Why my tag section may look crazy…

Why my tag section may look crazy…

So I’ve successfully switched all my Tumblr posts over to WordPress and I must say I’m pretty pleased with the move thus far. I feel like WordPress is more conducive to the type of blogging I do and change is always a bit of a motivator, isn’t it?, so I’m hoping this also could mean I blog a lot more in the near future.

I also added in all of my private “BabYEE” pregnancy posts! You can catch up on the journey so far by following the tags here: BabYEE!

The one downside to moving all my Tumblr entries over is I feel like it makes my “Tags” section on the right-hand column look kind of… messed up? Hahaha. So as we make the switch to WordPress, I want to explain why “breakup” and “trials” are two of the three biggest words there. (Seriously… I’m not crazy! The last blog I posted with the tag breakup was from November 2011… almost 4 years ago, okay?!)

So the majority of my Tumblr blogging was done in college/immediately post-college, thus the majority of the tags will be from that time period. For instance, in September 2010 I posted a whopping 41 times (that’s more than one time per day!!!), whereas in September 2014 I posted ONCE. Of course in September 2015, I will have now posted 12 times, but that’s only because of the excitement of our coming little one! (Which is actually why I hope I’ll blog more in this next season of life!)

You’ll also see other areas of my life that were prominent back then in my high-blogging days: Kairos, missions (which I actually don’t blog about much anymore *sad face*), and photography are just a few that jump out at me.

So anyway, just wanted to clear things up– I’m not crazy!!!

It is kind of funny looking back though at what I went through at that time. I mean, not funny as in comical, because that time of my life suck!, but funny because now with perspective I can see so clearly what God was working in me.

I endured a fair amount my junior/senior years and in the months right after college, but just as I had hoped in faith at the time, that suffering was not without purpose! God was rooting out idols and giving me those experiences you can look back on when you start to doubt, those ones you speak to your soul about, the ones where you can say “hey, don’t you remember…”

And it wasn’t just about the breakup at the time. There were so many other factors that made that one trial seem so much worse. Bitter heartbreak and betrayal of the familial kind, being forced to leave Kairos (the first church where I felt like I belonged), going back home to a lack of community, joblessness and restlessness over what I should do with my life… so many other moving pieces. Deb actually highlighted to me too that the transition out of college is often pretty terrible for most college grads even without all the added drama.

So what can I say?

It sucked. But it was worth it. A million times worth it because of what I gained in my relationship with God.

I don’t share this a ton, but I used to go to this very dark pseudo depressed state often in late high school and early college. It may sound melodramatic, but based on what I’ve now seen through inner healing prayer training at PIHOP, I really believe there were demonic influences that played into that (no joke…I believe the demonic has a MUCH greater affect on believers than the modern conservative church seems to believe). So I would go to these really dark places of hopelessness every so often out of the blue.

It wasn’t until I experienced “real” trials my junior/senior year that I truly saw victory in that area of my life and stopped going into those random semi-depressed funks. It seems counter-intuitive that things got better in that area, but I truly think those trials drove me to the Lord and grew in me a strength in Him that put a huge damper on those influences in my life (again this probably sounds SO out there to some people– feel free to ask me about it!!).

I’ve also touched on it many times before and try to share it often with our youth group girls haha, but that heart-wrenching breakup was for one so heart-wrenching because it was really the Lord tearing the idol of relationships out of my life, but it was also the gracious end of that idolatry. By force, the Lord made see that romantic relationships will NEVER satisfy my need for Him and that my idolatry had placed sooooo much pressure on my relationship because I expected my ex to be everything to me. Only Jesus can be everything! Anything else will disappoint eventually.

And when God graciously brought Mr. Kenneth Yee into my life, there was so much more freedom because I was no longer living in that sin of idolatry! I had grown up a ton and was ready to be a mature participant in that relationship… all praise be to Jesus!

In the end, what I gained from heartbreak and trial was/is invaluable. I learned to walk day-to-day with Jesus, surrendering all to Him. I saw firsthand that when I tried to quell the suffering with other sins, there was no peace in my life. I learned that when you allow yourself to really feel the hurt, don’t run from it, and instead face it with Jesus, your character and trust in Him is fortified in a way that cannot be easily taken away.

I know there is no promise of an easy life on this earth, and there will be trials ahead. My hope is that whenever that next fiery season does come, I will be able to face the suffering and patiently endure, knowing without a doubt that God works all things together for good for those who love Him.

So that’s my disclaimer and a mini testimony! And hopefully for the last time I will use the tag “breakup” (though maybe I shouldn’t because this is just digging an even deeper tag “hole” to get out of haha).

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday

I firmly believe there’s a reason for everything. Even being sick and staying home on a day like today. (And even staying up an hour later than intended to get this on paper!)

