I, Wisdom

Tree-lined street

Listen as Wisdom calls out! Hear as understanding raises her voice! “I call to you, to all of you! I raise my voice to all people. You simple people, use good judgment. You foolish people, show some understanding. Listen to me! For I have important things to tell you. My advice is wholesome. There is nothing devious or crooked in it. My words are plain to anyone with understanding, clear to those with knowledge. I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment. Common sense and success belong to me. Insight and strength are mine. I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me. And so, my children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful. Listen to my instruction and be wise.” –Proverbs 8

After the funeral last week, my 30-year-old cousin JJ wanted to grab coffee with me. It was my birthday and I had plans with Ashley, but JJ seemed like he needed someone to talk to, so off we went.

We’re not close, JJ and I – at least, not in my mind. We have nearly 30 cousins on that side of the family, and I only see most of them twice a year at family gatherings. I didn’t know much about JJ’s recent past other than he went through a divorce two years ago, got out of the military, and had a live-in girlfriend for much of the past year. But JJ told me he’s always felt closer to me than anyone else in our extended family. I’m not sure why that is, but I’m glad for it.

JJ and I got a couple of lattes and walked up and down the historic, tree-lined street of my favorite coffee shop in town. It was a perfect day for both my grandfather’s funeral and my birthday. The morning started out cloudy and overcast; chilly and solemn at the grave site. But after lunch, as we all celebrated at the reception – and later, as I celebrated my birthday – the temperatures warmed and the sun came out, making for a beautiful day.

JJ is a good-looking man. I had a crush on him when I was a small child, in the days before children learn that marrying within the family is generally discouraged. Now a ruggedly handsome firefighter in a small town, he has a way with the ladies, and from what he told me last week, he makes the most of it and then laments that he can’t seem to find a lasting, meaningful relationship. “I end up with women who gorgeous but not very smart. Or women who are just plain crazy.”

When JJ admitted that he tends to get pretty physical on the first date, I suggested that it may be helpful to get to know a girl’s personality, character, thoughts and opinions – to gauge more than just her bust size – before taking her home. I watched the light bulb go off in his eyes. “Huh,” he mused out loud. “I’m thirty years old and have never considered that before.”

I was shocked that he sincerely meant it. I had trouble fathoming that he could go thirty years without ever considering if there was another way to navigate dating. But I was also grateful for the time together, that we could talk through some practical steps of how to put external boundaries in place and prevent the physical chemistry from clouding his judgment when he decides who to pursue a relationship with in the future. 

He was receptive. Teachable. Genuinely curious and interested in learning how to date differently. And I appreciated that. But I chuckled to myself later in the day, wondering if it’s true what they say: That those who can, do…!

Authentically Aurora

P.S. Best talk on dating I’ve ever heard: Dating Part 2: HOW

Love Didn’t Win

SCOTUS 2On Friday morning when I woke up, I was surrounded by hashtags of #loveislove and social media postings that “Love Won: In a historic ruling, the Supreme Court has decided in favor of marriage equality.”

I was supposed to be packing for my move, with a moving company showing up at 8:00 a.m. the next morning and only half of my apartment boxed up. I was supposed to be prepping for an interview I had just hours later on Friday afternoon. I was supposed to be showering and doing laundry because, you know, interviewers prefer that you don’t show up smelling like you haven’t showered in two days. But I was distracted by a heavy heart because, in this historic ruling, love didn’t win.

Love didn’t win. And what makes it all the more painful is the number of people who genuinely believe that love won. I can understand the mindset and the worldview of wanting “equality” for everyone. I am opposed to slavery and am grateful for the steps toward equal rights for African Americans in the United States. I am opposed to sexism and am so thankful to live in an era where women are allowed to vote, go to college and compete with men for jobs in engineering and medicine. And I believe that all human beings have dignity, value and worth. But I cannot support gay marriage.

