Mandy Hale is a pretty rockin’ gal!  We’ve not met in person yet, but it turns out we have a lot of mutual friends, go to the same church and I’ve been tremendously inspired by her posts on Twitter, Instagram, her blog & her books (of which I’ve only read snippets posted here & there…but I promise it’s on my “to buy” list…as soon as I finish the six zillion other books I have to read for work…).  From what I gather, she’s pretty spectacular!!

Anyway, I’ve decided to join in on her 30 Day Blogging Challenge.  I’ve never been able to stick to blogging and I’m hoping that this helps to create a habit.  Plus I read a few of the questions and I’m loving the self-exploration aspect!  😉

So, let’s get started!  If you’re interested in joining in or learning more, check out her blog post HERE!

day 1

1)      Your response to everyone’s favorite question: “And why are YOU still single?”

My all time favorite response is, “Because YOU haven’t found me a boyfriend, yet!”  I loveloveLOVE offsetting difficult to answer, serious, personal questions with a less-than-serious answer.  My secondary answer is, “I just haven’t found the ‘right guy'”.  But if you really wanna get to the bottom of it, it’s because I haven’t really figured out who I am or where I’m going just yet.  I’m young (27 is still young, right?).  I don’t mind being single.  I’m just enjoying pursuing the Lord and learning more about myself and who I am and who I want to be in this life.

I love dreaming about what my life could be.  I love thinking of the places I can go, the things I can do, the dreams I can accomplish.  And I love envisioning myself achieving and doing and accomplishing all of these things alone.  Completely.  On.  My.  Own.  I just need to work on believing in myself, following through and actually making my dreams come true.

And, to be honest, I dipped my toe into the online dating pool thanks to some friends who created accounts for me on two different sites and if THOSE guys are really all that’s left, I think I’d rather stay single.  Just saying…

If we’re going to really dig deep here, I’ve never been that girl to fantasize about getting married.  I’ve never tried to picture what my wedding dress would look like.  I’ve been engaged twice.  Once with a ring, another time with a promise & a wedding day plan…  I even went behind everyone’s backs and tried on wedding dresses.  I think, at that time in my life, my biggest goal was to piss my parents off.  We didn’t really have a great relationship, my parents and I (if that wasn’t clear).  I’ve had several guys tell me they want to spend the rest of their lives with me.  And I’ve pondered what it would be like to marry and spend the rest of my life with some of the other guys I’ve dated.  But I really just ended up laughing like a lunatic (on the inside, mostly) and watching as everything unraveled because I just stopped trying.

In past relationships, I was manipulated and manipulative.  I don’t know if I was ever really in a relationship for the “right reasons”.  All I know is that without the experiences I’ve had, I wouldn’t be who I am today or where I am now.  I definitely can’t say I hate it.  I’ve most certainly become a better person.  And I’m confident that God is making my future husband a better person, too.  When it’s the right time, everything will fall into place!

day 2

2)      Describe a moment or a day when being single really sucked.

Geeze…  I don’t know…  Probably when my baby sister got married.  It can be a kind of awful feeling when the last of your little sisters is getting hitched and the best you can do for a date is to borrow your best friend’s boyfriend and bring along an almost 80 year old woman who happens to be one of your closest friends…  At least I had 2 dates!  Two is always better than one, right?

……….right?

Occasionally, I get this weird lonely feeling…  but I do my best to push through and just seek God’s face through it all.  It truly helps.

Since my mom’s cancer diagnosis (that entire story will be for another post), I’ve had several moments of incredible loneliness and just want someone to hold me and tell me that everything’s going to be okay…  Luckily, like I said, I have learned to call on God and I’ve had some pretty amazing friends around when I need them most.  =)

day 3

3)      Describe a moment or a day when being single was really awesome.

Hmm…  Let’s see…  How about when my baby sister and her new husband split after 7 months?  Or maybe that time when one of my best guy friends came over to hang out and his girlfriend kind of panicked that we went swimming and I made dinner for him.  Yes, I realize both of those instances involve people who were “with” someone, but there’s hardly anything more awesome than laughing and saying “I’m SOOOOO glad I don’t have to deal with that mess!”

Last night, a friend and I were chatting after we ate a lovely dinner that he made for us and watched The Great Gatsby…  The conversation somehow revolved around past relationships and where we went wrong.  It was truly wonderful to listen to his failed relationships, see how he analyzed things and then give my report.  I didn’t give the same details to my experiences like he did; I didn’t feel like he really wanted to hear them.  But I think I summed it up quite nicely; I’ve changed.  I’ve told several different people that I’ve changed.  One fella in particular, but I don’t think he really bought it.  Oh, well.  His loss.

But, it’s true.  I’ve reached a point in my life in which I’ve been able to actually look back on my past –failed relationships and all– and genuinely learn from my mistakes.  I’ve been able to reflect honestly and come to raw, honest, real truths about the mistakes I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learned.  You know the best part?  I can actually apply all of this new found knowledge to my present AND to my future!  If I would have married any of those guys, I really doubt if I ever would have grown this way.  I was young and easily manipulated.  I probably would have ended up bent and twisted.

I’m so glad that God continued to provide a way out.  I could have ended up in some deep doo-doo!

day 4

4)      Your biggest fear as a single person.

Okay, now we’re getting deep…  One of my biggest fears is being alone.  Since my last big breakup, I’ve been tremendously blessed with people who have opened up their homes and their hearts to me.  I’ve lived with 4 different families, none of whom were related to me.  I’ve been surrounded by people and, often times, found it difficult to escape them.  Being surrounded by these people and their unconditional love taught me how to accept their love and how to love myself the way they love me.  It also taught me how to enjoy those very rare moments of alone time.  I’m gradually learning to embrace solitude and am loving being able to devote that time to God and building my relationship with Him.

I do need to get better about spending that regular, quality time with God.  That’s a quality I desire in my future husband & if I want that of him I need to be better at it myself.

Another big fear of mine is that I’ll never live up to my own standards.  I used to live in constant fear of letting my parents down.  Now, I don’t want to let myself or God down.  And it’s almost a paralyzing fear.  I feel like I have all of these dreams welled up inside my heart, with the ability to make each one of them come true but I fear I’ll fail at everything so I never try.

Or I try half-heartedly.

And then give up.

It’s definitely a huge weakness of mine.

And I despise it.

I’m trusting in God to help me work through that.  It would be nice to make my own dreams come true.

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