“You don’t have to be perfect for marriage, but you should prepare.” -Hilary Pradia Watkins
Well Hello 😊
I’ve missed you this summer, and I have a lot to catch you up on! First things first, I got married in April and that was hands down the most amazing experience I’ve ever had! The wedding was so beautiful, very intimate and our family/friends showed us so much love. AHH! I wish I could relieve it a few times, and I’ll share some of those pictures at some point in the future. Since the wedding, I’ve really been taking in every moment of being a new wife/step mom and enjoying time with my new family. I also decided to take a break from social media since early May to enjoy this new life transition, travel to some awesome places (I’ll tell you about that later too lol) and complete my first book set to release in September! Needless to say, it’s been a BUSY yet productive summer!
Back to the release of my book though, it’s been on my heart for about 2 years and I firmly believe this is the PERFECT time to release it! The title of my new book is called Stuck Between Hello & I Do: 10 Day Devotional for Singles/Couples Preparing for Marriage. It’s the first book from the Stuck Between series! The idea behind this series came from different points in my life feeling stuck not knowing how to move forward. Even thinking about my relationship prior to marriage, there were times I felt stuck in certain situations without a reference of how to move on. There were other times I honestly didn’t know if we would make it or how to forgive when I felt hurt. Through prayer, talking to folks in our tribe and really having the desire to fight for it, we made it to the starting point of marriage. (Thank God!) I don’t have all the answers and I’m not a relationship expert, but I can share with you what I’ve learned about being stuck between meeting someone (Hello) and marrying them (I Do). Hopefully, the lessons I’ve learned can help you on your journey too 😊.
I also have another announcement I can’t wait to share with you as well! In the meantime, stay well. I’ll talk to you soon.
Valentine’s Day always brings up mixed emotions for a lot of us. If we’re not careful it can get us in a mental space we weren’t prepared to be in. I can’t speak for men, but as women we do the absolute most with our thoughts and emotions when we think of this holiday in regards to our relationship status. If you’re single, you may hate this silly holiday and talk yourself into settling with your text bud that has a crush on you knowing you don’t like them. If you’re talking to someone, you may be trying to gauge if you’re important enough to them based on if they make a ‘love’ gesture with a box of chocolates or a dozen roses. If you’re in a relationship, you may be alright thinking “at least I’m with someone”. If you’re engaged, you’re probably skipping the gifts this year so y’all can put every dollar toward the wedding. If you’re married, you could be wishing you were single, if you and your spouse aren’t on good terms.
This year is my first year being engaged, and I too fall under the “let’s not do too much because we’re paying for a wedding” category, but in thinking about my relationship status this year, it brings up a vivid memory of a previous Valentine’s Day. About 4 years ago today, I was in a relationship with someone I knew I wouldn’t marry, but decided to continue with the relationship anyway. Our relationship was built on Valentine’s Day in a funny way looking back on it. Several months prior I asked to be accompanied to an event to take place on Valentine’s Day and by the time Valentine’s Day arrived we had gone so far left and I remember God asking me what was I doing. The way he asked was in a similar way he asked Adam his location after he had sinned in the garden. I knew from the conception of the relationship that it wasn’t a God thing, and the Lord told me clear as day (several times) that we wouldn’t get married. I tried to stick it out because I invested so much (so I thought) into it. We went to the event despite all the drama surrounding our relationship on Valentine’s Day, and everything was all smiles. We exchanged gifts afterwards and I couldn’t wait to post our gifts exchange online. Posting made me feel validated like I wasn’t a part of the ‘lonely girl’s club’ on Valentine’s Day, when in real life I was lonely in a purposeless relationship. I kept using superficial things like Valentine’s Day to convince myself that the relationship was something that I knew deep down it wasn’t and couldn’t be. I’m sure there were folks who saw my Valentine’s Day gift post along with many others and let discontentment run rampant in their hearts. I know this year there are plenty of folks that will post photos who are in the same situation I was in back then looking for validation in things that can’t be the foundation of a God-ordained relationship. My bottom-line is that everything that you read isn’t really what it appears to be. In my post, I was smiling and boo’ed up, but before posting I had spent a couple hours in tears because our relationship was in shambles. For the sake of Valentine’s Day we sucked it up, temporarily “fixed” it and went along with the day’s festivities. From that year to this one life has completely changed, and it’s not that I have it figured out (‘cause baby when I tell you love is a process), but I’ve learned that I don’t need to be validated by gifts, or chocolate or candle-lit dinner to prove something to anyone. I’m telling you, it made me feel even more empty trying to put on to prove something to people and yourself. If you’re in that situation, let it go.
I remember staring at my Valentine’s Day gifts a few weeks later and the Lord telling me to throw the gift away. However, I really LOVED the gift and refused to throw it away. I kept telling myself I was tripping and that it wasn’t God telling me that. Shortly afterwards I remember trying to use the gift only to discover that it was broken and I wasn’t able to use it. I was so upset! God reminded me that of his instructions prior to it breaking and in my disobedience, I tried to hold on to the broken pieces that were left just like the relationship. God was showing me then that the gifts he gives won’t hurt us and can only be used whole. When we get ‘gifts’ that we weren’t supposed to receive they won’t stand the test of time and will eventually break before we know it. What’s the purpose of holding on to a broken gift? To show everyone what you once had? Is it to nurse your insecurities and validate the fact that you’re worthy of receiving gifts?
Today, if you know you’re in a situation with another person that God isn’t calling you to, let them go. I’m speaking from experience by telling you the longer you delay your obedience, the longer delay your freedom.
Whatever your relationship status, it doesn’t define your value and shouldn’t depress you if you feel like you’re not with the person you feel like you should be. God is the most chivalrous lover you could ever have. Learning how to be loved by him helps you to see that no other love is comparable to that (Romans 8). Before you exchange meaningless gifts today, think about your why and be obedient to the spirit.
Love you guys,