Thursday, November 27, 2014

What am I thankful for?

First off, I'd like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving! I know the first half of my year has been rough and this second half hasn't let up at all, in fact, it's gotten a little harder. However, in light of today, I'll make this post a little light hearted, if not for your sake, than my own.

Today I'm supposed to give thanks, right? Yet, what do I hear? Downstairs my parents are fighting about holiday foods and who needs to cook what and who hasn't cooked something...Also some sort of fight about eating the expensive cheese...Don't ask, no idea.

I, Zachary Love, in my corner of the internet, would like to give thanks to many things...

1. My friends.

This may be an easy or possibly hard thing to be thankful for, depending on who you are. However my friends Nathan, Carolyn, Caleb, and Amanda have all been very supportive of me this year. They know all the struggles I've been through, with cars, money, jobs, and relationships. They know that since Mikaela, I've had a bit of a break down, Who wouldn't though? I needed time. They have been here for me, cared about me, let me cry on their shoulders, and they didn't care if things got serious or emotional, because life is just that, at times, and not all about fun and games.

My friend Michael, who I go way back to August of 2012 with, is one man I feel like I was destined to meet. He prayed for me the night I gave my life to God, and he's been with me in my walk ever since. Not as much since Bethany and I departed, but he's still been here when I needed him, he is always here for me. I look up to Michael, respect him, and view him as a second father. I love that man and I would do absolutely anything for him to show my love and respect.

Ever since I gave my life to God and was an active member of church, I've had experiences with "Christians" and been learning, mostly the hard way, that just because you say you're something, doesn't make you that. Bethany was a cold look at that. In the harshest way possible, I learned that love isn't born in lust. And it certainly won't survive there. Even if God is around sometimes, it isn't going to work. I learned that if I'm going to be with someone, it cant start in the horrible way I chose to start it with Bethany.

Sidenote: Even as I truly believe my words, I don't see how Bethany got engaged within the following year. It makes no since how she found a happy ending and I didn't get anything from it. That's all I have to say about that though.

So to bring things back on topic, Even now, looking back at my time with Michael in my life, not even ONCE have I seen Michael give "being a Christian" a bad name. Just shaking his hand or having a conversation with him, you can tell he is a GREAT man of God and he isn't anything less than he says he is. He always told me we're all human, emphasis on MAN. He said nobody is perfect, not even him, but everyone has a choice in the decisions they make.

Michael taught me, and continues to teach me, that as a man of God, you're never done growing. Life gets hard or complicated, or possibly to good to be true, but it's our choice to make mistakes or make the sacrifices necessary  to live in the blessing later. I'm more of a "here and now" kind of person, so I struggle real hard with that, but I'm not done.

So I am SO very thankful for Michael. He, and his wife Laura, are to good to me. They make me want to be more, even when I don't feel I can. And that's all a person can ask for in life.

I didn't really talk to Emily in High School, but after high school, I hired her at Lemon Tree. In the time we worked together, she became a really good friend. In fact, she was one of the friends I called in tears after Mikaela stopped being my friend. She has been so supportive of me and for some reason, she can tell when I'm vulnerable, like I'm standing behind a glass wall and she can see everything behind the firewall I'm trying to hide behind. I don't know how this world has it's crazy moments that you are thankful for later, but I am beyond thankful for Emily's friendship.

I have more friends I'm thankful for, but I couldn't possibly go through them all! I am so thankful though.

2. Family

While I had my set of problems with my family, especially with my dad (and his side of the family), I still love them. I know they care for me and in the end, they'll never leave me. They love me enough to stay through the bad times. I haven't even seen them look down on me, which could easily happen considering what I've been though.

I don't know what I'd do without them, and honestly I'd be lost if I didn't have them. So I am thankful for them, so much.

3. Etc...

While people are always the first and most important to be thankful for, I have my own set of extra's. I'm thankful for my job.  Mikaela and I may not be communicating right now, for however long she decides, but it's because of her that I have my job right now. I didn't apply until she told me to try. And now I make 9.00/hr and I feel respected at work. I work with great people and I love my job. It has it's moments where it gets hard, but it's overall a great place to work! And I'd be a fool not to be thankful for what Mikaela did do for my life, however brief or small.

I'm thankful for my material objects. I have my game systems, which aren't cheap, and I'm thankful for the paychecks I have to afford them. While I know it's an optional purchase, I'm still glad I have them. They give me entertainment and without Netflix or Spotify after Mikaela ended things...I don't think I'd be here. The music provided lyrics which made me cry so hard, enough to cry out to God. And Netflix had comedy shows which numbed the pain and distracted me from reality. Without it, the pain would have brought me to my death, or if anything, it made the process a ton easier.

