Thoughts From The Mind of A Princess

My faith is like shifting sand changed by every wave; My faith is like shifting I stand on grace. -Caedmon's Call Shifting Sand Isaiah 26:8, James 1:4, James, 1:22-27

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Down in the Valley

I've been going through a rough patch in my life lately. When you look at the surface, it seems like everything is well and when you really get down to it, it should be. I should be happy. I keep telling everyone that things are great and things are going well, and that I am the happiest I've ever been. I really don't think that is the truth though and I cannot explain why I feel as sad as I do. I don't feel happy and I don't know what to do to make me happy. Work is really good, grad school is going well, church is ok, my relationship with Phil was great but because I've felt bad, I can feel it affecting our relationship. I blame my mood and emotions on everyone and everything around me, but the problem is within me. I just don't know how to fix it.

Honestly, why do I work so hard at my job? What do I get in the long run? Recognition? A pay raise? Crap from students? Complaints that my class sucks and I'm a bitch? Why am I going to grad school? Is it going to make me a better person? Is my pay raise really going to be substantial enough to cover the debt I am going into? When I take away school and work, what is left? Honestly? I used to be passionate about church and God, but I don't have time for that anymore. I used to have lots of friends, but I don't think I even have them anymore. I continue to push Phil away and blame how I feel on his busyness.

What is it going to take to make me happy with my life?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Jessie's Book Picks

Because I am such an advocate of reading, I've decided to start a whole new blog: Jessie's Book Picks. Book Picks has been designed to fill you in on some of my favorite and not so favorite books. I have given a brief description of the book, my experiences with it, and why you should or should not read the book.

Feel free to visit: (There is also a link on the sidebar of this blog.)

Happy Reading!!

Random Countdowns

approx. 3 hours, 3 minutes until Phil gets back into town
2 days until the Marc Broussard concert
4 days until Thanksgiving (yummmmm)
8 days until my first major grad school research paper is due
15 days until my first semester of grad school comes to a close
26 days until Winter Break
1 month, 5 days until Christmas
1 month, 11 days until New Year's Eve
1 month, 17 days until Phil's 29th birthday
2 months, 5 days until Wicked!!
3 months, 17 days until my trip to Chicago (and another viewing of Wicked), and Spring Break
6 months, 5 days until Summer Break
7 months, 23 days until my 29th birthday

Okay, I think I've procrastinated long enough...time to get back to that 20 page paper that's due in 8 days.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

100,000 and Counting Baby!!

As you can see from the photo, my car has crossed the 100,000 miles mark. Now, the last time I had a vehical that had that many miles died not shortly after 100,000. I think I can beat my record...

100,001 miles on my 2001 Ford Explorer. Let's hope it'll go 100,000 miles more. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Three Years...Almost to the Day

Tomorrow marks the three year anniversary of the finalization of my divorce from Adam. It's not a happy occasion, but it's not a sad one either. I won't be going to the Ale House to have a toast. I won't be going in my closet to find old wedding pictures to burn. I won't be going to the pawn shop to get rid of my ring, and I won't be sitting in a corner crying my eyes out. Looking back, I don't remember everything. I remember the shock, the pain, the relief, but I cannot remember everything as vivid as I thought I would when it was all actually happening.

I can remember the day it happened. It was a normal day, the Tuesday after Easter, April 2005. We both had worked that day, ate dinner together, and then went to worship team rehearsal. We weren't scheduled to be on the worship team, but I was scheduled to sing a solo and Adam was going to play guitar. The song was "I'm Alright" by FFH (how ironic). Something happened where we didn't get to practice, I think someone was sick. We left and were discussing the unorganization of the situation. As you can probably guess, I had some strong opinions about the whole thing. We were sitting on opposite ends of the couch as we talked about what had happened. Adam looked at me and said, "I can't do this." I thought he meant he can't talk about this situation any more, so I asked for clarification; there was something about the look in his face that made me uneasy. "I can't be married to you anymore." I remember breaking into tears and my defenses going up immediately (aside: my hands have begun to shake as I write this...weird). We argued for hours that evening. He slept in the other room. I think I eventually convinced him to sleep in our room, but I remember how awkward it was.

The next morning, I got ready for work (Who wants to teach high schoolers when your world feels like it is breaking down around you?). I remember that my eyes were so swollen from lack of sleep and the tears, that I couldn't put my contacts in. I wore my glases to school and every single one of my students noticed. From that little detail, my students sensed that something was wrong with me, but left me alone about it. Anyway, while I continued to get ready for work, I heard Adam get up to get ready. I can't remember if we had a discussion or if we spoke at all. All I remember is that while he was taking a shower, I went to open the bathroom door to say goodbye and the bathroom door was locked. He never locked the door. I knew we were done at that moment, but I also knew that I did not agree with all of this and I was going to fight.