I have homosexual friends, and I genuinely want them to be happy. But at my core, I do not believe that marrying someone of the same gender is ultimately for their good; I do not believe it will result in true and lasting joy. I believe that God created this earth and, as the Creator, He knows intimately the scientific laws of the universe, the psychology of the human mind, the tendencies of the human heart. When God speaks to Job, he says:

“Who is this that questions my wisdom
    with such ignorant words?
Brace yourself like a man,
    because I have some questions for you,
    and you must answer them.

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
    Tell me, if you know so much.
Who determined its dimensions…?
What supports its foundations,
    and who laid its cornerstone…?

“Who kept the sea inside its boundaries
    as it burst from the womb,
and as I clothed it with clouds
    and wrapped it in thick darkness?
For I locked it behind barred gates,
    limiting its shores.
I said, ‘This far and no farther will you come.
    Here your proud waves must stop!’

“Have you ever commanded the morning to appear
    and caused the dawn to rise in the east?
Have you made daylight spread to the ends of the earth,
    to bring an end to the night’s wickedness…?

Do you know where the gates of death are located?
    Have you seen the gates of utter gloom?
Do you realize the extent of the earth?
    Tell me about it if you know!”

God knows the rules of the game because He created it! If we love ourselves and seek happiness, might it be prudent to seek wisdom from the One who knows all, sees all, and loves us unconditionally?

SCOTUSWe all have that friend who is dating someone who is wrong for them – that girlfriend of ours who is dating a guy who doesn’t treat her with respect, or that guy friend who is dating a girl who manipulates him constantly. Because we want our friends to be happy, we try to support them, but if we really loved them, perhaps we would have the courage to speak up and say, “I love you, and I want you to be happy, but I’m not sure he/she is right for you. I don’t think he/she will ultimately bring you joy.”

I tend to have Libertarian leanings. I am Pro-Life, opposed to gay marriage, and in support of keeping “under God” in the pledge. But I also acknowledge that I cannot ask people to subscribe to values that they do not believe in. If someone is not a Christian and does not believe that the Creator of the universe has declared homosexuality to be wayward behavior that will not result in lasting joy, how could I expect that person to understand my stance or, still further, to abide by it?

At the end of the day, this is what I would hope my friends, family, acquaintances and the world would hear: God loves us more than we could ever understand. And because of that love, He has given us guidelines that will lead to our joy if we receive His divine wisdom and live it out.

Some people think that God’s command not to engage in premarital sex is cruel and confining; they believe that somehow God is opposed to pleasure and happiness. But I say to you that God created sex! It was His idea! And He wants us to enjoy pleasure and experience happiness. But He knows what will lead to our ultimate joy, and that is to be patient and wait until marriage. How many married couples look back on their youth and think, “Man, I really wish I’d fooled around with more people before I got married!”?

Wives, how many of you have insecurities because your husbands made love to other women before he met you? Is he comparing me to her? Is he thinking of her when he’s with me? Premarital sex undermines the marriage, and – knowing that – God in His love and wisdom asks us to wait.

In the same way, God in His love asks us not to engage in homosexuality. And this is why, on a day when so many others are celebrating, I can only wonder at the atmosphere of heaven on this historic day – our loving God, reaching out to his wayward children, heart broken because He has given us the freedom to choose, and we did not choose Love.

But this I remember, and I have hope: God’s mercies are new every morning; great is His faithfulness. No authorities have power that God did not grant them (Rom. 13:1). God was not surprised by this ruling; He is sovereign and knew about this day before the beginning of time (Eph. 1). And although the prince of this world may have won this battle, we know that God already has the victory. The War is already won!

Authentically Aurora

Sweetly Broken – Part II

GoodbyeMy ex-fiance and I kept running into each other all day long – at the crawfish boil, the volleyball courts, in the cafeteria… It was like something out of an Agatha Christie murder mystery novel where all of the characters are trapped in a secluded set, snowed in at a log cabin or marooned on a private island.

My ex and I would inevitably pretend to ignore one another, avoiding eye contact but all the while keenly aware of the other’s presence. It was awful. Just when I reached another valley of desperation, mind spiraling to dark places, I spotted a familiar face: Patricia. Flynn’s ex-girlfriend. Oh, the irony. 

