Archive | encouragement

“To Love and Lose” Part One: Scars

Recently, I’ve been really enjoying reading the articles on Young Ladies Christian Fellowship, two of which provoked this post.
Read “Giving Your Heart Away” here and an interview with Natalie Nyquist here.
It made me think: as young, Christian ladies, we’ve developed a bit of an awry idea of “the right way” to go about dating/courting (whatever you wish to call it) relationships. I am included in this!
In our attempts to avoid any flippancy or silliness, in our attempts to deter any impurities, in our attempts to be virtuous maidens, we have created the perfect guilt trip in our futures that we are bound to take!
Like any sensible person, we want to avoid “scars” from our relationship. Who would want to enter into a relationship knowing that it will end in a broken heart? No one. But the way I see it, there are two different kinds of scars.
There is the kind of scar that is right to avoid. The kind of scar that is a bad memory of a relationship in which you were faulty, which ended on a bad note or should have never began at all. The kind of scar that comes when you’ve given someone your heart too soon and it’s been damaged because of your recklessness. This isn’t good and it is possible to avoid.
But in our attempts to avoid this, we often expect ourselves to be capable of avoiding the other kind of “scar.” The kind that comes from a relationship ending or never beginning or when our hearts are broken and it isn’t our fault. We try a relationship and we feel that it should end. And though we weren’t wrong in trying and we weren’t wrong in deciding against continuing, we leave the scene with remnants of the past. Whether we want to call them “scars” or just “lesson learned” or “memories,” whatever is left on your heart, it is there. But now should you be guilt-stricken because something didn’t work out? Not necessarily, ladies!
On Natalie’s interview, she quoted this excerpt from C. S. Lewis’ “The Four Loves.”:

“Even if it were granted that insurances against heartbreak were our highest wisdom, does God Himself offer them? Apparently not. We draw nearer to God, then, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him. To love at all is to be vulnerable. If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as the way in which they should break, so be it”

And Natalie really put my thoughts to words here:
“Continue to love and be vulnerable in loving, safe relationships:
Probably the greatest challenge for me—one which only seems encouraged by our Christian sub-culture—is to avoid shutting myself off from love to avoid further injury. Sometimes courtship is lauded as an alternative to dating because it protects the participants from heartbreak or “giving away their heart.” My generation of ladies who pioneered the new courtship method will testify that neither courtship nor dating guarantees pain-free relationships, marriage, or your own personal happily-ever-after. Relationships, no matter the term used or safeguards implemented, will bring some pain and risk. Nevertheless, love fully. And when (not if) hurt occurs, love again. Allow the pain to stretch out deeper places in your heart for love to grow and flourish. You do not love and risk solely for the other person in the relationship. Ultimately your love is an offering to God. This is why every sacrifice made on behalf of godly, selfless love is not wasted. Biblical love is never a mistake; God will use it.

So ladies, be careful and cautious (and this is coming from someone inexperienced in every way) but don’t kill yourself when you (quite literally) get an idea and realize that it won’t work.
This is okay and normal, not always a sin. So give yourself a break and think: Was it better that you got out of that relationship even though you’ve had to pitch somethings into your past, or to just stay in that relationship so that you can feel safe in your “pure heart” without any scars? Well you know why you don’t have “scars” if you stay in a relationship which you don’t feel you should be in? Because you’ll just have wounds that won’t heal. When something doesn’t work, it can’t last whether you are the one to end it or not, but that doesn’t put anyone at fault.
To me, there are two different kinds of scars and beating yourself up over them will only make more!

Look forward to:
“To Love and Lose” Part Two: Kindred Spirits

Everly Pleasant


We Will Help

Governments may refuse help from other governments and let their people suffer or die.

Even if some can, most of us can’t hop on a plane and begin wrapping bandages and building new houses.

But there isn’t any power of earth that could possibly attempt to stop us from the most powerful help we could send-prayer. Keep these situations on your heart, in your prayer journal, on your tongue.

Above: Burmese children

Above: The Cyclone

Above: Burma (officially “Union of Myanmar”)

Everly Pleasant



Hello Readers,
Today was a normal February morn. Two of us slept on the floor which has been quite common lately. Willin sleeps on his bathroom floor as sort of a ploy to get him to get up and use the bathroom during the night, and I sleep in a sleeping bag on my own floor because Rita was over and sleeps in my place in the bed. This morning was dreary, as if God had printed the day out with a black and white printer but it has reprinted now (2:25 PM) with full color.
Yesterday was cleaning day (how many times have I typed that sentence on this blog?) and a very long cleaning day at that. Sabrina was gone all morning so Bunny had to do the vacuuming and then when Sabrina did come back she had to cook lunch so she was still unavailable. Part way through cleaning time I usually flop down on the catwalk for a couple minutes. Some days I find another cleaner, broom or dust rag in hand, already flopping there. This time I sat with Birdie and Jube.

Randomly, I confided in Birdie that I cannot do somersaults. Not for the life of me! When I was little, I used to be able to do them all over the house, but lately, I have come to the conclusion that I’ve utterly lost my touch. A couple of months ago at Rita’s we all tried again, but, embarrassingly, in one of those we-must-be-on-drugs moments when we were all laughing to tears and squatting with our heads to the floor, my somersault only went half way, as in, I got onto my head and fell sideways in a very painful manner. I guess I just get kind of panicky half way through and give up on the the rolling over part. Well, Jube is quite the opposite. As a matter of fact, she doesn’t even kneel, but begins standing up. She also calls them “pepper-salts” which I think is perfectly adorable and post-title-worthy. Soon, Birdie went back to what we were supposed to be doing, and I tried to do a somersault. WARNING: the following information is highly embarrassing. By “try,” I mean, squatted down at the end of the catwalk and sat there, blood rushing to my upside-down head and tried to make myself push off. Then Jubilee-sweet Jubilee-a girl who’s name fits her better than a name ever fit a person-began cheering and instructing me in my pepper-salt. “You can do it! Let me help you! Just watch me!” (Then she does something amazing…) “See? You can do it! Try to do a pepper-salt!”

Also, it may be useful to remember a little of Jubilee’s past. She was a little late to walk, but when she did walk, she could suddenly run…and jump and climb and reach up to a bar on the swing set and pull her little body up. Yes, chin-ups.

Anyway, she was my instructor. She actually came behind me and pushed my rump. This was to no avail because I wouldn’t budge…I was too scared! I didn’t want to get half way up and snap my neck! I just kept saying: “My hands here? My head like this? My knees together? Apart? Push off with my feet or my hands?” Etc. Jubilee couldn’t have been a better teacher. Her energy is contagious. Then suddenly, in one of her examples to me, poor little Jube pepper-salted all the way down the first flight of stairs like a teddy bear! At the bottom, in a heap of arms and legs and tears, I ran and scooped her up. She was only scared-not injured thankfully, so she was soon in a state of recovery.
“If you could pepper-salt all the way down the stairs, I think I could do one-don’t you?” I said. I knew that if I said this, I would really have to push off and try. So I took my position and made myself roll over-perfect! A true pepper-salt! I would be embarrassed if any of you had seen our victory dance! I was, I’ll admit, quite proud. But, the lesson I learned wasn’t only how to do a pepper-salt, but also that there is something to learn from everybody-even four year-olds.

Everly Pleasant

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