Truth is, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed had it been a normal day: I would’ve been caught up in the world of SD cards, and process docs, and a typical post-work evening/dinner.

But, for whatever reason, God had me stuck at home, with little but naps, emails, and most of all my thoughts to keep me occupied.

* * * * *

Happy Birthday.

That’s how I would’ve started the email that was never sent. Actually, maybe I would have used an exclamation. Or two even– an extra for good measure.

But ultimately, that email was never written, never sent. For what good would it do? For what reason would I be sending it? For what remedy would actually transpire?

* * * * *

Not too long ago, A asked me this: do you ever truly get over your first love?

A’s answer was no.

I disagree.

I like to believe that you do “get over” that person, but I don’t think you ever truly forget.

I think people have different ways of remembering though.

For A, maybe it’s just imagining what could have been, whenever faced with a significant event in life. That’s A’s way of remembering.

Or like another friend once said, there’s just certain memories he doesn’t want touched. Days that were too good perhaps, too pristine, days he would never take back, though his heart would later break over their very fact.

So I guess today was my way of remembering, of mourning even, a time that came to an end.

* * * * *

It’s interesting how life has a way of changing the way we remember. Psychology proves that we remember events differently as time progresses.

There were times when I could only recall the bad. Arguments. Insecurities. Ways that everything had become, or maybe always was, so dysfunctional (for when two sinful, totally depraved human beings try to love each other, isn’t the result always a little dysfunction? On the same note, praise be to God then that He has changed our very nature, replacing it with His!!).

And there were times when I could only recall the good. Days spent together. Life-shaping conversations. Times that once seemed like a fairytale.

But with time (and hopefully maturity!), I’ve been able to better grasp the fact that it was not all good, not all bad. Just as people are not all good, not all bad.

There were times when I would totally blame him. It was all his fault. He was the one who gave up. He was the one who lacked integrity. He was the one that wasn’t enough.

And there were times when I would totally blame myself. It was all my fault. I was the one who was so blind with selfishness. I was the one who wasn’t able to make things work. I was the one that was unlovable. I was the one that wasn’t enough.

But with time (and hopefully maturity!), I’ve realized that it has little to do with blame, and more to do with the Lord’s sovereign timing and planning. For He gives, and He takes. He is the initiator of all seasons, and He is the one who brings them to an end.

What once was, was meant for a season. And again, bringing that relationship to an end is one of the few things I can say without a doubt was God’s prompting and God’s plan.

* * * * *

It would’ve gone something like this:

Happy birthday!

I hope things are well for you. I hope God’s peace and favor has been upon you. I hope that seminary is going well and that your life is turning out to be all you hoped it would be.

Thank you for all you once did for me. I do appreciate it and I can see how God used you to reveal more of Himself to me.

I’m sorry for all the pain I’ve caused you. I understand a lot more now the ways I would hurt you, make you feel sub-par, inadequate. I’m sorry. But I trust that God is bigger than me and my mistakes, and that He is doing a good work in you.

Good news: I think I’ve forgiven you. Don’t know when it happened, but one day I just realized by God’s grace it did. For just as much as me, you are a sinner in need of grace, and who am I to not give that to you when the blood of Christ flows freely to cleanse sinners like you and me?

Things are going well for me. Work is work. Church has been an adjustment, but it’s been good. And that boy I told you about when we spoke last February? Well, you probably heard ages ago, but it’s official now (!!) and all I can say is God is so so gracious to me! We’ll see what God has planned, but as you said you’d hoped, he’s such a sweetheart and he is very, very good to me.

So again, happy birthday! May God bless you this year. May you walk more and more in the freedom you’ve been given.

Pass my love onto your mom especially and your family for me.

In Christ,
MG

Morning Glory

Morning Glory

I am so fearful of a future that lacks something I was so sure of, yet so hopeful. For if God is calling me to let go of something so huge, something I treasure so deeply, something that has been for the most part so good to me, THEN (!!) what strongholds will He be able to break, what wounds will He be able to heal, and for what things will He now be able to use me?????

In the end, this is a mercy on both of us. For what God desires for my life and his life is something even greater than what this relationship was providing.

Thoughts written the morning after.

Little girl, you are going to be okay. You pound out those words, barely believing and knowing little the weight of them– what they will mean to you and look like over a year from now. In fact, you will be more than just okay. There will be so much joy and a strength of belief/character, found in all those tearful nights. You will have met the Lord face to face, you’ll have seen His light shine into the darkest of places.

With time and distance, you will also gain perspective on that relationship. For a while, you’ll only see the ugly of it. But eventually, as God heals your heart with His love and through the blessing of other people, you’ll see it as it was. Something good at the time, yes, but something that only was meant for a season of your life. And when you start to understand the greatness that is just around the corner, finally, finally!, you will be able to let go.