Patricia and I smiled and waved at each other across the meadow and walked toward one another. Still smiling, aware that my ex was watching me, I said to Patricia, “Will you walk and pray with me? I’m having kind of a rough day.”

“Of course!” She looked surprised at my vulnerability but genuinely happy to be there for me. We walked and talked; then found a bench in the warm sun. I told her about my ex; she told me about the pain of watching Flynn with his new girlfriend. We encouraged one another, laughed together, cried together, and prayed over one another, just as I’d done with Grace earlier. I’d known Patricia was beautiful. But before that afternoon, I hadn’t realized what a wise, godly woman she is as well. God truly works in mysterious ways.

As the sun was setting just before the final session of the day, I saw my ex yet again. Patricia had called me over to her table and started to introduce me around to her group. I shook hands with one person after another until I came to my ex, who was sitting in the circle. I played it cool, sticking my hand out to him and saying, “And you are…?”

He looked tired; emotionally drained. He didn’t complete my sentence but said simply, “Hi, Rory.” He reached out and took my hand, shaking it as the others had done.

I moved on to the next person in the circle, smiling broadly and playing the social butterfly I can be when I decide to be. After laughing and cutting up with a few new friends, I walked around the table and put my hand on my ex’s shoulder. “Can we talk for a minute?”

I hadn’t planned on talking to him; in fact, I’d been intentionally avoiding him all day. I had no idea what I was going to say, but after hours of unrest and internal turmoil, I just wanted to face the issue head-on and address the unsettled feeling in the pit of my stomach.

He looked pained and wary about talking with me, but he agreed. “Uhh… we can if you really want to.”

In response, I gestured for him to follow me, and we made our way to the tree line, along the edge of a wooded pathway away from everyone else. Once there, I turned to face him.

“I thought we should just acknowledge that this is awkward,” I began. “I’m uncomfortable, I’m sure you’re uncomfortable… this is just an awkward situation.”

“Yes,” he stated with emphasis, nodding.

“And we’ve been dancing around each other all day,” I added, “So I thought we should just acknowledge that, yes, this is uncomfortable. But I also want you to know that I’m okay. I’m really glad I’m not married to you.”

His change in expression was immediate. “There’s no reason to be mean,” he spat at me.

My eyes widened in surprise. “I wasn’t trying to be mean!” I defended myself as gently as I could. “I was trying to affirm you in your decision not to marry me!”

I paused; then sighed heavily. “This is one of the reasons it’s good we’re not married. I’m a direct communicator, and you’re sensitive. I wasn’t trying to hurt your feelings. I was just letting you know that I’m okay, and this doesn’t have to be so awkward. But I’m really doing okay. I’ve been dating someone the past six months –”

He interjected enthusiastically, “Rory, that’s great! That’s what I’ve been praying for!” What? His whole face had lit up with genuine excitement.

“I’ve prayed for you every day since we broke up,” he told me, “I’ve prayed that you would find a man who will love you well and that you’ll get married and have kids…”

“You’ve thought about me every day? You’ve prayed for me every day?” I was shocked. Even as heartbroken as I’ve been, I have not thought about him every day for the past year. And I stopped praying for him a long time ago. It engaged my heart too deeply, and I didn’t think it was healthy to keep that kind of emotional connection to him.

“Yeah,” he admitted sheepishly. “I’ve been kind of a wreck. I know I treated you horribly. I’ve been in a deep depression for the past year. I haven’t dated anyone, and I’m still seeing our old counselor every week.”

Wow. That shouldn’t make me feel better, but it definitely did. The last few prayers I prayed over my ex were for his ruin – financial, emotional, relational, etc. I know that’s not God-honoring at all, but I rationalized to myself that only through his utter brokenness could God truly reach my ex and make him into the man he was created to be. So it was really a loving prayer, right?

