possible subject, laughed & bonded further. It was fun so it hardly felt like 5 hours. 

The trip back-quiet, dark, rainy. It was as if the weather took the physical attributes of the heaviness of our day. There was still some laughing but mostly just silence. Since I’m a bit of a chatterbox when I’m out & about, I felt awkward at times, like I needed to fill the silence. But I really just didn’t have it in me so I didn’t. It wasn’t weird that this group sat in silence, at least not to me, it’s just weird for ME to be silent for that length of time. Yeah, I know. I can be a bit much. 

The silence gave me a lot of thinking time. Like “What do I want to be when I grow up?” “Do I want that little white Chi-Weenie?” (YES!) “Do I write my book?” “Do I finish my degree?” “Do I want a burger or chicken?” (Chicken won) 

So as I prayed, pondered & considered all the great questions of my life, my sweet friend Lisa said “yes yes yes!” To the puppy & to school. I said I would have to sleep on them because my head was as muddled as the weather from trying to think about the different scenarios as well as thinking about a couple of situations my friends were going through. 

If you know me, you know my people are important. All of them. When they hurt, I hurt. 

So today was hard as I watched one of my dear friends struggle with her situation. My heart hurt from watching her pain. I worry about her every day. 

I have another dear friend facing some other issues & tears poured down my face the day I heard. 

When I look at my past, it’s been hard, unbearable even, but I have endured & beaten the devil back with my prayers, my faith & believed that despite it all-God Wins. 

When I hear or see my friends facing difficulties, I remind them of that. I remind them that Team Jesus takes the victory every time, even if it looks like a loss. But my heart still breaks for my friend watching her loved one struggle with drugs, gambling, alcoholism, eating disorders. It breaks for the medical issues that seem overwhelming. It breaks for the hearts & minds so battered & bruised that my friends settle into abusive relationships & allow further abuse to seep into their lives. 

And I remember why I am still standing. It has nothing to do with white Chi-Weenies, degrees, careers, books. It has to do with these people I love so much. The four in the car with me right now (I’m not the driver), the ones I’m watching hurt, the ones I’m watching watch others hurt. 

Can I fix them? Can I erase the pain? No. But I can drive 10 hours for a 3 hour visit. I can take the day off for their surgeries. I can play nurse when necessary. I can make soup. Text encouragement. Hold hands. Distribute tissues. Cry alongside of them. But the biggest & best thing I can do is pray for them. 

So I do. 

Team Jesus ALWAYS wins. 


Love the uglies. The mean & nasty things of life that try to rob your joy have no power over us unless we grant it. 

Advertisements

My Girls

Today is dedicated to my girl gang. My tribe. My sisterhood of un-sisters. The women I need every minute of every day. The first texts I send each day, the first texts I send when life hits the fan. The place where my soul finds sanity & even better, a little insanity. I’m going to talk about 3 today but the truth is, my life is filled with amazing beautiful women.
Today was the birthday of one of the most beautiful women I know. She has been one of my best friends for only about 3-4 years at this point. You’ve read about her in the past. She is funny, wild, crazy, thoughtful & caring. She’s one of the people that makes my heart smile. When we make plans, I can only anticipate what kind of trouble we will get into. Nothing major, but why we are allowed into any Target store together is beyond me. I always expect to be stopped at the door & denied access. Lol. She brings out my wild side. I love & miss that side. (Believe it or not, I can actually be fun to be around.) I hope you had a Happy Birthday Chrissy. I can’t imagine doing this crazy life without you in my corner. I love you for every single little thing you are.


Saturday is the birthday of one of the other most beautiful women I know. This woman brings me strength in other ways. She builds my faith by refocusing my crazy back on Jesus in the midst of trials. She calls me to check in when we haven’t spoken in a while. She has a sweet kindness about her that fills a room, yet a mischievous streak as long as the earth is round. Michelle, I hope you have a Happy Birthday. I also can’t imagine doing life without you & I love you for every single thing you are.


Sadly, life isn’t always about Birthday cake and balloons. Sometimes we have to participate in things for the good of others. “Take one for the team” so to speak. These things may be no big deal to us at all. They may be inconvenient or out of our way, or maybe, it is something that may be hard physically or emotionally. The past few days have been difficult for me in this area. I volunteered to help a friend. I would never have sat back & ignored her need, but by stepping up, it threw me into places I was emotionally unprepared.

Since her story is not mine to tell, I cannot give details of the circumstances. It was however, an emotional situation. A “before/after” moment in her life. Leading up to that exact moment, she struggled with the strength to follow through. Via text I encouraged her as best as I could. I suggested she reach out to a friend to spend some time with. I knew I would be with her for 24 hours but she needed to be with others that also could love and support her. She reluctantly complied and met a friend for coffee.

I knew I needed to push her away from me for the weekend for a couple of reasons. She needed to see that there are others out there that love her as much as I do. She needed that unconditional acceptance. The reality of what she was about to do was really beginning to sink in with her and she was scared. I also had to push her away for myself. Because I could see what little emotional strength she had left, & knowing that I was going to be spending a solid 24 hours giving as much emotional strength as I could muster, I knew I didn’t have much in my reserve, because I rarely do. So to deal with her being on the shaky ground she was on concerned me. We made it through, with a lot of tears but we also managed to have some laughs.

When I returned from this excursion, people thanked me for being with her.

So.

Many.

Thank you’s.

I don’t know how to accept rejection, help, praise, or even thanks. Yeah, I know. That sounds crazy. Is this your first day here? Well, read backwards. You’ll see I’m one step away. I met with my therapist and mentioned how uncomfortable I was with being praised for doing what I feel any friend should do for another friend. (The appointment was already set. I didn’t need to rush for one after my crazy kicked in) She asked why it made me angry. I said because I think everyone should be more aware of people’s needs and if we all worked to meet others’ needs, maybe the world wouldn’t be so awful. She asked why it was so strong in me. Ugh. (Cue my tears) The follow up questions are always the worst. It’s because my whole life, the people that should have built my trust foundation were busy tearing it down. So I don’t feel like anyone will be there to meet my needs. So I don’t ask. And that reiterates my lack of trust so the cycle continues.


Apparently the way to fix this self preservation (aka destructive behavior) is to change my behavior. Seems a bit odd. I have trust issues because of broken trusts but to fix it, I have to trust people.

So, bear with me. I may be extra needy while I work through this. While I act like I can do everything on my own & I’m super woman, I am not. I have needs. Often times going unmet because I’m afraid of asking for help & getting rejected. But I am going to be working on this so…

To my girl gang-I love you all more than words.


Till the next time…Love the uglies, yours and theirs.