The Truth in Waiting

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There is this myth that a person has to care for every need/want of their significant other, and I have personally witnessed how this can destroy someone’s entire belief system. This is especially true for women. I know so many girls who feel they have to satisfy their boyfriend’s every need, and they can’t even see how they are hurting themselves in the long run.

I understand. I won’t act as if I haven’t been there and compromised parts of me in order to make my boyfriend happy, and I won’t say it didn’t hurt the very depths of my heart when God removed him from my life. But it wasn’t until I was alone that I realized how much I was taking away from myself in order to fill all the gaps in his life. I also didn’t realize how I had over stepped my boundaries.

It is not our responsibility to fill every empty hole in someone’s life (friend, family member, or significant other). That job belongs to God and God alone. He is the only one that can do it, and we are just getting in his way and impeding the growth of that person in the meantime.

“But how does this relate to abstinence?”

I am so glad you asked.

When we are alone and no one is in our life, we know exactly what all of our morals and boundaries are. We are able to see clearly what tempts us and what we probably shouldn’t do, but this clarity gets lost in translation when transitioning to a relationship. Whether it is love or lust….something clouds our vision. Something tells us it is okay to do something we already decided we shouldn’t, because we don’t want to disappointment them. Well, you aren’t stealing something away from them by saying no to sex (whatever your definition of sex may be). You are actually investing into the future of your relationship.

I just want to encourage anyone struggling with redefining their boundaries while they are in the midst of dating someone to go with whatever you thought was the right thing before you got with them. That was when you were able to think the clearest. That was when you were able to find yourself without any distractions. That was when you didn’t have to balance spending time with God and investing 100% of yourself into this person.

You don’t have to complete them. You don’t have to fulfill their every need. If they haven’t earned certain parts of you, then you owe them nothing. Nothing. No matter how great they are, you don’t owe them the pieces of you that belong solely to your future spouse. And until you say your vows before God, they are not your spouse. They only have husband/wife potential. And if they are the person God has for you, they will understand. They will know you are worth the wait, and they will hold you accountable for your decisions.

You’re not saying no to sex; you’re saying yes to your future. And sometimes you have to put yourself first.

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Evidence of Things Unseen

There are so many ordinary things in life. There are so many times we are persuaded to settle for something “more realistic.” I sometimes give into the temptation to settle, but there is one area in my life I refuse to settle in…Love.

Love is the very foundation upon which we were built. God’s mercy and grace is all a result of how much he loves us. Jesus is a testament to that lesson. So, why should I settle for mediocre in any area of my life when it comes to love? I don’t want ordinary friends, I don’t want basic family connections, and I most certainly do not want a common love affair. I want more.

But why?

Why should I make such high demands and have such high hopes with love when I have seen it gone awry too many times in the past. I’ve lost friendships I thought would last a lifetime, I’ve had family members betray my trust, and I have yet to see a successful marriage up close. So, why even try….?

The only explanation is the small traces of faith that survive the countless heartbreak and disappointment. Something deep within me keeps hanging on to the idea of real love when everything around me says it’s impossible for such a thing to exist. I have seen women who were happy in their relationships, and I have seen the skeletons their boyfriends hid. I watch relationships that seemed to have strong foundations crumble.

This paradox of muster seed faith and damaging experiences left me very…confused.

No light in the distance of a very long tunnel. Just open wounds and old scars that have yet to heal. Just screaming doubts telling me to give up. But….I just can’t do that. If it is one thing I cannot give up on, it is love. So, I finally took my conflicting emotions to the one being that could actually bring clarity to my damaged and weary heart. God.

I spent nights in prayer and quiet time with God. I needed something…I was not sure what that something was…but I needed something I knew only He could give me. He answered my silent prayers by showing me that I didn’t not fully trust Him in that area of my life. I always tried to manipulate my love life and decide how my own fate would turn out instead of simply trusting him. It never occurred to me that I was praying for a healing and  prosperity in my love life but not actually allowing God to answer those prayers.

I had to make the decision to take my hands off and my opinion completely out of the situation in order for God to show me He does care about that aspect of my life. Wise people in my life always tell me God wants me to excel, and that does not exclude my romantic life. He wants me to experience genuine love free of insecurities, infidelities, and lies. He wants me to live out what I have always imagined and hoped love would be. But He wants me to trust Him first and foremost.

Well, I trust You God. I’m done with trying to dictate things and figure them out on my own. I have experienced the disappointment from taking things into my own hands, and I understand I cannot expect your best if I don’t trust you enough to simply sit still.

So….I’ll sit still.

Patience is a virtue I have yet to master, but I’m working on it.

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Christmas Just Ain’t Christmas Without The Ones You Love

Christmas time has always been my favorite time of year.

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As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the atmosphere is always filled with so much love! People seem to be a little nicer, the cold seems to be a little more manageable, and the coming of snow is a little more desirable. It’s a scene of beauty the entire month of December. It is a time to let go of whatever hurt you this year, toast to whatever made you smile, and reflect on all the lessons learned. It’s truly an amazing time.