I knew my prayers had at least been partially answered when IBM and NOV tanked. My ex is a value investor who doesn’t believe in diversification, so he was only invested in five stocks, two of which were IBM and NOV. He also invests tens of thousands on behalf of his closest friends and family. I’d wondered how that affected their relationships (and hoped for the worst. I know, I’m terrible).

“Why have you been depressed?” I asked as casually as I could. “Was it all guilt… or did you miss me?”

He shrugged and hung his head. “A lot of it was guilt. Honor and pride played into it. I did wrong by you, Rory. But I also missed you. I revisited that decision multiple times a day, every day for a long time. I would have to call my mom all the time to talk back through the decision not to marry you. But it was the right decision. I totally butchered the decision and dragged you through hell for months – I know – but it was the right decision.”

Although I agreed with him that it was the right decision, I only felt that way because of the way he’d treated me near the end. I would have married him. I loved him. And so hearing him say it was the right decision not to marry me caused my heart to twinge, even though I knew it to be true.

“Why did you propose to me?” I asked suddenly. It wasn’t a premeditated question. It just tumbled out in my moment of insecurity.

His looked at me sadly; gently. “Because I loved you. I was in love with you. And you were the first person who ever loved me back. That’s why I proposed to you.”

“Then what happened? I hadn’t planned to get into this, but since we’re talking about it… You said so many horrible things to me those last few months. That I’m so Type A that I would drive you to have an affair. That I’m domineering and no man could lead me. That I’m cold and emotionless. That I’m too much… Even though I’ve moved on from wanting to marry you, those words play on repeat in my head. Did you mean all of them? What was the real reason?”

“Rory, do you really want to get into this?” He sighed and looked away, exacerbated. “You take everything to heart and twist it to see it in a negative light. I don’t know if I should tell you.”

I just looked back at him, waiting.

He sighed again. “Okay, first of all, I was a crazy person. Ignore everything I said during that time. My own parents didn’t recognize me. But what it all came down to is, I wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m an emotional guy, and I need a woman who is absolutely dripping with empathy. It’s not a knock against you because everyone has empathy on a different scale, and all kinds of personalities end up together, but it was just an incompatibility. There’s nothing wrong with your personality – please hear that! – but we just weren’t compatible.”

I thought we were.

He continued, “I would have seen our incompatibility sooner if not for my issue with lust. I lusted for you, Rory. I’m so embarrassed by it. It’s humiliating. I had a deep-seated sin of lust, and I’m so ashamed by it. And how it blinded me.”

That was hurtful to hear. “So you proposed to me because you wanted to have sex with me?” Although he wasn’t a virgin, I am still waiting even now, and he had claimed to respect and admire that, although his actions didn’t always align with his words.

“No!” he looked hurt and horrified. “I asked you to marry me because I loved you. I just didn’t see our incompatibility until after we were engaged. I felt like you changed.”

“The change in me – the hardening, pulling away, being less empathetic —” I looked pointedly at him, “– was a response to how you were treating me. I sensed your anxiety and emotional withdrawal and was trying to protect myself.”

“I know I wounded you, but you wounded me, too – in a different way. I was afraid to talk to you today because you know me. You may say you don’t know me – that I’m a stranger to you – but you do. You wounded me because you saw deeply into me and spoke truth into my life. And I was afraid you’d speak more truth into me. And the truth is painful. But I’m thankful for it. I learned so much from you. You have no idea.”

That had been my initial prayer when we first broke up. That he would grow and learn and have eyes to see the truth. He had been so blind and walking in darkness. It was an unexpected blessing to learn that he finally heard the words I had been speaking for months. I only wish he had appreciated it sooner and more fully. That he’d had the maturity to recognize that being married to a truth-speaker is a blessing. That much of marriage is encouraging our spouse toward greater Christ-likeness, such that we present them before the Throne of Grace more sanctified than they would have been if not married to us.

We both just looked at each other. And sighed.

“Well, is there anything else? Anything you need to hear from me?” he asked.

I shrugged. “I don’t think there’s anything you could say that would be helpful and not damaging. Because of your rejection, sometimes I don’t believe I’m marriageable or desirable, but there’s not much you can do to change that.”

