The Waiting Game

A lot of times I often question my purpose. I can get really low feeling like I’m not exactly where I’m supposed to be in any given moment.

Last Sunday night, for example, was one of those ‘given moments’. I realized I had forgotten about a homework assignment (in a class that I’ve already forgotten multiple homework assignments) and am not educationally performing to the best of my ability. That feeling of failure – the feeling of not being enough that I know all too well– encompassed my being, and my breaking point arrived. I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m not responsible enough. I’m not enough. 

In the midst of my breakdown, I started noticing all of the pictures adorning my walls showing smiling, happy, in-love faces. The girl in those pictures – she’s so happy. She’s enough. She’s educated and she’s successful and she’s everything I want to be.

The thought crossed my mind that I’m sure there are friends on my Facebook page who see that same girl I see in the images hung on the walls that surround my bedroom. They may think I lead this wonderful life; that it’s flower crowns and smiles and sunny days 24/7.

But here’s the thing: I don’t post the gray days. I don’t post the thunderstorms and I don’t post the pain. I let you in on my life through a sepia-toned filter and hope the editing does the trick to fool you- to fool myself.

Looking at me, talking to me on a daily basis, you’d have no idea that there might be this dark, cloudy, sometimes scary and sad side. You see what I want you to see. It leads me to wonder if that is the case for all those around me showing their sunny skies, floral crowns, and smiles. Is it real? Or are they, too, simply using a filter to cover up what’s really going on? Am I the only one who wishes she could truly be that girl in that picture at all times?

Sitting in my bedroom, questioning every aspect of my life, I started talking to God. I asked Him, Why? Why do I feel pain? What’s my purpose? Do you even have anything big planned for me? I’ve heard it before – I know in my heart that there’s something out there for me, but I just never feel like I’m getting there. I just want it now. I want all the answers, and I want them right now! I’m 26, going on 27, I have no idea what’s in store career-wise. I don’t have a degree and I barely scrape by every single paycheck.

And I’ve been fighting the same, stupid depression for the last 12 years of my life that tells me I’ve failed.

In an exhausted whisper through my tears, I asked, “When is this going to end? When I’m I going to be better?”

I figured the best thing for me would be to sleep off whatever pity party I was attending in that moment. As I do each night, I took to my phone to mindlessly  scan Instagram and saw a post with a caption that caught my eye. It was a girl talking about her life before Christ, how she was a mess – a disaster – and now, following Christ, at the age of 28, she’s not married, she still struggles with life and it’s hard. There are hard times, but she waits – she simply just waits –  because that’s what God has told her to do. And her life has never been better than it is right now.

That kind of faith, that obedience, it baffles me. I wanted to know more, to feel more of whatever sliver of hope I had from seeing her strength in her struggle. I began looking through similar accounts until I ended up on Thryve Magazine‘s Instagram feed.

If you know me, you know I want to be a writer. After stumbling onto their webpage, my first selfish thought was to find out how I could submit some content to them and get paid for it. But as I further explored their page, I learned that it’s a Christian magazine for women and they are currently offering all of their issues for free. It’s what they have been called to do in this season, even though they don’t understand it and don’t know how to make any profit off of the free publications. They simply know, and trust, that this is the obedience God has asked from them and by following His Will, they will be abundantly blessed.

That alone speaks volumes to me. Never would I have clicked on the magazine if I didn’t know it was free. As stated above, I’m a broke 26-year-old. I knew something of importance had to be included in this “Mended” Issue, so I download this publication to see what God had in store.

And in that issue, page after page, again He told me to wait. He told me He’s got me, I just need to be faithful and all will come to light. He’s going to carry me – no matter what – and He will always, always show up right when I need him. He told me that although I’m broken, he will lift me up and mend me back together. He will heal me, he is constantly working to create something so much bigger and better and beautiful and special than I could ever, ever fathom. I simply just need to wait.

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Taken From the Mended Issue of Thryve Magazine

You know, sometimes I just don’t want to wait. It’s harder than it should be, and it’s messy, and I don’t know why I have to feel pain… but He’s there. And this is His plan and this is just going to grow me into the woman He wants me to be.

