Some of my favorite memories were of my family at the lake house together. Our lake house wasn’t like what they are today; it was a dinky place and quite remote. We had nothing to do but be together. My dad’s an ER doctor and at home (with four kids going every which way), normally we didn’t have a lot of family dinners together. At the lake house, we were unplugged from normal life, so we were focused on each other. I especially loved the rainy days out at the lake. We were stuck inside, playing board games and eating mac & cheese. For a long time, I thought everyone had a similar childhood. It wasn’t until after college, and I began working for a non-profit, I realized it wasn’t true. The first time I felt that difference, I called home in tears, “I am just so happy you are my parents.” You realize how much you take for granted.
I grew up in East Texas, in a very loving home. I felt so protected and cared for. I learned what compassion looked like from that environment. Looking back, I see there was so much love at home, yet I wish we had more Truth. I went to a Christian school and learned Christian values, but there wasn’t much discipleship. My parents didn’t teach us how to read the Bible or explain why we did the things we did. They were high achievers and instilled strong work ethics in me, which I greatly appreciate. When I got a 90 in school, the question was why not a 100? What was the highest grade in the class? I worked hard because I wanted to make my parents proud. It wasn’t until later I understood excellence is for God, not to be a people pleaser.
Expectation and reality can be very different, and the difference hurts. From watching my parents, I know what a good husband looks like. I see how much my dad loves and honors my mom, and I want that for myself. And it’s been hard to find. I was blind-sided when my first serious boyfriend broke up with me over the phone. We were together for most of my early twenties. He had taken me ring shopping just six months prior. I was expecting a proposal, not a breakup. He told me because I was his first girlfriend he couldn’t commit as he needed to see what else is out there. The twelve months post-breakup was tough, but the Lord used that time to teach me so many things. I learned to be in touch with Him, with myself, and I learned to lean on scripture. He surrounded me with a healthy community. You can’t heal from something like that alone. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel awful. No, I still felt horrible. I didn’t feel valued or wanted, but feelings are not reliable. Feelings are real but not reliable, and I’m thankful to have learned that valuable lesson early in my life.
The Lord loves me no matter how I feel, and I trust Him to provide for me and guide me.