“Rory, you’re a great girl. You have so much to offer. And you will get married someday. And that man will be a very lucky man.” He looked thoughtful. “I actually say that to our counselor all the time. You have so much to offer a man.”

I smiled sadly; then asked, “Is there anything you need to hear from me? Have I said anything in this conversation to hurt your feelings that I need to retract?”

His brow furrowed. “No, but I need to hear that you forgive me. Will you forgive me, Rory? I know we’ve been over this, but I need to hear you say that you forgive me.” He looked at me with big eyes. Vulnerable. He needed this desperately.

“Of course I forgive you.” I smiled sadly again. I forgave you a long time ago. Many times over. Over and over again. It’s a process. I was glad to help him move toward peace… and I was glad that I was glad.

We stared at each other again. “I don’t know how to end this conversation…” I trailed off.

“Well, we’re going to hug in a minute here…” he began before he, too, trailed off.

“The last time we talked, you said that you wanted to be friends,” I reminded him. “That you’d call me in a year and try to be friends.”

“Yeah, that was ‘pie in the sky’,” he admitted. “It was my way of comforting myself. I didn’t want to lose you completely, so I told myself I was only losing you for a month or a year. But I knew deep down it wasn’t realistic.”

I know it’s best we’re not friends, and I honestly don’t want the angst of him in my life – I’d never wanted him to call a year later – but it still hurt my heart to come to the realization that we were about to say goodbye forever… again.

Two girls walked past us, ranting loudly about something that hadn’t gone the way they wanted. My ex made his classic “uh oh!” face and started making high-pitched “meep”-ing sounds like Beaker from The Muppets.

I burst into laughter, and he looked surprised before his face relaxed into an authentic grin. He chuckled softly. “Oh, Rory, I’ve missed your sense of humor.”

“I’ve missed yours, too.” We smiled at each other for a brief, shining moment where time stood still and we were transported back to another season when we were deeply in love. My eyes started to water unexpectedly, and I blinked back tears.

He saw my tears, and his expression softened as tears welled up in his eyes, too. “Rory…”

I started laughing, embarrassed. “I’m okay,” I waved him off with my hand. “I’m okay. I know you’re not used to seeing emotion from me.”

“No…” he agreed.

“It’s just… I feel like you’re dying to me all over again. I had to grieve the loss of you like the death of a loved one, and now I know I’m saying goodbye again. It’s just… very emotional.”

He took a step toward me and said, “Who knows? Maybe five years from now, you’ll be married – to that guy you’re seeing; maybe he’s ‘The One’ – and maybe I’ll be married, and we can be friends. You never know.”

“Okay,” I smiled at him through my tears.

He closed the distance between us and wrapped me in a hug. We stood for a moment before pulling away and walking in different directions. As we parted, he called softly, “See you later.”

“See you.” …Just maybe not this side of heaven.

Authentically Aurora

Destroying the Daydream

DaydreamLife doesn’t always go as planned.

Okay, it basically never goes as planned.

At six years old, I believed I would be a prima ballerina when I grew up. At eight, I expected to one day become the first female President of the United States. At seventeen, I just knew I was headed to a prestigious military academy, and at twenty-two, I thought I was about to live the American Dream, wearing a power suit in a high-visibility corporate job I loved. At twenty-six, I thought I was getting married, and I’ve always planned to start having kids by thirty.

We all envision the future scenes of our lives, but no one envisions scenes of being 36 and still single or 32 and already divorced. No one envisions scenes of infertility or being miserable in your cubicle at that so-called dream job or being forty and still trying to figure out what you’re supposed to do with your life.

PulitzersThere are moments where everything seems to be as it should be, but then the scene changes to one we don’t want or expect. But why don’t we expect the inevitable heartache and pain? We live in a broken world of Ebola and ISIS and cancer. Where did we get the idea that life is a fairytale where we all get happy endings?

