That’s Not Your Gift

kendria 1.jpg        It’s Christmas morning, you pop out of bed because you’re so excited to open your presents. Running down the stairs nearly falling because you are that excited to see what’s awaiting you. Once downstairs you see a huge package under the tree so perfectly wrapped with the cutest little bow on the top. Without hesitation, you start shredding through the wrapping paper to see what could be inside this incredible looking present. After the wrapping paper is off and you open the box you notice that your gift has not only been opened but it has been used and damaged as well. Of course, you’d be furious or at least you should be. Someone not only already opened your present but they used it, had their fun with it, broke it and then rewrapped it, all before you even were given a chance to see what it was.

          The sad thing is, when it comes to relationships we do this to one another every day, this is the social norm. We see a guy or girl we really like, we share a common interest in each other and begin dating. After a while one or both of us start to realize that our significant other is not the one we want to walk the down the aisle towards or say “I do” to. Yet, instead of loving and valuing them enough to let them go and find the one whom their souls truly loves, we use them, play with them and their emotions and sometimes damage them and their hearts; without fully realizing it we are using and damaging another person’s gift that was never ours to begin with.

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          Devastated and heartbroken you sit there starring at your broken and wrongly used gift trying to figure out a way to make it whole again. It’s not fair, you never got to enjoy it to the fullest and you were never given the chance to embrace the beauty of the way it was created to be used. You weren’t the one that destroyed it, yet you’re the one left with the broken pieces to try and put back together. Can you imagine if we would begin to see relationships and people this way? Each individual you begin a relationship with is a gift and should be treated as such. You see, the problem with destroying a gift that isn’t yours is we’ll never truly see the ramifications of our actions. Nine times out of ten you never see or interact with the individual the gift actually belonged to. We never see the broken pieces we’ve left for them to try and put back together.

           If you stop to think about it for just a second you’ll notice that a lot of failed relationships failed because of trust issues. A big question is what is the source of all of these trust issues that are being developed within so many people? Could it be from a past relationship where the person that they “loved” took their heart for a roller coaster ride then left it somewhere in the dirt because they never truly saw or appreciated their heart’s value in the first place?

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          I heard a story of a young man, we’ll name him Joe, who starting dating a girl, and we’ll name her Elisa. Joe and Elisa had been dating for about 6 months when Joe began to fall in love. He’d never fallen in love with anyone before so he knew this girl was something special. Joe immediately began saving up for a ring so that soon he could ask the love of his life to make him the happiest man alive and marry him. Their one year anniversary quickly approached but something was wrong; Joe hadn’t heard from Elisa in over a week. She didn’t answer any text messages or phone calls and Joe was beginning to get very concerned. When he called her family to see if any of them had heard from her, he was ignored. She didn’t have a Facebook, or so Elisa told him, so he couldn’t check if she had been on social media. For Joe it seemed like the end of the world. Days past and finally he heard from Elisa and she wanted to meet up. Joe was overjoyed and excited to see his girl. However, when he arrived at the meeting place he quickly noticed that Elisa was not alone. She was waiting for him with another man. Elisa began to explain to Joe that she was only living in his state temporarily and introduced the other young man as her boyfriend of three years whom she was madly in love with from her home state. She apologized for leading Joe on and said she didn’t want to be alone while she lived here and quite frankly, a girl’s gotta eat right? Joe felt betrayed, heartbroken, humiliated and crushed for all the obvious reasons. Can you imagine that? The love of your life disappears then comes back into your life only to announce that they had been in a serious relationship before you met, their relationship had continued throughout your entire relationship, and you were only being used for social status and so she wasn’t lonely.

         Three years have passed and Joe is still single, has never fallen in love or even been in a relationship since Elisa. The thought of getting his heart broken again terrifies him completely so he decided to avoid love and relationships all together. One day, Joe went to his usual coffee shop that he goes to twice a week, like clock-work, and sees a new employee whose name is Kara. He notices her right away and doesn’t say anything, but every week, twice a week he looks forward to seeing Kara at the coffee shop. Finally, after some months of fighting his fear and anxiety he asks Kara out and to his surprise, she said yes! The two of them go out and almost instantly there was chemistry between them. It was strong, vibrant and felt so thick you could probably cut through it with a knife. Joe went home that day on cloud nine and the happiest he had been in a long time, but once he got home his fear caught up with him and soon that fear turned to anxiety. If the chemistry with Kara was that strong after one date, he couldn’t imagine how he would feel in the days to follow and he couldn’t bare being heartbroken again. So, he slowly started pushing Kara away before they had a chance to develop anything real.

          Intense story right? Almost like it was fiction? Think again, this story was very real with changes made to respect the people in it. The character I want to focus on for the sake of this blog is Kara. How do you think she felt? She met this kind, good looking guy, agreed to go out on a date with him and the chemistry was almost instant. She couldn’t wait to get to know him more and more but because of another person’s selfishness she was never given the opportunity to discover that gift or truly see its value. She was handed the already opened and damaged gift and she unfortunately, was not able to put those broken pieces back together.

