For the past 3 or 4 weeks my young adult Bible study group has been going through Gary Chapman’s famous book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. I was super excited when Pastor Eddie suggested that we go through this book together. I have heard many great things about the book but never read it. In fact, when Evan and I first started dating, even before we were officially an item, he revealed to me that his primary love language was Words of Affirmation. He also mentioned that one of the ways he preferred to give love was through Acts of Service. This all sounded good to me at the time, but now that I’ve actually read the book and discovered my own love language I am able to fully understand what it means.
The five different love languages are as follows:
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Physical Touch
Words of Affirmation means that you prefer your partner or peers show love to you by giving you compliments or saying nice things about you. Being told that you look nice or that you did a nice job on a task are the kinds of things that would make you feel the most loved. In contrast, if someone uses words against you such as by saying negative things about you or being overly critical of your work you will not feel loved. I originally thought that this was my primary love language. It turns out it was neither my primary or secondary love language. However, it’s one I still find to be important.
For Evan, having Words of Affirmation as a primary love language means that I need to choose my words carefully when I communicate with him. It’s very important for me to send him texts throughout the day to let him know I am thinking of him and that he means a lot to me. For Christmas this year I wrote him a series of letters to open during different times of his life. These are letters to help him through bad or tough times, to lift him up and help him to feel encouraged or to simply make him feel good. With Words of Affirmation as a primary love language, these series of letters were the perfect gift for Evan.
On the flip side, if I were to get in an argument with Evan my words could become my most powerful weapon against him. Speaking out of frustration and using negative words and phrases like “How could you be so stupid?” Or “I really hate when…” would severely impact him and likely send him into a state of depression for days, even if I didn’t mean what I was saying at the time. Knowing this will make me much more cautious of how I speak to Evan even when I am angry. This will help me to love him better because I will be loving him in his own love language.
Evan always mentioned that Acts of Service was one of his favorite ways to show love. I’ll admit I didn’t quite understand what that meant until I read this book. Acts of Service means essentially helping your loved one with chores or tasks around the home; things that aren’t much fun but need to get done. Evan will often ask me if I have any errands I’d like him to take care of for me if he’s off of work on a day that I’m not (such as MLK day). I always say no, but I appreciate the gesture.
Evan also always says how he likes to imagine in the future when we’re married him going out and doing things for me such as picking up groceries or helping with laundry or dishes. These will all be considered Acts of Service.
However, Acts of Service is not my primary or secondary love language. I appreciate it, but to use Chapman’s own metaphor it’s not what’s going to “fill my love tank”. Evan might like to perform acts of service to show his love for me, but I’ll need something more to feel loved by him since Acts of Service is not my primary or secondary love language. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts taught us both not just how we prefer to be loved, but how we need to communicate love to each other in order to strengthen our relationship.
Quality Time is Evan’s secondary love language and mine as well. This took me a little bit as a surprise since I didn’t expect it to be either my primary or secondary love language. Prior to dating Evan I dated a truck driver that was never home and prior to that I was in a long-distance relationship with someone who lived over 1,000 miles away, so naturally I never saw him either. Throughout most of my relationship with Evan so far I’ve spent a lot of time both working and in school, so I don’t always get to see Evan as much as I’d like to. For these reasons I assumed quality time must not be quite as important to me and I definitely assumed wrong. Suddenly it makes a lot more sense why my past relationships didn’t work out and why I get so excited to see Evan and why I literally crave our Friday nights in when it’s just the two of us and we don’t see our friends or leave the house or do much of anything.
Quality time is about seeing each other and spending time together of course, but it’s about so much more than that. It’s about really being with each other – really focusing on each other and not letting the outside world distract you when you’re together. It’s about making memories together and having a strong emotional bond, even when you’re not doing anything at all.
I always feel loved and cherished when I get to go on a special trip with just Evan and they always leave me feeling closer to him. So far we’ve been to Philly a few times, the shore, DC, and NYC together. I am hoping to go to Baltimore with him for my birthday and we’ve talked about taking some other trips together in the future.
Also, as I already mentioned our Friday night dates always mean a lot to me because we get to just focus on each other. Normally we stay in on Fridays and eat at home and just watch TV/movies together. However, last Friday we decided to go out after having a stressful week and desperately needing a release. Because our phones wouldn’t stop ringing and stressing us out, we made the joint decision to both turn out phones off for the night. We had a fun, stress-free night out where we were solely focused on each other. That is the definition of quality time.
For Evan he just wants to see me. He doesn’t care if it’s 5 minutes or 5 hours. For him getting to see me is what will calm him stories, make him feel loved and simply make him feel better. Just as words of affirmation can be used negatively and cause pain, so can quality time. I remember times when Evan got very upset because he was hoping to see me but unfortunately I couldn’t see him because I was too overwhelmed with work or school.
On the flip side, we’ve both had times where we met our secondary love language needs of quality time when I was having a bad day and he came over for twenty minutes just to pray with me and spend time with me until I calmed down and felt a bit better.
Receiving Gifts is the love language I always felt the most weird about and never imagined would be even remotely close to being my primary or secondary love language. I thought that Receiving Gifts was selfish and that if that was someone’s love language it meant that they were a spoiled brat that was simply using their mate for money and presents.
Boy, was I wrong. I am thankful that Chapman was able to open my eyes and help me to realize it’s okay to like and appreciate gifts and to feel the most loved when someone gives you a gift. Not all gifts have to cost money, and most of the time the very best gifts don’t cost anything at all.
After realizing this I am no longer ashamed to admit that Receiving Gifts is actually my primary love language.
I feel the most loved when people give me gifts because it shows me that they went out of their way to do something special for me to make me smile. If it cost money, I was worth the investment. If it didn’t cost money, then chances are it still involved a lot of time, thought, and consideration.
Evan has given me some really nice gifts over the past 16 or so months such as my Tiffany’s charm and my silver pendant. He’s also done some smaller things that mean just as much to me like writing me a lovely poem and buying me a gallon of ice cream (and then driving all the way to my house to deliver it) when he knew I was having a bad day. To me these are some of the sweetest gestures and these are things I think back and reflect on that make me feel the most loved.
Evan would never guess that receiving gifts is my primary love language (heck, I wouldn’t have even guessed that – it took me by surprise, too!). It might take him some time to adjust to this knowledge. The last thing in the world I would want for him would be to see him run out and by me some elaborate gift because he thinks that’s the only way I’ll feel loved by him. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Something small like picking up groceries at the store for us to have dinner or writing another poem or a love letter or even picking me a flower from his own front yard would all be very much appreciated gifts for me. I like these physical, tangible objects that I can touch, feel, smell, or look at. Little reminders that they came from him and he bought/made/created it because he loves me.
Last but not least is the love language of Physical Touch. This is another love language that made me feel awkward because I, like many others, typically think of Physical Touch on a sexual level. Knowing that Chapman is a Christian and that his book is possible in Christian circles (hence why my Bible study group chose it) made it even more awkward. Maybe it’s because I’m not married, but I can’t help but view sex as being sinful and having that as a primary love language being lustful.
But the truth is, it’s not like that at all. Sure, sex falls under the category of Physical Touch, but it’s not the only form of physical touch. There’s hugging, kissing, cuddling, and even just the brush of the cheek or the gentle pat on the shoulder or back rub. While physical touch is neither my primary or secondary language, it is still one that is pretty important to me. There’s nothing better than that moment where I see Evan for the first time in a week and he gives me a big hug and kiss to greet me. I will also never grow tired of constantly holding his hand or falling asleep in his arms when we watch TV together after church on Sundays.
