Friday, October 20, 2017

The Quiet Relationship

I think we all know that person or have that person on our social media that shares literally every single thing about their life. And we have those ones who have no problem talking about how they've broken up with their significant other, again, for the 5th time. Or how they got in a horrible fight with a friend and are now passive aggressively posting their feelings for everyone to see like dirty laundry hanging on the line. And you're just wishing that they would keep their personal drama to themselves? You're laughing at how accurate that is, aren't you? 

I'll admit, I've been there a time or a dozen. But I was also 16. or 20.  and sometimes it's super tempting to post how irritated I am with Speedracer that he left his socks on the living room floor, again. But, I have to take a step back and really think how much I want people to know which causes me to really filter what I'm saying in person and online. People comment all the time how they love that my social media is full of Love and Positivity. and I think, it's not that hard. You have the choice to post what you post and you have the choice to say what you want to say. Remember what I was saying about Peace VS Chaos? Yup, Go back to that!!

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So there I was, in deep thought about what Speedracer and I were going to have for dinner after the long day that I had just had at work. And then, suddenly, I was asked, "So are you religious? What do you believe in?" -- Wait, Where did that come from? I literally froze for a minute because I was so blindsided that I was asked that question. Maybe it was how I was raised or maybe it was because I have friends of all different religions that I just assumed nobody actually asks that question. 

But then, I thought back to about 7 years ago when I was literally introduced as "Ashlee, our friend that goes to Church." - Yup, I'm not even kidding you. That was my greeting card, but not one that I had written myself. I began to reflect on how loud and proud I was of the cross necklace I was wearing, that my bible was always close by, and I did my devotionals every single morning. People around me just knew. and I didn't care. 

But then, last week, I was asked if I was religious. And I wasn't offended but I was confused because I thought it was something that people, still, just knew. But that wasn't the case. and it really confirmed what I've been battling with for the last couple of years; that I, Ashlee, have changed. Luckily, I'm allowed to change and I've come to finally accept that change can be a good thing. But I began to reflect on my relationship with God and how it's changed over the last 7 years. and man oh man have we had a gnarly ride. 

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Yesterday, God sent me to a verse that he knew I needed:

"See what great love the Father has lavished on Us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" - 1 John 3:1

I read this verse and those surrounding; it really put the whole question in perspective for me. So the truth is: Yes, my relationship has changed. My relationship with family, friends, my Husband, and Myself has changed immensely in the last 7 years. And that's because my relationship with God has changed immensely. I've learned to have a quiet relationship with him. You see, when I was a teenager I was surrounded by people who had a loud relationship with God, and that's completely fine. and beautiful. But I began to feel like an outcast when my relationship with him wasn't meeting the standards of those around me. Does that make sense? I was becoming the outcast for not having a relationship to other peoples standards. How the heck does that make sense...Answer: It doesn't. But people always feel the need to make comments about other peoples relationships. And with this, I felt like it got worse as I got older and experienced new things; and because of that, my relationship with God was constantly changing. So what did I do, I put myself in a shell, dropped those friendships, and focused on my relationship with God, quietly. Safe to say the people around me really didn't like it that much. They wanted me to be loud like they were, they wanted me to conform to their standards of not only how I should be living my life but how I should be praising Jesus. But, I've never been one to conform for someone else. If that makes me an outcast well: God help the Outcasts!

At 27, I've finally realized that it's okay to pray quietly, it's okay to pray in my own way, it's okay to have only 1 or 2 hours in the mornings dedicated to God, and it's okay if you can't make it to church on sundays. It doesn't make my relationship with God any less. And it doesn't make me any less religious, or spiritual, or immature in faith. At the end of the day, I am STILL a Child of God, a woman of the Lord, a servant, a believer, and fearfully & wonderfully made! 

This has become inspirational for me within all of my relationships: My Marriage, my family, my friends. All unique, all personal, and always fragile as we grow and change. There's a quiet nobility in that...Don't you think?

Love without Expecting, Love without Fear..Love, Love, Love!


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