He did come home from work that day, but we argued that evening as well. He couldn't give me a reason for wanting to separate. We both said very hurtful things, but the only thing I remember saying to him was, "I saved myself for you!" and him saying, "I never wanted to marry you, but I didn't want to let everyone else down." He eventually left our house to stay at a friend's house. He also turned his cell phone off so I couldn't get ahold of him. I went to bed and cried myself to sleep.

At this point, I still hadn't talked to anyone. I felt ashamed. We were both active in church ministry and the Bible states that divorce is not allowed except in cases of adultry. I didn't know how to deal with this. I didn't know who I could talk to. On the way to work the next day, I called the one friend that I felt would let me cry and talk without judging me, Sarah. We talked for a while, but she seemed distant. They only thing I actually remember her saying is that sometimes people have to break up but get back together, and things are much stronger the second time around.

The weekend came. I finally called my parents. It was difficult to make that call in the middle of the night. At this point in my life, I was living in S. Florida and my family was in Orlando, two and a half hours away. They let me cry and tried to understand. There really wasn't much they could do except listen and pray. The next morning, as Adam's parents made their way to our house to help him pack his belongings, I called a pastor friend of ours. I think out of all the phone calls that I had to make, that was the most difficult one. I felt like I was going to be put down and chastised. I was always going to be known as Jessie, the divorcee. That's not what I wanted to hear. I can't remember much of our conversation, except that he prayed with me and helped put my mind at ease about everything. I left our house because I did not want to see Adam's family. I went to a local park with my Bible and prayed and cried. God put peace into my heart. He led me to Isaiah 49:13 (The Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.). Once I felt better, I called my two best friends, Lauren and Melanie. They both cried for me and with me. They both prayed for me and with me. They helped me feel better. Melanie tried to help me figure out what was going on. She was the first one to ask if there was another woman involved. "No, of course not. Adam would never do that."

April came to a close, May passed, and June came. Adam and I had little face-to-face interaction, but spoke on the phone from time to time. Some conversations were really good and hopeful, others were very bad and ended in hurtful comments and feelings. We tried marriage counseling, but as soon as I was open to it, Adam decided he didn't want to go anymore. We tried hanging out with friends, it made everyone awkward. Eventually I left our church because he still wanted to attend there. I felt like for something that was considered to be so against the Bible, no one was speaking sense to Adam and telling him that what he was doing was wrong. God told me to step back and let Him work, so I did.

In June, I found out that there was another woman. Above I mentioned a girl named Sarah, the first person I called to talk about all of this. I felt I could talk to her without being judged. Well, as it turns out, even though Adam and I were not divorced, they were dating. To this day, I don't know how far this relationship had gone before Adam left me. I don't know the entire extent of their relationship during that time. I do know that in my eyes, Adam was cheating on me. It may not have been physically, but it was mentally and emotionally. He had put another woman ahead of his wife, therefore he was cheating. A pastor helped me understand that even though the Bible says adultry, it doesn't always mean physical adultry. Adultry can also mean to your wedding vows, to the commitment you made to each other and to God. For the first time, I felt better about the whole thing.

Summer came and I was beginning to heal even though we were technically still married. During this time I was spending a lot of time with a good friend, Erin. She and her husband, along with Clark and Vi, helped me through this entire process. Erin's husband was the only person who tried to speak the Word to Adam more than once. There were a few other people too, but they didn't do anything until they found out about the relationship with Sarah.

During July, August, and September, life began to move on. A new school year had started. I moved to my own apartment. I was visiting Orlando frequently (I finally decided to move back once the school year had ended). I had friends in Stuart. I was attending a different church even though I didn't want to. I would hear about Adam and Sarah, but I learned to accept it. Adam and I had a little contact, but nothing substantial. Finally, in October the divorce papers came. I refused to sign them until we had sat down with Chan--together. Adam agreed. We both met a Chan's house one morning in October. I brought Melanie with me so she could look over the papers. From what I could gather, Chan had breakfast with Adam before I got there and tried to make Adam tell him what's going on. Adam didn't care. He wanted out. We talked, I cried, Chan spoke. Nothing was going through, so I signed the papers. The judged signed them on November 13, 2002.

Since then, I have grown a lot. I moved back to Orlando and have become a different person. Don't get me wrong, I am still the same fun-loving, goofy Jessie, but I look at things differently. I try to find the positive before the negative. I have become more accepting of people. I am stronger and more faithful. I also look at relationships differently, love relationships, friends, family, etc.. I could sit here and try to analyze what went wrong, but what good would that do? I have made mistakes, people have hurt me, I've hurt people. I've asked for forgiveness and have granted forgiveness. I've heard from people about Adam--he married Sarah in the summer of 2004. Who cares? I've moved on in my life. I am happy, I am successful, I am surrounded by friends and family, my relationship with God has grown stronger, I love my church, I am in the best love-relationship I've been in, and I don't think I could have ever experienced any of that without going through my marriage and divorce. It's crazy how God always has what's best for us at the forefront, no matter how painful it may be when we are walking through that valley.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Are You Serious?

