Welcoming Prayers

I used to think when someone said they were praying for you it was an insult.

Sometimes, it actually is meant to be: I’m praying for your awful soul that I’ve self-righteously decided needs God’s mending. I still kind of support the idea that to tell someone you actively know doesn’t believe in God that you’re praying for them is to insult them. In my opinion, to do that is to say I understand we believe different things, but you are wrong, and therefore I will ask for God’s help for you. I know that’s not how it’s (necessarily) meant, but sometimes from the non-believer’s perspective, it can seem disrespectful and rude. I digress.

Now, sometimes, I ask for prayers. I ask my Boyfriend to pray for me–for my anger, my health, what have you.

“Have a good mass, pray for me,” I texted him.

“Always,” he responded.

Instead of being surprised or upset, I smiled.

He’s not praying for me because he thinks there’s something wrong with me. He’s praying for my wellbeing, that I’m looked over and guided and make the decisions best for me.

I’m learning not to be afraid of prayer, but to welcome it.

-HH

Tomorrow

Commitment is hard. I watched a video today of a speech Inky Johnson gave in which he said, “Commitment is staying true to what you said you were going to do, long after the mood that you have said it in has left.”

And boy do I have problems with that kind of commitment. Specifically, and solely, that commitment to myself.

More and more frequently I’m starting to notice how mean I am to myself. I think of myself in ways I would never do to another person. And flipping the switch on someone like me overnight just doesn’t work. There is no epiphany or life changing moment where I get all my shit together.

Change takes time. 

So I’m going to start small by establishing my commitments Day to Day. Each day will have 4 commitments: 1 for the health of my body, 1 for the health of my brain, 1 for the health of my faith, and 1 for the health of my future.

Maybe one day I’ll have 40 commitments per week. Maybe not.

But for now, all I’ve got to worry about is tomorrow.

-HH

Angry

I’m pretty sure it’s in the first Avengers movie when Beautiful Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk reveals how he deals with his situation: “I’m always angry.”

That’s how I felt today. In retrospect, it’s how I feel pretty much all the time–about things that happened months, even years, ago.

When I pray, I always pray for personal things last. I want to prioritize other people.

Today I want to pray for me.

I am desperate for His guidance in dealing with my anger. Some of the things for which I am angry, I yearn for an explanation. I want to know why they happened, why I’m struggling to let go of them–why He’s putting me through this constant turmoil and frustration.

Being angry is exhausting. I am searching for how to let go.

I am learning that letting go is even more difficult than being angry.

-HH

Every Day, Forever

Last night I prayed.

Super weird, I know. I didn’t even tell my Boyfriend about it, I felt so weird.

But I did. I prayed.

I was laying in my bed, tossing and turning (which is pretty much every night for me). Then I just thought, “Maybe I should pray.”

I didn’t pray for sleep. Although, that probably would’ve been a good idea to add in there. I prayed for my relationship, for my Boyfriend. That we be together and safe and strong. I haven’t been feeling unsafe or weak or insecure in the relationship, I just suddenly wanted to feel like Someone had my Back on it.

I cried while I prayed.

I didn’t want to pray aloud at first. I think I always thought it was dumb, talking at nothing. But in my head, I kept beginning my prayer over and over. It didn’t feel like enough. It didn’t feel like He heard me.

So I prayed aloud. And I cried while I prayed. I told Him I would Try–that I wouldn’t promise to be on the Righteous Path, or what have you. But that I would Try to have Faith, and to be and do Good.

It felt good. It felt Powerful. I think I’m going to pray tonight, as well.

And maybe every day, forever.

-HH

Dressing Up and Promising Rings

Sunday I had lunch with a girl I was best friends with in middle school. She moved away after 7th grade and moved back after high school, and we’ve met sporadically over the past two years, but this summer we both actively decided we wanted to pursue friendship.

I had a great time! I’m excited to hangout with her again But she said something to me I can’t stop thinking about.