But just know that it takes time. So often we have this misconception, that if we’re really walking with the Lord, things will be okay in an instant. But that is a lie that often leads to confusion and discontentment. Healing takes time. So give it time. Don’t rush through the process. Don’t push through it with a man-made strength that says, “Nothing can touch me! I’m okay!!” Because God wants you to be more than okay. He wants to make you whole.

* * * * *

Once in a while life turns out just the way we imagined it. But praise be to God that more often than not, it turns out completely different.

I am so thankful that my life will not be the life I envisioned myself having at age 21. But then again, who knows, maybe one day I’ll be saying the same thing about the life I wanted at age 23?

So when God beckons, friends (myself included, as I know I am a slow learner), don’t be afraid to let go! Yes, there may be pain for a night (or for many nights, for many months worth of nights…), but who knows what joy and what great plans He has in store when we trust Him? And we trust Him because of His character, proven over and over. We trust because HE is the greatest treasure– He is worth this little life of mine and so much more.

Reading: How People Grow by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
A Loose Hold

A Loose Hold

Ya know. Every once in a while it still crosses my mind and I kind of think to myself, “Hm… I wonder what happened?”

Not an emotion-filled question. Rather a mere passing speculation. Not a wish for what was. Rather an attempt at an objective recollection– a collection of data for use in the present or future.

And occasionally, if I think about it too long, a lot of fear rises and I begin second-guessing myself and all the wonderful happenings of the last four ish (or one ish) months.

But I’m reminded of what my friend told me, which gave and still gives me a lot of peace; it went something like this:

Maybe in a month we’ll talk and we’ll be like no this thing isn’t working out at all. And that’ll be it. And we’ll be okay. Or maybe in a month we’ll talk and things will be going really well. And that’ll be great too. And then maybe in a year we’ll talk and decide that no, things just aren’t working out, and so we’ll end it, and it’ll be sad, but we’ll still be okay. Or maybe in a year we’ll talk and everything will be awesome… and then we’ll really have to talk. (Haha.)

Essentially, it’s a just a reminder to keep a loose hold on everything we have, relationships included. It’s a reminder that God is sovereign and that He is going to work everything out whether we stay together for life or if we ultimately break-up in the end. Truth is, no matter what happens, we WILL be okay and whatever happens will be for His glory and our good!

There is seriously so much more peace when we are able to let go. And we are so much more able to ENJOY the gifts God gives us when we keep a loose hold.

And sure I still worry at times about silly things (like confirming Facebook statuses when one day I might have to unconfirm, or posting pictures I may one day have to delete, or even enjoying the time together too much), but by the grace of God, things are improving and I’m learning to exchange my control/worry for joy/trust/freeing obedience.

And like the previous post highlighted, I’m really starting to enjoy everything so much more!

Anyway, I’m rambling. It’s one of those well I’m already up super late why not stay up super super late kind of moments.

So I’ll end by saying that the Lord is GOOD. So so good. In the blessing and in the pain, He is good and He is faithful and He is deserving of our utmost trust and faith. All praise, glory, and honor be to Him!

AMEN!!

Reading: Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo (Amazing story on a little boy’s trip to heaven! And for those of you who are time-crunched or even not so good at reading *ahem* hehe, a really quick/easy read!!)
One & One

One & One

It’s been one month.

And it’s been one year.

Craziness.

So much to say and ponder, but what will I say to you, dear reader?

Please know that God is faithful. He is so so faithful. And He is REAL. And He LOVES. In our dimmest hour, He does not delight in our pain, but empathizes with us– His heart breaks, as do ours.

For every tear shed in darkness, He is there! He is there, reaching out, offering healing and redemption and love.

And He understands. He came to this world, a suffering servant, so He could understand exactly, understand perfectly, all that goes on within us.

God is so faithful. Even when I am not.

After all the reflecting is said and done, those are the promises I am resting on.

It’s been one year. One year after taking the first step to let go of a person, a person from whom I had derived so much security and worth.

And it’s been one month. One month since taking the first step to let go of a status (alone, safe, and single, relationship-free– a place from which I could never again get hurt!) from which I had at least derived security… and worth in some ways too as a strong, independent, lone-ranger-type-woman.

And so this time, as I let go, may I fully turn to Him. May I hide in Him. And may I find rest.

For placing your trust in anything else is such a fearful place to be. Formerly I was always afraid of losing that relationship, so I gave up everything to be in it, and became selfish and manipulative as I tried so hard to hang on. More recently, I’ve been living in so much fear of people. But that has led to loneliness and just a general paralyzed feeling, an inability to really make new friends.