I think that all five love languages should be spoken in every relationship for the greatest chance of success. However, knowing you and your partners primary and secondary love languages and choosing to speak them to each other will certainly make your bond much stronger and will keep what Chapman defines as the “love tanks” constantly full. You don’t have to be a Christian to appreciate The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. You also don’t necessarily need to be in a relationship. This is a book that anyone can benefit from as it will teach you to love and understand everyone better – from your spouse to your friends to even your children or co-workers. 5 out of 5 stars, highly recommend.
Today my bible plan told me to read Chapters 11 and 12 of 1 Corinthians. I was definitely excited to see this on my bible plan for today because 1 Corinthians is my favorite book of the bible. This book has taught me so much about what it means to be a Christian woman and the roles of a man and a woman and the relationship they should have with one another and with God.
When I read these chapters today, verses 4-15 of 1 Corinthians surprised and confused me at first. These verses say that women must keep their heads covered at all times, whereas men are to keep their heads uncovered. The first thing that came to mind was honestly Muslim women. They must always keep their heads covered – is this the same thing? Have I been dishonoring God my whole life? Are the Muslim women onto something?
I breathed a sigh of relief when I read verse 15 which states, “But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.” This verse seems to confirm that by a “covering” all that is really meant is hair. But what about women with short hair? Are they dishonoring God? How short is too short?
I decided to Google this issue for more information. Here are 3 sources I looked at:
I feel like most of these sources say “we don’t really know” combined with “it was a cultural thing”. I am leaning towards it being a cultural tradition or custom. If we look back to scripture in verse 2 Paul states, “Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.”
Here, the word “ordinances” stands out the most. I assume an ordinance is a tradition, but what does Google say?
Okay, so not quite tradition but rather law – something much more serious. But whose law is it? Is it God’s law or is it the church’s? Context is everything here. I believe it was church law at the time since Paul is talking to the church of Corinth and helping them to remember their first love – the church. He is helping them to restructure since their church was filled with so much sin and unworthy of honor. In this verse then, Paul is praising them for holding the ordinances – or laws – of the church…the laws that Paul has put into place for them.
Verse 16 also stands out to me where it says, “But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the church of God.” Two words stand out to me here: church and custom. I think of the word “custom” the same way that I think of the word “ordinance” – as meaning “tradition”. However, I was wrong about the definition of ordinance, so I could just as well be wrong about the definition of the word “custom”, so let’s look at Google.
Oh look at that – I was right on this one! Paul’s use of the word “custom” here shows he was talking about a tradition. Furthermore, he was talking about a tradition that is very specific for that time period. I believe this means that it’s not a defined, universal law for all of mankind meant to survive the test of time, but rather it was a church law for this specific church or this specific region (the people of Corinth) during that specific time. We can’t know exactly how specific this law was for the people or exactly how Paul intended us to interpret it, but I think it’s safe to assume that this law was for a specific time period. The word “church” used in this verse further confirms that it was a church tradition, not a law ordered by God.
So, where does that leave us and women in the church today? Well, I don’t think it’s “wrong” for women to adhere to this old custom and to choose to wear a head covering, but they also aren’t required to. I think it’s their choice. However, I think that the head covering was a symbol during that time that pledges a woman’s loyalty to her husband. Verses 13-15 states, “Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair; it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.” The covering was something specific for women that men were not meant to wear. I think our society/culture has created its own version of that today. Some of the above sources I looked at say that it’s wedding rings, but I don’t think that is quite right because men wear wedding rings, too. However, I think they are on the right tract. This is what I think it is:
Yes, I know sometimes men will wear an engagement ring these days, but it is still far less common and by some even considered “taboo”. Male engagement rings are also usually much more masculine than female engagement rings (the traditional diamond ring). In the past when Paul was talking to the church of Corinth the head coverings were meant for married women to wear as a symbol of their loyalty to their husbands. I think the engagement ring has the same purpose in our culture today. A woman who is about to be married wears it to show her loyalty to her husband. Once the woman is married she adds a wedding ring but the woman usually wears the engagement ring with the wedding ring. Either way, it is still a symbol of her loyalty to her husband.
Another verse from chapter 11 that stood out to me was verse 17 that states, “Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worst.” Here Paul is condemning the church of Corinth for saying that the church is not uniting in a way that lifts up the congregation, but rather, it tears them down. When I read this I thought of the people of Corinth staring at women and whispering things like “Look at her hair, it’s not nearly long enough!” (assuming that the head covering was a woman’s hair and not an actual head piece). What good would that do? Paul is saying we shouldn’t be quick to judge and gossip and bring down people in the church, but instead we should unite and help each other out, for we are the body of Christ and when one member stumbles it is our job to help them back up.
1 Corinthians Chapter 12 further discusses the body of Christ and the role of the church and its members. In verse 26 Paul says, “And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it, or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” This reminds me of what Pastor Lex DeLong has preached – we are all united in Christ. We are one body of Christ and when one of our brothers and sisters of Christ falls, we all fall. When one of us rejoices, we all rejoices. We are all made up of one.
I don’t think this is the case in a lot of churches today and that makes me really sad. There are too many churches that are quick to judge, scorn, and gossip when one of the members sins or goes through a rough patch in life. Not only is that unbiblical, but I think that is sin in itself. God doesn’t want us to scorn other church members. I think he would want us to confront the individual and to help them to correct their behavior, but that’s it. The key word here: help. He would want us to help our brother or sister in Christ back up and if we’re gossiping and judging, that is not helping.
When I read these verses I also felt extremely thankful and blessed to belong to such a wonderful church now – Washington Baptist Church in Turnersville, NJ. We are not perfect, as nobody is except God, but I do believe that we are doing an incredible job with striving to become the kind of church Paul talks about in the bible in chapters like Corinth. I know that from my experience being a member of this church we are a group of people that make up the body of Christ that really does care for and love one another. Some churches I’ve been to and you’re just another nameless face. Yes, our church is small, but I truly believe that even if we grew exponentially, this would still be the kind of church where everyone takes the time to get to know everyone and to pray for each other. When someone is hurting in the church, we all feel it and when someone is succeeding, we feel their joy. We’ve cried together as a church, but we’ve also laughed, smiled, rejoiced, and ate way more than we probably should (we’re a church that really loves food :)).
Are you looking for a new church to attend? Washington Baptist Church would love to have you! Come join us for Sunday School on Sundays at 9:30 followed by our sermon at 10:30. For more information:
I hate the writing challenge for day 26. For day 26 it tells me to write the things I’d say to an ex.Where do I even begin? I guess I’ll start from the beginning with “Dear Larry” and take it from there, right? This could take awhile…
It has been approximately 8 and a half months since we broke up. They were right when they said it takes approximately half the length of a relationship to get over a breakup. The pain finally started to ease when we hit that 6 month mark in April. I’m not entirely sure that I’m fully where I need or want to be yet. I think a part of me still loves you, and I sometimes think a part of me always will.
How about you? How are you holding up? I had to unfriend you,and for awhile, block you. I couldn’t stand to see your updates on Facebook. It didn’t matter that you were “leaving me alone”,because I couldn’t leave me alone. I couldn’t stop stalking your page. It killed me when I saw you friended and were interacting with Maria. That girl. Tell me, did you do it out of spite? You knew it would get to me. That’s why you did it, isn’t it? Was this your way of getting back at me? If so, as much as I hate to admit it, it worked.