I am especially surprised at my fellow Christians, myself included. Jesus couldn’t have been clearer: “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart, for I have overcome the world.” Is there any way to interpret this other than: Expect suffering?

It’s time that we begin to see life clearly. King Solomon desired to be a master of the way the world functions. Ecclesiastes 2 is Solomon’s grand experiment to find the secrets of pleasure and happiness. He had every pleasure imaginable at his disposal. Solomon lived in greater opulence than Bill Gates with a steamier sex life than Lil Wayne, but in the end, he beat his head against the wall because he found nothing but emptiness; he found that “everything is meaningless.”

Lil WayneKing Solomon observed much in his desire to understand the world’s workings, and near the end of his life, he wrote that there are two types of people in the world: “There is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his evildoing.

Ultimately, he determined that belief in karma is folly. Bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to the evil people in this world. We must come to terms with the fact that this world is a dark, broken, unfair place because if we don’t, we will continue to expect the fairytale, be perpetually disappointed and ultimately question God’s goodness.

So are we to be people without hope? Are we to be the bitterest of all people? No. We are to have joy and hope in what is to come; faith that God is working all things together for good. God is a loving Father who desires to give good gifts to His children, and we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, even if we can’t see the big picture in our finite human minds.

Solomon goes on to give advice to the two types of people in the world: “Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself? Be not overly wicked, neither be a fool. Why should you die before your time?”

The advice to the wicked is expected: There are natural consequences to our actions. I think most people realize that. What hit home for me was the advice to the righteous. I have been the righteous man, perishing in my “righteousness”. I have pointed my finger at God, saying, “I did everything you asked me to do. Why would this happen to me, of all people?”

This mindset toward God is foolishness. Any mentality where I think, “If I live rightly, I will be cocooned from trials” is a false mentality. In my self-righteousness, I sometimes subconsciously believe that God can be manipulated. “If I just pray the right prayer or read the bible enough and abstain from premarital sex and never get drunk and go to church every Sunday, then I will have forced God into a corner where he has to give me the good things I expect for my life.”

HopeBut life doesn’t work that way, and the omniscient, omnipotent God of the Universe certainly doesn’t operate that way. “Should we accept only good from the hand of God and not suffering?”

You can’t control your life. But that’s okay, because God does. And He is good. Jesus Christ is our mediator before the Throne of Grace, and in Him, all things hold together. God can be trusted with our futures, even in the bleak moments and dark scenes we never would expect or wish for ourselves. We can be grateful in the good times and thankful in the hard times, because God truly is working everything together for good.

We need to see clearly now. Trouble is certain, but it is temporary. Jesus is coming back, and when He does, He will wipe away every tear from our eyes and make all things new.

Authentically Aurora

Bachelor Bash – Week 5

That may have been the weirdest episode of “The Bachelor” ever. Which is saying something, because “The Bachelor” is a perpetual freak show.

From Carly‘s one-on-one date with the “love and sex expert”…

Carly Week 5 B

…to Britt‘s emotional yo-yoing over her fear of heights…

Britt Week 5

…from Jordan showing back up…

Jordan Week 5

…to Kelsey‘s manipulative antics…

Kelsey Week 5

…I am just overwhelmed. I can’t even handle the strangeness of whatever all of that was.

So let’s focus on Megan. Because after that absolute debacle of an episode, we could all use some comic relief.

Megan Week 5 A

Megan Week 5 B

Megan Week 5 C

I wonder if Megan ever figured out she was still in the U.S. *Sigh.

Authentically Aurora

Bachelor Bash – Week 4

Group Date Week 4I feel like this week on “The Bachelor”, the girls were clearly divided into two camps: Those Who Are Crass v. Those Who Have Class.

At the beginning of this week’s episode, several bikini-clad girls rode in convertibles to a lake with Bachelor Chris. Their group date involved camping and playing Red Rover in skimpy two-pieces. Yes, it was Bachelor Chris’s own private “Baywatch” viewing.