Joshua Harris once said this:

We can’t enjoy the relationships God has for us when they’re all we’re living for. The ultimate relationship is not marriage. The ultimate relationship we’re created for is a relationship with Him.

It was so good, I risked my life while driving down Grand, rustling through my bag for pen and paper to write it down!

So yes.

One year. One month. Finding my freedom as I give up all this world has to offer, and truly begin to trust in Him.

Finally, one year ago, I began pouring through the Psalms (honestly one of the most helpful things I did during that time… and honestly what a gift to be able to identify with them through my heartbreak! That one thing alone makes it all worth it!) and began claiming the promises I found in that book.

I’ve written it many times before, but on day six (so it’s marked), I found and clung to this promise:

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.
-Psalm 27:13-14

When I read that verse, I wrote it on a piece of scratch paper and stuffed it in my pocket. I remember carrying that promise around day after day, glancing at it often, and receiving from the Lord strength.

When I am weak, He is strong.

And He has proved Himself a strong fortress, a shield, a tower, a mighty Deliverer, my Redeemer, my hope, my faithful Father, the Prince of Peace transcending all understanding, my Bridegroom, my love.

Soli Deo Gloria
to God alone be the glory

I’m not who I was.

I’m not who I was.

Where do you get the boldness to try again?

Finding it in the fact that I’m not who I was: I once was an idolater, but I’m not bound by that and there is NOTHING that says I will do it again. I’ve been freed from that bondage. My freedom bought with a tremendous price!

I’ve many more convictions on the matter, but for now, let’s leave it at that– don’t want to get too far ahead of myself.

Watching: Lover’s Discourse (Chinese film. LOVED the look of it, but a bit too melodramatic and not the best film to watch if you’re fighting to believe in love again haha. Oh Asian cinema…)
The Goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living

The Goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living

Happened upon some old photos today. It’s weird when someone you were once so close to, a best friend, a love, drops completely out of your life. I stare almost blankly at the pictures wondering, “Who is/was that person?”

Leaves such an odd feeling. Like a residual lingering sadness. A remnant of the hurt that once was.

I could delete the pictures. I once de-tagged hundreds on Facebook haha. But there really seems to be no point. For all the emotion that once so charged those photos is almost gone…

Things that make me happy:

For one, that I think I’ve definitely gotten prettier since then HAHAHA. (: Or maybe I just feel better, more confident now. Like I don’t have to worry so much about not measuring up. Like my worth is not defined by whether a guy tells me I’m pretty or not. Believing more and more that I have a God whose grace is TREMENDOUS and thus somehow “thinks the world of me,” as a friend encouraged not too long ago. Amazing. Just amazing. My God is so good, so gracious to me.

Second, I can just see and feel that LIFE GOES ON. Sure sucked at the time, but it cracks me up, some of the ways I behaved eight, nine, ten months ago! I remember being sprawled out on the living room floor while the aptmates were in Vegas, crying into the futon, listening to Seriously’s “Dare I Say” over and over and over again– just a couple weeks ago my friend and I were DYING LAUGHING over that story! Oh and my little history paper fiasco too. Oh my goodness… SO NUTS!! Hahahaha.

Third, I just thank God SO SO SO SO SO SO much. He was absolutely a shield about me and protected my heart from even greater despair. And He has absolutely used this time of refinement to start drawing me back into a loving relationship with Him and I must say… IT’S WONDERFUL!! And (!!!!) even more fulfilling than ever was that relationship. I thank God for His tremendous grace upon me and for being a God who declares that He’ll take me back, even when I have been so unfaithful.

Definitely been one of the most heart-breaking times in my life, but I’m coming out so much stronger, more confident in Christ. I KNOW that God is real. I JUST KNOW. Through suffering, His character and His love have become so incredibly evident to me.

So I truly do thank God for my suffering (if I can even call it that). He has carried me through the fire. And He’s using all those things for my refinement and for His glory.

On day six of the whole ordeal, I found and CLUNG to this verse:

I would have despaired had I not believed I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living;
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.
-Psalm 27:13-14

Well, by God’s grace, I really do think I waited through the struggle and pain. May have tripped a bit here and there, but I thank God that He gave me the ability to hurt and to wait, giving my heart the space and time needed to “take courage,” as the verse says.

And so I waited. And guess what. I SAW. I saw the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. I see it NOW in my life. I see it in those photographs. I see God’s faithfulness to me and His redeeming love for His people.

And so I thank Him. I thank Him, striving to better trust, better worship, better obey. He is everything He says He is. He is the Living God. And He is my Father. And He loves me.

BE ENCOURAGED, CHILDREN OF THE KING!!!! Let us praise Him this day! (Or, er, night… (: <3)

Listening to: Come Around Sundown by Kings of Leon