“I think promise rings are kind of stupid at our age,” she told me. “Like, we’re not kids anymore.”

Before I talk about any of that, I want to say that she began our conversation by saying she felt like a little kid playing dress up, that we’re doing adult things but it doesn’t quite feel like we’re actually adults yet.

She thinks her boyfriend of a year and a half will propose to her soon. She is going to say yes. Good for her.

But when my boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half, we will both still be in college. When we graduate with our bachelor’s degrees, I will be in a master’s program a month later, and I will be in said program for the next year.

When I finish that program, we will have been together for three and a half years. Before I marry him, I want to live with him for at least six months in our own apartment, just the two of us.

“I wouldn’t even mind a long engagement,” she explained. “I just don’t want to live in a house he owns, since he’s buying one now, and just be his ‘girlfriend.'”

I understood what she was saying. But that’s not the pace that my relationship is going, despite the fact that we both intend to marry our current boyfriends.

A long engagement isn’t what I want. Engagement, to me, means marriage is coming soon. And I do want to marry my Boyfriend! But what marriage means to me isn’t something I’m ready for yet.

Marriage, to me, means a home in our names, joint bank accounts, a plan for a honeymoon, and enough money to have the big, beautiful Catholic wedding I know my boyfriend wants. Those things will not exist in three and a half years.

But you know what I love about a promise ring? It means those things will exist some time after three and a half years. I trust my Boyfriend enough to know that if he gives me a promise ring, it’s because he means it.

am still playing dress up sometimes. I don’t really know how to be an adult yet. I do have a million things I want to do with my Boyfriend, all of which I’m comfortable doing with just calling him my “Boyfriend.” All of which I would love doing with a tiny, stupid ring on my finger that says “I intend to marry the person I am dating.”

Frankly, I don’t think there’s a damn thing wrong with that.

-HH

Home

Before God gave him to me, I was a weak foundation
There were cracks in me from Surface to Earth

Before God gave him to me, I had no intention of Building myself
Pieces of me sat around, just out of reach, and I wasn’t even Stretching for them
Before God gave him to me, the rain poured–
poured–
poured–
Until no part of me remained Dry
Then God gave him to me

When God gave him to me, I decided to fill the cracks
I needed to be the best so that one day he would Build on my Base
No other blocks of cement could be more appealing than mine
When God gave him to me, I decided to fight

When God gave him to me, he took the planks of wood that make up my soul
None of them match or are the right length
Yet still, he is building a house out of me

When God gave him to me, I was Cold to my Core
Unwilling to be Punctured by the reality of Love
I have since learned how to Warm a Room

When God gave him to me, I was sure he wasn’t Real
Sometimes I squeeze him to remind myself that it’s not a Dream
He supplies my Frame with Warmth and Protection
He covers me from the Wind and pushes me in the Sun

Thank God gave him to me
He Built a House from my Broken Bits
Together, we are Home.

-HH

Thankful

I opened a chocolate muffin packet the other day and the muffin had a pale green, fuzzy substance on a part of it. Enraged and grossed out, I wrapped it up and promptly tossed it in the trash. I opened another one to find the muffin perfectly fresh and just what I needed.

I also found myself, for the first time in a very long time, realizing how lucky I am to be able to throw away a muffin and immediately get a new one. At no point did I even consider eating the muffin (which, also, smelled faintly of plastic), nor had it been a struggle for me to obtain them.

It’s really easy for me to get caught up in the stress of college–because, trust me, there’s a lot of it. I stress about my health and my grades and my career path and pretty much everything I do, honestly. A lot of the times I wonder if college is even worth it.

But finals are over now (thankfully). And I know I passed all my classes. I’m passionate about what I’m learning, and when I go home I have bed(s) and family and food and love. It’s hard to remember to be thankful for those things when they’re the norm in my life. It’s hard to remember to be thankful for the opportunities I’ve been granted with my education.

I’m working on remembering to be thankful for them anyway.

-HH