You’re kind of unbelievable, but at the same time I shouldn’t be surprised. She played a huge role in our downfall, afterall. Do you remember the night of August 8, 2015? I don’t think I will ever in all my life forget it, but I sure wish I could. I was so happy to have you home. We couldn’t decide what we wanted to do, but it didn’t even matter. You were home and I loved you so much. Anything we did made me happy, just to be with you. You were so rarely home. I learned to treasure each and every moment we had.
…I guess you didn’t feel the same way about me.
Sometimes you’d say you missed me, but did you really? Or was it Maria that you were missing?
I knew something was up when you asked me how I felt about you being friends with Maria. When she was back in your life. I give you credit for being honest about her being your ex and telling me that much of the truth. But I don’t think you gave me the FULL truth…I’m not sure I’ll ever know the real truth.
Maybe she sent a friend request. That is fine. I have no problem with that at all. I know you’d beg to differ, but I am not crazy. I have a million Facebook friends, most of whom I never talk to, some of which are exes.
Here’s the thing that is NOT okay: to give your exes more attention than your current girlfriend. To lie to your current girlfriend about our ex girlfriend. To ignore your current girlfriend because you’re too wrapped up in your ex. To feel the need to hide your cell phone because of messages from your ex girlfriend that you don’t wan your current girlfriend to see.
Maybe you didn’t have sex with her. Maybe you didn’t kiss her. Maybe you never touched her. Maybe you haven’t even seen her since you broke up.
…but that doesn’t make you innocent.
If you have to hide you phone from your current girlfriend because of messages from another girl, as far as I’m concerned, when it comes to cheating, you’re already there.
Do you have any idea how much it hurt for me to find all of those messages on your phone on August 8th? The ones about how she’s so beautiful, asking her if she’s single, asking to video chat.
It didn’t hurt.
A part of me died the night of August 8, 2015.
I did what any normal girl would do: I freaked out.
Consider yourself lucky, I didn’t hit you. I should have. I really, really should have.
Breaking up then and there seemed like the obvious answer. I gave my all to you. I was as loyal and committed to you as one could have been, and this was the thanks I got? Really? But I loved you so much.
Remember that night? In your car? We cried together for hours. I never saw a man cry like that before. That wasn’t fake; no man can fake-cry that well. You SOBBED. You were hysterical. How could I not have accepted your apology after that? You made a mistake. But you didn’t mean to hurt me. You loved me. It was a one time thing. It would never happen again. It wouldn’t be easy for me to trust you after that, but I was willing to try. I still had hope and faith in you. I believed we could put this hold thing behind us. Just keep it between us and move on.
Except…it wasn’t between you and me.
It was me, you, Maria, and your family.
Your stupid freaking family.
I often wondered if I was dating you or your family.Sometimes it felt like both. I’m all for being close to your family. You were over my house all the time, you know I was close to my family. You also knew that especially towards the end, they weren’t always too found of you. They didn’t hate you like I know that you think they did…they just believed I deserved better. You didn’t treat me the way I should have been treated.
They were right.
While my family may not have quite approved of you all the time, they still knew that my love life was just that – my love life. It was for me to figure out and for me to make decisions about. They never told me to break up with you (although they definitely didn’t discourage it). They allowed me to make my own decisions.
Larry, you’re 27 years old. When are you going to grow up and be your own man?
It’s not just about you living at home. That’s fine – I mean I still live at home, why would I condemn that? But you let your family control you and your life and your relationships so much. It wasn’t fair for me or for you.
It was like I already stated, I wasn’t just dating you, I dated your family, too.
I constantly had to seek their approval and nothing was ever just between us. If we had an argument or a dispute or anything at all that I said to you, got back to them, too and they made sure to let me know it.
It wasn’t even just your parents. It was your parents, all of your sisters, your freaking grandmom, cousins, aunts, uncles, random people who I guess are somehow related to you.
It was never their business. A relationship should be between two people, not two people and their family.
One of the things that bothered me the most was the fact that Amanda knew about Maria before we even had our little dispute. Remember the barbecue? It was that same week…maybe even the day after the fact? The wounds were still really fresh and still really deep, Larry. I was doing my best not to think about it, to not hold it against you…forgive and forget. Then while we were alone, when we were dropping Amanda and Emma off she said to us, “Larry, are you still talking to your ex? That’s a really bad idea.” And she followed up after she went home with a text about how you better get your crap together or you’re going to lose me…you’re never around for me. You treat me like crap. Say what you will about Amanda. Yeah, maybe she’s made some mistakes and done some things you and the rest of your family don’t agree with…but was she not right?
You never learn though, do you? You were the center of my life. My world revolved around you. My world stopped for you. The only thing I remember about last summer is being in this constant state of waiting — waiting for you to come home from work. Waiting for you to get done with your dad. Waiting for you to show up at my house. Waiting for you to text. Waiting for you to call.
Waiting for you to come home from your 8th family vacation that you totally didn’t have to go on.
Waiting for you to tell the truth.
Waiting for you to love me the way I loved you.
We started to fight a lot. The main thing we fought about was how I needed more from you. I was exhausted from giving you all that I had whereas you never even attempted to measure up.I cried a lot and suffered horrible anxiety by the end of our relationship because I knew things weren’t the same and I was terrified of losing you and I could no longer trust you. I did lose you in the end – but choice – because it was no longer worth staying, as painful as leaving you came to be.
I knew you were a truck driver and couldn’t be home much. It wasn’t easy, but I accepted that.
What I couldn’t accept was how you made things unnecessarily hard on us with these stupid volunteer vacations. Instead of seeing me, you took time off to spend a week with your family on vacation.
One vacation is one thing.
8 is quite another, and no, I’m not even exaggerating.
I went to Disney with you and I had the time of my life. I will never, even regret that despite how things ended with us. It was uncomfortable as anything staying with your sisters and your mom. Your mom is not exactly the nicest, friendliest person in the world – especially not to me. Your little sister is alright…for a 5 year old. It’s too bad she’s now going on 15 or 16. I could go into more details here, and I almost did, but I’ll spare you that. You should be thanking me. Your older sister was nice enough…but it was a little uncomfortable living with someone who covered everything in tissues for a week because of germs…but maybe she had a point. That was he most disgusting freaking room I’ve ever seen. You’re lucky I’m as nice as I am…I could have and really should have made you take me somewhere else to stay…somewhere that isn’t totally disgusting. But I suppose that it was a step up from your actual house, as sad as that sounds. That was pretty freaking bad, too.
But why do you feel the need to go on ALL of these family vacations especially when they are often the same? Did you really need to go to Busch gardens like 3 times that summer? Oh yeah, you did. You had to be with your girlfriend during round 2.
Except I’ve never been to Busch Gardens.
You and your family make it sound like I’m a devil because of what I did to you during the 2nd trip to Busch Gardens.
I’m sorry – but what? What I did to you?
Yes. I cursed you out over a series of 20+ text.
Yes they were ugly.
Yes, I accused you of cheating…and that’s putting it mild.
What did you expect? You wen on vacation with another girl who was in the same age range, single,and you never told me about it.
When I asked if she was there, you took a long time to answer me and you said “Well….”
That tells me everything.
The first time you went to Busch Gardens, you told me everything about your day. Everywhere you went, everything you saw, everything you did. You couldn’t wait to talk to me.
The second time was another story. Because your girlfriend was there with you. Your other girlfriend.
I had to pretty much beg you to send me 1 little text a day. That’s unacceptable.
You got drunk. With her.
You never had a single drink when you were with me. And don’t you dare use the excuse of having to drive. What about Disney? Everyone gets drunk in Epcot. You could’ve had all the drinks you wanted – you had none.
