Hi! How are you? So my last two posts were fairly serious and theological, which I’m not apologizing for at all. You should go read them if you haven’t yet.
“Alright Anessa, you’ve challenged us,” I hopefully imagine you saying, “but what does going ‘all in’ look like in your life? Are you doing this or just telling other people to go all in with God?”
Fair question. Every morning I pray “God, please fill my mind with Your thoughts, my mouth with Your words, my heart with Your desires. I’m Yours, God, do with me as You will.”
What He’s doing with me is telling me to wait. Not my favorite thing to do, if I’m honest. The past two months have been pretty heavily focused on healing and beating back the beast of depression. I feel enough better now that I want to think about something else besides depression and I’m getting restless to get on with whatever God wants me to do next. I keep asking Him. He gives me the exact same answer every time, something He told me last year when I was wondering if I should even pursue a relationship with Trent because of the distance issue: “Anessa, sit down, be still, and wait and see what I’m going to do.”
Last year when He told me that, I didn’t really listen that well. I’m not a wait and see kind of girl. I’m a “let’s make this happen, get things done!” kind of girl. This time I am working on listening and obeying better. When He told me that this time, I asked if I could have popcorn while I watch Him do whatever He’s going to do, because I know it will be the best show I’ve ever seen. It is God after all. He can do anything.
He’s also telling me to write the occasional blog post. I started this blog 181 days ago, in conjunction with Trent starting a similarly-named YouTube channel. Our joint dream was to become a famous blogger/YouTube power couple and be able to support ourselves through these avenues so that we would have the freedom to travel, see family, see the world, not be tied down to schedules and obligations, etc. Accordingly, I focused my early efforts on monetizing this blog, signing up for Amazon Affiliates, Google Adsense, all that jazz. Honestly, I didn’t understand a lot of it. And it made blogging a chore. Yesterday I got an email from Amazon saying that my application to be an affiliate was rejected, because I hadn’t met the qualifications of three verified purchases through my affiliate links in the past 180 days. I was a bit disappointed, if I’m honest. I mean, blogging hasn’t been about the money for a while (I’ve never seen a dime from doing this), really, but I was still holding on to that slip of a dream. It was like God was saying “Anessa, I’ll take care of you. Don’t put your trust in this blog. It’s just a tool. Write what I prompt you to write. You’ll be good.” Alright God, this blog is Yours too.
There’s one more thing that He’s specifically nudging me to do. I call it my quest. About a month, month and a half ago, I made a list of people I thought would be good prayer partners, to join me in praying for me, Trent, this whole situation. I ran it by my mentor (because I run pretty much everything Trent-related past her) and it was like she didn’t even get that text. Never said much about it at all, which I thought was her tactful way of telling me that that idea was dumb. (Mentor’s Note: For the record…I didn’t ignore your prayer list. I didn’t comment much on it because I know that you’re a great woman of faith. I saw a mix of people on that list who would be honest with you…not just tell you what you wanted to hear. There were people on that list who have walked in your shoes…there were people who would have no clue what you were going through, but would pray for you anyway. If that is the list that God gave you, then who am I to tell you that your list is “wrong”. I saw a balanced list and thought, “Yep, that is a good list!” It’s not a dumb idea at all. 🙂 ) So I didn’t push it. I honestly forgot about the list. It wasn’t until God made the fourth appointment with a couple on the list did I realize what He was doing. About once a week God puts someone from that list on my heart or in my dreams and tells me to go talk to them. The last couple was kind of funny, because I had a dream about them where I dropped in to see them unannounced and they were very much not ready for company. When I woke up God said “talk to them about coming over before you just show up.” I did. Every conversation I’ve had with a person or couple on my list has blessed, encouraged, and strengthened me. I tell them what God has been doing and ask them to pray. So far they’ve all said yes. I have a few more names to go. So if I randomly ask if I can come over to your house, there’s actually a reason. I told God that I can’t wait to see how He works out one meeting, because I’ve never met the couple I put on the list; they’re friends of Trent’s and they live nowhere near me. That one should be interesting to see how God makes it happen.
Personally, I haven’t found a new job. I haven’t made any tangible steps towards moving out and away from my family. I’m still pretty hung up on Trent, but I feel like that perspective is changing. I’m willing to consider other men. I am still convinced that God wanted Trent and I together, but as my mentor says, Trent has free will. He can be willing to be with me or not be willing to be with me. It’s his choice and he may choose someone else entirely. I’ve had to accept that, and since I’m completely convinced that God wants me to be married, that means that He might have another amazing guy in mind for me. But anymore, Trent is the standard by which I judge guys: does he love God? (like Trent does.) Can he make me laugh? (like Trent did/does.) Does he support my dreams? (like Trent did/does.) Does he want children? (like Trent does.) Does he challenge me? (like Trent did/does.) Does he want to be a good provider? (like Trent did.) Is he a good communicator and can I talk freely with him? (Like I could with Trent.) Will he linger over the cheese counter at a grocery store with me? (like Trent did.) Does he have red hair? (like Trent. Yes, I am going to be that picky. Well, we’ll see – it wasn’t a serious request the first time I made it, and God threw that bonus in with Trent, so maybe He will again.) Will he make fun of me because I close my eyes on roller coasters? (Trent NEVER made fun of me for that.) Is he a fantastic kisser? (like Trent was – although, if I’m still in the evaluation stage of a relationship I’m not going to be testing that criteria out. Trent and I didn’t kiss until after we said “I love you” to each other.)
So yep…I’m totes over Trent…not…
Now, I’ve only met one guy that I’ve even measured against this standard since the break up, and I know I’m nowhere near ready to pursue anything else yet; that wouldn’t be fair to any guy. So we’ll see. God is helping me be patient – I’ve always said that I was bad at being patient, that I’m impatient. I was complaining about it to God the other day, how I wish He’d just hurry up, that I was bad at being patient, and He said “Anessa, you’re not bad at being patient. You’ve waited over 10 years for the right guy. Even though your heart’s desire has been to be married you didn’t rush out right after college and marry the first guy who was interested. You’ve waited, because you want it to be right. You just have to be patient a little while longer.” That made me cry.
I’ve also had the thought that this waiting time is for my benefit. I know that getting back together with Trent (or any guy really) would require me to move away from my family pretty quickly and the thought still scares me. Less than it used to, but the fear can still bubble up. So God pointed out this line in Need to Breathe’s song “Hard Love“: But there’s a reason that the road is long / It takes some time to make your courage strong. He’s making my courage strong, and that takes time. I’ve been looking into jobs and opportunities but not much has gripped me with the passion I know comes from God. And if God’s not in it, I don’t want to do it. I’ve had enough failures in my life to know that unless He’s fueling my passion, I’ll burn out, get discouraged, and quit. I want to go where He wants me to go and do what He wants me to do. So right now, that means sit down. Be still. Wait and see what He’s going to do.