I'm thankful for my church. I skipped church again after Mikaela, but then felt like I was falling back into the rut I had with Bethany and while I truly believe Mikaela wanted me to be in church, she never once tried to pray with me or invite me to church. I felt like if I stopped going to church, I'd be ruining everything for myself again. I felt and still feel called to this church for something. I have no idea what for, but I keep going to service and feeling God's presence...But I know there's more for me, somehow, in this church.

So I started getting involved. I told Pastor JP that I need to keep myself involved, or at the very least obligated. So I helped the church move into their new building and I helped them clean up the place. Pretty soon, I'll be able to help in other ways too. I am just at the part of my life where I'm so confused, but I'm not helpless. And I'm thankful that I didn't walk away, but stayed in church.

I want God to prove to me that even when I lose everything...That he's still here. I never gave God the chance to prove that, but I'm going to see now. So far, I'm still doing fine. I'm still breathing.


And there you have it. While I live in this world where loneliness runs wild and despair brings many to their end, I have still been around.

I pictured the holidays a little different this year, but I won't play God anymore. That was a foolish mistake and I'm just giving up complete control now. I hope everyone has a great 2014 Thanksgiving. And if I can give you guys one small tidbit of advice before I go, its this.

Don't set an expectation in your mind months ahead. Life is a road with many turns, exit ramps, and valleys. You won't have 4G the whole time and sometimes, shortcuts aren't the best route.

Have a blessed day.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Same old, same old...

Well guys, I'm trying to keep you updated on things and let you know what's going on, but honestly I feel like telling you about the not-so-fun things would simply bore you and the legitimate few people who read this wouldn't find it worth reading. I guess I write this more for myself than anyone else though. I like to remember what I've done so I can try *ahem* never to do it again.

Look, I could rant and rave all day about Mikaela, but right now, if she doesn't want me in her life, I have to stop tormenting myself with thoughts of her. I'll be honest, I never talk about her, I rarely think about her, and I try never to mention her around my friends.

Look, from my perspective, Mikaela left without trying to talk about it, so my friends see what she did as a mind game and using me. They aren't her biggest fan. Me however, I told Mikaela, I don't like giving up on people. I like helping and fixing and healing people. With Mikaela, all that takes is a conversation. An hour or two tops. I'm just not sure that's smart right now.

I want Mikaela to be happy, and find happiness in a man, but when she wouldn't talk to me about her problem with me...It told me she didn't trust me. She really was scared of me. That hurts almost as much as her walking away. In the end, I'm trying to move on until she's ready for me.

So what have I been up to? Well, I got my hours cut at work so now I'm almost always off two or three days a week now. It sucks, but I've applied for a third job seasonally (or maybe longer) to fill the void of time. My savings hasn't gone up anywhere productively so I'm stuck living the broke life. In all honesty, I couldn't afford gas to Mikaela or dates right now...I'm really hurting for cash.

I've also been going to church. I know I went originally because of Bethany...Then Mikaela...But now I'm trying to go for myself. I'm trying to give myself a reason to not give up. Mikaela always saw the best in me and even though I don't have that friendship to encourage me on, I'm being strong for myself. I just don't see a reason why I can't have love too. Maybe it's God's way of punishing me for disobeying him. I don't think I'll ever know.

So with church, to keep myself going, I've joined a life group and I've volunteered to help the church with any needs it has. Last Thursday I was off work so I met JP (head pastor) at his office building and helped him move into his new church. I moved tables and boxes and filing cabinets. Real basic stuff, but next Sunday is our last Sunday at the place he's paying for (weekly, monthly? I don't know the finance stuff) and then it'll be the new building!

It was great, because a few other people were there and I got to partially "fellowship" with them while helping out. I've been going to this church for about 5 months and I'm finally starting to feel connected and cared for. It truly means a lot to me. I'm just scared, because I felt this way at my old church with Bethany and...Well, we all know what happened.

I just hope that this group of "believers" will care about me. Just enough to say, "Hey, Zach's been gone for a few weeks, I should call him and see if he's okay." I want to be connected. I have such a hard time reading the bible and praying, all the stuff I should be good at by now. I've been a "failed christian" for so long now, it's becoming a lame excuse or cop-out. I want to stop riding the fence.

Confession time guys, I've been struggling with addictions for years now. I've had my share of problems, but addiction is bad. Sin is so tempting and even before this post, I've sinned today. I've been such a horrible example of a Christian, that it makes my skin crawl and I could throw stones at Mikaela or Bethany or anyone I've had personal (or not) strife with, but in the end, I gotta look in the mirror and blame the person I see.

