Owning It

Blog Post

Making friends is weird.

It isn’t easy finding the balance between being truly me and also wanting to make a good impression. It is such a sticky path. It is twisted and complicated. Being in a new school, knowing absolutely no one, makes finding friends not super easy. The whole process of making friends makes me feel like I am back in elementary school and trying to find people to play with on the playground.

Since being in school, I have made one friend. We have a couple classes together and are pursuing the same major. We were basically destined to be friends. Our friendship went from zero to sixty, real fast. I wasn’t even certain we were friends and then we were spilling our guts.

We quickly began talking about the deeper things about life: heartbreak, family drama, life, death, and everything else in-between.

The other day our class got cancelled so we went out to coffee (what a classic college statement to say). We sat down, a pumpkin latte in hand, and the conversation ebbed and flowed. Back and forth. They shared. I shared. It was an extremely rewarding conversation.

It was at coffee that I began to share my story. Up until this point, they had shared more than I had. Up until this point, I was just Maranda. I wasn’t Maranda The Christian, or Maranda The Ex-pastor, or Maranda The blogger, or even Maranda The Sinner. I was just Maranda. When the questions began, all the details flowed. I shared quite a bit. I definitely shared the parts that make me look waaaay less than impressive.

My new friend responded beautifully. They were kind and understanding. But, I walked away and kind of panicked.

I woke up the following day questioning what the heck I did.

I think I was just smacked with the realization that I have left the comfort of the church community. And now I am trying to navigate what I believe, what I want, and where I am going. Now, I don’t have the safety net of the church. Or the comfortability of church. I am just figuring out where my place is.

I was terrified of what my new friends thoughts would be. Did I share too much? Is my story too different? Will I be accepted? Am I enough to be their friend?

I reached out to some of my superhero girl gang & told them I was spazzing. They responded with reminding me to own my story.

My story matters. Period.

It doesn’t matter what I did seven years ago.

It doesn’t matter what I haven’t done.

I have a really beautiful heart that deserves to be trusted, honored, and celebrated.

I deserve to be surrounded by people that remind me that my story is valuable.

It’s so funny, because my new friend was really understanding of my story, but MY insecurity got involved. Owning my story is just another layer, a deeper level, of self love. More acceptance.

So, in this journey of making friends…I’ve decided to become my own friend.

Just like I am accepting of the new people I meet, I will be accepting of my story. I will extend kindness and grace and understanding to myself. I will trust the beauty I bring into friendships. I will celebrate who I am become through every season of my story.

Why does it seem so complicated to accept and befriend oneself. The reality is, you deserve friendship. You deserve respect and honor. You deserve to extend friendship to yourself. So, regardless of your story…own it. Rock it. And don’t doubt the fire within you.

XO,

M

Change

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The past couple blog posts I have been hinting at major life changes. I have been hesitant to share completely what has been going on because, it involved other people that I had yet to talk to. Anyways, it is time to share all that has been going on.

At the beginning of July, I went home to Ohio for a vacation. When I was there I had a beautiful nephew born and I got to spend a lot of time with my adorable nieces. Being surrounded by family really pushed me to reevaluate my life. Since I live over 2,000 miles away from my family, I really want to make sure that I am all in to where I am living and what I am doing.

When I was home, I realized that I wasn’t feeling happy. I have a super blessed life, but my heart wasn’t fully alive. I began to question my college major, my job, my friends, my relationship, everything. I, normally, feel really passionate about life, so there was something that needed reevaluating in my life.

I began doing a lot of research about majors and careers. I, even, looked into going to different universities. I struggled to find a place of peace within a degree. After multiple days, multiple conversations, I found some clarity on the choice of a degree (see this post on how that decision was made). I decided to pursue a degree in sociology.

Once that decision was made, I felt the chaos of reevaluating my life let up a bit. But still, I questioned the other aspects of my life.

When I returned to California, I struggled to reconnect to my life out here. I only felt a lot of anxiety and confusion. I felt alone and scared. I knew that the best way to combat loneliness is to open up. I knew I had to be vulnerable. I opened up to my boyfriend and some of my closest friends. Seeing their instantaneous support blew my mind. I knew I had great friends, but I thought I was being crazy.

I mean, for a long time, working for the church was my dream. I dreamed of having this job, and now I was considering quitting?

My friends and boyfriend were overly supportive of my dreams. They encouraged me to chase after my heart and to pursue things that make me feel alive. So, I took the next step. I talked with my mentor and boss.

I told her how I was feeling. But, I ensured her that I would end my time well and that me leaving would not be sudden.

I had no idea. 

One week later, another one of my bosses pulled me aside and told me that for financial reasons, I might have to be let go.

My mentor/boss and I talked and decided to pray in order to decide if she should fight for my job.

I began talking and asking my support system what to do. Asking if this was all coincidence or what to do. My entire support system agreed that this was not a coincidence. They agreed that this was probably the right step for me.

The next day, I was laid off from my job.

How wild is life?!

So now here I am, mourning the loss of my job.

Yet, embracing the unknown of the future.

This all happened so quickly. I am shocked, thankful, and confused. I do not know why this all happened or why it happened to fast, but I do feel like this is what is best for me.

But now, I am trying to find who Maranda is separate from this job, separate from conventional ministry, separate from this place. Who am I? What am I passionate about? How do I spend my time?

I am in this breathtaking space of rediscovering who I am. Remembering who I am without this place. So, I am taking a step back to decide where I will place my focus.

What are your top priorities in life? What is most important to you? Let me know in the comments!!

XO,

M

Out of the Nest

Blog Post

Remember last week when I wrote about how my life was turning upside down and I was being totally introspective? Well, things have continued that way this past week. I have been caught in the ebbs and flows of major life decisions.

I am so thankful for people, friends & family, that are supportive of my life. That truly want the best for me. This week, I was amazed by the support I have been given. Despite the support, the decisions I make are simply on me. They are up to me to decide.

Friends, relationships, are such a quirky topic. Friends add an incredible brilliance to one’s life, but they can also totally rain on everything.

Growing up I struggled with friends. I had a few, but not many stuck around for long. I think people liked me, but I only had a few people that I could truly call “friend”. After high school, I moved to California, I had better luck with friends…as in, I had more friends than before. But, again, they didn’t necessarily stay.

As life has continued, I have found that true friends show themselves in simple ways. They let you borrow their bathtub and text you everyday when your nephew is sick and they let you say selfish, mean things without thinking that you are selfish and mean. Friends stick with you, even when you act like an ass. Friends remind you of who you are. Friends support your wild, crazy, and maybe a little irrational dreams.

This week I got to talk with some of my best friends this week. I let them in to this process that I have been in…the decisions I am considering and reconsidering. I told them about my dreams that seem foolish. The ones that seem dumb to even consider. and get this…

they didn’t laugh at me.

or judge me.

or question my sanity…

they believed in me.

They supported my wild ideas and agreed with my crazy thinking.

I am so blessed to have friends like this. I realized that good friends push you out of the nest. Ya know how birds learn to fly? They get pushed out of the nest. One day at a time, my friends are teaching me to fly. They are refusing to let me stay within the safety of my nest…but instead, I am learning to spread my shaky wings and soar.

I want to be a friend like that.

Let me know how your friends have pushed you out of your nest of safety in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

XO,

M