Yet somehow…I am not excited about this holiday season. I don’t know whether it’s the absence of my family’s presence or how hectic my schedule seems to be, but it just doesn’t feel the same this year.

I have been trying to watch Christmas movies and listen to the Jackson 5 Christmas selection, but nothing seems to be working. It is quite disheartening that I am not able to enjoy the time of year I look forward to the most.

I leave for my home state Christmas Eve. Maybe I’ll feel better once I am able to connect with my parents.

Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions on what I could do to cheer myself up and get into the Christmas mood! 🙂

whoville

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Dating and Fabulous, Question Mark.

I am tired.

As you can tell from my last post, dating has not been a fun experience for me. I have had a few contenders, but it never seems to go anywhere. It is like we do this tango of flirtation until I get tired of waiting for something more, something meaningful. Whatever happened to actually dating?

When I was a child I was taught when a guy and a girl are both interested in one another they spend quality time together. They go to the movies, go out for coffee, go out for dinner, or they just simply go for a walk. They have deeper conversations about their childhood and their dreams. They pick apart each other’s mind and evaluate each other’s character. It is all apart of the process of getting to know each other to see if they are someone you want to invest more of yourself into-emotionally, financially, spiritually, etc..

This, however, has not been my experience. We talk, we text, we flirt, he sends mixed signals. Then I loose interest and move on with my life. I don’t want to play the games it seems all the guys I talk to like to play.I  know what I want…I just don’t seem to attract guys with those qualities.

I want to be taken out. I want to have a pleasant conversation where we share laughs and discuss something deeper than our favorite colors. I want someone who respects women. I want a hard worker full of dreams and ambition to chase those dreams. I want someone who I can trust around other attractive women, because he sees only me in a roomful. I want someone I can build with, not just physical things, but build to expand the kingdom of God here on earth. I want someone who loves God more than anything this world has to offer but still knows how to let loose and have a great time.

And I refuse to settle.

I am almost ready to quit this whole thing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind being single. It is the dating part that sucks. I hate doing things that seem to lead me nowhere, but I will keep pushing through. I know I will eventually meet a guy who is tired of the games as well.

I never knew the dating scene could be so exhausting.

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Desires For the Unexpected

You are so predictable.

Let’s try something new.

You like me, right? And…I like you back. How about we both show our interest and let things progress how they may, eh?

Yep, that sounds so much more productive than what you probably had in mind judging by your efforts (or lack their of) to get to know me.

I don’t have time for the guessing, “who should call who first,” “let me pretend I’m not interested” games. It is quite exhausting honestly. Not to mention how predictable it all gets.

I’m tired just thinking about the repetitive ordeal of it all. How about we not, okay?

Let’s be spontaneous. Let’s actually date. No games. No guessing. Just two people freely and openly getting to know one another. Alright?

Ready, set, date!

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The Luxury of Not Knowing

What if we could all get a gimpse into the future?

I wonder what would happen if we could see a preview of who we are meant to be with. Would we still have an interest in our current crushes? Would we give that person a chance even though they aren’t what we thought we wanted? Would we still pursue relationships if we knew they weren’t the person we are meant to share the rest of our lives with? Would we still live totally in every experience that helps mature us just a little more each day?

It would be nice to know who is going to walk into my life and love me for the rest of my life, who will challenge me to do more in every aspect of my life, who will undoubtly make me laugh whenever I find it hard to, and who will light up whenever I walk into the room. Yes, that would be amazing! It would be even better to know when they are going to make their entrance in the doorway of my heart.

But I would rather have the luxury of not knowing. Ignorance (in this case) gives me the freedom of living completely in my right now. I can make mistakes, I can go after the wrong guy, I can be me! I can live and love passionately. This might not sound ideal to you, but I see a beauty in it. Every mistake helps propel me towards loving my husband one day. Every jerk, every heartbreak, it all teaches me something.

If I knew him, if I waited on him, think of all the wonderful opportunities and learning experiences I might miss out on. I don’t want to connect myself to temporary people, but I do want to experience how God wants me grow in wisdom before I can love my husband the way he deserves.

So, I don’t want to know. I have faith he is awesome, but I will live in blissful ignorance and lean on God to guide me in the right direction without being able to see the path.

I choose to wear this blindfold.

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One Day…

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I wonder what it’s like….to know someone wants the best for you at all times. It is not about them using you to satisfy their needs. It is about what they can do to make you smile. How they should sacrifice to help propel you towards your dream.

….it must be nice though. To look at someone and know that sparkle in their eyes is your reflection.

-J.C.

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Fear Leads to Mediocrity

Screenshot_2014-10-19-14-01-37-1The funny thing about epiphanies is they are almost always obvious answers. What we search for in the distance is sometimes right in front of us.