So no. I don’t yet have the answers. I don’t yet know what His purpose over my life is, and I don’t know what he has in store for me. But what I do know is that I have to be obedient to Him. I have to live as fully present as I can, while relying on Him, His Word and His promises. I’m broken, but I trust He will heal me, fully and completely. As stated in a book near and dear to my heart, I must stick close to Him and perform His work well. He will provide everything I need. 

I’ll hold on to that promise and rest in the waiting today.


This morning I had a moment of clarity. My cat sat in the window, making his usual growl at the birds chirping away in the trees. I paused what I was doing for a minute to really listen to their song. They spoke in melodic prose, and you couldn’t help but smile. These little birds just sang their heart out in the tree outside my window. While they were singing, that was their present. They lived in their song, not in the worries of the world or the fears that awaited them.

Then, a passage came to mind that I’ve always loved from Matthew.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matthew 6:25-27; NIV)

Jesus goes on to speak about the flowers in the fields and how God so intricately cares for them, so why wouldn’t he care so much more for us? He tells us not to ask about what we will eat, drink or wear. He says to seek His kingdom above all, and all our needs will be bestowed upon us. The passage ends saying, “ Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matt 6:34; NIV)

Essentially in that final verse, Jesus is telling us to LIVE in Him, in the “now”. Trust in our God, put Him first, practice his Kingdom’s calling in your life, live in the present and let Him do the rest! He will not forsake us. He will never fail us. Our world could be falling apart, but what makes us ever think he will leave us when even the birds in the sky know to sing praises to him for all He’s done?

He will provide. Sometimes I get caught up sowing and reaping and storing away in barns, that I forget to just sing my praises that he provides.

He doesn’t tell me I’m going to be blessed with a mansion, a fancy sports car, a book deal or winning the lottery. He tells me he will meet me where I’m at, fulfill my needs and take care of me, so long as I seek first his Kingdom. I’ll rest in that today.

8 Things That Happen As Soon As You Get Engaged

Fresh manicure – check. Phone call to all of the family members- check. Thoughtfully crafted Facebook update- check. Handsome man to spend my life with- check!

These were the things that went through my mind as I scrolled through my mental list of “engagement to-do’s.” It was a whirlwind of a day, but it was blissful, and magical, and wonderful.

As the first few weeks of being engaged passed by, I noticed a pattern in the things that kept happening to me. With engagement season in full swing, here are a few things that you can expect to experience right after you get engaged.

1. You will find your gaze randomly shifting to your left hand at any given time. 

During your nana’s Christmas play. (10 times, to be exact. My fiance counted.) Driving down the highway. Updating spreadsheets at work. All of the sudden, your left hand becomes the most interesting thing you’ve ever seen. The ring on your finger just looks. so. good. And everyone wants to see it, too. Better keep that mani fresh.

2. You will constantly think your ring has fallen off. 

Once you get past the “OMG, I can’t stop staring at my left hand” phase, in comes the, “OMG, has my ring fallen off? I don’t feel it. Okay, it’s still there, phew!” phase. Six weeks later and I think I’m finally starting to get used to it. (Don’t worry, I still find myself reverting back to the staring and admiration phase way too often.)

3. You will keep telling people that you’re “not going to start planning yet.”

Yeah. I got engaged a few weeks before Christmas, so I said I would wait until the holiday had passed to start my planning. Who was I kidding? From that night forward, my Pinterest was overflowing with wedding boards, I had to force myself to actually work and not research venues all day and my poor fiance was probably ready to just get the wedding over with at this point.

4. Be prepared to answer all the questions. 

How did he propose? (Oh, don’t worry. I’ll tell you even if you didn’t ask.) When is the wedding? Do you have a date yet? Where are you planning to get married? What kind of theme do you want? What are you colors? How many attendants? When do I get grandbabies?! (Yeah, calm down parents. I just got engaged 12 hours ago.)

5. You will find yourself telling literally everyone you encounter, and no matter what, it seems like your wedding or your engagement finds its way into every conversation. 

Sorry, Pizza Hut delivery guy. Sorry, little girl in line at the grocery store. Sorry, coworkers… Sorry, I’m sooo not sorry.

6. You will receive more Facebook and text messages than you can count. 

Seriously. It’ll take you at least a week to reply to everyone. Enjoy it. Embrace it. They are so happy for you!