At one point, the self-proclaimed virginal Ashley I. took off her bikini top before jumping into the lake from the pier. Soon after, “you can plow the **** out of my field any day” Kaitlyn shimmied off her bikini bottoms and mooned the entire group (fellow contestants included, not to mention the nation-wide viewers). You can guess which camp I put these girls in.

Meanwhile, over in camp Those Who Have Class, Kelsey spoke to the camera, “This is a date for bimbos. If you have dignity and self respect, this is the part where you check out. I’m done.” Preach it, sister! Finally a woman on this show with some semblance of moral fiber! 

One-one-one dates Week 4Next, some of the girls got one-on-one time with Bachelor Chris. Jillian the Jock, who has bigger biceps than Chris, displayed the full extent of her meat head status when, on her romantic one-on-one date, she asked Chris, “Would you rather have sex with a homeless woman… or abstain from sex for five years?”

Not surprisingly (based on his obsession with Kaitlyn, Queen of Crass), this question was not what turned Chris off to Jillian so much as her incessant talking. “When Jillian’s talking, I become very confused because the words are coming out faster than I can process them.” Oh, is it only with Jillian? I thought confusion was your natural state of being, Prince Farming. 

In contrast to Jillian’s horrifying lack of propriety, Jade (who has been my top pick from Week 1) was gracious, sweet and humble while she was waited on hand and foot by personal stylists who prepped her for a Cinderella-like evening with Chris. Fortunately, the typically clueless Chris finally got a clue and picked up on Jade’s quiet confidence and previously unappreciated intangibles. “Not only is Jade beautiful on the outside, but her inner beauty is what really stands out to me.”

Week 4 VirginsLastly, we had the battle of the virgins. Which was really just Ashley I. using every excuse possible to talk about her virginity in an effort to get attention and feel special. She brought up her virginity to Chris twice, and when he didn’t respond as expected (i.e. by ripping off her clothes), she started crying and blew the entire situation out of proportion. “It’s really weird for him not to make a move on me,” she sobbed with black mascara running down her foundation-caked cheeks.

This girl is living in an alternate reality where she is the center of the universe. Maybe she’s neighbors with Ashley S., who is just living in an alternate reality period, or MacKenzie, who asks, “Do you guys believe in aliens?” just about every episode. Bachelor Trekkies unite.

In contrast to drama-filled, Kardashian-wannabe Ashley I., all that Becca said about her virginity this entire season was, “It’s a decision I made.” As Bachelor Host Chris Harrison said in his interview with Robyn Ross, “[Ashley I.] doesn’t know how to handle her sexuality yet, and she’s not comfortable in her own skin… Ashley is being exposed as young and naïve. The juxtaposition… between her breaking down over the whole thing and then having Becca go, ‘Oh by the way, me too,’ shows the difference between a woman and a young girl.” 

Go Becca. Quiet confidence wins every time.

Authentically Aurora

One Year Later…

Til Death Do Us PartToday marks the One Year Anniversary of the day I said, “Yes!” to the man who would eventually say “no…”, breaking off our engagement a few months later.

They say it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. I finally agree with that, but not because I got to have the experience of loving someone. I think it’s “better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all” because of the lessons learned as a part of the grieving process.

Like, for instance, that God is merciful. And that sometimes the best blessing He can give you is a prayer answered with, “No. Because I love you.”

Although my ex is the one who called off our engagement, here are Five Quotes from our tumultuous engagement period that remind me, one year after the implosion that was our disastrous relationship, that I am the one who escaped from what would have been a very unhappy, very unhealthy marriage.

5. Him: “I want to marry a more emotional woman.”

More emotional

4. Me: “I feel like I’m having to choose between pleasing God and pleasing you.”

Choose between

3. Him: “You’re so Type A, I think you’d drive me to have an affair if we got married.”

Thanks

2. Him: “My sister feels like I’m replacing her in my life with you, so we should push back the wedding until she feels more comfortable.”

Wife v Sister

1. Him: “I’m afraid we would have too much sex if we got married.”

Too much

Bullet?        Dodged. 

Authentically Aurora