I am the problem. You know what I do when I'm upset? I vent. I call or text my closest friend (or whomever will lend an ear that I trust) and vent. That night I vented with Mikaela, I wasn't suicidal, I was angry with my life, upset with my circumstances, and pissed off at the cards I'd been given. Suicide crosses my mind all the time. It doesn't mean I'm going to make a poor decision.

When I gave my life to God on August 3rd, 2011, I knew everything was going to change for me. My best friend (Bethany, at the time) of 4 years took me to church and gave me the best gift anyone can ever give. Eternal salvation in Christ. That was when I knew I would break the binds of my sinful addictions, beat the horribly over tempting thought of suicide, and come out a victorious winner.

However, that doesn't mean I won't get depressed, sad, angry, or feel negative in any way. I'm still human...Emphasis on MAN. Mikaela wants to say she did the right thing, but in the end, she knew better. If she really cared that much, she'd have called me. Why did she continue to text me when she could have heard it in my voice? That's how you really know if someones serious. Instead she based her decision on a few depressed texts and a hunch. That's not enough.

I miss my beautiful, overly caring friend, but she's gone. Another confession, Even though it's been two, almost three, months since I've dated her (or seen her), I still pray for Mikaela. Every night I ask God to keep her safe, help her make good life choices, and to keep loving her. I know God's love is never ending, but mine isn't. Sure, it'd hurt seeing her again, but it'd be worth it to fix all the junk inside of me. She still has a key to my heart, she lived with me every day after our time in Carthage together.

We would have had a beautiful story, but I've started to stop believing in love stories. I believe in truth and what I know...And right now, all I know is that life won't get any better thinking about her. So I don't. 2015 is a corner stone for me. I feel it. I'm hoping in 2015, I can accomplish the following

  1. Full Time Job(s)/Work
  2. Actual Reliable Car (long story...)
  3. Attending College Again
  4. Not Living With Parents Anymore

I don't have any goals in the romance department. It seems I pick religious woman who want love, but there's always something I don't see. It's different with every one. However, my time in Carthage...When Mikaela said she wanted a life with me, she made things seem like we'd overcome any obstacle, and then in the end it was our first big fight and BOOM...Friendship over.

I'm done reliving the past, I did it to much with Bethany and I still never found out why she really walked away. THAT is something I can easily find out. Just need to walk into Michael's church and find her, ask her, and I'd get the answer. That or call Michael about it. Point is, some things are better left never knowing. I can fix that friendship, but I won't bother. Obviously if Bethany had wanted to fix it, she'd have easily been able to.

When you turn 16 years old, life changes. It gets a little complicated. However when you graduate high school...Life opens up a new door. You close one book and open the sequel...And it's not as much of a page turner unless you like problems. Work, romance, friendships, cars, money...All these factors and more come into play. I'm a Christian man and sex is even an issue with me!

I'm not fit to be a role model or mentor of any kind, but I know how life works at this point. I don't have the luxury of having financially blessed parents and the money to fix my issues or extremely close friends who share in my faith. I mean my only religious friend these days is Ashley (Mikaela's BFF) and she's busy in Europe living life to it's fullest. She's the real winner. Mikaela and I were happy, but Ashley has decided to just enjoy life and be happy with that first (as far as I know).

I don't get to message Ashley much, maybe 4 or 5 texts a week, but I'm glad she's my friend. I pray for her too, every night. I pray that she's happy and that her life stays just as good when she gets home as it was while she was in Europe.

I don't understand a lot of things these days, but I understand how prayers works a little more now. It requires the faith to believe that praying in the dark in your bed at night for someone long enough will eventually yield results. Now that could take days or years, but I am blindly praying for my friends and my loved ones, and those I don't even really like. I am hoping beyond everything else that God hears me and is working in the way he does.

Funny story, There's this thing Mikaela did where when you're eating, before you start you put your thumbs up, last one to do so has to pray before the meal. I thought it was cute and found out in Carthage when I didn't know about it yet. Well Mikaela said that she knew I wasn't good at prayer, but that she'd help me understand it and help me get better talking to God. The time we had in Carthage, she really opened up to me, let me see her for who she was. We both became vulnerable to the other and still, we loved each other the same.

That's when things were easy and moving fast was okay. I want those days in Carthage back. Mikaela told me things then, about us, and being together, that really impacted me. Anyway, more to the point, I think prayer works. I just didn't get to the point where I fully understood everything. I still stumble and you can read posts from 2 years ago and you'll see the same thing,..God, I am a faulty man.