You went in a hot tub. With her. Without your shirt on.
You were always very self conscious of that. I think I saw you shirtless maybe a total of 3 times…1 is more like it. Definitely no more than 3 during the course of our 13 month relationship.
THERE. IS. A. POOL. AT. MY. CONDO.
You could’ve gone swimming with me any time you wanted during the summer, but you refused because you were “too shy”. Too shy to take your shirt off in front of me, but when it comes to your other girlfriend, boy you can’t take your clothes off fast enough, can you?
And what about the tracking app?
I can understand people thinking it’s creepy. In most cases, yes, but when you date a truck driver,the same rules don’t apply.
FYI, dating a truck driver gets freaking terrifying. I heard on the news all the time about major accidents with trucks where the drivers were killed and I always panicked thinking it could be you. The tracking app allowed me to sleep at night knowing you reached your destination safe. But yeah, I did use it when you were on vacation – I enjoyed seeing where you were going especially since it wasn’t like I was going to get a text out of you telling me where you were. You went ghost on me.
You liked the tracking app. You made a game out of it. The where’s Larry? game. Don’t you dare try to tell me otherwise.
Suddenly, minutes after I flipped out on you and accused you of cheating, the tracking app became disabled so I couldn’t keep track of you.
Let me guess…you let her take you to Hooters and you disabled the app so I wouldn’t find out because you know I’d get mad. You admitted she asked you to go…but you claim you said no. Lying was never one of your strongest suits though. I bet you said no. Sure…
This all took place less than a month after the whole Maria incident. And I’m just supposed to believe nothing happened, that you were completely innocent.
How stupid do you think I am?
And yet, I allowed you and your stupid friggen family to place all of the blame on me. I was the psychotic girlfriend with the worst anxiety that really needed to see a doctor like your brother did. God forbid I loved you. God forbid I worried about you. God forbid I feared losing you. You freaking cheated, yet it was all my fault. So I did the only thing I knew how to do: I apologized and begged you not to leave me.
But we were never the same after that. We were falling apart and could no longer be fixed.
And I was getting so sick and tired of fighting the same battles – begging you to make me a priority. Crying in your car and not even being sure why I was crying.
We were changing. I supposed I was seeing your true colors. And they were ugly. You were becoming more and more controlling, manipulative, and unsupportive of me and downright selfish.
In case I haven’t mentioned it yet, it’s really hard work to date a truck driver. But I did everything I could to make it work – to try to be understanding, supportive, and submissive like a good proverbs 31 woman.
But a proverbs 31 woman needs a proverbs 31 man. I didn’t have one. You didn’t take care of me. You took care of you.But I suppose I can’t blame you too much…do you even know what it is to be a Proverbs 31 man? Do you even know the significance of Proverbs 31? Probably not. I mean, you were only a pentecostal afterall.
Larry, do you know what a pentecostal christian is? It’s not exactly what I consider a “real” christian to be. When is the last time you went to church other than the Baptist church with me and those churches we saw christian concerts at?
Admit it…you’re only a pentecostal because your dad is.
Now that we aren’t together,I can finally say something I’ve been holding back for the longest time:
Your dad really isn’t a good man.
By dad I hope you know I mean your stepfather, not your birth dad. Your birth dad and I had our issues, but he’s a far better man and I do think he tries with you – you just oftentimes don’t give him a chance.I hope that’s changed.
But for real..I don’t understand why you idolize your stepdad so much. He’s incredibly selfish and just seems…off.I have my theories about him, but to say I have a bad feeling about him is an understatement. You say he’s always been there for you and your family. Uh. Why does he have his own bedroom and everyone else except your little sister has to sleep in the middle of the living room (including your mom)? Why does he have a keurig strictly for himself? Why does he go out and do whatever he wants even if it means going alone and leaving the rest of the family home? Why did he make you do household chores and keep you from seeing me until like 10 at night on one of the only weekends you’d be home for an entire month? I see him as being incredibly selfish…
You should really reconsider that.
But regardless, your faith is not something to take lightly. It really really bothered me towards the end of our relationship when you wouldn’t pray for me, when you dismissed me when I told you how important it was to pray and read your bible and I even offered to give you my audio bible to listen to on the road.
I don’t think you understood just how important this all is. It is the most important thing in your life.
Being baptized doesn’t make you a Christian.
Listening to worship music doesn’t making you a Christian.
Seeing a Christian play doesn’t make you a Christian.
Only truly accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior will save you. I’m not entirely sure if you’re really there, Larry. I don’t know that I can honestly say I believe you to be saved. I believe you don’t really know what it means to be a Christian and to know Christ. I believe you don’t really understand what it means to have a relationship with him, and that makes me sad.
We weren’t on the same page with our faith…and I didn’t think we were going to get there. I was growing and maturing so much in my faith, and you were holding me back. I couldn’t let that happen.
I loved you so much. So. so. so. much.
I was terrified of losing you,but I saw you slipping away before my eyes.
The only thing that scared me more than losing you was our future, which I was also beginning to see more clearly.
I really really really wanted to marry you. Our original plan was we’d get engaged after our 2 year anniversary and married after we’ve been together for 5 years. It all seemed so easy. The first year flew by so fast.
That’s when everything became downright horrifying.
I wanted to marry you…but it wasn’t just about you.
I thought about our future kids all the time. Would they have a father? I know we talked about this before. You said you’d take a local job so you’d be there for our kids and for me. I believed you…but I heard this so many times…by our 13 month mark….I doubted there was any truth to the statement.
You loved that truck more than you loved me. And I wondered who you’d choose when kids came in the picture…would you still love the truck more? I feared the answer would still be yes, and that broke my heart. My future kids deserve to have a dad that they can depend on. I couldn’t depend on you, so why should I have believed they could depend on you? You know I never forced you to take a local job, although naturally I’d never discourage it. I wanted you to be happy and figured if you wanted to go the distance, now that we’re not married with kids, this was the time to do it. But you told me all the time you’d take a local job. You’d get my hopes up so high only to shoot them down and to end up going further that initially planned. It was an emotional roller coaster. It was one thing to force me on that ride, but it would never be fair to our future kids. I couldn’t imagine having to put them through that.
I started to see all of my hopes and dreams and everything I ever worked for go out the window. I could say goodbye to ever working in a big city like NYC or LA (or anywhere in California for that matter). You didn’t even support me and my desire to go to school for my master’s degree because of the debt I’d further put myself in (although it really didn’t matter when it came to you and trucking school, did it? Also, I never asked you to pay for it…so why did it matter at all?). You didn’t even support the things that really would help me that you always supported in the past…like my 2nd cochlear implant surgery…why on earth would you not want that for me? Why the change of heart?
I always supported you and your hopes and dreams and everything you wanted to do…not that it was ever an option. You went and did your thing and made your own decisions and told me after the decision was already made. If you wanted to go further on the road, you did. And I was there supporting you…even if it meant waiting 3 months for you to come home. And I was always faithful, it was never a thought not to be.
You made me choose.
You made me choose between you and my career. I didn’t even know where I was going, what was happening.
I didn’t go to California. I visited and interviewed in New York, but ended up in Pennsauken…your aunt’s town…initially and then later, Philly, which you also wouldn’t support.
Choosing my career…choosing myself was one of the hardest, scariest decisions of my life. I wanted to marry you so bad. I thought you were the one and it scared the living day lights to think that I could have been walking away from the one I was supposed to marry. What if I just gave up on the man God designated for me to spend eternity with? Would this mean I’d end up alone for the rest of my life?