For those of you who read this on a regular basis, you may have noticed that I recently deleted an emotionally charged entry that I wrote about some feelings that I had been dealing with. Well, apparently the fact that I deleted it has angered some people. I am being accused of censorship because I am too weak to stand behind my feelings. Now that is the silliest thing I have ever heard of in my life!

Let's get a few things straight:
1) Anyone who has known me for a short amount of time knows that I am not weak, and that I don't really care what I say and who I say it to. This has gotten me in trouble quite a few times, and I have learned some hard lessons from this quality of mine. I can honestly say that I think I've learned how to get this under control over the past few years, but sometimes I really have to work hard at it, or apologize for what I've said.
2) I have been under the impression that what is contained/written on a blog, my space, online journal, etc... is up to the person who maintains it. So technically I can delete whatever I want, when I want to, be it comments made by outside people, or things that I have written. I didn't know I needed permission for that.
3) When I wrote that original entry, I never wanted to slander (or is it libel because it is written?) the reputation of my church. I was upset about a few things that a few people that attend my church said about me. I cannot equate a church as a community to the actions of a few people. That would be narrow-minded and cold-hearted of me. I cannot deny the fact that there are some amazing things happening at CrossPointe, and that God is working there. It was wrong of me to word some of the things I wrote in such a manner as to lead people to believe that everyone at the church acted the same way.
4) The ultimate reason I decided to delete the entire entry was because I was feeling bad about what I wrote and how I wrote it. That was not the Godly way to express my feelings. I didn't delete my feelings, I deleted the way I express my feelings. I was worried that some of the things I said could be misinterpretted and taken out of context. Frankly, I didn't want my blog to be used as a bashing session about my church. I was not offended by any of the comments made. I wasn't trying to hurt anyone's feelings by deleting the entry. I was avoiding the direction it looked like the comments were going in.

It took a while, but I took the route I feel God would want me to take--I have spoken with those people at church who made comments about me and things are ok. Am I going through a rough season in my life right now? Yes. Is it difficult when I hear someone make a comment? Yes. Do I get upset when people jump to conclusions, or have incorrect perceptions? Of course! But it is not right to be angry about something or at someone without going to them about it.

I am not angry at those people who have made the most recent set of comments, I am just hurt. Apparently God has been trying to teach me a lesson lately. Something to do with dealing with hurt, or patience, or just accepting the fact that even your closest friends will let you down from time to time.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

F-L-O-R-I-D-A S-T-A-T-E! Florida State! Florida State! Florida State, Wooo!!

This weekend Phil took me to Tallahassee for my first FSU homegame. For those of you who may not know, Phil went to FSU to earn his Master's Degree. I have been to an FSU game twice before, but one was when I was marching with the UCF Knights and the other I saw at UF. So I've been to a game before, but never as a spectator.

Phil met me at my house very early, 7 a.m.-ish (I say "ish" because he was almost an hour late!). Then we drove four hours to the state capital. The closer we got to the campus, the more excited Phil became--it was kinda' cute. When we got into town, we met up with Janice (a friend of Phil's), Mike (Janice's brother), and Jon (another friend of Phil's). We had lunch at a sub shop and then walked to the FSU sports complex. One thing about Tallahassee is that everything is close enough to walk so we barely drove anywhere. We walked over to the complex to watch the Marching Chiefs warm up. I don't care what anyone says, UCF is better! Go Knights!

Anyway, once the warm up was over, we went over to the stadium for the game. Phil was so excited. We watched the football team warm up and then the Chiefs came out for pre-game. I took pics of the band, but there are on my phone and don't look very good. At first I was pretty bored with the game, and resorted to people-watching. After a little while Phil started explaining the game to me. As the game progressed, I was able to follow quite closely. By 4th quarter, I was cheering and yelling. Even though the Seminoles lost, the game was still a lot of fun.

Once the game ended, we ventured over to where the Chiefs sit. Of course Phil knew tons of people, so we had to stand around and talk. He was able to catch up with some of his former students. Then we walked back to Janice's house. We dropped our stuff off and headed to a local sports bar to meet up with everyone. We ate, drank, laughed, and watched more football. It was fun! As the evening wound down, we went to Jon's house to get some shut-eye. We woke up (too) early the next morning and had breakfast with Jon. After breakfast, we watched more football. Needless to say, I am footballed out!

In mid-afternoon, before heading home, we drove over to the FSU campus. Phil showed me where everything is. It is actually a very pretty school. I knew it had once been an all-girls school, but I had no idea that it is over 100 years old! After being all tourist-like and taking a few photos,we finally make the drive home.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable weekend. It felt good being away from Orlando and meeting new people. Thanks everyone for such a great time.

Oh, and I did not take the pictures in this entry, Janice did. Thanks Janice! If you want to see photos that I took, click on "My Photo Albums" on the right sidebar of this page. :-)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

PRIDE of the Patriots


More to follow...