They say talking through your problems is good, but I'm trying not to. I just write it down (air-go, blog here) and then I forget about it, best I can. I can finally go a day or two without Mikaela popping into my head and I can now say her name without it hurting. I'm just not to that point yet with pictures. That's why I hate Facebook saving all those pictures of me with my ex Jessica. It was impossible to delete the stuff off my phone, so now I have pictures that won't go away and that's a person I'll never see again. Not in my wildest dreams .

I guess this was a longer post than I thought. I hope everyone is saying a prayer for me. If not, could you do me a favor and say one right now? I have a future for myself lined up and I always have that second option...I just want you to say a simple prayer for me to choose the right thing, be a good person, never fall away from God again, and pray that the world on my shoulders doesn't crush me.

In the end, I'm coping, but the counselling was supposed to save me. I guess it still can, but that also requires the waiting game. Say a prayer for me, please...And thanks for always reading.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Very...Slow? Month.

Alright guys, I won't lie, without Mikaela as my friend, I've really had nothing at all to blog about. I loved telling you about us spending time together and being the best of friends, but that's all changed and I can't do anything about it. So I'll just give you a bit of an update and it probably won't be to long, I'm sorry about that, I just don't know what to say when there's not much to say in the first place.

So Mikaela said I needed to see a counselor and "get help" if she would start to fix our friendship. So with her done with me unless I did that, I went into overdrive and called my insurance and talked to HyVee and I finally had someone after a couple weeks. IT WAS FREAKING HARD TO SET UP!

But I did that, two weeks after Mikaela and the hospital incident, I had my first session. I told him everything and he gave me his two cents, but basically he thought it was smart that we separated ourselves from each other. He said it was now okay to contact her, so I sent a text and waited. No reply.

Sidenote: I am a SUPER EMOTIONAL GUY, so everything is on my sleeves and it really messes up my relationships. Allow me to explain this mess up...

I got upset and tried to talk to Mikaela's best friend Rachel who got mad and blocked me, followed by her boyfriend Steve. So then I got really upset and called Mikaela after a sleepless night at 7am (always a bad idea when I'm awake that early) and left a voicemail saying some things I regret more than anything I've ever said to Mikaela in our entire friendship...I don't want to say to protect her, but I felt like an ass the rest of the day and left her a second voicemail later apologizing like crazy and telling her I was SO VERY SORRY and I would leave her alone for the next few weeks or maybe longer, give her more time.

I AM SCREWING IT ALL UP GUYS!! God...I pray every night for Mikaela and tell God to take all the pain away from her, I never wanted anything less than the happiest feelings and memories...I did love her afterall!!

Now I'm at that waiting period not knowing if two weeks is enough or maybe I should wait a month...or if I should consider letting go 100%...I just really want to fix our friendship and I'm legit willing to do WHATEVER IT TAKES. She's not the material type so nothing I buy or give her will do it. She wants to see that I mean it, but I don't know what I can do so far away from her...THIS IS SUCH A HARD DECISION GUYS!!!

Do I love her enough to fight (with giving her time) or love her enough to let go?!! I PRAY AND PRAY AND PRAY but I don't get a solid answer other than that the time is good. I don't want this to be how things end...I never even met her parents. We had plans...Scrapbooks to fill, CHRISTMAS!!!

All I know is that I messed up and can't keep beating myself up over it. I just pray that one day I'll get a text or phone call...Against all odds, I pray for that. Then I dream. So many dreams these days confuse me and hurt me and it's just a cruel mind game in the end.

If she ever comes back to me, as a friend at this point, I will treat her RIGHT! I will DO IT RIGHT for the remainder of ALWAYS!!

But I've had three sessions with my counselor now, I kept my promise to Mikaela, even if she doesn't know about it. I try like hell to keep promises and fix my wrongs to the best of my abilities. I have one more session and I'll have to pay $20 out of pocket, but that's the "wrap up session". If this ends poorly for my friendship with Mikaela, I'll miss her like hell, but it'll have been my fault. and I'll pay for my poor decision making.

As for the rest of my life, I work a ton and I'm trying LIKE HELL to save my money, every single penny, for my car, new phone, Christmas, and savings. Not to mention I have $200 set aside for if Mikaela decides to talk to me again before Christmas. I know what she wants since she's told me and I'm prepared to buy it. I just don't want to risk mailing her something and she getting mad at me. I want to do this right (which is why it's so hard to decide my next move)!

Anyway, thanks for reading guys. I'll try (and I mean TRY) to keep you guys updated on stuff, but my next post could possibly change direction for all I know. Hopefully you're having better luck than I am in relationships! I truly wish anyone better luck than me right now.