As I already stated, my faith was important to me. I was a real christian unlike you and I was growing more in my faith. I was reading my bible more than ever. I began to read Mark Hall’s book, Thrive and I listened to the album that inspired the book. I prayed all the time.
We were made to thrive.
…So why wasn’t I thriving?
Not only was I not thriving, I wasn’t even living.
I was just a part of your shadow…sacrificing my everything…all for you.
But you wouldn’t even support me and my career…or really anything in my life.
I prayed all the time. First I prayed that things would get better. Then I realized, maybe this isn’t God’s will. Then I prayed for clarity. I prayed for God to show me the way.
Our anniversary came and went. I was so excited. I made you a special dinner. I got you a nice card. I didn’t get a gift since I didn’t think you’d get me one and I knew we were going away on vacation for our anniversary a month later.
You couldn’t even get me flowers. Or a card. I barely got a “Happy Anniversary” out of you.
I guess I wasn’t even worth the $3 you’d pay for a card.
I didn’t even get mad though. I was use to the disappointment by then, and I knew we’d just celebrate in a month when we went away. I was so excited for that. We spent nearly a full year planning it. But then I noticed something….
I was the only one excited.
The closer we got, the less excited we got.
I didn’t get it. Maybe it was because you already went to Lancaster and did all of the things we were going to do with your family.
There you go with your freakin’ family again.
They discouraged you from going, didn’t they? What happened to “I really want to do this and am going to put my foot down?”. You parents never wanted us to go. Your sister ended up pregnant or a similar trip, so obviously we were destined to have the same fate.I’m so glad your family had so much faith in us. I’m so glad they seen me as little more than a whore. How flattering.
I told myself, if this didn’t work out, it must be a sign from God that I’m supposed to just walk away from it all. It’s not meant to be.
Boy, I didn’t want this to be true.
I wanted so bad for you to prove me wrong this time.
But you didn’t.
You did the opposite.
You claimed you were sick. Yeah, right.
I did not break up with you because you got sick. That’s ridiculous. Contrary to popular belief by your family and I guess you, too, I’m not crazy.
I broke up with you because you’re always sick. You’re always tired. You’re always late. You can never help it. It’s always something. Conveniently though, you’re only ever these things precisely when it’s time for you to come home and see me.
When you’re only coming to see me, you’re always several hours late and often times we can’t make it to whatever we initially planned…like say our 2nd Newsboys concert for our anniversary. But when it comes time to see your family, your world stops for them.
It wasn’t fair, Larry. I wanted you to be like that for me. I was jealous. I shouldn’t have had to feel that way…jealous of your family. Because I wanted to become your family. I wanted to become your wife.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” – Ephesians 5:31
It’s right there in the bible, Larry. If you’re a christian like you claim to be, you’d be more than willing to let go of your parents to pursue me and work towards making me your wife and building a foundation and family with me.
But you wouldn’t do that for me. And I was tired of waiting. I was tired of settling.
We were made to thrive.
So that day I fought with you. I hung up the phone. And I never looked back.
The part of our breakup that hurts the most is that you never attempted to call me back. Why is that? Why did you just let me go so easily without a fight?
Just 13 months of our relationship all out the window. I never meant for things to end this way. I never wanted this ugly breakup.
A lot of people don’t understand why I never tried to reach out to you, why I never closed the deal and got my closure.
I guess I did though. I know why things had to end. I know this is God’s will. I did want it to end better though and I did wish we talked through it more, but I can’t bring myself to talk to you. Because it just further drills in the fact that it’s always me doing everything for you…loving you, giving you my all, putting forth an effort, and apologizing even for YOUR mistakes when I stand by idly getting nothing in return.
If I talk to you and initiate the contact…it would be a mistake. I’ll apologize for you even though I did nothing wrong. I’ll beg you to take me back. We’ll get back together. And it will be this same horrendous, unhealthy cycle all over again.
I’m not going to make these mistakes. I’m not talking to you unless you talk to me first, and even that’s a maybe.
I’m focusing on me for once, and ever since I did that, my life’s gotten better.I left my miserable job and am now working a great one. I am becoming a college professor. I’m going back to school and it’s not even going to cost me anything to do it! I got my 2nd cochlear implant surgery. I visit NYC when I can and I love it every bit as much as I knew it would.
I got baptized. My relationship with God means far more to me than my relationship with you.
I am finding myself in this world, and realizing I have more of an identity than being a trucker’s wife.
And closure? This nearly 5,000 word blog post gave me all of the closure I could ever need. These are all of the words I’d say to you if I was ever going to talk to you again…which I have no plans of doing.
I survived you. Every day I get a little stronger and I realize:
I’m better off without you.
Hey guys. So today I’ve left off on Day 16 of the 30-Day Writing Challenge. Today’s challenge is to bullet my entire day. Pretty boring, if you ask me. But here we go, here is a bulleted view of a day in the life of Kimberly Erskine.
- Approximately 3am: I wake up from a deep sleep. I check my phone and see I have a few messages. I glance through them. Nothing too alarming. One more hour of sleep, I tell myself.
- 4am: I’m hot and sweaty and don’t feel like getting up. It feels like it’s 1,000 degrees in my room. I check the weather on my phone and try to decide how to dress for the day. I can manage to sleep until 4:30 and still look decent, I tell myself.
- 4:30am: I still don’t want to wake to up. I check the weather on my phone again. I see the humidity will be 85%, so straightening my hair will probably be useless anyway. 15 minutes. That’s it. I need to have enough time to read my bible.
- 4:48am: I didn’t do a good job at keeping with the 15 minutes of extra sleep, but I should still be okay. I finally get out of bed and start getting ready. I realize that I have nothing at all appealing to wear. I don’t feel like getting dressed up. I want to wear jeans and a t-shirt, but that’s too sloppy. Jeans are fine, but I need a shirt. I pick up my blue striped shirt with the ties on the side. I haven’t worn it in years. I remember back to the last time I wanted to wear it for one of my first dates with Larry but my mom told me not to because if I moved around too much, it could be a little too revealing. I try it on. Today it looks fine. I try to move around a bit. It still looks fine. I’m a little self-conscious about my sunburn though. I burned all down my chest and my skin is now peeling. You can see it a little bit with the shirt if I move too much. It’s good enough. I’ll be sitting at my desk all day anyway. I tell myself. Then I move on to my next problem: there’s nothing for breakfast. I usually eat fruit, but there’s none left. I don’t feel like cooking anything and I don’t have time for that. I don’t feel like eating almonds. I open my freezer. Chocolate covered banana popsicles. The breakfast of champions, I think to myself.
- 5:36am: I’m almost done getting ready. I just need to get my darn contacts in my eyes. The one in my right eye pops right in. My left eye has astigmatism and the lens is bigger and doesn’t like to go in all the time. I struggle with it and smear all of my eye makeup in the process. Why didn’t I put my makeup on after I got my contacts in? I ask myself. I finally get the little bugger in my eye and then fix my makeup.
- 5:40am: I’m pretty much done getting ready, so I sit at the table with my bible and my cup of coffee and read through my bible reading plan and daily devotion. Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. I’m on Job and 2 Corinthians. I’ve been enjoying Job lately. It’s new to me and different. 2 Corinthians has always been my favorite book of the bible.
- 5:58am: I finish my bible reading and coffee. I head back in my room and put my jewelry on: cross ring, rose gold crystal watch, and my cochlear implant medical alert bracelet. I look at the clock. 6:am. Time to (attempt) to wake up dad.
