Friday, April 25, 2014

Spring Time

There's this song that I can't seem to get out of my head. It starts with the lyrics "It's always like Spring Time with you, making all things new..."

Imagine that. Spring time. Always. What would that be like? Spring time is such a season filled with hope. It means winter is over. It means warmth and light and new life are only moments away. It means the sting of cold, brutal weather is finished. It means beauty and change and joy are around the corner. What would it be like if life was ALWAYS like that? The promise of hope restored. The overwhelming relief that the harsh winter is over. Can you imagine the feeling of new life all the time?

I've found myself in a bit of a "winter" for a while now. Things have been really difficult for me. My identity has been stripped. My reality has been reset. Things have been really hard. But as the seasons change and spring is all around, I am full of continued, never ending, renewed hope. It's all around me. It's in the trees. It's coming up from the ground. It is undeniable. Things are changing. The earth is screaming "WINTER IS OVER, LET US CELEBRATE!" And for the first time in a while, I join in the celebration of new life. Of promises fulfilled. Of seasons changing. Isn't that the best thing? After EVERY winter there is a Spring time. Winter will never go on forever. I know that for me, there have been moments where it's felt like it might. There were moments where I wasn't sure if winter would ever end. If the brutal, harsh, cold, dark, painful, lonely winter would ever come to an end. But God, in all of his faithfulness, designed our winters to be followed by spring. New life. FULL of beauty. And light. And hope.

What season are you in? Are you like me, coming out of a winter? Take heart, spring time is here.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

I'm BACK! #EmilyDatesBoulder

You guys, #EmilyDatesBoulder is back. Can you believe my last date was in early January?! I know, the harsh reality of online dating. Listen, it’s not because I’ve given up. Oh no, not a chance. I’m still working the sites and “winking” at my matches… ha! The truth of it is, these things take time. I think I was lucky right out of the gates with three good dates, but it’s slowed down and that’s okay! Anyway, I’ve got a funny #EmilyDatesBoulder story for y’all.

This past week was Spring Break for the school I work at. It’s been almost a year since I left Redding, so I figured a visit was in order. I packed up all of my courage and cutest outfits and boarded a plane VERY early Saturday morning for California. Saturday was packed full of reunions, hugs and tears. After a fun dinner out, a group of us headed to a local restaurant who was celebrating their one year of being open with a big ole party. About two margaritas after arriving, a friend abruptly asked if he could introduce me to a friend of his who had also spent some time in Africa. Of course I was excited to meet another person who shared my love for Africa (you see, I was expecting this “friend” to be a girl, probably my age or younger) so you can understand my surprise when this “friend” was a very tall, handsome man with a very English accent. So, to make a LONG story short, we hit it off. Come to find out, his work has him traveling to Boulder (about 30 minutes away from where I live!) often. When I found this out, I gathered up all of my courage and blurted out “why don’t I give you my number…” or something to that nature. I could hardly believe the words flying out of my mouth. Usually, I’m a bit less bold upon meeting new men. Who knows, maybe he had a girlfriend! What if he wasn’t interested in me?! But there was something so disarming about being in a town where I knew I wouldn’t return for probably another year. What in the world did I have to lose?! So, the next day, I channeled that inner boldness and texted asked him if he would like to get together one last time before I left. We ended up grabbing dinner one evening and it was a great evening. 
Will I be pursuing any kind of relationship with him? 
Was it the greatest date I’ve ever been on? 
But listen, I’m quickly learning that sometimes it’s not about the actual DATE, but the practice of DATING. It isn’t about being super bummed when every guy I meet isn’t my “happily ever after” story. It’s about taking risk. It’s about being bold and brave and embracing single life. It’s about enjoying the ride I’m on. This ride will not last forever, that’s something I’m sure of. I won’t be single forever (although, on some sad nights, I tend to convince myself that I WILL in fact be single forever…. We all have our weak moments, okay?!). I’m learning to enjoy and embrace this place in life. I’m choosing to find joy in every moment, even the super awkward and semi-boring first dates. One day, my story will change. It will take a wild turn toward love and marriage. For now, my story is unfolding one risk at a time.

((Is it funny to anyone else that it took me LEAVING and COMING BACK to get a date in Redding? I laugh as I type this.))

Follow more of my journey on my blog and on Instagram #EmilyDatesBoulder
Images by Freepik