7. You will randomly find yourself smiling about your fiancé and the proposal. 

All. The. Time. And you can’t stop calling him fiancé. And saying fiancé feels weird and surreal. (Surely everyone is annoyed with the cuteness by now.)

8. No matter how overwhelming the planning process may look, you can’t wait to get to that day where you say “I Do” to spending the rest of your life, with the love of your life. 

Sure, there are so many decisions to make. And yes, planning can take over your world. But when you feel your head start spinning, and the stress rising, we simply need to remind ourselves of what the whole purpose of this day, this time, is all about. This time is to enjoy the fact that someone loves me enough to want to be with me forever. This time is meant to celebrate that love that exists between the two of you. And that day, that special, magical, blissful, wonderful day, is meant to show the world that love and throw it around like confetti. (Or bubbles. Or sparklers. Whatever. I’ll plan our wedding exit later.)

Embracing Your Inner Lion

Magestic. Fierce. Courageous. Brave. Mighty. Beautiful. Intimidating. Leader. Loyal.

These are words I think about when I think about a lion.

These are not words I think about when I think about myself.

If you know me, (or if you are reading this), you know how much I love my cat. They are such funny creatures. My cat often acts big and tough- all 14.5 pounds of him. There is a picture on the internet of a cat looking in the mirror and seeing a lion, and I can’t help but wonder if my kitty feels that big sometimes. He is very smart, very intuitive, but he doesn’t have to deal with the pressures of this world. He just roams my apartment, fearlessly hunting bugs and stuffed animals and meowing at the birds that fly by the window.


In his mind, he is majestic, fierce, courageous, brave, mighty. He’s beautiful, intimidating, a leader, and loyal. He is as ferocious as a lion, in the body of a tabby cat.

I can learn a lot from my furry friend. Sometimes I watch him on one of his “hunts” around the apartment. In that moment, when the world stops spinning for just a split second before the pounce, he is as mighty as ever. He holds the confidence of the universe in his little paws, and he sets forth on his mission. Sometimes he succeeds, but sometimes the bug or the light escapes him. No matter the outcome, he never gives up. He never thinks less of himself because he doesn’t know how to do so. He just tries again.

Why can’t we live this way? I have so many dreams of where I want my path to take me. But the fear of failure keeps me from crossing that starting line, time and time again. When I look in the mirror, I don’t see a lion. I don’t see the potential waiting to be discovered, or the spark ready to explode. I simply see myself as I am, and not what I could be.

And I could be so much. I already am so much. We all, in this very moment, are exactly where we are supposed to be.

It’s funny, looking back through this post. I started writing it over six months ago, and I just let it rest along with the other drafts that wait to one day be given life. When I reread it, I felt myself get emotional thinking of the girl behind the screen exploring these thoughts and putting them into words.

I’m not sure where that girl thought she’d be six months later. I know she was stuck in this routine that was robbing her of joy, and she was avoiding picking up the tools that she has been given over the last four years to better herself. She was so full of fear of the unknown that she never took a risk or a leap of faith.

I thought I’d be finished with the first draft of my book. I thought I’d be close to graduating. I thought I’d have lost the 15 (okay, now 20) pounds I had put on since I stopped being vegan. I thought I’d be this, and that, and there, and everywhere but here.

But HERE is all that I have. NOW is all I’m promised. And reading this, writing this, I now see exactly what I need to do.

I heard someone telling their story last week, and for the first time in a long time, my eyes were opened. She explained that she was always waiting to better herself until she “got there.” Married, graduated, family, career — she’d change her ways when she achieved one of these things.

The problem with that mentality, she explained, was that we’d never get there. We will always just be waiting for the next thing to come and before we know it, the time is gone.

I don’t think the worst thing when reflecting back on my life would be saying that I failed trying to achieve my dreams. I think the worst thing when looking back would be saying I didn’t try at all.

So I write this and say (to myself): the time is now. I’ve got to take on the fearless, courageous nature of a lion, even when I feel like a tiny tabby cat. I’ve got to go after my goals and what I believe in, in order to accomplish those dreams. I’ve got to stop waiting to get there and simply just be here. Because here is a beautiful thing if I just stop for a moment to appreciate it.