- 6:00am: I brush my teeth and use mouthwash. I’m using a new mouthwash today. It’s Colgate. I usually use Listerine. I like the way Colgate take more like mint than alcohol. I welcome the change. After I finish rinsing I make sure my dad is up. He actually is for once.
- 6:15am: I grab my lunch, my book, my purse, and my work keys. I take my dad’s car key off his set of keys and head out to the car. I began my daily prayers in the car as I wait for dad to come out.
- 6:28am: Dad comes out with a cup of coffee in hand and we head out as he drives me to work at Becker’s School Supplies in Pennsauken. I help him with traffic pulling out and then take my cochlears off and finish my prayers. When I’m done, I doze off to sleep a little in the car.
- 7:12am: I arrive at Becker’s. I don’t have to be here until 7:30, but I’m always early. Today I’m actually later than usual. I’m amazed by the full parking lot. Why do people always get here so early?
- 7:18am,I say Hi to my boss, Rob, and Leslie who’s next door. Rob asks me how I made out with my medical testing and I talk to him about my tests. He tells me he’ll catch up with me later. I head back to my desk and finish unpacking. Then I grab a tea bag and head to the kitchen to make tea.
- 7:20am: I open my email and catch up on all of the ones I missed while I was out. I proofread the new born corner post and activity pages that Leslie just wrote and Terri uploaded on the website. I notice an image is incorrect so I confide in Terri and let her know it needs to be updated. She thanks me. I optimize all of the pages for the web.
- 8:58am: I receive an e-mail from Rob asking if he can see me in the next few minutes in the Conference Room. We met and went over my time card, progress I’ve made so far, and future plans.
- 9:10am: Continue optimizing book sets while performing competitor research and answering emails as they come through.
- 10:11am: My office roomie, Wendy, arrives and tells me about her trip to Baltimore for a convention.
- 10:15am – 12:30pm: Optimizations
- 12:30 Finally lunch time! I grab my lunch from my cabinet and eat in the kitchen. As I’m eating, I text my mom about my new job, check my email, talk with my former co-worker who tells me she’s accepted a new position which is actually ironically the one I’m leaving.
- 1:00pm: Lunch is over. Back to work!
- 2:22pm: My lunch wasn’t very satisfying today. I’m starving. Let’s see what I can find in the vending machine…
- 2:25pm: I couldn’t decide between the animal crackers and a candy bar, so I got both. I’m disappointed though because I wanted a Snicker’s but I accidentally hit the button for Peanut Chews instead.
- 2:26pm:Back to work eating my snacks.
- 3:42pm: Dad texts me to tell me he’s on his way. I switch gears and spend the remaining work day looking at articles on LinkedIn to see what’s trending in my industry. I’m surprised to find out that all of Mark’s Zuckerburg’s social media accounts were hacked. He should’ve known better, I think to myself.
- 4:08pm: Dad is here. I clock out, gather my belongings, say goodbye to Leslie and Debbie, and leave the office.
- 4:10pm – 4:423pm: Dad and I head home, except we’re not really going home, we’re headed to Acme like usual Dad is happy because traffic is lighter than usual.
- 4:23pm: I receive a phone call from Penn and immediately panic thinking something is wrong. We’re stuck in traffic on the highway and the car is pretty loud, so I let it go to voicemail.
- 4:24pm: I listen to my voicemail, but I can’t hear it. Dad is playing the radio and my volume isn’t up high enough.
- 4:26pm: I turn the radio off and play it again. I need to get a booster shot because my blood work shows my level of immunity against chicken pox is very low. I have to get it done before Monday. I like the girl’s pleasant tone. They tell me I can come anytime and don’t need an appointment. I discuss options with my dad and we agree Friday should be the best day to go.
- 4:50pm: Dad and I arrive at Acme.We go over all of the things we need and hope we have enough money.It’s been a tight week for money.
- 4:53pm:I’m really excited because salads are buy one get one free. So is most of the fruit, but I only have enough money for the salads.
- 5:13: We’re done with shopping, but Dad left his wallet in the car. He runs out to get it as I stay with the cart. I look at the Christian books and color books as I wait.
- 5:22pm: We’re finally done our store trip ad on our way home.
- 5:37pm: I stop for the mail on the way in. I’m disappointed we didn’t get anything.
- 5:40pm: I get home, put away my things then get changed into my gym clothes.
- 5:45pm: I get a Yasso coffee frozen yogurt popsicle and eat it as I read a lost chapter of Brian Humek’s book, Purple Ducks.
- 6:27pm: I finish reading the chapter and send Brian a Facebook message with my feedback.
- 6:30-7:15: I use this time between looking up directions for Penn including bus and train routes, talking to my dad, working on this blog post, and talking to Glenn, Wayne, and some others on Facebook.
- 7:30pm: I finish getting ready for the gym.
- 7:45pm:Dad and I head out again. He drops me off at the gym and then goes to pick up my mom from work.
- 7:47-8:37pm: I work out at the gym. I spend all of my time on the arc trainer (my favorite piece of equipment) while watching The Goosebumps movie on my phone via Netflix.
- 8:37pm: My parents pick me up from the gym and we head home.
- 8:40pm: I arrive home, put my things away, and get a quick shower. Before I get in,I preheat the oven to 425.
- 8:58pm: I finish my shower, get dressed, and proceed to making biscuits to go with dinner.
- 9:14pm: Biscuits are in the oven. I set the table and make the butter sauce.
- 9:32pm:Biscuits are done. I let them sit in the oven for a few minutes before taking them out and pouring the butter over top.Then I wait for the beef stew to heat up.
- 9:48pm-10:30: My family and I eat dinner. I go crazy over the biscuits. Dad loves them too. Mom is not a fan. We all talk about our day, mainly about me and my situation with Penn, and then discuss our reservation for the Pelican on Thursday. Thursday is my parent’s 30th wedding anniversary.I also finish up this blog.
- 10:31pm: How did it get to be this late? I’m going to be so tired tomorrow! I need to get to bed.
- 10:32pm-10:46pm: I waste a few extra minutes finding an image for my blog post, writing tags and categories out, and promoting it on social media.
- 10:46pm-11:12pm: Still not asleep. Need to mess with my phone. I notice it’s 11:11, so I make a wish before calling it a day.
I just finished reading In Search of the Proverbs 31 Man by Michelle McKinney Hammond. This book caught my attention as soon as I spotted on the Used Books bookshelf at the Amazing Grace christian bookstore a week ago. I was really intrigued by the title, In Search of the Proverbs 21 MAN. Proverbs 31 has always been one of my all-time favorite bible passages. It told me everything I ever wanted to know about what kind of woman I should strive to be — a Proverbs 31 woman. But I completely forgot about the fact that behind that great woman, there was a great Proverbs 31 man, too. Also, being single, I am still in search of my Proverbs 31 man, so I decided to purchase the book and see what it said.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. I give it 4 out of 5 stars because I do wish it could’ve went a little more in depth. A couple points were repetitive, redundant, and at times a little generic, but giving it only 3 stars seemed way too harsh because it was a good book that I did learn from. Here are 4 of the main points I learned after reading this book.
1. The connection between men and women. I honestly never really considered this point before. I love how the author, Michelle McKinney Hammond breaks down the connection of men and women. She explains that man is made from God (which I already knew) and that woman is made from the rib of man (which I also already knew). Then she goes a step further and explains that when woman was created, there was a piece taken out of man. That piece is missing. He still needs that piece to survive, which is why he needs woman. This just totally blew my mind. It makes perfect sense and it’s that complicated of an idea, but it was one I never thought of before. The need for a man and a woman to coexist alongside each other isn’t done on a spiritual or emotional level, but it is a physical need and one that goes far beyond just sex.