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          Now some of you may be wondering, “How in the world do you get to know someone without mistreating or using someone else’s gift? You won’t know the gift is yours until you open it right?” I’m not saying don’t go out on dates or don’t get to know people, you absolutely should. Pursue them, get to know them, learn what they like and what they dislike but while doing so be mindful and protective of their hearts. Treat them with the same care and respect you’d like them to treat you and your heart. If during that time you find that they are the one your soul has been longing for, run into the sunset and don’t look back. BUT if at any moment you’re at a point where you cannot see yourself together years later or at the alter one day saying “I do”, let them go. Don’t continue to allow both of your hearts to get intertwined more and more knowing that one day this will all lead to heartbreak. It’s nearly impossible to begin the process of a relationship with someone without getting emotionally involved. However, don’t use someone else for social status or to fill the void of loneliness only to dump them off when the next best thing comes along. Treasure each and every gift that is given to you and if you find that they aren’t yours, think about whom they actually belong to and work to preserve their hearts and emotions in the best way you can.

             The greatest things in life are the ones that cost you something because only then can you truly see the value it holds and only then would you do anything in your power to protect it. The most valuable gifts are worth waiting for. So, wait patiently for your perfect gift that is untarnished and in the meantime take care of other’s gifts that cross your path. Help them find the one to whom they belong by honoring the value they hold. Be honest with yourself to determine whether or not the gift you’re holding is truly your gift.

 

Thank you for reading,

Kendria

He’s Not My Type

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Okay people, we’ve all been there. I know I’m not the only one guilty of saying this when I don’t find someone physically attractive (just being real). For the most part, we say this when we look at someone’s appearance and judge them immediately based on what we think our significant other should look like.

 We all have this cute Hallmark fantasy in our heads of what we want our spouse to look like, right? Their eyes, hair, sense of style, number of Instagram followers…I could go on. We are so focused on their outward appearance at times that we are unable to see past what they look like to who they really are; their attributes that are hidden like a heart of gold and a strong character. This breaks my heart, and it happens all of the time for guys and girls alike. 

 Now maybe you’re wondering, “What even is a type”? I’ve wondered the same thing. I guess you could call it a “preference”, but it’s more of an outward preference based on physical appearance. Usually when we say, “He’s not my type,” we aren’t talking about his personality unless we’ve taken the time to get to know him. (That’s a completely different story!) When we say this, we are basing it off of our first impression of them and how they look.

Let’s be real, how shallow is it to deny someone a chance to love you simply because they don’t look exactly how you expected them to?

 Here’s the thing about the world we live in – we are so focused and driven by appearance. It is drilled into our culture starting at a young age. Unfortunately, we are the product of our environment. A child could be raised in a family that helped them to develop the greatest amount of self-esteem, yet they may still think they’re not good enough solely based on the high standards of society. They wouldn’t see themselves the way their family sees them and especially not the way God sees them. If we aren’t able to see ourselves the way God sees us, how can we truly see others the way God sees them. We’ll begin to scrutinize every detail about them the same way we pick a part and try to perfect every detail about ourselves.

 The irony of it all is that most married people I’ve talked to have told me they didn’t end up marrying their “type” – not even close. For example, my parents weren’t even attracted to each other before they started dating (that’s a whole other blog). This is a huge reason why I’ve completely written off the idea of having a “type”. I know that God has a sense of humor, and whoever my spouse is; he will probably be nothing like I expect him to be.  

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I met a guy once, and in my eyes he was exactly my type. Like, it was almost scary. After things didn’t work out, I realized that it’s hard to have a “type”. Don’t get me wrong, there needs to be some non-negotiables. A few of mine are: he needs to love Jesus, coffee, and have the ability to put up with me all of the time. But I think that in the end, whoever you end up with will be someone who perfectly completes you. Someone that you wouldn’t expect to end up with in a million years – or at least that’s what I hear all the time.

 In my opinion the idea in our heads of what we think our spouse should look like will be quickly squandered the moment we meet someone who is completely the opposite of our type, yet somehow we fall in love with them. In those moments we realize that beneath the skin, is a person. A person who maybe we never thought we would love. But as we grow closer to them and get to know them for who they are, they just may become so much more attractive than we ever thought possible.

 Ephesians 3:20 tells us that our God is able to do exceedingly more than we could ever ask, think, or even imagine. So, while their hair color may not match the dream you’ve been dreaming your entire life, trust God with the details. He wants to do more for us that what we can begin to wrap our minds around.

 Another one of my favorite verses is 1 Samuel 16:7 it says, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

 This is such a simple concept, but once it’s grasped, we will begin to change how we look at potential prospects. We’ll also begin to change how we look at ourselves.

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 If you get nothing else from this blog, I hope you hold onto these words. This simple phrase sums up the point I hope to get across.

 Looks are NOT everything!

 Now, don’t get me wrong, being attracted to your significant other is important in a relationship. But like I said, I believe that as you grow closer to that person and see them for who they are – their silly quirks and habits, you will naturally fall more in love with them and become more attracted to them. It won’t be something that is based on an emotion or momentary feeling; it will be a genuine attraction that only comes from falling in love with every single part of what makes up who they are.

 Let’s not be so focused on the way a person looks that we fail to see beyond their looks, and get to their heart. This is where a person’s true attractiveness and value comes from. Be cautious but stay open to the idea that just maybe God has someone out there that we may be overlooking because we’re busy searching for the wrong thing. Just maybe He knows us better than we know ourselves. And just maybe He plans on blowing our minds with the better half He has for us if we’d only choose to let go of our “type” and make room for HIS.

 You are all so beautiful, each and every one of you!  Thanks for reading!

   MJ