I rang in 2015 in Nashville, at a big fun party. It was a blast! I made friends for life, tried to acquire a wife prospect for my brother, and got invited into the dance circle by a Lil Wayne doppelgänger. I wore a tiara and at midnight I still had a boyfriend. Confetti rained down as I held a champagne flute, and my ears were filled with woohoo’s and yay’s and people cheering for no reason really, other than the clock striking 12. Their lives were the exact same before and after midnight, but we’d like to think that a new year makes us new, when it really, really doesn’t.
All of the unresolved issues and unanswered questions of 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, and so on… they’re here in 2015. While some people are setting goals and resolving to improve their lives, others are trying to simply find a resolution to the conflicts and questions they’ve been carrying along, the burdens that make it hard to sleep, think, thrive, and try. All of these things become enhanced and highlighted in a relationship. As iron sharpens iron, community has a way of stirring up the sleeping giants just enough to know they’re still there. It’s a beautiful, refining process. The rose-colored glasses get put away, and it becomes time to make an assessment. Stay together or break up?
I had only been “officially” dating for 3 weeks, and it was the first time in 3 years that I’ve changed my Facebook status. It was refreshing. Everybody freaked out with happiness, as if a status change on a website signified some kind of certainty. Nah. It was just nice to not hide at all. It was nice to be in the light, and the light is a risky place to be… especially when it doesn’t work out. But it’s only as big of a deal as you let it be, you know?
I’m a social media enthusiast and even I can agree that Facebook is so so so stupid. Ugh, it’s so stupid. Unless you want to go browsing through your friends list and click each one, you’d never even know what they post most of the time. Facebook chooses the content you see, it’s not in chronological order at all, and it emphasizes babies, engagements, weddings, status changes, and “big life events” that it thinks you’d want to know about. That’s why you get on your phone and it SEEMS like EVERYBODY got engaged, pregnant, and married, when really that’s a very very small percentage of the posts. But Facebook puts all those big announcements together, up top, to mess with your head.
This, then, leads you to think that people only care about those things, which isn’t true. Those are just the posts that people get to see, therefore these are the only posts that are likely to receive that kind of response. It’s not that people are only happy for you when you’re in a relationship, but rather that Facebook pops that announcement at the top of their feeds, giving it a disproportional spotlight compared to the other epic aspects and announcements of your life. So it’s much easier to hit your feed button and click ‘like’ to the top 10 things that show up, which are all relationships and babies, than it is to dig through someone’s profile and interact with the other posts. All this to say: Facebook is stupid and biased and they choose content for you, putting an undue pressure on budding relationships. Nonetheless, we chose to blast it on Facebook and not hide it, and I’m glad.
As precious as it seemed with the cute couple pictures and our banter, what you saw that was endearing to your heart (and mine) was a beautiful friendship. And it is such a good friendship that we thought romance was there. This man of God really honored me, through and through, both when he chose to pursue me and when he chose to call it off. I stand by the example he set, and the bar he raised for the women in my circle who were watching in amazement. That’s how it should go, ladies.
Christian culture makes it feel like the two outcomes of a relationship are either marriage or failure, but I’m happy to have found a third option, also successful but much, much shorter. We toasted to being single again, talked, finished watching You’ve Got Mail, and hugged it out. Healthy. I got broken up with on January 1st, and I’m not even mad.
For the first time in a relationship, I didn’t forget my Priority. Jesus never went to the back of my mind. Sin wasn’t even a choice. Prayer was epic. Words of encouragement were deep. Affirmation was present. Constructive feedback happened. Every love language was expressed. Respect, honesty, and vulnerability were there. We did all the right things, but we just weren’t the right ones for each other. I call that a successful relationship, because it brought so much glory to Jesus while it ran its course.
I know without any doubt that God has set plans, and that He’s putting them in motion.
You know the feeling when you get in an airport metro and you scramble to find something to hold on to because when the train starts, you might fall over? That’s where I am. God has quickly, quickly changed my setting, and it’s time to grab hold of TRUTH and VISION, and prepare myself for acceleration. I’m about to get jolted forward. I passed a test. I’m ready and waiting. And you know the best part? I never have to wait on God without Him.
Cheers to 2015, or rather the newness released on you by Jesus.
May it be a time of fresh starts, clean slates, and bold opportunities.
Here’s to new jobs, new places, new faces, and new courage.
May you never look back, except to see how far you’ve come.
May you lock eyes with Jesus this year, and stare and stare and stare.
Here’s to the rising strength of God within us in the middle of our weakest times.
May your warrior hearts forgive, open, and dare to hope.
Here’s to the grace that says “rest,” the patience that says “heal,” and the passion that says “jump.”
Here’s to a level of faith that exceeds the trials ahead, to a level of joy that overcomes harsh circumstances, and to the conquering kind of Love pumping through our veins.
We were made for such a time as this, to roar in victory as the ransomed ones.
It’s a new year, yes, but may we walk with renewed spirits so that we experience a shift in our lives and not just our calendars. Then the world will hear our genuine shouts of joy, our cries of breakthrough.