2. The orders of men and women and why women must submit to their husbands. I never realized there was an order before, I just heard repetitively that woman must submit to their husbands. Now I’ll be honest and say that this is a concept I often struggle with. I am by no means a feminist and I don’t typically support the feminist movement, but I do want general equality between men and women and I don’t want to feel like I’m just letting a man control me and push me around. But that’s not what submission is at all. See, as Hammond explains in her book, women must submit to men because of their order. The order goes like this God – > man -> woman. God always comes first. Because God created man, man must dedicate his life to serving God and striving to be as Christ-like as possible. Woman was created from man. Therefore, it is her order to submit to her husband. This is her priority. It is still her priority to worship and serve God, but the man rules over the woman. The man is closer to God than the woman is because the man is a direct creation from God whereas woman is a direct creation from man. This goes back to point one.
3. What to look for in terms of a future husband. If you’re single like me you should still be thinking in terms of what you should be looking for in a husband. I felt better reading what Hammond has to say about this because I think that’s what I was doing a lot in my last relationship which ultimately helped me to decide to leave my relationship because I didn’t see the future I wanted. If you’re single you should be looking for a Proverbs 31 man to be your husband. It should be a strong man that has a deep love, appreciation, and understanding of God. He should love and cherish you very deeply and passionately and not be afraid to show his love for you. He should offer you security through his job and financial wealth and have the ability to truly support you and care for you. That is his responsibility not just as a man, but as the head of the household which is precisely what a Proverbs 31 man should be according to the order of God.
4. How to prepare myself to become a Proverbs 31 woman. If you’re single like I am, then you shouldn’t just be focusing on searching for a Proverbs 31 man to be your husband, but you should also consider all of the ways you are a Proverbs 31 woman and what areas need more help. For me I could probably bear to be more patient, communicative with my partner (well in this case, future partner) especially during times of trouble, and above all else, I need to learn to submit more to men. I need to learn to let men approach me rather than be the one to approach them. That is not the right order. Men were built like hunters who hunt for their lovers. It is natural for a man to approach a woman. Woman should be waiting for men to approach them and then they should be willing to submit. That is the proper, biblical order. It is also something I tend to be pretty bad at — I tend to wear my feelings on the sleeve and jump at the chance to display love and affection even when it is not returned. I need to work on this and strive to be less like well, me, and more like the godly Proverbs 31 woman.
I really did enjoy reading Michelle McKinney Hammond’s novel, In Search of the Proverbs 31 Man. I think this book will definitely be helpful for me in understanding my responsibilities as a single woman and also what my future role as a wife and a Proverbs 31 woman will be.
So…writing about pineapples was pretty fun yesterday. Today’s topic? Much less than fun, though I’m betting I’ll have a better click through rate (CTR) on it. People apparently don’t care to read that much about my hatred of pineapples (their loss!), but always seem to be interested in relationship drama, or the lack thereof because ‘Merica.
For Day 11 of the 30 Day Writing Challenge I’m supposed to write about my relationship status, or lack thereof.
I’ve been single since October, so it looks like I’ll be discussing why.
I broke up with my boyfriend of 13 months in the middle of October, the night before we were supposed to go away for a weekend to celebrate our 1 year anniversary, something we had planned pretty much since we first got together. Needless to say, that trip never happened.
He probably thinks I broke up with him because he was sick and wasn’t sure if he was going to make it for our anniversary trip. Sure, it didn’t help at all. It was the final straw for me, really. But I’m not that heartless. Of course I didn’t just break up with him because he was sick. There was so so so much more to it than that.
I loved him very much, and the decision to walk away from our relationship was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but also something that was very necessary.
I thought he loved me for the longest time. Our relationship meant the world to me. I would have done anything for him, and in many ways, I think I did. A year ago I swore we were going to get married. I thought that by now I’d be engaged, or almost engaged to him. I was so sure he was the one. But well, obviously I was wrong about that.
For awhile, the longer we were together, the closer we were going to get. I was a trucker girlfriend, and for awhile, the distance while very hard, was making us stronger. We, or especially myself, would get so excited to see each other because it happened so infrequently. If we saw each other more than twice a month it was unheard of.
I began to really identify as a trucker girlfriend at this time. That was my main identity and I was proud of it. I knew what I was doing was hard. What girl wants to be with a guy that she never ever gets to see? But I kept told myself it was worth it…I had a great boyfriend and we loved each other very much and it wasn’t always going to be this way.
Some days being a trucker girlfriend were harder than others. I would sometimes cry a lot because I missed him so much and I’d worry about him constantly. Sometimes it just got so lonely. I had a great boyfriend that I loved to death and who was my best friend. I wanted to do and share everything with him, but it oftentimes wasn’t a possibility because he always had to work and go out on the road.
Our relationship was becoming more and more serious. We even spent a week in Disney together! It was such a great time. I got to spend like 18 hours at a time with my best friend who I swore was the love of my life for an entire week. That was practically the equivalent of every day we’ve ever been together since we first started dating. It was so hard to go home and say goodbye to him after that.
I think Disney strengthened our relationship for awhile, but it didn’t last…
I think that some of the ways we viewed each other began to change after that. We began to realize we weren’t as similar as we thought we were, and even if we had a lot in common, our families did not.
Realizing this began to put a real strain on our relationship. Our parents never met, but if they did, I don’t think it would’ve went over well at all. We came from very different backgrounds. But we loved each other and that’s all that mattered, right?
But here’s the thing, when you’re raised a certain way you usually believe that is the “right” way and all other ways are wrong. It’s not intentional, it’s just how it is.
I was raised to value education and to work to have a nice home and a nice car and things like that and to take pride in myself and my things. Vacations weren’t a priority — they never really took place. We all worked, studied, and enjoyed our home instead. We weren’t overly luxurious people by any means, but we had nice, expensive things that we worked hard for. It was more important for us to use money on our home and car and education and things like that than it was to have a cheap home and car and go on vacation.
His family was the opposite of that. They “just wanted to have fun”. They did work hard – but it often seemed like for all of the wrong reasons. They were sometimes obsessed with having money, but they were greedy with it. It was spent on things like vacations — and they weren’t educational or what I’d consider “traveling” – they were amusement parks and always the same ones multiple times throughout the year every year — it seemed kind of unnecessary. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, it just seemed a little weird because I wasn’t raised that way.
I think family had different meanings for both of us too. We were both close to our families but in different ways. Maybe we were in different parts of life. I wanted independence, but I wanted it with him. I was more than willing to be tied down to him. I wanted marriage and kids and a life of my own with my husband. He wanted to go on vacation with his parents and he did all the time. He’d choose that over spending time with me — and he’d choose it all the time. I wouldn’t have done it. I didn’t see him much. If it came between seeing my boyfriend more or going on vacation without him, I’d choose the option of seeing him more even if it meant giving up a family vacation or 2 (or like, 7).
As our relationship progressed, we learned more about each other and I thought more and more about our future and what it would be like to be married and raise a family together. But I stopped hearing the wedding bells. I didn’t see the love filled bliss anymore.
It was horrifying.
I saw a messy “home” in a run down trailer park in the middle of nowhere.
I saw old,broken, run down cars.
I saw my son who never saw his father and was always hurt and missing him.