Something has been made very clear to me recently.  I lower my standards in guys, because the men I’m actually interested in seem impossible to get close to. So, out of my fear of rejection…I settle.

I know my husband will be a man that will leave me speechless. He will be everything I didn’t even know I wanted in a guy. So, why do I loose heart when I’m around men who are more than just the status qou? As soon as I begin to develop an interest I immediately talk myself out of it. I either try to find a flaw to validate me not wanting to pursue more or, if I cannot find an obvious flaw, I just simply tell myself they wouln’t be interested in a woman like me anyways.

Wow, I have been searching far and wide for an answer to my Screenshot_2014-10-19-15-55-11-1terribe dating track record, and there it is staring its ugly face at me. My fears have once again impeded my progress without me even realizing. It has caused my dating life to be boring, repetitious, and a disappointment most of the time.

I might be their type. I might not be their type. We could have an indescribable connection. We might not even be able to hold a meaningful conversation. I will never know unless I take a chance for someone who actually leaves me in awe of their genuine character.

Time to stop underestimating myself. Time to stop settling.

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Undefined

Screenshot_2014-10-12-17-21-28-1Throughout my entire life people have tried to place me in a box and label me based on very small pieces of my life. It is actually quite frustrating. A lot of people will see me in one setting and assume that makes up my entire life. For example, people will see me going to church and being very active with my relationship with God and assume I am a bible-thumping, holy-roller. Or they will see me out at a bar and think I am a wild child. Some will hear me joke with my friends and feel I can never take things seriously and remain professional. I am none of these things!

I am a human being. I am multi-dimensional. God created us to be complex, multi-layered creatures. We should never be able to fit comfortably in a neatly labeled box.

For those who think they have me figured out, try again. Dig deeper, and actually take the time to know me. I am not just Kena, my name is Juaquina Carter  and I am as unique as my full name. I am not just a good girl who attends church on Sunday;  I am a woman who loves God authentically. I may fall short and grow impatient with His will, but I will never stop pursuing a deeper relationship with Him. I am NOT a girl who goes from club to club chasing guys that aren’t worth her time; I am a woman who loves to make unforgettable memories with her friends. I know what it is like to have absolutely no joy in life, so I take every opportunity to smile and have fun within reason. I am not the twerk team; I am a dancer. I have been dancing my entire life. When the music flows through my ears joy flows out of my heart through movement. I know ballet, jazz, hip-hop, modern, tap, and yes I even know how to twerk.

It is comical that so many people think they know who I am and have no clue what I value in life. They don’t know my fears, what makes me happy, or what my goals are. Go ahead, create your label, and watch me bust out of the borders you place on me.

I am Juaquina Carter,  and I cannot be defined.

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We Text. We Flirt. He Sends Mixed Signals.

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In July, I made a conscious decision to get back on the dating scene.

In September, I’m ready to get back on the “single and keeping it that way” scene.

I’m not a very patient woman, so you might be able to say I’m throwing in the towel too soon. I’ve just realized that I wasn’t missing a thing! There has been a lot of texting, flirting, and mixed messages. There has been NO actual courting, real dates, or face-to-face interactions. Either I’m giving attention to the wrong guys, or the dating world is not what it used to be. I have far too much going on in my life to focus on a bunch of meaningless interactions.

Here is one example: This guy approaches me and starts a friendly conversation.  He then gives me his number, so now the ball is in my court to show him I am interested in him as well. I am a little hesitant, but after getting up the nerve, I finally contact him. We text. We flirt. He sends mixed messages. He never asks if we could hang out or if he can take me on a date. We just text.

So…eventually, I lost interest.

Here is another, more recent, example: This guy comes into my job all the time. I definitely find him attractive, but I never say anything in order to maintain professionalism at the work place. Then, we start to bump into each other at various events around the city. One night we actually exchange numbers. So, we text. We flirt. He sends mix signals. We never hang out. We never talk on the phone. We never do….anything.

So, I start to think maybe I’m the problem. Then, my brutally honest guy friend sends me this text: “He may have been interested but not enough to pursue more. I wouldn’t worry about it. Men are simple. If they are interested, they go hard (shy or not), especially once numbers are exchanged. The question you should be asking is do you want to be involved with someone that’s not willing to make the effort to show you you’re worth chasing? People pursue what they desire.”

That’s when I realized I had to stop entertaining these guys who clearly cannot see enough in me to actually pursue me. It’s okay. I do not have low self-esteem. No, quite the contrary. I know my worth, and I know I am a queen. I just needed a reminder that queens do not chase guys who don’t see their true value.

I won’t say I’m giving up on the dating scene just yet, but I see no use in texting my life away. I am too old to play games. If you are interested, simply ask me to go on a date, to go for a walk, or to just sit and chat in the park. But we aren’t going to play these silly guessing games, and I am not going to chase you. It’s either fifty/fifty or nothing at all.

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