7 Lessons I Learned From My Childhood Pets

I felt her wet nose against mine as I blinked open my brownish-green eyes. I was staring into the face of an 8-week-old, precious baby girl with a red bow around her neck. She was the best Christmas present I had ever received in my seven years on this big planet.

For the next 16 years, I had so many beautiful memories shared with Coco May. She was the most stubborn dog I have ever known, but she was my little girl. We celebrated her birthday every year, she got Christmas treats, and she was our “Cokie Girl.” She became part of our family. A few years after getting Coco, my family got me a two-year-old cat named Jen, and she fit right in with Coco, and us.

Growing up with these two well into my 20s was a gift I never knew was possible to receive. For anyone who has ever loved and formed a bond with a pet, you understand the way they can make your heart swell with joy, or the comfort they give by sitting in your lap and letting you know they are your number one fan. Although they are no longer a part of my life, I have learned many things from two of my childhood pets.

1. They will always, always, always be there for you – even when the rest of the world forgets you.

In seventh grade when I tried out for the volleyball team and oh, so gracefully failed to make it (and by graceful, let’s just say I kept Kleenex in business with all my tears), Coco sat by my side. Sure, everyone gave me an, “Oh, sweetie, it’ll be okay,” or “You’ll get ‘em next year!” But Coco just understood. She was just there, and she was what I needed. And time and time again, through trials and disappointments, this same scenario played out.

2. They stay constant.

Despite the fact that maybe everything around me was shattering like glass against the hardwoods, Coco and Jen didn’t change. Jen still loved me when my family split apart, Coco ran around the backyard joyfully while I went through dark times, and they didn’t leave me despite each boyfriend that came and went. With the ever-changing world around me, Coco and Jen stayed constant; they stayed dependable.

3. They never judge.

And they don’t backstab. (Well, unless they want the chicken sitting on your plate. Then, all bets are off.) They stay loyal, they accept you, and they love you unconditionally — in spite of your flaws.

4. You learn a sense of responsibility.

As a young girl, my parents usually did the feeding, bathing, and “caring” for the pets, although I was a wonderful assistant. As I got older, there were times when I had to start feeding the pets when I got home, or looking after them in the absence of my parents. You start realizing how much they depend on you once you start caring for them, and you learn how to stop being so selfish and focused only on yourself.

5. They teach you not to sweat the small stuff (as much).

Coco’s main concern in this world was meal time. Jen wanted to make sure she was given enough love. Other than that, they didn’t have a care in the world. I, however, used to worry about Coco eating something that would make her sick, or something bad happening to Jen. One day, Coco managed to eat an entire bag of chocolate chip muffins, and Jen got loose in the neighborhood. While yes, both situations could have turned out poorly, they didn’t. Coco was fine, and Jen was captured within a minute of her escape. I learned from these types of situations that there was nothing I could do to control the outcome. Life happens, and we learn to start letting it happen and stop trying to control everything in it.

Now, if only I could sunbathe without a care all day the way Jen can, we’d really be talking.

6. You learn that sometimes you just need to be present.

My pets wouldn’t always want me to smother them with love and affection, but it was important to them that I showed up, watched TV in the same room as them while they lay peacefully on the couch, or was just around.

It’s shown me that maybe there are times when I, too, just need to be present in the lives of those around me. Just as a pet needs to know I’m there, so do the people in my life. Even if it’s not a 24/7 thing, it’s nice to make known that you are there for the people you care about.

7. Letting go is really, really hard.

Losing Coco and Jen as an adult was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. They were both there with me when my family was a family, and they were both there with me when it wasn’t anymore. They were by my side through many addictions, many achievements, many heart breaks, many betrayals, and many, many let downs. Losing them was like losing the last bit of my youth, my innocence. The last piece of my childhood seemed to leave when we said goodbye to them.

But losing them never means they are gone. They lived wonderful, long, happy lives, and they gave so much joy to anyone around them. The memories I hold of them will last with me forever, and the lessons I learned will stick with me too. I’m so grateful for the wonderful years I had with them, and I wouldn’t trade them, or the lessons they taught me, for the world.

This post originally appeared on Forever Twenty Somethings.