I saw myself, a stay-at-home mother struggling to make ends meet and trying to explain to my children why daddy was never home.
I saw a garbage bin full of my hopes and dreams.
I began to question if this is what I wanted, and the answer was no.
That was not by any means the future I had imagined for myself or what I wanted. I wanted to go to New York. I wanted to finish my novel and be a bestselling author. I had a possible opportunity in California I wanted to explore. I wanted to go to grad school. I was considering getting my second cochlear implant since the first one was so successful.
I wanted to know that my boyfriend loved me as much as I loved him — something I was beginning to question.
I wanted a husband and a loyal father. I didn’t want to have to worry about daddy being home, where daddy was, what he was doing, whether or not he was safe, and when he’d be home.
I didn’t want to have to think of what to tell my children for why daddy missed yet another baseball game, another holiday, another birthday.
I didn’t want to live in a trailer park in the middle of nowhere.
I wanted a big house with a beautiful garden and nice lawn in a nice neighborhood. I wanted to know my neighbors and for their kids to be friends with my kids.
I didn’t want to be just a trucker wife that let her husband do whatever he wanted why she stayed home and waited for him.
I. WAS. SO. SICK. OF. WAITING.
I spent all of last summer doing nothing more than waiting. Waiting for him to call, waiting for him to text, waiting for him to come home, waiting for him to pick me up. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
And I was putting my life on the backburner. I was putting off my hopes and dreams and keeping myself from being who God destined me to be. I was a trucker girlfriend and that’s all I was. And it seemed like soon, that identity would be ripped away from me, too.
We were falling apart. We could no longer ignore our huge differences and our upbringings and who we were and what we wanted from life. Our future was becoming messy and muddled. The time away was getting to us. We were getting lonely. We were fighting. He was talking to other girls and cheating on me. I was getting mistrustful and paranoid.
I got kicked out of the trucker girlfriend groups. I never really knew why. But that’s when it felt like I really lost it all — because at the time, that’s all I had.
It felt like getting kicked in the face at first. I was already down and now the people who were supposed to be the only ones that could understand me, were kicking me further to the ground. But maybe, that’s exactly what I needed.
I needed to get angry. I needed to break. I needed to say “Screw this lifestyle. I’m not a trucker girlfriend…I’m so much more.”
After that I began to see myself as more than just a trucker girlfriend. I was a person with my own identity and my own hopes and my own dreams. I supported him and his career and his hopes and dreams so much…the least he could do was support mine, right?
I was unhappy at work. I needed a new job. But there was one thing I had going for me — awesome health insurance. I needed to take advantage of that and get my second cochlear implant while I could. I never understood why, but he was less than supportive. He was very pessimistic. He didn’t think insurance would cover it. He was so supportive with my first surgery, it was weird that he was the opposite with the second. But I was only just considering it — I didn’t know if I’d go through with it yet, so I tried to ignore it.
I was writing more and more, too. My memoir was about half finished. I intended to finish it during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and I was very serious about it. But that wasn’t enough. I wanted to get it published and I knew the perfect way to go about it — to go back to school and get my MA in Writing at Rowan. He didn’t support that either. He thought it was too expensive and I was already so far in debt. He wanted to help me. He would help me financially, I just had to wait for him to build up his career. I dismissed this, too, and tried to ignore it. He has a point, he was right. He said he’d help me. But I didn’t realize how I didn’t need his help at all. His money and his opinion didn’t matter at all.
Then there was California — which I couldn’t really ignore. I had a HUGE amazing opportunity that was about to come to light — but it would be in California. It was exciting, but also terrifying. It was all the way across the country. But it was the perfect opportunity for me. He drove and was on the road and never home anyway, so surely this wouldn’t mater that much, right? We’d just do a long distance relationship until we got married which would only be a little harder than what we were doing. But he didn’t see it that way. He wanted me to do what would make me happy whether it be California or staying with him. But I couldn’t have both. One or the other.
I’m sorry, but if he loved me, he wouldn’t have made me choose. He’d want to do anything to keep me, even if it meant moving to California (or at the very least, allowing me to go there) to be with me.This was a huge game changer and eye opener for me in my relationship.
I would’ve done it for him without thinking. I waited for him all the time. I compromised. I gave up so much of me and my life for him, but he wouldn’t for me. And it wasn’t all work, either. Sometimes I couldn’t see him because he chose his family over me. He’d rather go on vacation with them then see me. And I knew it and accepted it, as much as it hurt.
And I mentioned that to him then, too. You love your family more than you love me. I said. He admitted it. He said yes.
And it crushed me. Family is important — but I wanted to be more so. We’ve been dating for a year at that point. I wanted to BE his family. I wanted to be his wife, but I was realizing, maybe that wasn’t such a good idea.
I thought about everything. My hopes, my dreams, my love. I prayed a lot. I cried a lot. I went on a lot of walks to parks and random areas to sit and cry. At times I wanted to die. Other times, I felt like I was already dead. I had choices to make and it was terrifying. Where did I go? Did I take risks and try to follow my overly ambitious dreams? Did I give up my boyfriend — who might have been the love of my life and “the one” to do it? Or did I marry him and keep my mouth shut and settle down with a life that’s a bit less than what I hoped it would be?
It wasn’t an easy decision to make and it wasn’t something that was made over night. But after I read Thrive by Mark Hall from Casting Crowns, I knew my answer.
I have been surviving. Barely. More like struggling. Breathing through a clogged straw. Settling.
God didn’t make me to suffer. He didn’t make me to suffocate. He didn’t make me to settle. This is NOT how he wanted me to live my life.
I was made to THRIVE.
God didn’t want me to throw away my dreams for some boy. If he was really “the one” he would’ve supported me and my dreams and brought out the best of me. He wouldn’t have made me choose.
God wanted me to follow my dreams.
I gave him one chance. One more chance to prove he loved me that he could support me that this could work and that maybe he was the one. One more chance.
He blew it. We never went on our anniversary trip. Instead, we had a huge argument on the phone. I hung up. He never called back. I never bothered to apologize or forgive him for hurting me. It was the end of an era.
On that night, I decided I wasn’t going to be a trucker girlfriend anymore.
I was so much more than that.
I choose my dreams.
I have now been single for about 7 months. It’s not always easy. Sometimes I still really miss him. I still get mad that he never called me back. I still wonder what could have been. But I know this: my life got so much better when I stopped trying to be someone I wasn’t (a trucker girlfriend) and chased after my dreams and became the best possible version of myself.
I’m working a wonderful job now where I’m much happier. It’s not in California, but it doesn’t need to be. In the Fall, I will not only be a graduate student at Rowan, but I’ll be a college professor teaching first year writing, too! The first draft of my novel is complete and the second draft is about 90% complete. I’ll be focusing on this and trying to get it published through my career as a graduate student. I’ve gotten right with Christ and have even recently been baptized.
I’m not a trucker wife.
I’m a dreamer.
I’m a doer…doing BIG things.
And this is just the beginning.
I’m not opposed to the idea of being in a relationship. I could meet the right guy and end up in a relationship tomorrow (not likely, but you never know). If the right guy comes along I’d be more than happy to go out on a date and take it from there. But I’m really content with being single right now.
I know one thing, too. I will never put myself, my hopes, my dreams, and/or the person that I am on hold for a man. Never again.
Relationships are a two way street. Not one person supporting, loving, and doing everything for the other. For now on, I will always choose my dreams. And, the right person will be part of that dream. They will be for me and my dreams, not someone that will make me choose. Because when it comes down to “love” or my dreams, my dreams will win every time.